Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Classical guitarist calls Super Mario 2 music “the hardest thing I’ve ever played”

Illustration for article titled Classical guitarist calls iSuper Mario 2/i music “the hardest thing I’ve ever played”
Screenshot: Mario 2 on Classical Guitar (YouTube)

Super Mario Bros. 2 is notorious for a number of reasons, the most famous being that it wasn’t originally designed to be a Mario game. As any gaming nerd will tell you, the SMB2 released in America is just a re-skin of a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic, which is why our good friend Mario is suddenly throwing turnips and giant pink dinosaurs are shooting eggs at you. Put simply, it’s an extremely bizarre chapter from an otherwise consistent franchise.

Now, however, there’s another reason this little anomaly from 1988 should be considered so infamous. Apparently, its main theme is nearly impossible to play on classical guitar.

“This cover of the Mario 2 overworld theme took me a lot longer to arrange and prepare than I expected. It was also WAY harder than I thought it was gonna be,” writes YouTuber Sam Griffin, whose channel is filled with beautiful renditions of themes from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy VIII, and Undertale, all plucked out on nylon strings.


So, what makes the Super Mario Bros. 2 theme so much harder than all these other songs? Maybe it’s the constant walking bass line combined with the ragtime melody. Maybe it’s the sudden and inexplicable accelerations into double time. Or maybe it’s the thought that a Shy Guy could be right around the corner, waiting to strike.

Confusingly, Griffin still ends his video by referring to the tune as a “beginner’s guitar song” and challenging his viewers to go learn it for themselves. However, in the description of the video, he writes, “Actually, I change my mind, don’t go to my Patreon page and try to learn this. Unless you like pain and suffering...”

Yeah, we’ll leave it to the experts.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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