Music to My Ears: Hyrule Castle

A couple weeks ago I talked about a pair of tracks from Breath of the Wild that caught my attention. They were both decent. This is outstanding. I’ve been listening to this off and on for the last five or six days.

I can’t talk much about the context of when this music plays because I still haven’t had a chance to start BotW yet (maybe this summer? Switches are awfully hard to find, so thanks for that, Nintendo). But I can talk about its pieces and why this song is so interesting to me.

First off, let’s talk time signatures. This track alternates between 5/4 and a bit of 6/4, and instead of sounding weird or discordant, it’s actually quite beautiful. I love little quirks like that — there’s one main beat in the original Seymour Battle theme from Final Fantasy X that’s off by 1/16 of a measure, almost imperceptible to folks who don’t have an ear for rhythm, that I’ve always enjoyed.

Next, influences. You can hear all sorts of other snippets of Zelda music in this track, some more subtle than others. Zelda’s Lullaby, Ganondorf’s theme and the main overture? Those are easy, and a perfect way to represent the triangle of main characters in the series. But there’s also less noticeable homages to Ballad of the Wind Fish and earlier Hyrule Castle themes in here, and that’s super cool.

This particular track combines three different versions of the music, presumably changes that happen when you traverse further into the area. It’s a cool build, from a quieter version with light woodwind instruments to brass and sweeping orchestral parts later on. I also feel like this has a very good chance of being the movement that is added to the Symphony of the Goddesses tour when it adds a piece from Breath of the Wild later this year. Check it out.

Hyrule Castle

Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.

5 thoughts on “Music to My Ears: Hyrule Castle

  1. Oh man, this was definitely THE song of the game for me. It’s only made better by the fact that music in the game is used sparingly and it comes for more of a naturistic sound approach. Then when you get to the point that triggers this song.

    Goosebumps. Goosebumps everywhere. Listening to is now and I feel like I’m ready to take on the world!

  2. i saved hyrule castle to the very end, simply because of the fear of taking on guardians and ultimately Ganon. I didn’t tread anywhere near it. Having the game tread on all the subtle tracks throughout and lean on the quieter side of things, to use this to lead up to the final closing moments of the game was brilliant. One of my favourite Zelda tracks ever. Love it!!!

    1. It’s gonna be interesting when I finally get to play this game in a couple weeks…will I stay away from Hyrule Castle for the same reason, or go there too early because I want to hear the music in game, and get my ass killed? I guess we’ll see. lol

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