Musical Encounters of the Third Kind

October 23rd, 2005 at 1:15 pm by The Missing Link

A fan of both The Grand Adventures and ZeldaBlog wrote me the other day asking me if I could talk a little bit about sites hosting some really nice Zelda music for you to enjoy. It really was a good article idea because it’s a branch of Zelda that is usually rarely seen within the Zelda community, even more so because I draw uncountable amounts of inspiration from video game music. This may sound rather nerdy or geeky of me, but I hardly listen to any of music on the radio these days; rather, almost exclusively I listen to about 45 hours’ worth of video game soundtracks and remixes ranging from Super Mario Bros. to Halo, spanning The Legend of Zelda in all its forms.

If you’ve ever even heard of the Video Game Pianist, you might just know what I’m talking about, and you’ll definitely know that there are some gifted people out there. (If you haven’t heard of him yet, then why are you still reading this article? Go there now and watch his stuff; he’s really good!) Let me tell you, I played piano for eight years, complete with private lessons and all, and this guy could beat me blindfolded in a musical duel to the death, quite literally as well. (Yes, he can play blindfolded. And backwards. I’m scared to see what this guy could do were he to be the next secret character in Super Smash Bros.) This guy has performed at E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo) this past year, and he played for the Penny Arcade Expo as well.

If piano solos aren’t your cup of tea, then perhaps you should be heading over to the very popular OverClocked Remix and the slightly less well-known VGMix. These two sites are dedicated to mixing up the original soundtracks of virtually every video game every created, in turn transforming them into something absolutely unfamiliar yet surprisingly familiar at the same time. My library of MP3s from these two websites could easily clock in at bigger than two CDs themselves, and I haven’t full explored their sites yet! One of the advantages of these sites is that there are thousands of artists performing these remixes, and so you have music from all walks of life. (There’s the Gerudo Valley theme as a R&B song, the Ocarina shop theme played by a Hawaiian street band, and the battle music from Super Mario Bros. 3 in jazz, just to name a few.) There are a few misses here, just to warn you, but it’s a very good resources for those of you who love the music in video games.

One of the best homebrew projects within the Zelda community for this has been Zelda Music, formerly known as ZREO (Zelda REOrchestrated). This may look a lot like OCRemix and VGMix at first, but they’re very different. Zelda Music is not about remixing songs but just orchestrating (or reorchestrating) the songs within the Zelda series. Imagine the songs from Link’s Awakening translated from the beep-like soundtracks of the Game Boy into a full orchestra environment; that’s what we’re talking about here. The project will never be complete to reorchestrate every song, but there are a good number there to pull. The fair weathered warning about this site is that this site will likely close its doors at the end of the year, so if you’re interested in this music, you’ll want to get there very soon.

For those of you interested in really pushing the limits on music, how about a concert? Video Games Live is a concern spreading throughout the US and Canada over the course of the next month and a bit with video game music live on stage by a full orchestra. I personally am planning on going to the Columbus show with a few of my good friends, and it promises to be a blast. For those of you who aren’t into the whole concert thing, they’ve got CDs and videos for sale so that you can enjoy the experience straight from home. For those of you still unsure, there’s a preview trailer on their website that will give you a feel about what it’s all about. If that doesn’t sell you, Elijah Wood (you know, Frodo?) gives it his thumbs up!

The music of video games is a very powerful element, an element that largely gets overlooked. I believe it was said once that the best video game music will always go completely unnoticed by the player because bad music will be picked out right away as being disharmonious to the rest of the game. Music, while it isn’t the biggest portion of the gaming experience, is still a big thing, and there are some good songs out there that stand out and deserve notice.

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19 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “Musical Encounters of the Third Kind”


    I love a good video game remix. Thanks for the collection. I’m already downloading the Video Game Pianist Collections. :)

    I have my own Legend of Zelda intro music on a cd. It has about 6 kinds of it from a guitar solo to the NES intro.

    Actually rather than how important video game music is, I feel it is described better as being essential in any piece. I love the music, especially in OoT. It really made the game special for me.

    Fan remixes are also of an excellent quality of the Zelda games, I have so many downloaded on my iPod!

    I think video game music is 100 times better then the stuff we hear on modern radio (I like the oldies, but that’s it) VG developers should allow radio stations to play their songs. I’d much rather listen to orchestrated remixes than, songs with some teen model who can’t even sing talking about love.

    I’ll be looking into some of those sites you mentioned a little later today when I have some time ;) It’s funny, a friend of mine was just showing me OC remix the other day - I already knew about VGmix, but none of the others. Zelda 3 has my favourite game music in the Zelda series - elsewhere, Bioware have provided some damn awesome osts in the past (still debating on whether or not to buy the Jade Empire soundtrack…I’m so tight fisted!) But I agree, music in games (as in cinema) can really make a big difference between a good game and a great game.


    OC Remix Rocks!!! I’ve been downloading there lately. I listen to their music in my car on the way to work. Check out Remixer Disco Dan. Awesome Tal Tal Hights remix. ^_^

    My two all time fave Zelda songs are Zelda’s thems and the Gerudo Valley theme, the first time I ever heard Zelda’s theme was when I rescued her from Hyrule castle Dungeon in a Link to the Past and it just stuck with me and upon completing Ocarina of Time I got to hear an improved version which also made me feel sad because the game was over, no other Zelda game has ever made me feel like that, the only time I ever fealt anything like it was when I had to watch Aeris die in Final Fantasy VII (I didnt know she was going to die)and for the Gerudo Valley theme, it just sounds like a heroic song and I love jumping over the bridge on Epona while that song plays.

    OC REMIX RULZ!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve downloaded (legally, of course–nothing on that site is illegal) over 250+ remixes from there, not including Zelda, Mario and other well-knowns. I checked out stuff from games i had never *heard* of and, let me tell you, there are some freakin’ good remixers out there! I listen to OCR’s more than modern music–it’s better than rap crap! djpretzel (the webmaster)–YOU ROCK!!!!!!!
    So agree with zen_blade: Disco Dan is amazing!
    OMG the Video Game Pianist is amazing! Seriously, guys, go there and see for yourself that that guy is incredible!
    Man, I would love to go to that concert thing…

    Thanks for posting the article TML (yes I was the one who e-mailed)

    In my opinion, zelda wouldn’t be zelda without it’s music. Ze;da music is by far the best video game music, and will never cease to be.

    YEAH it is, leinator!!

    The only music that comes even within a mile of zeldaa is mario. But zelda is better

    I cant decide between the Zelda Music and the Final Fantasy music, Nobuo Uematsu is a genious

    i like the tune that zora link and japas plays in majoras mask!

    if you go to zelda universe music section, they have some pretty nice guitar stuff.

    I had no idea that the video game pianist played at E3. 0_o

    Thank you for the links and the information!

    By the way how did you know that I was a fan of gran adventures (which I am)

    Im a fan too Slyness