This week’s Music Monday column is a shout-out to my housemate as thanks for introducing me to a beauty of a track a few years ago, that genuinely, I never get bored of listening to.
Along with a deceptively brooding and original storyline, Link’s Awakening also boasted a tremendous soundtrack — no small feat for a game launched on a system with only four bits to work with. Self-taught guitarist turned video game composer, FamilyJules7X, took everything those four bits had to offer and cranked them up to 11.
I’m aware that rock music might not be for everyone, but it’s hard to argue that the style doesn’t fit the established tracks wonderfully. After ripping through the intro theme, “The Storm”, and the more familiar “Overworld”, Jules shows off some more subtle work in “Sword Search” and merges it wonderfully with a bouncy, double-time backed version of “Mabe Village”.
My personal favourite is Jules’ dirty composition of the “Bottle Grotto” / “Mini Boss Battle” / “Boss Battle” themes (4:22 – 5:49) — all three songs are fantastically heavy and backed with a rip-roaring pace that raises the heart rate exactly as the original soundtrack had intended. That said, it’s hard to overlook the beautiful ocarina/guitar rendition of the “Game Over” theme that I feel could seamlessly be incorporated into a modern Zelda title.
Hearing these songs again, albeit in a new style, drags me back to my first weekend in my shared house, my housemate and I racing through Link’s Awakening on my Super Game Boy; graphics all stretched out on my modern TV, but not caring one jot. The best of times.
Now, excuse me a minute while I head over to YouTube and blast this out again, loud enough to wake the Wind Fish!