GDC 2007: Mario Maestro Shares His Secret

Nintendo's Koji Kondo is to game music as Shigeru Miyamoto is to game design -- in fact, the two men have worked side-by-side on some of the most influential series in history. Most notably, Kondo is the mastermind behind the tunes that define Mario, Zelda, Star Fox and more. And more than that, he forged those games' entire sound design, as the 8-bit era required him to craft the whole package: sound engine, sound effects and tunes.

As such an influential figure, his Game Developers Conference debut was a huge event, the first public presentation he's delivered in years. His hour-long talk covered the gamut of his career, from the integrated sound design of SMB to his more subtle work in Twilight Princess.

To Kondo, game music consist of three components: Rhythm, balance and interactivity.

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