Super Smash Bros. Melee – “Menu 1” (Hirokazu Ando)September 9, 2010
Super Smash Bros. is a pretty amazing series, combining characters from all of Nintendo’s games into one where they fight each other to the finish. It’s always satisfying to smash an annoying green dinosaur with a 10-ton pink weight or send a plumber packing with a few swipes of the Master Sword. Nintendo pulled all the stops with nostalgia – and if there’s one thing Nintendo is good at, it’s selling nostalgia – and tops it off with some outstanding gameplay and plenty of humor. The best in the series in my eye still stands as Super Smash Bros. Melee (2002) due to its variation in the battle modes and an engaging story mode (though unfortunately not as well-developed as it was in Brawl). The game’s Main Theme stands out as one of the original pieces composed for the title, my favorite version seen here in “Menu 1,” the main menu theme.
The main theme is a heroic orchestral piece with noble strings, driving drums, bold trumpets, and even a few bells for emphasis. The notes are high and active, giving the player a call to action, fierce battles, and amazing rewards. At only 49 seconds in length, or about the length of an NES song, the piece doesn’t need to be longer, as the menu is designed to get players out of the menu and into battle mode as soon as possible. It’s a pretty fun little track that sees multiple variations in the various battle and boss themes added to the game.
The soundtrack was directed by Hirokazu Ando, who has worked on much of HAL’s soundtracks, particularly the Kirby series.