Nintendo data miners rebuild Super Mario World soundtrack from original samples

Super Mario World was the best-selling game ever on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, with sales totaling north of 20.6 million units during its lifetime. This was no doubt helped by the fact that Super Mario World was bundled with select SNES consoles, but still, it was a fantastic game with an excellent soundtrack.

In fact, it was prominently featured in our piece on memorable 8-bit and 16-bit video game music from last September.

The SNES was powerful hardware for its time, but compared to what is possible today, it was quite limited. The audio subsystem, for example, only had 64 KB of SRAM, meaning composers had to use lots of compression to make everything fit. It’s enough to make you wonder what SNES soundtracks could have sounded like without all the sacrifices.

Now, we have some answers.

Twitter user The Brickster and some of his friends are actively working on Super Mario World Restored, a project that involves tracking down the original samples used to create the music in the game and rebuilding the tunes from the ground up.

Why hadn’t anyone done this before? Simple – nobody knew the names of the original samples.