VGM Wednesdays – “Mushroom Kingdom” from Super Mario RPG

by Kenley

“Mushroom Kingdom” from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, composed by Yoko Shimamura and released in 1996

Why isn’t there more bassoon in VGM? Seriously, its bouncy woodsiness sells me immediate in “Mushroom Kingdom.”

I love what Yoko Shimamura (or Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts fame) does here.  Instead of adapting a theme from Mario for the iconic Mushroom Kingdom, she puts pencil to paper and creates something new.

Because, let’s face it, we’ve been in the Mushroom Kingdom through most Mario games, but when have we ever been inside the Mushroom Kingdom? Maybe we have, but when we actually get to walk around and explore it feels like a new experience and I think it should have new music.  Thankfully, so does Shimamura 🙂

But it’s not only the bassoon in the beginning that make it shine, there is also tambourine and triangle which sits juuuuuuuust beneath the bassoon colour and adds some sparkle to the colour.  There’s also a click in there somewhere, maybe a cross stick, temple block or wood block.  I’m not sure what it is, but I like it.

Then we have English Horn on a small melody in the A section – a double reed duet.  YES!

Some low reed and low brass colours take over the melody in the B section (0:13) and catapult the listener back into A section, which now has a flute on top.

Until about 0:48, the piece is carried by the winds.  Now, why is that important? It’s really because we depend on strings for just-about-everything and the winds and percussion usually colour that sound.  This time, in the absence of strings, we have only colour and it’s beautiful 🙂

Thoughts? Write them below, send me a tweet or comment on the facebook post!

Thanks,
Kenley

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