Jul 222015


Celebrating 20 years of eggcellent tunes, all the way from the NES to the 3DS.

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0:00:00 – Title Screen (Yoshi’s Island)

0:09:48 – Flower Garden (Yoshi’s Island)

0:12:40 – Athletic (Yoshi’s Island)

0:14:50 – Overworld (Yoshi’s Island)

0:25:05 – Fortress (Yoshi’s Island)

0:27:10 – Underground (Yoshi’s Island)

0:28:55 – Bowser Battle (Yoshi’s Island)

0:35:58 – Yoshi’s Song (Yoshi’s Story)

0:37:10 – Alpina Blue (Yoshi’s Story)

0:39:33 – Games of Happiness (Yoshi’s Story)

0:46:35 – Wildlands (Yoshi’s Island DS)

0:49:31 – Bandit Valley (Yoshi’s New Island)

0:52:53 – Hotfoot Hurdle (Yoshi’s New Island)

0:57:59 – Forest Stage (Tetris Attack)

1:00:29 – Glacier Stage (Tetris Attack)

1:03:19 – Yoshi’s Lesson (Tetris Attack)

1:09:01 – 2 player battle (Yoshi)

1:10:55 – Hot Chocolate Cave (Yoshi’s Safari)

1:11:52 – Theme B (Yoshi’s Cookie SNES)

1:14:56 – Wooly World Remix (Super Smash Bros Wii U)




  21 Responses to “VGMpire 97 – Yo Yoshi”

  1. First off, great episode as always. I truly wasn’t expecting this degree of variation in a Yoshi soundtrack. For me, Alpina Blue is always the song I go to first when I think Yoshi music, I love it the most of all the songs here.

    So I’d like to issue a challenge to Brett. If there is one song I’ve heard used in comparison to video game music it would have to be Highway Star, which I swear gets brought up every five episodes or so. “It’s like a mid-ey Highway Star!” “Its like if Highway Star was done in a 16-bit sound chip!” So my challenge is: would you ever do a top 7 here of video game songs that are like Highway Star? I think its about damn time.

  2. Oh yeah, Flower Garden’s great.

    Quick Question: Anyone know why so many iconic Mario songs have the same name “Athletic” ? What’s the story behind that?


    True Story: in 2011 I worked at NOA as a tech support person taking calls for Nintendo consumers. The building has an “arcade” room adjacent to the break room with a few old Nintendo-produced kiosks/cabinets.

    By far, the most popular game played there was the Super Nintendo demo kiosk set up with Tetris Attack. I bet if I were to walk in there today it would still be there. There are some DAMN good Tetris Attack players there.

    Thanks for honoring Tetris Attack music, btw. It’s way better than it has a right to be.

  4. Super Nintendo Yoshi holds a significant place in my heart, but as the years went on and his design lost that distinctly dinosaur-like shape I fell out of love with the character. Nowadays he’s basically a green person with a big nose , a tail, and a pot-belly. I understand the necessity of hands for throwing eggs, but seeing Yoshi look more and more person-like (especially with long arms and big hands) kinda weirds me out.

    Yoshi’s island’s “Athletic” is just so good.

  5. Henry: “If you’re not a 30-seconds type of person…”
    Chris: “I always am.” ohohohohohoho!

    I remember my friend bringing over Yoshi’s Island’s SNES cart for me and my brother to play…I think it was in ’96? I have so many fond memories playing that game, but I never truly beat it until I bought my own cart of it for ~$12 at Gamestop and beating it in my freshman year of college. Good memories. The boss battles (and their music) were out of this world.

    It’s actually pretty incredible to hear a Koji Kondo track that goes ham on the guitar and rock organ soloing like with the Bowser Battle track. He could’ve been Deep Purple’s next keyboardist if he didn’t go into VGM, haha.

    I loved how Yoshi’s Island “Map BGM” theme added more instruments as you got into the later worlds (7 variants), which explains why you guys might’ve not been familiar with how the track “grew” with more sounds.

    The “Underground BGM” is another favorite. In recent years I’ve had this strange association of a very specific part with Alice in Chains’ “Down in a Hole” chorus. I should do a mashup of this.

    Underground BGM: 0:12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cs4GQoqeFM
    Down in a Hole: 1:39 (listen to the guitar tone) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v67LpSz6Ck

    For added hilarity, sing “We want a pitch-er, nooooooot a belly-itcher!” to the main melody of the Castle BGM.

    Also, I think with any talk of the “Athletic” theme it’s worth mentioning Tom Brier and his incredible sight-reading and ragtime playing of videogame tunes (many of which he plays for the first time): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffwVKDP8nzQ

    I remember receiving this special ad in the mail from Nintendo about the impending release of Yoshi’s Story. Suffice to say, that solidified my desire to get it on my 9th birthday back in ’98. I remember giggling so much when playing it because of Yoshi’s voice. Looking back, I really played the hell out of it, but never managed to unlock everything. It’s certainly no Yoshi’s Island, but dammit was it perfect for my age range.

