Beyond Beeps: Luigi's Mansion
March 26, 2013
Of all of the characters in Nintendo's stable to send into battle against a house full of angry ghosts in order to rescue the famous (and missing!) Mario, it seems that Luigi would be the least capable choice, but somehow it all works in 2001's Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube. In honor of the sequel, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, launching this week, it's only appropriate to look back at the original game and its fun soundtrack composed by Kazumi Totaka. Far from frightening, the music of Luigi's Mansion accompanies the green-capped plumber in his journey with some familiar tunes and a memorable, hummable recurring melody that appears in several forms from traditional instrumental theme to frightened whistle by the unlikely hero himself.
Exploring a new part of the mansion is commonly set to the "Dark Rooms" track, making it the game's default main theme. It turns up in many different forms over the course of the adventure from as a sinister string piece to the crazy professor's lab-oriented take to Luigi's own frightened humming and whistling. It's a certainly a catchy little theme. A small piece of the song tries to pop up and escape from the file selection music, but it just can't quite muster an appearance.
Luigi's Mansion also includes a number of familiar tunes to help drive away the gloom. The traditional Super Mario Bros. overworld theme and underwater theme turn up in unexpected places along with Super Mario Bros. 3's "Athletic" theme if you complete key event sequences. Talking to a Toad triggers a song that opens with the same jingle from Super Mario 64 that plays when Mario speaks to one of the Toads trapped within the walls of Princess Peach's castle.
Rescuing Mario at the end of the game is set against a medley of classic Mario music played with in creative ways. The poor brother in red has been trapped inside a portrait, and the theme paired up with his return is fitting for a man trying to burst free from a haunted canvas. There's a bit of the jingle commonly reserved for rescuing the princess buried in there along with the famous overworld and underworld themes from Super Mario Bros. among other elements.
Nintendo's music team has a special knack for composing dynamite closing credit themes, so to close out Luigi's Mansion we're treated to a snappy tune that has "end of the journey" written all over it. The Super Mario Bros. underworld theme even shows up again here for a moment.
There's so much more to the Luigi's Mansion soundtrack (and game!) than just these songs, but hopefully this has given you a small taste of the experience. I recommend tracking down the game and exploring the mansion for yourself. It's an underrated treat. For now, however, this is Game Over.