for quite some time. For those who don’t know, ScrewAttack features
numerous videos from GameTrailers including Top Ten lists, the Video
Game Vault, and the infamous Angry Video Game Nerd.
A few weeks ago Stuttering Craig, the owner and prominent voice of
ScrewAttack, asked for help from his audience to voice their opinion on
the upcoming video “Top 10 Video Game Themes.” On the ScrewAttack forums, he asked the community to suggest their favorites for the video. In his exact words:
been waiting to do this Top 10 for a long time but we haven’t because
it’s so damn hard and so damn important! We are looking to name the Top
10 Video Game Themes in history. This can be any song from any game…
EVER. Here’s the catch: We’re only taking one song per franchise. Yep,
only one song from Final Fantasy, one song from Mario, one song from
any franchise ever!
With such a difficult list to manufacture we
want your input and suggestions! In this thread you put the game,
track, level, and tell exactly WHY it’s one of the best themes in video
game history. If you have an interesting personal story about a track
then tell it! BE SPECIFIC in your reasoning and persuade us to include
it on the list. This is a list we plan on having a lot of fun with but
is also very important to us because video game music has played such a
big role in ScrewAttack’s history.
ScrewAttack’s Top 10 Video
Game Themes will air in early October so start stating your claim now
and who knows… maybe you’ll see your name in the Top 10.
very eager to respond, I thought very carefully about what to suggest.
There was no doubt that the Legend of Zelda series would make the list,
however which song was the big question. The original theme is
wonderful, but there is so much better music delivered from the series,
so suggesting something a bit more unique was my objective.
Legend of Zelda franchise has had some of the greatest music ever heard
on a video game. To say any less would be a huge understatement.
However, just choosing one song from the franchise can be quite a task.
So let’s go through the best known options to figure out which song
stands out from the rest.
In the Top 10 Video Game Theme Song
list, it might seem pretty obvious to pick the original Legend of Zelda
theme. You know-, that melody from the original Legend of Zelda title
screen. While the song is quite rememberable, it doesn’t quite fully
represent the vast music selection from the series since the initial
title. Later games, with the exception of Ocarina of Time, all reused
the original medley, but each game retools the song to fit the purpose
of that title. We always recognize the melody in each game, but each
song is actually different because each Zelda title tries to be unique
in its own way. So if we don’t use the original Legend of Zelda theme
what should we use instead?
Since older Zelda titles remained
similar to the original, let’s look at some of the more fresh titles.
An obvious option would be Ocarina of Time. This game probably has the
greatest soundtrack as a whole, turning short rememberable songs into
intricate parts of the gameplay, making them even more addictive.
However, since we are talking about themes here, let’s focus on the
title theme. Just a simple lonely sounding flute/ocarina playing a
smooth melody. Some may remember this melody from such classic games as
the original Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3, which gives a
nice tip of the hat to the classics before taking a massive step
forward into the 3D world. This gentle melody was so relaxing just
moments before beginning one of the most rememberable adventures of our
Next on the list is the Wind Waker. Rather than a
soft and sweet theme from Ocarina of Time, the Wind Waker had a very
lively upbeat tempo. Clearly receiving a large influence from various
types of folk music, the Wind Waker had one of the most unique
soundtracks of the series.
Finally, Twilight Princess went with
the standard epic choir which works out very well. There was a certain
level of softness that built up over time into a very epic feel just
before the player jumps into another legendary adventure.
these three title themes, I would have to go with the Wind Waker. The
other two titles were excellent, but the Wind Waker theme stood out the
most. It may be one of the more controversial titles, but that doesn’t
take away from the quality of the game or the music.
