Ground Theme (Super Mario Bros.)
The "Ground Theme" or overworld theme, also known as the Super Mario Bros. theme, is a recurring musical theme composed by Koji Kondo, first appearing in World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. The theme uses a periodic structure and calypso rhythms, and plays at an andante moderato tempo. The theme has become one of the most recognizable and iconic songs in the Mario franchise, as well as the video game industry as a whole, having made numerous appearances in games and media associated with Mario or the franchise itself and arranged many times by musicians and in symphonic concerts.
Sheet music for the Ground Theme has been used in the background of Super Mario Orchestra Concert promotional material.
The Ground Theme is a Latin-styled composition piece with a calypso-like rhythm which Kondo wrote alongside the rest of the music for Super Mario Bros. while watching and playing the game as it was being developed. Kondo has cited works by Japanese fusion band T-Square and musician Sadao Watanabe as influences in the music. The first bar after the introduction to the Ground Theme shares a melody with a bar from T-Square's "Sister Marian", which predates the original release date of Super Mario Bros. by over a year.
Upon seeing the overworld levels in an early prototype of Super Mario Bros., Kondo initially wrote a "laid-back, relaxing" piece that would invoke the feeling of a "carefree walk," but thought it did not fit the game. Kondo decided instead to create a new piece whose tempo would match the game's speed and the rhythm of Mario's movements, though a triplet rhythm from the original piece was retained in the final composition. He continued to scrap versions that did not time up with Mario's actions or harmonize with sound effects. The Ground Theme was the second song Kondo created for the game, after the Underwater Theme, and took the most time to compose.
In Super Mario Bros., the Ground Theme is used as the background music of all levels that take place outdoors, excluding underground, underwater, and castle levels. This encompasses level themes that would be given separate music in later games, such as athletic and night levels. As the game is for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Family Computer, the theme is orchestrated as chiptune, using two pulse wave channels for melody and harmony, a triangle wave generator for bass, and a noise channel for percussion. After the introduction, a rhythmic contrast emerges between the tonal parts, which play with straight eighth notes, and the percussion, which plays a swing rhythm.
Both the "Lost a Life" and "Game Over" themes for Super Mario Bros. are arranged excerpts of the Ground Theme; the former taken from the last several notes of the theme before it loops, and the latter taken from the first few notes that follow the theme's opening bar. Kondo's idea behind such tunes was to motivate players to try again, rather than using sounds that would otherwise discourage them.
In addition to ports and remakes of Super Mario Bros., the original Ground Theme has been reused in many other games and other media:
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. Special
In Super Mario Bros. Special, the Ground Theme is at a slower tempo than the original, and once again plays in above-ground levels.
VS. Super Mario Bros.
In VS. Super Mario Bros., the Ground Theme is remixed into a version interlaced with sound effects for the name registration screen.
Super Mario Bros. 2
In Super Mario Bros. 2, an arrangement of the Ground Theme plays in Subspace, replacing an original tune in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. The arrangement is noticeably shortened, only including two excerpts from the original piece. This arrangement returns in version 3.0.0 of Super Mario Maker 2, when a P Switch is activated while the player is in their SMB2 form, which is exclusive to the Super Mario Bros. style.
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, the Music Box item plays a soothing arrangement of an excerpt of the Ground Theme when used. It is transposed to a higher range and features a delay effect. The music has the in-universe effect of lulling all Hammer Brother, Fire Brother, Boomerang Brother, and Sledge Brother Enemy Courses, as well as the Piranha Plant stages in Pipe Land, to sleep.
Super Mario Land
In Super Mario Land, the last bar of the Ground Theme is incorporated into the theme of the Marine Pop and Sky Pop levels, and the first bar after its opening bar is incorporated into the ending theme.
Super Mario World
In Super Mario World, the Ground Theme is incorporated into the Special Zone music after the main rhythm loops several times. The player must wait on the map for two minutes to hear it. This arrangement of the theme is orchestrated using synth brass and steel drums, which exchange to play specific melodies.
