Koji Kondo was born on August 13, 1960 in Nagoya, Japan in the Aichi Prefecture. His love for music appeared early in his life when he would create short tunes for fun, and by seventeen he began to study music professionally.
In the early 1980's Kondo heard that a company called Nintendo was looking for music composers to create music for video games. Kondo never thought of composing music for games before, but he decided to try it out and in 1983 he was hired. He felt very confined to writing music on the Famicom because it had such a low quality of music, but as Nintendo released new systems, the quality of music also increased.
Kondo went on to compose music for some of the biggest known titles for Nintendo including the Mario and Zelda series. To this day, Kondo continues to work with Nintendo making music for video games.
Kondo's style shows elements of Jazz, Classical, and Latin influences with a cinematic theme that have remained fairly similar throughout his career. His music has been released on a multitude of albums. Some have drawn a parallel calling him the John Williams of video games.
At the time, Nintendo required their main composers such as Hirokazu Tanaka and Akito Nakatsuka to write their own sound engines for the NES/Famicom, so Koji programmed a sound driver on the Family BASIC computer in 6502 assembly.
Kondo composed his music on an electronic keyboard and then programmed it into the game. It is likely that the instrument samples came from his electronic keyboard but it is unknown what make and model of keyboard he used.
|1984-06-12||Vs. Stroke & Match: Golf (ARC)|
|1984-06-21||Family BASIC (FC)||Sound programming|
|1984-10-05||Devil World (FC)||
||With Akito Nakatsuka|
|1985-05-??||Arm Wrestling (ARC)|
|1985-06-21||Kung Fu (NES)||Sound effects|
|1985-09-13||Super Mario Bros. (NES)||
|1986-02-21||The Legend of Zelda (NES)||
|1986-04-14||The Mystery of Murasame Castle (FDS) (謎の村雨城)|
|1986-05-03||Super Mario Bros. 2 (FDS) (スーパーマリオブラザーズ２)|
|1987-07-10||Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic (FDS) (夢工場 ドキドキパニック)|
|1987-09-04||Famicom Tale: New Onigashima - Prequel (FDS) (ファミコン昔話 新鬼ヶ島 前編)|
|1987-09-30||Famicom Tale: New Onigashima - Sequel (FDS) (ファミコン昔話 新鬼ヶ島 後編)|
|1988-10-??||Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) (スーパーマリオＵＳＡ)|
|1988-10-23||Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) (スーパーマリオブラザーズ３)|
|1990-11-21||Super Mario World (SNES) (スーパーマリオワールド Super Mario Bros. 4)|
|1990-12-21||Pilotwings (SNES) (パイロットウィングス)||Composed Helicopter; Sound programming|
|1991-04-26||SimCity (SNES) (シムシティ)|
|1991-11-21||The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)||
|1993-02-21||Star Fox (SNES) (スターフォックス)||Sound Effects|
|1995-08-15||Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)|
|1996-06-23||Super Mario 64 (N64)||
||Programmed by Hideaki Shimizu|
|1997-05-27||Star Fox 64 (N64)||With Hajime Wakai|
|1998-11-21||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)||Last game entirely composed by Kondo|
|2000-05-27||The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)||With Toru Minegishi|
|2002-07-19||Super Mario Sunshine (GC)||With Shinobu Tanaka|
|2002-12-13||The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)||Composed Grandma's Theme|
|2006-05-15||New Super Mario Bros. (DS) (ニュー・スーパーマリオブラザーズ)||Composed Ground BGM; Sound Director|
|2006-11-19||The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (WII)||Composed Orchestra Piece #1|
|2007-11-01||Super Mario Galaxy (WII)||Composed Rosalina in the Observatory, Egg Planet|
|2008-01-31||Super Smash Bros. Brawl (WII)||Arrangements|
|2009-12-07||The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)||Composed Ending|
|2010-05-23||Super Mario Galaxy 2 (WII)||Composed Yoshi Star Galaxy, Starship Mario, Bowser Jr.'s Fiery Flotilla|
|2011-11-18||The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (WII)||Composed Legend of Skyloft|
|2013-11-21||Super Mario 3D World (WIIU)||Composed Chain-Link Charge, Sunshine Seaside|
|2014-11-21||Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (WIIU)||Arrangement|
|2015-09-10||Super Mario Maker (WIIU)||Arrangements; marks first role as lead composer in 15 years|
|2017-04-28||Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)||Composed Battle Theme|
|2017-10-27||Super Mario Odyssey (NS)||Composed Wooded Kingdom, Bowser Castle|
|Unreleased||SimCity (NES)||Sound Driver|
Koji during the development of SMW; .
- vgmonline.net/kojikondo - Detailed biography.
- ign.com/articles/2007/03/12/koji-kondo-an-interview-with-a-legend - IGN interview.
- gamesradar.com/zelda-past-and-future-interview-koji-kondo-and-eiji-aonuma - Games Radar interview.
- originalsoundversion.com/koji-kondo-talks-ocarina-of-time-gives-details-on-skyward-sword - OSV interview.
- glitterberri.com/ocarina-of-time/special-interview-koji-kondo - Interview.
- iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/zelda-ocarina-of-time/0/0 - Nintendo interview.
- youtube.com/watch?v=5ilJCerCucA - Video interview.