Game music: The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask

Majoras Mask OST CoverI haven’t played a Zelda game since The Adventure of Link back in the NES days, so when @samhogy pointed me towards the Majora’s Mask soundtrack, I was intrigued to see how things had changed over the years.

And oh how they have changed. Majora’s Mask has a much more upbeat style compared with the almost sad tones I remember. It’s another Koji Kondo score, he of Super Mario fame, so without even checking you know the shift in style is both intentional and suitable. Indeed, a little digging around bears this out:

Each game in the Zelda series has a slightly different vibe. Majora’s Mask had an exotic Chinese-opera sound; and Wind Waker had sort of an Irish influence on its music

– Koji Kondo

Interestingly, I get quite a European vibe, something Swiss or Austrian perhaps, about some of the tracks – but the Chinese theme is readily apparent in throughout.

And because why not, here’s the soundtrack to my beloved Adventure of Link:


Sam’s response to this post was “you found it upbeat?!” so I thought I’d clarify a little. Upbeat yes, compared to previous Zelda games. The last one I played in any depth was Adventure of Link which was released a good 13 years earlier, and which had a much darker, more sombre score. Compared to that some of the Majora’s Mask tracks are outright cheerful. Of course, having never played the game, I’m lacking context – the images and gameplay that accompany a track can powerfully affect how we remember it. My thoughts on the music might well be very different if I’d heard it via gameplay instead. Sam’s certainly is.

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