Flute Boy’s Meadow – Companion Themes Part 2

JordanDecember 3rd, 2012 by Jordan

Hello again my friends, and welcome once more to this week’s Flute Boy’s Meadow!

Now, last week I took a look at the main themes/songs for four of Link’s companions from the series: Navi, Tatl (more or less), The King of Red Lions, and Ezlo. This week, I will be looking at the themes for Midna from Twilight Princess, Ciela from Phantom Hourglass, and Fi from Skyward Sword. As for Princess Zelda, I do realize that her spirit form plays the role of a companion in Spirit Tracks but I feel that Zelda is not really defined as a companion. Zelda as a character is something much more, and her theme got its own post two weeks ago if you would like to check it out.
Also, just like last week there are SPOILERS AHEAD. If you have not finished Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, or Skyward Sword, tread carefully.

Now without further ado, let’s get on with it! Make the jump to get started.

For some of you there is one main reason you wanted to see this Companion Themes series. Of all of Link’s companions, Midna is one of the most adored among fans and second only to Navi (even then I think half of Navi’s fame is rooted in jokes about how irritating she is). As a companion, I also feel Midna is one of the more complex characters.

Midna’s backstory and maturation as a character throughout Twilight Princess are well executed. At the beginning, it is pretty clear she could hardly care less about the boy-turned-wolf who she springs from prison. She is taunting, rude, and all around unkind to the unfortunate protagonist. She also expresses no concern for Hyrule’s dire state and even goads Link in the form of his childhood friends at one point. Though it is obvious the girl is seeking her own goals, there still remains an air of mystery about her. That feeling is strengthened the most by her song.

Mellow and mournful, “Midna’s Theme” is a perfect compliment to the character even if it may not seem that way at first. Upon meeting her, it’s hard to think of the Twilight Princess as anything but a playful imp. One would expect an equally upbeat and playful tune to accompany someone so teasing. However, what we hear instead is a slowly rising and falling collection of cellos and bass overlaid with the mournful playing of an oboe. It stirs the listener and makes one look at the twilight backdrop that Midna adores so much in a different way, making Hyrule’s plight seem more apparent.

It seems weird for this seemingly carefree and teasing imp to have such a moving song. But then her character begins to develop more and more, and it becomes apparent that this girl is not who she seems. Much later in the game, her story becomes clear: she is the princess of the Twili, a race with a tragically bloodstained history. She was in line for the throne until Zant used Ganondorf’s magic to usurp her and turn her into her implike form, then invade Hyrule. In short, the girl’s had it rough.

In a way, “Midna’s Theme” can be the theme for the entire game. It offers the perfect musical summary of the quiet, saddening way in which the Twili invade Hyrule, Midna is betrayed, Link’s home is covered in shadow… everything in the game. Twilight Princess takes the cake for atmosphere among my favorite Zelda games, and this song is high on the list of reasons why.

This song, however, is at the top of that list. I know I would probably have to deal with an angry mob if I didn’t touch on this gorgeous piece, and that mob would be well justified. This is the background music for one of the most touching and powerful scenes in the game.

After the Lakebed Temple, Midna and Link are attacked by Zant. Due to the Twili usurper’s powers, Midna is left on the brink of death and Link is trapped in his wolf form. With his wounded friend exposed to the light world and lying limp on his back, Link makes a desperate push to reach Hyrule Castle before her life is spent. As the rain begins to fall it all shapes up to be one gorgeous moment.

For all the player knows this is the end of Midna as we know it, just when she was starting to become less of a brat and was shaping up to be likable. The music compliments that perfectly. A sad piano remix of the Hyrule Main Theme, the song is immensely popular and even made its way into Super Smash Brothers Brawl under the title “Midna’s Lament.” Honestly, I can’t really put much more into words what I’d like to say about this song. It’s tragic. It’s beautiful. It’s on my iPod. It’s a beautiful moment from an incredible game in one of the greatest and most artistic gaming franchises ever. This song, man. This song.

Okay, now that I’m done gushing over Midna’s depressing songs, time for something more cheerful: “Ciela, Spirit of Courage.” In the soundtrack for Phantom Hourglass, this song is actually listed as “Island Life.” Nonetheless, following the Navi rule I established in last week’s post I still feel the song fits Ciela very well.