The game's soundtrack includes an arrangement by Soichi Noriki and performed by the Mario World Band, titled "Super Mario Bros.".
Super Mario All-Stars
As Super Mario All-Stars is a remake of the first four Super Mario Bros. games, 16-bit arrangements of the Ground Theme and its variations were created, with some note additions and changes, such as the lack of percussion in the full theme's introduction. The full, arranged Ground Theme was later reused for the above-ground "Classic" World-e levels in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3; it is also reused for Subspace in Super Mario Bros. 2, though only the sections heard in the original version are heard. A new arrangement of the Ground Theme's sixth to eighth bars plays on the main game selection screen, and a new arrangement of the second bar plays in bonus areas in Super Mario Bros. and The Lost Levels.
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64's title screen uses a rearrangement of the Ground Theme with a steel drum melody, an organ harmony, and percussion accompaniment. Additionally, a vocalization of the first six notes can be heard after entering a painting, which returns for boss paintings in the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
In Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, an arrangement of the second bar plays on the title screen.
Super Mario Advance
A slight rearrangement of the Subspace music was used for Super Mario Advance.
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
In Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, the Special Zone music was given a slight rearrangement. Additionally, an arrangement plays in the cutscene after finding every goal in the game, which also incorporates the "Course Clear" tune from Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Sunshine
The music for secret courses in Super Mario Sunshine, simply titled "Secret Course", is a group a cappella arrangement of the Ground Theme. At the end of the game's attract mode, the theme's second bar is played twice on steelpan. An arranged version of the "Lost a Life" tune using horns plays when Mario loses all of his health.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, an updated version of the Music Box theme is used, while the newly added world selection screen uses a new, steelpan arrangement of the name registration screen music from VS. Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario 64 DS
A variation of the original "Lost a Life" jingle is used for losing a minigame. It is reused in the New Super Mario Bros. games, as well as in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 in New Super Mario Bros. U-styled levels.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., a sped-up and transposed, but otherwise faithful, arrangement of the original theme in F major is used in Toad Houses. The Ground Theme is incorporated into the credits music. Two dramatic orchestra arrangements are also used for the Minigames menus.
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy, the Ground Theme is rearranged as the background music for Toy Time Galaxy, which is titled "Super Mario 2007" in the official soundtrack and arranged by Mahito Yokota. It features a break after the first bar, but is otherwise faithful to the original theme. The specific arrangement appears to be based on "Mario Syndrome", a dance remix of the same source track released as a novelty single in 1986. A techno arrangement of the Ground Theme titled "Cosmic Comet" is heard during Cosmic Comet and Fast-Foe Comet missions, which also incorporates Shadow Mario's theme from Super Mario Sunshine at the start and the Underground Theme from Super Mario Bros. for the bassline.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
An original arrangement of the Ground Theme is used in Toad Houses in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In this version, there is a brief break between the third and fourth bars, and the instrumentation for the rest of the theme is similar to that of Toy Time Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy. Additional bass and percussion is added when the minigame starts. In Power-up Panels, the music speeds up for every Bowser or Bowser Jr. image revealed. Like in New Super Mario Bros., the Ground Theme is incorporated into the credits music.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, the music for Supermassive Galaxy, Mario Squared Galaxy, and Twisty Trials Galaxy is a remix of Toy Time Galaxy's music from Super Mario Galaxy, with the differences being the backing techno sounds during the break and the first part of the song playing different notes, and the addition of a slightly audible instrument in the main melody. The first measure of the Ground Theme is also used as a jingle for switching the player character between Mario and Luigi.
The "Cosmic Comet" arrangement returns in Super Mario Galaxy 2, this time being slightly higher-key with additional notes at the start of the song, and playing over the Clone Comet mission "The Shadow Lining" and the Double Time Comet mission "Turning Turning Double Time".
