Video Game Music of the Week - 99

The Legend of Zelda (NES)


Opening, Overworld, Dungeon

Koji Kondo

The Legend of Zelda originally released in Japan in 1986, then came to North America and PAL regions in 1987. The game and its series has received critical acclaim and is considered one of Nintendo’s most important franchises, alongside the Mario series. Certain sounds and musical elements featured in the original game are still found in current releases in the series today and many of these sounds have become notorious in video game culture.

The Opening music to
The Legend of Zelda is relatively slow and is a reworking of the Overworld theme in the game. There is a royal and grand notion to the track, that has a lingering element of impending danger, mixed with the undeniable hopefulness of the famous Legend of Zelda melody.

The Overworld theme is one of the most recognisable songs in video games and features the main theme to the Zelda series in its entirety. In the series, this track is often associated with moments of exploration and openness. The Legend of Zelda series has always been known for its level of exploration and no song defines this concept more than the Overworld theme.

For the majority of the track, the treble notes play a constant repeating progression while the bass notes play the actual melody to the song. This same track was later featured in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX during a newly added ‘Colour Dungeon.’

Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.
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