Small Ensemble

Lifelight
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Composed by Hideki Sakamoto
Arranged by A.C. Menes

Imagine having your soul ripped from your body by an unstoppable, evil force. When a dark, mysterious enemy named Galeem slaughters nearly every fighter in the Super Smash Bros. world, it falls upon Kirby to revive them all. Together, they can fight this “ultimate” evil. The lyrics of Lifelight speak of that fateful battle, in which everyone tries to stop Galeem, but perishes. Will Kirby be able help everyone reclaim their very souls?

Title Theme
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Composed by Koji Kondo
Arranged by Eric D. Silver

As the moon falls in the background, the sound of Epona’s galloping gets louder. After the intro, you hear the ocarina melody, which tells of the adventure of a lifetime. This story is one of the few that is truly as legendary as the title suggests. When players hear this piece played again, they are brought back two decades and will remember their own experience with one of the greatest video games of all time.

Main Theme
Star Fox (1993)
Composed by Hajime Hirasawa
Arranged by Eric D. Silver

General Pepper’s huge risk paid off. In Corneria’s most desperate hour, the defense force commander dispatched a prototype high-performance starfighter known as the Arwing. In addition to that, he commissioned an elite mercenary team known as Star Fox to stop the evil Dr. Andross’s attempts at conquering the Lylat System. After their victory, it’s mission accomplished as the player is treated to a stirring main theme for the Star Fox team. Many people have called Star Fox Nintendo’s answer to Star Wars, and it can be heard here with the powerful melody and exciting orchestration that has stayed in the minds of players for 25 years.

Home
Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012)
Composed by Motoi Sakuraba
Arranged by A.C. Menes

The world of Kid Icarus: Uprising is, in some ways, a sad, broken place. Humans are constantly finding themselves terrorized by monsters, and they are driven to go to war with each other. Not to mention, the power struggle between all the gods that rule over this world often leaves the humans as victims. Pit and Palutena work tirelessly to protect these humans from the wrath of the Underworld Army and from the other, more malevolent gods. But at the end of a long day, everyone needs a moment to collect themselves, and perhaps find a little peace at home.

Slider!
Super Mario 64 (1996)
Composed by Koji Kondo
Arranged by Jorge D. Fuentes

Slider! is Super Mario 64’s Athletic Theme. What does this mean? It means it’s a fun, action-platform theme for all the fast-moving stages in the game. It’s called “Slider” because it often plays in giant theme-park stages where Mario has to slide down the slide, dodging obstacles and collecting power-ups (or even racing penguins) until he reaches the bottom. This tune made another appearance in Super Mario Galaxy in another sliding stage, as a tribute to the 64 version.

It also plays on the most challenging platforming sections of Super Mario 64, such as Tick Tock Clock and Rainbow Ride. What’s the best way to evoke fast-paced action? Make an homage to American Bluegrass, of course! This tune features fiddling from the violins, guitar jamming, and brushed percussion, with a little banjoing peppered in here and there.

Outset Island
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)
Composed by Koji Kondo
Arranged by C. Wallace

Outset Island is the starting location, as well as Link’s home, in the Gamecube classic The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Link visits the homes of several villagers, a mysterious forest, and even a secret labyrinth accessible later in the game. The music that accompanies the island is light and cheerful, with bubbly melodies from the woodwinds. It evokes a sense of childlike wonder, reminiscent of past series’ songs, such as Ocarina of Time’s classic “Kakariko Village” theme.

Into the Legend
Dragon Quest III (1988)
Composed by Koichi Sugiyama
Arranged by Hiroyuki Odagiri

The Erdrick Trilogy comes to a close with the origin story of the legendary hero himself. He slays the archfiend, Zoma, and overcomes this final confrontation. After his victory, the hero visits the king of the dark world of Alefgard and is given the highest honor: the title of Erdrick. As the credits roll, this heroic fanfare plays as Erdrick is sealed in the world of Alefgard and entered into the legend.

Casino Night Zone
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic Generations (2011)
Composed by Masato Nakamura, remixed by Jun Senoue & Atsushi Kosugi
Arranged by C. Tom-Wolverton

Halfway through Sonic 2, our hero takes some time to enjoy the glitz and glam of a Vegas-inspired city. Surely playing the slots to get a few extra rings won’t do any harm. With the stars above and the neon lights below, a snappy tune plays in the background.

In 2011, Casino Night Zone was reimagined for a modern Sonic to race through on the 3DS. With the new take on the level came a new take on its musical theme combining electric and acoustic instruments with a dixieland jazz flair. But what is new and modern becomes traditional again with this unplugged arrangement.

~*~INTERMISSION~*~
Full Orchestra

Clash on the Big Bridge
Final Fantasy V (1992)
Composed by Nobuo Uematsu
Arranged by Jorge D. Fuentes

Every role-playing game needs a signature comic relief character, and Final Fantasy V may just have the most memorable of the bunch. “Clash on the Big Bridge” plays during the climactic battle with Gilgamesh, which occurs six different times throughout the game! Perhaps the most iconic fight occurs on a long bridge, a motif that would follow Gilgamesh into several other Final Fantasy titles over the years. He may be a bit of a goofball, but his intimidating armor and spear combo surely makes him a formidable foe.

