Kirby might not be one of the first series that springs to mind when you think of “memorable game music.” It’s rather unfortunate, since the franchise is not lacking at all when it comes to bouncy, bubbly songs you’d be happy to have in your head all day. It’s also a shame that one of the franchise’s best soundtracks is the one people are least likely to have heard due to the game releasing just as the SNES’s pulse had completely flatlined.
Game: Kirby’s Dream Land 3
Song: Ripple Field 3
Composer: Jun Ishikawa
Above: Ripple Field 3 from Kirby's Dream Land 3
Kirby’s Dream Land 3 released in 1997, long after consoles like the Playstation, Saturn and N64 had outmatched the Super NES. It was the last first party SNES game released in the US (there would be a few more releases in Japan), and it’s a fine sendoff to a classic console. Of particular note is the game’s soundtrack, which is full of the sort of upbeat, bouncy songs that are a hallmark of the series. The airy instrumentation of most of the songs adds a whimsical feel that keeps a cheerful smile on your face even when you’re attempting to complete some of the more difficult hidden stage objectives. This is one of the last original songs to play in the Ripple Field stage set, though it shows up again in a couple other levels. It’s a uniquely relaxing and charming little track, well-suited to the game’s pace and the water/cloud levels in which it’s used.
It’s definitely not the only noteworthy song off the Dream Land 3 soundtrack, though. One of the faster tracks first heard in the Sand Canyon levels has seen some attention from remixers as of late, particularly overseas. Have a listen and see if you recognize this one:
Finally, here’s one of the great, oft-repeated Kirby songs you’re likely to hear across several games: The Gourmet Race song, originally from Kirby Super Star, in its Dream Land 3 incarnation:
Game music of the day: Kirby’s Dream Land
A celebratory credits tune from Jun Ishikawa
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VISONNERZ by Hisayoshi Ogura
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