Many people have praised the remixes of classic Nintendo themes in the 2001 Nintendo GameCube release Super Smash Bros. Melee, so Nintendo decided to take the music to the next level: orchestration. The company authorized and produced an evening at the orchestra in which the New Japan Philharmonic (conducted by Tazio Takemoto) performed fifteen songs from the game in full orchestral splendor. Recorded on August 27, 2002 at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, a CD of the evening was given away as a freebie premium in Famitsu Cube + Advance, a Japanese video game magazine, but in January 2003 the disc was sent free to Nintendo Power magazine subscribers and given away as prizes in a Nintendo-sponsored contest. Entitled Smashing... Live!, the CD includes the following tracks...
  1. Planet Corneria (StarFox): This piece blends tunes from the last stage (Planet Venom) and from Space stages. "When we were developing Super Smash Bros. Melee, everyone on our music team agreed right away when I brought up the idea of using a medley of SNES Star Fox music in the game. The orchestral nature of this music made me realize we could organize a concert," said the game's director, Masahiro Sakurai, in an interview at Nintendo's website.
  2. Jungle Garden (Donkey Kong Country): "When I first heard this tune from Donkey Kong Country, I was immediately drawn into the world of Donkey Kong. This utterly unique tune summons the mystery of the jungle with its effortless transitions from active to calm and back again." said Sakurai.
  3. Great Bay Shrine (Zelda II: The Adventure of Link): This is the "palace" theme from Link's second adventure. It's a little obscure to some gamers, but it's a nice blast from the past.
  4. Dr. Mario (Dr. Mario): Hirokazu Tanaka, who was in charge of composition, once said, “In Dr. Mario, you can go very quickly from an easy to a demanding situation. I put many different types of music in the tune so a player can interpret it in different ways.” This related nicely to Super Smash Bros. Melee as the situations the players face range from easy to quite challenging.
  5. Original Medley
  6. Fountain of Dreams (Kirby Super Star)
  7. Pokemon Medley
  8. Opening: This is the opening demo music from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  9. Planet Venom (StarFox 64)
  10. Yoshi's Story (Yoshi's Story): This piece is an arrangement of two songs from the N64 title Yoshi’s Story, one from the game and the other from the opening demo.
  11. Depth of Brinstar (Metroid): "Brinstar is where the first region on planet Zebes in NES Metroid.
  12. Smash Bros. Great Medley: Includes themes from Mushroom Kingdom, Mushroom Kingdom II, Flat Zone, Big Blue, Icicle Mountain and Princess Peach's Castle.
  13. Fire Emblem (Fire Emblem): This piece includes "Meeting Theme A" from the Japan-only NES game Fire Emblem.
  14. Green Greens (Kirby's Dream Land): This is the opening from Stage 1, Green Greens, of Kirby's Dream Land and then transitions into the music from Kirby returning to Pop Star after beating the final boss in Kirby's Dream Land 2.
  15. Rainbow Cruise (Super Mario 64): This melody is heard throughout Super Mario 64. The energetic waltz that concludes the piece is from the underwater levels, 2-2 and 7-2, of Super Mario Bros..

This CD is not available for actual sale at this time, although it is one of the rare discs of video game music to be released in the USA. Hopefully we will see more such releases in the future.

January 2003 Nintendo Power

CST Approved

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