WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
When it comes to writing for these VG Music Picks articles, I impose a couple of rules on myself that determine what pieces of music I cover. One such rule is “can I write a couple of paragraphs where I can justify why I like the music based solely on the music whilst also sounding as pretentious as possible?” I like to think I do a decent enough job pretending like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to music but, sometimes, it’s hard to justify why I like a particular track. Sometimes, it’s just good.
For example, this week’s track – the final boss music for Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. While the boss fight itself is also very fun to play (if a little easy if you know what you’re doing), it’s suitably enhanced by the music. The idea of controlling Bowser and battling a dark copy of him, whilst unintentionally (and unknowingly) fighting alongside the Mario Bros. as they battle against Dark Fawful, is a really cool idea – something that we haven’t seen in a Mario game before, but, like all great boss battles, if you couldn’t hear the music, you wouldn’t get that same feeling of excitement or tension.
I don’t think Yoko Shimomura has ever composed a single bad piece of boss music (I don’t think she’s even made any bad music in general) and this continues the Mario & Luigi series’ trend of having epic but foreboding final boss tracks. Much like a lot of Mario RPG music, it doesn’t sound like it should belong in a game starring what is ultimately a very simple character, which is weirdly what makes it (and other music tracks) so appealing in the first place. Apparently, some have even mistaken this track for being from Kingdom Hearts, and I don’t blame them. It’s not the kind of music you’d associate with a portly, Italian plumber fighting a living embodiment of pure darkness.
Bowser’s Inside Story is probably my favourite entry in the series, and doing battle to this music was the perfect way to end the adventure.