Nintendo's Koji Kondo has been one of the most recognized composers in video games for thirty years, creating music for franchises like Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and more. With over three decades of music making experience and dozens of hit titles under his belt, Kondo knows a thing or two about video game music. In a recent interview, he discussed why The Legend of Zelda is his favorite series to compose for. He also revealed that he is not actively composing for Zelda on Wii U, but he is still a supervisor on the project.
Here's what Kondo had to say when asked which series he liked composing for the most.
Maybe for the Legend of Zelda. Because of the variety of the worlds and the landscapes that you encounter within the game, it allows me to imagine musical types that I've never heard before. I get to work with a lot of different genres to meet the variety of the worlds and landscapes I'm seeing within the game. So I really enjoy working on that franchise a lot. — Koji Kondo
Although Kondo isn't actively writing songs for Zelda U, he'll still be playing a major role in the music of the game as supervisor.
GameSpot: Are you working on the next Zelda theme as well, or is that coming from a separate team?
Koji Kondo: I'll be supervising and looking over that, but I'm not actively composing for the game.
GameSpot: My final question, when you're working as a supervisor on something like that, when do you know when it's ready for the game? When do you let it go?
Koji Kondo: We look at whether the music has achieved its goal. Whether the music's designed to emphasize a certain action on screen or if it's designed to entice vocal songs or something like that. We just have to look at what the music is designed to do within the game.
Sometimes the creator has a tough time doing that. Because they're so close, they're so deep into the music themselves, they're unable to look at it from the player's point of view. So as someone who's supervising the direction of the music, I try to put myself into the player's shoes and I ask myself, "Does this music fit with what's happening? Does it do what the game wants it to do?" But the composer is still concerned with the music itself. So I try to look at it and give advice from that viewpoint. Whether or not it's achieving the goal, and whether or not that's clear from the player's viewpoint.