Make Your Ringtone Awesome With Retro Videogame Sounds

By Justin Pot, MakeUseOfAugust 04, 2012 at 04:31PM

Is your ringtone boring, phone-like and stupid? Don’t be embarrassed – mine was too. Until, that is, I saw the light and changed it to one of the best sounds in the known universe: the Underworld Theme from the original Super Mario Bros. Now every time my phone rings, the people around me gaze in wonder and listen to my awesome ringtone, wishing they thought of that before me.

And don’t get me started about my text message ring – it’s the coin sound from that same game. Every time I get a text I feel as though I’m one percent closer to earning an afterlife.

Keep reading to find just a few sites where you can download music and sound effects from a few of video gaming’s classics. For a while I’ve hidden this knowledge from the web, mainly because of my selfish desire to feel unique. I know the second people realize this is even hypothetically possible everyone on earth will do it, and I wanted to keep it to myself. Sadly the pressures of writing three blog posts a week mean this week I’m caving in and revealing my satisfying secret to the world.

If you live in Boulder, Colorado, however, you are forbidden from reading this. This is my thing, not yours.

Mario Ringtones

Let’s start with the sounds you’re actually looking for – Mario. There are a variety of fansites around the web offering the music and the sounds; I looked through a few and think these are the best. Yes, I basically just Googled, but that’s like half of what bloggers do. Get over it.

Mario Mayhem offers direct MP3 links to songs from almost every Mario game, if that’s what you’re looking for. Alternatively, if you’re more interested in sound effects, The Mushroom Kingdom has an extensive collection.

Legend of Zelda Ringtones

Do you like saving princesses, but prefer to do so wearing a pointy green hat? Fair enough. Here are some site with potential ringtones from The Legend of Zelda.

This site seems to be the best collection of Zelda sounds on the web. You’ll basically find every sound effect from every game.  Are you more interested in music? Zelda Universe offers every song from every soundtrack.

You probably just want this sound, though:

Pokemon Ringtones

If you want your phone sound to be a Pokemon, fine, I won’t argue with you. Kingdom Hearts Insider has a disturbingly complete collection for some reason. For some reason, all of these sounds are followed by what I assume is a Japanese explanation of the sound, so get an audio editor ready for cutting that out. Unless you like it, I guess.

The sounds come from the old Gameboy game, so don’t expect to hear the annoying cries from the cartoon. The original 151 Pokemon are there.

The Sounds of Sonic

If you like inexplicably blue hedgehogs that run through dystopian landscapes you’ll be happy to know that fansite SonicHQ offers every piece of Sonic music ever, even the terrible ones.

I can’t find any sites with just the sound effects; share it below if you can. Alternatively, if you own Sonic 2, fire it up and go to the settings. You’ll find the “Sound Check” there; record the sounds from there yourself.

Audio Editors

Do you need to edit some of these sounds, or convert them to MP3? You’ll need an audio editor. I recommend Audacity for Linux and Windows. Christian outlined how to create valid MP3 files with it. If you’re on a Mac you can still use Audacity, but it might be easier to use Garageband or Macsome audio editor.

Once you’ve edited your file you can use it as your ringtone.It’s probably easy to find in your phone’s settings, but if not check the user manual.


If you’re done reading this and you’re not hard at work improving your phone, shame on you – you can do better. Find the best sound in all the collections above and change that ringtone now.

I hope you enjoyed this useless article, and that you keep the uselessness going by sharing links to other collections in the comments below. For example, my friend and colleague Dave LeClair used to use the Mario coin as his ringtone, but then discovered this collection of Diablo ringtones.

Together we can make the real world sound like a retro video game, and in no way is that not awesome.