Skyward Sword as the Template for Zelda Wii U’s Soundtrack

Axle the BeastAugust 22nd, 2013 by Axle the Beast

Last week Djinn wrote about how the state of music in the Zelda series has changed over the many years since its inception, and near the end of the article he spoke briefly of how recently the quality of Zelda music has drastically increased with the orchestrated soundtrack of Skyward Sword. And let me tell you, when I first played Skyward Sword that was the impression I got too: It’s so much higher quality. It would be a mistake in my eyes for Zelda Wii U to not continue what it did. But there’s a bit more to it than just live instrumentation.

The orchestrated soundtrack is the first thing people talk about with Skyward Sword’s music. From the tracks played like a symphony, such as a number of the boss themes (in particular the mini-boss theme played during the Stalfos fights), to the rest of the soundtrack, the vast majority of which is played using live instruments, this soundtrack did add quite a bit of impressive raw quality to the music, and I certainly don’t doubt that this blatantly and in-arguably superior sound quality won’t be used again in Zelda Wii U. I mean, hell, they used an orchestral style in A Link Between Worlds, so why not the next major console release?

The other aspect of what was great about Skyward Sword’s soundtrack to me, however, has nothing to do with quality of sound but quality of composition. Skyward Sword is my favorite Zelda soundtrack because much of its music is very deep, and very emotional.

A fair amount of people have criticized Skyward Sword’s soundtrack, saying it wasn’t that memorable. This always left me, well, dumbfounded to be honest, because I remember every track vividly. It’s a very memorable soundtrack for me personally. That said I do understand the gist of what they mean: Previous Zelda soundtracks have had many themes that, while impressive, always had a degree of repetition. They had recurring beats, melodies, or other sounds, that made every part of the theme — even if the parts differed — feel the same, because they carried the recurring element. Some of the most famous Zelda themes, such as Gerudo Valley, Lost Woods, Dragon Roost Island, or Midna’s Lament, all carry this repetitive aspect. It’s a common technique used to make songs catchy in the music industry and it’s applicable here. The simplicity of these famous Zelda tunes alongside their artful repetition makes them particularly easy to commit to memory, and that’s because they’re catchy; they stick with us and we enjoy them. To prove the point, one of the themes that even these critics of Skyward Sword’s soundtrack still often like is Faron Woods, which was easily the game’s most catchy, repetitive tune.

That’s all well and good, and it’s certainly not a lesser form of music. But at the same time, it’s a much simpler form of music. What I loved about the music of Skyward Sword was its depth. There was a complexity and emotional depth to the music of Skyward Sword that gave it much more impact for me. Many of the themes are longer, with less repetitive elements but instead more variation and distinct elements throughout the songs. Oh, to be sure, many of them have repetition like Faron Woods, but also like Faron Woods, even those still have more of the depth I’m talking about than the average music from earlier Zelda games.

More than that, the themes in Skyward Sword always seem to be built with an atmosphere or emotion in mind. Certainly that’s true of other Zelda games, but it was rare in previous games for me to feel like the music itself helped deliver a scene with a huge impact. Time for some examples, no?

“The Goddess Sword” is one of my favorites in the game. It was a theme only for cutscenes, playing during some of the conversation after Link first acquires the titular blade, and also while speaking to the old woman on the surface about upgrading it. This music is melancholy as hell. It fits these moments, and the destiny and duty surrounding Link’s journey to save Zelda and then later to find a way to her in the past. And these scenes ARE melancholy. In the first, Zelda is missing and no one knows if she’s safe (plus Link’s destiny is getting thrust upon him), whereas in the second, Link has just faced an apocalyptic foe and must still find a way to Zelda. When the drums come in the theme practically kills me, and it really is music that represents a solemn duty. It’s a super emotional track, and it varies a lot as it introduces new elements constantly throughout, such as when it introduces the drums only after playing for a while.

The music that plays while following Fi during the game’s opening is great, too. While Fi’s theme itself is beautiful and almost sad on its own, this version takes it even further. I love how mysterious it sounds, while also being a bit sad. It allows the theme to fit Zelda’s disappearance, the mysterious emergence of Fi, the nighttime scene you pursue her in, and even all the later moments with Fi throughout the game. It’s a perfect theme to complement this nighttime mystery.

The theme that plays on the deck of the Sandship while the Timeshift Stone is active blew me away. It’s an awesome rendition of the main Sandship theme that feels electronic, epic, and mysterious. It really gives a sense of this lost time period and this lost culture of the Ancient Robots along with their long-ago plight, and makes the whole area seem a lot more meaningful than it would without this music going along with it.

The theme of the area outside the Goddess Statue as well as the Isle of Songs is a very beautiful theme with a great sense of the ancient and the benevolent. Around the Goddess Statue, it feels like the theme of a sacred and holy place, while on the Isle of Songs, it feels like a beautiful and peaceful reprieve amongst the horrible storm. And other than its repeating strings, it has a lot of variation as it goes on.

These are just a few examples, and there are many others, from the menacing yet heroic epic battle march of the Stalfos mini-boss theme to the peaceful and relaxing tune of the Sky islands, all of the music in Skyward Sword captures an emotion or feeling of some kind, and carries it through a lot of distinct parts to give the themes both length and variety. Many of them feel very unique to me, and I enjoy listening to all of theme on their own more than other Zelda music, because they all carry heavy emotional impact all their own. Of course previous games had music that did this too, but the composition of Skyward Sword’s music just takes it so much farther.

So my overall point is this: Skyward Sword did some great things with its music, and even if not everyone considers its specific themes among their favorites, I still think it made better music. The live instrumentation in its music, some of which is played by symphony, ensures its quality is so much higher, while the length and variation of the themes alongside their added emotional impact makes them much deeper. I very much hope this is a trend that will continue in future Zelda games, and I hope Zelda Wii U shows off this amazing music too.

What are your thoughts on the soundtrack of Skyward Sword as compared to previous ones, and how do you feel Nintendo should make Zelda Wii U’s soundtrack? Tell me in the comments!

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  • Hoff123

    I’m anticipating a huge argument in the comment section soon…

    • SecretToEverybody

      you sir, are late

      • CChaplin

        No he isn’t, his was the first comment on this article (newest comments are displayed on top).

        • SecretToEverybody

          thank you! didn’t know that. I looked at the comments from top to bottom, arguments to prediction

  • Fahim Khondoker

    I thought all of the music was great within the game. Every single song whether in a dungeon or specific are a perfectly set the mood. Also for anyone who dislikes the soundtrack, well…

    • JuicieJ

      That image is absolutely perfect. XD

    • VladNorris

      Bullshit.

      I can feel dissapointed by it and still not hate it.
      Which is pretty much the case, it’s for the most part a forgettable soundtrack, something uncomon and not quite positive for the Zelda series.

      • Fahim Khondoker

        You are insulting the soundtrack, therefore hating.

        Haters gonna hate.

        • VladNorris

          No, I’m making a CRITIC of it.
          Criticism =/= Hatred

          Only an idiot would not see the difference.

      • a Link to the Comments

        Dude. Did you even see the picture?

        • VladNorris

          Yes, and I still stand by my point.

