Super Mario RPG Original Sound Version
Super Mario RPG Original Sound Version
March 25, 1996
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Super Mario RPG was the last game released by Square Enix for the Super Nintendo. It needed to be perfect, giving us a lasting memory of what Square Enix has done for helping out Nintendo. Since Super Mario RPG was a team effort between Square and Nintendo, the music also got a team effort from both Nintendo and Square’s finest composer(s). The core of the work (at least 80% in total) went to the creative Yoko Shimomura, who has created the scores to Live A Live, Front Mission, and Kingdom Hearts. In addition, Nobuo Uematsu, famous for his work on the Final Fantasy series, remixed three famous Final Fantasy IV tunes. In addition, the Nintendo composer none other than Koji Kondo, known for the Mario and Legend of Zelda scores, remixed classic Mario tunes for the album. The result: a perfect blend of happy and bouncy tunes, with still some excellent battle music, which Shimomura did on her own.
Disc One is generally very upbeat and bouncy. It starts out with the amazing “Happy Adventure, Delightful Adventure,” a nice remix of several tunes from the game, which is played in the intro of the game. “Fight Against Koopa” is a very neat remix of the Super Mario Bros. 3 battle theme used when you fight Bowser. This has certainly brought back the many memories while playing Super Mario Bros. 3 back in my younger years. The next track which got my attention was “The Sword Descends and the Stars Scatter.” The organ is easily recognisable here, an instrument Shimomura used extensively in Live A Live. “The Road is Full of Dangers” is a happy bouncy tune, since the area qualifies as a dungeon, it sounds out of place. However, since Super Mario RPG is light-hearted, this sets the mood just fine.
The first proper battle theme, “Fight Against Monsters,” is simply perfect — neither repetitive, nor annoying, unlike some of Uematsu’s later battle tracks. The victory theme, “Victory!!,” is also a nice touch. “Hello, Happy Kingdom” is the theme for the Mushroom Kingdom and it’s simply full of uh. happiness! It easily conveys the peaceful life of its people. “The Road is Still Full of Dangers” is bit more of an epic dungeon theme than the first. It was first played in the Theive’s Pass where Mario and Mallow chase down Croco. “Invincible Star” is that little piece of music that plays when you get a Starman, which renders Mario Invincible, and here we get a nice remix of it. Kondo never fails to amaze me! Then comes the standard boss theme, “Fight Against a Somewhat Stronger Monster.” It’s simply a great upbeat track and gives a hint of danger as you fight the normal bosses. Let us move on to the major boss theme, “Fight Against An Armed Boss.” It’s another winner battle track and it sounds more epic than the first. It is reserved especially for Kajidoh’s Gang Members.
“The Dungeon is Full of Monsters” is simply perfect — the organ gives out a feeling of hostility and is just plain creepy. “Let’s Play ‘Geno'” is a remix of the first variation of level music in Super Mario World. I just love this arrangement. Ahhh, the Maze Forest, I’ll always remember that place. The music for it, “Beware of the Forest’s Mushrooms,” is one of the things that really got me hooked on the game — I simply found that theme so beautiful. “From Inside the Earthen Pipe” is actually a remix of the underground music in Super Mario Bros (Everyone remembers that, right?) and what a remix it is — I just love the echo added to it. Another track that really got my attention is “Welcome to Booster’s Tower,” as it gives the feeling of the party struggling through the tower to save Toadstool from the somewhat retarded Booster. “Long Long Ago…” is another little gem. It is simply the old stage music from Super Mario Bros., but, boy does it ever bring back those memories!
The beginning of Disc Two isn’t too impressive until we get to track five, “Sunken Ship.” It’s a great ambient track, which serves as the theme for the sunken ship all too well, plus it has those cracking sounds now and then, which make it sound even more realistic. One of the last town themes in the game, “My Paradise -Monstro Town-,” just fits the surroundings of Monstro Town perfectly with its smooth melody. Then comes three special tracks from Nobuo Uematsu: “Fight against Culex” is simply a marvelous remix of the Final Fantasy IV “Fight 2” battle track and gives off a dramatic feel while fighting the mighty Culex and his Crystals. If you should win against Culex, you’ll get two other treats — a remix of the good old Final Fantasy “Victory Fanfare,” which appears in “Victory Over Culex,” as well a remix of the Final Fantasy “Prelude,” which appears in “Conversation with Culex.”
We then move on to “Let’s do the Fooka-Fooka! (Fluff Fluff),” which is the theme for Nimbus Land, Mallow’s hometown. It’s got a nice and catchy (and not to mention boucy) melody that simply latches on to you and doesn’t let go. “Margarie Margarita,” which I believe is Queen Valentina’s Theme, is simply weird — those ‘laughs’ in the background give off the weird feel. Nothing more comes to mind about this track. The next track, “Dodo’s Coming!!,” is a winner in the most hilarious track competition. It is easy to see how DUMB Dodo is by listening to this track — it simply screams “Duuuuuhhhhhh!!!” Another old remix is “The Axem Rangers Drop In” (yes, a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers rip-off!). Anyway, it’s another remix of the Super Mario Bros. underground theme; it’s only more fast paced than the other one.
Now we come to the final dungeon, the “Weapons Factory.” It sounds a lot like it was influenced by “Devil’s Lab” from Final Fantasy VI, as it sounds mechanical, and, of course, is just right for the type of area the party is venturing into in search of Kajidoh. When they find him, it’s a decisive battle indeed. The final boss themes start with “Fight Against Kajidoh.” It starts with an eerie organ, followed by drums, folowed by more organ, and the the main theme builds up. It’s a very memorable theme, as well as an appropriate way to end the Super Mario RPG adventure. Once the first form bites the dust, Kajidoh reveals his true form. “Fight Against Kajidoh, Who Likes Transforming” simply brings a more interesting beat and it keeps your attention while struggling against Kajidoh for the final time. After that, it’s the ending themes of course. “Happy Parade, Delightful Parade/And the Parade Draws to a Close…” is crafted the same way “Live For Live” was in Live A Live. It starts out peacefully and happy, then it incorporates several themes from the game, making it an all enjoyable ending theme.
Well, now that the review is over, I must break your heart by telling you some terrible news: the Super Mario RPG Original Sound Version has fallen out of print for some time now and is very difficult to find. I’d say eBay is the only place to even bother searching for it. Even if you end up shelling over $100 for this 2 CD Set, I assure you that it will be worth it, as this priceless gem is something you’ll want to keep for years to come.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Luc Nadeau. Last modified on August 1, 2012.