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Super Smash Bros. Melee – F-Zero “Big Blue” (Hirokazu Ando)

November 19, 2009

So my friend asks me today if I’d done “Big Blue” yet. Well, I’m only about three weeks into this experiment, so there’s bound to be a few classic tunes to add. Heck, maybe I’ll start working on those this week, and “Big Blue” is a pretty good place to begin.

Super Smash Bros. Melee – F-Zero “Big Blue” (Hirokazu Ando)

“Big Blue” is one of the best-recognized game tracks. It appears in practically every F-Zero game out there over a giant pipe race course hanging over the ocean. The F-Zero games are all about speed, with some racers easily breaking 1000kph. “Big Blue” captures that feel perfectly as well as the sense of boosting above the ocean at high speeds – perhaps a bit too much speed and pipe loops, as the second half of the this version feels a little gut-wrenching with all the synths. The best rendition of this song has to be Hirokazu Ando‘s (Kirby Superstar, Kirby 64) version from Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube, 2002). In F-Zero X (1998), the track was renamed “Decide in the Eyes.” F-Zero GX has a great guitar cover of this as well, but it’s a little slower paced, even if it has a great grunge feel to it.

Actually, the original version of this song, being a first-gen SNES title, F-Zero (1990), is pretty heavy on the midi. (It’s been about ten years since I heard the original version, so I was pretty shocked!). Great use of midi brass, strings, bells, and drums (especially the drums!), but I don’t think it’s going to win any awards by today’s standards. So I can’t say the soundtrack has aged very well, but the original compositions still hold their own, attesting to the popularity of the franchise. The piece was originally composed by Yumiko Kanki (or Kameya/Kamitani depending on who you ask) and Naoto Ishida. Neither seem to have worked on many other games, though Naoto Ishida is credited with working on F-Zero Maximum Velocity (GBA, 2001).

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