Brandon Boyer

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In what can only be described as a heroically meticulous post (and an early front-runner for games-related blog post of the year), Dan Bruno (QA tester, coincidentally, for Rock Band creator Harmonix) has dissected the battle music in the recently fan-translated Mother 3 to better come to grips with its combo system.

It was one of the game’s most surprising secrets: each enemy you come across in its turn based battles has a unique theme song, and their own signature ‘heart beat’ that coincides with the theme. As you attack the enemy, continuing to press the button along to their beat results in continued combo attacks that, if sustained, lands some 50 percent more damage.

The trick, though, is that harder enemies come with harder beats and sadistic time signature trickery. Bruno transcribes one of the most difficult, “Strong One (Masked Man)”s 29/16 signature, and quips that its rhythm “would make Dave Brubeck cry.”

Mother 3’s battle music [Cruise Elroy, via Waxy]

Mother 3 translators start Earthbound Central blog – Offworld
Harvey James's Mother 3 fan art vanguard – Offworld
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  1. Not sure if he mentioned it, but there are also enemies that can change the music (and the underlying heartbeat) on the fly… the fellow in the image above, Mr. Passion, switches between different styles, songs, and tempos pretty regularly. And he’s an early, relatively easy boss.

  2. Wow! I’m never under-estimating the ingenuity of developers again. Well, either that or I’ll claim devs are coming up with surprisingly odd gameplay aspects.

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