Flute Boy’s Meadow – Overworld Adventure

JordanJanuary 7th, 2013 by Jordan

Well, my Zelda Dungeon friends, it has finally happened. My brother bought me a copy of Spirit Tracks for Christmas. In other words, I finally got to experience what is easily one of the best soundtracks of all the handheld Zelda games.

Now, every Zelda game’s soundtrack tends to be diverse and usually makes it difficult to choose one track that is indisputably better than the rest. With Spirit Tracks that is not quite the case. As anyone who has played it will tell you, there is one track in this game that will stick in your head forever… and you enjoy that it does. No matter how many times I hear it, “Overworld Adventure” remains one of my favorite Zelda overworld themes of all time. Yes, that includes every rendition of “Hyrule Field” ever; it certainly holds its own against those and then some.

Just why do I enjoy this song so much? Jump on in to see!

Regarding this song, I would like to start by remarking on its wonderful job of being an overworld theme apart from the rest. At face value, the upbeat western tune that provides the song’s main skeleton serves mostly to give it the necessary excitement that is found in all overworld themes. What I find admirable about this is the fact that it accomplishes this both without brass fanfare (which dominates just about every other Zelda overworld theme) but also while drawing forth a reference to classic society. The rapid mix of banjos and some violins sends one back to the Old West, when train tracks were helping to unite the east and west coasts of America. Fitting, then, that this song plays whenever you drive your train.

These basic associations are just the groundwork of the song, though. Now that you’re brought into the mood of the train’s motion (the music compliments the train’s chugging perfectly), there is another layer overtop that which dominates the song: the pan flute. The primary instrument of the game manages to slip into most of its songs yet it never gets boring. Nintendo proved with this soundtrack that they can make pan flutes sound more beautiful than many of us imagined, at least for me.

Some of my favorite parts of this track alternate in their reliance upon the pan flute. About forty seconds into the song, the flute hits a few high notes that I simply love. Just a little later the pan flute drops out completely and we are treated to a slower bit where the violin (cello maybe, it’s definitely a bowed instrument) takes center stage to play a bridge of sorts that leads into the next repetition of the song. I love the contrast these sweeter tones have with the still-pulsing western banjos, and in the end it does nothing but improve the song.

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  • Steve

    I’m not sure I like this overworld theme better than any of the Hyrule Field themes, but this piece is definitely very catchy and upbeat. It made riding through the overworld more fun and exciting for me.

  • Postman

    This theme is amazing!! Now I really want to play Spirit Tracks!

  • Someone

    I love the song, but I really hate the train ^^

    • Skull Kid

      I honestly loved the train, even though I was skeptical at first. Sure it was limited to the tracks, but it was just amazing and the scenery was beautiful. At least there not changing the series into a racing game or something ( I’m looking at you, Banjo Kazooie. Oh how amazing you used to be…)

      • The Hylian Monolith

        I loved everything about ST, except that it was mostly easy with some puzzles that CONFOUND me…

        Oh wait, that’s Zelda in general, and I don’t dislike it at all.

      • Nevan Lowe

        ME TOO! I liked the Train, but was Skeptical at first. too bad my spirit tracks got eaten by a dog. im looking to buy a new one though

  • Lupine Hero

    I like Twilight Princess’s Hyrule Field themes (night and day) better, but this theme is still absolutely amazing!

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

      I enjoyed the fact that Twilight Princess’s music changed between day and night. Honestly, my favorite part of that game was the audio and visual changes that occurred as day and night passed.

    • Thing

      Me too!

  • Darkstar

    It’s a nice overworld theme, but I love Twilight princess’ Hyrule field theme more. There’s something about that version that screams adventure for me. PH’s enhanced overworld theme was awesome too; I liked how it used WW’s theme and added in a few extra notes to make it sound even better.

  • Turtles!

    This was one of my favorite themes in Spirit Tracks. It’s so catchy!

  • Zelda Kid

    I agree. Definitely a GREAT song, especially the cello/violin part. Plus, it indeed does compliment the chugging of the train perfectly.
    Funny, I actually lost this game for a while, but when I rearranged my room a couple of weeks ago, I found it. I went straight to the Overworld and plugged in my earphones–can’t tell you how much I missed that theme! Glad to hear others share my taste. :)

  • soul

    the slow part actually uses artificial sounds, jordan

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

      They’re all artificial sounds, but they’re emulating real instruments. I just enjoy guessing what instruments they’re emulating.

  • http://medlismessages.blogspot.com/ Heroine of Time

    This is one of my favorite Zelda songs of all time. DEFINITELY my favorite overworld theme.

    Oh, gods… Spirit Tracks music in general was just incredible. Some of those songs could rival the console ones. But, of course, as the article said, even with all those fabulous tracks, none of them quite stack up to Realm Overworld. It’s just beautiful. Jordan described it really, well, too…

    In response to a few other comments (and I’m probably going to earn myself a couple thumbs down for this, haha), nothing about Twilight Princess’s Hyrule Field ever really stuck out to me. I like the song a lot, but it’s nothing compared to this, in my opinion. Perhaps part of that comes from the fact that this song is just so different from all of the other overworld themes that it catches my attention.

  • Skull Kid

    This game has the best soundtrack of any game: second only to wind waker. Almost every song is a master piece. The overworld theme is the best by far. For one of the upcoming articles, can you do the Final Malladus Battle theme and the Sacred Duet with Zelda? By far that song is the best in the game.

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

      I haven’t gotten that far in the game, but when I do I’ll be sure to write about one of those songs. I’d like to make sure I don’t focus on one game too much so I want to fit a few other games’ music in before I come back to Spirit Tracks.

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

    Now you can understand what I’m talking about when I say that Phantom Hourglass absolutely pales in comparison to Spirit Tracks.

    Spirits Tracks all in all is an amazing Zelda title. The soundtrack stands out sure, but the characters are all very memorable. Sadly it’s also the game that barely anyone played, including Zelda fans.

    If this had come before Phantom Hourglass I’m sure more people would’ve been more accepting of it overall. It is the better of the two games.

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

      I agree with you there. I enjoyed Phantom Hourglass a lot, but never got the chance to get Spirit Tracks until now. Now that I’ve finally been able to enjoy it, I would definitely say it’s the superior of the two. I really like the train overworld; it has more to it that keeps you paying attention and keeps you occupied when travelling (and of course the music rules). Everything in the game is improved over Phantom Hourglass, although I admit I enjoyed drawing quick circles to roll over the double tap.

      • TheIvoryDingo

        I personaly had a lot of trouble drawing those quick circles. Then again, I played PH after ST so that could be the reason.

  • Root Cmd

    I love it is really nice.

    Check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbkkvmCGc4E
    this one sound nice too (violin).

  • Cmaster

    Great song :D

  • EOTW

    I loved this song because it makes you feel epic when you blow the whistle. XD

  • littlemissgleek

    I think this song was what made all those train drives fun, I really love this song. I agree that it’s far better than the other overworld themes in zelda ^^ Spirit Tracks doesn’t get enough credit for what it did right because it’s always passed off as a “childish” zelda, and you can say the exact same thing about Phantom Hourglass to

  • Linkfan99

    I still like the song better with the train’s chugging. Sadly, I can’t hear that anymore, as my DS broke 2 years ago.

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