Outpourings of admiration for late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata have continued since his passing in July. The performing duo Gentle Love, consisting of Metal Gear Solid and Bayonetta series composer Norihiko Hibino and pianist AYAKI, have added their own respects in the form of a soulful arrangement of the Onett theme from EarthBound.
The choice of an EarthBound track makes perfect sense, as Iwata had stepped in to save the development of the now cult favourite game. Gentle Love's rendition of the song is still surprisingly slow and mellow for such a normally upbeat melody, taking on the lullaby-like tones the duo is known for. Surprisingly, yet utterly fitting.
The track, titled "Onett (EarthBound) - A Tribute to Satoru Iwata" has been released on Loudr. It is accompanied by a second piece made in tribute to musician Eiki Oshimi, a mentor to Hibino who passed away less than one week after Iwata. The songs are being sold together as "Prescription for Peace: A Tribute to the Departed" for a minimum of $1. The cost is intended to cover licensing and distribution fees, with all additional proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society.
Gentle Love's music is not the first tribute to Iwata to have come from other members of the gaming industry, nor the first from a game composer. Classic Nintendo composer Hirokazu Tanaka dedicated a rendition of the "Balloon Trip" theme from Balloon Fight to Iwata in July.