There’s no doubt about it: Iron Maiden is one of the most iconic and successful bands in the history of humanity. Even though they’ve yet to be included within the hallowed chambers of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with more than 85 million records sold worldwide over a career that has spanned 35 years, the heavy metal act has unquestionably gone on to solidify themselves in the pantheon of rock gods.
As a matter of fact, the potency of Iron Maiden’s influence extends well beyond the ethereal and intangible realm of music, as the group has also impacted the gaming world as well. For instance, the band’s songs – most notably “The Trooper”, “2 Minutes to Midnight”, and “Run to the Hills” – have been featured in multiple iterations of the rhythm games Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Not to mention, Iron Maiden has even had a first-person rail shooter called Ed Hunter built around their undead mascot Eddie the Head, which put players in the perennial zombie’s body as he toured the stories and universes behind of the ensemble’s album covers.
Considering all of this, with Iron Maiden’s past being somewhat intertwined with video games, it kind of comes as a surprise that the new music video for their song “Speed of Light” features the virtual medium so heavily. As it happens, the entire thing takes a cue from Tron and has the band’s collective avatar Eddie traveling in a wormhole of sorts as an amorphous skull, warping throughout gaming history.
Not only does Iron Maiden’s music video make reference to video game trends, but it also connects the visuals with the group’s records. For instance, the initial “level” Eddie explores has graphics from the 8-bit era, and has a stage setup akin to the very first Donkey Kong arcade standup cabinet, wherein he hacks through some enemies with a hatchet – inspired by the cover artwork for Iron Maiden’s album Killers – in order to rescue a red leather-clad damsel from what is ostensibly a hulking brute of a building superintendent.
Later, Eddie gets transported to the 16-to-32-bit era to revisit the band’s Somewhere in Time imagery, as he blasts bad guys away à la side-scrolling shooters like Contra. After that, the video pays homage to the popular 2D fighter Mortal Kombat, as it pits Eddie against “The Beast” AKA Satan (an allusion to the seminal LP The Number of the Beast), and has him decapitate Lucifer as his fatality. Finally, the footage caps off the loose plot with the perspective shifting into first-person 3D action in the vein of Skyrim and Call of Duty with Eddie slashing and shooting his way through reanimated skeletons and a giant dinosaur, bringing to mind the designs from the album Powerslave.
At any rate, Iron Maiden’s new song is nothing short of stellar, as it sounds like a return to form for the British heavy metal band. Plus, a lot of the mock-up gameplay featured in the footage actually seems like they could be lot of fun if they were playable titles.
“Speed Of Light” is the first single off the upcoming album The Book of Souls, Iron Maiden’s first album since 2010’s The Final Frontier.
Source: Iron Maiden