While The Legend of Zelda is one of several Nintendo franchises to stick around over the many generations of video games, it may very well stand as the Japanese company’s most beloved. There are many factors that contribute to the series’ success: the story, the characters, the gameplay, and of course, the music. While the characters are undoubtedly one of the more recognizable aspects of the series, the music may stand out as its most recognizable feature.
As the soundtracks in films like Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Indiana Jones transcends film fans and into the mainstream, so does the music in The Legend of Zelda. While each game has had its own trademark sound and style, they’ve all built upon the bedrock established in that first Zelda, and the main theme is one that many non-gamers can appreciate.
The music in The Legend of Zelda has always received much praise and analysis from game lovers on the internet, but with the release of the new Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U and Switch, gamers have found a whole new expansive score with which they could fall in love. But how does the music in Breath of the Wild differ from the music in previous games? No, I’m not just talking about miscellaneous variations on all the familiar themes, but how is it utilized in gameplay?
I remember as a kid how Ocarina of Time blew my mind in its use of music. I’d be running through Hyrule Field in the daytime, the heroic theme blaring as I went, but as I made my way through the field, the main theme faded in favor of something more sinister. Little did I know that I was being followed by an unknown assailant, and in shifting the music, the game was both setting the mood and alerting me to its presence. It’s that kind of mechanic that Nintendo has always been known for, and it continues in spades in Breath of the Wild.
The video above breaks down the basics of the music of Zelda games past before delving into the more interesting tunes and aspects of Breath of the Wild. Perhaps the most captivating section has to do with the evolving theme of Tarrey Town. Starting off as an barren, unpopulated town, it slowly grows as you complete the relevant sidequest. As more and more citizens begin to make up its population, the music becomes more complex and interesting, adding in instruments that work with the culture of each respective group. It’s one of many examples of why Zelda’s music has done so well in recent years, and is another reason why Breath of the Wild is sure to stand the test of time in years to come.
What did you think of the music of Breath of the Wild? Which Zelda game has your favorite soundtrack? Let us know in the comments down below!
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Source: Mark Brown (via YouTube)