I’ve been staying away from Breath of the Wild’s soundtrack for the most part, because I want to experience it when I have a chance to play the game. But there are a couple tracks that I thought were worth separating in celebration of the game’s release.
BotW is already notorious for its fresh approach on the Zelda series. If you’ve followed the game at all, you know about its open-world take, its item management, its emphasis on exploration. And some of those ideas leak over into the OST as well.
Take these two daytime Hyrule Field themes. The regular day music is…quiet. Subdued. Almost inquisitive. It’s just airy, light piano and a bit of strings, and to me it says “hey, there’s a beautiful world here, why not go see what it’s about?” The horse variant is a bit more playful and jaunty, which makes sense if you’ve seen the GIFs and short videos of people dancing on horses. You even get a nod to Zelda’s Lullaby in here, which is a thing the series likes to do with its music.
There’s an additional level of nuance here if you’re willing to look/listen for it. The music is meant more for the background, eschewing more bombastic instrumentation for something that is more of an accompaniment. There will be some people who yearn for the type of themes we heard in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess, where you stepped out into the world and the music gave you a triumphant, in-your-face lift. Preferences will be preferences, but I think this is more appropriate for the type of world that Breath of the Wild offers. (I’m not sure it makes for great listening outside of the game, but that’s another matter.)
I’m looking forward to getting the chance to play the game myself. As we talked about on the podcast last week, we got squeezed out on Switch preorders and didn’t seem all that interested in playing the game on the Wii U. But sometime, by summer at latest, I’m going to dive in.
(Finally, one unrelated note: this Princess Zelda is the best Zelda, at least as far as design goes, and I will fight you. The usual checklist of “will protect it/want to see it grow up healthy/want to tell my neighbors about it” is in full effect here.)
Hyrule Field (Day)
Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.