Super Mario World – “Ending” (Koji Kondo)December 5, 2010
Super Mario World was the first Mario game I ever beat, and the first Mario game I really played. It still holds a special place for me as being my favorite of the 2D Marios for this reason – difficulty was a little higher than my skill level, so it was quite a challenge, there were tons of secrets (including a whole new world!), and a massive tropical archipelago full of dinosaurs. The music was also pretty good, if a little cheesy (and maybe a bit too long). So here you have it, as a nice farewell to VGM Daily, the Super Mario World “Ending” music.
The “Ending” theme is divided into four movements, which means there’s a LOT of repetition here! There’s the first joyful exit from Bowser’s castle where Mario leads Princess Peach (riding Yoshi) and being trailed by the seven eggs rescued from the other castles (that funky dance you see is not normal – you have to hold Up, L, R, X, and Y when you beat Bowser). What begins is a tour of all the worlds (pretty standard stuff) that ends with the arrival at Yoshi’s house (1:36). Here, the eggs all hatch and Mario and the gang have a wonderful celebration! (You can’t see it though because you have to watch the character credits). Next follows a review of all the enemies in the game along with their names (unfortunately, the little ninja guys are missing!). This part is divided into two sections, the first with a cheerful section played on strings and tuba (1:58) and then again with organ and strings (3:11) to illustrate the castle enemies and bosses. So in all, you’ll get to hear that main theme played about a dozen times!
However, what I really like about this theme is not just the nostalgia and familiarity, but the instruments and composition. The instruments are actually a little abstract – it’s hard to pinpoint what they are supposed to be. Is that a pipe or an ocarina? And then there’s a mix of guitar, bass, and violin, as well as accordion and tuba! It’s some sort of mad Italian polka! It’s just the kind of thing you’d expect really from a game like this.
If you find this version overlong, check out Soichi Noriki‘s arrange, “Peaceful Kinoko-World”, from the official soundtrack! It’s a magnificently smooth saxophone and jazz band arrange played with live instruments (that’s Sadao Watanabe on the sax – even though these guys haven’t done any other game music arranges, it’s always nice to put a face to an instrument!). There’s an extended section of about two minutes of original material beginning at 1:45.
Also worth a gander is Xoc’s guitar and drums arrange. Xoc doesn’t go over-long with the theme, having two loops, separated by a break wherein the Yoshis hatch (complete with accordion). The second half is pure Xoc, with insanely funky instruments arranged over a sane melodic line.
Super Mario World’s “Ending” theme also finds its way into this nice little arrange by Dr. Fruitcake, “Mario’s Tropical Paradise“, which is a massive medley of a half-dozen Mario tunes. This is some great stuff, with a warm and exotic instrument selection, great sound quality, and dance-inducing melody. Heck, even the Yoshi’s Island theme sounds good! (And I hated that game!)