When Super Smash Bros. Brawl was announced way back when, I followed every new update that they put on the official site, the Smash Dojo. Every day, first thing in the morning, I would go to my computer and check out what new features would be included in this latest installment of Smash.
Ocarina of Time was first released in Japan on November 21, 1998. This month, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most beloved games of all time. Two decades on, Ocarina of Time is still widely regarded as not only the pinnacle of The Legend of Zelda series but as one of the greatest achievements in video game history. Throughout Ocarina Month, we’re going to be looking back on the game that shaped childhoods, defined the action-adventure genre, and introduced a generation to how magical exploring a 3D world could be.
Medli’s Melodies is a series in which we choose our favorite songs from The Legend of 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!
There are a few things I recall being extraordinarily excited for. There was the announcement of Ike as a playable character (as I was one of the ten people in the west who played Path of Radiance, you know, before Fire Emblem was cool), the inclusion of Pikmin in the series (which was, once again, a more obscure series at the time), and all of the Zelda content.
Twilight Princess being the prominent game at the time of Brawl’s release made me a happy camper, what with it being my favorite title in the Zelda series and all. Link and Zelda’s brand new designs made me jump for joy and the Bridge of Eldin stage is still one of my favorites to this day. Then they started releasing the music tracks, and once I saw that there was an Ocarina of Time medley, I was beyond ecstatic.
Twilight Princess might be my favorite Zelda title, but Ocarina of Time by far has my favorite selection of songs. Classics like “Zelda’s Lullaby”, “Saria’s Song”, and “Epona’s Song” are among some of my favorites and were graciously included in this amazing medley. I remember exactly how I felt that very first time every time I listen to this incredible piece.
The preview of the medley started fading in from the “Bolero of Fire” transitioning into “Song of Storms”. It was all fine, and I figured they’d include the “Song of Storms” as popular amongst the fans as it is, but I didn’t expect it to so seamlessly transition into “Epona’s Song”. It may seem weird, but I love the bridge of that song due to its chord progression, and I often feel that it’s under-appreciated when compared to the first three notes. Hearing it build up, changing keys, scaling into the epic melody we all know and love. It sent chills up my spine, and I can’t help but feel a little emotional when listening to it.
The “Song of Time” plays next, which was really interesting to hear at a faster pace instead of its usual solemn timing. But all of a sudden, the chords begin changing again, building up more and more until finally a triumphant rendition of “Saria’s Song” is blasted through an array of brass instruments, commanding the attention of all who hear it. Never before had I heard this tune performed in such a grandiose manner! The way it ends made me think of a movie trailer, quickly shifting from character to character before a final screen with the title.
“Zelda’s Lullaby” began to play as the preview ended, and I remember being upset that I didn’t get to hear more. “Zelda’s Lullaby” is my absolute favorite Zelda song and I was so happy to hear it included; I just wished I didn’t have to wait until the game came out to hear it. I had a dingy old tape recorder that I would save my favorite video game tunes on so I could listen to it on car rides or whenever I got bored. Needless to say, I quickly saved this song, the Pikmin “World Map” remix, and the Fire Emblem theme choir, and would rewind the tape over and over to hear these songs several times a day.
After several long delays, Brawl was finally released, and the first stage my friends and I played on was the Bridge of Eldin, my character choice none other than Zelda herself. And what was the first song to play? The “Ocarina of Time Medley”, of course! I was so excited to finally hear the full rendition of this outstanding masterpiece that I didn’t pay attention to my friends beating the living daylights out of my poor princess! I took some time later after they left to soak in the stage as well as the music and finally got to enjoy the full thing in peace.
The team behind each Super Smash Bros. game always blows me away with their dedication to detail with all of the series they’ve included. Zelda is by far one of Nintendo’s most prominent series and is treated with such care and great respect by the members of this team. The Legend of Zelda has some of the most incredible soundtracks in video game history, and it’s so nice to see it not only included, but celebrated with medleys like this.