Shockingly, Backwards Video Game Music Doesn't Sound Awful

By Matt Wales on at

How many times have you asked yourself, "Hey me, I wonder what legendary Nintendo composer Koji Kondo's iconic Super Mario Bros theme tune would sound like played backwards and given a rock makeover?" Hundreds of times, I bet! Well, wonder no more: the internet has your answer. And it doesn't sound awful.

Stemage, a band that describes itself as purveyors of, "Catchy, high-energy space rock mixed with metal, pop, and prog - beamed directly from the addled mind of Grant Henry", has released an album of enthusiastically reversed video game music, called RETROGRESSION: VOL​.​1, as spotted by Gizmodo.

Well, that's not strictly true: the album actually contains four reversed tracks, with the other four tracks being reversed versions of the reversed originals. Which is to say, they're the right way round. Here's a spot of backward Mario to get you in the mood.

It's not just Super Mario Bros either; Stemage has flipped Ghosts n' Goblins, Tetris, and Punch-Out!! for your unconventionally arranged listening pleasure. Tetris is a particularly melodious delight, scaling back the rock for a faintly more folksy strum.

I think backward Punch-Out!! might be my personal favourite though. It's the perfect accompaniment to a frantic training montage, wherein I run through New York City with a steadily expanding sweat patch forming along my butt crack. Then I collapse in a heap on some steps and valiantly go on to win the match, but not so convincingly that there isn't scope for a sequel.