Retro Weekends – Mega Man X4

Memorable Music

Coming into the era the Playstation was in came the power to have CD quality audio playing in a videogame. Capcom experimented with this with their PS1 port of Mega Man X3. And so they took what they learned from MMX3 and applied it to X4. The result was music that more or less adapted to the stage it was played on. Unlike the previous X entries which had most of the music be indifferent to the stage it played on, the music here was a bit more deliberate. If there was a jungle stage, the music sounded like a jungle. If there was a ice stage, it the music would sound more like an ice stage. In a somewhat unexpected move, much of the music in Mega Man X didn’t quite sound like the rock-flavored affair the previous games were known for. Instead, the music went for the more techno route that a lot of Capcom games at the time were heading towards. Regardless, there were still some memorable tunes to be had with X4

Intro Theme  – X
Composer – Toshihiko Horiyama

Since I played as X first, this was the first theme I heard in the game. The build-up of the songs intro is just awesome. The bass guitar kicks things off, then the double bass work and cymbal taps of the drums drives the song forward, being accompanied by a synth. Listening to it, you can picture X just showing up and surveying the Sky Lagoon. There are Mavericks everywhere, including the big one flying around. Then when the song picks up, it’s time to kick ass. One thing that took me a while to notice was that Zero had his own, more rock oriented intro theme as well. One thing you’ll notice in this and the other two below is that the songs are pretty short and, like other games around this time, didn’t do a fluid loop in-game. You’ll actually hear the song end and start up after a short moment of silence.

Storm Owl Stage
Composer – Toshihiko Horiyama

As one of the top comments on the video says, this is 90s techno gold. Being that this is an airbase, the music is a stark contrast to Storm Eagle’s stage in the first MMX game. The intro does have that familiar note progression that quite a few dance/techno songs in the 90s had. This does have a rather proud, prideful tone to it when you actually play in the stage and see all of the ships flying in the background.

Jet Stingray
Composer – Toshihiko Horiyama

By dying a lot in this stage, this song sort of stuck to me. I dreaded hearing the beginning of this song over and over and over, but the composition of this song makes sense. You’re on a constantly moving speeder bike, so the music has to match the situation. The time signature is tight and sees the music move at a very fast pace. This is one of those songs that is kinda strange to hear without playing the game, or in this case hearing the engine of your bike.

Now that Mega Man X‘s presence was known on the Playstation (and Saturn), It was time to really drive this series forward. Selling 200,000 copies on the Playstation, the Mega Man X franchise was alive and kicking. Inafune was ready to wrap-up the story of Mega Man X in a big way, with references to the older entries in the X and classic series. Next week, we reminisce X’s and Zero’s next mission to save earth in Mega Man X5.

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