Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – August 2017

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears! The Dynamek One & Only has returned with more of those crazy sounds that bring life to your beatdowns. This month's Anthem takes it all back to the roots... 

By now, I really don't think I need to say anything more about OverClocked Remix & all the stellar work they do when it comes to reimagining classic video game music, but -- for the sake of this article -- I will beat this particular dead horse. Unabashedly one of my favorite installments in the long-running series, Final Fantasy VI also had an amazing soundtrack. When the crew at OCRemix got the chance to work their magic, the end result was the five-disc tour de force Balance and Ruin. This particular track is a remix of the theme for Cyan Garamonde.

Right off the bat, you can pick up on the atmosphere within this song. The rhythm reaches far beyond just the pentameter of the music itself. There's a pulse to it... a heartbeat, even. The ebb & flow of it sweeps you in, not unlike the tides. One sense that I've always personally taken away from this track is the theme of "getting stronger". With what sounds like all the shouting going on in the background, you get the sense of an intense group training exercise. The oriental feel reminds me ever so slightly of David Carradine's Kwai Chang Caine. Despite all that, it is quite soothing in its own way. Strange that a song can incite so much feeling in a short time, but that's just how the magic of music works.

So with all that said, which warrior among the near endless landscape fits this song? Well, when a piece of music inspires passion, strength, intensity & Kung Fu, I think the answer to that is pretty damn obvious... bordering on rhetorical, actually.

Something I've been curious about... did those fist wraps start out white?

The World Warrior himself, the one... the only... the legendary Street FighterRyu! What can I say about this guy that hasn't already been said about other nigh mythical combatants like Chuck Norris & Segata Sanshiro? He is the Template, the Archetype, the Trope. (If one were so inclined, I suppose you could also call him the Cliché.) While there are certain aspects of his life that raise more than a few questions, Ryu lives for one purpose & one purpose only: fulfillment through fighting. While I'm sure there are more than a few places he could view as a second home, Ryu is like the wind in the sense that he's always moving. While the desire to become stronger is what usually drives him, but he knows the importance of having others to rely on. As an old song says, "he gets by with a little help from his friends".

For a moment, consider Ryu's (more or less universal) SF2 ending. More than almost any other moment in his history, it displays exactly the type of character he is. Fame, fortune, glory, adulation... a Jedi true warrior craves not these things. While the rest of the world may be cheering or celebrating, Ryu will most likely be somewhere sharpening his skill and/or refining his technique.  With a battle -- victory or defeat -- behind him & a (thematically poignant) sunset ahead, the path he's chosen will lead to his destiny. No matter where it takes him, the road ahead will undoubtedly be long & arduous... and possibly dangerous... but he'll keep pressing forward.

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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