Author Topic: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic  (Read 2753 times)

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Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Hey everyone, I was given the opportunity to help contribute to this project so hopefully this goes well =]




In this thread we will be looking at two of the biggest franchises in video game history and how their soundtracks were implemented into Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. Their main characters were initially seen as two competing mascots for their companies; Nintendo and Sega respectively, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the first large consoled Nintendo exclusive game to feature Sonic as a playable character (following the Nintendo-Sega crossover Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and the various appearances on Gameboy Advance and DS), thus helping to solidify the ending of the massive rivalry between the two franchises in the 1990s. With the huge impact that both of these game franchises have had over the years it is only right to consider their themes; the impact of those themes in their own games and in Brawl itself.



Super Mario


The Super Mario video game series is the highest selling in history having spanned over nearly 30 years now. Some of the major titles in this franchise include Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy; the list goes on. The franchise helped Nintendo to branch further out games, including the game in question. Some of the music implemented in the games over the years became iconic to the point that the majority would recognise some of them.

That's enough of an introduction and let's get into the thick of it!



Mushroomy Kingdom


In every Super Smash Bros. game there has always been a Mushroom Kingdom based level and Brawl is no different; however it became more true to the World 1-1 in the original Super Mario Bros. in this game. The landscape has become baron and represented the time that had passed since the original game's release. This main soundtrack to this stage also replicates this advancement of time by being a remixed version of the iconic music of all the land levels. Whilst the original represented the theme of its game well by having a feeling of 'optimism ahead of the journey' about it, the updated version, whilst retaining the melody, fits the design of the level a lot more, as well as feeling up-to-date alongside all of the modern soundtracks in the newer Super Mario games. A second remixed version is also available for the stage and stays truer to the original, with an array of sounds used to almost fit the battling aspect of it, especially with the guitars that come in.


There is also an opportunity with this stage to have World 1-2 to appear as a battlefield. With this, we all get updated versions of the original Underground and Underwater themes. The new Underground theme is very-cave like whilst also lucious in sound, almost feeling like as the battle and stage moves on (due to the motion within the level) the more adventure there is, it's a progression in the music which works in its favour, whilst again not feeling distant from the original. The new Underwater theme actually opens up with the original 16-bit track before exploding into an array of grandure, perhaps more suiting to an area more beautiful, like a castle on top of the ocean, until it progresses more into a subtle hint of darkness before something which could possibly be an ode to Duck Dynasty? I dunno, it feels manic enough to fit a fighting game, especially if items are heavily used, but it does have a bit of a confusing element to it as well.

There's also the Underground Theme from Super Mario Land in the underground Mushroomy Kingdom as well as the Gritzy Desert Theme from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Crime in the ground version; both of these fit the landscape of the level very well.

Overall, due to the scrolling nature of the level and the atmosphere created through the tracks on each, I personally found both the stages to be very enjoyable from a casual perspective, despite the frustrating nature of getting trapped and losing a life because of said scrolling nature. In terms of design the scrolling nature works in its favour though.

Mario Circuit


Like Mushroomy Kingdom, there has always been some form of Mario Circuit level in a Super Smash Bros. game with modifications in each. Of course, this is due to the popularity of the Mario Kart series. Another similarity is the reworking of a track; in this case it is the main Mario Circuit theme from Super Mario Kart. The original in all of it's 16-bit glory was an intense sounding track that felt so fitting for a race track, especially during the last lap where it would speed up (a trademark of Super Mario games; in particular it felt more dramatic in this circumstance because it felt like everything was on the line to try and win). Again, the revamped version feels classy and luscious, definitely fitting the modern Nintendo sound whilst having that same melody to replicate a nostalgic feeling to it. We've also got a version of Rainbow Road from Mario Kart: Double Dash; Rainbow Road is considered to be one of the most challenging tracks across the Mario Kart games and has an importance to it which is why one of those themes was picked. If I were to guess why this one in particular was picked I would presume it was due to how well it sounds alongside the rest of the tracks for this stage; it sounds grand but intense due to the drums and the keys that come in.

