How Does Koji Kondo Make His Tunes Catchy?

By Ishaan . November 4, 2010 . 6:31pm

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Do you ever think about how videogame music is some of the most catchy out there? There are times when you can loop a game’s soundtrack over and over or constantly hear, say, an RPG battle theme and not tire of it.

 

Famed Nintendo composer, Koji Kondo, talks about he, personally, achieves this in a new Iwata Asks interview with three of Nintendo’s composers in celebration of the Super Mario All-Stars Collector’s Edition:

 

Iwata: Wow… I suppose lots of people all around the world are listening to the music in Mario games all the time. When you play a video game, you listen to the music the whole time, because it repeats. Usually, no matter how much you like a song, if you just keep listening to it over and over again, you get sick of it.

 

Yokota: Yeah.

 

Iwata: Why is it okay with video game music?

 

Kondo: It’s hard to put into words, but I try to make music that people can listen to over and over again without getting sick of. Then when I think I’m finished, I do this… (closing his eyes and leaning back in his chair) …and listen to it for hours on end. Sometimes I even dance to the rhythm.

 

[...]

 

Iwata: So when you can listen to it for hours, it’s done as far as you’re concerned.

 

Kondo: Right. And when I can’t do that, I know there must be something wrong with it.

 

Following this bit of talk is a very interesting segment on the idea of positive reinforcement, using music in a game to make the player keep wanting to move forward and make progress.

 

Kondo then goes on to comment on a bunch of different Mario tunes from over the years that are included on the soundtrack CD that comes with Super Mario All-Stars Collector’s Edition.

 

Image sourced from Nintendo’s Iwata Asks segment.


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  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Unfortunately as the years progressed, music in Mario games has not done so well or changed with the times. Truly there is something to be said when people only remember the original songs of the first Mario game and not something in like Super Mario Galaxy .He needs to incorporate vocals in his songs and add some pop~ish type beats to it. Or do like the remixers have done and incorporate some good ole modern orchestrated jazz into the songs. The songs need to be fast paced and catchy and that would make you want to get up and dance (hm reminds me of TK…) I would also like to see, for future boss battles, if he incorporated some truly heavy metal rock type influence was present with vocals. Im of the believe that in games, across the board that battle should have that type of music (I mean, imagine pokemon with heavy metal music for the battles, now that would be awesome, or Zelda with it too, that would have been a great touch to Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks)I think most of the songs in Wind Waker though, were his most awesome work.

    • Exkaiser

      “…imagine pokemon with heavy metal music for the battles, now that would be awesome…”I don’t wish to imagine a more ill-matched pair. Heavy metal? With -Pokemon-? Might as well have Vivaldi playing in Gears of War! (…Actually, I would personally enjoy a brief bit of that sort of dissonance) “Im of the believe that in games, across the board that battle should have that type of music.”What, that’s terrible. Take, say, Ico or Shadow of the Colossus. Replacing the music with heavy metal during battles would kill the atmosphere. Take Paper Mario, it would be completely ill-fitting. Different styles of games need to have different music. You can’t tell me that Nethack, Paper Mario, Eternal Sonata, Tomba, and Planescape: Torment should all have the same style of music.”Truly there is something to be said when people only remember the original songs of the first Mario game and not something in like Super Mario Galaxy .”Wait, so the first incarnation of a franchise is the most enduring and iconic part? Shocking!

      • http://twitter.com/Ale598 Ale598

        I’ve heard a heavy metal version of the Pokemon battle theme and it sounds quite good actually.

        • NeoTechni

          Link?

        • Exkaiser

          Oh, I’m sure that a heavy metal version of a Pokemon song could be quite good.

          But I also don’t think it would fit in the game itself.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Eternal Sonata is an exception because it used music from Chopin’s life, and that had Motoi Sakuraba music, if I recall, which is simply stunning.

        I do not see how the type of music would be ill-fitting for RPGs’ battles. Why play some somber happy go lucky music in battles, when in most instances we are vanquishing enemies, killing them, are simply making them “faint.” In all instances that is not something I imagine to be a cheery moment. The music should be pumped up, powerful, and make one in a mood to actually take care of enemies. The music should sound dark and gritty, tough and brutal.

