Top Ten Koji Kondo Game
We recognise many retro games for their primitive visuals and simple controls, but nothing tugs on our nostalgic hearts quite like music. Nintendo dominated many childhoods during the 80s and 90s (full disclosure: I was a SEGA kid up until the N64), and over those decades sound technology evolved alongside the graphical capabilities of the systems. While Miyamoto is famous for bringing iconic characters like Mario, Yoshi and Link into the world, less of a big deal is made about Koji Kondo, whose iconic tracks and samples can pull us right back to those earlier years.
Kondo started out like most musicians, learning an instrument (in his case the keyboard) as a young child. During his tertiary studies in the early 80s, he became interested in the developments of sound technologies thanks to synthesisers and computers. He didn’t have a strong background in classical music: he was more interested in jazz, fusion and electronic music. When a job opened at Nintendo in 1984, he jumped at the opportunity.
Kondo entered the games industry soon after the market crash of the same decade, just as things were picking up again. Skyrocketing advancements in home computing made this the perfect time for a talented young composer with something to prove to come along and make their mark.
Since then, he has been the driving force behind Nintendo’s sound division for over 30 years, and composed music for over 30 games in that time. Here’s our top ten Kondo soundtracks.
Note: The following list is in chronological order to illustrate how the developments of technology has influenced Kondo’s music.