The soundtrack for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is easily one of the most fun, harrowing, and beautiful soundtracks I’ve had the pleasure of listening through in my time playing videogames.
One of my favorite parts about a game is how the soundtrack affects the game, and how I feel towards the game. In Dark Souls, it made most boss fights feel as though I’m doing the wrong thing whether or not it has to happen. It makes fights in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild feel so much more intense and fun than if I had simply left the volume off.
I won’t do every track in the game, just the ones that I either really enjoyed, or really disliked so it’s gonna be a big jump between bad to good for me along with very few bad tracks, and with that, I think the best place to start is with my least favorite piece from the game, and we’ll go up from there.
My least favorite piece is Animal Village. There was just something about this track that just made me want to get out of Animal Village as soon as possible. I would actually rush to the edge of town just to avoid hearing it start with the barking (I never really succeeded in that). Even just getting the link for the track and hearing the first five seconds is making me shutter in fear.
Next on the list was the music for The Trendy Game. I don’t know if I disliked this one because I just genuinely didn’t like the track, or if it was a passive dislike paired with having to constantly listen to the track in the early game while I was farming for rupees. Either way though, I have to turn down the volume every time I enter the building.
So now that we’re out of the two tracks that I can’t personally stand anymore, here’s Christine’s House. This track honestly surprised me with how charming it truly is. I don’t know how else to put it other than relaxing.
To put it bluntly, I’m a sucker for a good cello part, and the rest is just icing on the cake with Bottle Grotto. From the very first note with the cello, I got wrapped up in the song, and when they put so much focus on the cello, I just couldn’t get enough.
A track that I thought was my favorite for most of the game was Overworld. It’s fantastic. It’s been used since the very first game in The Legend of Zelda series, and in Link’s Awakening we get to hear one of the more recent iterations of the classic theme. Not much more needs to be said on how iconic the theme truly is.
On The Beach With Marin is one of the tracks that I can easily see myself going to sleep to. It’s more than simply relaxing, it’s just calming, and peaceful if that makes any sense at all. I also might be biased simply because I enjoyed most of the parts with Marin a little extra since you don’t really bond with anybody else quite as much in Link’s Awakening.
Mabe Village is as melancholic as it is inspiring. It makes me feel nostalgic, and hopeful. I tend to get really into the story games that I play, and the music is a big part in that. I don’t have a lot to say about Mabe Village, but sometimes I just sat put down my controller and let the music play for a bit. While I enjoyed the rest of the music, and some even more than this track, I can’t say I’ve ever just listened to them.
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This track had my blood pumping and my energy high whenever I would hear it. It helped me forget that I was playing a game and put me in the shoes of Link fighting for his life and freedom from the island and the Wind Fish. Nightmare Battle was one of the most fun and energetic songs from the soundtrack and definitely one of my favorites from the game.
Now, to the one track that I had to list as my favorite. Tal Tal Heights (Heroic). No matter where I was in this area of the map, I just felt so pumped up to conquer the next dungeon, fight the next boss, wake the Wind Fish, or anything else that might stand in my way.
While listening to it, you can definitely hear the main theme over Overworld gave some inspiration, but they gave Tal Tal Height’s (Heroic) it’s own personality that I would say improves on Overworld.
Ryo Nagamatsu had outdone himself with the music in Link’s Awakening. While there were a few tracks that I didn’t enjoy, the vast majority of the game had music that perfectly fit the areas, and helped make me feel exactly what the game wanted me to feel when it wanted me to feel.
“The advantage of playing one melody with one instrument is that changes in expression or how the melody is played are easier to feel because they result in a more direct change in the music. As a result, we can make the melody wonderful on its own without tweaking it or making the arrangement more extravagant. Old games only had few tones anyway, so in that sense it’s really a straightforward remake. During the testing stage, we actually went as far as this (*laughs*)”Credit: Zelda
You can tell a lot of passion went into creating the soundtrack, and it made the game feel much more alive. I doubt this will ever make it to him, but if it does, thank you for making Link’s Awakening that much better, and my experience with The Legend of Zelda series all the more special.
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