          Haters gonna hate only applies for mindless hate. Disapointment and criticism caused by it are something entirely different.

          • a Link to the Comments

            Leave your logic to someone who doesn’t critisise Skyward Sword’s soundtrack.

  • Surferguy7

    Completely agreed, however, even with the more ambient, deep, and complex tracks, you do find the pieces that have recurring riffs or catchy tunes that have become classics in my eyes (Or ears…. I suppose):
    - The Romance Theme is criminally underused since it’s so uplifting, emotional, and catchy.
    - Fi’s theme, quite obviously, is a classic.
    - Groose’s Theme gets thrown in here and there during the cutscenes, but you don’t actually get to hear the original track after the first hour.
    - Love the Goddess Sword/Gate of Time track, it’s completely calming.
    - CRIMSON LOFTWING, CRIMSON LOFTWING, CRIMSON LOFTWING…. It’s used twice and then it’s gone, yet is one of the most memorable songs in the game in my opinion.
    Dungeon music (LMF, Fire Sanctuary, and Skyview in particular) are excellent, the main theme (Ballad of the Goddess) is as awesome as can be, Skyloft is catchy, and Boss Themes are godly.
    I’d argue that the actual stand-out musical pieces of Skyward Sword don’t actually get time to shine, rather than the soundtrack being mediocre as a whole.

  • wrendalex

    I haven’t played much of SS, so I don’t know much about the music. However, I don’t think that SS has the best music of any Zelda game. Also the length of the songs was great if I liked the song, but if I didn’t it was terrible. Not to say that I don’t like SS’s music, it has some great tunes. I just like the other Zelda games music better.

    • Sean

      So you haven’t fully played SS and admit to not knowing much about the music, but proceed to critique the music?

      • wrendalex

        No, I was simply talking about the music in the game I have heard.

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

    In recent games this title offered probably the best sound track in a long while.

    It’s hard to top the Wind Waker’s sound track, so many wonderful and memorable songs. From the ocean sailing theme (possibly one of my fave overworld themes ever), to the main theme, to the Dragonroost.

    Skyward Sword comes close though, and I’m still always impressed by how many unique themes there are in the game, and how these themes change and evolve as the game progresses. For example Groose’s theme… it seems really wonky and silly at first, but by the end of the game when you have his theme overlapping the epic battle themes, it changes to reflect what that character has become (a hero in his own right).

    Same with Ghirahim. His theme kind of starts off playful in early encounters, sort of a “toying with you” sort of tone. Only to become harsher and more desperate as you get to the end of the game and Ghirahim goes from toying with Link to going full out on him.

    It’s how these wonderful and unique musical pieces evolve and change as the game progresses that really brings depth to the soundtrack. This is hopefully something they will continue in the future.

  • Jebus Mearkat

    I truly loved the music in Skyward Sword. The only thing that I was disappointed in was the lack of different sounds. It did use some variety, such as the Bamboo Island theme, but I played Ocarina of Time (3DS version) for the first time after completing Skyward Sword and the diversity of the tracks blew me away; examples are the Forest Temple theme, Spirit Temple theme and Gerudo Valley. A big wish for me in Zelda Wii U is that they explore many different instruments and styles of music in the new soundtrack.

  • Nikokiri

    I agree, Skyward Sword has the best soundtrack. Nintendo should really give Zelda Wii U an orchestrated soundtrack as well.

  • DexterMike

    For the first HD brand new Zelda game, they have to go full orchestrated. SS soundtrack wasn’t fully orchestrated.

    • Nikokiri

      Yes it was?

      • DexterMike

        No it wasn’t. You can hear MIDI songs in several parts of the game.

        • Nikokiri

          I didn’t notice that, but you’re right. :)

      • Regol

        No, it wasn’t. It had a mixture of live performances and (high quality) midis.

    • http://axlethebeast.com/ Axle the Beast

      Common misunderstand but in this case it also refers to many of the songs that weren’t done in a full orchestral style but still had live instrumentation. There WERE a few high-quality MIDIs in Skyward Sword, so you are technically right, but the vast majority are either recorded live or have the full symphony sound. So it’s barely not fully orchestrated, and usually the themes that aren’t couldn’t be, such as some of the Silent Realm music.

    • JuicieJ

      Actually, there are only two songs that are straight-up MIDI — Levias and Bilocyte’s themes. All the others are either straight-up orchestrated or have a mid of orchestration and MIDI. For the most part, the former is used for cutscenes and boss battles, and the latter is used for overworld portions and minor character themes.

  • EnaZeibekiko

    Great opinion piece, and you’re also right about everything.

  • Sean20

    While I agree that Skyward Sword had fantastic music and the partially orchestrated score was fantastic, I don’t agree that SS should be the template for the new Wii u Zelda game.There were a lot of great songs, like Songs like Fi’s theme, Romance in the Air, and many of the dungeon themes but I thought it lacked the diversity of the WW, Ocarina, and Twilight Princess scores. I think the new game should experiment more with different styles of music and a more diverse amount of music. But the game should definitely have a fully orchestrated score.

    • Truth

      Agreed. Each area in TP/Ocarina of Time/WW had a different feel because of the music. Skyward Sword, while it was a pretty good game, just didn’t capture that near as well as the other games.

    • Sean20

      Also… Fi’s night time theme was the highlight of the Soundtrack for me. It was mysterious and beautiful. Romance in the air was an amazing theme too.

  • The Sign Writer

    I love the music themes in lanayru desert, specifically the lanayru sand sea and sailing the sand sea. everything about that province is amazing :)

  • Nigga

    Woodward Sword is not a good choise, the quality is great however it lacks any semblance of soul in music

  • Ray

    I remember I was just in my room and very slowly, I realised I was hearing some beautiful music for some time. I went into the living room and saw that my brother was playing Skyward Sword. I had no idea the music was so lovely.

    And I think that’s the quality of Skyward Sword’s music. It doesn’t jump out at you like thematic music. It washes over you and becomes part of a living experience in the game. That to me was more powerful than hearing a couple tracks that stand out.

    It made Skyward Sword seem like a long, involving journey. It made me feel like I was part of a grand epic narrative.

    I agree totally about it being really emotional too. I think “Fi’s Theme” is one of the best offerings, and it has such a warm, ancient, spiritual quality to it. And that contrasts yet fits so perfectly with Fi’s personality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRPheoucN_0

  • Allasnark

    I must say I absolutely loved the “Ballad of the Goddess”. I just love it! It’s probably one of the best tunes ever. Personal opinion, remember ;)

  • John Hoge

    I am one who would mostly disagree with the opinions stated in this piece. I thought SS’s soundtrack was a step down from previous Zelda soundtracks. It’s funny, I’ve probably discussed this very topic more on the internet than anything else.

    The majority of good/catchy/memorable and musically well put together pieces occur at or towards the beginning of the game. Romance, Crimson Loftwing, Skyloft, etc. Most of them, like Romance/Romance in the Air, aren’t heard again. I found the majority of the soundtrack throughout the rest of the game to be almost entirely forgettable. The length of a given theme does nothing to enhance its musical worth. “Emotional” is not a word I would use to describe the majority of the soundtrack either. There are SOME emotional tracks, such as Fi’s theme and the Romance themes, but I would not use that word to describe the soundtrack as a whole, ESPECIALLY compared to previous Zelda soundtracks.

