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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sound Selection (Review)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sound Selection (Review)

March 8, 2017 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sound Selection (Review)on Twitter

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I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Special Edition released in North America. The soundtrack CD that comes in the package is a gorgeous Digipak case which make me very happy after the release of the simple cardboard sleeve that North Americans received for the Twilight Princess Sound Selection CD.

The Breath of the Wild CD offers 23 tracks from the game, and a 24th track with a live recording. Read of for my review of the album, and if you didn’t get the Special Edition I have some tips on where you can grab your own copy of this CD, and details on its various releases.

Recently Video Game Music Online posted the listing of the full sound team on their website, amongst the listing both Manaka Kataoka and Yasuaki Iwata as composers of the music for the game.

Manaka Kataoka has worked on several Nintendo games before including Wii Fit, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, and according to the Nintendo Wiki specifically these tracks for Breath of the Wild: “Main Theme”, “Field (Day)”, “Battle (Field)”, “Battle (Shrine)”, “Riding (Day)”, “Riding (Night) (w/Koji Kondo)”, “Guardian Battle” and “Talus Battle”.

The “Main Theme” features some gorgeous melodies, chorales and instrumentation and sets the musical tone for the album. Soft piano moves from flute, to triumphant brass, wonderful strings and finishes on goosebump inducing piano note. Sparse piano features throughout many of the area tracks including “Field Day” where sustained notes go several moments between each other giving the listener a sense of large expansive spaces. My favorite track of the album by Manaka Kataoka is “Guardian Battle” which opens with chilling piano you’d expect to hear in a horror film, and moves into a pulsing electronic and string melody, and almost sounds like electronic sounds of breathing every 10 seconds or in the background suggesting that something has come back to life, or has a power pulsing through it.

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Yasukaki Iwata composed these tracks on this album: “Shrine”, “The Temple of Time”, “Stables”, “Kass’s Theme”, “Goron City (Day)”, “Goron City (Night)”, “Zora’s Domain (Day)”, “Zora’s Domain (Night)”, “Gerudo Town (Day)”, “Gerudo Town (Night)”, “Rito Village (Day)” and “Rito Village (Night)” (w/Kenta Nagata).

“Shrine” by far is my favorite track composed by Yasuaki Iwata which has a unique sound of a bell ringing but when rung gives off a an electronic chime in changing tones. There’s also rapid strings in the background and bagpipes which all work very well together that give a sense of awe and at the same time a feeling of cold mystery. “Temple of Time” was the first track I listened to on the album as I have such a fondness for on the Ocarina of Time soundtrack. However, it sounds nothing like it. The track opens with sustained stumbled piano notes, that as the music slowly progresses sound like a broken melody missing pieces – which in the game suits the Temple of Time as when you first encounter it, the building is in a state of ruin. “Kass’s Theme” sounds out of place to me on the album, as it features a lovely accordion melody you’d expect to hear in a French romantic setting in Paris.

I throughly enjoyed the entire album, and feel that in many aspects the composers tried to blend electronic sounds with various instruments to reflect the balance of nature and technology present in the game. All of the tracks on the album from what I can tell appear to be environment based, and not be from any of the cinematic scenes encountered in the game. To me, this makes sense as it will be the music that players will encounter most during their play through of the game. It’s a great selection of tracks with a variety of sounds to keep your attention. Hopefully we will see a release of a more complete soundtrack sometime in the future.

The final track on the album is one that some game music fans were looking for a few weeks ago. The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Concert album was released and many fans who attended the concert noted that the Breath of the Wild theme that was played during the concert was absent. It is a wonderful way to close of this great album, and features a grander sound with the full concert orchestra. Also as the game was officially released in a year after the 30th Anniversary I will expect Breath of the Wild music to show up on the next anniversary collection.

If you are looking for a copy of this CD there are four versions available. The North American version comes in a stunning landscape artwork digi-pak. The European release comes in a black and gold simple jewel case, in Australia, the design is the same as Europe’s except that the CD is housed in a cardboard envelope. In Japan, the soundtrack also comes in a cardboard sleeve, but the size of a DVD Case. Copies are available on eBay at time of writing, and the trending prices seems to be around $30 to $40 US. If you live in a larger city I’d first check your local online classifieds to see if anyone is offering it as well. As it has only been a week or so, I expect many more CDs will become available for purchase in a few months time and you might want to wait for a better deal.

Are you playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild right now? How are you finding the music in the game?

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