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Mega Man II Music Improvement

Hack of Mega Man II


Mega Man II/Rockman World II is notorious as the black sheep of the Game Boy Mega Man games for many reasons. Perhaps the most glaring of these is its peculiar soundtrack, which is bizarrely high-pitched, off-key, and extremely grating compared to pretty much any other Game Boy game, let alone the rest of the series.

This hack attempts to improve the music by fixing two apparent errors:

1. The first is an objective programming mistake: the game’s note-to-frequency conversion table is wrong. Some values are correct while others are one higher than they should be, resulting in over a quarter of the notes playing off-key.

2. The more obvious problem, and the more subjective one, is that much of the music has the lead instruments set an octave higher than most people find pleasant.

Problem 1 is a simple fix: the frequency table has been regenerated with the correct values, fixing the out-of-tune notes.

Problem 2 has been handled, in most cases, by lowering the two square channels (used for leads) one octave and leaving the wavetable channel (used for bass) untouched. A few tracks have been handled specially; see the readme for details.

Note that the sound effects are unchanged, as they’re stored in a different format that directly specifies the intended frequencies instead of doing a note-to-frequency conversion.

Included in the download are three IPS files, one for each of the game’s regional variants (Japan, USA, and Europe).

ROM / ISO Information:

  • ===Japanese Version===
  • No-Intro filename: Rockman World 2 (Japan).gb
  • CRC32: C34D265E
  • MD5: C05B47DF8BDFE770BE228E51BC42DA84
  • SHA-1: 5D35BAA2FADD07796ED8B441F82ED5B136A999C7
  • ===USA Version===
  • No-Intro filename: Mega Man II (USA).gb
  • CRC32: E496F686
  • MD5: 7FE07271D04ED9E0BC0663DDE55A2AE4
  • SHA-1: 334F1A93346D55E1BE2967F0AF952E37AA52FCA7
  • ===European Version===
  • No-Intro filename: Mega Man II (Europe).gb
  • CRC32: 5E90CB48
  • MD5: B9CFEE05797BEB8FF7E259EE77EAF2FB
  • SHA-1: D19993A4630E7F9450FF6469115F4095F6F29667




User Review Information

Spooniest Bard Approves

Reviewed By: Spooniest on 02 Oct 2019

I guess I’ll open with my short story. This was my first Mega Man game that I ever played and beat. I played it on a friend’s Gameboy at his house one night. I was probably 11 or 12.

This is the kind of improvement GB games rarely if ever get, to my knowledge, and it’s refreshing to hear the music sound right for the first time ever. These tunes go waay back for me.

I played through Metal Man’s stage to test, as I did back then. It doesn’t disappoint. I do remember thinking that the music was extremely high pitched, but for all practical intents and purposes, I’m betting that these sound requirements were imposed on the software in order to counteract the small speakers of the Gameboy being unable to generate any acceptable bass frequency response.

This is a Mega Man II game for a Gameboy that wasn’t made, that had better speakers, in a world where people cared more about music than graphics (which is not this world, typically…but that’s a different topic altogether).

I can’t think of a way in which this could be constructive-criticism style reviewed immediately. It takes a minute of thinking. But I do think that an adjoining adjustment to the sound effects in the game might very well be in order. When a sound effect disrupts the music now, it’s a little more noticeable. Perhaps lowering the pitch of those somewhat might be a good way of balancing it?

That’s up to the creator and admittedly a nitpick, as it’s unlikely the SFX code for this game is handled by the same mechanism as the music, and I do believe RHDN’s modus operendi is “don’t ask when it’s done,” so there we are.

I do however want to say that this makes the music sound more like a NES Mega Man game’s music would sound, and it even has a bit of a “Prototypical” feel to it (sorry). It feels like this is sort of crafted as being a ‘moment’ for Mega Man, after the first GB release soured people a bit, if I recall how I perceived it when it came about.

Recommended, yes.

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
The first Mega Man Game i ever beat.Mindflower25 Oct 20191.0Yes
Music made bearable, and in some cases, goodThirteen 135504 Oct 20191.0Yes
Spooniest Bard ApprovesSpooniest02 Oct 20191.0Yes