[Medli’s Melodies is a series in which we choose our favourite tracks from the Zelda franchise, or highlight a special piece of music from the perpetually creative fan community. Music has always such been such an integral component of Zelda games, and we’re here to celebrate that every week!]
Me and work are only friends because of my YouTube Red subscription. YouTube has every song I ever want to listen to, and thanks to the beauty of being able to turn off my phone screen (a side effect of giving YouTube money), it allows me to pop in some earbuds and crank up my jams all day long. I get exposed to some stellar music while working.
Recently, an amazing A Link To The Past collaboration album dropped into my subscription feed from OCRemix called Mirror Image: A Link to the Past ReMixed. It’s beautiful, and you can bet I’ll be covering more than one song from it in the future.
Collaboration albums are a lot of hard work. Each remixer is a person, and each song is an art project: a project of voluntary passion. Each song has a history and a story.
I reached out to Hylian Lemon, the chippy, Zelda-loving remixer to see what that story was for this new legendary piece titled Technicolor Thunderstorm, a remix of Dark Mountain Forest. Buckle up, hit play, and read on!
Hylian Lemon is known for his bright, poppy, quality chiptune tracks. So it’s interesting that he chose a track that’s often associated with Vader’s “Imperial March”.
“When I was approached about contributing to the OverClocked ReMix album, my first two choices were already taken. Considering that it’s such a frequently arranged game soundtrack, I wanted to make sure I brought something different to the table; I decided to claim “Dark Mountain Forest”, which I knew I could fairly easily pull away from the more cinematic treatment it usually gets.”
When compared to the original material, there’s definitely some pulling away.
“The tune has been extended slightly in multiple different ways across the series (see Four Swords Adventures and A Link Between Worlds). I wanted to keep it strictly a Link to the Past arrangement, but those extra sections from later games are pretty tasty. I tried to compromise by lengthening the same part of the tune without quite directly referencing the official remakes.”
How about that cool little bit where he drastically messes with the speed?
“On a whim, I tried condensing part of the tune at 2:47. It’s twice as compact, so it’s a pretty short moment, but I like how it turned out. Keeps the listener on their toes!”
At the same time, he maintains the pure A Link to the Past vibe.
“I added A Link to the Past string samples halfway through to help cement it as a Link to the Past arrangement, too.”
In the end, this track is a solid notch in Hylian Lemon’s belt. One he’s proud of but wasn’t a “blood, sweat, and tears” kind of composition process.
“I stuck pretty close to my comfort zone on this one–the pressure of tackling a well-known tune from one of the most popular Zelda games made me a little nervous about experimenting, maybe. As a result, I feel like the final product represents me pretty well. It’s an important step toward remixing every Zelda game, though!”