Nintendo Sound History Series - Zelda the Music

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SCDC-00395
Released On: December 22, 2004
Composed By: Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, Toru Minegishi, Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Asuka Ota
Arranged By: Shinji Hosoe (70)
Published By: Scitron Discs
Recorded At: N/A
Format: 1 CD

01 - Disk System Theme
The Legend of Zelda (Famicom Disk System)
02 - Title BGM
03 - Overworld BGM
04 - Underground BGM
05 - Death Mountain BGM
06 - Game Over
07 - Flute
08 - Treasure Catch Fanfare
09 - Triforce Catch Fanfare
10 - Ganon's Appearance and Defeat Fanfare
11 - Zelda Rescued Fanfare
12 - Ending Theme
The Adventure of Link (Famicom Disk System)
13 - Title BGM
14 - Overworld BGM
15 - Battle BGM
16 - Flute BGM 1
17 - Village VGM
18 - Indoors BGM
19 - Flute BGM 2
20 - Temple BGM
21 - Boss
22 - Temple Clear
23 - Level Up
24 - Game Over
25 - Great Temple
26 - Last Boss (Dark Link)
27 - Fanfare
28 - Princess Zelda
29 - Ending
The Adventure of Link ~Foreign Version~
30 - Title BGM
31 - Battle BGM
The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods (Super Famicom)
32 - Title
33 - Opening Demo
34 - Normal Overworld
35 - Master Sword Demo
36 - Alternate Overworld
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (NINTENDO64)
37 - Title
38 - Hyrule Field Main THeme
39 - Lon Lon Ranch
40 - Lost Woods
41 - Princess Zelda's Appearance
42 - Princess Zelda's Theme
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (NINTENDO64)
43 - Title Demo
44 - Termina Field
45 - Ocarina "Song of Soaring"
46 - Mayor's House Council Room
47 - Mid Boss Battle
48 - Cremia's Wagon
49 - Majora's Mask to the Moon
50 - Staff Roll
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo GameCube)
51 - Title
52 - Granny
53 - Departure
54 - Great Ocean
55 - Master Sword Get
56 - Hero of the Wind
57 - Ending
The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords + (Nintendo GameCube)
58 - Field BGM
59 - Dungeon BGM
60 - Overworld BGM
61 - Hyrule Castle BGM
62 - Village of the Blue Maiden (Before the Puzzle Solving)
63 - Village of the Blue Maiden (After the Puzzle Solving)
64 - Sky BGM
65 - Temple BGM
66 - Wind Palace BGM
67 - Clear Fanfare
68 - Shadow Link Battle BGM
69 - Boss Battle BGM
Arrange Version
70 - The Legend of Zelda Theme Medley
Total Time:

Recently, Nintendo has released a lot of soundtracks heralding the golden age of Famicom, noting its glorious transition from 8-bit to whatever-bit-we're-now-on. One such soundtrack is this one: "Zelda the Music." This crazy album is essentially 70 tracks packed into one disc (much like the Ocarina of Time OST), featuring music from Zelda games old and new. Where are its strengths? Where are its weaknesses?

The single-most obvious strength of this album, in my opinion, is that it has a full collection of music from "Link no Bouken" (or, "Link's Adventure"), that crazy side-scrolling game for Famicom. These songs are probably some of my all-time favorite Zelda melodies. Seriously...think about it for a second. Aren't these songs really catchy, and especially nostalgic? I like them more than the first Zelda game, personally. This is evidenced by the number of songs I sampled from this game.

And look at this bit of trivia revealed by the tracklist: the American version had two songs that the Japanese version didn't have! The "title" and "battle" music received much-needed improvement, as the Japanese versions were quite bland. Kudos to Nakatsuka for the work.

Other strengths include the fact that we get tracks from "Four Swords Adventure", which, although it steals the majority of its music from the Super Famicom Zelda title, it is an upgrade in synth, and otherwise would not have seen its music released in any form.

This brings us to the album's one flaw: where is the Game Boy music?

Seriously, hasn't the Zelda series had something like four or five titles on handheld systems by now? There was Link's Awakening, the two Oracles games, and Minish Cap! None of these games have ever had a soundtrack release, much to the dismay of Zelda fans worldwide (because, let's face it: Zelda music is good on any sound chip, be it GameCube or Game Boy). As both a completionist and a lover of the Game Boy synth, I uphold a sense of righteous indignation against Nintendo: until Zelda's GB and GBA soundtracks have been released as officially-licensed soundtracks in Japan, I will be less than satisfied. I know there are others among you who feel the same way.

And what tracks do we have filling in the space that should rightfully belong to Link's Awakening etc.? You guessed it: two N64 titles and Wind Waker. Games that have all received complete OSTs, and even arranged albums. Like we haven't heard these before, Nintendo! This was a waste of disc space...and they certainly weren't a "best of" in the least bit. Where is Gerudo's Valley, huh?

The disc ends with a simple 8 minute arrangement from the king of sampling himself, Shinji Hosoe. He generally just took some of the tracks from the album, slowed them down, sped them up, and added drum loops. It sounds neat, but it isn't anything too terribly special.

So, who should own this album? It's good for casual fans who don't want the full OSTs, people who are obsessed with Link's Adventure (like myself), or people who buy every last Zelda product they can get their hands upon. Everyone else should avoid it like the plague, perhaps as a form of boycott. Stand proud, my VGM brethren! We shall have our Minish Cap OST someday!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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