As well as these, there's a remixed version of Luigi's Circuit, Waluigi's Pinball, Mario Tennis / Golf themes among others. These fit a similar soundscape due to the drum beats and the added effects that come through as the music progresses. I feel like there is a nice intensity created through the music and the theme and whilst the incoming cars can be frustrating it does make it a good level all around. It seems at this point frustrating goes hand in hand with Mario, hopefully this changes as we go on!

Delfino Plaza


Based on the location from Super Mario Sunshine, Delfino Plaza (over all of its appearances in the game series) has become a welcomed inclusion due to its vibrant look and holiday aura, which I think made it such a good place in Sunshine alongside the storyline implemented. Super Mario Sunshine (alongside 64) is one of the games I would love to go back and play again, but that is not why we are here. Instead, we're looking at the music implemented and the main theme is nothing short of sensational. It typifies the location so well, the opening sound feels like you're venturing onto a holiday destination before the keys come in which are so addictive. You get what seem to be guitar strings and an accordian that come in and sound so inviting and gorgeous. In tandem with the design of the level it becomes a work of beauty which makes the stage so enjoyable to play.

There's also another reworked track; in this case it is the Overworld Theme from New Super Mario Bros.. This remix has the guitar from the original which fits the dynamic of Delfino Plaza whilst having elements added to it to make it feel more vibrant. The main theme from Super Mario 64 is also used for this theme, the melody and the horns in this track make it fit in so well without need for change, especially as the drums are so light.

As well as these, the stage has the Title / Ending Theme from Super Mario World and Ricco Harbor, also from Super Mario Galaxy. There is definitely a lovely vibe and nostalgic quality to this level, both in scenery and in sounds. However, an argument could be made that it does not really have the right intensity for a fighting game but I guess that is down to personal preference.

The level as a whole is extremely enjoyable, even though falling off of the platform can be easily done if you are not careful. The way it circles around the area with the music makes it almost picturesque with all the design, it is somewhat of a shame you have to fight on it!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 19:51 by KEROU »

Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 12:54 »
Luigi's Mansion


Ahh, Luigi's home stage. Based on the Gamecube game, the stage has a lot of elements to it (including the mansion collapsing) to make it an interesting experience. Like the previous stages, this too featured a reworked piece as the main theme; however, in this circumstance the music itself was not revamped but more altered to specifically fit the game. The original theme played more into the Luigi character in the game; how he was scared but knew he had to do a 'job' whereas the reworked version sounds much more intense, dark and battle orientated. I think this makes it one of my favourite songs in the soundtrack because it stays true to the original yet sounds so great for the game and the battle ahead, especially with how the haunted organ and vocals are used after the build up of the music before hand.

The next track is a mashup and revamp of the Castle and Fortress themes from Super Mario World. This new theme keeps the intesity from the original songs (I mean, going into the castles back in those days felt so fierce and important, like you had to plough through it because everything was at stake) and adds a modern twist to it; it fits the stage well with that dark and dramatic feeling . As the song progresses it feels more frantic to suit the battle. There's also a modernised version of the Airship Theme from Super Mario Bros. 3; in this version it has the same opening melody but the revamp works completely in its favour, it now feels stronger and tension building, again fitting the dark landscape of the stage and the fighting aspect.

As well as this, there are two reworked Tetris themes; A and B. A in particular fits the cohesive sound over these levels, for me B seems somewhat out of place, despite how good of a homage to Tetris' Russian roots it is.

The stage itself is one of my favourites due to its unique walls and change as it goes on, especially with the atmosphere building as these songs progress. Whilst the Tetris B theme is not bad as a piece of music it kind of lets down the consistency created through the other themes. However, that would not stop me playing this stage.

Mario Bros.


This level is a recreation of the arcade name of the same name and due to this, the main theme used begins with the same  Game Start as in the original, before more modern sounds kick in, as well as Mozart later on (I guess that's pre-modernism? I dunno). All of the songs on this stage are derived from at least one NES game for consistency reasons as well as to represent the backdrop so well.