    I found the implementation of the soundtrack to be lacking in creativity compared to other Zelda soundtracks as well. Consider the various “Field,” or Overworld tracks we’ve heard in games like OoT, WW, and TP. The Hyrule Field music in Ocarina of Time was brilliant, comprised of a number of different, yet musically similar cells that would play in a random order, and repeat. The cells were all in the same key, and similar enough that it didn’t matter which order they played in, one would always sound like it flowed seamlessly into the next. There were separate cells for when the player stood still. These were softer, more emotional, tender and calm, and, again, could play in any order. The music also shifted dynamically when the player was being attacked by peahats. All this created a beautiful, amorphous Field track that was immediately likable and very interesting at the same time. Wind Waker’s sailing music was also interesting, in that the melody would drop out whenever the player put down the sail, leaving just the harmonic and rhythmic content of the track playing in the background. That track also changed dynamically for enemy encounters. And Twilight Princess’ Field track was great as well. The same music would receive a more beefed up, fully orchestrated treatment (and I’m using the term “orchestrated” properly here, as opposed to the false meaning it has come to take on in most video game music discussions) when Link mounted Epona, and, of course, it would changed dynamically for enemy encounters as well. More importantly, perhaps, is that the Field music in Twilight Princess was an essentially through-composed arrangement of the many motifs that made up the main theme of the game, motifs that were heard throughout the game countless times in other circumstances. Twilight Princess has the best soundtrack of the Zelda series, but that’s another discussion altogether.

    Skyward Sword’s “flying” music, which I guess is the sort of “overworld” music (although SS doesn’t really have an overworld, another inferior aspect of the game), is creatively lacking by comparison. First, I will say that from a compositional and orchestrational perspective, this track is actually impressive, perhaps the most impressive to be found in the game. Interesting modulations, chord progression, bass harmonization, a good melody line throughout, and very well orchestrated. However, that’s as far as it goes – a good composition. No creative implementation, save for the random jarring entrance of a snare drum (for what reason I can never tell, seems to be completely random), which, quite frankly, doesn’t suite the track at all. It’s mixed entirely too loud, and really has no place within the texture. Other than that, there’s nothing interesting about how this track, one of the best tracks in the game, is implemented. That speaks to the inferiority of the soundtrack as a whole.

    The same orchestra was used to record Skyward Sword’s music as was used for the Mario Galaxy games, and Mahito Yokota worked on both games in both a compositional and orchestrational capacity (I believe he was the lead orchestrator for SS?), making the music of Skyward Sword sound very similar to that of Mario Galaxy. I always resented that a little bit. Of course, Koji Kondo, the absolute genius that he is, did all of the music for both franchises way back in the day, but he was so good at creating a unique musical style for each series. The music for Skyward Sword, in many places, sounds too similar to Mario Galaxy. It doesn’t sound like Zelda. It may be good (The Sky is a prime example of this), but it no longer sounds unique.

    Skyward Sword’s main theme, the Ballad of the Goddess, is very underutilized. Now, OoT and WW hardly had any recurring “main theme,” but those soundtracks focused on excellent environmental loops that were varied and memorable, albeit with no real main musical thread connecting them all. Twilight Princess, on the other hand, had perhaps not quite as many memorable tracks throughout its environments, but that game most definitely had a main theme that tied the whole soundtrack together, the various motifs of which are scattered everywhere throughout that game. And, it still has many memorable tracks from start to finish. Skyward Sword has neither a main musical thread tying the whole thing together (underutilization of Ballad of the Goddess), nor does it have a varied array of memorable tracks spanning the length of the game. And, what’s more, the Ballad of the Goddess isn’t that good (nowhere near as good as Twilight Princess’ main theme at least, which is musically brilliant for many reasons). Zelda’s Lullaby backwards, yeah, that’s really creative. The melody is hard to work with, resulting in some mismatched melodic/harmonic relationships. But, I guess that’s what you get when you don’t compose the main melody from scratch.

    I hope that the next Zelda game shares nothing in common with the soundtrack of Skyward Sword other than the use of live instrument recordings. I hope Toru Minegishi returns for the next soundtrack and blesses us with the same musical genius and brilliance that we heard in Twilight Princess. And, it might be nice to get Koji Kondo more involved again. Let him compose more than one track this time.

    • Linkachu72

      dude, you just totally wrote your own article in the comments section!

      • John Hoge

        Haha yeah, when it comes to the music of Zelda I always have a lot to say!

        • Igos Du Ikana

          You just basically summed up my opinion of Skyward Swords Sound track although I would like to mention that apart from the stronger pieces in the game IE Fi’s theme, the regular music that played in normal gameplay like during dungeons and in the “overworld” which I agree with you on as well was so run of the mill that it was sad. They had a “volcano” “desert” and “forest” theme but thats all they really were. Koji Kondo lent a sound to the franchise that was missing in Skyward Sword. Also titles like TP and WW and to a lesser extent OoT and ALTTP incorporated a main game theme that flowed through other tracks to make up a distinct soundtrack where much of the soundtrack references the broader tune as a whole and I found that to be a very good approach.

          • John Hoge

            glad someone agrees!

          • Igos Du Ikana

            Yea, I recieve a lot of flack for my opinions on this site, because anything even remotely negative is a crime and if this were a country we would be speaking with the nice ordinance officered to discuss how we would be “dismissed”. I feel that the series has been in a downward spiral for awhile and that Skyward Sword was the closest thing to mediocrity that I have seen them produce. It was OK. It was decent, and that is all. It was just another adventure game that was born of the same fluf that most modern gaming is made of. Better textures higher quality sound samples and gimmickry do not make a game if they are not all executed well. One would be better off with a solidly made game that does one thing well than a game trying to be too many things for too many people and wind up being relative crap at both. hence we have the same problem with Windows 8 and to a lesser extent the apple camp shares in the woes. It is common in the bland and outright disgusting entertainment industry as well. It is about selling copies not about making a great game.

          • Alyssa

            I completely agree with you about Skyward Sword. Overall it was pretty mediocre. I was so disappointed with all the hype surrounding it and all the rave reviews about how it’s the best Zelda title ever. I just don’t get why people are so crazy about it.

          • John Hoge

            I don’t think the Zelda team sold out or anything just for the sake of software sales, but I do agree that they strove for the wrong goals with Skyward Sword, or at least executed them somewhat poorly. I don’t think Skyward Sword is a bad game, but it just does not compare to previous Zeldas, it just doesn’t. The music is just one indicator of this.

    • JuicieJ

      Twilight Princess’s soundtrack… brilliance? I don’t see how. Most of the tracks were pretty samey, in that the majority of them were very low-key and brooding, especially in the dungeons. It has some great songs, but its music was largely oppressive and unfitting for the Zelda franchise.

      • John Hoge

        Yes, brilliance. I’ll tell you how.

