Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WrestlingNerd's Top 20 Legend of Zelda Theme Songs Part I

Well, this is very different to what I normally do. Most people know me for talking about wrestling, but I figured we should do something entirely different today. With Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword set for release later this week, I thought it would be fun to look back at the Legend of Zelda series. I wouldn't call myself a hardcore gamer, but I definitely like to play video games on my spare time. Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and the Triforce are all symbols of my childhood that I still hold til this very day. Some say what makes the Zelda games so good is the gameplay, characters, and story. I think all of these components do make the Zelda games really stand out, but let's not forget the music. The soundtracks for any video game can really make the game stand out. It is no question that Zelda has featured some of video games best musical tracks. That's why today I am going to do a Top 20 list of my favorite Legend of Zelda Theme Songs. Keep in mine this is MY Top 20, so it will obviously differ from your Top 20. In other words, don't complain or get angry that your favorite tune didn't make my list, cuz there is a ton of great themes from the Zelda franchise and my views will be different from anyone else. Then again, I think the debate is the fun part in all of this. So, grab your Master Sword and let's hookshot our way into this list.

Before I start the list, I want to talk about some honorable mentions that were good tracks, but couldn't quite make my list. Believe me, it was really difficult to pick only 20 musical pieces for the Zelda series. You can literally pick one game in the Zelda franchise and use all of those in your top list. I should also note that a lot of themes in Zelda games end up getting some sort of remix in future games. So, we won't have like five different versions of the same tune take up their own slot, as they will share the same slot depending on the theme in question. Anyway, let's talk about some of the honorable mentions.

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks-Overworld Theme

The first one to talk about is from Spirit Tracks. This game gets a lot of hate because of the fact trains are the main gimmick of the game. Personally, I didn't think the game was that bad. Although, I do admit the puzzle solving in this game made me want to punch someone in the face. Reckon, puzzles are nothing out of the ordinary for a Zelda game, but I think they went a little too far with Spirit Tracks. The theme that gets the honorable mention is the overworld theme from Spirit Tracks. Every time I hear this theme, I can hear the "chuga chuga chuga" sound the train makes in the background. A lot of the music for this game featured pan flutes, which is interesting since the instrument you use in the game is a pan flute. Then again, not really if you have played previous Zelda titles. Either way, this might be the perfect music to listen to whenever you're on a train.

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask-Pirate Fortress

The next honorable mention is the Pirate Fortress theme from Majora's Mask. This is the only Zelda game I've played and never finished. I actually have gone back in playing it and I am somewhere lost in the Great Bay Temple. Yeah....I will leave it at that. When you hear this tune, you are trying to rescue a bunch of eggs while Gerudo thieves are protecting them. The goal is not get caught. If you played Ocarina of Time and went to rescue the carpenters in Gerudo Valley, this is a similar situation. The intro to this theme almost felt like Ridley's hideout from the Metroid games. Great, do I have to rescue a baby metroid while searching for these damn things? Anyway, you have to pretty much go all Solid Snake while going through this area....unless you have the stone mask. Either way, it's a kick ass song to listen to while breaking an entry. Keep that in mind the next time you go on a crime wave (WrestlingNerd doesn't approve of criminal acts).

Epona's Song/Lon Lon Ranch

This is a tune that has made it into countless games. To be honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of this tune in Ocarina of Time. It just sounded way too country western for my taste. What really made me like this tune was the remade version in Twilight Princess. To be more precise, it was the version that is played when you restore Ilia's memory, which kinda sounds like a love song or a touching moment. Damn, Link has to be the ladies' man of Hyrule. Think about it? Zelda, Midna, Saria, Ruto, Nabooru, Ilia and the list goes on. Who knows how much booty this guy will get in Skyward Sword? Anyway, a song worth listening to if you want to impress the ladies on your horse.....and I'm referring to Epona.

Now that we talked about some of my favorite tracks that didn't make the cut, let's talk about the ones that did.

#20. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess-Gerudo Desert

When you listen to this music, it gives you a sense of evil while combing the desert...

Anyway, the reason I also like this theme is because this is the place you go in order to get to Arbiter's Grounds, which happens to be my favorite temple in the game. I also like this music because I felt this is where Twilight Princess really took off. I really love Twilight Princess, but I think the biggest flaw is the game starts off really slow. When I heard this tune, I felt the game was finally getting to the good stuff, which is why Twilight Princess is a very solid game for the Zelda franchise. From the Cave of Ordeals to the spinner battle with Stallord, the Gerudo Desert is the place to be.

