Wednesday, 20 January 2010

IOSYS and Hudson Soft: A New Legend Begins!

On January 27th 2009, Hudson Soft and IOSYS will release their first collaboration album titled 「高橋名人伝説 -魂の16連射-」 or "Legend of Master Takahashi ~16 Shot Rapidfire Spirit~". If you're confused, it's probably because you know Takahashi Meijin under his English moniker Master Higgins, star character of the classic Adventure Island video game series. And if that doesn't ring a bell either... then may God have mercy on your soul.

The album will feature 14 tracks: nine "originals" (all based on classic Hudson games), three hardcore re-remixes (including a REDALiCE contribution!) and two "drama" tracks, the last of which seems to presage a second volume is planned! The nine "original" tracks were all produced by IOSYS and even feature guest vocals. Notice I said guest... because Master Higgins himself sings on all songs. Rather well too! It appears he has previous experience, but this new high-profile release will be most people's first exposure to his rather endearing vocal style. But hey... hearing is believing! Presenting the first promotional video: 「スターソルジャー -魂の16連射-」

Ready for another one? Here's an insane PV for the Bomberman-inspired song: 「ウィー・アー・ザ・ボンバーMEEEEEN!!」

Denpa old-timers will immediately recognize that both songs were furiously produced by ARM, certainly one of the flagship IOSYS members. But if you're a newbie 'round these parts, then hopefully you will recall their internet meme sensation F.O.E. (also an ARM arrangement), based on Etrian Odyssey, one of the most hardcore RPGs to grace the Nintendo DS. And if you think the video itself looks familiar, that's because it was created by one of the most sought-after Touhou flash creators, mesopota. Yeah chances are you saw a lot of his creations without knowing it. As for the beautiful cover art itself? They tapped popular Hatsune Miku designer KEI for illustration duties! Rounding out this star-studded lineup: guest vocal performances by ayu (IOSYS), 片霧烈火 (CLOSED / UNDERGROUND), ビートまりお (COOL & CREATE) and hardcore remixes by kors k (S2TB Recording), REDALiCE (HARDCORE TANO*C) and RoughSketch (NOTEBOOK/SHC).

Whew. They sure knew what they were doing with this! The full tracklist will help you understand exactly who does what when, as well as give you an idea of which games were referenced. Speaking of which, Hudson Soft generously provided us with a full album sampler... enjoy!

IOSYS are giving this release the royal treatment. Currently, they have completely dedicated their website's opening page to promoting the upcoming album. As if the two previous videos were not enough, they have gone ahead and created two nicovideo series. First they have HCVFAMICOM, which consists of a bunch of IOSYS guys and a couple of Hudson Soft dudes sitting around, having a good time while playing old games. The second one is a bit nuts: they will post a RAZARO CHALLENGE video everyday until the album comes out! The premise is quite simple, three guys take turn and try to defeat RAZARO, a Star Soldier miniboss who can pretty much only be destroyed if you possess rapidfire skills! Even if you don't know your Hudson Soft history, you should totally see how they tied this up to Master Higgins' legendary rapidfire skills back then. Here's a spoiler: ARM totally sucks at Star Soldier!

Hudson Soft are also holding promotional events left and right. Here's what one of them looks like. Wanna know about that chick on Master Higgins' right? Thought you would. That, my friends, is the lovely 杏野はるな (ANNO hanara) and let me assure you that she totally belongs up there on stage with them. You see, this "gamer idol" has a retro gaming collection worth upwards of 100,000$... and she's still in her early 20's, so there's no end in sight. She's also written a book on retro gaming and regularly appears on TV to discuss terebigemu, old and new stuff alike. Her hobbies include 2chan, Chun-Li cosplay, showering in her panties... and strangely erotic Pac-Man photo shoots. Yeah... now you know how she can afford so many games!

Final note, there is a pretty lengthy interview with Master Higgins on gamasutra... certainly a worthy (and timely) read.

1 comment:

BombBoy said...

UOOOOOOOOO ( ´Д`)!!!111