        There is a clear and distinct main theme for the entire game. This main theme is made up of some primary and some secondary motifs. It is a long theme, consisting of a lot of motivic material, and thus is able to be transformed and manipulated in a large variety of ways, which it is throughout the entire game. You’ll hear one motif here, and then another one there, and then the entire thing somewhere else, but perhaps with a different harmonic accompaniment or even in a different time signature. Take, for example, the track Midna’s Desperate Hour (or whatever it’s called). A beautiful piano and string rendition of most of the main theme. However, here it is arranged in 3/4, when normally the theme occurs in 4/4. Here it also begins in a Dorian mode, whereas it has previously occurred mainly in a Lydian mode. Before I go any further, I apologize for using musical terms that you may not be familiar with. Maybe you are, and that would make my explanation all the more elucidating. But, usually people who I discuss this topic with don’t know what a “mode” is. So, I dunno, look it up if you don’t follow.

        In any case, the main theme in Twilight Princess is a great, wonderful, and easily manipulated theme that occurs countless times in different variations throughout the entire soundtrack. The soundtrack thusly distinguishes itself greatly from other Zelda, and most other video game soundtracks as a result, putting it on the level of a well crafted film score in my opinion. A LOT of thought went in to the implementation of that main theme, I assure you.

        And, the main theme isn’t the only theme that gets the creative treatment. Among other tracks from the game, Midna’s Theme, which I also consider to be one of the best and most musical interesting themes to ever spawn from the Zelda franchise (I usually am met with disagreement at this point, I don’t know why), is heard many many times throughout the soundtrack, in different variations and manipulations. Compare the initial “Midna’s Theme” track with the “After Boss Fight” music. Same theme, COMPLETELY different tone, texture, and sound. The track “Midna’s Desperate Hour” or whatever combines both Midna’s Theme and the main theme of the game during the second section of the piece. It does so by playing elements of Midna’s Theme repeatedly over the chord progression of the main theme. It is so brilliant and wonderful, and something that you just don’t find elsewhere in the series, especially not in Skyward Sword.

        Additionally, the soundtrack just has a number of really great standalone tracks. Ordon Village (the initial motif of which we actually do hear a few more times, during sequences of the child kidnappings, the rescue of Colin, etc), Ordon Ranch, Lake Hylia, Kakariko Village (which is somewhat of a variation on the original Kakariko music from OoT, but done very tastefully), Castle Town (with I think four different variations just within the different sections of the town), the title screen music (with the wolf howl at the end), the new Shop music, Hidden Village, the Ganondorf final fight music, the twilight music (along with the enemy encounter music inside the twilight, less of a “great standalone track” but still really cool in interesting), Queen Rutela (which is the Serenade of Water, but taken even further), the track called “Our Children Taken,” which plays when you first encounter the wounded Zora prince in Telma’s Bar, of course the entire credits music, and that’s just off the top of my head, I’d have to go into my iTunes to give you a full list.

        To say that most of the tracks were “pretty samey” gives me the impression that you weren’t really listening when you played the game. It’s music was only oppressive where it needed to be to match a given scenario. The complexity and beauty of the soundtrack was wholly fitting to match the grandeur of the Zelda franchise. But don’t take my word for it. Have you heard of ZREO, Zelda Reorchestrated? A group of Zelda enthusiasts/musicians who do reorchestrations of Zelda tracks with higher quality software instruments? They recently released a full 3-disk album, free to download, called The Twilight Symphony. They consider this to be their finest achievement, which it is. An entire album full of reorchestrations of the soundtrack to Twilight Princess. They worked very long and hard on it, brought in real players and singers, and hired top notch professional audio engineers and producers to work on it. They did all this for Twilight Princess because they know that the music of Twilight Princess was the soundtrack of the Zelda franchise most worthy of such an undertaking.

        So yes, Twilight Princess’s soundtrack is brilliant, in my opinion and the opinions of other professional musicians.

        • JuicieJ

          So using a couple of good songs, which I said existed, across an entire game makes a soundtrack brilliant? Good to know variety doesn’t mean shit.

          • John Hoge

            You obviously didn’t read my comment, or perhaps you’re simply very dense.

            Using a great main theme, comprised of many different motifs, along with thematic material from other great secondary themes, in a VARIETY (a word which I used plenty of times) of different scenarios and variations/manipulations (E.I. different time signatures, different harmonic/chord progressions, etc) across an entire game, along with a significant number of other great, standalone environmental tracks, makes a soundtrack brilliant. Twilight Princess has this to a greater capacity than any other Zelda game.

          • JuicieJ

            It’s funny, because Skyward Sword did that very thing, and much better than Twilight Princess, at that.

          • John Hoge

            Oh my good Lord, NO IT DIDN’T. What’s the main theme in Skyward Sword? I’ll answer for you, it’s the Ballad of the Goddess. A mediocre arrangement of Zelda’s Lullaby played backwards. Not exactly the pinnacle of creativity. You hear it a modest few times at the beginning of the game, and essentially don’t hear it again until the credits begin to roll. It does not have anywhere near the harmonic/melodic complexity of Twilight Princess’s main theme, nor does it have the wealth of motivic content, nor is it used throughout the game anywhere near the amount of times that Twilight Princess’s main theme is, or in the same number of creative ways. So, that’s the main theme for you. Actually, I’ll break it down a little further. What I said in my last comment was “using a great main theme, comprised of many different motifs…” to which you responded “It’s funny, because Skyward Sword did that very thing..” No, the Ballad of the Goddess is not a “great” main theme, nor is it comprised of many different motifs. It is comprised of two motifs, a primary and a secondary. Then I said “in a variety of different scenarios and variations/manipulations across an entire game…” The primary motif of the Ballad of the Goddess is used a couple more times, certainly not a variety of different scenarios, and the secondary motif is NEVER USED AGAIN. Comparatively, Twilight Princess’s main theme is comprised of 5-6 motifs, ALL of which make more than one appearance in the game, the main ones appearing at least 10 + more times in environmental tracks alone.

            I also said that an element of a brilliant soundtrack is having a number of great standalone tracks, and proceeded to list 13 of said tracks from Twilight Princess off the top of my head. Skyward Sword has a few good standalone tracks, mostly all at the beginning of the game. For example: Skyloft, Romance, Crimson Loftwing, and Fi’s theme. The Sky falls under this category as a matter of fact, for as I pointed out in another comment, that music is not implemented creatively or heard anywhere else at all in the entire game. There may be a few more, depending on your taste. The point is, Skyward Sword does not have the same level of great music spanning the course of its game as Twilight Princess, not even close. So, no, Skyward Sword did not “do that very thing,” or really even do that thing at all.

          • JuicieJ

            The Ballad of the Goddess is played multiple times throughout the game. Zelda sings it, Impa hums it, Fi sings it while Link plays the harp, etc. Fi and Groose’s themes are also recurring and have multiple iterations each time they’re played. But that’s not all there is to it.

            See, Skyward Sword has a dynamic soundtrack. By that, I mean it has multiple themes that alter themselves according to certain situations — something no other Zelda game to date has done. Let’s go over them, shall we?

