With just a single day to go before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild arrives on doorsteps nationwide, you’re probably looking for something, anything, to do to kill time that’s spoiler-free. Right? Well, if you’re like me, then surely you wouldn’t mind indulging in some good old-fashioned Zelda nostalgia.
Of course, Zelda releases are so few and far between that any title not currently newest tends to conjure more fuzzy feelings than you’d probably expect. This surprised me when revisiting compositions from recent entries. What I’ve attempted to do here is, rather than try and compile the “best” Zelda music (there’s way too much and it’s so subjective), offer tracks that stand out and that I feel are probably underappreciated. Though iconic, does anybody really need to be told that the classic Hyrule overworld theme is an excellent work?
My choices below span the following games; Link’s Awakening, Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword, and A Link Between Worlds. These are simply selections that stood out to me while revisiting the soundtracks to those games, and that aren’t necessarily spoken about very often.
Have Zelda tracks or entire OSTs that you feel don’t get the credit they deserve? Let us know.
Skyward Sword’s soundtrack was hit or miss for me, but it sure had its beautiful and affecting moments. I remember standing around outside the Ancient Cistern just enjoying the soothing sights as this played calmingly in the background.
Ravio’s Rental Shop
As many reviews have noted, A Link Between Worlds was a testbed for many of the tradition-defying elements seen now in Breath of the Wild. Ravio facilitated this, with his rental shop full of magical items that don’t require refilling supplies like arrows or bombs. Of course, his access to such wares in the first place is explained later. This is what plays while Link shops.
Of all the Zeldas, Link’s Awakening experiments the most aggressively with an experience that feels thoroughly dreamlike. Normally Link wakes up in bed, and he does here eventually, but only after being dragged unconscious from a beach after a horrific seafaring disaster. This track plays before the title screen, and sets the mood quite effectively.
Overworld to Adventure
Forget the soundtrack; Spirit Tracks is generally underappreciated as a Zelda game. While its forebear Phantom Hourglass perhaps deserved the flak it got despite being fun, Spirit Tracks ironed out most of that game’s issues while offering a new, train-themed adventure. While steering your tank engine, these upbeat tones accompany you.
I can’t help but return to Link’s Awakening; has there ever been something so hip in any other Zelda? Perhaps not, but there is another Link’s Awakening song that is.The soundtrack is rife with fun secrets, including a piece that very closely quotes the Tetris theme on numerous occasions.
Lanayru Mining Facility
I’ll finish where I started, with Skyward Sword. If its soundtrack did anything well, it was accompany its superb dungeons (the one aspect of the game’s quality that was generally not up for debate) with atmospherics that define a mood just right. Lanayru Mining Facility’s music begins timid and craggy, but bursts forth with the rendition below when Timeshift Stones are activated. The aural change suits the vibrant array of color when this happens too. It works well.
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