In any world with stock Video Game Settings
you find that one thing they tend to agree on is what type of music should play where.
While it could just be a case of following trend setters,
it may have also evolved out of real world references/stereotypes.
A related phenomenon is having works of similar theme(computers, space epic) have similar genres of soundtracks associated with them (techno, orchestral)
The fictional equivalent of Regional Riff
- Abandoned Laboratory: expect various sound effects typical of the time peroid, drips and electrical sizzles if archaic and humming machines if futuristic. If it has music at all it's ominous strings or techno.
- Athletic Arena Level: The more stadium-like ones get energetic marching-band music in the vein of a "fight song." Sound effects include referee whistles and crowd noise.
- Amusement Park: You can expect cheery and somewhat repetitive variations of the main theme.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Theremins; rapid, tuneless pizzicato violins
- Eternal Engine: Expect sounds that evoke the grinding and whirring of machinery. Industrial Electronica is common.
- First Town: Typically has a slow tempo and is played in minor key. Low on percussion. Typically meant to instill feelings of calm, nostalgia, or boredom.
- Gangplank Galleon: A good ol' piratey tune, usually involving an accordion, or strong brass and strings.
- Golden Saucer: Big-band instruments, especially brass. The music itself often evokes swing tunes like those favored by Vegas performers.
- Lethal Lava Land: Tribal drums and omnious chanting are becoming common. Likely to evoke the kind of music stereotypical tribal volcanic island dwellers might perform a ceremony to. Otherwise in more energetic series rock guitars are often heard too.
- The Lost Woods: creepy or mysterious woodwinds will haunt you.
- Palm Tree Panic: Steel drums, peddle-steel guitars, and other stereotypically Hawaiian or Caribbean music is common. Rock guitars are also common evocative of the Beach Boys or surfer music.
- Prehistoria: heavy drum beats and sometimes chanting or hollering in the background. You may also hear xylophones because of their that's just what bones sound like when you play them as an instrument
- Shifting Sand Land: Sitars almost without fail. Otherwise other standard Middle-Eastern, Indian, or Egyptian instruments are used.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: High-pitched, "tinkly"-sounding instruments and sound effects are commonly used to represent ice. Bells, triangles, chimes, the top end of a piano or xylophone, that sort of thing. Sometimes howling wind is added if its more ominous. Otherwise it might be upbeat show tunes evocative of December holiday music.
- Space Zone: Ambient music slow tempo music with a lot of space, sometimes reverb and an Ethereal Choir. Can be electronic or orchestral.
- Under the Sea / Down the Drain: Expect pianos, harps, and ambient synths. In lower registers especially there is a lot of reverb, high registers tend to go through scales quickly. May also opt for classical music evocative of water ballet, or overlap with islandic music like Palm Tree Panic.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Dark and forboding music. Most likely location to have Ominous Latin Chanting, an Ethereal Choir, or be played on an organ.
- Wutai: Naturally, Eastern flavored strings, flutes, and drums. Expect to also hear some of the classic Noh or Kabuki stock sounds (such as the well known "yo~oh").