Thursday, May 9, 2013

TOP Track #23 - "Gerudo Valley"

Kondo is responsible for some of the most iconic music in gaming, but in my opinion, his track record is roughly 90% unimpressive and 10% absolutely amazing. "Gerudo Valley" is in that 10% and one of the hidden gems tucked away on an otherwise unimpressive soundtrack. Ocarina of Time has a couple songs that are catchy, but this one really grabbed me. The song just gets better and better, too! The original is great, but each new, official, orchestrated re-arrangement I hear blows my mind in new ways.

The first one I heard outside of Ocarina of Time was the Hyrule Symphony version. I've listed it first in the derivative section. Back in 2003, my brother and I were playing Final Fantasy XI together and Deez had found a way to convert MP3s to the game's music format. I switched out the theme to San d'Oria (starting city for those uptight Elvaan) with that song and so whenever I hear the strings, I get slapped with an entirely different nostalgia for an entirely unrelated game. I like it a lot more than the original San d'Oria music. It has such a classical, regal air.

The newest "Gerudo Valley" version that I'm obsessed with is off the 25th Anniversary album. That's the second derivative listed. It makes my brain explode. As I said to my wife and brother about the song, "It fills me with energy. I want to run a grueling ninja training obstacle course marathon through the mountains naked. I'll be dodging bees, thorns, and fighting off bears in unarmed combat. I want this song played at my funeral while someone who sounds like Morgan Freeman (if he doesn't outlive me) narrates  all the amazing things I did with my life!" (TOP, early 2013) Make sure you check out that song off the 25th Anniversary (2nd Derivative). You won't be sorry - and if you're like me, it may kick-start your advanced ninja training. (Nudity optional, but recommended.)


I remember the hype for Ocarina of Time quite vividly. I was 11 years old, warming up for a karate lesson, when this (particularly obnoxious) kid in my class burst in, announcing that he had got the game and that it was awesome. What was the greatest part of the new game? "The sun goes up and down; it changes between day and night! It's friggin' sweet!" he exclaimed. I admit, it was a cool feature back in those days ... but is that the best aspect of this game he could find to describe it?

Ocarina of Time is not known for its music. There are a few good songs, but for the most part the soundtrack is quite barren. (Need I mention the absence of the classic Hyrule overworld theme?) "Gerudo Valley" is quite the exception to this statement. It's light and breezy, much like its namesake. The only odd thing is that the valley is very hostile at first. How can those Gerudo women be so ornery with such great tunes flowing through the air all day? I was lucky enough to get the 25th Anniversary Orchestral CD that came with Skyward Sword. If you haven't listened to it, do yourself a favor and find it as soon as you can. Check out their incredible rendition of "Gerudo Valley" listed in our Derivative Tracks below.

- Deez

Derivative Tracks

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