Super Mario 3D Land
Another arrangement of the Ground Theme is used for voxel art levels in Super Mario 3D Land: World 2-3 and Special 1-3. This version begins with a lead-up to the second bar, with the first bar omitted, and returns in Super Mario 3D World in Rainbow Run and Coin Express, and in Super Mario Odyssey while Mario is invincible after a Mario amiibo is scanned with held. This arrangement, sans the lead-up, also plays in Coin Heavens in both Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World, as well as golden Mystery Boxes in the former. Mario also hums the theme in the cutscene between Worlds 5 and 6. Another variation of the "Game Over" tune is used, which returns in Super Mario 3D World, as well as in Super Mario Maker 2 in 3D World-styled levels.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
During a loading screen in New Super Mario Bros. 2, the second bar of the Ground Theme can be heard. Occasionally, the third bar plays. The credits theme from New Super Mario Bros. Wii is reused, but with added vocals.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Super Mario 3D World
In Super Mario 3D World, a melody of the Ground Theme played on a trumpet and synthesizers is used in the background music of the Mario sprite bonus room in Bob-ombs Below after activating every Color Panel, which is titled "Mario's Colour Panels" in the official soundtrack.
Super Mario Maker
In Super Mario Maker, in addition to the Ground Theme reappearing as the default background music of the Ground course theme in the Super Mario Bros. game style, the music for editing such a course in the Course Maker is an original, more ambient arrangement, using eight tracks that fade in and out randomly to create a dynamic mix. This returns in Super Mario Maker 2.
Another, calmer arrangement plays in the game's manual, with the tempo closely resembling that of the Music Box arrangement from Super Mario Bros. 3. This arrangement also returns in Super Mario Maker 2's Play Guide.
Super Mario Run
Super Mario Odyssey
The New Donk City Auditorium in Super Mario Odyssey features a big band arrangement of the Ground Theme. Each part is recorded separately, so that the performance reflects which band members are present as Mario recruits new musicians for Pauline's festival band. This arrangement returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Super Mario Maker 2
In Super Mario Maker 2, a music box version of the Ground Theme plays during nighttime levels of Ground-themed levels in the Super Mario Bros. style, while a new arrangement is used for Sky-themed levels in the same style (which itself has its own edit and nighttime variation). This arrangement also incorporates the name registration screen music from VS. Super Mario Bros. and shares similarities with Super Smash Bros. Brawl's arrangement.
Mario no Daibōken
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
The opening theme of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, The Mario Rap, samples the Ground Theme. The theme was also adapted into a lyrical song titled "Do the Mario," which serves as the closing theme for each episode and was performed by Lou Albano. Various arrangements of the theme, as well as of the "Game Over" theme, play within the episodes themselves.
Mario Kart series
Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Mario is Missing!
The ending of the NES version of Mario is Missing! features a near-identical variation of the Ground Theme to its original appearance in Super Mario Bros., albeit with a few discrepancies concerning note lengths and pitch.
In Mario's FUNdamentals, an arrangement plays on the main menu, albeit only after the player starts up the game.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
The Ground Theme is used several times in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, arranged by Yoko Shimomura. The music for the file selection screen, titled "Let's Try" in the official soundtrack, is heavily based on the Ground Theme, with the first phrase being inspired by the name registration music from VS. Super Mario Bros. The Ground Theme is incorporated into the background music for Mario's Pad, played on an aerophone and titled "Super Pipe House." When Mario takes a shower at Marrymore, he can also be heard singing the Ground Theme. It is finally arranged for music box on the game's ending screen, titled 「お・し・ま・い・!」 (O-shi-ma-i!, "The End!").
Mario Party series
In Mario Party, a brief arrangement of the Ground Theme beginning from the second bar plays on the title screen (the music itself titled "Mario Party Theme" in the Juke Box), while another arrangement of the second half of the Ground Theme was incorporated into the second half of the background music for Peach's Birthday Cake ("Birthday Cake"). Another arrangement plays during the explanation of the game rules ("Playing the Game"), and part of the credits theme ("Everyone's a Super Star") consists of yet another arrangement. All four were arranged by Yasunori Mitsuda.
