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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Favorite Tunes #29: Zelda Edition

Nothing but Zelda music. Enjoy!

Palace Theme - Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES, GBA)

The second Zelda game is often viewed as the black sheep of the series and by some critics, it's unfairly labeled as bad game just for being different. Sure, level grinding can get annoying and the game is by no means easy. The original Legend of Zelda tends to get a free pass on the difficulty, which is strange because once you pass the fourth dungeon, that game approaches Nintendo Hard territory. Adventure of Link introduced a number of things that would become series staples such as towns, more complex magic spells and Link's ever useful downward thrust. Zelda II's music was written by Akito Nakatsuka and he worked some incredible magic with this game's music. There's a splendid arrangement of the Overworld Theme and the Palace Theme was remixed in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Lost Woods - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES, GBA)

Probably the easiest set of Lost Woods to navigate in any Zelda game. After collecting the three pendants, you can venture into the Lost Woods and collect the Master Sword, which was first introduced in A Link to the Past. Most people point to Ocarina of Time's drawing of the Master Sword as a magical, pivotal moment in the Zelda series, but even with 16-bit sprites, the moment was every bit as memorable. The only downside to drawing the blade from the stone was that, outside of it advancing the plot and leading to Zelda's capture, you couldn't hear the Lost Woods music anymore.

Forest Temple - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, 3DS)

This game has been called many things, among them is the greatest game of all time. It's a superbly made game but I wouldn't go that far. Regardless, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time introduced many new elements to the Zelda series that are still being used today. The auto jump feature eliminated the need for a jump button and the targeting system, while not perfect, took away the worries of how combat would work in a 3D Zelda game. Koji Kondo took the composers seat to give us a sweeping musical score. I can hear the intro to this beautifully haunting song every time I picture Link running to the Forest Temple entrance.

Chase Theme - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

Gamers were fortunate enough to get one epic Zelda game on the N64. It was quite a surprise when Majora's Mask released nearly two years after Ocarina of Time. Taking place in the world of Termania, Majora's Mask has no trace of Zelda or Ganon. Termania has only three days left to survive. Why? Take a gander above you. You see that? That's a moon with a serious attitude problem. In three days, he's gonna wipe everything out. Fortunately Link has the power of time travel on his side so he can reset time as much as he needs to save the people of Termania.

Four Sword Sanctuary - The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GCN)

Released on the GameCube, Four Swords Adventure was a novel game concept that not many were able to  experience due to it's convoluted setup. You need to use the GBA as a controller via GBA to GCN link cables. I don't have my original GBA anymore but I do still have the link cable. Maybe someday I'll get to play this game but it will probably be solo.

Outset Island - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)

Winder Waker was the first Zelda game to use what has got to be one of my favorite Zelda art designs. It was decried when screenshots and videos hit the net in 2001, but when the game was released in 2003, critics were quick to shut up. One of the many things I like about this Zelda game is that it gives Link a family. Link's sister Arale is kidnapped by Ganon so he has a personal reason to be involved in the adventure.

Lake Hylia - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN, Wii)

I have the Wii version of Twilight Princess and I gave up when I had to do that stupid fishing segment in the beginning. I just didn't have the patience but I'll probably return to this game someday, though I'd still like to pick up the GCN version. I did see some pals playing this game when it first released back in 2006. They were at Lake Hylia and I was overwhelmed by the piece of music that played in this area.

Tal Tal Heights - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

As a huge fan of Link's Awakening, I was thrilled to see it be one of the first games to get released on the 3DS Virtual Console. It's a bit different from the other games in the series (it's the first to have no trace of Zelda or Gannon) but it's still a great game, nonetheless. Brawl has a lot of excellent remixes and arrangements of classic Nintendo themes, one of which is this Tal Tal Heights track.

Minish Village - The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

A port of A Link to the Past was fine and dandy, but it was nice to see Link get a brand new adventure. Minish Cap gave Link the cap of the same name and allowed him to shrink down to size to explore areas he'd otherwise have no access to. This was one of the 10 free GBA games given away for 3DS Ambassadors. Kinda makes me wish I was an early 3DS adopter since I don't own this game.

Death Mountain - The Legend of Zelda (NES, GBA)

The final dungeon in the game was quite difficult for me to get to. The first few level dungeons were pretty easy but as I said above, after Level 4, the challenge really kicks up. Death Mountain has a legitimately creepy theme even by NES standards. Seeing as how it's the last dungeon in the game it shouldn't be easy. But thanks to ZeldaDungeon.Net I was finally able to beat the first Zelda game without Game Genie.


Chris Clash said...

No Gerydo Valley or Dragon Roost Island ? Come on ! ;)

Reggie White Jr. said...

I usually only post 10 themes in these Favorite Tune posts. Give me time, I'll get to those. =)