Daily Archives: October 8, 2016

The Effect of “Aquatic Ambiance”

Video game music has come a long way since its beginnings in the late 20th century, from chiptunes to, nowadays, sometimes full orchestra settings. However, some of the greatest music of all time came from the earlier stages of sound development for games, including David Wise’s compositions for the Donkey Kong Country series. Opinions aside, looking objectively at possibly one of Wise’s most famous works, “Aquatic Ambiance” has a unique effect on players that sets it above many other game tracks.


Super Nintendo version of Donkey Kong Country’s North American cover.

According to an interview with David Wise, he was inspired by a technique called “Wave Sequencing” on the Korg Wavestation, and attempted to replicate it on the SNES. In his replication of “Wave Sequencing” that used single cycle waveforms, he actually discovered effects that he liked and kept, such as distortions and harmonics.


“Coral Capers,” the first level in Donkey Kong Country to feature the theme “Aquatic Ambiance.”

But what made the music great was the strategic placement of it, and the psychological effects that resulted. PsychCentral’s article, The Power of Music To Reduce Stress, describes how certain music can affect us in calming ways. It has the power to slow your pulse and heartrate, as well as lower blood pressure, and decrease stress hormone levels.

Now consider the levels where this theme is used. It plays in all of the water levels in the game, which are known for being tricky, as the controls are different when swimming. Additionally, the characters move slower than on land, which sometimes messes with reaction time when trying to avoid certain enemies. Placing tranquilizing music in levels like these serves to calm players who are having a frustrating time in these difficult moments in the game.


Artwork for the Super Nintendo version.

Research sources:
David Wise interview
Music and Stress Reduction

Image sources:
American SNES Cover
Coral Capers

Video sources:
Aquatic Ambiance

Giant Panda

Recently, one of the famous science news talked about that giant panda is not endangered any more due to the hard working of the Chinese government. However, since giant panda is an endemic species which can only survive in China, it is not a well known animal over the world. Due to my personal interest on cute animals. I did some researches on giant pandas. And I will present them in three parts, including external features, living conditions and culture.


External Features

Big black ears, black circle around eyes, black arms and legs with white in the center of the body. These terms correctly describe the external features of pandas which only including two colors on their bodies. The color of black and white helps them to hide under the snow or a dark bosk in order to avoid enemies. Moreover, their claws are mostly sharp which assists them to catch or eat food. Giant pandas, just as their names, are really huge and male pandas usually are bigger than female pandas.

Living Conditions

Even though pandas become famous these years, they actually stayed for thousands of years in the world as an existent proof of ancient animals. And each of them usually lives for twenty to thirty years. As an endemic species, giant panda has a high requirement for living. One of their hard requirements includes high humidity which needs to be over eighty percent. And also for the most part of their lives, giant pandas only eat bamboos and water as their food. Except eating, they usually spend half the day to get enough sleep which becomes one of the causes of heavy weight. Also this habit decreases their energy consumption.



As a national animal in China, giant pandas also becomes a symbol of the Olympic Games named friendlies in Beijing, China. There are five of them including Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini. Each of them represents different meanings which are prosperous,happiness, passion, health and luckiness. Also, there is a movie related to the giant panda called Kung Fu Panda. If you are interested in, you can click on the you tube video showing below. Kung Fu Panda


Recently, a show including pandas which just born happened in China and attracted many visitors from different countries. And there is an interesting picture describes that a panda wanted to play with his neighbor but fell down from the stage. Last, if you want to travel to China, you can stop by in Chengdu, Sichuan to visit giant pandas. I am sure they will give you a big welcome party using their cute body languages. And even though giant pandas are not endangered animals anymore, they still need protections because of the low birth rate.


  1. Giant Panda Facts
  2. Baby Panda
  3. No Longer in Danger