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

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

Song: Hyrule Castle

Composer: Koji Kondo

       
Above: Hyrule Castle from Link to the Past

Exactly one year ago today I kicked off what would (mostly) be a daily celebration of videogame music. In that time we've gone from Nintendo classics to obscure PC games to modern day works 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.

 

Game music of the day: Bomberman Hero
Shockingly good drum & bass from the N64 days

 

 

Game music of the day: BioShock
Welcome to Rapture by Gary Schyman

 

 

Game music of the day: Cave Story
Theme song by Daisuke Amaya

34 comments

  • CanadianBeaverHunter - March 20, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    Incredible game.
  • Spybreak8 - March 19, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    Sweet, sweet sounds from the SNES. Oh man it doesn't help that this was my first Zelda game and where the love started. Sadly other than the DS Zelda games I've missed out on the modern ones.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - March 19, 2011 12:28 a.m.

    Wow, it doesn't seem like we've had a year of GMOTD already! Hope to hear more!
  • RazielArcanum - March 18, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    I'd imagine that most of those who (incorrectly) believe that OOT is the best Zelda game played it before LTTP. But gawd, I still remember going into the castle in WW and hearing the castle theme playing slowly in the background. Aside from being (I think) the first time it had been used since LTTP, it was just chilling. Everybody frozen in time, and it was like the real confirmation of your suspicions that you might just be playing in Hyrule. Like the end of Planet of the Apes.
  • BodyDamage - March 18, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    that disco dan remix blew apart my entire life. SO good
  • FALLINGINFIRE - March 18, 2011 6 p.m.

    I really like that piece of art at the top, it's pretty darn sweet.
  • jackthemenace - March 18, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    I LOVE THAT GAME!!! Especially the fight against that weird.... Pig thing... And the boss where you can essentially beat him using nothing but your sword and a fishing net...
  • JohnnyApplesperm - March 18, 2011 3:46 p.m.

    Awesome GMotD! A Link to the Past has some of best Zelda and game music ever. Hyrule Castle and the Dark World theme are 2 of my favorite songs of all time. Oddly enough though, ALTTP's version of the main Zelda overworld theme is one of my least favorite versions of it. Funny enough, I've had that DiscoDan remix in my collection for years :D Also nice to see someone give ALTTP some love as the best Zelda game. I'm playing through OOT for the first time right now and I'm loving it, but I'll always like the 2d Zeldas the best! Really though, its like picking your favorite type of cake, its all good :D
  • KidKatana - March 18, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    FOUR Zelda tattoos? Photographic evidence please!
  • gdubbs359 - March 18, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    I was always fond of the end title music. Still remember first hearing it and was amazed.
  • AntistasMetroid - March 18, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    lovin it brelston. you are the game music wizard. *king of names ZAP noise*
  • philipshaw - March 18, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    Great choice Brett and that remix is amazing
  • Tangerine - March 18, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    One of my favourite games of all time! Excellent choice Bret and thank you for bringing us GMotD! Listening to these Zelda songs is brining back loads of memories playing this on the snes.
  • Robusken - March 18, 2011 5:13 a.m.

    I know this whole soundtrack but have never played the game, I should get on fixing that soon... Anyway I agree that this might be one of the best soundtracks nintendo has made, just the whole atmosphere of it is incredible.
  • goochbiscuit - March 18, 2011 4:28 a.m.

    Yaaaay GMotD is back!
  • Genericide - March 18, 2011 4:22 a.m.

    Happy anniversary, Brett! I love the gmotd's and hope they continue for years more to come, even enough to hold back my OoT fanboy syndrome. Seriously though, you've introduced me to a lot of awesome music/soundtracks that I regularly listen to. Keep 'em coming!
  • KREATIVEassassin - March 18, 2011 4:01 a.m.

    Ocarina of Time ain't shiiiiiit!
  • FunkyPickle - March 18, 2011 3:30 a.m.

    You saying that ALttP is the best Zelda in the series will cause an army of Ocarina of Time fans to rip you apart.
  • batmanboy11 - March 18, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    Sweet. Also, a year of GMOTD? Whoa! Here's to another year!
  • Mortified_Cow - March 18, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    Love these songs, and love GMOTD. Thanksfor introducing me to so many great songs. Please keep it going!!!

Showing 1-20 of 34 comments

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