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Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo Hall of Fame Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

Today, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) announced that Koji Kondo will be honored at the 27th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. Kondo has been selected as a Hall of Fame inductee.

Kondo is no stranger to Nintendo fans. After joining the company in 1984, he was responsible for sound programming, music, and sound effects in Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder are just a few of his other works. His current role is Senior Officer of the Entertainment Planning & Development Division.

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super mario bros music

NHK published an interview with Koji Kondo, who has been composing music for the Super Mario Bros. games since the very first entry on the NES. The discussion delved into various topics including his work on the first title, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and more.

Given how rare it is to see Kondo involved with such an in-depth interview, we went ahead and translated the full talk. You can read it below. 

Super Mario Bros Ground theme main

In an interview with NHK, longtime Super Mario Bros. composer Koji Kondo discussed the original game’s music and the making of the Ground Theme.

Kondo spoke with the outlet about how his first go at the track was scrapped. That’s because when it came to the actual gameplay and not just more of a still image that he initially saw, “the rhythm of that song didn’t really match.” Kondo also mentioned his overall goal for the game, which was to “create enjoyable music never seen before using only three notes.”

Nintendo published a new interview in its series of discussions pertaining to the NES Classic Edition. This time, the topic was the very first Zelda. Co-directors Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka plus series composer Koji Kondo all participated.

Like the previous interviews, there’s a whole lot of interesting talk here. Miyamoto talked about his inspiration with the series, Kondo spoke about how he created music just before release by pulling an all-nighter, and we learn about the Molblin’s famous message (“It’s a secret to everybody”) as well as how Nintendo originally intended to name the series “Hyrule Fantasy”.

For the full interview, head past the break.

Over the past couple of weeks, Nintendo has been publishing new interviews about some of its classic games in celebration of the NES Classic Edition. A couple of these have started to receive official English translations, but one is still untouched: Super Mario Bros. 3. Since it was incredibly fascinating and arguably the most interesting interview out of the bunch thus far, we went ahead and produced our own translation.

Directors Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka participated in the interview, along with composer Koji Kondo. During the conversation, they opened up about how the game was originally planned with an overhead perspective, spoke about the different power-ups including Tanooki Suit’s origins, and touched on the music. Miyamoto also cleared up where the idea for Small Mario came from in the first Super Mario Bros.

Continue on below to read our translation in full.

This past weekend, Nintendo hosted a special 30th anniversary Zelda concert in Kyoto, Japan. It was a big event as key staff involved with the series were present – Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, Takashi Tezuka, and Koji Kondo. Famitsu shared an in-depth report of what occurred and what was said.

Voice actress Ruriko Aoki hosted the concert. She was actually planning on buying a ticket for the event in Nagoya, and even asked her agency to free up her schedule. However, she was eventually told that she got the job for this concert. Series producer Eiji Aonuma also appeared and introduced Aoki. The two showed up together during a Niconico Majora’s Mask 3D live stream last year, and since she’s a big fan of Zelda, he asked her to be the MC.

Nintendo uploaded a couple of musical pieces from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD to its YouTube page. Below, you can listen to the Hyrule Field and Midna themes. Both feature commentary from composers Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo, and Asuka Ota.

Nintendo will be holding a Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary Festival in Japan on September 13. It’s now confirmed that series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and longtime composer Koji Kondo will be appearing at the concert.

On that day, it seems that Miyamoto and Kondo will play Super Mario Maker. They’ll also discuss things about Mario during its design phases, as well as thoughts on the work itself.

Other guests set to appear at the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary Festival include CLACHIP, YMCK, and even Mario himself.

Koji Kondo has been making Zelda music ever since the series’ first entry. As such, you might be curious as to which game takes the top spot as Kondo’s favorite overworld theme.

That honor goes to Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In an interview with Polygon, Kondo spoke about how he “broke it into 8-bar sections and there was some random phrasing that was implemented so that the melody would be changed up.” He hoped to create a track that players wouldn’t get “tired of listening to”.

Below are Kondo’s full words:

“That’s a tough question. Looking back, I think the version that we used in Ocarina of Time. …this is the overworld theme that we’re talking about here.”

“For Ocarina, we wanted something that didn’t play so often that players got tired of listening to it. So I broke it into 8-bar sections and there was some random phrasing that was implemented so that the melody would be changed up. Again, these are 8-bar sections that I created to all work together, but when combined, they change, and there’s some random stuff going on there. I really like the way that worked out.”

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