In its early days, The Legend of Zelda would use many recycled elements from the Super Mario Bros series. This is most apparent in Link’s Awakening, with Chain Chomps, Piranha Plants, Shy Guys, and more. Even before that, however, The Legend of Zelda borrowed a certain element from the plumber brothers that would remain within the series, and even become one of its most iconic features!
In 1989, Super Mario Bros 3 took the world by storm, stunning folks with great gameplay, levels, and music alike. Many of this game’s tunes are memorable, and one, in particular, inspired the famous Fairy Fountain theme in our beloved Zelda games. When the players ventured into the third level, Water World, of Super Mario Bros 3, they were treated to a whimsical beat with a melody that any Zelda fan would be sure to recognize. For those fans who have yet to hear the inspiration for this piece, have a listen for yourself:
A few short years later, A Link to the Past released in 1991 with the first rendition of the Fairy Fountain theme. Composer Koji Kondo took inspiration from his previous work and made some alterations to the piece to adjust it to better suit its new setting. With a few additional notes and a more majestic tone to it, the two songs have their differences, but upon listening to both, it is apparent to see where this iconic tune originated from.
From this point on, this melody would reoccur in The Legend of Zelda, all with the exception of Link’s Awakening and the Oracle series. Each encounter with a Great Fairy would initiate this song to play, and in most cases, the menu theme would also feature a rendition of this melody. This being said, it would not be featured in any future Mario games, and became a Zelda exclusive song. Why this came to be, I’m not quite sure, but I must say, personally I am quite grateful that this transfer occurred. I can’t imagine any better song to suit our fairy friends from The Legend of Zelda.