Chiptune artist Raheem "Mega Ran" Jarbo loves the music from Mega Man games so much that he's made a career of remixing those classic tunes while writing lyrics to fit his creations. He's so prolific that he holds the unique record of having the most songs to reference a videogame franchise.
So far Mega Ran has recorded and released a whopping 130 songs that pay homage to Mega Man – but how did his heart get set on making tunes that reference Capcom's robotic superhero?
"Mega Man is my favorite game by far," he told us. "In the beginning it was the bright colours, the great soundtracks, awesome gameplay mechanics and crazy difficulty. But I keep coming back to these games, even now. I couldn't get the music out of my head, so that inspired me to work it into my own music somehow."
What makes Mega Ran's record so interesting is that it was possible at all. Usually videogame publishers would issue a cease and desist letter to anyone who was meddling with their songs with the intention of making a career out of it. But it seems that Capcom isn't your average publisher.
"When Capcom heard my music and emailed me I immediately thought the worst was to come, like a lawsuit..., Mega Man says. "But the guys there actually enjoyed and appreciated the tunes and asked me to work with them! They invited me to my first Comic-Con to sign autographs. Later, we partnered up for some great projects, and I'm extremely thankful to them for their open-mindedness!"
Not content to stop at 130 songs, Mega Ran now has Mega Man 11 (set for release on 2 October 2018) in his sights. Not just for its music, but because he just loves all things Mega Man. "I love the 2.5-D style they've adopted, and the subtle changes to Mega Man's armor when he gets a new weapon. Here's hoping the classic composers are all involved also, to bring back that old-school feel."
Capcom has yet to reveal the full roster of bad guys that Mega Man 11 will throw in its hero's way. But the publisher has its work cut out to create bosses that prove as popular as the most iconic from previous games.
"Man, the bosses are all so cool in their own way," says Mega Ran when we asked him who his favourite bad guy is. "Right now, I'm feeling Gutsman. He's like the one robot that makes the most practical real-world sense I think. I'd love to have a Gutsman in my backyard helping with the yard work!
Are you feeling inspired by Mega Ran's story? If so, check out his exclusive performance recorded during his visit to Guinness World Records' London HQ.