Top Ten DKU Melodies



The Donkey Kong Universe is full with rich, deep music and fast, electric beats. Unlike the more generic songs used by many games, the following ten songs follow a different route. It was tough narrowing down the choices, but this is what we believe to be the top ten, the absolute best (as of 7/30/00), the cream of the crop, the butter of the bread, the fat of the bacon, the spank of the monkey, the...

10.
Banjo-Kazooie
Spiral Mountain
Composer: Greg Kirkhope

When first playing Banjo-Kazooie, we didn't know what to expect. After going through the opening story, Banjo (with Kazooie in tow) stepped out of his house. Instantly we heard a folksy tune start up, the strum of a Banjo kicking it off. The song was peaceful with a bit of hillbilly thrown in and seemed to establish not only the fact that this was indeed "redneck country," but that the location of Spiral Mountain was good and pure. Of course, the music changed to a dark and forbidden tune when nearing Gruntilda's Lair...
MIDI Version




9.
Donkey Kong Country 3 / Donkey Kong Land III
Northern Kremisphere
Composer: E. Fischer, David Wise

When stepping out (or jumping) into the area known as the Northern Kremisphere, the music established where you were perfectly. The faint, low key song showed how vast and enormous the Northern Kremisphere really was, and how much of an adventure you had ahead of you.




8.
Donkey Kong Country 2 / Donkey Kong Land 2
Forest Interlude
Composer: David Wise

Gloomy Gulch was the "haunted" area of Crocodile Isle, and the very first area of the world set that fact into stone with the combination of the faint rays of sunshine trying to break through the clouds and the trees, and the eerie music that played with it. If you really got into the game, it was enough to send chills up your spine.
MIDI Version




7.
Mario Kart 64
Rainbow Road
Composer: Koji Kondo

The only song not composed by Rareware on the list, Rainbow Road's song was something special. With the starry night sky and neon signs, the music made this a cosmic treat (so much in fact you'd half expect the MOONMAN to be a hidden playable character...maybe some day there will be a game that has that). It's fun, upbeat, and you'll want to listen to it over and over again.
MIDI Version




6.
Donkey Kong Country 2 / Donkey Kong Land 2
Funky's Theme
Composer: David Wise

The SECOND you first visit your old pal Funky in Donkey Kong Country 2, you're blasted with some pretty wild sh-t. It was insane, but it suited Funky's personality at the time to a tee. How many of you can honestly say you weren't humming this for days on end after first buying DKC2?




5.
Donkey Kong Country 2 / Donkey Kong Land 2
Welcome to Crocodile Isle
Composer: David Wise

When you start playing Donkey Kong Country 2, you're expecting it to be amazing, as most videogame sequels are (pity we can't say the same for movies). But the defining factor that really gets you in the mood for the game is the Crocodile Isle theme. It showed that you were on hostile territory, and warned you to tread carefully. The dark song, with a vague military background really can scare the snot out of you.
MIDI Version




4.
Donkey Kong Country 3 / Donkey Kong Land III
Rockface Rumble
Composer: E. Fischer, David Wise

By the time you got to K3 in Donkey Kong Country 3, you had already experienced the cheerful side of this game. It was a nice romp in the park. But when you got to the first cliff level, you heard a mysterious, vaguely melancholy song play in the background. The steel drums heightened the experience. The music by itself sound excellent, but when you combine it with the seemingly endless backdrop of the cliff levels in DKC3, you can see why it made this list.
MIDI Version




3.
Donkey Kong Country 2
Mining Melancholy (Mine Theme)
Composer: David Wise

It's a real shame that this song was left off the Donkey Kong Country 2 original soundtrack CD. We have no idea how this oversight could have possibly taken place, but the mine theme to DKC2 is truly beautiful. It starts off with the sounds of mining equipment hacking away at the stones, until a basic rhythm is set down. Light music starts up, but the true musical force of this song doesn't come in until about a minute through. An eerily emotional choir starts singing that really serves to move you. At times, I've put the game on pause just to listen to this amazing track.
MIDI Version




2.
Donkey Kong Country
Game Over
Composer: David Wise

This one is definitely an unlikely contender for the Number Two spot, but it deserves every bit. Unlike past "game over" sequences, in which you are almost punished again by the music, DKC had a very subtle theme to let you know that you had failed. By the time it was over, you almost had an acceptance with having to restart from your last saved place. Kudos to Mr. Wise for coming up with this one.




1.
Donkey Kong Country 2 / Donkey Kong Land 2
Stickerbush Symphony
Composer: David Wise

This has been a fan favorite since the release of Donkey Kong Country 2. The bramble music really can't be described with words, so a download of at least the MIDI version is definitely reccommended. The bramble levels were some the the toughest ones ever seen in a videogame, and the music seemed to soothe you from cursing your SNES, throwing down the controller, and leaving in a huff. There was a mysteriousness to the song that wasn't seen in any of the others, which was only enhanced by the backdrop of slowly moving clouds. This track is definitely the greatest, and even went as far as to leave a little mist around your eyes. It is truly a work of art.
MIDI Version