            - Skyloft’s theme drops the flute melody when on the west side of the island.
            - The Bazaar’s theme changes accordingly when Link approaches the numerous shops, with each variation fitting the shopkeepers’ different personalities.
            - The Sky’s theme adds in a snare drum when enemies are close by.
            - The main battle theme changes up its beats depending on if enemies are just nearby, when engaged in action, and when your hearts are low.
            - The Kikwi and Mogma themes are altered when talking to different ones, especially Bucha and Guld.
            - The Skyview Temple’s theme adds and subtracts extra layers of music depending on which sections of the dungeon you’re in.
            - Ghirahim’s theme has different accompaniments in each of his fights, and every time the second phase of his fights is entered, the themes intensify. Timpanis also kick in when he summons his throwing darts, and fade out after he throws them.
            - Every theme in the Lanayru Province is altered when Timeshift Stones are activated.
            - Moldarach’s theme quiets down when he’s underneath the sand.
            - The Imprisoned’s theme becomes much quicker when he’s near the top, and Groose’s theme is added in when using the Groosenator.
            - Lake Floria’s theme muffles when underwater.
            - Koloktos’s theme raises its key up a half step when the second phase begins.
            - The Minecart rides’ theme speeds up and slows down along with the momentum of the minecart being ridden.
            - The Fire Sanctuary’s theme gets an added layer while Link is outside.
            - The “sneaking theme” in the stealth portion of the Song of the Hero quest varies depending on how close enemies are.
            - The song played during the cutscene after Demise’s resurrection has Groose’s theme kick in the moments when he’s shown.

            That’s pretty in-depth stuff, right there, if I say so myself.

          • gasd

            *ahem*

            Timpani. One timpano, many timpani. ;)

          • JuicieJ

            Well… I had no idea. And I’m a musician. ._.

          • Someone

            Judging by John Hoge’s recent rebuttal and breakdown of your accusations as well as your rather simple-minded reasoning that the length of a track apparently determines its intricacy, I’d say you have no idea about much anything musically. It’s a shame that all you had in response was a tasteless Deadpool reaction image. Damage control at its finest.

          • JuicieJ

            I already said I was done with the discussion, and my argument was far beyond the length of the songs. Good to know you actually paid attention.

          • John Hoge

            Zelda sings it, yes, that’s ONE of the few times you hear it again. Same harmonization, however, nothing new. Impa hums it, but it’s still the same harmonization yet again. Like I said, all stuff towards the beginning of the game. And please don’t bring up the harp playing/fi singing/dragons singing bit, that was just atrocious. Possibly worse than the wolf howling stones in TP. Those are the few times you hear it again, as I mentioned.

            Fi’s theme plays a couple more times, yes, but it’s, once again, essentially the same harmonic accompaniment. I like Fi’s theme, it’s one of the few in the game I thought was pretty good. However, it doesn’t get nearly the same manipulative treatment that Midna’s theme gets.

            Groose’s theme plays how many times, two or three? Alright, that’s stretching it though, especially because I don’t consider that theme to be very good. It sounds like a retread of the pirate ship theme from WW, only not as good. It does have at least one variation though, so I’ll give you that.

            “Multiple themes that alter themselves according to certain situations” OoT, WW, and TP all have Overworld tracks that alter themselves considerably during enemy encounters. SS’s Sky theme only adds a very out of place and texturally disruptive snare drum when you pass by an enemy. The music would change entirely, although with smooth and dynamic transitions, during enemy encounters in previous games. TP’s field music adds and subtracts brass and other layers according to whether or not Link is riding Epona. WW’s sailing music adds and subtracts the entire melody based upon whether or not Link has the sail out. OoT’s field music would shift to a different set of calmer, more relaxed cells if Link stood still. Didn’t I already mention some of these? The things you have listed off for Skyward Sword, while some of them are cool, and others not (Sky music snare drum, for example), are nothing new to the Zelda series. In WW, short musical hits that were in sync with the already present layer of music would occur when Link would strike regular enemies. In TP, the music changes through four separate orchestrations depending on which side of town Link is in. Also, depending on the time of day, there are sometimes a group of musicians in the north eastern part of the main square that are singing and playing music that fits right in over the Castle Town music. It fades in and out depending on how close you get to them. I could list many more examples, if I wanted to take the time. Additionally, some of the examples from SS might be cooler, and stand out more, if the music itself was better. The Bazaar music, for example, is the weakest “shop” music in the series’ history, in my opinion. The least catchy anyways. Yes, I noticed how it changed depending on which stall Link was at, but I actually found myself actively thinking at some of the stalls “hmm, this music is not very good.” In any case, to say that Skyward Sword having multiple themes that alter themselves according to different situations is a new concept to Zelda is just completely false.

            By the way, this has all strayed a little bit from the original topic, which was my defense of the brilliance of Twilight Princess’ soundtrack, an argument which I believe I have provided ample evidence to support.

          • JuicieJ

            I’m honestly surprised you think Fi and Groose’s theme only play two or three times. I’m guessing you didn’t pay much attention to the game, because they play MUCH more often than that (especially Groose’s), and, again, when they do, they’re played in different arrangements. Groose’s theme even makes its way into other songs, much like Midna’s did. And speaking of Groose’s theme, I don’t hear the resemblance to the pirate theme. They have a similar tone, no doubt, and I guess you could say the ACCOMPANIMENT instruments have a similar composition, but the MELODY is completely different and uses the Trombone’s slide superbly.

            As for the dynamic stuff, there were a few moments here and there that games prior to Skyward Sword used that feature, yes — which, by the way, the theme changing when enemies appear… that’s been in every 3D Zelda game — but SS was the first game to feature it as a recurring feature. Again, extra layers were added into multiple themes according to certain scenarios across the entire game. The sailing and horseback riding in TWW and TP (respectively) did this, but they’re the sole instances in those games. That’s not comparable to what SS did.

            As for the “less catchy” thing, this editorial already went over that. SS’s music had longer songs with MUCH less repetitive beats and melodies. I like to draw comparisons between Pop and Progressive Rock in this scenario. Pop is very catchy because the songs in the genre are short and simplistic. They’re easy to memorize. Progressive Rock is quite often NOT catchy (although there are examples of it being such) because the songs are long and have a significant amount of depth. This makes it easier to MERMORIZE Pop songs, but I don’t think anyone who knows what they’re talking about regarding music would doubt the sheer amount of quality Progressive Rock often has to offer. Why? Because great Prog. Rock bands out there, like Rush, offer quality compositions that offer intricate and varied listening experiences. The same applies to SS’s soundtrack.

            As for TP’s soundtrack, again, there were numerous tracks that were dull and brooding, namely in the dungeons. There WERE many good songs, such as Midna’s theme, Lake Hylia, Hyrule Field, the Hidden Village, etc. etc. etc., but they ALL lack the depth and intricacy that SS’s songs have because of their simplicity.

            I’ve always wanted more out of Zelda’s music ever since my first Zelda game, Ocarina of Time. While playing it, I constantly kept thinking, “This music is good, but it’s pretty simplistic for a game that’s set me out on such a grand adventure.” Spirit Tracks offered something very close to what I thought Zelda’s music should be like, but it wasn’t until SS that I felt it finally hit the spot. SS was the first Zelda game to have music that sent chills down my spine (Lanayru Desert’s theme), and the first one where I stopped moving Link upon entering the vast majority of areas in awe of how amazing the music sounded. I sincerely hope they keep this up with Zelda Wii U and take it even farther.