Wind Waker has some of the most rememberable music. Ocarina of Time has
lots of rememberable music as well, but most of it consisted of
flutes/ocarinas and occasionally a harp which have both been reused
throughout the series. The Wind Waker kept the flutes, but for the
first time in the series, added a symphony of string instruments like
the violin. The folk themed music was very new to the series but the
traditional flutes from Ocarina of Time are still present showing the
utmost respect for the previous title, despite The Wind Wakers drastic
changes in art style. It also had a technological advantage over
Ocarina of Time. With Ocarina of Time, most of the time it was pretty
easy to tell that the music was all synthesized. The Wind Waker was
also fully synthesized, but the violin work was so well done that it
could be hard to tell occasionally. Both games have beautiful music,
but The Wind Waker was arguably the more unique addition to the overall
Twilight Princess, despite its valiant efforts, didn’t
stand out very well against the rest of the series. It tried so hard to
be Ocarina of Time that it forgot to deliver anything unique and the
same can be said for the music. While epic choirs do make great music,
the song heard in the intro just ended up sounding like everything
else. Ever since the Lord of the Rings movies, every other movie or
video game tries to mimic their music and so Twilight Princess just
sort of blends in with masses of similar music.
But is the them
of The Wind Waker really the best choice to represent the entire
franchise? Sure it makes sense for the best theme, but there are so
many great songs from the franchise. It would be a shame to reject a
song just because it didn’t play at the title screen. After all
Stuttering Craig did have this to say:
So we should be allowed
to pick any song that has ever played in the Legend of Zelda franchise.
So now that the window of opportunity is fully open, the Wind Waker
theme may no longer be the best choice. In fact, the song I have in
mind isn’t even in the Wind Waker, or Ocarina of Time, or even Twilight
Princess, at least not originally. Any guesses?
influential song ever to come out of the Legend of Zelda franchise is
none other than the Song of Healing from Majora’s Mask. We had
experienced some unforgettable music from Ocarina of Time, but none of
these compare to the delicate care that went behind the Song of Healing.
The Song of Healing, Majora’s Mask (Koji Kondo)
(right-click and save)
Mask took the franchise in a very dark emotional direction. This was
the first Zelda game that was actually involved with death. Characters
that had died or were about to die were filled with regret and would do
anything for a second chance, so they plead to Link for help. There
really wasn’t much Link could do for them, so he did the only thing he
could. He comforted them in their final moments by playing the Song of
Healing. This song is softly played by a piano with just a few simple
notes and chords but creates a very emotional song that comforts these
fallen people that Link is trying to reach out to. While the song may
seem very sad, it really does have a redeeming quality to it. We are
not intended to mourn these people, but to comfort them and remind them
of how great their lives were and what they accomplished, which the
game reflects very well. The dying characters see images of their
friends and families to realize that they were loved, and just knowing
that brought peace to their souls, and suddenly it was okay for them to
This song represented all of this and more. It taught us
something about death that some people don’t realize enough. Death is a
part of life, and as long as we cherish those that love us and the
moments we’ve had with them, it is okay to let go knowing you’ve left
an unforgettable mark on their lives as well. Games before Majora’s
Mask have displayed death before, but rather than mourning a
character’s death, the Song of Healing celebrates the life that they
had which leaves a far greater impression. The Song of Healing is the
most unforgettable song and it deserves the upmost respect from anyone
who has experienced the death of a loved one first hand.
Now that the video is available for viewing,
it’s pretty obvious that they dismissed my claim, and went with a more
obvious choice, which is fine. Their decision was a bit predictable,
but we should be proud that ScrewAttack gave the franchise the praise
it deserves. Despite their decision, there are so many different songs
from the franchise, in which opinions will always vary. Fans will
always have different favorite songs or melodies just like we all have
different favorite games, dungeons or bosses.
With a franchise
so well indulged in music, it will be interesting to see what future
installments will have in store for us with music. So far, all of the
music from the franchise have been heavily synthesized. This hasn’t
hindered the music score any in the past, but after Twilight Princess,
the quality has begun to feel a bit dated. After hearing a remarkable
fully orchestrated soundtrack from Mario Galaxy, it is about time the
Legend of Zelda franchise receives the same treatment from Nintendo. We
should expect great things from the next installment of the franchise,
and music is one of the more likely improvements. Who knows, by the
time the next game comes around, we could all have a new favorite
Legend of Zelda song of all time.
- My initial response to ScrewAttack
- Stuttering Craig’s Forum Topic
- ScrewAttack’s Top Ten Video Game Themes Video