Track of the Week: Space Junk Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy)

We kick off our week on platformers with a theme from Mario’s masterful Wii debut.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 08/24/2014 15:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

All this week, Nintendojo will be turning its gaze to platformers. As one of the medium’s oldest and most diverse genres, platformers have undergone some radical changes since their inception, from rudimentary, single-screen affairs like Pitfall! to the complex, labyrinthine structure of Super Metroid to even the sprawling, open world exploration of Super Mario 64. It’s this last game in particular that had perhaps the most profound impact on the genre, paving the way for all 3D titles that were to follow and solidifying Mario’s place as the king of platformers. So for this week’s musical selection, we’ve chosen a theme from one of the plumber’s more recent adventures:

Super Mario Galaxy became an instant classic when it launched for Wii back in 2007. Not only was it the most ambitious title up to that point in the console’s life, casting Nintendo’s signature plumber into the furthest reaches of space to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s nefarious clutches, it represented a dramatic leap forward for the Mario series. The game eschewed the open worlds of Mario 64 and its followup Mario Sunshine for a series of linear, rapid-fire challenges, quickening the pace of the adventure and bringing the franchise closer to its roots than it had been since transitioning to three dimensions.

This week’s track comes from one of the game’s earliest stages, the Space Junk Galaxy. Unlike the Good Egg or Honeyhive Galaxies, which invited players in with their colorful environs and sprightly music, Space Junk exuded a decidedly colder atmosphere. As its name implies, the entire course was made up primarily of cosmic debris, from derelict spaceships to asteroids and platforms drifting about in the cold emptiness of space. This sense of desolation was perfectly reflected in the level’s theme, with its gentle, piano-driven melody, making it one of the most arresting stages in the game.

What are some of your favorite themes from platforming games? And what tunes would you like us to cover in future installments of the column? Share them with us in the comments below!

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