Boy is Legend of Zelda is on another level entirely when it comes to awesome music, that very few games can match. You can thank composer Koji Kondo for that. Since 1984, he’s been churning out some of the most iconic, well-loved music tracks that have inspired countless others.
So it’s time we dropped the Master Sword, give Ganondorf a moments rest and catch up on what the young Hylian has been fighting, galloping and ocarina-ing to since 1986.
Let the nostalgia roll…
25. Faron Woods – Twilight Princess
It’s sounds moody and has purple fog that kills on death. Oh, and strangely involves monkeys a little too often. Great theme to kick off the Twilight Princess story.http://youtu.be/WsVT_-RsONg
24. Dark Hyrule Theme – Minish Cap
Take the original Hyrule theme, make it evil and the end product is a slow-paced, shuddering piece that readies you for the final battle.http://youtu.be/c3Q_oVPzIvg
23. Astral Observatory – Majora’s Markhttp://youtu.be/9Q7lSwam198
Beautifully whilst strangely haunting – an oxymoron-type song, if music has ever been described as that before. For such a small part of the game, it’s a wonderful piece that certainly deserves more recognition.
22. Tal Tal Heights – Link’s Awakeninghttp://youtu.be/_L6scVxzIiI
The first 8-bit song to appear on the last, and it’s an absolute gem. Not that anyone knew where they were going…
21. Stone Tower Temple – Majora’s Mask
Inversions play with your mind. The song does a good job at it too, because it’s just so sinister. Don’t even get me started on the inverted version!http://youtu.be/fNDLoncWz30
20. Realm Overworld – Spirit Trackshttp://youtu.be/5W_bFLwB0WY
An unappreciated game, but the soundtrack is top notch as ever. Easily makes riding trains infinitely more cool.
19. Final Battle – Ocarina of Time
Showdown against Ganon. Time to get the apocalyptic music on to add to the dramatic finale.
18. Zelda’s Lullaby – Ocarina of Time
“The song I just taught you has some mysterious power”. And it sure does, making grown men weep all around the world. Hats off to the Zelda Lullaby!http://youtu.be/_qPtuOfQbyI
17. Zora’s Domain – Twilight Princess
The ambient choirs behind the soft melodies give off an almost hypnotic vibe. It just edges the Ocarina of Time for the beautifully constructed guitar bits that TP contains. Gorgeous track either way.http://youtu.be/KUky9oI93vI
16. Fire Temple – Ocarina of Time
Creepy chanting. A welcoming lava pit to fall to you death. What’s there not to like?
14. Lake Hylia – Twilight Princess
Brings you into a dreamy state of endless lake swimming and lethargicness. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spent countless hours doing bugger all.http://youtu.be/DdgEIRBsTaU
13. Opening Theme – Ocarina of Time
The theme that says welcome to the majestic world of Ocarina of Time. Bringing back great memories of riding along the sunset. Absolutely beautiful.
12. Molgera Boss Theme – Wind Waker
The irregular beats and mysterious flute really up the ante whilst battling on the sandy arena. One of the best battle themes going.http://youtu.be/5CYQzPHpvU8
11. Song of Healing – Majora’s Mash
It’s meant to be a song of hope, but you can’t get away from it’s underlying darkness. Though there seems to be an obsession to make it even creepier by reversing the song. Weird stuff…http://youtu.be/XDX4ZwUeOok
We’re getting to the serious stuff now. Up the nostalgia factor!
10. Saria’s Song – Ocarina of Time
Both this and the Lost Woods song rock, but I love the harmonising ocarina melodies that this theme has.
9. Hyrule Field – Twilight Princess
You know once you heard the field music, it’s time for the game to kick things up a notch. Did you know when riding Epona, brass instruments are introduced. Just to make things even more epic. Just pips the Ocarina of Time version, though they both give me goosebumps.
8. Hidden Village – Twilight Princess
It feels like a western showdown as you kill 30… No… At most, 20 creatures. Cue the tumbleweed…
7. Ocean Theme – Wind Waker
It’s not a bad life sailing the seas with a talking boat. In a similar vein to that of the Hyrule Field theme, the brass instruments embodies the vast expanses you end up travelling, whether on land or foot. Long distance travelling becomes infinitely more fun, but I think travelling the high seas just shades it.
6. Midna’s Lament – Twilight Princess
The sense of urgency that this song brings is stirring as you make your way to the castle for help. The constant bounding piano and mournful nature sends chills down the spine that few Zelda tracks can match.
5. Gerudo Valley – Ocarina of Time
It sounds like it should suited for a Spanish Flamenco song rather than arid valley. Regardless, the main melody is timeless and the castanets give a wonderful traditional sound.
4. Dragon Roost Island – Wind Waker
One of the first places you see in WW and it sure does take your breath away. Taking inspiration from Gerudo Valley, and making it even more damn awesome. That’s a tough feat by any stretch of the imagination.
3. Farewell Hyrule King – Wind Waker
Koji Kondo at his finest with the piano towards the end unquestionably awesome. When Ganondorf’s dead, you would think all ends well until this theme rolls in. It is a tearjerker of a scene and the music just epitomises the ultimately sad way things had to end.
2. Introductory Main Theme – Legend of Zelda
This had to be here didn’t it? The game that started it, with a theme is instantly recognisable even today. And still flying the flag for 8-bit tunes. Not bad at all for just one bit of music!
And finally, the song that tops the rest…
1. Songs of Storm/Windmill Theme – Ocarina of Time
Simplicity at it’s best. For a song that is only 11 bars long, it manages to fit a remarkably catchy melody that is iconic in the Zelda universe. For what is basically a rain dance, it’s surely fit to claim the crown of the best Zelda tune out there.
So as you may have noticed, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Wind Waker looked to have dominated the top spots. There’s some great soundtracks in Skyword Sword and Majora’s Mask and a few others, but in my opinion former games have the edge in terms of the LoZ music. They have spawned some acclaimed tunes that really show why LoZ music is so highly regarded.
Any I’ve missed out? Vent your opinions at me if you think I have!