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Mario Story OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: FMCN-1002
Released On: September 21, 2000
Composed By: Yuka Tsujiyoko, Koji Kondo, Taishi Senda
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Enterbrain
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Well Then, Shall We Get Started?
02 - It's the Beginning!
03 - Peaceful Mushroom Kingdom
04 - Well, Let's Go!
05 - Over Field and Stream
06 - Sunny Goomba Village
07 - Lucky Mario, Let's Go!
08 - Hey-Hey-HEY!
09 - Goomba King Appears
10 - My Name is Goomba King
11 - City Beneath Peach's Castle
12 - A Shy Guy Riot - There's Trouble in the City!
13 - Howdy Do
14 - Now That That's Over With...
15 - Riot in Koopa Village
16 - Koopa Brothers' Koopa Village
17 - Koopa Brothers' Fortress
18 - Evade the Bullet Bill Cannon and Charge Forward!
19 - Koopa Brothers Appear, and They're Cool to the Last...
20 - It's Bowser (Puppet)
21 - Koopa Brothers Attack!
22 - Toad Town, Blaze Collection
     - #1 - Knowledgeable Toad
     - #2 - Dojo
     - #3 - Merlon
     - #4 - Flower Fields
     - #5 - Market Stall
     - #6 - Cooking
     - #7 - Underworld
     - #8 - Toy Box
23 - Mt. Rugged's Pretty Rugged
24 - Traversing Dry-Dry Desert
25 - Dry-Dry Outpost
26 - Dry-Dry Ruins are Full of Gadgets
27 - I Fight Together with Chomp
28 - Battle With the God of Beasts
29 - Boo's Mansion Insurance
30 - Boo's Mansion
31 - The Wind Over Gusty Gulch Was Like Sand
32 - Welcome to Tubba Blubba's Castle
33 - Escape from Tubba Blubba!
34 - Tubba Blubba's Heart Appears
35 - I'm Gonna Eat You Up!
36 - Shy Guy's Toy Box
37 - Go! Go! By Toy Train
38 - General Guy Appears
39 - Fall in Step and Let's Go
Total Time:
70'14"

Disc Two
01 - Downhearted Peach
02 - Peach Does Her Best
03 - I'm Twink, Child of the Stars
04 - The Neverending Jungle by the Waterside
05 - Welcome to Yoshi Village
06 - Oh No, a Lost Child! What Should We Do?
07 - We're the Ravens!
08 - The Burning Hot Volcano Cavern
09 - Escape from Mt. Lavalava
10 - Lava Piranha Appears
11 - It's Burning! Mario, Get Ready!
12 - Melancholy Cloudy Sky
13 - Flower Rondo
14 - Lakilester the Great!
15 - Osmorn Appears
16 - Ah'm Osmorn!
17 - Snow Falls on Shiver City
18 - Mario the Great Detective
19 - Shiver Snowfield
20 - Starborn Valley
21 - On the Tip of the Snowy Mountain
22 - Crystal Palace
23 - I'll Freeze You Good!
24 - Star Haven
25 - Shooting Star Summit
26 - Star Road
27 - Star Temple
28 - The Terrible Bowser's Castle
29 - Furious Bowser
30 - Furious Bowser (Power Up Version)
31 - Peach's Wish
32 - Bowser, My Old Enemy!
33 - Vanish, Bowser Castle!
34 - Conversation with the Star Spirits
35 - Goodbye, Twink
36 - Princess Peach's Party
37 - And So the Parade Begins
38 - The Parade Continues
39 - Mario and Peach's Love Song
Total Time:
73'31"

Inside the hard plastic case is this image: the cover of the booklet.

No preamble to this review, I'm afraid. The Mario Story OST is, simply put, one of the most mediocre offerings I've ever received from a video game soundtrack. Yuka Tsujiyoko has managed to make a soundtrack that, while it may fit the game itself is, like the characters in it, about as substantial as paper.

The main problem comes from the very obviously MIDI-ish soundtrack, that sounds as if it were composed on an early-90s Casio keyboard. Now, I fully believe that this was the very intention of the composer and the game designers, but it does not create an album that stands alone. This is definitely a soundtrack best taken in context.

Disc 1 starts the cavalcade of simplicity. Many compositions are minimalist, such as "Over Field and Stream" and "City Beneath Peach's Castle," both of which have sparse instrumentation and limited melodies. The same goes for the ethnically evocative "Traversing Dry-Dry Desert."

That's not to say that all of the compositions are simplistic...just most. For example, "Riot in Koopa Village" has a bit more substance, with various instruments conveying an image of people rushing around in panic. And "Evade the Bullet Bill Cannon and Charge Forward!" has enough different parts playing to make it seem fuller. Unfortunately, those are only two of a handful of tracks on disc 1 that are interesting.

Disc 2 gets better, though only slightly. "Escape from Mt. Lavalava" has a sharper drum beat, and "Flower Rondo" is a pleasant melody that manages to include basic harmonies. And although much of it is minimalist, there tends to be a rich variety of musical styles, from the blues of "Lakilester the Great!" to the rockin' "The Terrible Bowser's Castle," and even the marching band-inspired "And So the Parade Begins." In addition, this being a Mario game, none of the tracks are in any way depressing, with even the moody tracks being so in a tongue-in-cheek way.

At its core, the Mario Story OST is eclectic and upbeat, but all in a minimalist way. I would not recommend this album to anyone who wants to listen to even mildly rich harmonies, as this album seemed to avoid them intentionally. Perhaps fans of minimalist compositions or the N64 game itself will enjoy the album, but for most I'd recommend passing this one by.

Reviewed by: Damian Thomas



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