So, Ciela. The first fairy companion since the Nintendo 64 days. The little fairy is very kindhearted and cheerful. After finding Link washed up on the shore of her island, she does not hesitate in helping him look for the Ghost Ship and his lost friend Tetra. Throughout the game she proceeds to handle situations amiably, except for constantly berating Linebeck for his flaws (I was very tempted to include that man’s theme in here as well, but perhaps I shall save it for another week). All around she is not a terribly complex character but neither is her theme.

With a cheerful undertone similar to that of Outset Island the song carries the island-venturing tone of its game well. Overlaid with a flute and clarinet (maybe?) playing back and forth, it really keeps the same cheerful and amiable disposition as its namesake. Like I said before, Ciela is not too dynamic or complex as a character but that isn’t necessarily a problem. The same still holds true for this song; much of what makes it work is how simple and happy it is. It brings to mind images of a quiet island beach with friends playing together. A very nice song, indeed.

And now for another song that is sold and perfected by its scene. Say what you want about Skyward Sword and Fi, but I happen to love both and this music is part of that. I cannot possibly hear this song without thinking of the scene in which Link follows the spectral Fi through Skyloft’s night-tide. The way she floats in and out of sight, all the while moving away from Link while he chases her to the Goddess statue… it’s a beautiful scene.

The song itself is one of peace, curiosity and mystery. You have no idea what awaits you ahead, or who this strange blue figure is. All Link knows is that Zelda has been taken, and he will do anything to find her. These are the emotions that flood the scene and make it all the more incredible to experience. Easily among my favorite introductions for a companion character, this song’s beautiful strings overlaid with that lovely flute overtone mark a high point in Skyward Sword’s already impressive soundtrack. Really, just typing this has made me anxious to go knock my brother over the head and get my copy of the game back just so I can play it again.

Now, I would love to explore the other avenues and versions of Fi’s song, but I feel her original theme alone is enough to keep anyone entertained. Still, I would be remiss if I did not at least mention the songs that play during one of the saddest parts of the game. As the beloved (stop laughing, you people who don’t like her) spirit leaves Link’s side to sleep within the Master Sword for millennia, two beautifully touching renditions of her theme are played. One, “Fi’s Farewell,” isn’t terribly different from its normal version but still forms a gorgeous background for a powerful scene.

The other song from that scene, “Fi’s Gratitude,” doesn’t actually play until after Link departs and silence reigns. We think Fi is gone forever until her image appears again. Alone, she gives her last thanks to our hero: “Many have said these words to you thus far, but I now wish to say them for myself… Thank you, Master Link.” Now, since I actually failed to acknowledge this beautiful song in the initial draft of this feature, I think it fitting that the person who caught me should give their thoughts on the song:

This is my favorite song in the entire game, tying the Silent Realm themes. It speaks of hope and good memories… it speaks of the words Fi says to you in her final moments. It drove a knife into my heart, simultaneously brushing the tear off my face and wishing me happiness. I love this song. It’s beautiful. It’s hopeful. It’s on my–wait, I don’t have an iPod…

Many thanks to our reader Hylian Monolith for providing that account. While “Fi’s Gratitude” still maintains the basic structure of her theme, it is now limited to nothing but the lightly pressed keys of a piano with the occasional strings to accompany it. The song is stripped to its heart, and the result is just beautiful.

And so that concludes this week’s Flute Boy’s Meadow! I have really enjoyed this two-part series on the Companion Themes, and I would love to do more in the future so be sure to leave some thoughts and requests in the comments on what songs I should look at next. Also, don’t forget to let me know who your favorite companion is and what you think of their theme music. Thanks for reading, and I will see everyone again this time next week!

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  • Fi’s Companion

    First Comment!! :3

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Good for you. Also, I applaud you for your incredible reading skills; you just flew through 1400 words in a mere two minutes.

  • Darkgreyfire

    Midna was by far my favorite companion. Such a smart @$$. And, I didn’t want to murder her like I did with Navi.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      I know Midna is a favorite for a lot of people, so I must admit this post was about 50% dedicated to her. And yes; she took the meaning of “smart-aleck” to levels never before seen in Zelda. I love her :P

  • soul

    is it pronounced “fee” or “fai”?