    Musically, it was very experimental. The deep-voiced parts like in “Jungle Fever” were really funny and weird. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxZs95vhS2Y

    I may be wrong, but I think the chiptuney “Games for Happiness” plays during secret bonus areas in certain levels? Love it though, so cutesy. I also love the game’s health meter, it’s a sunflower with a face that loses petals as you get hit. And if you eat up a lot of melons the sunflower goes SUPER HAPPY and the music changes to reflect that, it’s pretty intense.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the Yoshi’s Island DS & New Island music. I really couldn’t get into the DS game, just didn’t feel right to me, and neither did the music, until I heard the track demonstrated here. I’m not even sure when or if I’ll get around to New Island, but it’s good to know the music is so wonderfully chill.

    I somehow only played Tetris Attack in Toys ‘R Us, where they had a demo kiosk of it for AGES, but it was so much fun to play and the “Breeze” stage music will always be ingrained in my mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0dt3k93sGI

    I will always remember that cutesy yell of “NINTENDO!” when the game boots up.

    Also, no more use of the words “bleeps and bloops.” Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase. 😉

    • WHO SAID BLEEPS AND BLOOPS i hope it wasn’t me

      • It was HENRY! >:(

        Sometime after 36 minutes in – [on Games of Happiness] “It is like a retro-themed tribute to bleeps and bloops of 16-bit stuck into a 64-bit game.”


    • 9th birthday in ’98? You ruined my whole day.

      Well, I guess it’s really only the cherry on top: I referenced Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album(the first one, ca. ’92) to some co-workers today and they exclaimed,”Man, that album is OLD”!

      I didn’t bother telling them I was a sophomore in high school when it came out.

  6. I’m sure I’m not the first one to tell you that these shows help when you’re going through rough times. some breezy Yoshi tunes are just what I need. I don’t comment a lot, but the work that goes into this show is appreciated.

  7. (One of those first-time callers, long-time listeners) … Really enjoyed this episode. Though I never owned Yoshi’s Island growing up, my next-door-neighber who owned all games did. I played it again last year and I still love the game, maybe even moreso now that I understand why it’s so good.

    When I heard the tracks on the podcast, it was hard for my mind not to automatically insert all the level-accompanying sound effects, which were also outstanding (except for crying Mario). I feel like many of the sounds were musical themselves … like the four-pedaled “ferris wheels” that you hand to jump on to clear gaps. I loved their jack-in-the-box noises when you got a good rhythm on them. Also, not sure why, I like the noises that the water-spitting fishes made in the dungeons.

  8. Damn you people for having me singing along to long forgotten Yoshi’s island music in the car. It’s so cheerful. Tell hank to let Brett talk more. Clearly he was the host of this one but I have my Hank limits. I wanted to know more from the Brett Toys R Us angle. Kept feeling like Henry was cutting Brett off whenever he said something.

    Also, I DON’T CARE WHO YOU TALKED TO HANK! I CRINGE EVERY TIME YOU SAY, “Well IIIIII” Give me your damn childhoods. I get it. You were a game journologist. Yeesh. Meanwhile, music was great. OH! And I am almost certain the Yoshi’s are singing “nintendo” in the Yoshi’s story ending music.

    Loved this episode. Don’t stop.


    • I think Hank does that because the guys give him crap for having interviewed a lot of interesting people and he feels self-conscious about it. But whatever. Good music. I missed the Yoshi’s Island craze because I was too busy getting ready to watch Saturn fall from the sky(without making an impact!). I think I should go back and give it a chance, even if Yoshi is to the Mario franchise what Jar Jar Binks is to Star Wars. Heck, I know that’s not true. But it sounded funny nevertheless.

  9. I’m hoping Hank had a retraction on Twitter, but he said Kazumi TOKATA about 20 times. It’s Kazumi TOTAKA, Hank. TOTAKA.

  10. I’ve been listening to the show since episode one, but I could be wrong about this. I don’t recall any episodes featuring orchestral music from more recent games such as the Uncharted series, Mass Effect, etc. I’ve always been impressed by this music and I was hoping you might be able to do an episode that features it. Thanks for the excellent show! Keep up the good work.

  11. I’ve told my family I want the ending video of Yoshi’s Story edited to tell my life’s story and played at my funeral… Yoshi’s singing voices and all.

  12. This Tetris attack music is amazing. We could definitely use another puzzle music episode. I think for the 100th episode you should start a Super Mario Bros series (too many games to fit into one episode). It would coincide with the 30th anniversary and Super Mario Maker being released. Anyhow, thanks for keeping this podcast going as it has turned me on to a ton of game music I never knew about.

  13. Always thought Yoshi’s Island had some amazing graphics. Dat superFX chip.

  14. Another good episode.

    I discovered VGMpire recently and have been binge-listening to the episodes in my spare time. I’ve been looking for a place to hear people talk about videogame music and I’ve finally found it. I hope you keep putting out episodes to open my ears to some of the great songs of videogame history for a long time to come.

    By the way, have you guys ever thought of doing an episode or a series on the best remixes from Smash?

  15. […] playable roster. These are games starring one or more Yoshis, all of varying quality, though Yoshi’s soundtracks are usually fantastic. Let’s start with the very […]

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