Sep 14, 2021
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Wario Land 4’s sound room still haunts me

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Twenty years after its release, the GBA classic Wario Land 4 remains a fascinating artifact. It’s not only an accomplished platformer that could rival any 2D Mario outing from the same era, but also a clear commitment to developing an aesthetic texture for Wario games that has informed many of Wario’s subsequent appearances. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this texture, such as Wario’s now-iconic sleazy charms or Charles Martinet’s vocal performance. However, the aspect that leaves the biggest impression in 2021 is the range of bizarre audio experiences in the game. Wario Land 4’s soundtrack, particularly the game’s haunting “sound room” unlockables, communicate a unique sound for Wario that is still…

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