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Nintendo 64 Original Soundtrack Greatest Hits


74 minutes total
  1. Fulgore
  2. Maya
  3. Saberwulf
  4. Glacius
  5. Jago
  6. Wave Race
  7. Corneria
  8. Blackhole
  9. Title Tune
  10. Simian Acres
  11. Angel City
  12. Mountain Bay
  13. Replay Tune
  14. Helicopter Fly Thru
  15. Angel City 2
  16. Replay 2
  17. Mountain Bay 2
  18. 'It's a me, Mario!'
  19. Title theme
  20. Super Mario 64 Main Theme
  21. Slider
  22. Inside the castle walls
  23. Dire, Dire Docks
  24. Lethal Lava Land
  25. Wing Cap Mario
  26. Metallic Mario
  27. Boss Battle
  28. Bowser's Road
  29. Bowser's theme
  30. Ultimate Bowser
  31. Ending Demo
  32. Credits Roll
  • Released in 1996 by Nintendo (retail $14).
  • Detailed release notes and credits at VGMdb.


A collection of N64 tunes hampered by poor presentation and packaging issues.

Reader review by Jon Turner

Nintendo's second catalog compilation CD, issued in the latter half of 1996 to tie-in with the release of Nintendo 64 is one of those albums which may have had some significance at one time, but today feels very outdated, primarily in the presentation and packaging departments. Unlike their previous release, the similarly problematic Play It Loud, this one at least features track titles for each song on the back cover, but unfortunately there are caveats to it. There are only 31 tracks on the CD, while the package erroneously lists a 32nd one which for some reason is not included.

As for the music, the only game to get a huge amount of attention in the package is, unsurprisingly, Super Mario 64, which makes up all but the last third of the album. Although held back by a now dated sound system (although not to the same extent that some other N64 soundtracks from this era suffered from), Koji Kondo's compositions are still quite catchy and iconic. Like predecessor Super Mario World, Kondo constructs a lively main theme which is ably adapted into different variations at various points in the work, particularly the fast-paced, Western-themed "Slider." But the relaxing, synth-toned "Dire, Dire Docks" remains a treasure, as does the pleasant, pizzicato-string hued Castle theme. "Bowser's Theme" is probably the weakest element of the score, being a bit too abrasive and not menacing, although it does get a grand workout in the organ-powered "Ultimate Bowser." Still, warts and all, Super Mario 64's score remains a forgotten classic, albeit largely overshadowed today by more popular entries such as Super Mario Galaxy.

As for the rest of the music on this CD, the only merit of interest to listeners will be that a good majority of it hasn't seen a legitimate release during the lifespan of the N64, with the possible exception of Robin Beanland's heavy-metal driven Killer Instinct Gold (incidentally issued on another Nintendo CD). Even then, listeners will notice that the sound mix for the select tunes have a more lacking, reduced quality on account of being the N64 versions as opposed to their more crisp, fuller arcade counterparts on the Killer Gold Cuts CD. Unfortunately, this section of the album is also guilty of mislabeling. Although "Fulgore", "Maya", and "Sabrewulf" are presened as adverised on their respective tracks, both Tracks 4 and 5 are badly mislabeled. "Glacius" is really the game's character selection music, while "Jago" is a sound effects collection more than anything else.

"Wave Race" is an oddity; a mostly quiet, mindnumbingly repetitive track that drones on for nearly eight minutes, is nowhere to be found on the game's actual soundtrack, and obviously doesn't have Kazumi Totaka's style. Why this dull prototype was included on the disc is a head-scratcher. Star Fox 64's only two tracks, likewise, are not identical to the final counterparts on the soundtrack (given the game was still in production at the time). Rather, they are the energetic, powered-up rearrangements of Hajime Hirasawa's now classic Star Wars meets Techno score. (Both are found on TECD-25275.) They're still great to listen to, but there's also another obvious problem: at the 1:53 mark there is a small silent gap which interrupts the flow of the music. (A similar problem with their Star Fox presentation on their earlier Play It Loud compilation.) Given that the original master from Teichiku Records didn't suffer from any such errors, it's beyond baffling that these two tracks suffered from such problems.

That leaves Graeme Norgate's Blast Corps, which, like Star Fox 64, was still in development at the time, as there are a few differences in some of the tracks from their final counterparts. The "Title Tune", for instance, is noticeably different in its intro and orchestration. Mostly, if you're familiar with gritty, hard-edge, electric-guitar flavored fare, then most of this music here will be pleasing, but it can't really be called one of the better soundtracks Rare has done. Even so, it is unfortunate that aside from Super Mario 64, this is the only other game to be presented without such jarring issues.

Nintendo of America never really took game soundtrack releases so seriously for the most part, and this was no exception. With problems involving the packaging and presentation as well as mastering (on Star Fox)'s part, it's no wonder this album fell badly out of print after its issue. Even more unfortunate was that some of these games never had a proper presentation. Collectors would have more satisfactory results with Pony Canyon's pressing of the soundtracks for Mario, Wave Race, and Star Fox. It's a shame that Blast Corps and K.I. Gold were misrepresented. While none of the music in general is bad per say, the cheapness of the whole album does put a huge damp on its value. Even for videogame music collectors looking to add Nintendo soundtracks to their collection, Nintendo 64 Greatest Hits could very well be among the last ones to consider purchasing.

A CD with some real gems and some real dissapointments.

Reader review by Kert Gartner

If Nintendo put half the effort into creating their game music CDs as they did in their games I'd be in heaven. Nintendo may have learned a thing or two since producing their last CD, but they still have a long way to go if they want to compete with the great game music CDs that are already on the market.

This soundtrack is composed of tracks from various Nintendo 64 games that are available and still unreleased as of the time of this writing. The music on this CD is fairly well done and sounds pretty good considering it's all OSVs of the music. Nintendo corrected a few errors that were in their last effort. For example, the tracks now all fade out, the tracks are roughly all the same lengths and the selection of music is pretty decent.

But alas, Nintendo can't seem to get it right. As in their last CD, there are problems with the mastering. On track 7 at 1:53 there is approximately half a second of dead space, where the music stops completely for half a second then picks up again. This is *incredibly* annoying and it happens on every CD player that I try it on. Can anyone back me up here? I don't see how in the hell this CD could be mastered with a huge glitch like that in there. If this were any other type of CD, Nintendo would never hear the end of it. Did they think that we wouldn't notice? Isn't there any quality control!? Also, the one Wave Race track on the soundtrack is not even in the game! It is a very quiet tune that most likely got cut from the game... and with good reason. Other than that, the CD is pretty good. If you're looking for some N64 music to tide you over until the next N64 game is released, this might be right up your alley. Otherwise, approach this CD with caution.

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