I won't be going into much more detail with this stage, due to it being R.O.B.'s home stage rather than a Super Mario stage per sé due to the character not having a stage from his game series. However, I felt like it should at least be mentioned and recognised due to its relation to the Super Mario series. As a level the lack of clean killing spots make it very frustrating, despite its nostalgic design.

Rainbow Cruise (Melee Stage)


This stage was taken from Super Smash Bros. Melee and features songs taken from them, including; Rainbow Cruise and Princess Peach's Castle. The former fits the level perfectly, those who played Melee will have strong memories of this level and them in tandem so I can understand why it was brought over to Brawl. The latter is an interesting choice, I guess in an attempt to solidify it more as a Peach level? Either way, it has that joyful sound from the keys with an underlying bass (which almost sounds like the traditional Underground theme in World 1-2), so there is a nice consistency there with both tracks with a background of doubt.

However, as a level I really did not like it in Melee due to the constant motion and how easy it was to make a mistake and fall off. I did prefer it in Brawl, I think that was due to the fact that as a kid I was much more reckless with this style of game, whoops. I do not have any complaints with the songs, they are solid. In terms of level selection, I think I probably would have preferred Peach's Castle to be brought over though.

Others

Whilst I am not going to indepth with these, there are two more Mario Universe stages in the game. These are WarioWare, Inc. and Yoshi's Island; I have linked the main themes for each level. The former is a very clever stage with side parts to it to feel more than just a fighting game, and the music fits the dynamic very well. The latter is a Melee classic, again the songs fit the stage well with an uplifting aura about it, although the stage itself is hugely frustrating with those collapsing blocks despite the scenery. Only going brief here but I did think they deserved at least acknowledgement due to the links they have.

Conclusion

So that is the Mario Universe covered, there's such a diverse array of sounds throughout, each attempting to enhance the experience of their respective stages. Personally, my favourite ones are Delfino Plaza and Luigi's Mansion, both as a stage and their actual music (despite Delfino Plaza's music not really best suited to fighting imo, the songs are still luscious though). Overall though, it is a great representation of the Mario Universe, especially as it is Nintendo's flagship franchise! =]

Time to move on now to its former arch-nemesis...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 19:50 by KEROU »

Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 12:55 »
Sonic


Ahh, Sonic the Hedgehog. The Sega mascot. My childhood. The earlier games that were released over my childhood (and before) have such a nostalgic feel to me. Like Mario, Sonic was scattered around all over the place in the early to middle '90s as rivals and now both of them are working together, how times have changed. Similarities were shared; how iconic the music became, as well as the games themselves. Back then, it was (S)NES or Mega Drive / Genesis to choose from and ultimately, Mario or Sonic. Extremely influential and still a prominent figure within the gaming industry, Sonic will always be one of my absolute favourites.

Let's get to it!



Green Hill Zone


Whilst there are many Mario Universe stages implemented we only have one stage from the Sonic Universe, and that is a twist on the iconic Green Hill Zone (which is unlocked when Sonic the character is unlocked; it is also interesting to note that the stage is based on the version in Sonic Adventure 2, only brightened for a more polished look). However, there is not a shortage of songs so I will go into a handful of them. Three of the tracks on here are not edited in any way from their 16-bit roots to give it a nostalgic feel alongside the modernised version of the stage.

Like with Mario, we will begin with Sonic's trademark song, Green Hill Zone, the first level in Sonic the Hedgehog. With no edits, this track just screams memories which is sure to delight any Sonic fans playing this stage. The sound fits the landscape perfectly, as it did in the past, although a case for the song used for Green Hill in Sonic Adventure 2 can be made due to its cleaned up sound to match the clean up look of the stage. Personally though, I won't complain, again due to the nostalgic feel it provides.

Also taken from Sonic the Hedgehog is the theme from Scrap Brain Zone, which is the penultimate stage in the game. It has a feeling of drama mixed with a feeling of optimism, it feels like you are near the end of your journey and whilst it feels a bit too mechanical in atmosphere it fits the battling aspect very well.

