Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow’s First-Level Music Is an Off-the-Wall Genre Mashup

Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow for the Super NES is a game about a character who is obviously Donald Duck, but he is never referred to as such in the game. No, here he’s Maui Mallard, traveling duck detective (who will later transform into Cold Shadow). That’s not the weirdest thing about this game, though.

The soundtrack is absolutely bizarre. Now, that’s still probably not the weirdest thing about the game, but it’s what I want to focus on for the sake of this article.

The music for the first level — which is titled “Crackin’ the Gate of the Mojo Mansion” according to the instructions manual — is a disorienting, oddball mix of at least a half dozen genres that don’t usually play together.

It kicks off with some synthesized hand drums before a spooky organ starts warming up. “Okay,” you probably start to say, “this level is set inside a haunted mansion, so I’m going to hear some spooky haunted mansion music.” But then an eerie reggae tune comes in that, at about the 30-second mark, transitions into something that sounds like a church hymn. About a minute deep, it gets spooky again, but it starts throwing in jazz riffs before doing some ragtime piano stuff. And just when you think it’s going to loop, and old-time rock-n-roll bassline comes in.

The thing is, as disorienting and weird as all this is, it’s still awesome. Like, I genuinely love this.

This game as a whole is startlingly bizarre — especially for a licensed game with the Disney logo on the box. Then again, it was developed by Eurocom, who also made Spot Goes to Hollywood — I’m starting to think that twisted takes on licensed games were kind of just their thing.

Either way, this mashup music track and bizarro video game are a match made in the weirdest of heavens.

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