Flute Boy’s Meadow – Palace/Temple Theme

JordanFebruary 11th, 2013 by Jordan

I have been playing video games for years. I have slain countless bosses, seen hundreds of Game Overs and credits alike, and saved most princesses worth saving. Still, few of those experiences left me feeling as victorious and proud as last Saturday when I finally beat Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Seeing Thunderbird and Dark Link finally fall after months of trying felt . . . awesome.

To commemorate this momentous point in my Zelda gaming career, I have elected to use one of Zelda II‘s most popular songs for today’s edition of Flute Boy’s Meadow. Jump on in to check it out!

Track: “Palace Theme” (“Temple Theme” in Japan)
Game: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
Purpose: Background Theme, Dungeon
Composers: Akito Nakatsuka, Kōji Kondō

Before we begin, I would like to make a note to all the younger Zelda fans here: Yes, this song is in Super Smash Bros. Melee. That version is so incredibly different, though, it’s hard to really compare the two. Today, just focus on the original.

The Point
Back in the good ol’ days of Zelda, there were no different themes for each dungeon. Save for the Great Palace, you got the same tune for every one of them. Because of this players could spend hours of their playtime slogging through different dungeons all to the same music. Fun stuff.

This presents a challenge: making a dungeon theme that can be heard constantly without being annoying. This is a common item for any and all video game music, but it holds especially true for this case considering how much time the dungeons in Zelda II can take.

Beyond the annoyance factor, there is also a requirement for this tune to be . . . well, a dungeon theme. Such themes have varied greatly throughout Zelda’s history, but they tend to be either mysterious or adventurous in mood. Which option does this one opt for?

The Sound
Right from the beginning, I love this song. That four-note intro followed by the three falling notes which head straight into the theme gets me every time. It gives one the feeling that things have just gotten serious, and that is further solidified by the rest of the theme.

The main “body” of the tune leaves no doubt about what it’s trying to say. It is tense with a fairly adventurous air about it. The song makes one wonder what’s behind the next door, what could come jumping at them next, and what enemies and treasures alike could be awaiting their adventurous soul. And the player feels awesome while doing it. This song lands on the perfect line between the “adventurous” and “mysterious” boundary, filling the player with a sense of both as they delve into the depths of dungeons. It’s an exciting tune all around.

The Verdict
Well, I’m sort of blurring the lines here since I already nailed down my verdict in the last section . . . but hey, I don’t mind saying it again: this song rules. I may have found The Adventure of Link to be frustratingly hard at times, but I never got tired of listening to this epic dungeon theme. This is the kind of tune I like to slay enemies and find treasure to; it’s just a great song all around.

So, what are your thoughts about The Adventure of Link and its music? Do you like the dungeon theme, or are you a bit less enthusiastic about it? Are there any songs you love from the series that you would like to see me look at next? Let me know in the comments!
Also, I plan next week to finally start looking at some Zelda songs that I don’t love (they exist!), so be sure to come back this time next week to see! Until then, take care and enjoy your Hyrule Historias, those of you who have copies.

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    • VikzeLink

      Blue Shell….. When will they ever learn?

      • blue

        If you’re so far ahead that you’re tailing 8th place, then a blue shelll wouldn’t make a difference. The question is how to get so far ahead…

        • VikzeLink


          • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.nash1 Daniel Taylor Nash

            Mario Kart reference, there is a pick up called a Blue Shell it strikes the player in first place…

          • Some Rando

            I always just braked and it blew up everyone else too. ^_^

          • VikzeLink

            I know that, That’s why I said it in the first place to the guy that said “first”. I just didn’t get what that other guy was saying to me

          • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.nash1 Daniel Taylor Nash

            Oh well it’s true if you’re lapping aka you’ve caught up and passed a few racers, the blue shell will eventually I guess run out of steam, not sure how to describe it but it just slows down and stops following you. Or if you have a golden shroom

  • Panik64

    congrats man, i know the feeling :P

  • Westar

    Classic zelda theme. The one that’s comming in my mind when I hear the words “Zelda music” Fantastic piece of music!

  • http://www.dblegends.com/ Crono A7X

    Great Palace Theme is much better.

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      It is :D

  • Shorty

    Actually the music in Zelda II was composed by Akito Nakatsuka :P

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      Crap XD I’ll get that fixed, I tend to use a template with Kondo’s name and add the other composers later but I forgot to remedy that. Thanks for the tip.

  • Guest

    To be honest, I thought a lot of the music in Zelda II was somewhat lacking. But the Palace theme is absolutely fantastic. Even better is the amped-up Great Palace music…it perfectly heightens the tension of the normal Palace theme as a sign that “this is it, it’s do or die.” Good stuff.

  • Tehlul

    Congratulations. Beating Zelda 2 is no small feet.

    • Liquidus

      Oh man, I just recently started playing Zelda II for the first time, I’m in the second to last palace right now, and it was a tough fight to even come to this stage of the game. I’m afraid of things to come in the last palace lol

      • L Lawliet

        The Great Palace is freaking HUGE. That’s about eight or nine tenths of what you need to know up front. Best of luck, though.

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      I’d had a save state at the beginning of the Great Palace for months, but couldn’t manage to beat Thunderbird. Finally, this weekend I sat down and made myself beat it. Totally worth it.

  • Guy

    I just love the soundtrack from AoL.

  • iKhan

    This is my second favorite Zelda song of all time. Second to the only the Hyrule Castle Theme, which you should do some time as well

  • L Lawliet

    I remember when I finally beat Zelda II for the first time! I was so ecstatic! (And relieved.) I never, EVER got sick of this tune, either. The Great Palace’s theme was awesome, too. Just wish the latter of the two themes had been longer.

  • Michael Medina

    don’t forger the best version of this song, the symphony of the goddesses version.

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      I mostly focus on the in-game versions. I may add a section to later posts with notable outside versions and covers, but for the most part I’d like to keep it to just the original tracks.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bs88145 bs8814

    Love 8 bit

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

    dat music. so feelings. sz

  • The Hylian Monolith

    I love where it speeds up around the middle, offering variance and excitement to an already epic melody. This song was so fun to remix…

  • snakeoiltanker

    Awesome song, just odd you picked this week to choose a song from Zelda II. I started playing it over the weekend. it was the first zelda game i ever owned when i was young cuz my mom played it, and when i played it i hated it, so it wasnt till ALttP that i got into zelda. Zelda II is retarded hard. so congrats on completion!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thealmightysage Scott Sage Goodenough

    Isn’t this song in Melee?

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      “Before we begin, I would like to make a note to all the younger Zelda fans here: Yes, this song is in Super Smash Bros. Melee. That version is so incredibly different, though, it’s hard to really compare the two. Today, just focus on the original.”

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