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The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Official Soundtrack :: Review by Jared

The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Official Soundtrack (Sword and Shield Album Title: The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Official Soundtrack (Nintendo Power)
Record Label: Nintendo of America
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Purchase: Buy at eBay


This six track promotional CD is a decent taste of Twilight Princess' soundtrack, though is a bit disappointing. The use of outdated synths hurts the compositions; it doesn't stand out among the awesome quality of other next-gen or even current-gen games such as Blue Dragon or Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The pieces themselves are good, but don't stand out as being anything of exceptional quality. As the album is only six tracks (though Nintendo Power released a seven track variation), I'll give a brief overview of each track.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) The Legend of Zelda Orchestral Piece #2

This is one of the best pieces on the album, if only because of the live performance. It is much too short, but there is a good deal of interesting material within its two-minute time span. It starts of mysteriously, but soon builds to a more rhythmic section. After a few moments of building, a melody is finally played in the strings and it lays over nicely. However, it is really the only melodious section in the entire piece, which greatly hurts the track.

2) Hyrule Field Main Theme

Unlike its predecessor in Ocarina of Time, the main theme of Hyrule isn't quite as upbeat and happy, instead taking a more epic and rhythmic feel. Despite this, it doesn't manage to be particularly exciting as an overworld theme and loops much too early. There are only two major contrasting sections, but only the second manages to be terribly interesting. Definitely not what one would expect from Koji Kondo.

3) Kakariko Village

"Kakariko Village" plays out much differently than its previous versions, though this is by no means a bad thing. The composer uses low harmonies moving in parallel fifths to create a primitive feel. Added to this is a variety of ethnic percussion for rhythmic and harmonic interest. Above all of the accompaniment is a simple but enjoyable flute melody that locks in the village feel. This track largely succeeds, and had the sound quality been better, it would be virtually flawless.

4) Death Mountain

This version of Death Mountain is very similar to the Ocarina of Time version, though it manages to be a lot less dynamic, in part to the poor synth quality. There is a variety of percussion used, and to great effect (though perhaps percussion is overused, to an extent), though the brass use is extremely simple and suffers from the poor quality more than any other instrument group. This track is a disappointment, especially considering that it is inferior to its ten-year-old predecessor.

5) Midna's Theme

Though this track is short, it succeeds as being an interesting and enjoyable piece. It is rather straightforward, consisting of only one section with nothing to contrast it. It builds upon a mysterious string motif and an extremely simple wind melody, but these factors alone manage to make it a good listen and a great theme for a mystifying character.

6) Ilia's Theme

Like "Midna's Theme", "Ilia's Theme" is extremely simple, though not near as interesting. The annoying flute melody plays over a typical keyboard arpeggio sequence. And there you have it, that's the track. The melody doesn't even vary that much, and the high pitched instruments and complete lack of bass makes for screechy listening.


Overall, this album isn't one that is essential to most fan collections. It is a poor testimony to the normally great music present in Zelda games, and doesn't provide a whole lot of interesting material. No specific credits are give, so it is unknown who composed each track. Koji Kondo (Mario, Zelda), Toru Minegishi (Wind Waker, Animal Crossing), and Asuka Ota (New Super Mario Bros., Yoshi Touch & Go) all played a part in the development of the Twilight Princess soundtrack. Among the three, you'd think they could make more interesting material, but perhaps the full soundtrack manages to be much more interesting and compelling to listeners. Zelda albums do tend to be harder to listen to without having played the game, so maybe these tracks work exceptionally well with the gameplay. Overall, a weak album and not a promising look at the music in Twilight Princess.

Overall Score: 4/10