Composer David Wise says Nintendo allows for 'freedom and creative expression' in game music

Wise words

If you're a Nintendo fan, you've no doubt heard the music of David Wise. While Wise never worked at Nintendo, he did provide soundtracks for some of their biggest franchises, including Donkey Kong Country.

In a ComicBook.com interview with Wise, we get to just how free he was to create the music he wanted to for projects like Donkey Kong Country.

There is always welcome guidance from Nintendo. There is also a huge amount of freedom and creative expression. I have consistently found that Nintendo are very happy to let creativity breathe and flourish, especially for first drafts, and then possibly suggest changes or give ideas to reflect the development of the rest of the game.

Along with that, Wise was asked if he'd like to compose for the Donkey Kong Country series again, if a new installment came along. Wise's answer should surprise no one!

I’d obviously be delighted to be involved again if ever the opportunity were to come up in the future.

Nintendo releases Donkey Kong Country "Classified Information" trailer with tips, tricks, and secrets

Did you know?

Top Secret! This Donkey Kong Country - Classified Information video unveils secrets to get extra lives, go beyond 100% completion, and more!

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Steve Wiebe breaks 1.1 million mark in Donkey Kong, setting a new personal record

The comeback tour

Just recently, Steve Wiebe, star of The King of Kong documentary, announced that he was returning to the competitive Donkey Kong scene. Just weeks into his return, Wiebe has already set a personal best.

Steve Wiebe's new best score is a 1,106,200, easily topping his previous best of 1,064,500 set in 2010. Robbie Lakeman holds the world record at 1,260,700, so Wiebe has some work to do. Wiebe shared some words on his new score milestone, which you can read below.

I'm a ways away from any world record on Donkey Kong, but it sure felt good to cross the 1.1M mark. I was just doing a practice game before I was going to stream, and I had a good run for 1,106,200. I should be streaming everyday for the summer and hopefully, I can hit my next milestone of 1.15M soon.

Guinness World Records reinstates Billy Mitchell's scores, unanimously decided

Back in 2017, the first concrete information about the video game cheating of Billy Mitchell was unearthed. It came to light that Mitchell used MAME emulation hardware and used Twin Galaxies referees to put in unlawful scores. In 2018, Guinness World Records decided to pull the highscores, stating the following: ''The Guinness World Records titles relating to Mr. Mitchell's highest scores on Donkey Kong have all been disqualified due to Twin Galaxies being our source of verification for these achievements. Twin Galaxies was the original source of verification for these record titles and in line with their decision to remove all of Mr. Mitchell's records from their system, we have disqualified Mr. Mitchell as the holder of these two records.''

Now, somewhat more than two years later, GWR changed their mind in light of new evidence. Their statement:

In the light of compelling new evidence received by Guinness World Records, the Records Management Team has unanimously decided to reverse decisions made in April 2018 in regards to videogame high scores achieved by Billy Mitchell between 1982 and 2010.

As of 10 June 2020, the following historical records for the arcade platform have been reinstated:

3 July 1999 - First Perfect Score on PAC-Man – 3,333,360 Points
7 November 1982 – Highest score on Donkey Kong – 874,300 Points
4 June 2005 – Highest score on Donkey Kong – 1,047,200 Points
14 July 2007 – Highest score on Donkey Kong – 1,050,200 Points
31 July 2010 – Highest score on Donkey Kong – 1,062,800 Points

This reinstatement also re-recognizes Mr Mitchell as the first gamer to reach the kill screen on Donkey Kong (7 November 1982) and first gamer to score 1 million points on Donkey Kong (4 June 2005).

Guinness World Records is always open to accepting new evidence for historical achievements, and to reviewing new and existing evidence for disputed titles.

In this case, a re-examination of the records in question and the emergence of key eyewitness and expert testimonials led to a reversal of earlier disqualifications and the reinstating of Mr Mitchell’s original records. The records archive has been updated accordingly to reflect this.

Mitchell must be rather thrilled to those scores back, though we must question the ''key eyewitness and expert testimonails'' used to revert this decision. GWR isn't willing to share any significant details about the ordeal, which is fishy at the very least. We can only guess at what happened here.

Donkey Kong has a new high score recorder holder

The new king of Kong

Just a couple weeks back, Steve Wiebe said he was ready to dive back into the Donkey Kong competitive scene to see if he could still hang with today's players. Now he's got a new king to dethrone.

Robbie Lakeman has managed to snag the new top score for Donkey Kong, racking up 1,260,700 points. He has taken the top spot from John McCurdy, who snagged the #1 position with a score of 1,259,000. Looks like there's still plenty of room for newcomers to squeak out a first place victory, but it's not going to be easy!

