It has been an awfully long time since I last talked about game music. As often as I listen to it I find it odd. I really do listen to game music more than I do anything else. For the most part it gives me feelings of nostalgia. As if I’m being thrown right back into the adventure from which the music originates. These are always fun memories for me. Today I’m going to talk about a game from one of my favorite game franchises Legend of Zelda. Wind Waker in particular.
This game came out in 03. I was already old enough to give up on those crazy games. They’re for kids. Luckily I said bump that and lived a relatively happy existence. This game, like most of it’s predecessors, was epic. The adventure was grand, the story was engrossing, the graphics were great, the gameplay was near perfect and the music was spectacular. Music like this makes every day life an adventure…or just make it feel like one.
The soundtrack to Wind Waker gets regular rotation on my ipod when I feel like reliving the game. I don’t have my game system to play it so all I’ve got are my memories and the music. From the opening theme you knew this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime. I didn’t notice at first that the opening theme housed melodies that you used in game to get through it. And it sounds kinda nautical. A playful nautical, but nautical nonetheless.
Ever since Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past, I’ve always looked forward to the music that plays when you fight the bosses. It always got my adrenaline pumping. I hear it and I just start yelling in my head ‘CHARGE’. But of course you can’t do that. It’s always that balance between killing the monster and staying alive. This game was the first one, to my recollection, that all the bosses had their own theme. Which I totally think should be the standard. I don’t mind the shared theme idea, but in Windwaker all the bosses had their own personal theme.
Gohma had a two part theme. It was played normally until you scored the critical hit that irritates him and gives you the chance to attack head on. Then the music speeds up to show that the creature is seriously pissed off. At that point it’s do or die. This is the only boss fight theme that was like that in this game. The best ones, in my opinion are Kalle Demos and Molgera, which I’ve mentioned on this blog before. Those two for me are the catchiest. I actually dance to them. I’m very weird, but you already know this.
The overworld theme from the first game is a classic. It’s appeared in most of the console games in some form or variation. It’s in this game as well, but you only hear it at the beginning introduction and the end of the game. In this game we have The Great Sea as the overworld music. Koji Kondo nailed this music perfectly. It fits totally with the environment of the game and sucks me in every time. I play this music in my car when I’m driving down the highway. The music screams ‘epic adventure ahead’. At that time I am Link, my car is King of Red Lions and everything on the road is an obstacle. It makes driving so much more fun. Do I change the music to the Maritime Battle music when I see cops. Yes I do!
The dungeons even have their own themes. I believe that Ocarina of Time did that first though so hopefully it’s a trend they’ll stick with. All of them, to me, are creepy as heck. Especially the Earth Temple. Good Lord, that place is like descending into hell. It’s dark, there’s ghosts and those creepy redead things everywhere. I hate redeads! They got revamped for this game and they scream at you and it’s horrible. Earth Temple is a terrible terrible place. Hearing the music gives me the strongest urge to check under my bed. It’s sad, I know, but it is what it is.
I love the fact that both Princess Zelda and Ganondorf, both have their own distinctive themes. Both themes showed up in OoT and have been staples in every game since. And I do love Ganons theme. Why do bad guys always get the greatest themes? It’s like up there with the Imperial March. It’s freaking sweet. I also like that they revived the Hyrule Castle theme from ALTTP for the King.
Speaking of the King…the end of the game! I cry when I beat Ganon and you have that conversation with the king while Farewell Hyrule King plays. Though I understand why they ended the game the way they did, I still ask why there couldn’t have been another way. That ending was so bittersweet. Endings are supposed to be happy damn it. But I love Farewell Hyrule King. I enrolled in a piano class just long enough to get some basic knowledge of how to play the thing just to play this music. Why? Because I have the sheet music for it.
There is a spot or a situation that I can always apply this music to. Life may not be a game, but that’s no excuse not to have a soundtrack. The music from this game helps create the soundtrack of my life. It adds that flare of epic to it that it deserves to have. And as long as Koji Kondo remains a genius and continues to do music for these games, I’ll keep adding them to my lifes music library.