Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Challenges of Preserving Mega Man Legends 2's Score

Not too long ago, Mega Man Legends 2's OST was re-released on vinyl and cassette. Previously only available in 2009 on a pack-in CD with the Capcom Special Selection limited edition art books, this marked the first time the OST saw a physical commercial release. But the journey to get there was no easy feat.


Marshall Arts' Jeff Roberts recently held a discussion about the process behind publishing video game music onto vinyl (and other formats). Around 26 minutes in, he talks about Mega Man Legends 2. Jeff goes on to reveal that Capcom only provided Ship to Shore with 17 cues or roughly 30 minutes of music. They didn't save the rest of the soundtrack. Yiiiikes.

Unable to release Mega Man Legends 2's score in an incomplete state, Ship to Shore approached Jeff for help. Jeff went on to record about 50 cues from the game itself... but that wasn't enough. He got in touch with a fan named SquareSoft74 who had been working on reverse engineering the game's compression format. By combining their efforts, Jeff and SquareSoft74 were able to submit 88 tracks (roughly 2 and half hours of music).

However, only 43 cues could be included on the vinyl/cassette release. Jeff goes on to elaborate that some of the tracks not included were "redundant, alternate versions that didn't really add that much." Either way, they were able to supply more than Capcom themselves.

Jeff and SquareSoft74's work went uncredited in the final release, unfortunately. And honestly speaking, that just sucks. Jeff summed it up best here: 

"I think it goes to show that odds are, passionate fans are better equipped to get high and complete audio sources, especially when it comes to classic game hardware." 

While I plan on continuing to support these kinds of re-releases, I really hope Jeff and these passionate fans get their due. None of this would have been possible without them.

2 comments:

  1. We are in place where fans can do a better job at Capcoming than Capcom. That makes me laugh.
    They release a partial soundtrack after 20 years that they couldn't be bothered to put on modern media, Capcom can have all the credit. Not exactly a praise worthy effort.
    It may seem redundant to them, but collectors want the complete music. When tracks are missing, edited, shortened, of for whatever reason has sound effects in them (*cough* Capcom *cough*) it is quite annoying and makes you feel like you were ripped off.

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    1. Capcom is lazy and a one trick pony these days. I'm real tired of it and the dive nonsense year after year after year without end. As for the soundtrack, people can just nab them off youtube and download them on a flash drive for free without the primitive vinyl bs. I can go to youtube and hear this any time instantly without paying a cent and without needing bulky extra devices. This isn't the 60s, let alone the 80s or 90s anymore. More should get their asses into the 21st century. I thought this was 2022, not 1962. So illogical to waste resources making a sound track for a media that is rare these days. Even CD would make more sense, and even that is obsolete, as are DVDs.

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