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Game music of the day: Ocarina of Time

Game:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Song: Gerudo Valley

Composer: Koji Kondo

       
Above: Gerudo Valley from Ocarina of Time

Everything about Ocarina of Time is, suitably, quite legendary. From its character and enemy designs to its ingenious dungeon layout to its soul-crushingly awful water temple, nothing here is middle of the road. It's a game that was dubbed an instant classic when it premiered in 1998, and has since thoroughly earned that title; the fact its upcoming 3DS remake is one of the year's most anticipated games should speak volumes alone. But perhaps the most enduring thing about OoT, something that will never age with new 3D technology or HDTVs, is the stunning soundtrack that's become part of our collective conciousness.

Gerudo Valley is, I admit, kind of a gimme. Everyone loves this song. But there's a reason I'd highlight it even now - it's so completely NOT Zelda, a sign Nintendo was embracing new ideas and not relying entirely on recycled themes from its earlier Zelda games. The acoustic guitar, the inspiring brass, everything about this song is above and beyond what I expected from the series.


Above: Zora's Domain, probably the SECOND best water-themed music in videogames


Above: The Forest Temple creeped me right the hell out. Strangely, this song isn't on the US soundtrack


Above: The various Ocarina songs you'd learn throughout the game. Bolero of Fire FTW

Many (aka hundreds of thousands) of you noticed we didn't include Ocarina in our 100 best games of all time article. I made my argument there why Twilight Princess has replaced Ocarina when it comes to "recommendable 3D Zelda game" in this day and age, which several people either didn't read or don't agree with, which is fine. Opinions and all that. Since then several people have acted like I "forgot" Ocarina or "don't understand" why it's so great. Without resorting to "do you know who you're talking to?" levels of jerkishness, let me say the importance is not lost on me - Ocarina is a landmark game through and through, and its 7.6 million copies sold make it personally significant to just about everyone reading this site - myself included. But it's aged in ways that can't be nostalgia'd away, and I took that into account and suggested the GameCube TP instead.

That said, the 3DS remake appears to address just about all of the age-related issues, like clumsy menus, blurry textures and overly angular structures, so its status as a must-play game of the 21st century is likely to be reinstated soon.

 

Game music of the day: Skate or Die 2
A rippin'-ass title screen by Rob Hubbard

 

 

Game music of the day: Bomberman Hero
Beak by Jun Chiki Chikuma

 

 

Game music of the day: Twisted Metal 2
Los Angeles theme by Sandra Geary and Scott Turner

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45 comments

  • RonaldRayGun - April 28, 2011 3:23 a.m.

    Some of the greatest music ever right here.
  • MonocledYaoGuai - April 28, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    Some of my favorite music right here. Also, you might want to rethink the title Brett. Maybe "Game Music of whenever I find the spare time."
  • dphoenix192 - April 28, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    My favorite song is the lost woods.
  • bananablitz - April 28, 2011 3:36 a.m.

    Gerudo Valley was really the standout song in the game for me, it was, as you said, not what i was expecting from the game. Overall the soundtrack from this game was easily my favorite and most memorable from the Zelda series.
  • mackshizzle - April 28, 2011 3:39 a.m.

    My favorite is, and will always be, the Fairy Fountain. And if you haven't heard the remix.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvTkJvbBaIE
  • Crabhand - April 28, 2011 3:43 a.m.

    Gerudo Valley, very nice choice. Definitely one of my favorites from Ocarina of Time, and BOLERO OF FIRE WOOHOO! Glad to know I'm not the only one who loves that one. I also completely agree about the creepiness of the Forest Temple, although it doesn't compare to the overall creepiness of most of Majora's Mask. Especially the Ghost Attack, that song is downright evil.
  • CH3BURASHKA - April 28, 2011 3:45 a.m.

    Finally, you're back! It's been too long. Funny story: never played any LoZ's. Deprived childhood here. However, I recently (e.g. few years) started getting into games, especially old games, especially their soundtracks. Obviously, I'd heard what LoZ was, so I downloaded the OoT soundtrack. I must have listened to it all about 10 times now, and it doesn't cease to amaze. The fully orchestrated one is amazing as well, but both MIDI and real have their separate appeals. OCRemix is its own category altogether, as well (which you should always include here if you can, Brett!). Gerudo Valley is a great track, as are most of OoT's tracks. It's hard to pinpoint a favorite, but the credits music is an easy pick because it samples all of the iconic music throughout the game. First time I heard it (after hearing the entire soundtrack in one go), I got all teary-eyed, no lie.
  • RebornKusabi - April 28, 2011 3:49 a.m.