Mario Party 3
Mario Party 5
The Mario Party 5 minigame Pop-Star Piranhas features a different arrangement of the first few notes after the opening bar of the Ground Theme for each round. Said notes are also arranged in the theme that plays in Chance Roulette and the minigames Lucky Lineup and Vicious Vending, as well as the Card Party theme and the credits theme.
Mario Party 8
Mario Party DS
In the Mario Party DS minigame Call of the Goomba, the music box plays the Ground Theme, which changes tempo the faster the player turns the crank. In Boogie Beam, the first six notes of the Ground Theme play as the minigame starts.
Mario Party 9
The first six notes of the Ground Theme can be heard halfway through Mario Party 9's title theme. Three of the minigame songs are arrangements of the Ground Theme: "Jump-Jump-Jumping", the music for Skyjinks and Upward Mobility; "Freshen Up!", the music for Speeding Bullets; and "Super-Duper Mario Bros.", the music for the Extra minigames Castle Clearout and Shell Soccer. Additionally, a slow-paced piano arrangement plays in the Museum.
Mario Party: Island Tour
Mario Party 10
In amiibo Party mode of Mario Party 10, an arrangement plays when Mario's amiibo is being controlled. Additionally, the song "How Far Did You Make It?", which plays in Bowser Party mode when the losing team's distance is revealed, is an arrangement of the Ground Theme's sixth and seventh bars, played on a music box with synth pad accompaniment. This may be a reference to the Music Box in Super Mario Bros. 3, which starts on the same bar. Another brief arrangement of the first bar known as "What Are the Results?" plays at the end of the minigame Balloon Blast Bash and at the end of each round in the minigame Soar to Score.
Mario Party: The Top 100
As Speeding Bullets and Soar to Score return from Mario Party 9 and 10 respectively, "Freshen Up!" and "What Are the Results?" received new arrangements in Mario Party: The Top 100.
Super Mario Party
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros.
The stage returns alongside the song as downloadable content for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for every Mario-series stage (now renamed "Ground Theme - Super Mario Bros. (64)").
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, an arrangement using brass instruments and steelpan, arranged by HAL Laboratory composer Shogo Sakai, plays on Princess Peach's Castle, which also incorporates the Underground Theme from Super Mario Bros.
The song returns in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Rainbow Cruise stage, in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on the Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker stages, and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for every Mario-series stage (now renamed "Ground Theme - Super Mario Bros. (Melee)").
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a sombre piano arrangement by Kondo himself can be played in the World 1-1 version of the Mushroomy Kingdom stage. A portion of this arrangement uses similar notes to previous live-orchestra arrangements of the Ground Theme: These include the orchestration performed by the London Symphony Orchestra several years before Super Smash Bros. Brawl's release, and Kondo's own piano arrangement which he performed himself at Video Games Live 2007.
A second arrangement titled "Ground Theme 2 (Super Mario Bros.)" and arranged by Masaaki Iwasaki can also be played on the World 1-1 version of Mushroomy Kingdom; this arrangement also incorporates the Underground, Game Over, and Course Clear themes from Super Mario Bros..
The first arrangement returns in the same stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, in the Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker stages in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and for any Mario-series stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (where it is renamed "Ground Theme - Super Mario Bros. (Brawl)"). The second arrangement, however, does not return in later installments; it is the only non-Super Smash Bros. arrangement in the game to not make any reappearances.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
A new arrangement by Tetsuya Shibata is featured in both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (in the Golden Plains stage) and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (in the Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker stages), titled "Ground Theme / Underground Theme" and incorporating both themes as well as the castle music from Super Mario Bros. Exclusive to the Wii U version, Kondo arranged a medley of the Ground Theme, Underwater Theme, and Underground Theme (as well as a brief excerpt of the castle music), titled "Super Mario Bros. Medley", which plays on the Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker stages.