        It is shocking that for a series with over what is it 20 or something games, that people still just remember the original song. Whats that say about the other games? It shows that their music either, just doesnt compare, or has failed to evolve and keep track of modern times. It isnt like it is new people who are new to videogames or have ever encountered whatever the original mario game was on, to be singing the song, it is just the first few people who play games in those times. The music just doesnt capture the hearts of today’s mainstream videogamers.

        • Exkaiser

          Way to miss the point. It’s appropriate for -some- RPG’s battles. Not all of them.In Paper Mario, for example, battles are not a “dark and gritty” or “tough and brutal” experience. They are fun and whimsical, with cheerful cartoon characters beating each other into puffs of smoke and coins. Likewise, in Pokemon, most battles are primarily for sport or simple wildlife encounters. The music intensifies for important battles, such as against gym leaders, villains, and the Elite 4, but never would I describe the experience of Pokemon to be “brutal” or “gritty,” and the music shouldn’t describe it that way, either.Nor should the Evil Pig battles in Tomba use heavy metal. It would be completely out of place in such a whimsical, adventurous game.Meanwhile, Planescape: Torment is an extremely somber game. While it’s dark, your heavy metal music would kill its sober atmosphere.Nethack, why. Nethack doesn’t even need music!The idea that you can take one genre of music and apply it to every iteration of a situation across an entire spectrum of video games is just absurd. Different games have different styles and they should use different music. Braid and Super Mario Bros are both platformers, but it would be absurd to use the same style of music in Braid as was in Mario Bros. The Ocarina of Time and Shadow of the Colossus are both action-adventure games featuring a sword-wielding hero who is also good with both bows and horses, but you don’t see Zelda’s heroic themes or catchy overworld song in SotC. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Seven Days a Skeptic are both point and click adventure games, but you don’t see them using similar musical stylings (it would be really, really awkward hearing a heroic jingle like Indy’s theme in the latter game).Back to the metal example:Guilty Gear is a game that uses metal in its soundtrack to great effect. Megaman Legends is a game that does not use metal in its soundtrack and which would not be enhanced by the addition.Some games just don’t need to do it. If you really believe they should so strongly, then simply substitute your own music for the game’s.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Perhaps saying it is appropriate for some RPGs, depending on what their entire story entails, if it is a game, say about a musical world, is the best way to put it.

            However in all other cases, it is just odd to make these games appear to be on the overly cheery safe description that you are listing them for. Mario games would be perfect for it, the enemies, although their turn to smoke or pop are still being vanquished (ie, eliminated). Heavy Metal cant be fun and powerful? I find its used in Fighting Games and those games still seem to have fun sounding powerful tracks.

            Unfortunately most of the other games you’ve mentioned Ive never played so I cant really say. Anyway, I know it was a revolutionary and progressive thing for me to say, and no one has ever agreed, so… :(

          • Exkaiser

            It’s not “progressive” or “revolutionary.” It’s just enforcing your own tastes onto an entire stratum of games.

          • gatotsu911

            “Anyway, I know it was a revolutionary and progressive thing for me to say”

            Egotistical much?

          • Caligula

            I really just can’t see Mario courses like Jolly Roger Bay or Cool, Cool Mountain doing well with heavy metal songs. Just doesn’t fit.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

          I’m so glad you taught me the error of my ways

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqyUfPO210k

          I didn’t realize this was a terrible battle theme until you corrected me :(

      • gatotsu911

        Video games don’t make nearly enough use of musical dissonance. Or, for that matter, music that attempts to evoke any mood other than the one most obvious to the situation at hand. I’ve said before that I’ll be interested in a mobster game when it has music like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2YPsfwSPGg

    • Caligula

      Heavy metal would be completely inappropriate for a game like Pokemon. You typically don’t put noisy, screechy, hectic music to a lighthearted game that’s oriented towards children.

      • NeoTechni

        I’d love some metal in pokemon

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Just because it is not the norm doesnt mean that it wouldnt fit. If people are playing the games for over 20+ hours then they need something to keep them in the mood. If we want to get into Pokemon, then I will say that the music is downright horrible. I rarely ever even listen to the music in the game. It is just boring and doesnt ever fit with the atmosphere at all. If Im vanquishing enemies, why do I want to hear some battle theme that makes me want to prance in a field of flowers or something. It just doesnt fit with high paced action of making enemies “faint.”

