The only problem is that Super Mario RPG has a huge soundtrack, that is far too awesome to contain within the confines of a single entry. So, I'm going to present the music of Super Mario RPG as two separate entries: the first one highlighting a few of the different battle themes, and a second one for area and event themes.
So, here are a few choice tracks from the battle scenarios of Super Mario RPG.
But first, a little background info. The music of Super Mario RPG was composed by Yoko Shimomura, who before, had composed some of the music for Street Fighter II (a classic game soundtrack!). The game itself was a co-production between Nintendo and Square (of Final Fantasy fame).
The game came out near the very end of the Super Nintendo's life-cycle (The Nintendo 64 was released about 6 months after this game). What this meant was that composers had had years to master the nuances of the SNES's sound capabilities (some of the SNES's best soundtracks come from games released between 1994 and 1996). The game is a fairly lighthearted RPG-Adventure, and the music suits the game very well.
It's a good thing that this is one catchy tune, because you hear it about 500 times throughout the game. I have fond memories of renting this game and playing it with my brother and my cousin, and we would all be humming along to this tune. The series of percussion beats that signal the loop (at 0:29) is my favorite part of this piece.
This theme let's you know that things get serious. This music plays when you encounter a strong opponent - a boss character. It carries a more sinister tone than most of the other tracks in the soundtrack, but doesn't stray too far from the lighthearted theme of the game. This is one of my personal favorite pieces of music in the entire game. It has a really nice gradual build that reaches it's peak just before the loop. It's really great!
Smithy is the main villain of the game. He is a being from another dimension who creates armies machines and weapons (living swords and cannons) to take over the mushroom kingdom. This is the music that plays when you encounter Smithy at the very end of the game. I think it's a very industrious and mechanical theme, which suits the character very well. You also get a nice sense of urgency from it, letting you know that everything is on the line with this fight.
Battle against Culex:
Final Fantasy Veterans will immediately recognize this music as the boss theme from Final Fantasy IV (released as Final Fantasy II in North America). This track was composed by master composer, Nobuo Uematsu, who is the composer of the Final Fantasy series of games - some of the most recognizable and most beautiful video game related compositions of all time (more on that subject at a later date).
That's it for the Super Mario RPG battle music. Next time, even more Super Mario RPG music!