Videogame music has grown tremendously over the years. From humble bleeps and blorps that could have doubled as fart noises to sweeping soundtracks that fill two discs with ease, gamers have grown increasingly fond of the melodies chirping out of their TV. And there's perhaps no set of tunes more adored than those that ring throughout the many adventures of Link.
Anyone who's even held a controller in the past 20 years should instantly recognize the main theme from Zelda. It's been played everywhere from dingy basements to football stadiums. But where does it rank in our countdown of the 10 best Zelda songs of all time? Not as high as you'd think.
Link's harrowing trip through a stormy night, from cozy hut to the snake-infested, waterlogged sewers of Hyrule Castle, owes much to the SNES's superior sound technology. The sound of pouring rain, distant thunder and watery footsteps made the trip more intense than anything we'd seen in Zelda up to that point. Then, after finding his dead uncle and taking the family's sword and shield, Link enters the castle, and we're treated to the epic song that narrates his first real quest.
From its dramatic opening to the crescendo 55 seconds in, this song gets it done. It beautifully recreates the same feeling that Link must have had walking into an ominous, overrun castle. It's one of the game's first songs, but still elicits a powerful response 16 years later.
While Game Music Online doesn't have an official way to purchase the song, this site lists Sound & Drama as the Japanese release. Good luck tracking it down!
Remixes of note
Disco Dan's Triforce Majeure is phenomenally good, capturing everything that makes Hyrule Castle special while also adding a personal, electro-orchestra flair. A must-hear.
If you like your re-imaginings a little more mellow, a remixer by the name of po! submitted hyrulecastledarkworld back in 2000.