Thursday, 19 September 2013

Waxing Lyrical: Jib Jig from Donkey Kong Country 2

Other then the SquareEnix RPG's, some of my favourite games on the Super Nintendo was the Donkey Kong Country series, including the third game. With gorgeous visuals, simple yet fun gameplay and wonderful music, you can understand why the Donkey Kong Country series is a fan favourite.

Of all the songs on the Donkey Kong Country 2 Soundtrack, from In a Snowbound Land to Mining Melancholy to even Stickerbrush Symphony, to me, none of the tracks evoke the same feeling of adventure that Jib Jig does. Adventure is the key word here. With games like Super Mario, there is no sense of adventure in the game. All you are doing is going through levels to save a princess from an evil Gamera ripoff. With Donkey Kong Country, the main characters are tasked with saving either the food supply or their best friend, and on paper that may seem less interesting then saving a princess. What makes Donkey Kong Country work is how the game is presented. The levels are varied and there is always some new twist to the gameplay. Mario games played it safe while Donkey Kong Country innovated.

So why do I associate Jib Jig with Donkey Kong Country 2 and not the more well known Stickerbrush Symphony? Jib Jig is a theme that evokes the aura and adventure of the old pirate movies. Stickerbrush Symphony is a fantastic song and one of the best tracks on the album, but it does not evoke the same feeling of adventure that Jib Jig does. With Jib Jig, you feel almost as if you are on a galleon, sailing on the sea's looking for treasure, and in a game about pirates, that is almost a priority.

Jib Jig is a fantastic song on an already stellar album. The true highlight of the song is both the percussion backing and the use of weather. While the synthesizers are great, what really lifts this song are the woodwinds and the stringed instruments. While I consider Stickerbrush Symphony to be the best song on the album, Jib Jig has more nostalgia tied to it. It was this song that showcased what the world of Donkey Kong Country was, an adventure game dealing with pirates.

If you haven't already, I would suggest checking out Patrick Burns version of Jib Jig called Rare Respite from the OCReMix album DKC2: Serious Monkey Business. It is a wonderful cover of Wise's original and invokes the same feeling of adventure.

I am Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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