Thursday Throwback – July 21, 2011

Another retro game throwback this week and, in my opinion, one of the most classic video game themes of all times.

I was introduced to Mario at the ripe young age of 8. I got my first video game console (the NES, of course) along with Super Mario Brothers 2. I know, it wasn’t actually a “real” Mario game but it was good nonetheless and definitely raised the bar on platform games (and video games in general).

A couple years later the Super Nintendo was released, along with Super Mario World, and the bar was raised again. By a lot.

Completely random side-story: I remember me and my friend had rented a SNES and were playing in his parent’s bedroom for whatever reason. On the night table is what appeared to be a… dildo. Apparently he was told it was a back scratcher. To this day I’m completely confident it was a dildo.

Why the hell would you keep that in plain sight and tell your kid it was a back scratcher? Would it not be completely awkward if said kid then started to use it for its “intended” purpose?

But I digress.

Apart from that awkwardness the game itself was awesome. An instant classic. What I think is so great about the music is the motif that’s carried all the away through. That same riff is used in all of the background music, often switching to a minor key, a different time signature, etc. To this day I’m totally in love with that idea and feel and am disappointed we don’t hear more of this. I suppose this must be fairly challenging to pull off without becoming repetitive, but it was definitely pulled off masterfully by Koji Kondo.

So here’s the background music from the first level in SMW, c. 1990:

Oh yeah, and if you enjoy this at all or it brings back fond memories, do check out XOC’s one-man-band reinterpretation using dozens of instruments.

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