        • Exkaiser

          What do you mean “doesn’t fit with the atmosphere”? Have you not even played pokemon? You -are- prancing in a field! You’re strolling through forests! You’re a kid on a whimsical adventure, not some bloodthirsty slaver out to subjugate the forces of nature. Are you insane? You’re not even “vanquishing” enemies. You’re knocking them out so they stop nipping at your ankles, or entering your pokemon in competitive sport for fun. The most vanquishing you do is when you beat up the villains. Pokemon is almost never tense or dangerous. They’re games about adventure and fun, not conquest.

          “High-paced action”? In my pokemon? But they’re so slow and plodding in battle, even compared to more complex RPGs like Etrian Odyssey. Black and White are a much needed speed boost, but even still they’re not really high-paced or tense at all.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Did you miss the plot of the games?
            -1st Generation: Stop Team Rocket from conquering Kanto
            -2nd Generation: Music to enrage and force PKMN to evolve, take over cities
            -3rd Generation: Team Magma/Aqua to flood or burn the whole world
            -4th Generation: To rebuild the world or something
            -5th Generation: Unknown

            The game isnt fully just prancing in fields or strolling forest but embraces the living embodiment of danger and suspense. Battles in the gyms are not without danger, did you not see that there are electric currents, magma, even a gym takes place within lava and ice caves, places of danger…and the Pokemon are dangerous, the legendaries, the dark caves.

            The games are far from being solely about fun or adventure but saving the world. Surely people do not just take Pokemon for face value, one would fail to get immersed in the games world.

          • Exkaiser

            Are you kidding me, the villain plots are always resolved before you fight the elite 4 (with, perhaps, some minor content post-Elite 4, like the islands in Fire Red/Leaf Green). GameFreak themselves stated that the meat of the game is in the post game when discussing Black/White. Which means the villain plots are a minor part of the game according to the makers of the game. Saving the world? Not as important as exploring and making friends with Pokemon. Wow!

            Even besides that, saving the world is never really the goal of the games. It’s something that happens in the course of your adventure. You don’t set out in order to stop Team X, you just happen to foil their plans by being a meddling kid. The “goal” of the game is to master the Pokemon League, hence why the game “ends” and you get a credit roll once you beat the Elite 4.

            The “traps” in the gyms can never hurt you, even when there’s lava or electricity. Your trainer does not suffer any consequences from falling through floors, slipping on ice, or diving underwater without a mask. You are never in any danger, and there is never any suspense (partly because it’s very obvious how the world will be saved). The pokemon are dangerous? Sure, they could be, but they never hurt you! You’re never in threat of being hurt by them. You’re not even in danger of having your pokemon die in battle, because they explicitly state that it doesn’t happen. There’s even free, perfect, instant health care! The dark caves are somewhat suspenseful, but most of them are also not very dark anymore. It’s all very leisurely, relatively speaking. The world of Pokemon is a safe and inviting place.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Exhaiser? Are you deluded? Its a game tailored for an E rating, so of course the trainer never faces danger or the fact that the plot is never going to flat out state that your main purpose is to defeat a nefarious organization bent on using pokemon as weapons of mass destruction.

            The plot of finding all the pokemon in the world to fulfill some old mans dream and to rise on the top as master of pokemon is just a cover to provide the insight to allow the main character to get strong enough to take down the nefarious organization. Its just a ruse to convince players the need to persever and show that they arent strong enough to overtake the organization without going through dangerous gyms and locales to toughen up and prove their worth.

            And have you not seen what happens when you lose a battle? You are robbed and black out, that is a clear sign of danger. Its dangerous to travel through those places and you even slip and fall through floors in dark caves, thats dangerous.

            The world of pokemon is not a safe and inviting place. If it was, why is there always nefarious evil organizations bent on those weapons of mass destruction, or a place with ghost pokemon, the spirits of pokemon who passed away?

