And now, a few words from the project directors...

The early '90s were filled with fantastic games, many of them with fantastic music. Much of that music is why OverClocked ReMix was created in the first place. 1993 saw the birth of several great Sega Genesis titles, but one stood near and dear to my heart and rose above most: Treasure's debut title, Gunstar Heroes. Created by a team of ex-Konami employees, Gunstar Heroes features extremely difficult, fast-paced, energetic, and fun run-and-gun shooter gameplay, and some of the most extraordinary music ever heard in a 16-bit game. And despite the critical acclaim of both the game itself and the music, OverClocked ReMix has only seen one remix of that game's music make it to the front page.

Gunstar Heroes remains even today as a very under-appreciated and under-recognized game. Many '90s kids were on the SNES side of the 16-bit console war, and few even on the Sega side will likely answer with a "yes" when asked if they know about it. Even among the remixers who worked on this project, there were those who had missed the game entirely, or discovered it well after the 16-bit golden years.

The remixer lineup on this album follows suit with that as well. Though the roster includes several well-known remixers, including the only remixer to have ever gotten a Gunstar Heroes track on OC ReMix back in 2002, much of the lineup consists of lesser-knowns. I was ecstatic when I saw the roster filling up with under-recognized yet extremely talented artists in the OC ReMix community, and even more excited when I saw non-posted remixers stepping up and delivering absolutely amazing tracks.

It's been rocky, as I'd imagine it usually is for a first-time OC ReMix album director. But we ended up with a remarkably fast outcome despite that, and at the end of that year-long journey, we had an album that completely exceeded my expectations for what it could be when I made that first post. We've created an album that makes you feel like you're playing a fast-paced shooter as you listen.

I'd like to thank all of the remixers for putting up with our control freakishness and putting out amazing pieces of music. All of you guys are amazing, and as I mentioned above, if people don't know that by now, I hope they will after giving this album a listen. And extra thanks to The Coop for using his awesome spriting skills to create that awesome album art.

Special thanks to Dj Mokram for dedicating so much of him to the album, enduring both his own hectic personal life and my own incompetence. He didn't have to do nearly as much as he did, but he did anyway, because he's a badass.

Thanks much to OverClocked ReMix and djpretzel for starting up this great community centered around an art form that can never get enough love, and thanks to the OCR projects staff for answering all of my noob questions quickly.

And of course, thanks to all the fans of Gunstar Heroes and OverClocked ReMix, for being awesome like fans do. And thank you, for listening.


If that wasn't already clear, I'm a big fan of Treasure. Their will to go against the current and try new things transpires in their games, and rewards those who set foot in their universe. Not long after completing Secret Bonus Point, I naturally set my sights on yet another Treasure title. What I didn't know at the time was that one of the most prolific contributors to SBP and remixing partner-in-crime of mine, DusK, had already set in motion a plan to arrange the music from that game. So I contacted him and offered to do what I do best: hijack and totally ruin projects. xD

Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive was the first effort of former Konami employees turned video game freedom fighters. It's a fast-paced, action-packed game with a futuristic setting, innovative weapon system, solid mechanics and satisfying gameplay. It features an extremely colorful design, full of life and bearing the trademark wackiness that would transpire from their subsequent games. Moreover, the anime-style graphics exhibit a level of expressiveness that wasn't commonplace in traditional run & gun titles of that era, giving the protagonists a wide range of emotions and making the game feel surprisingly humane... despite the fact, of course, that everything on screen wants you dead. ;D

To accompany and illustrate this neo-futuristic package, the soundtrack composed by Norio Hanzawa (a.k.a. NON) sets the tone perfectly. Exploiting every ounce of the YM2612 soundchip to deliver some FM synthesis goodness, Gunstar Heroes contains some of the most complex compositions to come out of Sega's machine, making its music surprisingly challenging, yet immensely rewarding to arrange. We wanted the album to reflect both the futuristic setting and the frantic nature of the gameplay, while staying true to the story, characters and feel of playing the game itself. Translated to the music, it means the aggressiveness would not only be about velocity, but also about design choices. Knowing when to slow things down to inspire uneasiness before suddenly throwing you in an impossibly tense situation, one that makes you feel proud to have overcome, afterwards. This is what the game was about, and what we were aiming to inspire/evoke with the album.

DusK was set on making this an official project, but from my experience, finding people to remix a lesser known game on OCR is more or less a suicide mission. Therefore, I knew the only way to make this happen was to drop all pre-conceived notions of success and go all-in, or simply put: Be Aggressive! I was moved beyond words upon witnessing the willingness of many fantastic musicians to lend their talent to such a risky endeavor (we weren't exactly trying to remix Final Fantasy here), and by their commitment to follow us, not so well-known community members, in our crazy quest to pay tribute to a memorable game constantly overshadowed by mainstream titles.

On a personal level, this project embodies two things: passion and loss. I poured my heart into everything, from organizing and recruiting personnel, giving detailed feedback and steering people in the right direction, to crafting promotional material and making sure everything ran smoothly until we reached the finish line. What I didn't (couldn't?) foresee however, was the hand of fate taking loved ones away from me, depriving me from the joy of making music and nearly putting an end to my existence. That's why there's great meaning in the fact that I'm still alive, and standing here today to witness the conclusion of this journey.

Thanks to the Almighty for giving me a fighting chance, DusK for being a badass director and awesome friend, The Coop for lending his many talents to the project, each and every ReMixer who's helped make Be Aggressive! a reality, Treasure for creating video game masterpieces, OC ReMix for crushing my ego and pushing me forward to reach my dreams, as well as all the wonderful people I've met during these four years in the VGM community.

This album is dedicated to all Gunstar Heroes and Treasure fans around the world. :)


All original compositions from Gunstar Heroes are copyright of their respective owners.
Arrangements are available under the OverClocked ReMix Content Policy terms of use.
Original site design by The Coop.

Founded in 1999, OverClocked ReMix is an organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form. Its primary focus is, a website featuring thousands of free fan arrangements, information on game music and composers, resources for aspiring artists, and a thriving community of video game music fans.