The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker delivers a wide variety of musics from past remixes to new tunes that seems to fit right in to the Zelda series.
Though the Wind Waker might seem to have a handful of remixes taken from past games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, its nice to see that the Zelda series lives up to its reputation by giving us something new in every game, which we have come to expect.
However, the focus of this article is to try to explain the motivation of the music in The Wind Waker and how the music in the Wind Waker relates to past Zelda games. And to explain some differences on how Link in Ocarina of Time learns how to play music with his ocarina than how Link in The Wind Waker learns how to conduct music with his baton.
The motivation of the music in the Wind Waker
The music in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker tries to bring something new to the series. And at the same time, try to capture a few old tunes that seem to fit in with the certain scenes in the game. An example of this would be the cut-scene when the two pieces Triforce of Wisdom slowly fits together in front of Tetra while an orchestral of the main title music in A Link to the Past starts to come into play. Another example would be the Windfall Island music. When you spend some time there, you will find some tunes that are similar to the music in Kakariko Village in Ocarina of Time.
Instruments play a major part in the musical world of the Wind Waker. During the cut-scene when the game shows you the legend of the Hero of Time, a few instruments such as the violin come into play. As the legend progresses, a few more instruments come along to try to build up the tension. When the legend comes to Hero of Time, the music comes to heroic tune, as if to say that the hero has really turned himself into a true legendary hero. Quite a few a instruments like the guitar and the violin seemed to have played the heroic scene. Then, as the scene of the evil darkness that once spread across Hyrule immerses from the ocean due to the stormy blow of the wind, the music starts to come to a sort of sad moment as if someone has died. Mostly, violins were the key instruments when playing the nocturnal moments.
So, the motivation of the music in the legend was to bring sort of vibrant experience as we try to get to know the legend of the Hero of Time. And, as if looking at the legend is not convincing enough that it really was a legend due to its drawings and letters that looks like it was made in Greek mythology, Nintendo has made the music like it was mythological. I mean, if you want to express how a hero became a legend, you have to make it seem like was during the time of a great war. And when you talk about mythology, you are talking about great battles that occurred a long time ago, such as the Roman battles.
Then comes the Wind Waker, which occurred hundreds of years after the great war in Ocarina of Time. Thus, making the Hero of Time a legend. So, it was proper that Nintendo decided to make the music seem mythological/legendary since it occurred a long time ago during a great war. So, the motivation for the music in the legend was to make it seem like it really was a legend.
Other motivations of the music in the Wind Waker
Like other Zelda games, the Wind Waker tries to blend one element of the music, and mix it with something more exciting. An example of this would be when Link starts to attack an enemy. Then, a battling music starts to commence, trying to keep you alarmed when an ememy is near or when an enemy is about to attack. Then, when you strike the enemy, a sort-of catchy tone comes. It’s like in the movies. When, the main character hits their opponent, an uproar sound comes, making it seem like he/she has made an impact. So, the motivation for the battle scenes is to give a little more excitement to it; making it seem like you’re really in the movies.
The Wind Waker also tries to come up with elements Nintendo has never used before in a Zelda game. A good example for this would be after you destroyed puppet Ganon. After the cut-scene of when Ganondorf flew all the way up the castle with Zelda, the music all of a sudden disappears. All you are left with as you are going up the castle to Ganondorf is nothing but a tuneless music. Or in other words, a mute. It seems as if Nintendo was trying to make an intense moment trying to go up the castle without music. It would seem a little awkward if thier motivation for this scene was trying to make your time going up the castle scary. I wouldn’t really know if Nintendo accomplished that. I, myself, didn’t find the time going up the castle without music seem scary. However, I was a little bothered when I heard some spooky sound nearing the top of the castle. But, when I found out it was one of those warp couldrons, then I was relieved. So, I guess the tuneless music really got me there.
Sailing in the Great Sea has plenty of motivation. As you sail in the Great Sea, a cool, tuneful music with lots of musical instruments comes to play. However, the music only seems to come during the daytime. And that was wise of Nintendo to do. We could not bare to hear crisp music during the nighttime. Unless you mention the endless night storm that comes after you have got Farore’s Pearl in Forest Haven. That is a different story. As you sail in the Great Sea during the storm, a Ganondorf’s castle remix of the Great Sea starts to play; making it seem as if evil is at work. That would be the only time when music can come during the nighttime as long as it is nocturnal. Nintendo has made a wise choice into bringing that motivation in sailing the Great Sea.
Now, aside from the one element when you hear crisp music when you sail the Great Sea during the daytime, there is also another motivation when you’re in the Great Sea. As you put down your sail when your out in the ocean, you notice that the music seems to be short of musical instruments and the music somehow lightens. This was another wise choice that Nintendo did. Because as you sail, you get a good motion, causing some nice music to play in full potential. But, when you stop sailing, that motion stops, and the music starts to lighten. Another great motivation while you’re out in the Great Sea.
