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Monday, April 30, 2012

WE ARE RUNNING IN THE 90'S

This is my latest feat, and arguably my best at the moment:



As the title says, this is a montage made up of late 90's PSX Titles (with a few from '00) and my childhood. This was originally just going to be the Metal Gear segment, followed by the MegaMan X 4 segment, which would then segue into "A Girl Worth Fighting For" from the Disney Musical Mulan. While recording, I decided to mess around and played the clip with Max Coveri's "Running in the 90's" in the back, and found that it worked rather well. After I found out that it was next to impossible to get a clean version of the song that plays during the scene from Metal Gear Solid, I decided to stick with the '90's theme, and ended up choosing a couple games that I enjoyed immensely while growing up: (Warning: Great wall of text ahead!)

0:00 - MegaMan Legends
Oh man, where do I even start with this one? As a MegaFan-brat, this game was probably the most amazing thing ever. Mind you, I was probably around 7 when I first played this, so seeing all the vibrant colors, the explosions, and all the humungous robots, practically blew my mind. There's also superb performances by the Bonne family's voice actors, and to this day my sister and I frequently quote Teisel's "WHO OPENED UP THE HATCH" from this game. The delivery was perfect.

In any case, when I decided to expand on this little project, I decided that I'd open up the video with the embodiment of my childhood, MegaMan Legends. And what better opening than one of the early scenes from this game?

0:47 - Battle Arena Toshinden
When one thinks about early PSX titles, one of the first titles that comes to mind is Toshinden 1. I invested a lot of time into this game, and eventually went on to immerse myself in the sequel and the OVA. In fact, the OVA is one of the first anime I remember watching, and I watched it so much that the tape wore itself out! And of all the places, the tape would start fading during the scene where Eiji was about to jump from the roof of a tall building to another, on his motorcycle. So for years, I kinda felt like the fanbase of Woody's Roundup, since I couldn't remembered what happened during either OVA, save for the scene where a naked Sofia (what.) is about to stab a naked Eiji (what.) in his bed, followed by Eiji and Sofia jumping out the window, fully clothed (what).

Growing up, Eiji Shinjo was one of my favorite characters of all time. I also really liked Kayin (whose name I pronounced incorrectly until recently) and his badass scottish sccent. I thought his original english VA sounded so cool, I based my voice on his performance for this scene. I liked his "Sweet dreams" line in particular, and thought it would've been a nice follow-up to the MegaMan Legends scene.

0:52 - Ape Escape
My first exposure to this series was in the form of a demo disc from an issue of the U.S. PlayStation Magazine. I thought it was pretty cool, and for many years wonder what this magical game was about, until I finally snagged a copy sometime in middle school. It was pretty wicked, and one of the most funniest games I had ever played. One thing I've always wondered though, was why they changed the layout of the Time Station. I also used to wonder why Spike's voice used to be high, until I realized that the U.K. version used a completely different pool of actors, and presumed that it was their voices that were used in some of the early demos.

I really like this series, and have found enjoyment in almost every game I've played. That's probably why it was one of the first series to come to mind. Ironically enough, I played the second game before the first, but since I was working within a theme, I went with the first one. I liked it better anyway. As for the scene that was chosen, I chose it on the assumption that it would be familiar to the audience. As for the voices, I really don't know what happened, lol.

1:07 - Evil Zone
Evil Zone is practically catered to the anime fans. The game's cast is heavily influenced by animu archetypes, and even the game's story is presented like one. It's quirky, and that's what makes it interesting. But what makes this game cool, is that it's not only pleasing aesthetically, it's fun to play as well. Despite having a simple button setup, there's a lot of things you can do, and the game moves pretty fast. However, the game's english release suffers from the typical lazy casting at the time, and the characters sounded either over-dramatic or lackluster. Game was still fun as hell though.

My favorite characters from this game have fluctuated over the years. I used to main Al, mainly because he was broken in this game, and I found magic to be pretty cool at the time. (Lina Inverse was a boss.) In recent years, I've come to realize that Al is a dork, and instead perfer playing as Setsuna (which may or may not have something to do with my rabid interest in Shana). However, Danazaiver has remained a consistant favorite over the years, mainly because he's the embodiment of half of the things I like in a character: He has a wicked lightsaber, a sick satellite cannon, he's a well-intentioned doofus, he's a tokusatsu hero, he screams his attacks, his attacks are bigger and louder than his screams, and he looks GOOD while kicking ass. (Seriously, he poses like a JoJo character.) That's why when I chose to include this in the montage, I had to portray Danzaiver. He's the universe's ULTIMATE HER-

1:13 - Ehrgeiz
I won't lie, I initially played this game because it had Cloud in it. I was lucky enough to find it at an arcade, and was nerdgasming at the fact that one of my favorite videogame characters was in GLORIOUS 3D. So when I got a copy of the PSX, I was naturally ecstatic and would play it for hours and hours. And then I played the BRAND NEW RPG mode and spent hours and hours on that too. Looking back, I really wouldn't mind another one of these games. I liked the way this game and Tobal No.1 handled. I also liked the Yoko character. She was pretty cool.

The scene chosen this time, was something that I found rather funny as a kid. I still find it funny to this day, so I decided to toss it in. It worked perfectly as the follow-up to the Evil Zone segment, since Danzaiver's cry gets cut off, and I thought it'd be funny if it were to get cut off by something completely random. This clip is the only clip I didn't do the audio for, due to time constraints.