    Thanks Brett! I too was vastly creeped out by the Forest Temples music when I played it as a 12 year old. It made that entire dungeon completely dark and ominous which I felt was the point: Link was an late teen due to some quite unfortunate events and that dungeon, being the first one you explore as Adult Link, had this sense of uncertainty. The future seemed hopeless and irreversible and this dungeon and its music, to me, reflected that sentiment. Once again, love these features from you. Please keep doing them because if you don't, I WILL lol
  • powerpc127 - April 28, 2011 4:03 a.m.

    GMotD is (maybe) back! Please Brett, don't let this feature die. I love VGM and this is the only site that I know of that features VGM like this. The only thing that Nintendo doesn't seem to be addressing in OoT 3D though is the music. They couldn't bother to update the midi sounds of the instruments it seems. That's the only real disappointment for me.
  • Tenfey - April 28, 2011 4:09 a.m.

    Glad I have a gold cart with the original Fire Temple song.
  • bamtan - April 28, 2011 4:11 a.m.

    listening to this on my brand new headphones=awesome. I'm glad you started this up again brett.
  • rndmnss470 - April 28, 2011 4:28 a.m.

    Oh man, I have to say that I love the music in Ocarina of Time. I remember when I was a kid I barely got through the Forest Temple because of that music. Thanks for a really cool article and a really amazing feature Brett. Please keep going with this.
  • Robusken - April 28, 2011 4:50 a.m.

    Surprised this wasn't up yet but man...what a fantastic soundtrack. When ever my violin teacher forced us to pick a piece to play as a test, I would always pick something from OoT. Of course I played crapily but even on one instrument these songs are excellent.
  • Vincemaster - April 28, 2011 4:52 a.m.

    The music alone makes Ocarina superior to Twilight Princess. Hum a few bars of a good Twilight Princess song. What? No? That game had a forgettable soundtrack, much like the rest of the game? That's a shame. In all seriousness though, TP is alright. However, Ocarina is a classic and the music is legendary, I bought a 3DS just for it so I'm greatly looking forward to Ocarina 3DS. Nice choice of music for this article thing.
  • Shinespark428 - April 28, 2011 4:56 a.m.

    No Spirit Temple theme? That was my favorite dungeon in the game. Or is it only me with a particular love for that dungeon and it's theme? Oh well. Yes, I will admit the Forest Temple theme was pretty epic.
  • LOZ4EVAH - April 28, 2011 5:16 a.m.

    Seriously just got creeped put listening to The Forest Temple song. It is thoroughly AWESOME!
  • powerpc127 - April 28, 2011 5:24 a.m.

    Vincemaster, I know the TP jabs were all in good fun, but to say that the soundtrack was forgettable just won't fly with me. Its overworld music was on par with OoT's (better, in my opinion), Lake Hylia's music was wonderful, and Midna's Lament is just beautiful. If you want something a little different, Hidden Village and Twilight Realm are there. Besides, everything that wasn't composed for that game was pretty much taken straight outta OoT (Serenade of Water, Lost Woods, Zelda's Lullaby, which played backwards makes Midna's theme, and there are more). Plus, when it borrowed OoT's music the instrument quality was so much better than anything that came out of the N64. Soooo...
  • Letter11 - April 28, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    This game is emblazoned in my heart. Truly a wonderful experience. @mackshizzle My favorite is also the Fairy Fountain music. It makes me so happy. Nice link man. Also anyone else like "Hey Ash Watch Playin'"? http://www.viddler.com/explore/Destructoid/videos/1318/
  • JayBeat - April 28, 2011 5:44 a.m.

    you will never see the tears of joy i'm crying...
  • AngryScotsman - April 28, 2011 6:39 a.m.

    ...I actually really enjoyed the Water Temple. That's where it all clicked for me. THE GODDAMN FOREST TEMPLE was my "Water Temple" in Ocarina.

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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