Koji Kondo reveals how he came up with Mario's iconic theme

Can you name a more iconic gaming tune?

05 November 2023
by rawmeatcowboy 1

There are countless tunes from games that are absolutely amazing and remembered by millions around the world, but none of them come close in notoriety to the Super Mario Bros. theme. Not only did Super Mario Bros. put Nintendo on the map like never before, it also gave Mario an iconic theme song that is still iterated upon to this day.

There may be no other song in the world of videogames that’s more well-known than the Super Mario Bros. theme, and that reach only continues to grow multiple decades after it was composed. Just how in the world did such an incredible song come to be? Legendary Nintendo composer Koji Kondo has shed some light on that.

In a new interview with NHK, Kondo has offered up some new insight into how he arrived at the now-classic Super Mario Bros. theme. Turns out the first song he came up with ended up getting the axe, which paved the way for the tune we all know and love.

The blue sky and green plains left the strongest impression, so I composed a track that felt like a gentle, relaxing stroll under the sun, but then I saw Mario run and jump around, so the rhythm of that song didn’t really match. The first track was scrapped, and the next one I composed was the one we have now.

…There’s a certain rhythm that perfectly matches the physical feeling of running or jumping, so I tried to capture that and turn it into a melody.

… I didn’t make it with any genre in mind. A lot of people said it sounds like Latin, or like jazz, but I said, “No, it’s game music”, not fitting into any genre, created to match a game.

[Koji Kondo]

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Now I want to hear the song that got cut!


9M ago

Now I want to hear the song that got cut!