Five Killer Bands Inspired By Video Games

In this week's olde-timey paper edition we told you all about local rapper MegaRan, who delivers slick rhymes and rapid-fire lyrics inspired (mostly) by classic video games like Mega Man 2 and Final Fantasy VII, and is appearing live at Martini Ranch tomorrow night.

We also mentioned a couple of other bands, most veering towards guitar shredding, who play powerful tunes inspired by the 8-bit era of console games. Here's our list of five great bands inspired by video games.

The NESkimos

Active between 2002 and 2008, this band's members all take their stage names from classic Nintendo game characters. The group helped pioneer the intricate metal interpretations of classic NES tunes, delivering ripping versions of tunes from the Castlevania, Legend of Zelda, and Contra series.

The Megas

The Megas hail from Los Angeles, where they've spent years crafting intricate, lyrically original narratives about videogame characters. Their 2008 debut album Get Equipped gives personalities and back-stories to all the enemy robots from fan-favorite Mega Man 2.


Boston's Powerglove tears through speed-metal versions of classic 8-bit tunes. Recently the band has expanded beyond its videogame origins, branching into Saturday morning territory, rampaging through versions of the theme songs from Inspector Gadget, The Flintstones, and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, among many, many others.

Bit Brigade

Boasting members of Athens, Ga. math-rock heavyweights Cinemechanica, Bit Brigade's schtick is that they perform live soundtracks while their skilled buddies play a classic video game projected on a big screen -- usually beating a game straight through with no lost lives and no cheat codes. Bit Brigade started out performing under the names Contraband, Megamand, Ninjaband and Castlebandia, depending on what game would be played.

The Minibosses

And of course! Our own Minibosses got their start in Massachusetts but now call the Valley home. Prog-rock-influenced, metal-leaning tunes have made the 'Bosses darling of the video-game press (and nerds all across the World Wide Web). The band's become so central to the world of videogame-inspired music that it's behind the Dwelling of Duels, a monthly online videogame cover song contest.

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Christopher Hassiotis