So, the Wind Waker has a lot of motivations in places or terms I have not mentioned yet. And we can expect the same type of motivations in the sequel for the Wind Waker. And, of course, we expect new things to happen. We can only find out when it arrives.
Differences in learning/playing music between Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker
The Wind Waker baton that Link uses in the Wind Waker was made by the gods for the controller of the baton to control the wind or use it for other aspects. As Link goes through his adventure in the Wind Waker, he finds a few tablets that seems to have some directions or a pattern that relates to the positioning for the controller of the Wind Waker baton to position it. But, in order for Link to get the music correctly, he must play each key in the same tempo at different rates (3/4, 4/4, 6/4).
I guess Nintendo decided to make the process of composing a song in the Wind Waker different than that of Ocarina or Time, probably just to make it seem that using a baton is more advanced than having to play with an ocarina. In Ocarina of Time, Link was able to play the music he has already learned in whatever tempo he pleases. So, the use of the Wind Waker and the Ocarina of Time are somewhat not the same.
The Link in Ocarina of Time is actually more smarter than the Link in The Wind Waker in trying to learn a music. Because the Link in Ocarina of Time has a better knowledge of trying to learn a music for his ocarina than the Link in the Wind Waker. Both Young Link and Adult Link must use their full knowledge of the key notes in order to play their ocarina. When they hear music being composed, they simply play it as if they had the ocarina for years. And, unlike in the Wind Waker, Link learns the music for his ocarina by other means than having to learn them from a tablet or a stone wall.
For Young Link, he has to hear the whistle of Impa in order to learn Zelda’s Lullaby. He must hear the voice of Malon in order to learn Epona’s Song. And he must learn how to play Song of Time by receiving some sort of telepathical mind reading from Zelda. The only exception is the Sun’s Song, in which the key notes were written in a piece of paper by Treble and Clef, known as the the Composer Brothers. As for Adult Link, he must know the notes which Sheik plays in his harp so that he can play them in his ocarina. It’s just amazing.
If I had an ocarina for the first time and had to learn a music by simply hearing whistle tunes or by listening to a harp, I wouldn’t get that far in my adventure. I would have to get to know the ocarina first before I can proceed. However, Nintendo wanted the player to be able to play the music by showing off the key notes for each music.
Playing with an ocarina is more harder than to conduct with a baton. Because you must blow in the holes of the ocarina, while with a baton, all you have to do is point it in a direction you want to position it to, but also with feeling. I’m not saying that the Link in the Wind Waker is not dumb, just because he just has to point directions in a pattern with his baton. It’s actually also hard to try and keep up with the tempo while conducting with a baton if you want to control to where you want the wind to flow. When Link tries to conduct with the Wind Waker baton, he uses feelings in order to correspond to the power of the wind or the gods. When Link conducts the two god musics with the Wind Waker, he uses fluid hand movements and closes his eyes while he tries to get feelings in playing the music. The Link in the Wind Waker is actually very deep when he plays his music. It’s as if he has been conducting for an orchestra for years.
So, both Links in Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker might have some differences when they play their music for their trademark instrument. But, they both have ideal advantages that make them rare music players.
How the music in the Wind Waker relates to past Zelda games
We obviously need to find music in the Wind Waker that relates to past Zelda games. Otherwise, we will not feel too aquainted to the game at all. After all, how could be get to know a game that takes place hundreds of years after a certain era and not have music during that era. It would not comprehend to what we have come to expect.
Now, it’s nice to find out that there were a handful of past Zelda remixes in the game from Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past. As a matter of fact, seeing that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it is appropriate that Nintendo puts a few some music from Ocarina of Time in the Wind Waker.
Eiji Aonuma has commented in an interview with Nintendo Power:
Because the story takes place 100-plus years in the future after The Ocarina of Time, they decided to feature some of the familiar songs from that. They’ve implemented it in a way that they think will be appropriate, since it’s set far in the future from when they were first heard. So, you’ll hear familiar themes from The Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask perhaps.
I believe that this commentary alone summarizes why the music in the Wind Waker relates to past Zelda games.
The music in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has brought a lot of chills and thrills. Not to mention that it is probably the best sounding Zelda game to date due to the high quality sound technology that the Nintendo GameCube possesses. Nevertheless, we can expect more great music in future Zelda games to come. Our expectance of the Wind Waker sequel is high. And we expect great things to come in the next Zelda game that will be in the Nintendo GameCube. However, those questions will not be answered until the playable version of the sequel will arrive in E3 2004. Until then, the music in the Wind Waker is still a musical achievement.