When most people talk about unsettling or spooky Zelda games, they tend to focus on Majora’s Mask or certain sections from Ocarina of Time. Though both games absolutely have their moments, or in the case of Majora’s Mask, their fill of eerie and unsettling themes, I feel as though Twilight Princess gets not nearly enough attention. With its atmosphere, aesthetics, themes, and Zant in general, the game is filled to the brim with sadness, despair, and insanity.
Since Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it appropriate to talk about the music that appears during arguably the scariest cutscene in not just Twilight Princess but the entire series. You know the one.
Simply titled “Legend of Hyrule”, this is a song that you’d more than likely hear in a horror film than a Zelda game. But this element is exactly what makes this song work as well as it does. It captures the feeling of everything conveyed in the scene perfectly. The song itself feels just off enough at the beginning that it gives you a feeling which something clearly isn’t right. As the cutscene continues to get more and more unsettling to the point where it becomes downright creepy, the song accentuates this progressively, and I would argue the song becomes a strong element for why this scene succeeds in that horror factor.
One of the strongest parts of horror in just about anything is the audio element. I was once told that if you watched a horror film and turned off the sound, the movie would still be scary, but it would lose a lot of the impact that builds the suspense. This also ties into something unique about games. Songs that are built entirely around the cutscene itself work well within their element, but they may not work as well when they’re isolated. That’s the case with “Legend of Hyrule.” It’s a song that, when taken on its own has a good ambiance about it but functions far better when paired with the cutscene it’s in. I feel as though songs like this never get the proper attention they deserve since their purpose is just that: to serve as the score for the scene in question, which is precisely what this song does well.
I’ve always been a strong believer that great music will elicit an emotion from the listener. Zelda music has always done a fantastic job of making everything feel grandiose and mystical, but among its soundtracks are hidden gems like “Legend of Hyrule.” It’s a creepy song that accompanies an equally scary scene and performs its duties wonderfully.
Though obviously not the first song anyone will ever think of when they think Twilight Princess, I think it’s important to showcase the lesser known songs, even when the function of the song is more important than how catchy the song is. Songs like these show just how impressive and skilled the composers were in this game’s soundtrack, and it just adds even more diversity to the Zelda universe as a whole.