Sunday Game Soundtrack: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SFC/SNES)

Hi guys!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these.  For those of you new to the blog, on Sundays (if I post), I like to post about games that have great soundtracks that AREN’T Lesser-known.  Today, we’ll talk about Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, composed by Koji Kondo.

Here’s the complete OST for your listening enjoyment.  Below, I’ll post some facts about the game.

  • The game was originally released on August 15th, 1995 in Japan and October 4th/6th for NA/EU markets respectively.  The game was re-released for Game Boy Advance as Yoshi’s Island:  Super Mario Advance 3 in 2002 and featured a couple extra stages and features.
  • Super Mario World 2 has not had an official re-release.  Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 and NOT Super Mario World 2:  Yoshi’s Island was re-released for Virtual Console in 2011.
  • Yoshi’s Island DS is the direct sequel to this game and was released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS.
  • The game takes a departure from many of the other games in the Mario series as it is single player only.
  • The SNES version uses the Super FX 2 chip.  The original idea was to try to render the game just as they had rendered Donkey Kong Country.  According to Kent Steven’s “The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World”, Miyamoto brought the game to his board of directors with 3-D pre-rendered sprites and was ordered to change it to something else.  He then decided to develop it as if it had been drawn by children with crayons.  He brought the game back and it passed.  Miyamoto would eventually get his way, though, as Yoshi’s Story features 3D rendered characters.
    • The Super FX 2 chip allows the game to render those GIANT sprites, such as Burt the Bashful.  Many other games APPEAR to have large sprites (such as Contra III).  These sprites are actually part background/part moving sprite.  This game ACTUALLY HAS enormous, moving sprites.

The goal is to remove Burt the Bashful’s pants. And we’re okay with this.

  • The game sold about 4~ million copies.  It finds its way onto MANY “Greatest Video Games of All Time” lists.
  • Koji Kondo’s soundtrack to this game is exactly what you’d expect from him.  It’s goofy, rockin’, and thoughtful.  When I was a kid, the music stuck in my head for days.  My friend Mike and I actually arranged some of the tunes for trombone and bass back in the day.
    • One of the coolest things Kondo does is for the World Maps.  The game features 6 different worlds.  World 1 features a very simple melody.  As you travel from world to world, the map music becomes more and more diverse, adding drums, bass, strings, and trumpet.  It’s a really cool feature.  To hear it back to back, set the video to 23:20~.  Enjoy
    • One of my favorite tracks of all time is the Mid-Boss theme from this game.  Here’s a direct link to it.  It’s like… Mario meets Baby Elephant Walk meets Dancing Homer.  It’s so Koji Kondo though- that laid back jazz feel and subtly goofiness? It’s perfect.

At any rate, I hope I helped you feel some subtle nostalgia today!  Please feel free to leave comments!

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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

2 responses to “Sunday Game Soundtrack: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SFC/SNES)

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