The Man Behind the Music

The Man Behind the Music

Koji Kondo

Whenever an iconic song such as "Hey Jude" or "Don't Stop Believin'" is heard, most people can immediately recognize that The Beatles and Journey are behind it, respectively. In the rich, organic, and evolving world that is video game music, by far the most recognizable tunes stem from the Super Mario Bros. series.

For many of us, this music and all the other iconic themes of Nintendo form the soundtrack of our childhoods, and for some of us, our adulthoods as well. Among gamers, Koji Kondo is known as the man behind this music, but popular name recognition has unfortunately evaded him.

Using the extremely limited hardware of the NES, Koji Kondo was able to create a very iconic theme that would be covered, recreated, and eventually even orchestrated for nearly 30 years. But his iconic music didn't stop with Mario. He would soon create the theme for another iconic Nintendo mascot.

How many of you could possibly imagine running around Hyrule as the legendary hero Link with different music? The music is one of the gorgeous elements of the Legend of Zelda series that many of us look forward to hearing each time a new game is released. The music allows players to connect with the game on a deeper level, and it helps establish purpose in the quest.

And this is just the very tiny tip of the iceberg that is Koji Kondo's career. He has written the soundtrack of Nintendo as a company, and for that, we should all thank him for the contributions that he has made to the industry. So many composers have tried to emulate the catchy and recognizable tunes that he has created. For 30 years, he has made the music that will forever play in the background of our lives.

Which Koji Kondo themes are your favorites?

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Zach Gibson

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56 posts

Rob Jones said:

With such a large body of great work, it's hard to pick just one. But I'm going for some Delfino Plaza (Super Mario Sunshine), it cheers me up :)

4 months ago

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Zach Gibson said:

Such a great choice. Ironically enough, I am literally in the middle of replaying Super Mario Sunshine as I type this. His music in Sunshine is almost like a vacation. So relaxing.

4 months ago

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56 posts

Rob Jones said:

Like a vacation, that's an excellent description of the game!

4 months ago

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Zach Gibson said:

It's such an excellent contrast to his score in Super Mario Galaxy. The music was heavily orchestrated and quite bombastic. It added to the cosmic feel of the game.

4 months ago

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