Sunday Game Soundtrack: Super Mario 64 (N64)

Hey guys, welcome to another Sunday Game Soundtrack!  Today, we’ll highlight composer Koji Kondo’s score for Super Mario 64.

Super Mario 64 was a launch title for the Nintendo 64, which released in 1996.  The game sold over 11 million copies and was the best selling game for the N64.  It also marks the beginning of the 3D platform genre, as many of the innovations used to create Super Mario 64‘s free-world-roaming atmosphere would become the industry standard.  It also featured crisp controls and the ability to move the camera to see Mario better, both of which were very key to the success of the game.

Some interesting points:

  • While it is the first official polygon based 3D platform game, it is actually not the first game that features platforming Mario in a 3D environment- that would be Super Mario RPG.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto, according to numerous sources, had had the idea for a 3D Mario series game in his mind for a quite a while, even before the development of the Nintendo 64.  The original idea was to create another isometric type 3D game (as in Super Mario RPG or perhaps Sonic 3D Blast) perhaps for even the SNES.
  • There was some idea to make the game split-screen so that players could play as both Mario and Luigi and work together to accomplish levels.  According to this Destructoid article, the developers were never quite able to make it work.
  • According to a Nintendo Power interview with Miyamoto in 1995, the “Boos” behaviors in Super Mario 64 are based on the wife of Takashi Tezuka, the assistant director.  His wife was known to be very quiet but one day she absolutely exploded in rage on Tezuka for working too much.  Thus, a “Boo” is meek and hides when Mario is looking at it… and then gets all mad when Mario doesn’t.  Ah, Japanese social norms and stereotypes…

Okay, so below, you’ll find the complete OST in one friendly YouTube post.  Go and get yourself some nostalgia.  Thanks to F4m1lyGuy10 for posting it.  Enjoy!

I have a couple posts I’ve been working on over the past couple weeks.  Been so busy with some deadlines for compositions and what not… More to come, as usual.  And feel free to comment!


About Classical Gaming

Steve Lakawicz holds an MM in Music Performance from Temple University as well as a BM in Tuba Performance from Rutgers University . His teachers include Paul Scott, Scott Mendoker, and Jay Krush. His love of video game music has lead him to form a blog, Classical Gaming, to promote discussion both casual and academic about the music of video games. He is the co-founder of the video game/nerd music chamber ensemble, Beta Test Music and regularly composes/performs chiptune music as Ap0c. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he teaches college statistics at Temple University. View all posts by Classical Gaming

One response to “Sunday Game Soundtrack: Super Mario 64 (N64)

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