          • Caligula

            Honestly, you’re making Pokemon games sound like they’ve got plots that could do well in GTA or something. Arguing that Pokemon is violent and suspenseful is kind of like arguing that Scooby-Doo is violent and suspenseful because they try to solve crimes and get chased by monsters, never mind the fact that you know they will always solve the crime, the monsters are never actually monsters, the gang will never get hurt, and life is good. In Pokemon, you can’t die or even lose, everyone aside from the evil organizations are super nice, somehow ten-year-old kids can and always do take down entire evil organizations single-handedly, said evil organizations are made up of incompetent grunts with level 18 Zubats, guns and blood don’t exist, children can leave home without an adult, travel the world, and become Pokemon Masters without fear of being raped or kidnapped… and you say Pokemon’s suspenseful and dangerous?

            Also, since when was defeating evil organizations is the staple of the game? Defeating Team Rocket or Magma or Plasma or whatever isn’t the point; those teams only exist to prevent the games from becoming tedious. The point of the game is as stated in the instruction booklets: catch ‘em all and become the greatest Pokemon master. It’s that simple.

            I love Pokemon to death, but please don’t make it sound like a series it’s not.

          • Caligula

            By the way, if you “get robbed and blacked out” when you lose battles, are you thereby arguing that every time you beat someone on the game, you are mugging them and robbing them of money? After all, you get rewarded with money every time you beat someone. It’s a battle agreement for the loser to give money to the winner, not robbery.

          • Exkaiser

            “You are robbed and black out.” No, you give up half your money as an agreement with your opponent. They do the same for you. The blacking out is to have the player return to a pokemon center quickly. By your line of logic, you, the player, are also a bandit who robs the trainers you defeat.

            “and you even slip and fall through floors in dark caves, thats dangerous.” Except, as I said, slipping and falling through floors in caves doesn’t injure the player at all and in fact usually rewards them with items or progress to the next town. That’s dangerous? It’s fun. It makes exploring spooky old caves a lot more fun than they are, with hidden passages and treasure (however minor, like ultra balls).

            “The plot of finding all the pokemon in the world to fulfill some old mans dream and to rise on the top as master of pokemon is just a cover to provide the insight to allow the main character to get strong enough to take down the nefarious organization.” No. You are completely wrong on this point. The intention of every pokemon game, with the exception of the spinoffs like Coliseum (where the point actually is to take down an evil organization), is to explore the world, catch and befriend pokemon, and ultimately beat the Pokemon League and get entered into the Hall of Fame as a Pokemon Master. The evil organizations are a subplot, a stepping-stone on the journey. People (maybe you do, but perhaps you’re not a person) do not pick up Pokemon games because they want to be a hero who saves the world from criminals. They pick them up to have a fun and lighthearted adventure with some simple but well-oiled RPG mechanics.

            “Its just a ruse to convince players the need to persever and show that they arent strong enough to overtake the organization without going through dangerous gyms and locales to toughen up and prove their worth.” Except that, if the Pokemon League was “just a ruse,” there would be no reason to continue pursuing it after you beat the evil organization because that would be the ultimate goal of the game. But wait, that’s not how the games work. You tend to beat the villains at around the 75-80% on the path to the Elite 4, and then after you beat the Elite 4 you get an ending with you being entered into the Hall of Fame as the Champion.

            “or a place with ghost pokemon” You kiddin’ me? Pokemon’s Ghost pokemon, even if they are -spirits of the dead-, are -cute-. They’re adorable. The original trio all have silly little grins on their faces, and they play mischievous, but harmless, pranks on people, they’re not scary at all. Sure, Lavender Town itself was off-putting and spooky, but it was in sharp contrast to the rest of Kanto.

            You are the one who is deluded. Your “main purpose” is not to defeat a nefarious organization. That is simply something you achieve on your adventure. Your “main purpose,” as clearly stated by the game (And don’t give me that “hurp durp an E-rated game wouldn’t tell you that you have to defeat an evil organization.” I played Super Mario Bros., which has an E rating, and they make pretty damn clear that you have to beat up Bowser and his gang of ne’er-do-wells. Plenty of other games say it flat out, don’t be stupid. And plenty of E-rated games have protagonists who face danger like, I dunno, Mario games) is to catch and train and befriend pokemon and beat the Pokemon League, becoming the Champion.

            And how can you spell my name wrong? It’s right at the top of my posts.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            @Caligula your statement fails to address the pokemon tower incident with the ghost of marowak or the cutting of the slowpoke tails, or the rains across the entire pokemon world. I can not even think of anyway in which the player blacked out and happened to land in a Pokemon center other than, when he lost he was so robbed by the other trainer that the trainer was knocked out and somehow ended up at a pokemon center. The Pokemon world is not as safe and delightful as you make it seem.

