Legend of Zelda: Sound & Drama

Artist Credits

Tracks

Disc 1 (44 minutes)

  1. Overworld
  2. Theme Of The Guessing-Game House
  3. Sanctuary Dungeon
  4. Hyrule Castle
  5. Forest Theme
  6. Dark Overworld
  7. The Goddess Appears
  8. Kakariko Village
  9. Sound Drama 'Two People: Introductory Chapter'

Disc 2 (54 minutes)

  1. Title
  2. Overworld
  3. Underworld
  4. Death Mountain
  5. Get Treasure Fanfare
  6. Get Triforce Fanfare
  7. Finally, Ganon Appears And Is Defeated Fanfare
  8. Zelda Is Rescued Fanfare
  9. Game Over
  10. Ending
  11. Title
  12. Opening Demo
  13. Time Of The Falling Rain
  14. Overworld
  15. Kakariko Village
  16. Forest
  17. Master Sword Demo
  18. Turned Into A Rabbit!
  19. The Soldiers Of Kakariko Village
  20. Guessing-Game House
  21. Select Screen
  22. Dark World
  23. Dark Mountain Forest
  24. Hyrule Castle
  25. Sanctuary Dungeon
  26. Cave
  27. Church
  28. Boss ~ BGM ~
  29. Boss Clear Fanfare
  30. Dark World Dungeon
  31. Fortune-Telling House
  32. Princess Zelda's Rescue
  33. Crystal
  34. The Goddess Appears
  35. Priest
  36. The Priest Transforms Into Ganon
  37. Ganon's Message
  38. Battle With Ganon
  39. Triforce Chamber
  40. Ending
  • Released Jun 22, 1994 by Sony (catalog no. SRCL-2940~1, retail 3800 yen).

Reviews

Arrangements and OSTs that haven't aged well, though the nostalgia will likely win series fans over.

Enjoyable but Inessential

Editor's review by Adam Corn (2014-03-27)

Legend of Zelda: Sound & Drama is a two-disc soundtrack based on the legendary Nintendo adventure series. Disc one contains original instrumental and synth-orchestral arrangements of compositions from "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past", followed by a 17-minute Japanese spoken drama track with background music and sound effects. Disc two consists of OST tracks directly from the games, the first eleven tracks from the original NES Legend of Zelda and the remainder from the SNES A Link to the Past.

The prospect of hearing arranged Zelda music was what really excited me about this CD, but I'm a bit let down by the arrangements. The sampled orchestral instrumentation very much shows its age, particularly the brass, which sounds electronic and artificial. It's a far cry from the sampled instrumentation in standout efforts like Beyond the Beyond and Symphony Ys '95, both of which were released only a year or two later.

Furthermore the arrangements are - ironically - somewhat lacking in drama. Certainly there are some great themes present - "Hyrule Castle" and especially "Dark Overworld" both at their core have adventuresome, dramatic qualities. However the arrangements add little extra, leaving them only with substandard orchestral synth to lean on. Even the main series "Overworld" theme fails to impress - classic VGM theme though it may be it really needs extra substance to shine beyond its original game-synth states, and that's lacking here.

Fortunately the four lighter, smaller-scale arrangements fare much better, particularly the eccentric "Theme of the Guessing-Game House" and the peaceful "Forest Theme". Both were completely unfamiliar to me originally yet are my favorite arrangements of the album, featuring more organic instrumentation and more understated yet far more interesting arrangements. The lively violin finale in the former track and the tranquil piano and flute segues in the latter are much closer to what I would hope for in a great Zelda arranged album.

All in all the arranged disc reminds me very much of the albums Final Fantasy III Eternal Legend of Wind and FFV Dear Friends - modest production values, fairly simple arrangements and quite gamey overall in sound, but with a handful of pretty pieces that make them worth considering.

Concerning the rest of disc one, the dialog track and the eleven minutes of 8-bit music hold no appeal to me personally; I assume anyone interested in the 8-bit OST will know what to expect. SNES OSTs aren't my thing either, and the sound quality is certainly a large step below later SNES efforts, with a slightly mushy sound to the samples overall. Still, for people who grew up playing the game and who enjoy 16-bit OSTs, the 43 minutes of it here no doubt adds to the value of the album.

By no means is Legend of Zelda: Sound & Drama a bad album. Big fans of the series (especially the SNES game) can probably take my complaints and throw them out the window, as they'll undoubtedly relish the OSTs and added goodies. However, listeners not already enchanted with A Link to the Past's music should note that the arrangements generally don't live up to the Zelda legacy.

Recommended on nostalgia alone, not to mention the arranged tracks.

Reader review by Adam Page

This title has the advantage of "being known". Just like the Caribbean tune that plays during level 1.1 on the original Super Mario Bros., hum Zelda's Overworld theme to a friend and it's almost certain that they'll recognize it. We kids have fond memories of Zelda and the 8-bit PCM that cranked out our speakers while we played. Nostalgia alone is a worthy selling point.

But wait, there's more! In this two-disc set, the first disc is arranged music from A Link To The Past (which of course includes that lovable Overworld theme that's been used in every Zelda game to date). All the songs are arranged in a syntho-sympho style that matches, if not exceeds, Ys Symphony '95 in terms of orchestral realism. They selected the best themes for special arrangement, leaving out tunes like "Cave" that were meant more for mood than melody. This first disc is very well done and could have warranted its own release. Still, there's more. At the end of disc one is a lengthy drama track complete with well-acted vocals, segue music, and sound effects. I wouldn't buy an entire disc of this (see Rockman Kiki Ippatsu) but it was a nice bonus, especially if you're studying Japanese.

Order now and you'll receive this free gift! - a second disc containing all the OSV tracks from both The Legend Of Zelda (the first NES adventure) and A Link To The Past (the only SNES sequel). Obviously, the 8-bit music of the original Zelda has great melody, but is somewhat lacking in aural comfort. The SNES tunes, on the other hand, are excellent in both composition *and* sound quality.

I like the tack that Nintendo/Sony has taken by combining the OSV and arranged tracks and releasing them as a single title. They did the same for Super Metroid, Star Fox, Donkey Kong Country (at least in Japan), Kirby's Dreamland, and several other classic games. It's generally less expensive than releasing the two separately, and certainly more convenient.

The one and only Zelda CD available is a must-have masterpiece!

Essential Listening

Reader review by Jon Turner

All right! A two-disc set featuring Zelda music! This is a dream come true. Both discs are well done and succeed in taking the listener to that land of Hyrule. All of the music from Zelda I and Zelda: A Link to the Past is on the second disc, which is the ultimate reason for buying this album. Zelda I's music isn't as great, of course, due to the fact it sounds like the bleeps of NES gaming. A Link to the Past's music is well done in composition and sound quality and could warrant purchase even without the eight arranged versions on disc one. Those eight tracks are really impressive, however after listening to them many times, you might wish the arrangements included all the music from the game so richly performed. I wasn't so crazy about the drama track due to the fact I didn't have a clue of what was going on, but it was interesting and made me wonder where this surprisingly dramatic chapter could take place in the games.

As the one and only Zelda CD album available, this CD comes strongly recommended. No one should miss this great musical experience that I have encountered.

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