Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MIDI Week Singles: "Titles" - Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)

"Title" from Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy (1991)
Composer: Ryoji Yoshitomi
Album: No Official Release
Developer: Nintendo R&D1

First off, since Metroid II: Return of Samus never received an official soundtrack release, the exact title of this song may not be known, so I have decided to go with "Titles' which seems appropriate since the music plays over the title screen.

What I really find interesting about this song, is that during the opening titles, before you even press Start, all you see is the name of the game, the option to start, and this music.  The first tone, which is rather harsh on the ears, sounds like it could be a beacon of some kind (possibly an SOS beacon from the missing Metroid eradication team that Samus was sent to investigate).  Then, at about 0:13 seconds, you hear a bubly computery noise, which sounds a lot like the conversations Doc Louis from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! has with your opponents between matches.  Then about 0:23 seconds in, a crashing noise comes in over the top of the previous two noises and at this point, there is probably a good chance that you have already pressed start and are on your way to SR388.  

But, if you managed to wait another 13 seconds, you are "treated" to the first hint of a melody, which sounds vaguely similar to minimalist tones at the beginning of the first Metroid.  What I find fascinating about this song, is that it takes until 0:54 before the beacon, Doc Louis (or a Metroid?), and the crashing sound to cease and you actually hear melody.  And nothing was happening on the screen to even hint to the player that anything more interesting that harsh sound effects were in fact not going to play for eternity.  But that melody, possibly Samus' theme for this game, only lasts so long before the "sound effects" come back, eventually drown out the melody and the song fades out to the exploding sound.

It is honestly a somewhat bizarre choice for a title track, but I feel that it still fits fairly well with the Metroid brand, and that on her current mission, Samus is again alone on an alien planet who finds herself against and entire species.  Picture Ellen Ripley in Aliens, but without the support of the marines and armed in a power suit with an arm canon.

Now if I could only find an interview with the composer to find out his inspirations and motivations behind the music for Metroid II.


1 comment:

  1. toootally. Like, this is the sound of creepy, space isolation. With some eventual suppressed fanfare, because Samus will go forth into the creepiness and kick all necessary butts.