Next, we journey into Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with the Emerald Hill Zone theme. This level served as the sequel's Green Hill Zone; it feels a bit more polished as a track than its precursor yet still fits the grassy landscape in front of us (mainly due to the similarities in the levels) and whilst the former is more iconic, this is still a memorable and great track, and for me at least, more nostalgic due to playing 2 more than 1, but I guess that's more of a personal thing.

The final song taken from a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis game is the only reworked song is the Angel Hill Zone Act 1 theme. This is the first stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 3; the original provides a similar vibe from the first two openers but this one almost feels more tropical as the landscape is different. The remixed version is handled by Jun Senoue and his band Crush 40, who have served as Sonic musicians since the Dreamcast days. This remix would not feel out of place in any of those games due to the use of guitar in the forefront, whilst the melody and a few of the old sounds keep it true to the original.

It is interesting to note that the bolded letters in the links has significance due to re-ordering these letters to spell “SEGA”, a nice homage to their parent company to help justify these selections in particular (as well as how well they sound with the stage).

Next we move onto the first original piece by Crush 40; Open Your Heart, the main theme from the Dreamcast classic Sonic Adventure. This is used on multiple occasions throughout the game, both as an instrumental piece (bits cut out for certain uses), a credit piece and as part of the final boss. The song is again heavy on guitar with the singing fitting a fierce atmosphere provided. It is a welcomed inclusion onto the game due to its importance to the original game and the vibe it provides for battle.

The sequel, Sonic Adventure 2 (and the Gamecube port with the DLC added, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle) also has its main theme added into the game; Live and Learn. It too is used in a similar manner as Open Your Heart; the instrumental is used in the Main Menu and the full theme is used as the final boss music. It is a similar sounding song with the same ideas put into it, matching the intesity and memories to it. Whilst there are songs I would have liked to have seen from these two games added into the game I can understand why these two were chosen and I have no qualms with their use.

The final song I will go indepth about is HIS WORLD (instrumental) from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The game itself was very disappointing (despite the huge potential, personally as a design point it was great) and whilst this was the main theme for it, using the instrumental rather than the full track works in its favour; the lyrics and singing felt out of place (especially due to no contribution by Crush 40 or Jun Senoue individually), yet the instrumental still feels so powerful and frantic, fitting Brawl extremely well.

Other tracks used in the game are Sonic Boom from Sonic CD, Super Sonic Racing from Sonic R, Sonic Heroes from Sonic HeroesRight Here, Ride On from Sonic Rush and Seven Rings In His Hand from Sonic and the Secret Rings which represent their games well and help round off a solid selection of songs cover the major games that had been released before Brawl's release. I think in terms of sound to game, the only one that feels somewhat out of place is Sonic Boom, it does not sound quite impactful enough from a nostaglic view or intense enough to work in a battling environment.

The stage itself, despite being so nostaglic, felt slightly underwhelming. This was due to the ability to camp by the checkpoint which would be so annoying and the fact you could essentially walk along the sides to lose a life (or get thrown off there if someone is good enough and can camp there) made it not necessarily flow so well as a fight, despite it making sense with the Sonic character and the stage from a historical sense. That being said, it did not stop me using it due to the nostalgia behind it and how we finally got Sonic in a Smash game.

Conclusion

I was really happy to see Sonic finally implemented into a Super Smash Bros. game and with all the songs provided, in a general sense I was very much satisfied with this inclusion. There were flaws from a battling sense but from a nostalgia perspective it was fantastic and whilst it would not be the stage people would be rushing to play it was enough to add another layer to the game, with the iconic tracks helping to emphasis that. Whilst there are some low key picks I would have loved to have heard whilst playing, the ones chosen were more sensible picks.



So there we have it, two massive franchises in one huge game. There was a brilliant blend of design and revamping to make the stages look glorious and fit in with a modern Nintendo. The music helped enhance that experience and design; a mixture of remixing and nostalgia helped shape a wonderful atmosphere for the game that would satisfy a lot of fans.


