Track of the Week: Inside the Castle Walls (Super Mario 64)

Party like it’s 1996.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 11/17/2013 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

November 22 is no doubt an important date for Nintendo fans, as that is when both Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be launching in North America. (Incidentally, that is also the day that Mario Party: Island Tour will be hitting the region. But fun as that game may be, it can hardly compare to the excitement of a new Mario or Zelda adventure, so you’ll have to forgive us for brushing it aside.)

We’ve already devoted the first installment of this column to a piece of Zelda music, so this week, we’ll be highlighting one of my personal favorite Mario tunes in honor of 3D World’s impending release.

The Mario series has produced some of the finest music in gaming (Kyle has a list of other Mario tunes that would have made a worthy choice for this week’s selection), but the most iconic, to me at least, is the above theme, which plays within Princess Peach’s castle in Super Mario 64. This tune sticks out in my mind for a number of reasons, not least because it encapsulates my memories of the game. Even now, some fifteen years after I first played Mario 64, I can still remember the awe I felt when I first set foot inside the castle, its pastel walls painted with rolling hills and inviting blue skies.

As such, this theme has come to embody the childlike wonder I felt the first time I played a 3D Mario game– of the countless hours I spent exploring the castle, of the accidental discoveries I made within its winding halls, of the fleetfooted rabbits that scampered away when I tried to catch them. 3D World will be ushering in its own first for the series when it debuts this week (namely, it’ll be the first 3D Mario game to support up to four players). But it’ll be hard to top the magic of Mario’s first 3D adventure ever, which took gamers to a world they could, up to that point in time, only imagine.

What are some of your favorite Mario tunes? Share them with us in the comments!

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