For nearly 25 years, Nintendo composer and sound designer Kazumi Totaka has been hiding a signature 19-note melody in games. While he's hardly the first to nefariously lay an easter egg, there's a bit of a legend to what the locals call "Totaka's Song."
It's believed Totaka's hidden the tune in almost every game he's worked on, and in recent years we've seen just how deep those hidings can be. In Mario Paint, for example, if you click the "0" in the title screen name then, woo-hoo, the little ditty plays. In other games, like Super Mario Land 2, you have to wait a few minutes on some random screen before the music begins. The waiting game can go to extremes, like bus driver Kapp'n whistling Totaka's Song in Animal Crossing: City Folk, but only after several minutes of silent inactivity.
Chasing Totaka's Song down has sometimes taken sleuths down surreal avenues. A couple of years ago, GameTrailers postulated you could hear the tune in the different pitches of a tennis rally in Wii Sports, only to later say a conclusive verdict was "practically impossible."
With all that in mind, it's great to see the legend live on with the discovery of Totaka's Song in Mario Kart 8, and the new sighting is one of the weirdest yet. YouTube channel Somewhat Awesome Games was the first to unearth it, after hearing random Yoshis quietly hum the ditty on the sidelines of the "Yoshi Valley" race track. Others including the folks at GameXplain verified it, and you can of course listen for yourself by putting on some headphones, booting up MK8 and taking to the courses dotted with cheering Yoshis.
The kicker? Totaka also provides the voice of Yoshi, so that's him singing his own fabled tune. Keep on keeping on, video games!
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