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The 10 best Zelda songs EVER

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.

Official soundtrack

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.

43 comments

  • markasscop - March 14, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    gotta say,this has some nice tunes
  • LOUDcarBOMB - April 29, 2009 1:53 a.m.

    Holy freakin crap! I found this 5 minutes ago and it was worth it. This is AMAZING!!! Thank you for making this!!! Worth it. Musics amazing though... like Shamwow! Hahahahahaha!
  • noobeater - April 30, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    I too agree with you all Gerudo's valley FTW whenever i entered it it made my heart warm up. Also anyone else think the fire boss battles are awesome? (king dodongo and volvagia i think their names were)
  • sp2099 - July 10, 2009 11:07 p.m.

    what about the wind waker tune on the boat? other than that this is great
  • Gavo - August 27, 2009 2:11 a.m.

    Good, good. I especially like Gerudo Valley, Dragon Roost and Lost Woods. Although I wouldn't mind seeing Son of Storms up there.
  • sameth987 - December 18, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    Ha I was hoping to see System of a Down on this list. Just because it's hilarious.
  • Conman93 - April 11, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    where is the molgera battle from windwaker!!!!
  • samownzsnake - April 30, 2009 3:41 a.m.

    Ocarina Of Time Gerudo Valley FTW!!! Runner up is definetly dragon roost island tho
  • Fraught - May 11, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    I swear to god, I've heard the Lost Woods song in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
  • PekoponTAS - May 31, 2009 4:25 a.m.

    Tal Tal Heights is freaking awesome! Though I'm a little dissapointed The Song of Healing from Majora's Mask wasn't on here. :(
  • lovinmyps3 - June 25, 2009 4:08 a.m.

    no majoras mask? it may not be as iconic as this stuff but it was weird enough to be kinda catchy and stay in your head.
  • lovinmyps3 - June 25, 2009 4:58 a.m.

    you guys should do this with metal gear
  • melloe - July 2, 2009 6:38 a.m.

    these are amazing. thaaaaaank you!
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 28, 2009 7:08 p.m.

    Have both OoT and WW. Both awesome.
  • RAEJagainstthemachine - September 2, 2009 1:49 a.m.

    yeah... purlude of light and song of time left out also the twilight princess log music is also fairy fountian fron ocarina of time
  • Da-Ku - September 1, 2008 8:26 a.m.

    Zelda And Final Fantasy Are My Two Fave Games For Soundtracks Followed By Smash Bros
  • BHT128 - September 13, 2008 12:55 a.m.

    I recognized Bretts file name in the File Select video before I read the author of the article. Perch! Frog! FIGHT! Your fame is spreading...
  • MacGyver1138 - September 15, 2008 4:27 p.m.

    @Gavo: Gerudo Valley's theme was awesome! I think I still have the soundtrack disc that came with my preorder of Ocarina of Time somewhere. I should bust that out again!
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - September 17, 2008 12:55 a.m.

    Funny that you should mention TP's Hyrule Field... I actually had that on the list for quite some time. Had to whittle them down, y'know.
  • chaosdriver - September 25, 2008 11:38 p.m.

    michelle, i TOTALLY agree with you!! youre SO DAMN RIGHT!!!!! and Gerudo Valley's theme.... my god i hear it like 10 times a day..... when i play zelda, im always in the desert just because of that song!!!!

Showing 1-20 of 43 comments

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