Forschungsinstitut Musiktheater (FIMT)
Thematic Unity Across a Video Game Series
- Composer Koji Kondo’s music for both Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1984) and The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo, 1986) is among the most recognized video game music ever written. Through the use of motivic and prolongational analysis, this article demonstrates how Kondo created a unity across the entire Zelda franchise, while making each game’s score unique by examining one musical element, the overworld theme, from each of the main entries in the Zelda series. Schenkerian analysis is used to identify structural and motivic relationships between the various themes. This article concludes with an examination of semiotic implications of this analysis and its impact on other aspects of the Zelda series and game music analysis as a whole.