This week I have a rather long Music Monday for you. I’ve put together almost all of the Zelda overworld themes (a few games have more than one and I didn’t want this post to be too long). It’s fun to see how the theme has evolved over the years.
The Legend of Zelda
Ah, the original. There have been many games and many variations of this theme over the years, but this one will always be perfect in my mind.
Adventure of Link
This track sounds like the original theme is making a return, but then it just goes and does its own thing, much like the game itself. And while I may not be particularly fond of the game, I do love the overworld theme.
A Link to the Past
This low brassy overworld theme constantly reminds me of Ganon’s presence and the existence of a darker world.
I like how bright and cheery the Link’s Awakening overworld theme. As usual, the Zelda series does an excellent job matching the soundtrack with the tone of the game.
Ocarina of Time
Ocarina of Time really changes things up with the overworld theme. It keeps the beginning cadence of the original theme, but the rest is completely different. And it’s a long track with multiple sections, not just an A and B theme.
This theme is really interesting. At first it sounds like it’s gonna be a repeat of Ocarina of Time’s overworld theme, and then it goes into this wild marimba roll before turning into the original overworld theme. But this overworld theme comes with a dark counterpart in the latter portion and ends with a reminder of the looming threat of the falling moon.
Oracle of Ages/Seasons
Oracle of Ages and Seasons borrow a lot from Link’s Awakening, including the overworld theme. And I think that like Link’s Awakening, they deserve remakes – or possibly a direct sequel.
Wind Waker perfectly adapts the original overworld theme for the sea. It does a great job of creating an adventurous feel and the rolling waves.
Four Swords Adventures
Four Swords Adventures is one of the Zelda games I’m least familiar with, but I love the way this overworld switches things up around 40 seconds in. This is another game I think could benefit from a remake, preferably with both local and online multiplayer.
The Minish Cap
Minish Cap’s overworld theme could fit right in with the Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire soundtrack. I mean, listen to that brass. Maybe it’s the GBA effect.
This is similar to Ocarina of Time in that it keeps the beginning cadence of the original overworld theme, but then it really does its own thing. And it’s got multiple sections fitting for its larger overworld.
Twilight Princess (Night)
I know this is already a rather long Music Monday, but Twilight Princess’s nighttime overworld theme is one of my favorite in the series. Many have pointed out that it sounds like Malon’s voice singing the theme. It gives off a peaceful vibe without letting you completely forget about the dangers you face.
This track is very similar to the Wind Waker overworld theme, but it makes it clear that this is a new adventure. They’re searching for a new Hyrule and getting award from the original overworld theme just a little bit.
This is another one of my favorite overworld themes in the Zelda series. I don’t know if the could have composed a more perfect theme for Spirit Tracks’s overworld. And using the game’s musical instrument, the Spirit Flute was just…*chef’s kiss*
Other overworld themes at least have a hint of the original, but this one just completely changes it up. And boy does it go hard.
A Link Between Worlds
A Link Between Worlds has a gorgeous orchestrated overworld theme, and it shakes things up a bit from the original theme. Like the game itself, it borrows from A Link to the Past while not feeling like a flat out remake.
Breath of the Wild – Night Riding
This is the overworld theme that plays while riding a horse at night. I chose this version because the original theme plays around a minute in and it’s gorgeous and sad, and it makes you feel the weight of the game’s events. The daytime version of this theme contains a slowed down Zelda’s lullaby.
Which Zelda overworld theme is your favorite?