Game music of the day: Wave Race 64

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

Game: Wave Race 64

Song: Kazumi Totaka

Composer: Main Title

Above: Main Title from Wave Race 64

Few soundtracks are as relentlessly peppy as Wave Race 64. From its excitable opening to the '80s movie montage-esque credit tune, the game overflows with positive energy. Why not take a break from your day and dive on in?

I could have picked nearly any song from Wave Race 64, but nothing tops that energetic intro tune. Seeing those (at the time) dazzling water effects while this supercharged track played underneath was a magical fanboy experience, something we could run to the playground and hold over the newly forming PlayStation loyalists. Granted, the guitars are borderline grating, but the underlying melody and overall feel overcome the lack of CD-quality sound.

Above: Dolphin Park keeps the vibe flowing! Makes me want to cruise away from all my troubles on a Jet Ski made of church organs

Above: Marine Fortress is about as gritty as the game gets, and even it's still pretty slick

If I remember correctly, Wave Race 64 was the third game released for the N64 in the US. That fact sticks out in my mind not because of my usually freakish calendar brain, but because the first two games were out on launch day in September 1996, and Wave Race didn't arrive until November. Almost two full months on the shelves with just two games! Sure, one of them was Super Mario 64, but that's just bad business no matter how you look at it.

Composer Kazumi Totaka is known for hiding his"Totaka's Song"in just about every game he works on, but somehow Wave Race 64 missed out on this fun little bonus. However, considering how well the song is hidden, it could still be in there and no one's found it yet.

Above: How do people figure this kind of stuff out?

Battle Theme by Sasai and Kawakami

Level One by Junko Tamiya

Kickin' beats from John Baker

We recommend