Underwater Theme

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The main motif played on a piano

The "Underwater Theme" is a recurring musical theme composed by Koji Kondo, first heard in World 2-2 of Super Mario Bros. It was originally set in the key of C major, with the time signature of 3/4 that is mostly associated with waltz, playing at a tempo of 226 beats per minute. As it was "easy to imagine what it should be like," it was the first composition Kondo finished for the game.[1] The theme plays in every level and section set underwater in Super Mario Bros., with following rearrangements largely featuring as title screen music.

Reuses[edit]

Audio.svg Underwater Theme - The original theme in Super Mario Bros.
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The following list does not count ports and remakes (such as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe) of Super Mario Bros.

Arrangements[edit]

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. Special[edit]

An arrangement of the Underwater Theme plays in underwater levels in Super Mario Bros. Special, though unlike other themes in the game, its tempo is the same as in the original.

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

In Super Mario Bros. 2, an arrangement with extra notes plays on the title screen, the first of several title themes to be based on the Underwater Theme.

Audio.svg Title - The title theme from Super Mario Bros. 2
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Super Mario World[edit]

The soundtrack for Super Mario World includes a saxophone arrangement by Soichi Noriki and performed by the Mario World Band, titled "Shining Coral".

Super Mario All-Stars[edit]

Audio.svg Title (Super Mario Bros.) - The title theme for the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.
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Audio.svg Underwater Theme (Super Mario Bros.) - The arrangement used in the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
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Audio.svg Title (Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) - The title theme for the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
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Audio.svg Title (Super Mario Bros. 2) - The title theme for the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 2
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Audio.svg Title (Super Mario Bros. 3) - The title theme for the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 3
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In addition to updated arrangements for underwater levels in Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and the title screen in Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario All-Stars features two new arrangements that play on the title screens for the other three games that did not previously feature title screen music.

A sped-up version of the underwater level arrangement is reused for the World-e level Classic World 2-2 in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe[edit]

In Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, in addition to ports of the original underwater levels using the original soundtrack, the Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels title features a rearrangement with more prominence on the spacing echo effect of the main tune.

Super Mario Advance[edit]

Like in Super Mario All-Stars, an arrangement of the Underwater Theme plays on Super Mario Advance's title screen.

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2[edit]

In Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, an arrangement of the Underwater Theme's first half plays at the beginning of the prologue. A full arrangement plays on the title screen, using the same percussion that is added to the music when riding Yoshi in the game.

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

An arrangement plays in Super Mario Sunshine's attract mode.

Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3[edit]

Reflecting the game's tone as well as the prologue's music style, a music box arrangement plays on the title screen for Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

An uptempo, jazz-styled arrangement plays on the title screen for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, using a different melody for the second half.

Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

In Super Mario 64 DS, a slow, music box arrangement plays in the minigame Loves Me...?

Super Mario Maker[edit]

In Super Mario Maker, in addition to the Underwater Theme reappearing as the default background music of the Underwater 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.


Luigi's Mansion[edit]

In Luigi's Mansion, the theme appears as one of the two songs Melody Pianissima can quiz Luigi over, along with the athletic theme from Super Mario Bros. 3. When she plays it, she asks Luigi what he thinks the composer had in mind, with "water" being the correct answer.

Mario Party 5[edit]

In Mario Party 5, an arrangement titled "In Calm Water" plays in the mini-game Submarathon.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix[edit]

In Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, the song "Blooper Bop" is an arrangement of the Underwater Theme. This arrangement also samples the first part of the original theme halfway through.

Mario Hoops 3-on-3[edit]

In Mario Hoops 3-on-3, an arrangement of the Underwater Theme by Square Enix composer Masayoshi Soken plays in Bloocheep Sea.

Audio.svg Bloocheep Ocean
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Mario & Sonic series[edit]

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

In the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the second part of the Mario Medley for the Dream Figure Skating event is an arrangement of the Underwater Theme.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games[edit]

A new arrangement of the Underwater Theme is featured in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which returns in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Mario Golf: World Tour[edit]

In Mario Golf: World Tour, an arrangement plays in Cheep Cheep Lagoon.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the song for the Rainbow Cruise stage consists of an orchestrated arrangement of "Slider" from Super Mario 64 in the first half and the Underwater Theme in the second half. It was arranged by HAL Laboratory composer Shogo Sakai and returns in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the same stage, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as a song for Smash Run, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U for the Delfino Plaza stage, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for any Mario-series stage.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Another arrangement by Sakai is featured in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where it is split into three distinct sections: The first uses the original theme, the second is an orchestrated arrangement, and the third is a bluegrass arrangement. The song plays in the World 1-2 version of the Mushroomy Kingdom stage, and returns in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U for the Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker stages, and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for any Mario-series stage.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, an orchestrated arrangement is featured in "Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Medley", which plays on Mushroom Kingdom U and Super Mario Maker and was arranged by Bandai Namco composer Katsuro Tajima. The song returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Appearances in other media[edit]

An arrangement of the Underwater Theme by chiptune band YMCK is featured in Pictobits under the name "Super Mario Bros. Part 3".

In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a techno arrangement of the first half of the Underwater Theme plays in Mushroom Battles.

List of Mario appearances[edit]

Work Year Type Credits
Super Mario Bros. 1985 Original Koji Kondo
Super Mario Bros. Special 1986 Arrangement
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels 1986 Original Koji Kondo
VS. Super Mario Bros. 1986 Original Koji Kondo
Super Mario Bros. 2 1988 Arrangement Koji Kondo
Super Mario All-Stars 1993 Arrangement Soyo Oka
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe 1999 Original Koji Kondo
Arrangement
Super Mario Advance 2001 Arrangement
Luigi's Mansion 2001 Arrangement
Super Smash Bros. Melee 2001 Arrangement Shogo Sakai
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 2001 Arrangement
Super Mario Sunshine 2002 Arrangement
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 2002 Arrangement Taiju Suzuki
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 2003 Arrangement Taiju Suzuki
Past arrangement (Super Mario All-Stars) Soyo Oka
Mario Party 5 2003 Arrangement Aya Tanaka
Super Mario 64 DS 2004 Arrangement Kenta Nagata
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix 2005 Arrangement
Mario Hoops 3-on-3 2006 Arrangement Masayoshi Soken
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) 2007 Original Koji Kondo
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2008 Arrangement Shogo Sakai
Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Melee)
Mario Clock 2009 Original Koji Kondo
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Nintendo DS) 2009 Arrangement
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games 2011 Arrangement
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games 2013 Past arrangement (Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games)
NES Remix 2013 Original Koji Kondo
NES Remix Pack 2014 Original Koji Kondo
Mario Golf: World Tour 2014 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 2014 Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Melee) Shogo Sakai
Ultimate NES Remix 2014 Original Koji Kondo
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 2014 Arrangement Katsuro Tajima
Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Brawl) Shogo Sakai
Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Melee)
Super Mario Maker 2015 Original Koji Kondo
Arrangement
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games 2016 Past arrangement (Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games)
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS 2016 Original Koji Kondo
Past arrangement (Super Mario Maker)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2018 Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Melee) Shogo Sakai
Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
Past arrangement (Super Smash Bros. for Wii U) Katsuro Tajima
Super Mario Maker 2 2019 Original Koji Kondo
Past arrangement (Super Mario Maker)

References[edit]