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Koji Kondo (born August 13, 1961) is a long-time sound director and composer at Nintendo and a Senior Officer at Nintendo EPD. As one of the most popular music composers for video games, his most known works are featured in franchises like Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox series.

His work is the most recognized among all of Nintendo's composers, largely due to the fact that he has been with the company since its NES years and has supervised the music for most of their biggest titles.

History[]

After working on the soundtrack of the original Punch-Out!! arcade, Kondo officially joined Nintendo in 1984, being the first sound staffer employed by the company who actually had a musical background (he studied at the Art Planning Department of the Osaka University of Arts). After being mentored by Yukio Kaneoka on the basics of sound programming, he soon started providing music for several games.

After being impressed by his work on Devil World, Shigeru Miyamoto drew Kondo to his newly founded Nintendo R&D4 (later EAD) department so he could provide what probably could be considered some of the most famous scores in video games: Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. From that point on, Kondo would be the main composer behind the Mario and Zelda franchises up to the 64-bit era, as well as Yoshi's Island, Star Fox 64 and some other titles.

When new sound staffers started joining Nintendo EAD, Kondo took on the role of Group Manager of the Sound Department, a position in which he supervises and organizes all of the music composers and sound designers of EAD, as well as sound support and supervision for other titles on the Mario, Zelda and Star Fox franchises developed by external companies.

While he isn't as much involved with the game soundtracks as before, Kondo has still provided a few tracks for some titles on the Mario and Zelda series. However, Kondo returned to a more involved role with Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2; in those games Kondo served as sound director and main composer, where he made new retro-style themes based upon his classic NES and SNES compositions[1]. For Super Mario Odyssey, Kondo also contributed most of the music for the Wooded, Lost and Bowser kingdoms.

Kondo also supervised the music of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, scored by film composer Brian Tyler. In 2024, he was inducted into AIAS Hall of Fame at the 27th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony.

Game Works[]

Special Thanks[]

Additional Credits[]

Song Credits[]

As sole composer[]

Koji Kondo is known to have composed the entire soundtracks for the following titles:

Devil World[]

  • Bonus Stage -- Composition & Arrangement[4]

Pilotwings[]

  • Helicopter -- Composition & Arrangement[5]

Super Mario 64 Original Sound Track[]

  • Piranha Plant's Lullaby - Piano -- Composition, Piano

Star Fox 64[]

  • Opening Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Title Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Select Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Destinations -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Versus Select -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Demo 1 -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Demo 2 -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Bill's Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Katt's Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Mission Accomplished -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Mission Failed -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Player Down -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Game Over -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • All Clear! -- Composition & Arrangement[6]
  • Credits Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[6]

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask[]

With the exception of "Battle", "Middle Boss Battle", and "Boss Battle", Koji Kondo composed all the rest of the soundtrack[7]

Super Mario Sunshine[]

  • Delfino Plaza -- Composition & Arrangement[8]
  • Bianco Hills -- Composition & Arrangement[8]
  • Secret Course -- Composition & Arrangement[8]
  • Ricco Harbor -- Composition & Arrangement[8]
  • Gelato Beach -- Composition & Arrangement[8]
  • Staff Roll -- Composition & Arrangement[8]

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker[]

  • The Legendary Hero -- Composition & Arrangement[9]
  • Grandma -- Composition & Arrangement[10]

Nintendo Sound Selection vol.1 Peach <Healing Music>[]

  • Piranha Plant's Lullaby -- Composition, Cello

Mario & Zelda Big Band Live CD[]

  • Super Mario Bros. Medley -- Composition & Arrangement, Performer
  • Encore -- Composition, Performer

Nintendo Sound Selection vol.2 Koopa <Loud Music>[]

  • Oni Fortress -- Composition & Arrangement, Organ

New Super Mario Bros.[]

  • Ground Theme -- Composition & Arrangement[11]

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess[]

  • The Legend of Zelda: Orchestra Piece (Teaser Music) #2 -- Composition & Arrangement[12]

Super Mario Galaxy[]

  • Egg Planet -- Composition & Arrangement[13]
  • Rosalina in the Observatory[14] -- Composition & Arrangement[13]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[]

  • Ground Theme (Super Mario Bros.) -- Composition & Arrangement[15]

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks[]

  • Ending Theme[16] -- Composition & Arrangement[17]

Super Mario Galaxy 2[]

  • Yoshi Star Galaxy -- Composition & Arrangement[18]
  • Starship Mario[14] -- Composition & Arrangement[18]
  • Bowser Jr.'s Fiery Flotilla -- Composition & Arrangement[18]

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword[]

  • A Tale of Old -- Composition & Arrangement[19]

Super Mario 3D World[]

  • Chainlink Charge -- Composition & Arrangement[2]
  • Sunshine Seaside -- Composition & Arrangement[2]

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[]

  • Super Mario Bros. Medley -- Composition & Arrangement[20]

Super Mario Maker[]

  • Underground Theme - Edit Mode (Super Mario Bros.) -- Composition & Arrangement[5]

Super Mario Odyssey[]

  • Steam Gardens[21] -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Steam Gardens: Sherm -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Torkdrift Battle -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Cappy was Kidnapped! -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Forgotten Isle[21] -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Bowser's Castle[21] -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Bowser's Castle: Main Courtyard -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • RoboBrood Battle -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Crazy Cap -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Run, Jump, Throw! 1 -- Composition & Arrangement[22]
  • Klepto Appears -- Composition & Arrangement[22]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

  • King Bowser (Super Mario Bros. 3) -- Composition & Arrangement[23]

Super Mario Maker 2[]

While credited as "Sound Director", Koji Kondo was in charge of at least some of the music newly added for the retro-style courses[1]

Gallery[]

Interviews[]

Iwata Asks[]

Nintendo website[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1128795333050290176
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://www.destructoid.com/super-mario-3d-world-composers-talks-cats-dogs-and-more-264473.phtml
  3. https://www.nintendo.com/us/whatsnew/ask-the-developer-vol-11-super-mario-bros-wonder-part-1/
  4. http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wii/mario25th/4/1
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://www.ign.com/articles/2014/12/10/a-music-trivia-tour-with-nintendos-koji-kondo
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 https://vgmdb.net/album/133
  7. https://vgmdb.net/album/1678
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 https://vgmdb.net/album/1890
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20221026122530/https://www.nintendo.co.jp/nom/0301/sound/index.html
  10. https://vgmdb.net/album/2043
  11. "Next is the aboveground BGM for New Super Mario Bros.16 on the Nintendo DS. Actually, someone else was in charge of making this song, but someone told me it didn't quite sound like Mario music, so I decided to redo it. " - Koji Kondo during an Iwata Asks
  12. https://vgmdb.net/album/55626
  13. 13.0 13.1 https://vgmdb.net/album/5411
  14. 14.0 14.1 Includes versions 1, 2 and 3
  15. Super Smash Bros. Brawl sound test
  16. unofficial song title
  17. https://web.archive.org/web/20150929062439/http://www.1up.com/news/mario-music
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 https://vgmdb.net/album/19454
  19. https://vgmdb.net/album/114738
  20. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sound test
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Includes 8-bit version
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 https://vgmdb.net/album/73671
  23. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sound test

External links[]

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