Nintendo. Famous for giving us characters and franchises like Mario, Zelda, F-Zero, Kirby (yes, I know HAL created Kirby but since the company is owned by Nintendo, he also counts as a Nintendo property) and other famous games. But Nintendo has also made games that haven't gotten as much time in the sun or are as huge as Mario and Zelda. This edition of Favorite Tunes is giving a few of Nintendo's other stars time to shine.
Tunnel Scene - X (GB)
Released in Japan in 1992 for the Game Boy, X was an ambitious 3D style shooter with some excellent music by Kazumi Tokata and Hirokazu Tanaka. X received a sequel decades later on DSi Ware in the form of X-Scape. Tunnel Scene, the background music for the very first level was featured was arranged for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The arranged version of Tunnel Scene is one of my favorite Brawl songs, but the original is still quite impressive.
Heaven - Custom Robo (GCN)
The first game in the Custom Robo series to be released in America. You collect parts, customize your robot and then take it to the arena to pound the crap outta other robos. Simple concept, really and one I enjoyed immensely. Heaven lives up to it's name. I should track down the DS Custom Robo.
Balloon Trip - Balloon Fight (NES)
Once upon a time, I received Balloon Fight as a game in Animal Crossing. I took the game back to my house, set it down and fell in love with the Joust-like gameplay. But Balloon Trip, the game's other mode that let you navigate your Balloon Fighter through a hazardous spark-filled sky was as challenging as it was fun. Balloon Fight, while simple, is one of the best early NES titles. Oh and Balloon Trip is one of the happiest themes to come from a Nintendo game. Balloon Trip could also be heard on the Ice Climber's stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Machine Select - Wave Race 64 (N64)
I really wish Nintendo would resurrect this franchise. Wave Race 64 is still one of the best games for the system and the best representation of the sport. With the upcoming Wii U, the graphics and water physics could be better than ever. Just get Kazumi Tokata to be in charge of the music again and were golden. Seriously, has there been a more awesome select theme?
3rd Gear - Drill Dozer (GBA)
Dear, Game Freak. Drill Dozer was a superb GBA game. Jill was a great female lead and I loved all the different functions of her drill. Oh and Drill Dozer's music was some of the best sound to come out of the GBA. Would you be so kind as to take a break from Pokemon and make another Drill Dozer? Please and thank you.
Snow Theme - Mole Mania (GB)
Mole Mania? What's that? I'm sure more than a few of your are asking that question. Mole Mania is a late GB game designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. You play as Muddy trying to rescue your family. It's a game where you navigate the surface and underground, figuring out the solutions to puzzles to advance to the next area. Mole Mania's gameplay still holds up well today and you can experience it on the 3DS Virtual Console for a mere $2.99. Huzzah!
4th Race - Uniracers (SNES)
Before Tony Hawk and all those other extreme sports games of the 32-bit generation, there was Uniracers, the only game to make the unicycle look so unfathomably cool and adorable at the same time. You can get quite a bit of speed in this game for only having one wheel. Provided you flip, twist and roll your unicycle when you catch some air. Tricks were the key to gaining speed and beating the CPU racer. Uniracers is long overdue for a Virtual Console release, but that may not happen due to some stupid claims made my Pixar. The game has one of the best rock-based soundtracks you'll ever hear. Uniracers also has one of the most hilarious instruction manuals I've ever read. The writing in it alone justifies the existence of instruction manuals.
Bein' Friends - Mother/EarthBound Zero (NES)
The first time I heard Bein Friends was on the Onett Stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee and it remains one of my favorite arrangements of the track. Years later, I would hear the 8-bit original, which is one of the game's field themes, the second one if I recall. In Japan, the Mother games have some of the most bland box art you can imagine. As fine a series as it is, it really does deserve more than the Mother logo splashed on a red box.
Chapter 1 - Fire Emblem Gaiden (NES)
The first time Fire Emblem was brougth to my attention was when I unlocked the characters of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. While the Fire Emblem series had been going strong since the Famicom days in Japan, there wouldn't be a Fire Emblem game in American and Europe until the 2003/2004 release of Fire Emblem on the GBA, which was actually the seventh game in the Fire Emblem series. I suppose I could be cheating by placing a Fire Emblem game on this list, but the series still doesn't carry the same fame as other Nintendo franchises, though it has gained tremendous popularity. Just about every Fire Emblem game since the 2003/2004 Fire Emblem has been getting released in America and Europe. You'd think Nintendo would release earlier installments on the Wii's Virtual Console. If Monster World IV could be translated into English, there's no reason the first few Fire Emblem's can't be.
What's Your Name - EarthBound (SNES)
A hard to find SNES game, EarthBound is actually the second game in the Mother series. I was fortunate enough to be given this game for free from a very good friend of mine. After seeing so many mid evil RPG settings, it was nice to see one set in modern times. This of course meant your characters were prey to attacks from just about everything you can imagine, like ants. I kid you not. EarthBound seems like another unlikely Virtual Console release so if you wanna play it legally, good hunting.