Thursday, May 23, 2013

TOP Track #9 - "Overworld"

This is more or less the iconic Zelda theme and honestly one of Kondo's finest pieces of music. I'm being perfectly honest when I say I didn't play the original NES Legend of Zelda until much, much later. So really the "Overworld" theme didn't strike me until A Link to the Past. That was such an important game to me and Deez that we decided to represent both songs here, with a focus on A Link to the Past. I honestly played that game way too much like a lot of SNES games.

A Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game and it is the game that really sets the standard for me. It's a pretty high standard and only a few other games in the series have met it. I feel like A Link to the Past was one of the first games that really got me interested in the lore and history of Hyrule. It really sucked me into the legend of the Triforce. Exploring Hyrule felt like such a treat, looking in every nook and cranny for that heart piece or that elusive fourth empty bottle. I do miss the days when I had all the time in the world to really explore games that rewarded you for exploration. I know games nowadays do way too much hand-holding, but honestly so many games come out (and I have the money to buy them) that I don't have the time to sit down and search out every single hidden item on my own. That's why I often miss (but realize I could never go back) to the SNES days.

This "Overworld" music is so iconic that when a Zelda game comes out that doesn't use it, or play off of it, it gets a black mark in my book. You have no right calling yourself a "Legend of Zelda" if you aren't using this song somehow. I might make an excuse for you if the game doesn't take place in Hyrule, since I associate this music to exploring Hyrule, but that will only spare you a little bit of ire. I love this song that much.


I can't remember if A Link to the Past was handed down to me from TOP or if I got it on my own, but it was one of my most cherished SNES cartridges. I played it night and day, trying to get through the Light and Dark Worlds. As I mentioned earlier ... I wasn't very good at this game. As was often the case back then, the only parts I was proficient at were the ones I watched my older brother complete. This meant that after the first castle in the Dark World, I was in trouble. My lack of skill, coupled with the great Light World theme, meant I wasn't spending too much time in the twisted, alternate version of Hyrule if I could help it.

I loved this song so much I would whistle it constantly. I'm not sure if you ever tried to whistle, hum, or sing this tune, but it's not as easy as it might seem. The range from high to low is too wide for my ability  which can be embarrassing during a "performance" around other people when my voice cracks. This tune is so damn catchy, that I'd have it stuck in my head for days at a time. There was one point where I was sick of the song because it was looping endlessly in my mind. How awful a child I was, getting sick of the "Light World" theme when just a few years up the road there would be songs so much worse getting stuck in my head. I won't go into details, but let's just say the 90s marked an odd shift in music I liked.

Thankfully, it's now a pleasure to hear this song again. One of the reasons I pre-ordered Skyward Sword was so I could get my hands on the 25th Anniversary music album. It's a great collection, but the first time you listen to it can be aggravating  The orchestra is constantly teasing you with hints of this song only to snatch it away right before a crescendo. It does eventually come, and when it does - it's great.


Derivative Tracks

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