It’s tough to take an iconic theme and make it better. From fan-made covers to other professional composers creating remixes, we’ve seen countless versions of some of the most famous video game songs in history, like the Super Mario Bros. overworld or the classic BGMs from Tetris.
The Super Smash Bros. series has become a cornucopia of music from across Nintendo’s impressive anthology. With more than three decades to choose from, each game’s soundtrack meshes original tracks with new versions put together by other industry staples. Folks like Yasunori Mitsuda, Motoi Sakuraba, Yoko Shimomura and Kumi Tanioka were among the dozens who contributed new arrangements for the most recent Smash Bros. game, whether it was on their own work or someone else’s.
That brings us to Gerudo Valley. It’s my favorite track from Ocarina of Time, and it’s not even close. It blew 12-year-old Chris away when he guided Link into the area for the first time, surrounded by dirt, staring at a broken bridge, realizing that it was time to make Epona jump the gap. I loved this theme so much as a kid that if it happened to be dark when I would head to Gerudo Valley, I would stop what I was doing and play the Sun Song just to get the music back.
I was surprised by this arrangement by Rio Hamamoto. After all, there’s a million covers of Gerudo Valley out there. Some of them are good, others are…um…less than good. I used to be a fan of more liberal interpretations of well-known songs — call it the OC Remix approach — but nowadays, I prefer something that breathes new life into the original while still sounding like the original. Hell, sometimes a simple instrument upgrade works for me.
In the case of Gerudo Valley, we’ve got a happenin’ new beat, a fun new solo and more flamenco-y-ness than ever before. It just works, and it’s a big reason why I’ve been pouring time into this stage of Smash Bros. more than most others.
Super Smash Bros. — Gerudo Valley
Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.