A couple nights ago in bed, Sidney was scrolling through TikToks. My concentration was focused on a documentary until audio from Sid’s phone drew my attention.
It was a familiar melody, definitely something from my childhood, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. After racking my brain for a little longer, I finally conceded and straight up asked her:
“Where is that song from?!” I blurted out.
Sid smiled as she could sense how wrapped up I was in this mystery.
“It is from Sherbet Land in Mario Kart for Nintendo 64,” she responded before adding, “You know, the snow track with penguins?”
Ah yes, it all made sense now. That was where it was from. But despite the pleasant soundtrack for Sherbet Land, it couldn’t cloud the unfavorable memories I had of that slippery and tough track…definitely one of the worst in Mario Kart for N64.
After I was able to overcome the bitter thoughts of my futile attempts at guiding Donkey Kong (unsuccessfully) through the icy track, my mind contemplated something else semi-related…
Is video game music creation a specific career? Or does composing a soundtrack/score for a video game often go to an out-of-work musician or someone in-between music composition jobs for the movies? I am thinking these gaming companies probably have people on their payroll who specialize in this talent but I don’t know for sure. Perhaps I will Google it later.
Reflecting on the sounds of Sherbet Land also influenced me to reflect on other video game music from my youth. I immediately thought of the Tetris melodies for Gameboy, the Mario 3 ditties for Nintendo, and perhaps most of all, the soundtrack to the original Mario game for Nintendo 64 (such a classic). I remember playing these games and then having the music play in my head the rest of the day.
It was kind of nice to be reminded of the familiar music that accompanied my very basic childhood gaming. Will I be putting the Sherbet Land track on a playlist anytime soon? Absolutely not. But it did fill my soul with soothing nostalgia, even if the music did accompany my terrible Mario Kart game play. Don’t Blink.