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The Music Easter Egg That's Hidden In Dozens Of Nintendo Games

Easter eggs have been woven into the fabric of Nintendo games dating all the way back to Donkey Kong for the 8-bit Atari home computer. Donkey Kong's easter egg, an alternate title screen, wasn't found until 28 years after the game's release, after the coder who implemented it hinted at its existence in a blog post. Nevertheless, it stands as one of the earliest examples of a programmer hiding a fun secret within a Nintendo game's code.


One of the longest-running Nintendo easter eggs is known as "Totaka's Song," a 19 note melody hidden in various Nintendo games, spanning multiple franchises and subgenres.

Its name refers to its composer, Kazumi Totaka. His full list of credits dates back to X in 1992 and even includes 2020's Animal Crossing: New Horizons. While not every game featuring Totaka-composed music includes "Totaka's Song," the list of games that do feature its 19 notes includes entries in some of Nintendo's most well-known first-party franchises.

How to find Totaka's Song

The first title to feature "Totaka's Song," was, fittingly, the first game on which Totaka worked. To find his signature melody in X, players must hold still for about forty seconds on a specific screen in the game's fourth mission. After waiting the requisite amount of time, the song will play automatically.


The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, the 1998 Gameboy Color re-release of Link's Awakening from 1993, includes two ways to trigger "Totaka's Song." When creating a new save file, players will hear it after entering the player name "Totakeke." Then, in-game, waiting idly for a couple of minutes in the villa belonging to swordsman Richard will also cause the melody to play.

Jumping ahead to 2004, Pikmin 2 likewise incorporated two different methods for activating "Tokata's Song." First, players will hear the jingle after waiting for just under four minutes on the treasure screen shown following the completion of a cave area. Waiting for three minutes on a screen letting players know that they're unable to save without a memory card will likewise trigger "Totaka's Song."


A Totaka-guided through Nintendo history

Though the list of games known to include "Totaka's Song" is currently comprised of 24 titles featuring Totaka scores, he composed music for a few other games where the ditty has not been discovered. Nevertheless, it has been theorized that these games may also include the tune.


Wii Sports and Wii Sports Club, for example, possibly include the song in the sounds of tennis balls being hit during the tennis minigame both titles feature. Playing the sounds that accompany its tennis hits in the order they naturally play to the tempo of "Totaka's Song" resembles his signature tune, but detractors to this theory argue that the brain may be hearing a phantom melody as a result of the sounds simply being matched to Totaka's song's tempo.

Tracking "Totaka's Song" appearances both confirmed and theoretical functions almost like a tour through recent first-party Nintendo game history. Titles that incorporate the song include Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy, Yoshi's Story for the N64, Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube, Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Switch.