          • John Hoge

            Fi’s theme does not reoccur that many times. And when it does, the orchestration/instrumentation is slightly different, yes, but the harmonization/chord progression is essentially the same each time, with very minor variances. Again, as I’ve said many times over, it does not get anywhere near the manipulative treatment that Midna’s Theme does. I don’t care how many times Groose’s theme plays, it’s not that good of a theme for me to continue discussing. The melody is different, but like you yourself said, it strikes the same tone, has very similar instrumentation, even uses the trombone for the primary melody. That’s exactly what I was getting at.

            I have a feeling that you don’t read the entirety of my comments. In my last comment, I gave MORE THAN ONE example of dynamic music in Twilight Princess, and therefore the dynamic field music cannot be the sole instance of dynamic music in that game. Skyward Sword was not the first game to feature dynamic music as a recurring feature. I will grant you that maybe, maybe, it is used a bit more in Skyward Sword than in previous games. But, like I said before, what good is a neat feature like that when the music itself isn’t very good. The majority of the music in Skyward Sword is forgettable. The tracks could have been long, less repetitive, and still be memorable, but the majority of them aren’t. Just because they are longer and less “repetitive” than tracks of previous Zelda games does not make them better. In fact, in this case, it makes them worse, because they are for the most part very run of the mill and uninteresting. Not like the music of previous Zelda games, which always had a unique flair that made them instantly recognizable as being “Zelda.”

            Good prog rock songs are good because they are both musically interesting and enjoyable. Unlike the majority of the music in Skyward Sword. There are many prog rock songs that, while complex and technically impressive, are not good songs. Like a lot of the music in Skyward Sword.

            The brooding tracks in Twilight Princess were brooding where appropriate. “But they ALL lack the depth and intricacy that SS’s songs have because of their simplicity.” In fact, the opposite is true. Just because a track isn’t 6 minutes long before it loops does not at all mean that it is simplistic. Midna’s Theme, for example, is extremely complex from a music theory perspective. The loop lasts about 40 or so seconds, but within that time occur multiple modulations and extended tertiary harmonies very reminiscent of complex jazz. Yes, I said jazz. Toru Minegishi and Koji Kondo utilize this same kind of harmonic complexity all throughout the score. AND, they do it while incorporating recurring themes and melodies, tying the entire score together. This is why, and I’ve said this many times before, Twilight Princess’ soundtrack approaches the level of a well crafted film score. It is very well thought out from start to finish and is very musically complex and interesting. Skyward Sword’s soundtrack is not. It’s just another video game soundtrack. I’ll agree that the dynamic implementation of CERTAIN tracks is cool. Alas, if only the actual music itself was better.

            As for OoT’s soundtrack, I’ll say it again, just because a track isn’t 6 minutes long before the loop doesn’t automatically make it simplistic. Most of the environmental tracks are a minute or less, but there is a lot of musical complexity, and cool dynamic implementation, to be found there too. And, OoT’s music is hella memorable. The songs you play on the Ocarina all kick ass, nothing like those God-awful melodies, if you can even call them that, that Link has to learn on the harp in Skyward Sword. Oh, and word to Nintendo, that instrument is much more of a lyre than a harp.

            If you like Skyward’s music that much, then by all means, enjoy it. For all my complaints, I enjoyed some of it as well. However, to say that Twilight Princess’ soundtrack is anything less than brilliant is simply a fallacy.

          • JuicieJ

            And this has convinced me you don’t know what you’re talking about, so I’m going to end it here.

          • John Hoge

            Yeah, I have a degree in music composition but you’re right, I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about. Bye then.

          • JuicieJ

            Because degrees mean everything nowadays.

            It has nothing to do with your knowledge of music, it’s you stating outright incorrect things about the games’ soundtracks and their features. Amazing you failed to realize this. Only further helps me out, though, so whatever.

          • John Hoge

            That comment could be flipped around and applied to everything you said that concerned soundtracks other than Skyward Sword. If you like Skyward Sword’s soundtrack better than other Zeldas’, FINE. That’s your opinion, and even though it makes no sense to me, you are entitled to it. However, everything I have said concerning the soundtrack of Twilight Princess is true. I have pointed out over, and over, and over again, the features it absolutely does contain that make it a brilliant soundtrack. No incorrect analysis there. Everything I’ve said regarding previous Zelda soundtracks is also correct. No incorrect things being stated there. I have put forth my OPINION on the quality of Skyward Sword’s soundtrack, so there’s nothing incorrect about that either (I’ll give you a freebie here, I said that Skyward Sword doesn’t have themes that reoccur in different situations across the whole game – I was incorrect, in that, according to you, Groose’s theme appears during one or more of the fights with The Imprisoned. There, enjoy that). The main crux of my argument about why Twilight Princess’ soundtrack is both brilliant and better than Skyward Sword’s soundtrack, for the reason that Twilight Princess’ soundtrack is built like a well crafted film score, containing well written recurring motifs that transform and occur in different ways with different characteristics in different situations, and Skyward Sword’s does not, is also correct. It is my OPINION that Tp’s soundtrack is better than Skyward’s soundtrack, but the evidence I provided to support my opinion is all factually based. So, you baffle me with your strange, misinformed accusations.

            For your enlightenment, I will provide a few of the things YOU said that are “outright incorrect” :

            “It’s funny, because Skyward Sword did that very thing..” which was in response to my comment: “Twilight Princess has [a great main theme, comprised of many different motifs, along with thematic material from other great secondary themes, in a variety of different scenarios and variations/manipulations (E.I. different time signatures, different harmonic/chord progressions, etc) across an entire game, along with a significant number of other great, standalone environmental tracks] to a greater capacity than any other Zelda game.

            I went on at length about how your statement here was incorrect. However, I will put it bluntly in one sentence: Skyward Sword DOES NOT HAVE a main theme comprised of many different motifs that reoccurs in a variety of different scenarios and variations/manipulations across the entire game. The rest of my former analysis was opinion-based, but that statement right there is 100% factually correct.

            “See, Skyward Sword has a dynamic soundtrack. By that, I mean it has multiple themes that alter themselves according to certain situations — something no other Zelda game to date has done.” Also wrong, as I went on to point out. Most console Zelda games have dynamic elements in their soundtracks. In rebuttal, you elaborated: “As for the dynamic stuff, there were a few moments here and there that games prior to Skyward Sword used that feature, yes, but SS was the first game to feature it as a recurring feature. Again, extra layers were added into multiple themes according to certain scenarios across the entire game. The sailing and horseback riding in TWW and TP (respectively) did this, but they’re the sole instances in those games.” Again, incorrect. Skyward Sword was not the first game to feature dynamic soundtracks elements as a recurring feature. The sailing and horseback riding in WW and TP were not the sole instances of dynamic music in those games, as I went on again to point out. I later conceded that perhaps Skyward Sword features dynamic music a little, perhaps just a little bit more than previous games, but these statements that you might were as you say, outright incorrect.

