Super Mario 64 was one of the best titles that ever graced the Nintendo 64, in fact it’s one of the few cartridges I still regularly find myself plugging into my dusty old console, although you could always download it through your Wii’s virtual console to save yourself a trek up to the loft. The platforming action contained within the game is phenomenally good and I’d say it even stands up to those that are out on the market today.
The music featured in most Nintendo games of this era was amongst the best our ears have ever been treated to in my opinion and this instalment of the Super Mario series is no exception, it’s soundtrack captures the light hearted nature of the series that makes it so accessible, yet it also manages to wonderfully complement it’s darker moments.
As you’re all probably well aware, this one starts with everybody’s favourite plumber being summoned to Princess Peach’s castle for a simple piece of cake. Of course unbeknownst to you, Bowser has captured both the castle and Mario’s fair maiden before you arrive. As a result you’ll need to jump into paintings scattered about the castle,where you’ll battle the evil lizard’s minions and collect stars in order to foil his schemes.
Now, whilst it should already be evident to anybody reading this that I love the music contained within the game, none of the initial pieces really stick with you, that is until you jump into a painting that takes you to “Bob-omb Battlefield”. Seconds after setting foot in this level you’re treated to a tune that’s now been stuck in gamers’ minds for about 15 years and you can hear where parts of it are used in various rearrangements in subsequent levels. There’s no point in me describing the tune for you, I’d be doing it a disservice if I did, so why not check out the video I’ve included below instead.
I can remember going into school and hearing a friend of mine playing this theme on the piano and thinking “Wow, I need to learn how to play that!”, and this was long before Youtube started up so it took a little bit longer to learn it from scratch in those days. And that’s the power behind this theme, it made people want to take it outside of the gaming world and thus it joined the multitude of Mario tunes which have achieved this special status.
It’s also aged remarkably well and continues to be just as catchy as ever, after all the reason that I’m writing this article is down to the fact I caught myself humming it during a particularly boring day and couldn’t believe that I remembered it almost perfectly after all these years. At this point I’m struggling to think what more I can say, so I’ll cut things short as I think that this one really speaks for itself. If you’d like to share your thoughts and memories about this bit of music with us then feel free to drop us a comment below.
First published on Dealspwn (27 February 2012)