Koji Kondo recently gave an interview with IGN in which he discussed his long career with Nintendo. Kondo started by discussing how he got started with Nintendo and how things have changed over the years. In the process, he also provided some interesting trivia about some of the music throughout the years.
Some of Nintendo’s music has had interesting origins. First, Kondo explained that the Star Fox 64 music was inspired by the Thunderbirds television show. He also stated that African music influenced the rhythm of Yoshi’s Island. For those who know music, did you know that the “Underground Theme” from Super Mario Bros. switches between 4/4 and 3/4 meters? This allowed the music to be arrhythmic, providing a creepy feeling when players went underground. In later Mario titles, however, the music was rearranged in 4/4.
Lastly, Kondo discussed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and how carefully the team worked to balance the gameplay with the music. In the original, the music was finely balanced with the gameplay through the tempo. When remaking the title on 3DS, Kondo said that he was worried that the increased processing power of the system wold cause that balance to go out of whack. Kondo’s request of the development team was that they paid careful attention to the music and its interaction with the game, noting that “music is about not just what’s playing, but when it’s not playing.”