Flute Boy’s Meadow – Phantom Hourglass Favorites

JordanDecember 17th, 2012 by Jordan

Hello Zelda Dungeoners, and welcome to today’s Flute Boy’s Meadow!

For this week’s feature I felt it would be appropriate to answer two common requests I’ve received in the past few weeks, especially since the songs are from the same game. First, following my Companion Themes series there was a lot of love shown for Linebeck. The cowardly but lovable ship captain from Phantom Hourglass was unfortunately excluded from my companions series because he is not technically the game’s companion. Today, though, he has his chance to shine!

Alongside Linebeck, I also saw a number of readers last week requesting a look at the more subdued theme song of Oshus, the wise old man who gives Link assistance throughout the game. Jump on in to see my take on these characters’ music!

To begin, let’s look at “Linebeck’s Theme.” First, as a little side note, I made a mistake last week and linked to a video that faded out after less than two minutes of music. To remedy my shortcoming, I instead chose a full ten-minute version of this week’s main focus. You may now listen to this awesome song for a whole 1/144th of your day. You’re welcome.

On a more serious note, this is by far one of the definitively shining moments among Phantom Hourglass‘s soundtrack. Even though you only hear it for short spurts (specifically during a particularly hilarious scene involving the sailor) the song still sticks out and is a favorite from the game. The reason? This song captures Linebeck’s character like none other. Linebeck is, in short, a goofball. He talks tough and acts like he is the true hero of the story, then ducks behind the nearest object and sends Link off to save the day.

It’s hard to hate the guy though; he’s just too… fun. His song captures these key parts of his attitude. It begins with a dramatic opening, but after a short pause it rolls into a tune that is equal parts adventure and comedy. Played on a booming orchestra this exact melody could just as easily be Link’s theme music. However, the song instead flaunts a combination of a harpsichord and low brass toots accompanied by the sharp tapping of a snare drum. It is simultaneously whimsical and adventurous… like a man who wants to be heroic but is in fact only a bumbling, lovable fool. Sound familiar? That’s how spot-on this song is.

Near the end of the game, in a surprising (and SPOILER-filled) turn of events, you wind up fighting a possessed Linebeck as the final boss. The music during that scene includes an awesome remix of his theme that should not be missed; be sure to check it out for yourself!

Now for the other popular tune from Phantom Hourglass: “Oshus’s Theme!” Another high point for the game’s soundtrack, this song is significantly more subdued than Linebeck’s. That is not without good reason. Oshus is the wise old man who rescues Ciela when she washes up on the shore of Mercay Island, and also (indirectly) bestows Link with his first sword in the game. He continuously shows up throughout the course of Link’s journey to impart his wisdom and later plays a very key role in the course of things. There is much more to his character than simply the wise elder, but the man you meet at the beginning is all you really need to understand to truly feel his theme.

Quiet and almost mournful, the song would make a fitting tune for a cottage getaway. Backed by the constant strumming of a small stringed instrument, the main focal point of the song is the sweet and melodic strains of the flute that make up most of its melody. It is a simple tune with a fair amount of repetition and softly flowing rises and falls. Its simplicity does not in the least detract from the song’s power; it is a gorgeously soft and eloquent theme, and while it doesn’t quite stack up to other songs in the series it is still very nice to listen to.

What are your thoughts? Are these among your favorite Phantom Hourglass songs, or are there other memorable tunes that stand out to you? How do these themes stand out in the series as a whole for you? Also, I’m always looking for more Zelda music to write about so be sure to let me know others you’d like to see me cover! That’s all out of me for this week, so I’m signing off and will be back same time next Monday. Have a great week!

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  • Minhagaza

    Linebeck is the scumbag king!

    • The Hylian Monolith

      Not at the end. Finish Phantom Hourglass, then we’ll talk.

  • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

    Pretty much the only two worth while songs in the game.

    Phantom Hourglass’s sound track was not it’s strongest trait. Probably the worst OST of the entire series to be honest. Just was not a lot of substance to the music, not to mention that the best songs in the game are played at very short moments in the game.

    Meaning that the majority of the time spent adventuring features tuned that are rather dull and bland.

    Not to mention that at the end of the day Lineback’s theme was a part of Spirit Track’s amazing OST. So this theme isn’t even exclusive to only Phantom Hourglass. So although PH was a good game, it’s OST was severely disappointing.