    • The Hylian Monolith

      I think it’s “fai”. Some call her “fee”, though. I’m just used to Mases calling her “Fye”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      In the Japanese romanization, her name actually translates to “Phi” like the Greek letter. So really, your pronunciation of her name kind of depends on your pronunciation of Phi. I prefer the long I sound, but there are some who opt for the long E.

    • aylazelda

      fee i think…

  • MiniJen

    I love both Fi and Midna so much! but if i had to pick between the two of them… i’d have to go with Midna. She just made Twilight Princess such a great game. I’ve often said that Twilight Princess’ story actually focuses more on Midna then it does Link. After all, the title of the game is her own personal title :) Everything about Midna, her personality, her backstory, and of course, her theme, made me love her from the moment i first met her. :D

    • Derp.

      MOMENT YOU FIRST MET HER?!?! I REFUSE TO BELIEVE!!!!

      I though I was going to hate her to the end of my days! She was teasing me like that, me, the posessor of the Triforce of Courage, the descendant of the Chosen Hero of the Goddess – the defeater of the Demon King, of the incarnation of Hatred itself, me, the descendant of the great Hero of Time, sealer of Ganondorf the King of evil, who travelled though Time itself, me…. You get the point. She was teasing me like I was some random guy who just so happened to become a wolf for some random reason.

      I have to admit, I love her now. I haven’t finished TP (nor Lakebed Temple, so had to skip 30% of this article :P ) but she started to collaborate… Give advice… By the end of the Forest Temple, I stopped hating her completely. And if one doesn’t hate her, one will immediately start to like her, because in itself she is really cool. Then she actually helped me and all that. I grew to really like her. (“grew” in 4 days, 12 hours of playtime.)

      And the moment when I got to really love her, is when she told the Zora Queen (rutela, or whatever): “Not to be rude, but we didn’t do it exactly for you”. Because that’s how I feel, and I’m prettty tired to help random people, plus she says “we” (meaning, we’re friends, and are working together for both our sakes, which is nice), and on top of that we feel the same way about his matter. So I really got to really like her, as a friend and even more than a side-kick. (Which I can’t say for ANY other games I’ve played or heard of, incl. SS. Fi was just some robotic spirit (You’d think that robots and spirits are the opposite, right? Wrong. I still don’t get it, but SS is the proof.), who told you tons of data (Midna can’t even give info about locked on enemies! Maybe that’s why she isn’t annoying?) in a standaized way. I couldn’t care more about a database who lives in my sword, tbh.)

      Anyway, you get my point and I’m tired typing.

  • Iron_Knuckle_Nabooru

    I’d probably say Navi is my favorite companion – OoT was THE childhood game for me, so there’s just some inevitable, nostalgic love there even if she is annoying as hell- but Midna comes in at a close second. And “Midna’s Lament”…. no words. <3

  • TowerofHera

    Linebeck’s theme should be here too! :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Check out my response to JCLee :)

  • Ninty

    I’d say Midna’s up there as favorite companion, followed close by Fi. They both have their little annoying aspects (Midna sighing every five seconds while standing still in wolf form, Fi telling you the obvious) but otherwise they’re cool.

  • The Hylian Monolith

    You. Forgot. Fi’s. Gratitude. Nobody. Ever. Remembers. Fi’s. Gratitude.

    If you’re going to choose one of Fi’s goodbye songs, then please, choose the one that really defines her parting.

    Sopilers ahead. A lot of them. If you haven’t played SS to the end, then skip this comment. It’s devoted to Fi. Okay, so at the end of SS, we all know what happens. She’s being as robotic as usual and that song is playing. It’s very emotional, because were all very attached to her(shut up, please, Fi haters, I liked her). But we put the sword in the pedestal, and as we walk away, the music is gone. We think Fi is too. But then Fi comes out of the sword. A new song starts up. This song… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEbFLSfHqQ8

    This is my favorite song in the entire game, tying the Silent Realm themes. It speaks of hope and good memories..it speaks of the words Fi says to you in her final moments. It drove a knife into my heart, simultaneously brushing the tear off my face and wishing me happiness. I love this song. It’s beautiful. It’s hopeful. It’s on my–wait, I don’t have an iPod…

    “Many have said these words to you thus far, but I now wish to say them for myself…Thank you, Master Link.” This is the true feeling behind Fi’s departure, and I feel the Fis Farewell is only the weaker half of this story.

