OK, so with my Song in Focus, I look at tracks with a vocal, but for Score in Focus I focus on an instrumental only track, starting with a classic video game piece!
Dire Dire Docks (Originally called The ‘Water’ Theme)(Mario 64)
If someone was to develop something that sounded calming, comforting and quite beautiful, and yet still somehow fitted in with a watery setting, where a middle aged man jumped on people’s heads to save the women he loves, the Dire Dire theme is it.
Video games are full of beautiful, still massively underated scores, and the Mario games are perfect examples. Mario 64 had some real crackers that live rent free in my brain, I can literally think of a world-name and have the whole track instantly play accurately- but this one has a special place in my head.
I feel like If I wanted to aid falling asleep I might listen to this instead of a sleep podcast, I might just find my dreams transported to a lovely place. Or I might dream I am a poor walking mushroom and this red hatted man is coming to squish my head in, it could go either way..
So, who is behind this wonderful piece? It’s the man behind some of the most loved music in classic video game franchise history-Koji Kondo.
Some of the most memorable themes from the likes of Mario and Zelda were composed by him, including Dire Dire Docks. Fun fact: he has also worked on music for the upcoming animated Mario movie.
I think the highlighted top comment is a great one for this theme!
Something interesting about this water theme in Mario, is the juxtaposition it provides betweens the.frantic gameplay of the water worlds and the music’s ultra calming nature. Think in contrast the famous Sonic underwater theme that helps feel you with dread as.you try to desperately survive one of the dreaded water Zones! In fairness we do have the Jolly Roger Bay world in Mario 64 which does have a slightly calmer.feel then many of the other worlds.
There are a lot of great scores in Mario”s history, what are your favourites?