Top 20 Legend of Zelda Songs

When talking about great achievements in video game music, expect the words “Zelda” to come up a bit. The Zelda tracks were created by Koji Kondo, perhaps the most prolific composer in video game music history. What Kondo did so well was make music that was simple and emotional at the same time; it’s part of what makes the memories for the LOZ series so cherished.

So to come up with a list of the top 20 was no walk in the park. You may have noticed the huge time gap between this post and the last; it’s because this list was more than a typical top ten list. It was me putting all these amazing tracks in a competition between each other, and there were tons of tough decisions.

The tracks chosen were picked for their quality and the memories they bring up for me. You will definitely not agree 100% with me, but I hope that you’ll be satisfied nonetheless. And if you haven’t played the Zelda series yet, check them out. It’s only after experience that you can understand why I picked these songs.

The Indigo-go's approve of these songs...

20. Astral Observatory (Majora’s Mask)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this song on anybody else’s list, and I’m a bit shocked. Majora’s Mask has, in my opinion, the best soundtrack of all the Zelda games, and here’s a reason why. While it may not be the catchiest or the most epic track of the series, it is easily one of the happiest and most wondrous. When you step into that Observatory, your eyes are served with dozens of bright lights and strange inventions laying about everywhere. And this music captures the magic of it all. While you only hear this music for a minute in the game, since the story does not revisit the Observatory again, it doesn’t stop fans like me from going there and picking up a smile.

19, Song of Storms (Ocarina of Time)

The Song of Storms is one of the most mysterious tracks in Ocarina of Time, simply because it somehow causes rain to fall. The history of the song is mysterious as well. The first time you hear it is when meeting Guru-Guru, a very strange NPC. Whenever I hear the song, I am reminded of the sad man who does nothing else but play his music box. To me, the rain the Song of Storms summons is like Guru-Guru’s tears.

18. Spirit Tracks Overworld Theme (Spirit Tracks)

I’ll admit it: I’ve never played Spirit Tracks. But after a suggestion from a friend to include this song on the list, I checked it out, and I was impressed. In my opinion, it is as good, if not better, than the Great Sea theme in Wind Waker. When I heard the song, I was reminded of Dragon Roost Island and Gerudo Valley; all three songs are organic and have instruments not usually included in Zelda tracks. It’s a very uplifting and energetic song that makes me want to play the game.

17. Hyrule Field (Twilight Princess)

Twilight Princess is the very first Legend of Zelda game I played; so to say the least, I was entranced by this piece. In no video game before have I heard such riveting music. I am very serious when I say me and my brother both cheered when we heard this song; it kept me going in a game I found quite difficult (it WAS my first Zelda game afterall).

16. New Wave Bossa Nova (Majora’s Mask)

Once again, an underrated piece. I think it was genius to put a jazz song in a Zelda game; it reflects the strangeness of the game, Majora’s Mask, itself. And any song that is formed by floating Zora babies is a winner in my book.

15. Great Sea (Wind Waker)

If you’re not into sailing, then perhaps Wind Waker is not for you. I didn’t find sailing that fun, at FIRST, but I slowly grew onto it. One reason for that is this adventurous track that plays the moment you set sail. Another great touch in Wind Waker was the relief that this song brought: if you stumbled upon some creatures, dark ominous music floated in until the creatures stopped pursuing you; then the Great Sea track would play.

14. Legendary Hero (Wind Waker)

Every 3D Legend of Zelda game has an epic introduction, and Wind Waker is no exception. Upon creating your profile, you are automatically treated to a cut scene depicting the events prior to the game’s beginning. The tale is dark, suddenly bright, then dark again. And the music fits this exactly. When the story of the Hero of Time is told, the Legend of Zelda theme song bursts, creating that illusion of hope. As the introduction ends, the music is left on a sad note.

13. Majora’s Mask Main Theme (Majora’s Mask)

This song is a combination of the Majora’s Mask theme and the Clock Town music; the latter easily being the best town music in Legend of Zelda history. The peace created in the happy mood of the Clock Town portion is immediately crushed by the disturbing MM music; the atmosphere of the game is already shown to you before you even start it.

12. Zelda’s Theme (ALttP)

While Zelda’s theme does play in ALttP, it is most significant in Ocarina of Time, in which Zelda plays a much bigger role. This music plays while Zelda reveals to Link that she is trapping herself with Ganondorf; it is so sad to know that Zelda, a teenager, has to sacrifice her life in an attempt to lock up the Ganondorf, who eventually escapes anyways.

11. Dragon Roost Island (Wind Waker)

The Gerudo Valley of Wind Waker. A very organic and enjoyable track. Not one of the catchier ones, and you won’t catch me humming it, but it displays Kondo’s talent in writing music in various styles.

