Review Summary: Not only the best video game soundtrack, but the soundtrack I wish I had on my adventures.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
I still remember when I first got a hold of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. It was Christmas morning and what a glorious day it was. I finally got an N64 that day and I couldn’t have been a happier child. I was 7 years old and read the game box that said “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. I hadn’t even heard of it before. I didn’t know it at the time, but it would soon become my favorite video game of all time, and one of the reasons why is because of the masterful soundtrack. There are several reasons why I’ve always envied Link, the main character of the series. Of course I envied that Link got to use a bow and arrow and a huge hammer that destroyed everything in its path ,but perhaps the biggest reason is because wherever he went he always had an amazing soundtrack backing him up. Whether he was in the challenging Water Temple or mindlessly wandering Hyrule Field there was always music with him.
That breathtaking soundtrack is provided by Koji Kondo. In my eyes Mr. Kondo is the best at what he does. I’ve never been so moved by any soundtrack, let a lone a video game soundtrack. Most of the times a video game’s soundtrack is the least important thing to me, but that is not the case with “Ocarina of Time”. What is even more impressive is that it struck a chord with me at a young age when I had absolutely no interest in music. The sounds and melodies of this particular soundtrack blow my mind to this day. Even though I haven’t played the game in years the songs are still stuck in my head and are as clear in my memory as the day I first played the game at the age of 7.
What is so impressive about the soundtrack is that every sound is completely new and original. If you have ever played a Nintendo game you can know what to expect from the soundtrack. Well sort of. This soundtrack has all the Nintendo elements in it, but still manages to be unique. Having a unique soundtrack in a Zelda game isn’t what surprised me. What surprised me was how all the music on the soundtrack was constantly changing and nothing was recycled. Even when some of the music on the soundtrack sound similar they are completely different in their own way and are used perfectly in different parts of the game. What is so perfect about this particular soundtrack is that the music perfectly match what is happening in the game. Have you ever been watching a movie or playing a video game and then the backing soundtrack came on and you were like, “Wow that is so out of place?” Well that isn’t a problem with soundtrack! Everything fits and flows along aimlessly. For instance when entering the famous Lon Lon Ranch the music shifts to a sort of depressing lonely feeling and it fits effortlessly because while exploring Lon Lon Ranch it is obvious it is a lonely isolated area in the middle of Hyrule.
Obviously, not every song of the soundtrack is going to stick out. For instances when listening you’ll get the occasional song of when Link opens a chest or defeats a boss, but it’s still fun to hear those amazing sounds because it reminds me of times when I first beat Bongo-Bongo, boss of the Shadow Temple, or finally got that damn longshot in the Water Temple. Of course the songs that do stick out are the ones when Link is wandering around Hyrule or learning a new song on his Ocarina. While listening to this I can’t help but remember going around Hyrule Field and cutting the grass while humming along to the catchy soundtrack.
Now the reason I love this soundtrack so much is because of the songs that Link learns using his Ocarina. Those melodies got stuck in my head and just think about them now I know they will be stuck in my head for at least a week. The Fire of Bolero, the song learned for the Fire Temple, is perhaps the most impressive. It is the most hypnootizing song on the soundtrack. It is simple yet its sound perfectly captures the mood of the game and how Link probably feels toward Princess Zelda. While the Fire of Bolero is the most impressive the most haunting belongs to Song of Storms. The repeated melody that is used gives me chills every time and I feel the pain of the musician playing in the windmill hut.
There are many songs on this classic soundtrack that deserved to be mentioned and talked about because there is simply not one bad note played on this entire soundtrack, but there is way too many songs for them all to be talked about. Instead I think the soundtrack is best summarized by saying that every song captures the mood displayed in the game whether it be getting lost in a temple or maybe fishing at the pond one cannot go wrong with listening to this soundtrack.