|The man behind the mega – Mega Man 2 composer Takashi Tateishi
Yesterday during "Mega Man-athon 7" – a 72-hour charity marathon that took place during MAGFest 2019 – Mega Man 2 composer Takashi Tateishi was interviewed during a live play of the game. Because this was Tateishi-san's first visit to the U.S, and the first time interacting directly with English-speaking Mega Man fans, he had a LOT to say about Mega Man 2's development.
Ever wanted to know why Wily Stage 2 doesn't have its own unique theme? That and other cool tidbits await you after the break!
- Tateishi had no idea how popular Mega Man 2 was until 10 years ago – 20 years after its development! He didn't know how popular the Metal Blade was among players, either.
- The Mega Man 2 development team was a very small, tight group lead by Akira Kitamura and Keiji Inafune.
- At its apex, Mega Man 2's development team had six people, and it took between 3 to 4 months to make. Because the team was so small, there were many late nights during development.
- The upper management of Capcom didn't send any words of encouragement to the development team. Instead, the Mega Man 2 team decided that, in order to feel more motivated, they all would wear customized Mega Man 2 jumper suits. The jumper suit had the logo of the game on the front and the word "Staff Only" on the back.
- Tateishi ended up making a few songs for Mega Man 2 that didn't get approved. Initially he made some "cute sounding" songs but the director asked him to make "cool sounding" songs instead. Only one "cute" song made it into the final game: Crash Man's stage.
- Director Akira Kitamura liked the music for Dr. Wily Stage 1 so much that he asked Tateishi to make another song similar to it. That song ended up being Wood Man's stage theme.
- Tateishi's favorite song from the game is the ending theme.
- Unlike most stages that used a guitar for its basis, Heat Man's stage used a bass. The NES was not very capable of producing bass sounds, so in order to produce a bass sound they had to use all three sound system channels to make that particular sound.
- Tateishi's process for creating Mega Man 2's music involved creating bombastic melodies using different layers and combining them into the final song using the NES capabilities.
- The reason why the Wily Stage 1 theme plays during both Wily Stage 1 and Wily 2 is because they ran out of space. By the time Tateishi had to compose Dr. Wily Stage 2, they had no more data available. He had to play the theme over and over again in the same interval to compose the full song. Without the data limitations the song will be very different today but he also noted the development schedule was tight so he may not have been able to compose more songs.
- No music in the rooms prior to the Dr. Wily fight was Akira Kitamura's idea.
-The ending theme uses two channels from the three available on the NES because they ran out of data.
-For Quick Man's theme, Kitamura told him to make a song that basically told players to "hurry up".
-For Dr. Wily Stage 1, Tateishi wanted to make a bunch of melodies that you can't only make with a guitar, so he ended making a bunch and overlaid them to get the result.
- Tateishi's favorite boss is Metal Man.
-Tateishi did quality assurance and bug checking on top of composing Mega Man 2's soundtrack and sound effects. He pretty much had to beat the game every day for a long time.
- Last time he played the Mega Man 2 was five years ago.
- Although most of the songs in Mega Man 2 sound like they were performed with a guitar, Bubble Man's stage theme was more piano-oriented. In Tateishi's head, an underwater level was a quiet place. However, you can't have a stage with that's too quiet, or else Kitamura would not approve it. So in the end, it made sense to compose a melody with piano as the basis.
- Tateishi has a lot of respect for Kitamura. He thinks Kitamura is a creative genius, and the same can be said about Inafune as well.
If you want to watch the interview and learn even more trvia, check out the embedded stream above or head over the HalfEmptETank Twitch Channel.