Heavy metal band "Alestorm" sneaks multiple Donkey Kong Country references into their latest album art

Looks like I've got a new favorite band

Alestorm is a heavy metal band from Scotland that uses a pirate theme in a lot of their music. It also seems the band is quite fond of the Donkey Kong Country series.

The band just released their latest album, Curse of the Crystal Coconut, back on May 29th, 2020. A quick glance at the cover makes it seem like any other pirate-themed artwork, with perhaps a nod to the Pirates of the Caribbean. When you take a deeper look, you see all kinds of Donkey Kong Country references in the artwork.

Scattered along the left-hand side of the art is a banana peel, a Donkey Kong skeleton, multiple Kremlings, a TNT barrel, and even a DK Coin floating in the background. These guys definitely love their Donkey Kong Country!

Thanks to 1_21_gigawatts for the heads up!

Steve Wiebe, the original King of Kong, is returning to the competitive scene

Return of the king

Steve Wiebe used to be at the top of the Donkey Kong competitive scene. He was the first person recognized as reaching a score of over a million points in the game, became the star of The King of Kong documentary, and forever cemented himself as a part of pop culture history.

Wiebe kept at the game for a few more years, but he lost his world record quite awhile back. The record now belongs to John McCurdy, who racked up 1,259,000 point. Wiebe hasn't been a part of the competitive scene for quite some time, but he's officially announced a return.

After a 10 year hiatus of chasing world records on Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr, it seemed only fitting to get back into the swing of things during all of this madness. Thank you to Jace Hall for reaching out and welcoming me back into the fold. I don't know what will come of it, but might as well see what I've got left in the tank. I'll try to get streaming up and running at some point, but for now I'll just be recording practice runs on Donkey Kong. I hope to get a few games of DK Junior in after I've accomplished my DK goals. Good luck to everyone in their video gaming pursuits.

It'll be interesting to see if Wiebe can still hang in today's competitive scene. It would be great to see him climb to the top once again, and could definitely lead to a whole new wave of popularity. Who knows, maybe another documentary will come about as well!

Fan tackles an HD remake of a level from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in stunning fashion

Do this, Nintendo!

While it took Nintendo quite some time, they did eventually return to the Donkey Kong Country series with Retro at their side. The pairing proved to be quite successful, spawning two more amazing entries in the series.

With that said, most Nintendo fans still have a special place in their hearts for the Nintendo/RARE Donkey Kong Country series. It's very clear that BlobVanDam does, as he set out to recreate one of the stages from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in HD. The end result is something that will make just about every DKC fan beg Nintendo to actually move ahead with something like this!

Nintendo welcomes Dixie Kong to Mario Kart Tour with a special trailer

Welcome, Dixie!

Dixie Kong is making her playable debut in the Mario Kart series with Mario Kart Tour, and Nintendo thought that was worthy of a celebration. That's why they put together a trailer to showcase just how Dixie got her start, and also show off some of her Mario Kart Tour action. Check out the special trailer above!

David Wise and Grant Kirkhope look back on creating tunes for Nintendo's classic hardware

Two all-time greats

While David Wise and Grant Kirkhope may not be Nintendo employees, many fans would consider them honorary members. Both men are responsible for some of the greatest soundtracks in Nintendo's history, and certainly scored countless tunes for Nintendo's characters and RARE's IPs as well.

Both Wise and Kirkhope have a long history with Nintendo's platforms, and have been composing tunes for Nintendo fans since the NES/Game Boy days. In an interview with USGamer, both men talk about some of their work on classic RARE/Nintendo titles. Wise started by looking back on his SNES work with Donkey Kong Country, and how it was challenging to recreate that sound/vibe for his Tropical Freeze tributes.

Wise: "When we hear music today, we expect a certain level of production and polish. Although the architecture of the SNES only had eight voices and 64 KB of sample memory, it took a whole lot of processing and mixing to get the Tropical Freeze covers to sound reminiscent of the SNES sound chip."

Wise also talked a bit about composing for the N64. While the console couldn't reproduce Playstation-level quality, Wise said the system had one ace up its sleeve.

"With the N64 having MIDI, it meant that we could have dynamic responsive scores that react to the gameplay environments. Even though our competitors could use a CD, it was a fixed track and had limited scope for reactive music."

Kirkhope chimed in on his classic work as well, talking about how important it was to create strong melodies.

"You had to try your best to write a good melody and set of chords, as most of the time that was the best you could do. Rare were huge Nintendo fans, so I was constantly being reminded as to how good the Nintendo OSTs were."

There's a lot more in the full interview from both men, so make sure to give it a read here.


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