Song Spotlight: Shade Man’s Theme

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Yeah that’s right, a Mega Man song for one of my October Spotlights. Mega Man 7, despite the criticism it gets from the fans of the 8-bit Mega Man games, was one of my favorite games for a long time and out of all the levels found within, I don’t think any appealed to me more than Shade Man’s. I remember when I finally beat the first four Robot Masters in the game, it came as a surprise to me to see there were four new ones, and at the time I thought they were all immeasurably cooler than the first ones. I might have liked Slash Man better at the time, but as a fully-grown lover of the creepy, I now understand how misguided that was.

So in order to make up for that youthful transgression, I’m going to write a short post about his stage theme, one of the neater songs for me in my Super Nintendo days. Check it out here or keep reading for the embed.

The eerie whistling noise and jazzy sound work interestingly together. The song isn’t creepy at all, but it still reeks of creepy tropes to me. It’s the equivalent of taking a Dracula movie and creating a pop song to embody it (or a song from a genre that’s equally uncreepy, anyway). At least that’s what it is to me. It’s still a whimsical action song meant to be jammed to, not feared, but it still oozes the proper atmosphere for Shade Man. No, not really a creepy song, but certainly designed to milk the nighttime castle theme of the stage as much as possible.

The stage actually opens by having Mega Man watch the moon come out from behind the clouds, and the song’s intro awesomely complements that moment. Visually it was a really cool level and this song really brought it to life. I have a lot of memories with Stage Man’s level, probably more than any other level of the game… although obviously I’m biased.

The song was also remixed for one of the Mega Man arcade games, and it’s definitely a nice remix that probably works more for the arcade format, but I don’t think it can beat the original song from Mega Man 7. More fitting for Shade Man is the alternate theme that you can hear if you hit the right button to select the level before you defeat Shade Man: The classic theme from Ghosts ‘n Goblins/Ghouls n’ Ghosts. You know I have a fascination with this series — or you do if you’ve been keeping up on my posts anyway; get on that! — and I love hearing it in this game. Actually, this was one of my earliest exposures to Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

Anyway, what do you think of this song? Do you have any memories with these songs in Mega Man 7, the arcade game, or the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series?

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