The musical accompaniment is quick and energetic, beginning with a sweeping guitar and trilled notes from the woodwinds. Brass provides some of the main melodies throughout the middle of the piece, concluding with a triumphant sense of victory on all fronts.

Vigil and Main Theme
Mass Effect (2007)
Composed By Jack Wall
Arranged by Mike Godett

In a soundtrack inspired by Vangelis and an atmosphere hearkening back to Bradbury-esque space operas, Mass Effect and its environment evoke the classics of sci-fi. “Vigil” and “Main Theme” bring about an empyrean openness and vastness with an ominous horizon coming in toward the end.

“I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite arrangement on the Citadel.” —Commander Shepard

Banjo-Kazooie Medley
Banjo-Kazooie (1998)
Composed by Grant Kirkhope
Arranged by David Scherr
Featuring Alyssa Menes on banjo

Banjo-Kazooie is one of the most iconic games on the Nintendo 64. It follows the story of a bear named Banjo and a bird named Kazooie as they set out on a quest to rescue Banjo’s sister, Tooty, from the clutches of the evil witch Gruntilda. Follow the duo on their journey through whimsical locales such as Gobi Valley and Freezeezy Peak. And as you would expect in a performance of the music from Banjo-Kazooie, make sure you listen for the banjo and the kazoo. Lots of kazoos, actually.

Dragonborn
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
Composed by Jeremy Soule
Arranged By C. Apple, K. Noble, A. Ryan, D. Sparks

In the Skyrim lore, there is a hero known as the Dragonborn, a mortal being with the soul of a dragon. This song, the opening theme of the game, introduces a fantasy epic as sweeping as its score. Choral lyrics written entirely in the language of Dovah speak the Dragonborn’s legend, the latest capstone in the long-running Elder Scrolls series of fantasy first-person RPGs.

Good Friends, Bad Friends
Mother 2: EarthBound (1994)
Composed by Akio Ohmori, Ritsuo Kamimura, Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka
Arranged by Jorge D. Fuentes

In the SNES game “EarthBound”, once the entire game is done, Ness, the main character, goes home.  When he begins recounting his travels to his mom, he mentions every character that he encountered in his journey, whether they were Good Friends (such as his party members, Paula, Jeff, and Poo, or allies in his quest like Everdred or the Runaway Five band) or Bad Friends (such as Porky Minch or Master Belcha).  While all of the characters are being shown, like a Staff Roll of a movie’s credits, this Medley cheerfully plays, showcasing an homage to many tunes heard previously in the game’s towns or at certain key moments.

One-Winged Angel
Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Composed by Nobuo Uematsu
Arranged by A.C. Menes

An unspoken role of every JRPG is that it must have an absurdly powerful, godlike main antagonist. In Final Fantasy 7, Sephiroth takes on this role, but not without warranting a bit of sympathy. Sephiroth learns that he was previously infused with the cells of an alien-like creature, Jenova, during a lab experiment. Upon reading (and likely writing several angry reviews) about his origins, he believes that he must continue Jenova’s ancient task of taking control of the planet. And it’s going to take more than a comically large sword to accomplish it.

“One-Winged Angel” serves as the final boss theme for Final Fantasy 7, when the player confronts Sephiroth in his most powerful form. In one of the most dramatic boss themes in gaming, this piece provides a constant supply of adrenaline-fueled strings, blaring trumpet blasts, and a sinister choir section sung entirely in Latin. As a foreboding atmosphere approaches, there are some moments of hope in between, thanks to a light flute solo and other, playful woodwind melodies. Don’t be fooled though; the final section of this arrangement brings the terror back in full force.

Super Smash Symphony
Super Smash Bros series (1999-2018)
Composed by Jun Ishikawa, Hirokazu Ando (mvmt 1); Nobuo Uematsu, Keiki Kobayashi (mvmt 2), Hideki Sakamot (mvmt 3)
Arranged by A.C. Menes, Eric D. Silver

Super Smash Brothers can be described in so many ways: zany, fun, silly, over-the-top . . . yet something about it compels friends to duke it out with each other just to prove who the best player in the room is. No matter how you think about Smash, one thing for certain can be said—what started as a quirky platform fighter pitting twelve Nintendo All-Stars together back in 1999 has exploded into a cultural phenomenon. The series has sold over 10 million copies (and counting), and has been played competitively at so many high-profile fighting game tournaments such as EVO, Genesis, CEO, and more.

But more importantly, Smash is a game that millions of gamers around the world hold near and dear to their hearts. It’s not hard to see why: gamers can play as their favorite Nintendo characters and spend hours upon hours playing with their friends. And yet, the real beauty of Smash is that it can be enjoyed in so many different ways, whether you want to play casually with items or competitively one-on-one. No other game in the world is that accessible by so gamers of all ages and interests.

This symphonic suite takes the listener on a journey through all their memories playing Smash, from the early days of Smash 64 until Super Smash Brother Ultimate. So choose your fighter . . . it’s going to be a SMASHING good time!