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The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Re-Arranged :: Review by Jon Turner

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Re-Arranged Album Album Title: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Re-Arranged Album
Record Label: Tokuma Japan Communications
Catalog No.: TKCA-71824
Release Date: December 22, 1999
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Arranged albums are interesting in that they take on many different chances. Sometimes their approaches in taking game music soundtracks and upgrading them to various genres (jazz, classical, new age, etc.) are very delightful and every bit as gracious as the game soundtracks themselves. There are also the kinds of albums that intend to do the original music justice, but end up becoming blasphemous, mainly because they take on too many chances. The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time Re-Arranged Album, the second arranged album of the magnificent music from Ocarina Of Time, falls into neither category.

From the beginning, I was told that the music of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was upgraded to "dance music". I dreaded the thought of hearing one of the most impressive, but grossly underrated, Nintendo 64 soundtracks being butchered by the transition from classical to techno-dance tracks. I was doubtful, even when I finally talked myself into buying it, that it would ever be any good. Upon listening to it, I rank this album on the same level as another Nintendo 64 arranged soundtrack, Mario Kart 64 On Club Circuit, i.e. a mixture of the very good and the very bad.


The very good tracks are the selling points of this rearranged album. Track 4, an attempt to turn "Lon Lon Ranch" into a pop ballad turns out very well, thanks to the excellent vocal performance of Emiko Shiratori. Lovely and jazzy, with a pedal steel guitar and keyboards backing up the vocal (with lyrics written, interestingly, by Shigeru Miyamoto, the man responsible for the creation of this wonderful game), this track is an absolute delight. I also enjoyed "Zelda's Theme", a slow, lovely track which features lovely strings, an ocarina (of course!), and synthesizers as the instruments. Best of all, the track remains faithful to the original composition, and adds a beautiful bridge, making this treatment another highlight. "Temple Of Time" is also good; although synthesized, the male choral vocals sounds every bit as mysterious and haunting as ever. It is made even better with the inclusion of a humming male chorus, accompanying female chorus, and occasional bell tolls. If you're looking for a pure, heavenly arrangement of "Temple Of Time", this is about as close as you're going to get.

The rest of the tracks made me either bounce or groan. "Lost Woods", "Middle Boss Battle", and "Hyrule Field Main Theme", although fun to listen to, suffer from occasionally wierd sound effects which really hamper any kind of enjoyment. "Title Theme" is a horrible rendition of the lovely opening song, and "Koume & Kotake's Theme" is too quirky for its own good. "Battle" is intolerable and repetitive, and the last track, my favorite battle track in the soundtrack, "Last Battle", is probably the lamest version I have heard of this furious and dazzling battle track, despite strong percussion beats and occasionally good instruments. The choral vocals on this track are not half as powerful as the ones in the original game version. Perhaps the reason why I am so judgemental on the other tracks is that I honor the music of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time very highly, and to hear it butchered in rock-techno format is probably the worst nightmare Zelda fans can ever have.


In short, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Re-Arranged Album offers shining gems and obnoxious trash. It's not a total failure — the excellent tracks make it worth a look. However, unless you are a fan of rocking music with occasionally wierd sound effects and can manage to not groan at your favorite songs being trashed, I'd suggest sticking with the The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Original Soundtrack or even Hyrule Symphony instead. Both albums have a lot more treats to offer than this one does.

Overall Score: 7/10