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Retro gamers restore Super Mario World's (SNES) soundtrack with uncompressed, lossless audio

Super Mario World has one of the most iconic soundtracks in gaming history, and now it's been remade without any compression. Image via Nintendo.
Super Mario World has one of the most iconic soundtracks in gaming history, and now it's been remade without any compression. Image via Nintendo.
The original soundtrack of the SNES classic Super Mario World is immediately recognizable to many retro gamers, but some fans of the title have gone a step further. Using data from the massive Nintendo leak last year, they have recreated uncompressed and lossless versions of the game's original soundtrack. Take a listen below.
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The Super Nintendo (SNES) is known for having some of the best soundtracks in video game history. Titles like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 (or Final Fantasy 3 in the U.S.), and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island have some of the most creative, fanciful, epic, and intriguing earworms to grace gamers’ ears. Perhaps one of the most memorable original soundtracks (OSTs) on the system comes from the most popular launch title, Super Mario World.

But there’s always been a little something off about Super Mario World’s soundtrack. Because of the limitations of the SNES hardware, music was often compressed, losing much of the wonder and nuance present in the original tracks. Thanks to the work of intrepid restorationists and the Nintendo “gigaleak” of data last year, we can now enjoy the original lossless and uncompressed tracks from Super Mario World.

The restoration project, which seems to be led by a Twitter user known as “The Brickster,” found the original source code for Super Mario Advance in Nintendo’s massive 2020 data leak. Super Mario Advance was a remake of Super Mario World for the GameBoy Advance, and (importantly for this project) its source code contains samples and instrument names for the original Super Mario World soundtrack.

Using this information, The Brickster and others meticulously recreated the game’s soundtrack using the original synthesizers and instruments. The results are beautiful uncompressed and lossless versions of the famous tracks.

It will be obvious that these tracks sound noticeably different from those heard on an original SNES. After all, these are made with uncompressed synth samples rather than the console’s sound chip. The Brickster notes this, stating that this is more of a “what if” project exploring what the game could have sounded like if Koji Kondo (the composer) hadn’t been limited to the Super Nintendo’s hardware.

What do you think of the uncompressed versions of the Super Mario World soundtrack? Take a listen and let us know in the comments below.

The full soundtrack can be found here.

Buy Super Mario 3D All Stars for the Nintendo Switch.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1119 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > Retro gamers restore Super Mario World's (SNES) soundtrack with uncompressed, lossless audio
Sam Medley, 2021-02- 7 (Update: 2021-02- 7)