Behind the Notes: Dire, Dire Docks ~ Let’s Go for a Swim

I feel like games in the Mario franchise aren’t really awarded for their music as much as they should be. The Mario series has some really great music, but only do very few pieces get recognized, usually to end up being forgotten. When people think of Mario music they tend to think of upbeat lively songs, and that is to be expected. The games are renowned for their colorful gameplay with amazing themes, but sometimes there are those slow, serene pieces that aren’t really noticed.

mario64A game that I think has quite a few of these is Super Mario 64, one of the most revolutionary Mario games in the franchise, for it brought a new dimension to Mario. One song that I can’t get enough of is the Dire, Dire Docks theme–though it is one of the more iconic pieces in the game, I feel like it tends to be drowned out by all the more lively songs that are throughout the game. So I think it is time I give it the love it deserves and write a Behind the Notes on it, but this is going to be a special one, as we wont be looking at just the in-game version, but also the recorded version for the Super Mario Series for Guitar sheet music book.

Hit play, and let’s enjoy a nice leisurely swim.

The song is generally very legato, containing synths that have a very steel-drum like sound. These synths give off a tropical sound, due to the steel-drum being a popular instrument among tropical settings. Not too long into the song strings enter in the background, adding to the melody. At this point the song is calm and very grand, giving off that feeling of exploring the ocean. Then the song picks up, as drums join in, giving the song some speed, overall reminding that the player does have a goal, and nearly giving the player a feeling of determination.

Now let’s take a look at the guitar version of the song.

Due to the simplicity the guitar’s sound reflects, the song takes a very different turn. Since I personally don’t play guitar we will be analyzing this specific recording, which is the official recording done by Sathoshi Aikawa. The warmth of this acoustic guitar completely changes the sound. Now it goes from a more tropical feel, to a more nostalgic feel, as if it were reflecting back onto not just Mario’s adventures, but the player’s. This is seen among all of the songs in both the Super Mario Series and Zelda Series sheet music books. So overall the Dire, Dire Docks cover follows the style of the books, nostalgic.

That is all for this week’s Behind the Notes! Let us know what you thought of this week’s issue and what you want next week’s song to be.

Videos by BrawlBRSTMs3 and GilvaSunner

 

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About The Author

Editor/Game Reviewer

He is a Hylian who has a knack for Nintendo. When he is taking a break from exploring Hyrule he can be found honing his tennis skills, taking part in musical theatre, or surfing the internet.