But what do you think? Happy with the themes and how they fit onto Brawl? Did any of these end up becoming your favourite(s)? Please, post your thoughts and changes / remixes you would have liked to have seen or maybe not have =]
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 19:49 by KEROU »

Offline Delicious_Scout

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 17:47 »
You forgot to add a little yet significant detail related to "Sonic" (1) soundtrack: most people will remember hearing this music like that… and most Europeans feel that they were either too slow or the tracks have been sped up.

Due to the difference in Hz in PAL (50 Hz) and NTSC (60 Hz), all games released in PAL were slower. In order to fix that, SEGA sped up the PAL (European, for that matter) version so that it has a feeling of speed. However, guess what game missed the fix: "Sonic" (1).

For example, compare the "regular" version and the European one. The difference is notable!
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Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 19:10 »
Due to this not being a factor for Brawl I didn't think it was necessary to go into that, but thanks for the input, it's a nice smidgen of knowledge for those that didn't know about it =]

Offline Lord Raven

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 02:28 »
I think all European re-releases had the regular track on it

Couple of notes

- Very well written I might ask you to do stuff for me in the future
- Underground theme is groovy as hell
- Gritzy Desert is my favorite track to play on Mushroomy Kingdom because I'm just astonished by a Mario song that manages to be ambient.  I'm generally not big on Mario classics music because I think it's all bland, though, but this one caught me by surprise.
- Mario Tennis/Golf is a little more exciting than I thought it would be
- The original luigi's mansion theme is hilarious
- The Melee Rainbow cruise theme is quite elegant
- Yoshi's Island theme in Brawl is actually really cool, I don't think it makes a comeback in the new Smash game

As for Sonic, the only music from Brawl sonic I really liked off the top of my head were Green Hill Zone and His World (the original vocal version).  Scrap Brain Zone is good stuff though, and I forgot how cool Angel Island Zone was in Brawl now that I've listened to it.

You forgot to include the fact that Sonic & Tails were playable in Melee.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 03:00 by Lord Raven »
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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 20:09 »
^Wait? They were? I never heard about that.
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Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 22:19 »
I think all European re-releases had the regular track on it

Couple of notes

- Very well written I might ask you to do stuff for me in the future
- Underground theme is groovy as hell
- Gritzy Desert is my favorite track to play on Mushroomy Kingdom because I'm just astonished by a Mario song that manages to be ambient.  I'm generally not big on Mario classics music because I think it's all bland, though, but this one caught me by surprise.
- Mario Tennis/Golf is a little more exciting than I thought it would be
- The original luigi's mansion theme is hilarious
- The Melee Rainbow cruise theme is quite elegant
- Yoshi's Island theme in Brawl is actually really cool, I don't think it makes a comeback in the new Smash game

As for Sonic, the only music from Brawl sonic I really liked off the top of my head were Green Hill Zone and His World (the original vocal version).  Scrap Brain Zone is good stuff though, and I forgot how cool Angel Island Zone was in Brawl now that I've listened to it.

You forgot to include the fact that Sonic & Tails were playable in Melee.

Thanks for the response =]

Yeah the Luigi's Mansion theme is great, loved the game so much too. I'd agree with the Rainbow Cruise theme being elegant, I do much prefer the theme to the stage (those bad memories of it... urgh).

I thought the inclusion of Sonic and Tails in Melee was purely a rumour and never was integrated in to the game?

And yeah, I can provide more issues if needs be =]

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 22:23 »
I think all European re-releases had the regular track on it [...]

This is not the case, at least for Virtual Console (Wii). In fact, this is one of the main critiques Virtual Console has received. But "Sonic" (1) still rocks.
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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 22:36 »
I thought the inclusion of Sonic and Tails in Melee was purely a rumour and never was integrated in to the game?
Yeah, it was, i kidding bruh
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Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 22:46 »
Yeah, it was, i kidding bruh

oh right, genuinely got confused for a minute lol

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Re: Video Game OST Discussion 3 - Brawl Week Part 2 - Mario & Sonic
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 01:34 »
^You and me both.

Although..... Sonic and Tails together as a character would've been interesting. Even Tails on his own would be kinda cool, since Tails is my favorite Sonic character.
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