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The Truth Behind Donkey Kong Country's Opening Level Theme

Posted by Damien McFerran

It's a stitch-up

Remember the music for the opening level on Donkey Kong Country? Do you recall how it moves from one musical style to another, almost as if it's three different songs that have been fused together? That because it is.

In an interview with CVG, former Rare composer David Wise reveals the truth behind the track:

I was on holiday in France at the time I first got to know that we would be making a Donkey Kong game. So I had a couple of weeks to think about different styles.

I wasn’t sure which direction to take things in, so I put together a demonstration tape of three different possible styles for the jungle level. I played these to Tim Stamper [one of Rare's founders], who asked me to take the breaks out between the three pieces. That’s the jungle tune.

Here's the song itself, in case you were wondering:

[via nintendo-gamer.net, computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (36)

NintyMan

#4

NintyMan said:

I'm not surprised, I always thought it was a uniquely longer composition than the other tracks. That's why Kenji Yamamoto divided it into two tracks with "Jungle Hijinx Returns" and "King of Cling" in DKCR.

GazPlant

#6

GazPlant said:

Now if we just find out who's responsible for the Donkey Konga theme tune...

Spoony_Tech

#7

Spoony_Tech said:

Better then Mario! Yes I said. The whole side scrolling series is better then Mario's!

seronja

#9

seronja said:

my favourite track of this game is still Funky's Fugue =) and the whole game is still special to me to this very day, and still my #1 2D platformer of all time =D

Wonder_Ideal

#11

Wonder_Ideal said:

I remember playing this one a lot as a kid. My brother and I managed to play through the whole game by switching off when the other died. I played as Donkey and he played as Diddy.

NintyMan

#12

NintyMan said:

I can't even tell you how many times I've played through this game over the years. I've played it so much, the game has become a cake-walk. That's what happens when you enjoy a game so much that you play through it over and over again since childhood.

WildMan

#13

WildMan said:

One of the best musical pieces in video game history! Certainly set the mood of the game!

Morpheel

#16

Morpheel said:

I never played the game but I love this song. It's nice to hear how it was created.

Luffymcduck

#19

Luffymcduck said:

Ah, David Wise. My favourite video game music composer ever. Wish he´d still make vg music. If only they´d make music like this for 2D Marios. Galaxies had good soundtracks but new 2D Mario´s definetely not.

@Tech101
You´re right about that. I think that Super Mario World is the only 2-D Mario that´s as good as the DKC-trilogy. At least they felt more different from each other than NSMB series games.

Otto-Soq

#20

Otto-Soq said:

@Morphtroid : Oh man.... You have to! I am not really into action-adventure games, but this game is one of the best things ever happened in my life! :)

KAHN

#21

KAHN said:

well, having a copy of the game in my crawlspace, i know of the song, but i don't listen to it enough to notice or wonder why the theme changes.

Kyloctopus

#22

Kyloctopus said:

Well it worked, perfectly. It is one of the best themes of all of Video Game history.

Chunky_Droid

#25

Chunky_Droid said:

I've always loved Aquatic Ambience.

It's an awesomely relaxing track if you get a remix from ocremix.org of it.

SleepingNinjer

#26

SleepingNinjer said:

One of the greatest soundtracks... takes me back
I remember each sound effect completely pulled me into the game..

This needs to be on the 3DS NOW!

Zombie_Barioth

#27

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its been a long time since I've heard that tune. A lot of retro soundtracks were amazing back in the day and still are.

DarkEdi

#28

DarkEdi said:

I played a lot DKC trilogy when child. But a few days ago i download the game in VC and i get very impacted. It´s an impressive game in this days too. Very epic. I will download the other 2 later. In a HDTV they looks very colorful.

Ichiban

#29

Ichiban said:

One of the greatest soundtracks in gaming history, bar none.
Please put the swimming levels back if there's more DKC games in the future too dammit! That beautiful track from the swimming stages in DKC was wasted in DKR!

FonistofCruxis

#30

FonistofCruxis said:

@ChunkyDroid I love Aquatic ambience too, that track is so relaxing. Ice cave chant and Fear factory are two other favourites of mine from the game. Jungle groove is a great song too though and those three songs that were used to create it work very well together.

WanderFan91

#33

WanderFan91 said:

Donkey Kong Country has just such a great amount of music that really compliments both the atmosphere and mood. I love David Wise's music in the first game! :) "Aquatic Ambience" is one of the best video game songs ever heard on Nintendo's 16-bit console, and one of my countless favorites; I get chills whenever I listen to it.

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