The Ground Theme's first six notes can also be heard in the arrangements "Super Mario 3D Land Theme / Beach Theme" (arranged by Bandai Namco composer Jesahm), "Super Mario World Medley" (arranged by Bandai Namco composer Hiroshi Kubo, which also includes the next two measures), and "Egg Planet" (arranged by Nobuko Toda), the last two of which are only found in the Wii U version.
In addition, "Paper Mario Medley" (arranged by former Paper Mario series composer Saki Kasuga) incorporates the Ground Theme arrangement "Blue Skies, White Clouds" from Paper Mario: Sticker Star in the first portion of the song.
All arrangements return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate available for any Mario-series stage.
Mario Golf series
Mario Golf (Nintendo 64)
In Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64, an arrangement plays on Mario's Star, while another arrangement plays during part of the credits theme, and yet another arrangement plays on the transfer menu. Additionally, the first six notes play on the title screen.
Mario Golf (Game Boy Color)
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Part of the credits theme in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour consists of an arrangement of the Ground Theme played on a steel drum. Additionally, on the character selection screen, Peach hums the first six notes of the Ground Theme.
Mario Golf: World Tour
In Mario Golf: World Tour, an arrangement of the second bar can be heard in the main menu theme.
Mario Tennis series
Like the Mario Golf series, all arrangements in the Mario Tennis series were arranged by Motoi Sakuraba.
In Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64, a slightly uptempo arrangement of the Ground Theme plays on the Mario Bros. Court, the Mario & Luigi Court, and the Super Mario Court. Another arrangement plays during Mario's trophy celebration, while a slower arrangement plays during Baby Mario's trophy celebration.
Mario Power Tennis
An arrangement plays during the credits for Mario Power Tennis.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour
Similar to Mario Power Tennis, an arrangement plays during Mario Tennis: Power Tour's credits.
Mario Tennis Aces
In the cutscene following the credits in Mario Tennis Aces, Mario signs his autograph on the screen; while Mario is using his marker, the screeching caused by the kinetic friction between the marker tip and the screen sounds nearly identical to the theme's opening seven notes. Mario also does this in the game's trailer featuring Rafael Nadal.
Paper Mario series
In Paper Mario, a faithful arrangement plays after Mario jumps into a vase in Boo's Mansion and transforms into his Super Mario Bros. appearance with modern colors, and after waiting approximately 15 seconds on a chapter introduction screen. When the chapter title itself is introduced, however, a boisterous rendition of the Ground Theme's first six notes plays. Another arrangement plays when using the Record in Boo's Mansion. The music was arranged by Yuka Tsujiyoko.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the battle theme is a loose arrangement of the Ground Theme. A more faithful, techno arrangement plays in the first Super Mario Bros.-styled intermission level where the player controls Bowser. The theme is also rearranged for the Petal Meadows theme.
