Soundtrack Central The best classic game music and more

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Qui-Gon Joe Mar 2, 2018

After we've actually been getting Zelda OSTs released again, with Twilight Princess and the reissue of Majora's Mask lately, along with the fact that BotW has sold ridiculously well in Japan for a Zelda game, I figured an OST release SHOULD happen.  I was starting to get worried after a full year that it wasn't, though.  That said, today we had the announcement of a 5 disc version of this soundtrack.  It contains all the music from the base game and the DLC as well as promo trailer tracks.  Two versions of this one - one includes a weird little music player thing with tracks pre-loaded on it.  Amazon Japan also has a listing for an Amazon edition of the special edition one.  I preordered that one, but am considering dropping it and switching to the normal edition if the Amazon items aren't super special.  Both versions hit on April 25

Limited box:

I love that so many Nintendo games are getting OST releases this generation.  They've been SO hit or miss for a while.  Admittedly they are skewing much more expensive than typical soundtrack releases have been, but I'm willing to pay a premium if it means sustaining our hobby through releases like these.  Unlike Xenoblade 2, though, the special version of this one doesn't appear to have any music not available on the normal one, at least?

Qui-Gon Joe Mar 2, 2018

Also commenting on my own post - I am honestly shocked at how many comments there are on the internet about how people are surprised by there being 5 discs worth of music in BotW.  I mean I know that as someone who has always been a fan of game and film music I pay attention to it more than a lot of people, but it boggles my mind that people honestly DIDN'T NOTICE lots of music in this game.  Are there LARGE sections of the game in which there is just atmospheric sound?  Yes.  But is that punctuated by a wiiiiide variety of different music in very specific cases with totally unique tracks?  Also yes.  I thought the score overall was beautiful and just hearing the piano riff for the overworld takes me back to my amazing 200+ hours with the game.

jb Mar 3, 2018

I'm curious what the version has that the other one doesn't, they look identical so far.

Jon Turner Mar 7, 2018

I never would have dreamed that we would see this game get a soundtrack release considering that Nintendo hasn't released CD soundtracks for most of their games in years.  I liked Skyward Sword's music more (what with the participation of a full orchestra and the richly textured melodies), but Breath of the Wild is no slouch either.  It's intentionally minimalistic approach works well for the atmosphere.  As for how it works well on its own -- that may be debatable for those who have become accustomed to what Zelda scores should be.  As a change of pace, though, it's mostly haunting.

It's quite a nice change of pace on Nintendo's part to see soundtrack album releases.  First Super Mario Odyssey, then Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and now Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Hard to believe this is the same Nintendo who was stingy about releasing soundtrack albums to their games beginning with the GameCube era.

Zane Mar 9, 2018

Jon Turner wrote:

It's quite a nice change of pace on Nintendo's part to see soundtrack album releases.  First Super Mario Odyssey, then Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and now Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Hard to believe this is the same Nintendo who was stingy about releasing soundtrack albums to their games beginning with the GameCube era.

For sure, dude. I'm hoping that this trend continues throughout the next couple of years, and maybe we'll see some legit releases for some classic GC/Wii/WiiU-era games if the market proves that soundtracks from major Nintendo franchises are profitable. Mario Sunshine, Skyward Sword, Metroid Prime 2... a man can hope, right?

Pedrith Apr 26, 2018

My copy of Breath of the Wild arrived tuesday.  I've started listening and am enjoying it.  I just wish they took the time to include an english track list as I don't read japanese.  My go to site for translations VGMDB has been down all week.

Anyways I've only listened to the first disc (so far) and really enjoy the subtle music.  Once I find an english track list and some more time I'll try and give a more in depth review.



Zane Apr 27, 2018

Pedrith wrote:

My go to site for translations VGMDB has been down all week.

VGMdb is back up.

Glad I saw this post, too - I totally spaced on ordering my LE copy so did so last night. Some unboxing videos are up on Youtube as of yesterday (like this and this).

Qui-Gon Joe Apr 27, 2018

VGMDB is still having issues - no clue what's going on.  Regardless, I loooove this set so far.  Also weird how Nintendo soundtrack releases seem to either have ZERO information on who did what or way more than anyone asked for (love that all the returning melodies from previous games credit the original composer and list which Zelda game they come from in this set)!

Zane Apr 28, 2018

Given the topic, this video is worth sharing:

Looking at the OST tracklist/times I am stoked to see the Tarrey Town song is over 9 minutes long, and that the dungeon themes are pretty hefty (upwards of 6 minutes!). My order can't get here soon enough, especially given that I'm still exploring BotW's world months after first picking it up.

Zane May 1, 2018 (edited May 1, 2018)

Even after playing for well over 150 hours, I still am amazed by how the music to this game is so insanely layered and self referential, just like the game itself. Not only is the music just damn good in general but the level of thought put into the arrangements, track order, and and compositions themselves is straight up insane - no other word to describe it. A big "a ha moment" is when the main melody from the Windblight Ganon battle comes in, it's played with an accordion, which is Kass's instrument of choice - he is a Rito, which is the village where Vah Medoh is located, which is where the Windblight Ganon battle takes place. That level of thought and consideration is rarely seen (or heard). I spent most of my afternoon just taking this in, and aside from the scattered fifth disc (all that DLC stuff is filed after the jingle collection), it's such an excellent OST. Stoked!

