Zelda Dungeon Marathon 2018:

One of the more interesting creative choices made for Breath of the Wild was the inclusion of an ambient, minimalist soundtrack. Primarily using light piano melodies and flourishes, many of the songs in the game’s score were quite subdued, though they did fit well with Breath‘s overall open-air feel. This musical direction was quite bold, as it was very different from the OST’s of past games in the series, but the reality has since set in that some fans were not all that taken with this overly ambient soundtrack.

There are definitely good songs to find in Breath of the Wild — the Hyrule Castle theme has seen its fair share of praise — but the feeling among some Zelda fans has been that the minimalist approach to music in the new game was contrary to what they would have wanted to hear. Some have called these tunes bland, unmemorable, or even lazily composed. With all the negativity thrown its way, should future Zelda games even try to revisit the aspects of this ambient score?

For fans that actually enjoyed Breath of the Wild‘s soundtrack, the return of ambient, mood-setting tunes would be more than welcome, especially if the Zelda series continues to focus on open-world design. The musical choices helped to highlight the sense of discovery inherent in the latest Zelda‘s gameplay, and achieved a relaxing tone to accompany the act of exploration. On the other hand, fans that criticize the game’s OST would rather see the series move away from such minimalist music. The songs in Breath of the Wild lacked the memorable themes and melodies of past titles; therefore it lacked one of the most important elements of a great Zelda game. If any future adventures are scored the same way, they too would risk missing a crucial part of the Zelda identity.

Where do you stand on ambient soundtracks? Do you want to see the Zelda series utilize them more? Or do you think the series should avoid them moving forward? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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