Super Paper Mario
In the theme for Lineland Road in Super Paper Mario, the opening measures of the Ground Themes from Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World are used as a base for various melodies. A short variation of this arrangement plays when a new member joins the party. Parts of the Ground Theme were also incorporated into the music for The Bitlands and the Dotwood Tree. Additionally, arranged versions of the "Lost a Life" and "Game Over" themes are used when the player loses all of their HP. There is also an unused track which uses the opening measure of the Ground Theme.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the music that plays throughout the on-land areas of World 1 as well as the first area of Drybake Desert and Leaflitter Path, which is titled "Blue Skies, White Clouds" in the Sticker Museum, includes the Ground Theme's opening bar at the start of the song as well as the second bar in later parts, with slightly varied notes. The opening bar is also played when Mario's introductory splash screen appears and on the Nintendo 3DS home menu when the game is selected. A keyboard and saxophone arrangement of the Ground Theme plays during the boss fight with Gooper Blooper when he is poisoned. The first six notes of the Ground Theme play when the player gains a successful match in the Battle Spinner. Finally, the first six notes of the Ground Theme are heard in the game's credits music at the start, in the first portion and jungle-themed portion, and at the end of the credits.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
In Paper Mario: Color Splash, the Ground Theme is incorporated into the music for Ruddy Road (named after the level in the Prisma Museum's sound gallery) in a similar manner to "Blue Skies, White Clouds". An excerpt of "Ruddy Road" is featured in the game's credits music, "Prisma Splash!" Additionally, the first 7 notes of the Ground Theme play when Mario's introductory splash screen appears. When using the Compass, the music plays the first 6 notes of the Ground Theme twice. The theme after winning a Roshambo Temple is an arrangement of the Ground Theme as well.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Luigi's Mansion series
Before meeting Melody Pianissima in the Conservatory in Luigi's Mansion, the instruments inside when activated play the Ground Theme. Additionally, a sped-up version in D major is played when Mario's painting is run through the Ghost Portrificationizer.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, brief oboe arrangements of the second and third bars of the Ground Theme in natural C minor play while Luigi is examining Mario's painting; it plays at a larghetto tempo when King Boo is about to reveal himself, and then plays at an andante tempo when Luigi examines Mario's painting after having defeated King Boo. Additionally, the opening three notes of the theme's second bar are meshed into the theme that plays when Mario is freed from the painting.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Mario & Luigi series
All arrangements in the Mario & Luigi series were arranged by Yoko Shimomura.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, an arrangement titled "Mario is Everyone's Star" (itself a rearrangement of "Super Pipe House" from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars) plays in the Mario Bros.' House, which Mario also hums along to while in the shower. This song also plays on the warp pipe map and while selecting blends at Starbeans Cafe.
The Ground Theme is arranged with mallet percussion and acoustic guitar as the background music for Little Fungitown, titled "Another Sky for Toads."
The tutorials, as well as the minigame Border Jump, use an arrangement titled "Jump! (Ground Theme)."
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
A vibraphone arrangement, titled "Go with the Bros.", plays during tutorials in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. It is slightly slower-paced compared to that of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Another arrangement, titled "Steel Yourself" ("Prepare Yourself" in the British English version of the game), plays during tutorials in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam; this time, it is based on the arrangement from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! / WarioWare Gold
In WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, an arranged excerpt of the Ground Theme, with a slower tempo matching that of Super Mario Bros. Special, plays in a microgame based on the original game, Super Mario Bros. The Super Wario Bros. microgame, and its WarioWare Gold reappearance, have a version of the Ground Theme composed with dog barks.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, one of the orchestrated songs in the microgame Opening Night that the player must conduct the orchestra to perform is an excerpt of the Ground Theme (simply titled "Super Mario").
A song in Donkey Konga, titled "Super Mario Theme," is a saxophone-heavy medley of the Ground Theme and other songs in Super Mario Bros., including the Game Over theme.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, the Ground Theme melody is interspersed within the title and credits themes (together with the title theme from Donkey Kong), where it is played on a steelpan. The former returns in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis as an alternate title theme.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Like in the first game, the Ground Theme melody is interspersed within Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis's title theme, where it is played on a saxophone in a big band jazz ensemble. The credits theme is also an updated version of the first game's, with the Ground Theme portions played on a muted piano.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Another arrangement of the Ground Theme and Donkey Kong title theme plays on the title screen for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!, a marching band-style arrangement plays on the title screen, which shares similarities to the version heard in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
As in previous games in the series, an arrangement of the Ground Theme and Donkey Kong title theme plays on the title screen for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, which closely resembles that of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! This arrangement returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable Mario song, called "Title Theme - Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars".
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge
A slightly different version of the arrangement heard in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars plays on the title screen for Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge.
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
In Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, the song "Here We Go!" is a reggae-style arrangement of the Ground Theme featuring various stock vocal samples.