    Other than that, great, job this week, as usual, Jordan ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Thank you very much for that comment! I certainly agree with you; Fi’s Gratitude is without a doubt the better of her farewell themes. Unfortunately, I procrastinated on writing this week’s feature again so I wound up rushing myself to finish. Subsequently, I skipped over Fi’s Gratitude…

      Tell you what, though. I wouldn’t want to leave that problem without a remedy, so the next time you swing by take a look at the post. I’ll make sure Fi’s Gratitude gets its due.

  • JCLee

    I’m a bit surprised and disappointed that the author did not include Linebeck in this synopsis.

    Pretty good theme too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk5RBAqziW8

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      “Throughout the game [Ciela] proceeds to handle situations amiably, except for constantly berating Linebeck for his flaws (I was very tempted to include that man’s theme in here as well, but perhaps I shall save it for another week).”

      By definition, Linebeck is not really a companion character. If anything, he’s your transportation, so if I were to include him I would have just as much reason to include Epona. Yes, Linebeck leaves his boat and plays pivotal roles in the story, but Ciela is the definitive Companion in Phantom Hourglass.

      I do love me some Linebeck though, so I’ll have to make sure I give him a spotlight in the future.

  • Vaati, wind god

    my favorite companion was probably Fi, mostly because she was the most
    useful. It’s for the same reason that I don’t like Navi, she’s annoying
    and doesn’t help out all that much.

  • iKhan

    Honestly Midna’s Lament has never really done much for me. I’ve always far preferred Midna’s actual theme. And as much as I’ll grant Fi for having half-decent music, the annoyance she gives me (which is 10 times worse in hero mode), is unforgivable

  • JeredenDonnar

    I couldn’t stand tatle as a z-targeter, but as a character I liked her a lot. My favorite was King of Red Lions, however. His story was just so unique, so different and totally unexpected. It would be cool if you did a bit with Linebeck, he’s an interesting character if you take the time to look into his story (it takes a bit of inferring). oh, and I LOVE THESE ARTICLES!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      I’m seeing a lot of Linebeck love, so I think I’ll certainly have to give him a spot in the future.

  • littlemissgleek

    I can already tell I’m going to be emotional when watching Fi’s departure scene
    Now to buy skyward sword… (3 years is a long wait you know)

  • baileygirl99

    May we meet again in another life… Every time I think about that part, I almost cry. I think I did cry in that part of the game. Such beauty

    • aylazelda

      i had the game, and didnt finish it, and i came across fis theme and it turned out it was the ending to the game, and i started crying. and i cried whan i finshed the game…

      • baileygirl99

        The sad music doesn’t make it any less depressing…you can only imagine what Fi was thinking at the moment. (Except it was obvious she was thinking thank you). :,-) its just so beautiful D-’:

  • Pingback: Want Midna Back » Zelda Dungeon Pays Homage to Midna’s Theme

  • http://twitter.com/BigEvilCrab Andrew Roake

    Well, I prefer Midna but nothing, absolutely nothing beats Fi’s Gratitude. It is just…wow.

    • aylazelda

      true….

  • victoria

    You’re gonna kill me, but, I love Fi…

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Isn’t she great? I get the reasons people are annoyed with her, but I like her. Her music has a lot to do with that.

  • ZeldaDerp

    Have you done anything on Epona? Because Epon is personally one of my favourite characters, despite her being a horse. And he song is in the games that include her (Ocarina of Time, Majoras Mask, Twilight Princess) She is technically a companion and she really deserves more love. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Epona, like Linebeck, isn’t really a companion. Moreso than Linebeck, she is simply your transportation. Considering her a companion would also require that I give attention to the Crimson Loftwing from Skyward Sword, the three rideable creatures from the Oracle games, and if I wanted to go really far, Link’s train in Spirit Tracks.

      A companion character is one who remains constantly by Link’s side (or in the King of Red Lions’ case, speaking telepathically to him at will) and gives him hints, advice, and general clues about where to go next. Linebeck and Epona don’t do that, hence why they’re not companions.

  • Pingback: Want Midna Back » Midna Recognition Roundup: December 2012

  • http://twitter.com/ZeldaJessi Bethany Jessi Powers

    Midna is so much like me, a brat but can be nice and sensitive also. She is my favorite even used her name for multiple pc game accounts.

  • Pingback: Want Midna Back » Another “Midna Recognition” Page Update

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