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All Your Bass

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From a production standpoint, this is probably my finest work, and you need headphones to really get the full effect. This was an alternate entry for February 2005’s Shooter Games DoD, mainly because I couldn’t bring it to the minimum required length for a main entry (2 minutes). In any event, this was one of a series of DoD entries where I attempted to fit some type of bass-related pun into the title. As it happened, this was probably the most logical one (Plus, I had several bass-related pun titles to my credit already), to the point that in the middle of the month, current DoD overlord Paragon IMed me and said “You should make an entry called ‘All Your Bass’ this month,” not knowing that I was already on the case.

In the unlikely event that you don’t know what this is all about, a brief background: In 1989 a company called Toaplan released a Sega Genesis game to Europe called Zero Wing. The game itself is a fun if not particularly revolutionary shoot-em-up along the lines of Gradius. If that were all there is to the story, however, you wouldn’t be reading this page. No, the coup de grace of the game is its intro sequence, which tells the story of CAPTAIN, MECHANIC, OPERATOR, and the star of our show, the villain CATS who has taken over all the base. Not bases. Base. The entire intro is filled with wacky engrish along these lines, with my personal favorite line being CATS’s enthusiastic greeting of “HOW ARE YOU GENTLEMEN!!” as he makes himself known to CAPTAIN et. al.

In early 2001, a band called The Laziest Men on Mars remixed the intro music and level one theme into a song called “Invasion of the Gabber Robots”, which featured spoken bits of the intro interspersed throughout. This was paired with a flash video showing various instances of the phrase “All your base are belong to us” (Arguably the intro’s most famous line, and the source of the title of this song)–and the result became maybe the biggest Internet phenomenon seen to that point. It was everywhere, to the point that my local paper, the Waterbury Republican-American, had a brief blurb about the phenomenon–on the front page! The Laziest Men on Mars also made a tidy sum of money from the “Invasion of the Gabber Robots” song, getting paid over $15000 US from due to the volume of people who played the song (If you’re curious, Toaplan no longer existed by this time; as such, there was no copyright on the original music for TLMoM to violate).

Other brief notes about the song:

  • As the title suggests, all the instrumentation is bass guitar
  • I added “breaks” in the slightly distorted part where I’m continually playing eighth notes (The part that begins by sweeping back and forth from left ear to right, most obvious with headphones on) because I couldn’t play it enough times in a row unbroken, and didn’t know enough about the production techniques at the time to seamlessly meld multiple takes of the sequence together
  • I play low B flats on the bass multiple times in this song; the first is at 0:45 in the song
  • I believe the parts where I’m playing CAPTAIN are technically the highest my voice goes on a recording to this point


(NOTE: I play all the various roles in this song. This is word-for-word the original intro to Zero Wing, except that this is missing the opening line: “IN A.D. 2101 WAR WAS BEGINNING”. I was attempting to go for a eunuch-type sound for CAPTAIN, but the end result is amusing enough anyway.)
Captain: What happen ?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.
Operator: We get signal.
Captain: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on.
Captain: It’s you !!
CATS: How are you gentlemen !!
CATS: All your base are belong to us.
CATS: You are on the way to destruction.
Captain: What you say !!
CATS: You have no chance to survive make your time.
CATS: Ha Ha Ha Ha ….
Operator: Captain !!
Captain: Take off every ‘ZIG’ !!
Captain: You know what you doing.
Captain: Move ‘ZIG’.
Captain: For great justice.

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