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Nintendo gigaleak helps fans restore the Super Mario World soundtrack

Fans have used the great Nintendo “gigaleak” to restore Super Mario World’s soundtrack.

Nintendo’s 2020 gigaleak, which revealed eye-opening prototypes for Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox 2 and more, also contained the source code for Super Mario Advance – a game that reuses samples from 1990 SNES classic Super Mario World.

Twitter user The Brickster found proper names for many instruments in Super Mario World, which helped other tinkerers find the source for those samples.

With the source samples discovered, work on restoring Koji Kondo’s iconic 30-year-old music began. The Brickster’s friends recreated the tracks that were compressed to work on the SNES using the original, lossless synths.

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The restored Super Mario World OST is up on The Brickster’s YouTube channel. Here’s a snippet:

The restored music provides an indication, perhaps, of what Kondo’s music might have sounded like if it hadn’t been constrained by the SNES hardware. However, some have said the restored music sounds worse than the original lo-fi music upon which they are based, with too much reverb.

The Brickster addressed this criticism on Twitter, saying the restoration is a what if? exercise done for fun.

“… I see where you are coming from,” The Brickster said. “Truthfully, these tracks were likely not designed with the full patches in mind. These are simply things we are doing for fun, as a ‘what if’ kinda thing.”

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Work is ongoing. Who knows what the Nintendo gigaleak will lead to next?

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