Game music of the day: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Song: Hyrule Castle

Composer: Koji Kondo


Above: Hyrule Castle from Link to the Past

Exactlyone year agotoday I kicked off what would (mostly) be a daily celebration of videogame music. In that time we've gone fromNintendo classicstoobscure PC gamestomodern dayworks of art, and I sincerely hope more than a few of you have gone on to investigate even more VGM in your free time. But what game to choose for a one year anniversary? Might as well be the greatest Zelda game of all time, A Link to the Past.

LttP is known for its moody, rainswept opening; at the time it was perhaps the most atmospheric moment in a console game, using the SNES' enhanced (and Sony powered) sound capabilities to pump out crisp audio unlike anything the NES could offer. The kicker comes once you enter Hyrule Castle for the first time and hear this chilling tune echo down its overrun hallways. There's a real sense of dread in this song, once that mirrors what Link must be feeling as he attempts to figure out what's going on inside this mysterious castle. In other words, a surprisingly emotional moment right off the bat that trumps anything else on shelves at the time.


Above: The Dark World theme is another favorite, like a twisted version of Zelda's iconic overworld theme


Above: Princess Zelda's theme. Perhaps you're familiar with it?


Above: A mind blowing version of Hyrule Castle from Disco Dan. A must-listen

As a man with four Zelda tattoos, I'm something of a fan. But I'll acknowledge other games have better, more listenable soundtracks. Mega Man, Castlevania and so on all have music I keep on hand at all times (for... reasons), whereas Zelda I rarely sit and listen to. But that's because the songs are perhaps too good, too tied to what's happening in the game, and actually have a depth that goes beyond what you hear. The whole soundtrack kicked me in the 11-year-old nuts back in 1992, and today LttP remains one of the best OSTs Nintendo has ever produced.


Shockingly good drum %26amp; bass from the N64 days


Welcome to Rapture by Gary Schyman


Theme song by Daisuke Amaya

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