Edit/addendum: apparently there's a snowball bowling minigame in BotW? FFS, the content in this game is bottomless.

jb May 1, 2018 (edited May 1, 2018)

I just listened to this today and as someone who hasn’t played the game, this is the most boring soundtrack I’ve heard in years. Like the game, it’s a vast open mess. This just doesn’t work for me.

Abrahm May 1, 2018

I've had mine for a few days and finally listened to all of it, today.  A couple things:

- I bought the standard edition, and I was a bit concerned I'd miss out on some new music on the playbutton thing in the limited edition.  It seems, though, those tracks are just overworld themes from other Zelda games and soundtracks, and nothing new.  Ah well.  I'm sure I would have lost that thing, anyway.

- I absolutely do not like the town day/night music on this soundtrack.  Instead of splitting them into separate tracks (as they were on the Sound Selection disc), they smashed them together with jarring tempo and pitch changing effects.  UGH.  The Rito Village tracks are my favorites, and man... I'm glad I still have the Sound Selection tracks for those.

Aside from those gripes, I'm pleased with what I've heard.  I doubt anything will top A Link to the Past on my Zelda soundtrack favorites, but Breath of the Wild will be nearby.  I like it.

Wanderer May 3, 2018

The music works extremely well in context but as presented here, it really does go on and on. I think it could be pruned down to a very satisfying hour long presentation. I'm happiest when composers do this themselves (like Bear McCreary's fantastic God of War soundtrack, the best of 2018 so far) but that's definitely not traditional for Japanese releases.

Jon Turner May 14, 2018

I am absolutely beyond blown away with Columbia Records' presentation of this score!  Five discs of music all looped twice and presented with pristine sound quality, and even better still, a booklet with detailed notes, including a reference list of which classic Zelda tunes are used and who was responsible for creating them.  I have always found it baffling that Twilight Princess suffered from a subpar treatment from Symphony No. 5 -- no such detailed information and still a lot of missing tracks, not to mention abridgements of the boss battle themes.  I made a much better soundtrack album myself.  This is beyond amazing.  It's one of the best presentations of any Nintendo soundtrack, period.

As for the score, sorry, can't agree with the complaints of it being boring at all.  It's a much more subtle and restrained work, mostly quiet, with the occasional exciting bit.  But I liked it a lot.  This is a very beautiful work.  I don't know where it ranks, but it's up there.  Columbia's presentation just puts it over the top for me.

As for A Link to the Past, yes, that score is indeed amazing and iconic, but that's not to say the other Zelda scores are bad by comparison.  They all have their share of great qualities.

Few will deny that Ocarina of Time was a significant turning point for the series, and being the first of its kind to introduce ambient tones for its dungeon pieces.  Despite running on a dated sound system, Mr. Kondo's musical compositions are still iconic and very memorable, with the choral-driven "Temple of Time", "Gerudo Valley", "Hyrule Field Main Theme" and "Last Battle" emerging as stand-outs.

Majora's Mask's intentionally Chinese-flavored, darker-hued score may have seemed off-putting to fans expecting another Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past, but it does offer some haunting pieces, like the "Giants' Theme" and of course the versatile "Majora's Theme".  It's the wackiest and weirdest of the Zelda scores, but it's also great fun.  Again, the sound system is problematic, but the songs remain appropriate and fitting.

I liked The WindWaker's Irish tones and its lively title theme, and the epic treatment of 'Hyrule Castle' on piano is a highlight, but I wouldn't consider it one of the best ones.  Still, "Dragon Roost Island" remains a standout, as does the "Great Sea", and most of the soundtrack is done very well.  The sound system is a bit better here than the N64 synthesis, although not quite as polished as the later ones.

Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword especially are both underrated.  In spite of my gripes about Symphony No. 5's treatment of TP, I still am quite fond of the moody, melancholy tones of its score.  "Midna's Theme" and 'Midna in Distress' are very haunting, and the overall vibe of the music works well for the game.  I still lament the lack of a complete score of this album.

Skyward Sword absolutely needs a soundtrack album, no questions asked.  In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated of the Zelda scores.  Being the first to employ a full orchestra, it's all the more magnificent for it.  "Ballad of the Goddess", "Skyloft", "The Sky", and the "Staff Credits" music are all terrific standouts, and there's a deep richness to the music that you don't necessarily get with a somewhat lacking sound system.  Although there are some synthy tracks, they don't come off as lacking as their N64 counterparts.  This is one of my favorite Zelda scores.

I will admit that A Link Between Worlds is also a worthy follow-up to those who want a true sequel score to A Link to the Past.  Ryo Nagamatsu is definitely a name to look for.  I don't remember that much of the music, but I do remember it to be very well done, and the sound quality is quite good for a 3DS soundtrack.

In short, I've never disliked a Zelda soundtrack, although it may be that I'm just not a purist about it like I've seen some people be.  Of course for viewers demanding an ideal "greatest hits" compilation of the series, the Anniversary Concert album is a great choice, but I'm a genuine champion of seeing these music scores released properly, and I'm gratified to see one of them get the grand treatment, especially after so many years of being restricted to catalog only releases or limited issues.

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