On to day three! If you missed the first two days, they're all grouped together in the same category, at the top of the article.
For those of you just joining us, this is Day 3 of a 30 Day Video Game Music Challenge; each day consists of a different category of music, and I respond with a song that I feel fits it well, in terms of being one of my favorites of that category. Hard mode: I can't repeat games. Challenge mode: I can't repeat franchises either. (Repeat characters appearing in other franchises are fine.)
Day 3's category is "8-bit music", and it's hard to think of a better 8-bit song than Mega Man II's "Wily Castle I". This song is my JAM. When I was a kid, I'd often spend lots of time during the summer at my great-aunt's house, hanging out with my second cousin, her grandson. We were of similar ages, and while we didn't always agree on things to do, playing the NES was something we often agreed on. Played the hell out of this game in particular; we'd rent it from a local video store all the time, this and BattleToads. Truly one of the classics, and this song defines it. Played in the introductory level of the final area of the game, "Wily's Castle I" lets you know, you're in for a world of hurt.
After yesterday's little "Honorable Mention", I've decided, I might try to provide such a song from the same franchise if I can; these categories can often be shared by more than one song. In this case, you'd think it'd be easy: With six original 8-bit entries (eight if you count Mega Man 9 and 10), where all but the first had eight unique robot masters with their own stage themes (the first only had six), my cup must surely runneth over. And yet, I find myself struggling to come up with a good entry. In the end, I'm going with Mega Man IV's "Pharaoh Man Stage". Admittedly, part of my difficulty with this is nostalgia, or more appropriately lack thereof; I didn't play any of the other titles in the series until I was in college. Still though, they all have some nice songs.