The first time young Link steps into the winding, repeating passages of the Lost Woods, a short, mind-numbingly catchy ditty starts flowing through the air. It keeps going and going, never changing, keeping the same structure throughout the entire trip. But, what should have been annoying became alluring, and this plucky tune from the Kokiri people ended up stuck in our heads for 10 damn years. All it takes is one or two notes and you'll be humming it all day.
It's the ultimate mix of high and low tech - the music sounds right out a hobbit festival, yet it also makes a very effective ringtone.
Anyone who fancies themselves a Zelda fan probably has one of these in some form or another, but if you don't, well Amazon has a number up for grabs. Too bad they start above $50. Try to avoid the US CD, as it's missing a crapton of tracks. Thanks for that!
Remixes of note
NoppZ gets all the awkward Hylian boys and girls off the benches and onto the dance floor with Hyrule Party Mix, a funked-out journey through three Zelda songs, Lost Woods included.
Gerudo Valley is, without a doubt, the most listened-to song from Ocarina. It's the first Zelda track that sounded like it came from another world, that the area you were entering was a totally different culture than the Hylian variety you'd grown accustomed to. The festive Latin beats and powerful brass instruments simultaneously invited and discouraged ingress, all while a vicious sandstorm obscured your path. Then you actually get into the village and have to sneak around Solid Snake-style. An exceptionally cool moment in an astounding game, narrated by an outstanding track.
The video doesn't show Gerudo Valley, but this is about the music, not the video. The brass samples don't hold up as well today as they did in 1998, but any number of remixes can fix that.
Same story as with Lost Woods - try to find either one, but aim for the Japanese release.
Remixes of note
Ever wonder what Ganondorf might have listened to as a kid? Chances are it sounds a lot like chthonic's Anthem of a Misguided Youth, a mix that gets Gerudo's dance-flamenco vibe down pat.
Plenty of fan-made tributes to Gerudo Valley involve a lot of noise. For a mix that actually follows the original's low-key, borderline quiet tone while adding an eerie sense of foreboding, look no further than Daniel Baranowsky's Awakened Fears of the Gerudo.
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