    • VikzeLink

      Well, there are other good songs from the game, like the one when you’re navigating through the mist for example

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        Except that it’s the same 3 notes repeated constantly. there isn’t ever any change in the “melody” if you can even call it. Although there seems to be some “Ganon’s Theme” playing ever so slightly behind that droning three notes.

        It’s a nice mood setter but it doesn’t compare to anything other soundtracks have to offer in the series.

        Also 50% of Phantom Hourglasses soundtrack is actually recycled from previous games (which is saying something since there’s a scant 34 tracks in the game). The Pirates Theme, Beedle’s Theme, Ciela’s theme, and quite a few others are basically the same as their counter parts…. the sailing theme is a sort of skewed, lesser version of Wind Wakers sailing theme…. and the Goron Village theme was plain out butchered.

        Most of the original tunes in the game are absolutely forgettable and repetitive, I wasn’t left humming anything.

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

      Yeah, Phantom Hourglass didn’t quite have as much of a consistently great soundtrack as the rest of the series. Its high points were quite high, though; Linebeck’s Theme and the remix of it are easily among the best in the game, and “Navigating the Fog” is also fairly notable. All three are great songs that more than make up for the lower points of the soundtrack.

  • Blu_Lizalfos

    I have to say, though there were few themes that really stood out in PH, the ones that did were really excellent. Linebecks’s Theme is one of my favorites in the whole series. I really felt like that song captured the game in a nutshell.
    Another one of my favorites is the one that plays while facing Bellum in his squid-like form. That theme really has that intense and powerful feel that you want from a final boss. Jordan I must say you have great taste in music!

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

      Why, thank you :)

  • MiniJen

    Linebeck’s theme is probably the only track that stood out to me in PH cause its so awesome! I’m not even sure why, but it just is! You should write about music from Spirit Tracks! I’ve been replaying it recently and I’ve noticed just how many awesome songs are in that game like the final train exam theme, the overworld theme and so many more!

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

      Unfortunately, Spirit Tracks is among the two Zelda games I still haven’t played. I’d love to write about its music a bit once I’ve gotten my hands on it, which should be pretty soon.

      • The Hylian Monolith

        Awesome! It’ll be worth getting it!
        (I hope)

        And something I decided not to mention on your Zelda’s Lullaby article: Zelda’s Lullaby shows up three times, but one is extremely important to context,and very spoiler-ful, so I won’t mention it here. The other one is played when Zelda is a spirit and you meet her in her quarters. It sounds kind of sad and a touch desperate, but it’s more thoughtful, like “How am I going to get out of this?” Whenever I think of Zelda’s Lullaby, I either think this version or SS. I figured I’d tell you now, since I remember it and nobody’s going to look at the Zelda’s Lullaby one any more :P

        Anyhoo, thanks for mentioning Bellum: Evil Phantom’s boss song there. I love hearing all renditions, and it is my second-favourite boss theme. But you didn’t mention the other version of Oshus’s theme…(hint: The one at the end)

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

          Yeah I wound up rushing myself a bit when I wrote the Zelda’s Lullaby feature since it took much longer than I’d anticipated to write it. I was able to give plenty of attention to most games, but near the end I had to just wing it and started pulling up the first result on YouTube for each game :P
          It was sloppy of me, what can I say?

          • The Hylian Monolith

            Heh. It’s all right, the rest was long and in-depth. I don’t mind length, and that song just stands out to me because ST was my first game (that I cleared the first dungeon of :P ) and It was the best version of Zelda’s Lullaby that I’d heard. By the article’s release I’d heard them all, but I still learned some stuff.

            I’d ask you to do Byrne’s Theme next week, but you’ve yet to play ST, so… Saria’s Song! Or the Oath to Order. Something MM, maybe?

  • BlackRaven6695

    Phantom Hourglass has very underrated soundtrack, mainly because it’s field and dungeon themes were so bad and Spirit Tracks’ field and overworld themes were so good. In reality, Phantom Hourglass has lots of cool tunes! Oshus’ theme; Linebeck’s theme; the overworld music; Ciela’s theme; Ciela’s parting words; the Bellum, Ghost Ship and Linebeck battle themes; the Life Leech and a very nice edition of Zelda’s Lullaby that sadly only plays about once in the whole game.