            In reference to various tracks in Twilight Princess “..but they ALL lack the depth and intricacy that SS’s songs have because of their simplicity.” This is another incorrect statement of yours that I corrected, noting the simple fact that the length of a track does not determine its relative intricacy. I could write a dissertation, doing an in depth analysis of the soundtracks of both Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, and factually prove that Twilight Princess has, in fact, a more intricate and complex soundtrack, based solely on its musical content, leaving be the concepts of dynamic implementation.

            “..you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Well, I believe I actually do know what I’m talking about.

            That’s all I care to mention for the time being.

          • JuicieJ
          • Hoff123

            Welcome to yet another SS argument where 2 people have completely different opinions and can never get to a conclusion.

            Anyway, I like more “epic” melodic music(and especially “epic” trailer music like Two Steps From Hell), and to me Twilight Princess felt much more like that, then Skyward Sword did. Even if Twilight Princess used MIDI and not a real orchestra.

    • CraptainFalcon

      Holy crap, you should work for this site.

      • John Hoge

        Haha, maybe I should submit an application!

    • wooloochief

      I agree totally. By the way, the snare drums in the “flying” theme only come in when enemies are nearby, hence why it might seem a little random.

      • John Hoge

        Oh is that it? Well, that’s pretty lame then huh. Like I said, nowhere near as creative or cool as the enemy encounter musical transitions in previous games.

    • a Link to the Comments

      Yeah… no. Seriously disagree with you man. I get where your coming from but Skyward Sword’s soundtrack is my personal favourite of the series. Did you even read the article? He said liked it not because it sounds amazing but because of its emotional impact.

      What you said about the overworlds is true, of how they have variations and how each one is interesting in their own right but Skyward Sword’s overworld sounded amazing. You may established this point but stated that it doesn’t have any creative implementations with the variations which I (sort of) agree with you about the snare drum wasn’t especially impressive but to just use the overworlds as an example would be to cancel out the entire soundtrack. There are plenty of ‘creative’ or ‘interesting’ implementations within the soundtrack. For example: when activating the timeshift stones or moving the boat in Lanayru Sand Sea rather than simply floating on the water.

      You said that it sounded too similar to the Mario Galaxy’s soundtrack but that is probably more of a personal statement and Mario is a different franchise to Zelda. Sure, it’s made by the same orchestra but to me it sounded different enough for it to be ‘unique’ enough.

      And as I said at the start, the real reason I love about this soundtrack is not just for the quality of fully orchestrated music but for the emotional impact. I won’t go into deatail about it since Axle already justified this (if you want to, read the article) but I will say that my favourite soundtrack of the Zelda series is Skyward Sword and is one reason why it is my all time favourite one.

      • John Hoge

        Well, man, I guess I seriously disagree with you too. Yes, in fact, I did read the article, as I addressed much of what he said. As I stated, concerning said “emotional impact” : ‘”Emotional” is not a word I would use to describe the majority of the soundtrack either. There are SOME emotional tracks, such as Fi’s theme and the Romance themes, but I would not use that word to describe the soundtrack as a whole, ESPECIALLY compared to previous Zelda soundtracks.’

        Yes, the music changes when you activate a Timeshift Stone and return to a previous time period. I would have scoffed if the game DIDN’T implement a separate musical cue for this in game occurrence, and I would hardly consider that “creative implementation” of the soundtrack. Such an in-game phenomenon is just screaming for some kind of a musical change. What I’m talking about are instances in previous Zelda games that are more subtle, more creative, a situation which may not require any alteration to the music, but in which there is one anyway. A place where the devs and composers decided to go a little deeper, pay more attention to the details, and implement something creative.

        Mario is a different franchise to Zelda, of course. Back in the day, the two both had equally great (well, I’ve always thought Zelda was better actually) but completely different soundtracks too. Skyward’s soundtrack didn’t sound like a carbon copy of Galaxy’s, but because the same players were used, and because the same lead orchestrator worked on both projects, and, unlike Koji Kondo back in the day, didn’t really bother to try to create a distinguishing timbral or textural palette for Skyward Sword, the music of the game sounds VERY similar to that of Mario Galaxy. The music of the two franchises sound much more similar to each other, surely, than ever before. “The Sky” is, like I said, a good track in its own right, but it doesn’t sound like something I would have ever expected to hear in a Zelda game. Also, perhaps slightly off topic, none of the motivic or thematic material in that track makes an appearance anywhere else in the game. Right? That’s another aspect of the lack of creative implementation I’m talking about. It’s as if they just wrote a cool sounding track, without any thought as to how they could possibly work in the same musical material somewhere else in the game, or try to use it to create a musical thread throughout the player’s journey, or use a previously existing theme from the game in the track (Ballad of the Goddess, perhaps), or really do anything creative with it other than just write it. These are all things, by the way, that Twilight Princess did brilliantly.

        As far as that emotional impact goes (again, I did read the article), that is more of a subjective point, I grant you, and so if you think Skyward Sword’s soundtrack had emotional impact then fine, you’re allowed to think so and I won’t invest myself in trying to explain, from a musical theory standpoint, why I disagree. Just suffice to say that I do disagree. I found the majority of the soundtrack to be lacking in emotional or creative depth, at least when compared to PREVIOUS ZELDA SOUNDTRACKS. Key point there. SS’s soundtrack actually wasn’t bad at all, it just did not live up to the ridiculously high standard set by previous installments in the franchise. The same can be said of the entire game.

        Cute cat.

        • a Link to the Comments

          Guess we’re on different sides on the table then. I respect your opinion but still disagree with most of your arguments. I can see that your minds not going to change and neither will mine.

          I’ll say that in every way possible Skyward Swords music blew me away, unlike a lot of other Zelda games music and yes, Twilight Princess’ music is apart from them because you may have said that it had better ‘creative implementations’ and had tons of variety with its main themes but Skyward Sword focused on the mood more rather than expanding on its main ones. It set the mood far better than any other one not because its more dynamic (but that does play a part in it) but because of the music as a whole had more variety (not just the main ones) which makes each one piece sound unique and not just another variation of the same one.

          You say Ballad of the Goddess isn’t used much but that is because it would disrupt the mood. Think about it, would you hear a sacred song in Lanayru desert which has a tragic history to it, No that’s why it has a tragic theme to it and on top of that it wouldn’t fit at all. The music does have variations but it is far less focused on and more on different pieces of music.

          And actually, Ballad of the goddess is used often and not at the start and end of the game, you don’t notice it straight away and I think this adds a lot of depth which you argued Twilight Princess had, just this time around its more hidden. I’ll not tell you where they are because if your so good with music you’ll find it for yourself.

          • John Hoge

            Twilight Princess focused on the mood as well. And the argument that using the melody from Ballad of the Goddess in multiple places would disrupt the mood is bunk, Twilight Princess used its main theme all over the place and set different moods perfectly. That’s because the main theme of Twilight Princess is really really good, and gives the composer a lot to work with musically. All of the tracks sound unique, even though they’re using the same thematic material. Ballad of the Goddess isn’t used everywhere like that because, being just a retrograde of Zelda’s Lullaby, it doesn’t give the composer a lot to work with. It’s just not that good of a theme. Nearly every time it is heard, it uses the same exact harmonization. And yes, SS’s soundtrack focuses much more on just different, unrelated pieces of music, everywhere. Unfortunately, most of it is forgettable. Or at least that’s my opinion.