          • Exkaiser

            What about the Ghost of Marowak? That didn’t affect me at all when I was a kid. What about the slowpoke tails? You stopped Team Rocket, the tails grew back and the slowpokes were just fine. What about the rains across the entire Pokemon world?

            “I can not even think of anyway in which the player blacked out and happened to land in a Pokemon center other than, when he lost he was so robbed by the other trainer that the trainer was knocked out and somehow ended up at a pokemon center” Did you somehow miss the part where “blacking out” has been changed to “whiting out,” to lose the implication of passing out, and instead of magically appearing in a Pokemon Center, they explicitly state that your trainer “quickly scurries to the nearest Pokemon center”? You can’t very well scurry while you’re being mugged. And, if we follow your logic, then you are playing a petty bandit instead of a good-natured kid who gets along well with their pokemon, because, guess what, -you also take money from opponents when you beat them-. It’s a battle agreement between two sporting trainers. They wager real pokedollars.

            How can you be so dense?

            Okay, wait, nevermind, you won’t listen to me. Let’s see what GameFreak has to say in the manual. Flipping open to the “Object of the Game” section in the Pokemon Diamond manual, the headlines are: “Set out for adventure in the Sinnoh Region!,” “Catch many different types of Pokemon!,” and “Become the Best Trainer Ever!”

            Let’s skip to the section on battles and see what it has to say about trainer battles. “If you make eye contact with a trainer, or walk in front of one, they will challenge you to a battle.” Sounds pretty sporting. “If you are victorious, you will be rewarded with prize money.” Oh, hey, they’re giving you money because they lost. Meanwhile, it makes no mention of being mugged, robbed, or anything else as a consequence of losing.

            The fact of the matter is that you are just clinging to your fanciful and dangerous interpretation of the game world, ignoring what the game, the game’s creators, and the game’s manual all say. You are the deluded one, son.

    • http://nisemonokami.deviantart.com/ NiseKami

      …No. I don’t think watching Pikachu use a thunderbolt would fit well with heavy metal music in the background.

      • NeoTechni

        Steelix?

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        What are you talking about? It seems to be a move suited to the idea of even having the music playing. The move is powerful, and that music captures the very idea of power.

        • Exkaiser

          A pikachu using thunderbolt is not something that exudes power to me.

          Wimpy pokemon using a mid-tier electric attack.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Dont tell me you are one of the ones that evolve your Pikachu or other first level pokemon?!

          • Exkaiser

            …I… really don’t see what the problem with that would be, considering evolution is one of the key mechanics of the series.

            But no, if only because I don’t use Pikachu and I don’t want a Raichu. I roll Scizor from the beginning to the end of the game, because he’s totally rad.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            The only pokemon deserving of evolution are dragon type Pokemon. First level pokemon look too cool to evolve (especially since some evolutions look ugly, and they learn attacks so much faster. Who would evolve the utterly adorable and cool Teddiursa or Pikachu, into their respective evolved forms?

          • Exkaiser

            I don’t think either Teddiursa or Pikachu are cool.

            I’m more of a Scyther and Absol kind of person.

            In during opinions.

          • Code

            I take it by a Pokemon/Pokemon bases as to if I evolve them or not, for example I rarely ever evolve Cubone, I like to keep it as my flagship Pokemon >ww<'

          • Caligula

            Well, if you’re trying to have Pokemon that don’t suck, you kind of have to evolve them.

            Kills me a little that you do, though. I totally would’ve gone for the fire starter in B/W if the evolutions hadn’t been so horrifically hideous. (I’m still raging pretty hard about the final evo. Ken Sugimori is a troll.)

    • gatotsu911

      No clue what you’re talking about. Gusty Garden Galaxy (for one) is among the catchiest and most wonderful tunes I’ve heard in years.

      People remember the original music in Super Mario Bros. because it is 25 f*cking years old, was many people’s first video game, and statistically speaking, has been played by more people than any other Mario game.

      Also, heavy metal in Zelda?? WTF? Different genres for different styles, man. Or would you like some Nine Inch Nails in your Lord of the Rings?