1:36 - Breath of Fire III
I used to have nightmares about the Nue they killed on Mt. Glaus. Seriously. But I liked this game a lot because it would instill "stirrings". I felt genuinely bad that Ryu lost his "family", and thought that the whole game would be about Ryu and his buddies moving on from being thieves and pursuing a greater purpose in life. But I'm glad the story ended up the way it did. There were a lot of interesting moments, though I have to admit getting chased around by those brothers for about a 1/4th of the game was tedious.

My favorite characters were Momo and Rei. Those two had some of the best moments in the game, both entertaining and gut wrenching. I've found that if Rei and/or Momo is involved, it's bound to be a fantastic moment. Even the programmers must've realized this, since you can get a particularly funny one if you bring them both to the elder of Dragnier. Rei in particular had a catchphrase, "Doesn't that just beat all", which I'm sure stuck in the mind of anyone who's played this game. So, I naturally had to do a scene where he said it. It came down to this scene, and the scene where you meet with Rei for the first time after the time skip. I ended up doing this scene because it would serve as the setup for the following segment. I really do want to do the other scene though...

1:41 - Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
Dragon Ball Z was a big part of the anime boom in the U.S. in the 90's. As a kid, Dragon Ball Z was the bestest thing ever, and playing this game with those innocent-bias goggles made this the bestest game ever too. Sadly, in truth, the game is kinda slow and clunky compared to the fighting games both preceeding it and succeeding it.

But it does hold some value in that contains vocal performances from a number of iconic voice actors from the 90's, like Steven Blum (Spike from Cowboy Bebop) and Skip Stellrecht (Ryu from Street Fighter II V). I wanted to use Vegeto's "I want you to be more serious" winquote, since it would segue into the more dramtic segments that would follow. I based Vegeto's voice on Brian Drummond's Vegeta, and Ian James Corlett's Goku, my personal favorite actors for the characters.

1:48 - Metal Gear Solid
Like with Ape Escape, I played the second before the first, and enjoyed the first so much more than the second. I really like this game, mostly because it was unlike most games in the 90's that had ridiculous vocal performances. I think this was one of the very few that took itself seriously, and it made the experience that much more amazing.

As I said above, this scene was chosen because it's part of a wordplay with the following scene. I hope you enjoyed my horrible Otacon impersonation.

2:07 - MegaMan X 4
If I wasn't playing Legends or MegaMan 8, I was playing this. I cannot count how many times I've played through this game. I even remember half the lines by heart (mostly Zero's).

And I'm sure this game is special for many others as well, and that half the reason is due to the cutscenes on Zero's side of the story, including the ever famous cutscene depicting Iris' death. As always, my Zero is based on Lucas Gilbertson's Zero, my favorite rendtion on him.

2:13 - Valkyrie Profile
This is an amazing game, in so many ways. It looks amazing, sounds amazing, and is rather interesting to play. Granted, it's not your typical RPG. In fact, it can get rather frustrating. But as you play through the game, you find that your frustrations are rewarded oh-so-much, especially if you're going for the best ending (which is probably why you're getting frustrated in the first place).

Since we were being dramatic with Otacon and Zero, I figured why not throw in Lucian too. I've always found this segment to be rather touching, and I like imitating Eric Stuart's Brock. Brock is my dude.

2:18 - Um Jammer Lammy
I like music, and I like videogames. So naturally, I'm a sucker for music-based games. The PaRappa games though are special because they're fun as hell. UJL was my introduction, and my personal favorite version of the PaRappa engine. I also may be somewhat biased because I'm a guitarist, and I have a rather bad habit of oversleeping.


Chop Chop Master Onion's tracks are always a pleasure to listen to, and I chose to do his track in UJL because it's the one I identify the most with. Why? Because I really like UJL, and Chop Chop's my favorite character. I had to do my own off-vocal for this, which was combination of the OST and the in-game sound test, so it came out kind of... okay.

2:28 - MegaMan Legends 2
In truth, I waited a whole decade to play this game. However, it IS still a large part of my childhood because for a while, it was the one that got away. I used to see this game ALL the time, and I never thought to get it (along with the Misadventures of Tron Bonne). And unlike Power Stone, which I had a similar relationship with, it was never re-released stateside in any kind of compilation. When it finally surfaced on eBay for a reasonable price, I couldn't let it go again. And now here we are. If I had played this game as a kid, I probably wouldn't have played anything else, this game is THAT amazing.

I actually enjoyed doing Volnutt for the Legends 1 segment, so I figured I'd do it again. But I couldn't re-use Legends 1, so I went for Legends 2. I already broke the whole "'90's games only" rule with Valkyrie Profile (which was released in '00 stateside), so I figured "what the hell". I chose to do this scene because every other scene had a girl in it, and this was the only other scene where Volnutt actually spoke. Data was fun to voice.

3:00 - MegaMan 8
I used to play this for hours and hours as a kid. Unfortunately, that also meant conditioning myself to reflexively cringe upon hearing "Jump Jump, Slide Slide".

This scene was a last minute addition. I needed something to close out the montage, and this bit happened to fit just right. I re-cut the ending of the music track, and it synched perfectly. My MegaMan is based on Jeffrey Wattson's Axl, since it's the only voice I can do that fits with the character. Personally, if I could imitate the actor from Powered Up, that'd be perfect since I thought he pulled it of rather well.

And that's about it! Wow, that's pretty long. Oh, by the way, since I kept mentioning how the original idea was supposed to involve a song from Mulan, I felt it only fair that I show you what the original would've looked like: (Also, consider it your reward for braving that great wall of text.)

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