This game would be far from complete without all the iconic musical themes that accompany gameplay on various stages and other gameplay sections. The songs are a mixture of original, and arrangements of classic game themes. All of them share a commonality in that they are produced using the same set of midi instruments, and having a similar sound. Midi was used because it is the most compact form of music; necessary because the space on a game cartridge was limited. The music looked at below is of the multiplayer maps only, as that’s where the majority of the experience in this games lies.
This piece sounds like a summary of all the songs in the game, and so captures the feeling of the various nintendo characters shown in the intro video while the song plays. There is synth brass present, and atonal runs that invoke a feeling of the ‘digital’ and a few sound effects from in game.
This song is a sort of vague distant piece that is not meant to bring out any particle battle mood like a the others do.
This piece in itself while only a short loop, is perhaps one of the greatest in the game, because it’s frantic pace and alternating I-II chord progression really builds the mood of excitement for the fight to begin.
1. Peach’s Castle
This stage is the home stage for Mario and Luigi. As such, the song is a remix of the original “Mario Bros.” theme. There are bongos and in general prominent drumming present which alludes to other themes; (in particular Congo Jungle) and midi brass. There is also a wide variety of other midi instruments making appearances throughout the piece to add some variety.
2. Congo Jungle
This is Donkey Kong’s stage and features an arrangement of a theme from “Donkey Kong Country”. The same midi instruments are present, however in this piece has various transitional stages, starting with a drum solo, slowly building up to a big band style theme, then mellowing in to what could be described as new-age tribal music, perhaps to emphasize the idea of a Jungle, as well as the fact it’s a video game. (so sounding computer-like)
3. Hyrule Castle
This is the song for Link’s stage, and logically is based on the theme from the Zelda series. The same midi brass and drumming is evident, however what makes this piece different is the orchestral style that is reminiscent of movie themes. This sort of ‘epic’ style is also heard in a few of the other stage themes that will be mentioned.
4. Planet Zebes
This theme is for Samus and Captain Falcon’s stage. The music is a remix of themes from the “Metroid Prime” series. The music is in the same orchestral style as Zelda, but featuring fast synth note runs that make the music sound digital, and futuristic, as is fitting to the Metroid Prime games.
5. Yoshi’s Island
Yoshi’s stage. Yoshi is a character from “Mario Bros.” but has been featured in his own games as well, and thus has his own theme. The music is quirky and somewhat reminds one of the Mario theme. The song is fitting to Yoshi as a character because he is perhaps taken less seriously as a fighter in the game, as well as in the the reality of the game mechanic, as players often choose him for novelty over his abilities.
6. Dream Land
This stage if for Kirby and Ness, and the song is a remix of one song in particular; “Gourmet Race” from “Kirby Super Star”. An interesting point about this piece is that the bass is actually a fast form of Polka, while the rest of the layers features orchestral hits and synth runs that are more prominent in the more serious nintendo games. Perhaps this is because Kirby is a bit more of a childish character, despite his power.
7. Sector Z
The song is on Fox McCloud’s stage. Based on the music from the StarFox series. This piece is in the same midi orchestral style as Zelda and Metroid Prime, but what makes it unique is the militaristic march feel to it, that adds to the fact the the map is a warship in flight.
8. Saffron City
This stage is Pikachu and Jigglypuff’s stage, both Pokemon. The theme is easily one of the most recognizable, with the intro battle theme followed by the main orchestral part. The rhythmic bass also sounds militaristic like the Sector Z theme. There’s strong use of midi brass, as well as a midi choir in later parts.
9. Mushroom Kingdom ( bonus stage)
Since this is another stage for Mario and Luigi, it has the Mario Bros theme like Peach’s Castle. However what makes it different is that it is the original 8 – bit version as heard in-game.