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Nintendo Music Lullabies Soothe the Babies of Old-School Gamers

By Mark Konkol | August 15, 2014 7:37am
 Baby Luke Polydoris was the inspiration for his uncle Mark Polydoris to turn Nintendo video game theme songs into lullabies.
Baby Luke Polydoris was the inspiration for his uncle Mark Polydoris to turn Nintendo video game theme songs into lullabies.
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Mark Polydoris; Luke Polydoris; Nintendo; MegaMan

EDGEBROOK — Growing up, Mark and Dan Polydoris, like a lot of boys of a certain age, would play Nintendo until someone whipped a controller across the room or started a fight that ended in tears.

Their favorite game of all was “MegaMan 2,” which Nintendo geeks will remember involved the quest of its namesake humanoid robot to defeat the mad scientist Dr. Wily and the six robots under his control.

“We played that game nonstop, and even as adults we play it,” Mark Polydoris said. “We’re total dorks about it.”

In fact, the Polydoris brothers’ connection to "MegaMan" was so strong that the game’s soundtrack inspired Mark to turn the electronic beeping, whizzing and laser-inspired theme songs into a special gift marking the birth of his little brother’s first son.

“He’s my little brother, and I wanted to do something special. And since we are brothers we usually don’t do anything special for each other,” Mark said. “I decided to make a full album of lullabies based on 'MegaMan.'”

After about a month of laboring at the keyboard — recreating mellow versions of the theme songs for “Air Man,” “Quick Man” and “Heat Man,” to name a few — he compiled a MegaMan-themed album of lullabies for his first nephew, Luke.

Mark says the process of making the lullabies was "terribly maddening"...

As things turned out, Luke, who is 15 months old, didn’t really dig Uncle Mark’s old-school video game-inspired sleepy time album.

“Luke never really took to it,” said Dan, who lives in Edgebrook. “I listen to it more than the kid, who likes booty music and heavy rap. He’s the most bizarre kid. Not much lullaby music is for him.”

 Brothers Mark (l.) and Dan Polydoris turned their love of video games like "MegaMan" into a compilation of lullabies.
Brothers Mark (l.) and Dan Polydoris turned their love of video games like "MegaMan" into a compilation of lullabies.
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Mark Polydoris

Mark, a former Roscoe Village resident who lives in San Diego, doesn’t blame his nephew. After all, it’s hard out there for a toddler, or something like that.

“I get it. Luke is probably going to grow up to be pretty hard-core,” he said.

Besides, Uncle Mark’s lullaby present turned into a business venture.

“I put the songs up on Soundcloud because I thought it would be fun for other people to hear them, and in a couple weeks people were posting them all over the place,” Mark said. “They were getting 5,000 plays a day, and people seemed to love it. They’d post comments about playing them for their kids.”

So the brothers teamed up — Mark on piano and Dan designing the cover art — to sell lullaby albums on iTunes.

Their "MegaMan" follow-up album, “Lullaby Renditions of Classic Nintendo Music,” went up for sale this week.

“I lost my job a couple months ago, and I figured a way to make a little side cash would be to start a new lullaby album,” Mark said. “'Super Mario Bros 2' was super fun and easy to translate as a lullaby. It’s about Mario going into a dream world after all, and that fits nicely.”

The album includes lullaby versions of the theme songs to “Castlevania,” “Contra” and “Punch Out,” which Mark calls the “'Stairway to Heaven' of video game themes.”

“I read somewhere that video game songs were the lullaby of our generation, and these Nintendo ones were especially good,” Mark said.

“I know I spent hours and hours playing these games as a kid and loved the music. And I think a lot of adults want to share those songs with their kids.”

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 Brothers Mark (l.) and Dan Polydoris teamed up to create two lullaby albums based on Nintendo video game theme songs.
Brothers Mark (l.) and Dan Polydoris teamed up to create two lullaby albums based on Nintendo video game theme songs.
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Dan Polydoris