This Super Mario World soundtrack remaster lets us hear how the iconic music sounds when it isn't compressed for the Super Nintendo's limiting hardware. The result is richer, more dynamic versions of some of the most recognizable melodies in video game history.
The Super Mario Restored Project is the group responsible for breathing new life into these classic ditties, and the way they're doing it is really interesting. Instead of simply taking the tracks as they sound on SNES and enhancing them, they're actually digging up the original samples and restoring them fully uncompressed. Essentially, it's likely similar to how Super Mario World composer Koji Kondo originally intended for the music to sound.
The full restored soundtrack isn't available just yet, but there's a solid selection of tracks you can listen to right now. Here's the famous jingle from the title screen:
And here's the "Athletic" theme, which you'll remember from some of Super Mario World's more chaotic levels. You can compare it to the original version of the tune to see how the process of compressing the tracks degrades the quality.
Getting to hear these tracks restored to their uncompressed glory is a wonderful treat, and The Super Mario Restored Project is doing great work. But to be honest, it's kind of throwing me off. There's something mildly disorienting about hearing this music that's so intertwined with my psyche with all of this newfound clarity. The chirpy, tinny sound to the original music just feels so right to me. Still, the remaster is way cool for the novelty alone.
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