Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins — Athletic Theme
This one’s kind of special: Super Mario Land 2 was the first game that I ever owned (save for Tetris, which came bundled with my Game Boy, and I received them simultaneously anyway). Even at the tender age of six, I had enough cultural knowledge to understand that the Game Boy Mario titles were “weird,” of a distinctly different flavor than the classic NES Mario trilogy or the SNES games that were to follow. That weirdness wasn’t always good, but there were certain elements of it that were positively great–and most of Super Mario Land 2 is an absolute delight.
The music, in particular, is kind of awesome. There are only a few primary leitmotifs in the game’s score, but they’re traded on in different ways that make them unique and different each time they recur (kind of impressive, given the Game Boy’s limited sound technology!).
The game is also notable for the introduction of Wario. I admit that, when I was six, I did not imagine that he would go on to become a staple character in the Mario canon. Also, I’m just realizing that Wario is more than twenty years old. Yikes.