      • Code

        100% agree with this Gusty Gardens is a DAMN good song, definitely one of the highlights of Super Mario Galaxy as a whole in my opinion.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        I think you missed what I said. There is only one age group of people who are even interested in the 25 year old Super Mario Bros theme, that is, the people who played it back then. Like I said, no one remember naught an ounc of music from Super Mario 64 to todays present time. Nothing is used as their ringtones, or even remember. Even the most recent release, people dont scream in excitement with music from New Super Mario Bros Wii or from Galaxy 2.

        Zelda would work with Heavy Metal, it fits the type of person Ganon and those boss fights would require.

        • Code

          There’s lots of music from Super Mario 64 that was extremely memorable though if anything it’s featured some music which has been the bases for remixed Mario music in later games like Sunshine and Galaxy.

        • Exkaiser

          Um, the Super Mario Bros theme is extremely popular and well-known. College students and high schoolers under the age of 25 all know it, even my kid brother who is 10 knows it. 10! He’s never played SMB on the NES and he knows the theme! (Oh snap is that your entire premise being debunked)

          Mario is the Mickey Mouse of gaming. His theme song is iconic.

          Also, a good friend of mine uses a song from Galaxy as her ringtone. Just sayin’.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            The fact that people across age groups further supplies evidence that gamers grasp the original song more than songs from the previous games. The only reason I imagine that it is know is that the mario series also continually uses remixes and rearrangements of songs as the games go across and isnt it even played in that new videogames live concert too? Isnt the theme present in some form in Mario Kart as well as other Mario spinoffs?

        • gatotsu911

          Um, what? I never even owned an NES, and I know all the music from Super Mario Bros. by heart. The game is ageless, and so is the music.

          Super Mario 64 had some great tunes also; again, no clue what you’re talking about. Everyone who’s played it knows the Peach’s Castle theme.

          And again: Metal, in my Zelda? No. Nuh-uh. Not happening.

          You seem oblivious to the fact that musical styles don’t age; what was good music once never stops being good music. Being made in the 21st century doesn’t obligate a game, or a movie, to have heavy guitar riffs and synth-pop vocals.

          Which is not, I should add, to suggest that screaming guitar riffs could NEVER be appropriate in a fantasy/RPG context. Motoi Sakuraba, among others, routinely proves otherwise. Just check out this smashing boss theme from Baten Kaitos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lB0b0fHbAY

          And, by contrast, another boss theme from the same game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEfcGcSll_U

          Variety is the spice of life. But when it comes to soundtracks, sometimes certain musical styles just don’t suit the mood of the piece. That first track, for example, would be completely unthinkable in, say, Zelda or Chrono Cross.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Ah I just love all of Motoi Sakuraba music. Violent Storm…just replace that song for the Gerudo valley…a fitting match! or a metal version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq7ap_be-NU

          • gatotsu911

            That’s a cute fan tribute, but it would be excruciatingly out of place in an actual Zelda game.

          • Exkaiser

            You can’t seriously like -all- of Sakuraba’s music. How can you like Port Capua Torim? That song was so awful it sounds like Sakuraba trying to get fired.

            Man, I love Sakuraba, but I can’t help but feel the dude hates Tales.

          • Caligula

            I think some of Motoi Sakuraba’s stuff is really good, but… have you heard his work for Tales? It’s like he hates the series. His Tales stuff is complete garbage. The only time Tales music was ever good was when they booted him out for Legendia and replaced him with Go Shiina.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            @Exkaiser
            @Caligula

            I was under the impression that he only did like the battle themes for the Tales games. The battle themes are all pretty awesome and most of the songs too, there were a few questionable things in the games (reliance on flutes alot for the towns that it is good to hear once or twice but in going back and forth to tons, gets a bit annoying…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUta2IEzcGA