            And no, the Ballad of the Goddess melody isn’t used very often. I know it’s here and there, but like I said, it hardly has any variation, because the melody only really works with one or two harmonic variations. Unlike the Twilight Princess main theme, which works with countless harmonic variations.

            But, you’re entitled to your own opinions. To each his own.

          • a Link to the Comments

            Its interesting isn’t it. How different of opinions will start a massive argument. You make some valid points but my opinion hasn’t budged and I guess yours hasn’t either but anyway its nice to hear a difference of opinion.

            Thanks.

  • JDUDE321

    So this might spell the end for Koji Kondo

    • Mr.Anonymous

      Why? What makes you say so?

      • JDUDE321

        he composed virtually none of SS’s orchestrated score, so sticking with orchestration might get him ousted infavor of SS’s composers. Hopefully not though!

        • Surferguy7

          He composed the Opening Sequence to Skyward Sword, obviously, he has experience with live instrumentation.
          Furthermore, it’s good to get some new faces in there. Koji Kondo, while he’s a great composer, shouldn’t be hailed as the God of Zelda soundtracks. Plenty of other composers have contributed to the series with equally memorable compositions.
          Besides, the guy has to retire eventually, and it’d be great to have experienced newcomers already familiar with the Zelda series.

          • JDUDE321

            Fair points. While there have been musical contributions by other composers, Kondo has been the main composer of zelda’s music since day one, so his importance is major. However, I definitely agree with you that having new faces is good for the series, and having newcomers, like the composers for SS, working alongside Kondo (until his retirement) is ideal.

        • JuicieJ

          He actually helped Mahito Yokota compose Galaxy 1′s soundtrack, and, as Surferguy7 said, he composed the opening “ink blot” scene in Skyward Sword.

          • JDUDE321

            oh ok neat

  • Mr.Anonymous

    Im always a little on the edge when Nintendo references something from the past and says their new product is going to be a using it as a ‘template’… Why not come up with something new all together..all over again? I think its the making of something new and exciting from scratch that makes the new trends and successes in gaming. Then again, I totally get if theyre trying to use the sucessful essence of what Skyword Sword brought across and used it to have the same feel to the new installment. Afterall…Skyward Sword had a beautiful soundtrack. It was a good game for me in general. Ahh good times.

  • Kieroni

    But…Butbutbutbutbut….. EALKRJEIOFDSFJE!!!! One of the most AMAZING things about the Zelda series is the music. They could (slight exageration) completly screw up the gameplay, but as long as the music was still amazing, I would still play it. DON’T MESS UP THE MUSIC YOU FOOOOOOLLLLLSSSSS!!! D=

  • Erik I

    I really hope they go back to MIDI soon…

    • Sean

      I hope this is a joke.

    • JuicieJ

      That’s like wanting to go back to 16-bit.

      • Erik I

        Even the 16-bit soundtrack had memorable pieces.

        • JuicieJ

          I was talking about hardware.

    • K2L

      I feel bad for you and your inevitable disappointment, since they won’t go back to MIDI. XD

  • maxdoss

    Oh god no. I found little songs in the game memorable, and I didn’t like the orchestral music. It didn’t feel like “Zelda” to me.

  • CraptainFalcon

    I like that Nintendo finally decided to use an orchestrated soundtrack, but the music sucked.

    • Guest

      how did it suck? in what way? i loved it! although it is probably the least memorable among the 3d games.

  • wooloochief

    The main thing lacking with skyward sword’s music was the harp songs. With the exception of song of the hero, which is just the main theme anyway, I pretty much hated them all.
    I really liked the crimson lofting song (trombone and flute), fi’s gratitude, and I liked the stalfos and koloktos battle themes.
    Otherwise for me the music was quite underwhelming, especially the “sky” equivalent of the field theme.
    I also strongly disagree with the statement in the article that basically said that people like the songs like gerudo valley, lost woods, dragon roost etc. because they are repetitive. False.
    People like those songs simply because they are awesome songs. I’ve played skyward sword more times than I have OoT (simply because of availability) and yet I find myself constantly humming/whistling so many of the songs from that game, unlike skyward sword.

    Don’t get me wrong though; having orchestrated music was great.

    • Churze

      OoT songs are more repetitive and there for more catchy than Skyward Sword songs.

  • Hero of Hyrule

    Just purchased my tickets for The Symphony of the Goddesses in Madison Square! i am so ready

    • Raphael Gouin

      Oh damn! I saw them 2 times now in Montreal but it was not in the Bell Center, I imagine the sound of the symphony into such a huge place as the Madison Square Garden! I wish you sir a great show.

  • Breather

    The thing that was wrong with Skyward Sword’s OST was that there was no Koji Kondo.

  • Breather

    The thing that was wrong with Skyward Sword’s OST was that there was no Koji Kondo.

    • Alexander Kleinwechter

      koji kondo did ballad of the godess with 3 other people

      • Pepitokj

        Yes, because it’s Zelda’s Lullaby in reverse.

  • Philip Kunhardt

    The other beautiful part of this soundtrack is that nearly every BGM theme can be accompanied with the Goddess Harp to provide more variation!

  • hollander

    SS is one of the best Zelda-music games

  • Blade runner

    Nooooooooooo!!!

  • A concerned Zelda fan

    Misunderstood and selfish fans. Sigh.

    You realize that just because yous don’t like SS music doesn’t mean Nintendo should ditch the idea? Sheesh. I love every single theme Nintendo composed, and people who say orchestra doesn’t feel Zelda… the type of music was only a recent addition to Zelda. Just because it doesn’t feel like Zelda doesn’t mean it’d make a great addition.

    Truth.

    • VladNorris

      Do you realize Nintendo is doing the games for the fans, and they have the right to express their opinions?

  • BalladOfZelda

    Yay! :D

  • Churze

    I really don’t get what people see in Skyward Sword music. I guess I just don’t like it’s music style. It’s just to slow for me. For a while, I though Skyward Swords music was the best in the series, but I just went to the Zelda concert. Hearing songs like the Pirates Theme, Dark World, and TP hyrule field orchestrated pretty much slaughtered most of Skyward Swords music. Still, songs like Boss Theme 2, Romance in the Air, and the Lizofos mini boss theme blew me away.

    • Hoff123

      Twilight Princess’ Hyrule Field theme… ORCHESTRATED???!!!! Damn, something like that I’d definitely want in a Zelda game :) . Yeah, I wasn’t really a fan of SS’ music either, even though the actual sounds sounded beautiful(since it used a real orchestra).

  • KidNintendus

    We need another song like Midna’s Desperate Hour.

  • Christopher M. Mickens

    Being a former musician I can tell you that you will always be able to find subtle nuances in music being preformed lived by an orchestra that you just won’t be able to listening to synthesized music. Most live music, especially orchestra music, is composed and layered in a way in which the instruments of a particular arrangement will be heard independently while still blending together. This is part of what gives live music its depth. As the musicians try to convey the tone and emotion of a particular piece.

  • Horayn

    Yes! they finally revealed something about zelda wiiu!

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