Flute Boy’s Meadow – Deku Palace

JordanJanuary 28th, 2013 by Jordan

Despite being released in the late nineties and early 2000, the Nintendo 64 Zelda games both had excellent music for their time. I don’t want to get into which was better since I hold both games in high regard in their own right, but this week I realized that I have not given much attention to the soundtrack of Majora’s Mask and hope to remedy that.

Today’s music feature is looking at the “Deku Palace” theme from Majora’s Mask, a favorite for many people. I often say I enjoy songs for their simplicity, but that really only applies to the softer tunes. My favorite part of “Deku Palace” is its complexity. With its blend of exotically upbeat themes and a very memorable melody it is easy to see why.

Track: “Deku Palace”
Game: Majora’s Mask (N64)
Purpose: Background Theme, Town/Fortress
Composer: Kōji Kondō

The Point
The Deku Palace is Link’s first foray into the strange villages and cultures of Termina . . . and oh, what a foray it is. He is greeted with high, brightly colored exotic walls encasing large gardens and a strange tribal people whose princess’s capture has driven them into a frenzy.

Visually, the place is a far cry from the quieter Clock Town and the green fields outside. Bright colors are splashed across every wall, and every inhabitant of this palace moves sporadically and seems to dance as they move. The music of their home ought to reflect the raw energy of the palace and especially its strange, exotic feel.

“This is the royal palace of the Deku Kingdom. This is no place for outsiders.”
There is also a gameplay aspect to the Deku Palace in which Link must navigate its gardens without being caught by the sentries. If he is caught, he is thrown out and scolded by the pair of guards at the entrance before being reminded he is not to go anywhere in the palace but where they want him to.

Most sneaking scenes like this one tend to call for quieter yet tense music, but that is difficult to marry to the palace’s energy. The theme of this palace would need to accompany both the environmental colors and vigor as well as the tension of sneaking through a place where you are unwanted.

The Sound
Tension and energy. More the latter than the former, but nonetheless those two words fit this theme to a T. The groundwork of the song is the percussion duo of drums and tambourine. The pair keep a steady repetition that holds the beat of the song intact, and the tambourine’s accents of the drum’s beats give it a nice exotic feel that compliments the rest of the song well.

The primary melody of the tune is what really makes it, though. It is made up of a back-and-forth between three instruments, and trying to describe all their intricacies would take all day. What can be said is that they never slow down. These instruments seem to pass the tune back and forth like serves between basketball players, with one instrument playing its section before tossing it to the next one for a repetition and then right back for more.

Still, there is no single refrain that goes on for long; each quickly passes into the next section and the next until they reach a slow part that is almost there to catch your breath . . . and then it is right back to the beginning of the main tune. Plus, underneath all the back-and-forth of the main theme there is also a tense pulse that keeps the song from letting up and to keep you on your toes.

The Verdict
It is hard to really give justice to every facet of a song with so many intricacies throughout. I said before that the tune needed to compliment the palace’s exotic and vigorous atmosphere, and it does so with flying colors. This is a strange place that Link has never seen the likes of. It is very upbeat and energetic, but at the same time while he is sneaking around it can be tense and dangerous. Just as Link has to keep moving to stay out of the view of the guards, so too does this song keep moving and never let up.

There is always more that can be said about this theme. Still, I would say overall that it is an excellent piece; it is very catchy, very energetic, but not quite annoying . . . at least, not for me. It is a song that keeps you on your toes, and that’s just what it needed to do. Any time I hear it I need to resist the urge to tap my feet and/or bob my head.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the Deku Palace theme, or does it pale next to other Majora’s Mask favorites? What are your favorite songs from the game and the rest of the series as a whole? Be sure to let me know your favorites and give me some suggestions for the future, and check back next week for another Flute Boy’s Meadow!

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  • Peckingbird

    Love this song soo much!
    Try singing it, all in ‘doo’s…

  • JeredenDonnar

    It sounds perfect for its location. exotic, yet homely (as it is in the deku’s home); rapid yet cautious (just like Link); Mysterious yet bright. Love It!!

  • VikzeLink

    One of the best songs of Majora’s Mask

  • Westar

    I really enjoy listen to this melody, it serves it’s purpose as a kind of strange melody, just like the dekus! It fits so perfectly in with the exotic area of the deku palace!

  • Linklunatic

    Is it just me, or the song has a carnavalesque beat?

  • Someone

    What an coincidence, I just finished this part not long ago.
    It’s just as upbeat and energetic as the deku scrubs, and it really suits the place. ;)
    I just can’t resist moving along with the song, so I’m just gonna enjoy the music now.

  • The Unicorn Hanger-Outer

    Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum, Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum, Va Va Va Va VA-VA-VA. So Catchy! When I did the deku kingdom, I started shaking my booty, and during the sneaking scenes! I was really disappointed when I went down the magic bean hole, and it stopped!? D:

  • Christburner

    I always found this song to be quite mellow and lazy sounding…like
    lounging around a tent while exotic women feed you fruit and fan off the
    desert heat. Don’t get me wrong I think its a very good track I just
    wouldn’t call it a very “exciting”. It’s more comfortable and content
    then anything. (imo)

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

      I dunno, I think the undercurrents of the song have too much energy for it to be mellow and lazy… but everyone looks at music differently so it’s impossible to say who’s right or wrong.
      If you dropped the tempo a bit, then I’d definitely agree.

  • MiniJen

    The first time i played Majora’s Mask, I immediately fell in love with this song! One of my favorites of the entire game!

  • linkypete

    I actually figured this out on piano a long time ago. It is one of my favorite zelda songs. I even have 3 different versions of it on my IPod, I love it so much.

    • Thing

      You did!!! I have been trying to do that on the piano for years D:

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003298020387 Alan Da Cruz Nascimento

    was already thinking of when they would post. sz

  • npatoray24

    this song is unforgetable

  • Aaron hill

    doo doo doo doo doo doo la di la di la very good and catchy song.

  • skull kidds aura

    i love this song almost as much as i love dragon roost molgera and stone tower it has such a energetic feel to it and it feels so appropriate for the area thwe instresting is the two areas in the game with kingdoms (ikana/ and deku swamp area) are right next to eachother and there the only two zones tht are linked with out going to termina feild odd explain

  • Ordona

    I’ve never stopped to consider this as a favourite piece of Zelda music but it is a cracker, and I’ve never forgotten. It sounds really exotic and carnival-esque to me. It kinda fits the idea of a ritual, if killing an innocent monkey could be called that.

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

      I agree, going into that throne chamber and seeing all the guards and the king dancing and getting excited over their (admittedly rather gruesome) festival matched very well with the music.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.carncross Brian Carncross

    I love the dubstep remix by DJ JO! check it out here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao9Qes2nWy8

  • http://twitter.com/mikejcsauer Mike Sauer

    I love that the Zelda community is one in very few communities that agree on a lot of things like music. So friendly. So nice.

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