Remembering Hiroshi Yamauchi and the music of Nintendo

It is with great sadness that the gaming world must say goodbye to Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man responsible for turning Nintendo from a card-making company into the multi-billion dollar videogame company that is now. He was a man that was denied his own childhood, but gave countless others a childhood they would remember.

But it is also a time to reflect and celebrate. Thousands of people today (myself included) consider themselves gamers thanks to Yamauchi, and Nintendo’s home consoles he was responsible for. So many iconic characters, treasured franchises, and nostalgic memories are credited to Nintendo, and it would be a disservice not to remember them in the wake of Yamauchi’s passing.

Although he never created game music himself, we gathered up some of our favorite videogame music from our favorite Nintendo games to honor him, starting the Nintendo Entertainment System, then moving on to the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64, and the Nintendo GameCube. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Quite frankly, we could go on all day with hundreds of entries for our favorite videogame music from the NES days. We have to draw the line somewhere there, though, and we feel these cover the main basis. Some of the most iconic tunes in all of videogames started with the NES, and can be heard below.

Super Mario Bros – Overworld Theme

Super Mario Bros 2 – Overworld Theme

Super Mario Bros 3 – World Map 1: Grass Land Theme

Mega Man 2 – Dr. Wily’s Castle

Final Fantasy – Opening Theme

Metroid – Brinstar

DuckTales – The Moon

Castlevania – Stage 1

Ninja Gaiden – Act 4 Part 2

Contra – Jungle Theme

The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme

Super Nintendo

Considered by some to be the best videogame console of all time. Whether or not you agree, this system had some of the best games, and of course, some of the best music.

Super Mario World – Athletic Theme

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island – Map Theme

Chrono Trigger – Schala’s Theme

Secret of Mana – Title Theme

Kirby Superstar – Grape Garden

Donkey Kong Country – Aquatic Ambiance

F-Zero – Big Blue

Super Mario Kart – Rainbow Road

The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past – Hyrule Castle

Super Metroid – Crateria Surface


Nintendo 64

Nintendo’s first 3D system might also be it’s most unappreciated. The graphics have aged terribly and the controller was…interesting, but it was also home to some of the best games of the late 90s.

Super Mario 64 – Bowser’s Road

The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time – Gerudo Valley

Mario Kart 64 – Rainbow Road

GoldenEye 007 – Dam

Mario Golf 64 – Toad Highlands

Blast Corps – World Map

Perfect Dark – Alien Conflict

Star Fox 64 – Zoness

Pokemon Stadium – Prime Cup Battles 1-3



The GameCube was the last Nintendo console to come out while Yamauchi was still president of the company. Facing heavy competition from Sony’s PlayStation 2 and the new Xbox from Microsoft, the system was cheaper and focused solely on games instead of an all-encompassing media box.

F-Zero GX – Mute City

Super Monkey Ball – Jungle Island

Luigi’s Mansion – Professor E. Gadd’s Lab

Pikmin – Forest of Hope

Viewtififul Joe – Joe the Hero

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! – Sherbet Island

Tales of Symphonia – Fighting of the Spirit

Star Fox Assault – Main Theme

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles – Departure

Super Smash Bros: Melee – Fire Emblem




About Tyler Cameron

Tyler is a longtime gamer and videogame music fanatic who grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Now living the dream in the land of dairy (Milwaukee) he has taken to showing the world just why videogame music is so darn great. A diehard Red Wings fan, cat lover and cereal connoisseur, his passion and enthusiasm knows no bounds.