Every week we get fresh little peeks behind the curtain of games both big and small. Recently, Forest of Illusion posted this original theme tune for Mario Kart 64 on Twitter. It comes from a prototype build of the game and it's not the most inspired track in the plumber's songbook. Take a listen below:
As you can hear, it isn't the most inspired bit of songwriting and, as noted by Forest of Illusion, it was likely a placeholder track created for a demo. Looking at the image accompanying the tweet, this dates from when the game was still called Super Mario Kart R, and the character line up is a little different from the game that eventually released - if you look closely you'll see Kamek in the background. Kamek, of course, is the magikoopa who debuted in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and would continue to cause problems for the fruit-loving dinosaurs right up until the recent Yoshi's Crafted World. In the final build he was replaced by Donkey Kong.
The theme tune that the game released with isn't exactly the most memorable in the karting canon, either - following Charles Martinet's "Welcome to Mario Kart!" we very quickly skipped it. For those of you who don't remember the final tune, here it is:
Of course, the finest title screen music in a Mario Kart game is obviously the Double Dash theme. That track brings back memories of tripping over GameCube controller cords at university... How could anybody possibly disagree? Let us know your favourite below.
Thats pretty neat I guess.
I had no idea Kamek was intended to be a playable character! Some of the tracks from MK64 did blend into the background, but there were also some cracking tunes too. Yoshi Valley springs to mind!
awesome trivia facts man
What's MuzaKart? Gosh, this is really the only Nintendo site I visit, which is regularly throwing around with words or phrases I never heard before.
This song just feels so cheap and 90s.
Does it remind anyone else of the Batman tune?
Also: "The theme tune that the game released with isn't exactly the most memorable in the karting canon, either"
u wot? Delete this. It's a classic! To suggest that the Double Dash theme is better is outrageous.
@MrBlacky Muzak is a term for bland inane background music that is completely devoid of any character like the stuff that's always on in hotel lobbys, elevators, etc.
Edit: It's actually a brand name for a company that used to produce it, which I never knew. I guess it just became a generic term like "kleenex" , "xerox" , and to my parents when I was a kid playing genesis - "Nintendo"
Eh, I don't get any Mario Kart vibes from the prototype music. Good thing the final version has an even better title theme that gets us in the mood to race!
Wait. Is the prototype build of Mario Kart 64 out there somewhere or something? I would love to play that!!
..by the way, it's high time Kamek finally makes his Mario Kart debut. He's been denied not only in Mario Kart 64, but also Mario Kart 8 (as his emblem has been found in that game's files). I would love for him to finally become playable at long last. Y'know, so long as his debut isn't in Mario Kart Tour. Ugh.
@Incognito_D Couldn't agree more. And downright skipping the N64 version's musical intro is even worse than just calling it bad... Blasphemers...
No theme brings more memories back than the one from the SNES version! .... Looks like im getting old ¯(ツ)/¯
Did you know that Tetris: Axis for the 3DS has Mario Kart Double Dash's title theme hidden away in the game files?
It's apparently because this music track is used as a sample track in the Wii SDK, and possibly the 3DS SDK. Hudson Soft likely forgot to remove the track from the final build of the game.
I'm going to have to disagree with the writer here. 64 Title Screen is metal, Double Dash title screen theme is annoying (Though it has a really good menu theme to make up for it.)
Placeholders arent exactly made to be good songs, they are used mainly to test sound frequencies and sound channels
DONT YOU DARE DISS MY CHILDHOOD, SON!
Mario Kart 64 still has the best end credits music of the entire series (IMHO). I could listen to it for hours.
The best Mario Kart title screen music will always be Mario Kart 64. After a hard day at school when I was younger, it would be great to come home to this. This music always put me into overdrive on relaxation.
They didn’t go with super Mario kart R at the end was it due to sonic
The double dash theme isn't that good. Neither is the N64 one. My actual favorite MK opening theme is the one of MK8.
Mario Kart 8's title screen sounds like the intro to Saturday Night Live
It's not great but it really isn't that bad. It uses many same chords over and over but a lot of popular music does. It even has a solo which a lot of pop music doesn't. Haha Someone may have worked like for a full day on that track. Give em a break.
Thanks for the explanation.😄
Oh man, I was hoping for something Alternatively Tasty!
I actually have really fond memories of the n64 theme song. Maybe not that memorable, but I played that game a lot and I think it has been the only game I played together with my family back in the days ...
Sounds like it would be suited to a boss fight more than a main menu.
@BulkSlash It's disgustingly overlooked, and while N64 Rainbow Road is a great song and one of MK64's best music tracks...the credits theme is much more beautiful. It's weighty, richly layered, and emotional in more ways than one, and yet I still love the theme of Toad's Turnpike more...
When was a MK64 prototype found and how have I not heard about this?
I mean Mario Kart 8 title screen has same melody as MK64 title and original SNES Super Mario Kart title screen, right. Obviously the new version is jazzed up and way more engaging. The N64 arrangement is a bit subdued and I've honestly found the built-in voices of the N64 a big step down from the music we were getting in SNES games (StarFox was the most insane drop in that transition).
I think the article chose the wrong word. It's certainly memorable, and if you couldn't remember it, Mario Kart 8 drives (ahem) it into your memory every time you start it up.
Between the peppy energetic original on SNES and the real-instruments jazzy recording of 8, N64 is a pretty lackluster arrangement. I do like the little bass solo, which I'm betting partly inspired the Mario Kart 8 improvisational feel to most of its (amazing) music.
I think its not bad, but the one they chose in the end is better. Oh, and it is iconic!! And better then Double Dash.
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