I like digging up surprise hits from old games. You’d think a franchise like Mario would already have been picked entirely dry. The reverence some people pay this little shit is borderline gross. I guess growing up in a place that didn’t have a massive market penetration of Nintendo meant I missed out a little on what was so great about Mario.
I’ve been building up my Gameboy collection since the lockdowns and have had the chance to revisit a couple old gems. One of these gems is Super Mario Land, the very first Mario game made for a handheld. It featured the debut of Daisy, and is similiar to Super Mario Bros in most ways but with repurposed sprites and simplified backgrounds to be comfortably playable on the hardware.
It has a raft of great tracks, but the last is definitely among the greatest, and only kids who were good enough to make it to the end of the 12 levels were rewarded with it. This restriction is what gives it the status of a lost gem in my book. It’s preceded by Daisy’s melody, a sweet little tune that’s perfect as a lullaby conclusion fit for a princess. Then the credits roll and you get this absolute sick track (this first vid includes Daisy’s theme):
Here is the staff roll without the slow intro. It’s absolutely fantastic.
Mario Land actually has a couple total bangers. The very first 1-1 world theme is awesome, I’m not including it as THE lost gem however since every kid who ever played Super Mario Land would already be familiar with it.
Track 2 is “Music: Egyptian Style” so kinda lame. Track 3 for 2-1 and 2-2, otherwise known as the palm tree levels full of insta-death has a pretty great chill theme, which takes the edge off somewhat.
Track four is a mutilated hyper version of THE Mario theme, and is honestly kinda gross. Track 5 for 4-1 and 4-2 is pretty aight with chinatown style vibes.
Hopefully this gives some of you huge nostalgic vibes, and others a brand new chiptune to love.