Super September: Humming along with Super Mario World's signature melody | Nintendo Wire

 
Welcome to Nintendo Wire’s first installment of the Super September series!

The Super Nintendo is home to some of the finest music in all of gaming, a statement that may have you thinking of some of your own favorites already. These melodies shaped game experiences we’ve all shared, and some that are no doubt one-of-a-kind to every player. For me, the recurring main theme of Super Mario World may be one of the first songs that ever really left a true impression, which is no small feat when I hadn’t owned a SNES as a kid. I’ve made it no secret that Super Mario World is my favorite game in the series, and it’s no exaggeration that the music plays an integral part in that.

Whenever I’ve played games online and had a headset on, chatting with friends and strangers alike, I have a tendency to hum when there’s a long silence just begging to be broken. More than any other song, it’s this one. Best of all is how often it’s recognized and joined in on, showing just how widespread and catchy the tune is on its own. It’s a unifying element, and I feel pretty confident that you, the reader, either started humming it yourself by now or at the least played it in your head.

 

 
You hear it throughout the game in several different ways, perhaps most famously the sped up Athletic variant. The increased sound capabilities of the SNES allowed the song to recur in so many different forms, and even come in separate mixes for when you’re riding the newly introduced Yoshi. The woodblock beats have gone on to define the dinosaur in later game appearances but something about the simplistic (by comparison) sound profile of the Super Nintendo just feels right. Speaking of, there’s a particularly whimsical and dreamy version of the song that comes up in Super Mario RPG alongside Geno’s introduction as a wooden doll. It’s appeared in plenty of later games and systems as well, but it’s on the SNES where it really shines in its most pure form.

It’s not just the main medley that manages to sway both my ears and my heart here, though. My next favorite tune has to be the map theme you start to hear when you reach Donut Plains. The second map theme of the game, it’s so good I almost feel bad ending it by selecting a stage. The title theme’s another standout, setting the stage for the rest of the experience, and I always get pumped up when I hear the Koopaling battle theme kick in. Still, that key melody has carved a place in my personal gaming history — and whether you’ve heard it time and time again yourself, or sample it for the first time as it’s meant to be when the SNES Classic launches later this month, I hope it’s earned one in your history, too.

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg

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