Tunes for Tuesday: The Legend of Zelda’s Main Theme


In honor of the next Legend of Zelda game arriving later this week, our Tune for Tuesday is the main theme of the game in all its many forms.

Nintendo takes its sweet, sweet time when it comes to releasing new console games in The Legend of Zelda series. The Wii U hasn’t even gotten an exclusive Zelda of its own yet, instead serving as the home of two updated remakes and having to share a new game with its successor console, the Switch.

Fortunately, that shared game, Breath of the Wild, looks to be utterly breathtaking, pun fully intended here. Yours truly has kept herself mostly spoiler-free outside of the official trailers, but the rumblings are good. In honor of that release, we’re taking a look at the main theme of the series. At this point, it’s about as recognizable as what we consider the Mario theme, and similarly enough, the two started out on the NES.

Here’s the original theme, as heard on the NES in The Legend of Zelda:

This music accompanied you any time you were in the overworld, looking for the next dungeon, one of many hidden caves that just so happen to be secrets to everybody, so on, and so forth.

But as the series went along, the song evolved (mostly in the form of better renditions like this one from A Link to the Past), and, for the 25th anniversary and the release of Skyward Sword, fans had the chance to listen to a fully-orchestrated version on a CD included with the special edition of the game. It is, as you may expect, appropriately epic:

Of course, a sharp-eared Zelda enthusiast will note that this version begins with the actual intro music to the first game, down to the slightly-slowed down overworld theme that accompanied the story screen. Then, with that secret jingle that sparks a Pavlovian response in players as well as a piece that appears both in A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, the symphony ramps it up.

We don’t yet know where the main theme will appear in Breath of the Wild. In some games, like Ocarina of Time, you don’t hear the full theme until the end of the 3D remake in the credits.

However, we suspect it’ll show up somewhere. It has a tendency to do that.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will finally come out this Friday, March 3.