Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s new, daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today’s object of aural inquiry is a single track, a helluva banger from Rockman 8. No, not Mega Man 8… just Rockman 8. Hmm.
So what happened was Capcom hired a short-lived band called Ganasia to create “Electrical Communication,” the theme song that plays during the opening animation of 1996's Rockman 8, then the latest in the long-running Mega Man series.
And it fucking ruled. Some kind person posted a version with English subs, all the better for understanding the song’s urgent, life-affirming messages:
Based on the English subs it’s apparently a warning about the dangers of the electronic age, urging listeners to “break from the circuits binding your future” and “break the meditation” to “escape this crazy present!”
Listen. It’s amazing.
I have a huge soft spot for the sort of corny, faux-empowering “message” songs you often find lurking in old pop media, and lines like “This is a signal for only us two / Stop cheating, fly!” somehow trigger both the romantic and inspirational centers in my brain—a form of electrical communication, you might say—and send them spinning into happy overdrive.
It doesn’t really matter if the lyrics don’t stand up to close scrutiny, all they have to do is sound sufficiently emotionally powerful in the context of the song and boom! I’m on board the crazy train.
I was all aboard before I ever stumbled on the English subs, too. The music’s just great. High energy, killer chorus.
Which makes its removal from the Western versions of Mega Man 8 especially unfortunate. Instead we got an instrumental piece called “Metal Heroes,” as heard here:
It’s… pretty good actually. Certainly fine. A bit of a Sonic CD situation, where both versions hit at least a certain baseline level of quality.
But I’m sorry, if “Metal Heroes” is a 7 it still pales in comparison to the sheer life-changing energy of the 10 that is Ganasia’s “Electrical Communication.” So we lost out. Doubly so when you recall the English dub makes Dr. Light sound like Elmer Fudd.
Mega Man 8 (OST / Longplay / VGMdb) has plenty of other music too, and while there are a few okay tracks the arrangements are wimpy and I don’t think they’re particularly memorable, nor is the game itself as far as mainline Mega Mans go. Kind of a sleepy, by-the-numbers 32-bit update that makes me wonder what could have been had its creators felt more inspired. Like, say, Ganasia’s amazing intro number.
But we’re all here already, so why not?
(Use the back/forward buttons to skip through the playlist.)
Capcom / VGF64 (YouTube)
This Saturn version has various differences, the most obvious being two additional stages starring MM1’s Cut Man and MM2’s Wood Man. Their arrangements are as sleepy as the rest. Tengu Man had a different stage music on PS1 too, for some reason. Weird.
Ganasia did the Japanese credits song, too, “Brand New Way.” Nice rap bit in the second half, but it’s still no “Electrical Communication.” Except uhh… wait, what’s this? Someone translated it, too?
“The infinite tomorrow is as deep as the sea,” Ganasia sings. “Don’t forget what is painted in your heart,” but remember, “the endless pain has just begun.”
Well, I feel duly advised and slightly inspired. I like this song about 20% better now.
That’s it for today’s Morning Music, and I’ll see you bright and early next Monday! How’d this first week go? Say hi in the comments, and may we all break from the circuits binding our futures to escape this crazy present.