      Yeah srsly listen to this trash Mario is ruined

    • Code

      Music in games creates a very strong atmosphere and feeling, and it has to be handled responsibly, I’m not even that knowledgeable about music but I mean it should be easy to understand the fact that heavy metal might be nice but it also might not be appropriate . It’s like Shadow of the Colossus, you COULD put heavy metal to the Colossi battles and it’d work, but by handling the music in the way they did maintains the values and tone of the game. And vocals in Mario music, BIG ick.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Vocals, could work in mario music. It fit in Super Smash Bros Melee quite well, with the people singing in Latin or something, and even the Pokemon Battle Music had some hints of vocals in it. I cant see why it wouldnt work for Mario…if not Heavy Metal, maybe just some lady humming or something. I think it would work for the game and make it more memorable. Vocals even if they are just hints of it, or just used in monumental moments can provide undying satisfaction. I think it would do well to fit the Bowser themes, they are already choke full of awesome guitar parts (like in SM64 DS)

        Oh I remember, the song from Mario Hoops 3 on 3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgFts4Wd9qE

        Now that is what Im talkin about!!!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0tt7yuQTF4

          This is all the vocals Mario needs :P

          • Code

            Yes those do admittedly work, especially the the secret-level music from Sunshine which was stellar >w<' But I think they work because it's uncharacteristic of the series, if they tried putting vocals in all Mario music it'd take away from it as a whole. But of course when you said vocals my interpretation would have been how they put "vocals" in Sonic xpx;

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Vocal Traxx in sonic are always excellent, it fits in with the series and works well to keep people in the “Groove Rush.” Crush 40, the people with the songs in Sonic & The Secret Rings, and the group that does Endless Possibilities for Sonic Unleashed, were all excellent vocal tracks. Its time for Mario to get Vocal traxx!

          • gatotsu911

            @Tsunayoshi:
            Sonic vocal tracks?? LAWL. I didn’t even know it was possible for music to be so bad it’s good until I heard a Sonic vocal track for the first time.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            @gatotsu911 I do not know anyone that doesnt like the song Super Sonic Racing!!!! Now that is a great Sonic vocal track.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H24G7OXSNJTI7CGZIRUJBJFH3Q TekJansen

    Disagree totally, The music is as good as ever, the problem is simply people are more nostalgic towards the older music. Tsunayoshi Sawada’s idea is to basically throw in generic pieces of pop crap.

    The fact is music is a mood setter, the fact is they may not be as memorable, but I haven’t heard anyone complain about music in a Mario game, because it’s so good that it doesn’t distract payers, it just enhances the mood.

    • Exkaiser

      Well, I’ve heard a few complaints that maybe Galaxy’s music is perhaps -too- epic, but that’s about it.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      Generic pieces of pop? Far from it, if the music is popular in todays day and age then anyone would or should be able to enjoy that type of music having an influence on the music in Mario games. People should remove their nostalgia sunglasses and realize that times have changed and that its time to move on.

      • SolidusSnake

        Bullshit, just because something is popular doesn’t mean *ANYONE* “would or should like it.” You’re nothing but a worthless sheep if you honestly believe that crap.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          If something is popular than it is hard to believe that people dont like it. That is like, just backwards. Are you saying that people should not like it because it is popular? That just doesnt make sense. The inherent nature of it should be the reason why people would like it.

          • SolidusSnake

            No kid, you’re the one who has it backwards. You claim that if something is popular at a given time, anyone should be able to like it, which is completely bogus. I like the things that I like because of their inherent good qualities, not because they are popular. Furthermore, there are plenty of things that are or have been popular which are not good at all. For example, smoking used to be really popular, but it gives you cancer.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Well the statement only universally would apply in the contect of videogames. We cant apply it to things that are social like that because games/music/movies are different, there isnt any oppression of peoples are social morals or penalties associated with games in the realm of capitalism…

            We see it all the time, people dislike something that overrated for the sake of it being overrated…Things that are bad, do not become popular. When was the last time some bad music became popular, some bad game, becoming popular? Goodness begets popularity.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Um statistics shows that Smoking may be correlated with cancer…however there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude currently that smoking causes cancer.

          • SolidusSnake

            “Um statistics shows that Smoking may be correlated with cancer…however there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude currently that smoking causes cancer. ”

            You really are a troll, aren’t you?

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            My offline life involves number crunching and statistical research…so…

          • SolidusSnake

            Yeah you’re technically right about smoking. Smoke contains known carcinogens and is a risk factor for cancer, but to say that anything “causes” cancer is misleading, since any number of factors can make a cell mutate and go rogue. The reason I got pissed off is because smoking was just an example and not the point of my previous post.