Mario Superstar Baseball
In Tetris DS, a slightly uptempo arrangement, titled "Mario Tetris" in the music menu, plays in levels 1-2 and 8-9 in single-player Standard mode, which are based on the above-ground levels of Super Mario Bros., and throughout multiplayer Standard mode. An arranged excerpt of the Ground Theme also plays towards the end of the game's credits. Both arrangements also use excerpts taken from the original song.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, a violin arrangement plays in Dream Figure Skating with New Super Mario Bros.'s World 1 as the background. Another, fast-paced arrangement also appears in the game, with the first six notes taken directly from the original theme; this version returns in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and in the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, three different fanfares based on the Ground Theme can be heard in the Mario League. The starting fanfare is an arrangement of the theme's eighth and ninth bars, the victory fanfare an arrangement of the first and ninth bar, and the losing fanfare an arrangement of the "Lost a Life" tune and the bar preceding it in the original theme. A remix of the theme also appears as a selectable composition in both Rhythmic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics Plus in the Nintendo 3DS version.
In Nintendo Land, the first six notes of the Ground Theme play when Mario Chase is selected and at the beginning of the music for the attraction's Slide Hill stage. The next two bars can be heard in the game's credits. The game's music was arranged by Ryo Nagamatsu.
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
A faithful arrangement plays in above-ground levels in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. If the player loses, an arrangement of the "Lost a Life" tune plays. Another, slower-paced arrangement played on melodica and guitar plays in Toad Houses.
The Ground Theme was adapted into a song titled "We Are Born to Play" by Swedish musician duo Galantis with added vocals provided by English singer Charli XCX, which plays in an official music video from Nintendo promoting the Super Nintendo World theme park area of Universal Studios Japan. Another arrangement of the theme was featured in the trailer revealing the opening date for the theme park.
A slow-paced arrangement of the Ground Theme plays on the world map in the LEGO Super Mario app.
Appearances in other media
In the Animal Crossing series, if the player puts on Mario-themed clothes or accessories, the first six notes of the Ground Theme play. In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, during the twelfth Fishing Tourney held around Mario Day 2019, a different version of the same jingle would play when the player caught a Mario fish.
A music box item exclusive to Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends is the "Mario's Theme" Box, which plays the Ground Theme as the crank is turned.
In Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, if the player acquires a rank of "Walking Speed" after an exercise, the man walking on-screen whistles the first six notes of the Ground Theme when tapped. In Brain Age Express, the man instead whistles the "Lost a Life" tune.
In the Island Flyover event in Wii Sports Resort, if the player flies near the Hillside Cabins, the Ground Theme, "Lost a Life", and "Game Over" themes can be heard.
In Wii Party U, one of the songs in the mode "Dance with Mii" is an arrangement of the Ground Theme, which also ends with the "Game Over" theme. The in-game description reads, "The theme song from the original Super Mario Bros.!"
In the Pikmin short movie "Occupational Hazards", at one point, a Red Pikmin is rummaging through a Warp Pipe. When it emerges, it jumps out with dust formed in the shape of Mario's hat and mustache on its face as the first seven notes of the original Ground Theme play.
In Tetris 99, one of the purchasable custom themes added in the version 2.0 update is a Super Mario Bros. theme, which features a faithful arrangement of the Ground Theme. Additionally, the Super Mario All-Stars theme from the 18th Maximus Cup plays the Ground Theme arrangement from that game.
The Ground Theme has also made appearances in the rhythm game series Taiko no Tatsujin and Just Dance. In the Japan-exclusive Just Dance Wii and the Wii version of Just Dance 3 (in which the song is downloadable content), the song "Just Mario" (whose artist is simply credited as "Ubisoft meets Nintendo") is a medley of remixes of the Ground Theme, invincibility theme, and Underground Theme. The song returns in the Nintendo Switch version of Just Dance 2018, albeit with the themes fully arranged instead of remixed.
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition, a sped-up, techno arrangement plays in Mushroom Battles.
List of Mario appearances
1 - Added as downloadable content
Names in other languages