10. Gerudo Valley (Ocarina of Time)

One of the greatest moments in Ocarina of Time was the simple transition from the fantasy land of Hyrule to the mystical, harsher land of Gerudo. There were no uses of violins or pianos in this piece, but rather trumpets and strings. In fact, the whole thing was reminiscent of Spanish music. This incredible change in style made this track one of the more memorable songs in the game.

9. Hyrule Field (Ocarina of Time)

The Hyrule Field theme for Twilight Princess was epic, while this one is more peaceful and fitting. After beating the first temple, you are sent to Hyrule Castle to find Zelda. Hyrule Field was the biggest area players had ever seen in a LOZ game, and was a stunning spectacle of green and yellow.

8. Midna’s Desperate Hour (Twilight Princess)

The setting is perfect: You, the wolf version of Link, are carrying a dying Midna across the rooftops as rain lightly pours down on you, and as the darkness feels as if it is closing in on you. The piece is based on the Hyrule Field from the same game, so it was amazing how effortless it seemed to make that epic, enthralling music into a sad, heart-touching track.

7. Don’t Want You No More (Twilight Princess)

The title might give the impression that this is a pop song; thankfully, it’s not. I don’t know why the song was given this strange title, since the song itself doesn’t imply anything romantic. But nevertheless, this was a great background theme to the Twilight Princess trailer. It starts out sad, maybe even regretful, then takes a turn for the epic.

6. Opening Theme (Wind Waker)

For Kondo to drastically change the style of music he writes for one specific game was very impressive. In this piece, you can hear a violin, flute (or something similar), and a more organic sounding drum beat. Accompanied with this is a swooping camera angle of Link’s home island. To see Wind Waker’s graphics in all its cell shaded glory was truly inspiring.

5. End Credits (Ocarina of Time)

I had so many favorite tracks from Ocarina of Time, I decided to sandwich them all in one choice. The End Credits for OoT has: Saria’s Song, Zelda’s Theme, and a bit from Goron’s City. It starts off light, then switches over to the enerjetic theme from the Lost Woods. I love how the strange Goron sounds fit with Saria’s Song; that is the highlight of the piece for me. Of course, the whole thing ends with bells ringing and conclusive chords mixed with sagely echoes.

4. Last Battle (Ocarina of Time)

I’m going to be honest; the mechanics for the last boss in Ocarina of Time were somewhat disappointing. The reason the boss fight was memorable was because of setting and the music. I cannot stress enough how well the music fits the context of the scene; it was haunting and dark. Best boss fight music I’ve ever heard.

3. Song of Healing (Majora’s Mask)

Considered by many the best piece in the entire LOZ series, much less in Majora’s Mask. The Song of Healing is so simple; perhaps that is the charm of it. In the game it is played by the Happy Mask Salesman, one of the coolest (in MY opinion) characters in the game. It is hard to describe it in words, because each person feels about the song differently. Check the video and find out for yourself.

2. Last Day (Majora’s Mask)

If you’ve read my past posts, you may have noticed how much I’ve praised the Last Day music. If you’ve never played Majora’s Mask, you won’t understand what is so heart wrenching and desperate about this track. As the world disintegrates around you, and you heard this music fade in, you couldn’t help but preach silently for the poor souls of Clock Town.

1. Select Screen/ Fairy Cave (ALttP)

This song has appeared in every 3D Legend of Zelda to date, used as the screen select music and the fairy mountain/cave music. Perhaps this song is personal to me; imagine me playing the first game I ever bought, and hearing this peaceful melody float in. This song is the calm before the storm. Musically, I believe it is one of Kondo’s greatest works. Without the voices in the background, it is as simple as the Song of Healing. Of course, this is not only the Select Screen music. As Link travels across the lands, he meets Fairies. In most of his adventures Link is isolated, so to gain aid is to symbolize that the hero is not alone, that there are people willing to help him.

Honorable Mentions: These are the songs that fought viciously for a spot at the list, but ultimately didn’t make it.

Milk Bar (Majora’s Mask)

Ballad of the Windfish (Link’s Awakening)

Forest Temple Theme (Ocarina of Time)

Ordon Theme (Twilight Princess)

Dark World (A Link to the Past)

Wind Waker Credits (Wind Waker)

Palace Theme (Adventure of Link)

Boss Battle (Ocarina of Time)

Tal Tal Heights (Link’s Awakening)

End Credits (ALttP)

Ganondorf’s Theme (Ocarina of Time)

Kotake and Koume Theme (Ocarina of Time)

Deku Palace (Majora’s Mask)

Great Bay Temple (Majora’s Mask)

Thanks for reading, and comment below if you agree with the list or not.

So, Zelda anniversary week is over, and we hope you enjoyed our little diversion. ‘Til next time.

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    • Taylor
    • January 7th, 2013

    You didn’t include boss battle themes? Some of those were pretty awesome! Like Molgera, Phantom Ganon, and Zant.

  1. June 4th, 2011
    Trackback from : Band Interest Blog

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