          • Exkaiser

            “Goodness begets popularity.” Ah, alright. A classic appeal to the people. Clear out, this farce has gone on long enough.

          • SolidusSnake

            “When was the last time some bad music became popular, some bad game, becoming popular?”

            Ever heard of rap?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

            Hey hey hey, not ALL rap, just that crap that gets onto the radio.

          • SolidusSnake

            “Well the statement only universally would apply in the contect of videogames. We cant apply it to things that are social like that because games/music/movies are different, there isnt any oppression of peoples are social morals or penalties associated with games in the realm of capitalism…”

            I’d say it’s kind of oppressive to expect everyone on the planet to like the same things in music or videogames. What are you, the freaking Borg? Ever heard of individuality? Something’s wrong with you, kid.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            I just dont know how to respond anymore, you make me sound like Im crazy or losing my mind. lol. Popularity demands, no, commands liking it. Why is this composer of Mario music so liked, well his music is apparently good enough that people were commanded to like it, it is in the games. Now do they like the recent music of the games of today? Well it doesnt seem to be. But would they like it if it had influences of popular musical genres that exist outside of videogames? Of course they would, if the music that is good, that is popular, on the radio or online, then people would surely enjoy it influencing music in their games. This can not be a difficult concept to grasp or accept.

          • SolidusSnake

            Damn I feel like Socrates talking to frickin Euthyphro, lol.

            Are you commanded to like something that is popular BECAUSE IT IS POPULAR, or because of some inherent quality in it? Now, because something is popular, does that mean that everyone in the world should be expected to like it as well, just because other people do?

            Let me put it another way. Suppose you are the last person alive, and you come across an old MP3 player laying in the ruins. By some miracle there is some juice left in the battery, and the headphones work. You commence listening to music.

            Now, in this situation, there is no way to gauge whether or not the music is popular or not. You are the only one in the world listening. So, is it good or not? Do you have any way to assess quality aside from what others think of it?

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Considering that the person who had initially put the music onto their MP3 player, we can only assume that:

            A) they liked the music
            B) others liked it, so they in term put it on their MP3 player
            C) it was good since others liked it

            Therefore, I would be led to conclude that the music was popular because it was good. And in this context and in the context of music and games, goodness begets popularity. When was the last time something was popular but was not good, or vice versa, something was good but not popular?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

            “something was good but not popular?”

            Uh, like always? I had the pleasure of going to see my all-time favorite musician in concert last week. His music is absolutely STUNNING, but he could barely sell out a show at a venue that only holds 50 people.

      • Code

        ohhh snap, I think you just got smack down by Prinny Solidus Snake, which is the most destructible of all Snakes.

        • Exkaiser

          You’d think that, but through years of training and octopus arms, he’s learned the “No Lifting” secret ability.

          Truly, a deadly art.

  • NeoTechni

    I still cant get the damned mario theme out of my head. I can never get sick of it. When I call people and they have a “ringback” where you listen to the mario theme I’m always disappointed when they actually answer the phone.

    Dont even get me started about super mario world or the tetris theme

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      How are any of those memorable or at least more memorable than songs in the Zelda series?

      • Exkaiser

        I don’t think he even mentioned Zelda, kid.

  • Chow

    The thing about music, though, is that repetition is key. That’s why so much music in the history of mankind usually have a certain theme repeated throughout a piece of music, and on a more basic level, rhythm in music is this exact same phenomenon. To put it bluntly, people are dumb when it comes to this.

    So, whenever you hear the Mario theme played on a stranger’s cellular, you basically go in your head “Hur hur, I recognize that theme!” and subconsciously give a small smile. Then you notice a cute girl across the way smiling too, and thus you have a good memory of that experience. It’s not whether or not the song is actually good.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    Oh wow, didn’t figure this’d be the kind of topic to make people write friggin essays as comments. Super Mario music has always been great and often memorable in my mind, but I won’t compare it to other games or genres of music, it’s just great in its own right and so are other games’ tunes.

  • Joanna

    I never thought about it, but he’s right. There are many RPG battle themes that get on my nerves after listening to them for the hundredth time, but I never once felt that the music in any Mario game that I played was repetitive. I agree with everyone saying music is key when developing atmosphere in games, while visuals may create the basic atmosphere, music brings it to life, in my humble opinion, of course.

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