I love everything about the Lost Woods — or the Sacred Grove as it’s known in Twilight Princess. I love how the dense trees shroud everything below and blot out the sun, aside from thin ribbons of light that occasionally seep through the overhead branches. It makes you feel truly trapped within its boundaries. I love the secrets enclosed with its maze-like layout, and I love how mysterious it is. One false step and you’re right back where you started. Most importantly, I love its music. So when I heard this beautiful orchestration of the Lost Woods by ZREO (Zelda Reorchestrated), I was enamored.
It’s so beautifully reorchestrated that I barely even know where to begin. It reworks the original track in a way that gives it so much more fullness, and yet it very faithfully retains the original’s simplicity and memorable melody. I remember when I first entered the Sacred Grove in Twilight Princess — I wasn’t sure how I felt about its gentler version of the Lost Woods’ tune. However, it very quickly grew on me, as I realised this was a different iteration of the Lost Woods, as compared to my most recent experience with Ocarina of Time. While the Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time felt like a mischievous playground for the Kokiri and lost children transformed into Skullkids, Twilight Princess’ version truly felt like the gateway to a revered area (i.e. the resting place of the Master Sword, returning to the series’ roots). In my opinion, it’s the music that most strongly conveys this.
That’s what I love so much about this reorchestration. It recognises that the heart of the piece is how delicate and mystical it sounds, and it accentuates this by utilising a fuller orchestra. It interlaces the original sound of graceful harps with angelic, humming voices, symphonic violins, cascading chimes, and more.
And it, of course, recreates Saria’s iconic song beautifully. Although it takes almost two minutes for it to come in, once it does, the ocarina sounds so clean. It plays crisp, well-defined notes, making it the clear focus of the piece.
I love that it then unexpectedly becomes a wonderful crescendo, in true orchestra fashion. At the 2:30 mark, Saria’s Song suddenly becomes discordant, yet grandiose. It replaces the ocarina with a harsh trumpet, while the orchestra becomes louder and more intense, carrying deep, booming sounds. This, to me, sounds like it’s reminding you that the sacred and beautiful Lost Woods still remains a deeply dangerous place, which only a true hero worthy of its secrets can make it through.
Truly, it’s a masterful reorchestration. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!