#19. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker-Mini Boss Battle

A theme from a game that got a lot of backlash before it was even released. It was amazing how many people complained about Wind Waker because of the character design. Well, this game is a prime example of the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" because this gives some of the top Zelda titles a run for its money. I don't really have a #1 favorite Zelda game because all the games are special in their unique way, but I can definitely say Wind Waker is in my Top Five (Wrestling fans will get this references....My fave five, dawg). This might be one of my favorite battle themes in the Zelda franchise. You get the sense that you're in a really tough battle whenever you hear this theme. If you have played Wind Waker, one enemy comes into mind when hearing this tune, Darknuts. Those Darknuts might be a challenge, but as long as you have this theme in the back of your mind, these guys won't stand a chance. The music tends to change as you manage to attack the enemy with your sword. All around, it's a great tune to listen to while you continue to punish Ganon's minions.

#18. Song of Storms

Screw the sunlight, we want to make it rain. This is one of those tunes that has made it into countless Zelda games. This song made more of an impression on me when it was re-made in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Even though its version of Song of Storms combines two other Zelda themes).

Then again, going back and playing the games again, I can see why people have this as their favorite song to play on the ocarina. Personally, I have a couple of other tunes that are a little higher on my list, but we will get to that when it comes. Was anyone a little creeped out by Guru Guru, the guy you learned this song from?

Come on. He's turning a crank near his crotch. What do you think he's doing? Well, I guess that's why he needs to make it rain so often? Despite that disturbing thought, the Song of Storms is a cool song to listen to if you want to make it rain or find a secret.

#17. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time-Opening Title

Imagine being a kid back in 1998. Video games were barely making their jump into the new age of gaming, 3D. So far, Mario was doing fine with Super Mario 64, but would the Zelda franchise get the same results? What is often regarded as the best Zelda game of all time, Ocarina of Time didn't disappoint. I remember playing this sexy beast back when I was younger and listening to this track. I knew that this wasn't your typical Zelda game, as this game was going to blow your balls off with awesomeness. Link riding around on Epona, the sun set, and the whistle of the Ocarina. The visuals are just so beautiful. A fantastic opening for a fantastic video game.

#16. Fairy Fountain Theme

This theme has made it in just about every Zelda game ever made since Link to the Past. You might recognize it as the theme you hear when you are about to select your game file. This is also the tune you hear whenever you encounter the fairy fountain in the Zelda games. It's a very relaxing tune. Although, kinda hard to relax when you encounter the great fairies in OoT or Majora's Mask. I respect Miyamoto, but what the hell was he thinking when that design? I think they were trying to make the fairies look exotic, but they look like transvestites. Maybe Tim Curry would like these fairies? Regardless, a very relaxing tune for the Zelda franchise. Kinda difficult for me to choose my favorite one of the Fairy Fountain themes, but there's nothing wrong with the original.

#15. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time-Hyrule Field Theme

I really like how this theme starts off. It almost sounds like birds are chirping as we embark on a new day. Of course, that would change once you make you way across Hyrule field. In many ways, Hyrule Field is in the center piece of everything. No matter if you had to make you way to Hyrule Castle, or Lake Hylia, it would normally start in Hyrule field. Of course, the thing that stared the s*** out of me was the Peahats. Other than their freakish design, they weren't hard to fight. Then again, if you are freaked out by Peahats, you never met Floormasters. What I also like about this song is it has many emotions. It starts off nice and sweet to where you can go for a brisk walk, but the tempo starts to rise and now you are running  with a sense of urgency and danger ahead. Anyway, another great theme to listen to while you are riding on Epona. Hooray for my horsey.

#14. Serenade of Water

Oh, I bet this song brings in a heavy amount of emotion whenever you hear it. Some people like it because of the smooth, calm sound. On the other side of the fence, people hate this song with a passion. Why? Well, because it's the Serenade of Water. It brings gamers back a haunting memory and/or frustration when playing OoT......the Water Temple....

Now, I'll admit. The first time playing through the Water Temple in OoT, I was frustrated. I can't count the amount of times I had to go back to the lower levels to either find a key, find an item, or raise/lower the water of this contraption. Ganon must have really been a dick when he thought of this design. But as I got older and played through this game a few more times, the Water Temple isn't that bad. It's definitely one of those places where you're gonna get lost the first time going through it, but it isn't so bad a second time. Besides, if you want tough water temples, you clearly never been through the Great Bay Temple in Majora's Mask. Seriously, the Great Bay Temple might be the most frustration temple in any Zelda game. I'M STILL LOST!!!. Anyway, I really grew to love this music in the Twilight Princess remix.

If you listen to the remix, you can almost hear a cool breeze in the background. The song gives you sense of optimism, but a bit of sorrow since you hear this tune when you encounter Queen Rutela. A very touching song.

Well, that's going to do it for Part One of this countdown. Tune in tomorrow for Part Two, in which we talk about songs 13-7. See you then.

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