Sometimes a piece of music in a game is more memorable for its sheer oddness over its general musicality. As an example, take a listen to the theme of Level 2-6 in Yoshi’s Woolly World, “Lava Scarves and Red-Hot Blarggs.”
Up to this point in the game. the music of Yoshi’s Woolly World was pretty much what you’d expect from a cute Mario game with a cute, warm theme. It was bright and upbeat, full of syncopated rhythms and feel-good notes.
And then along came the synthesized guitars in Level 2-6, and suddenly the game felt very different. Not bad different …just…different. More serious maybe. More sinister in a strange way. More of something that totally wasn’t Yoshi’s Woolly World.
After completing the level (and getting one of what would eventually be my favorite Yoshies), the game went back to its former self, all sweet and cheery. But the strange sounds that emanated from Level 2-6 stuck. And once I was done with World 2 in the game, I had to go back and play Level 2-6 again and again…and one more time just to make sure that my ears weren’t deceiving me. But no, the guitars and the “hardcore” sounds were certainly there. There was no denying that. And I couldn’t for the life of me decide if I was okay with that.
Not that Nintendo asked my opinion on the matter.
Now that my time with Yoshi’s Woolly World is coming to a soft end (still more Yoshies to get, but my motivation is waning), the theme “Lava Scarves and Red Hot Blarggs” is the one and only song that I really remember from end to end. It’s not even the most repeated theme of the game, but it’s wild and weird enough in comparison to the music of the rest of the game to have made the largest impression. And I still don’t know if I actually like it. It might have something to do with the fact that the theme has such a hard edge to it – it just doesn’t mesh with the game’s soft, knitted feel.
Guess nobody thought of creating hesher Yoshi, huh?
I mean, it kind of fits with the fiery atmosphere and enemies of Level 2-6. And it does make things feel very different from your standard Mario fare. For those reasons I applaud the composers from stepping out of the Mario box. But at the same time it’ shard to accept the edgy noise underneath the regular sound effects of Yoshi and the game.
Even though I don’t know if I really like the song, I’m pretty sure that I don’t dislike it either. Taken out of the context of Yoshi’s Woolly World, it’s actually not a bad piece of hard rock music. It’s a bit tinny here and there, but it works well enough overall. Frankly, if “Lava Scarves and Red Hot Blarggs” was on a random hardcore album of one sort or another rather than placed in a Yoshi/Mario video game, I probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash at it.
So no, I don’t hate the idea Yoshi rockin’ out, but I’m not sure I’m ready to face that proposition yet.
With “Lava Scarves and Red Hot Blarggs” I remain resonantly ambivalent.
What game music to you like enough not to hate but don’t hate enough to not like?