Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – “Windmill Hut” and “Lost Woods” (Koji Kondo)December 6, 2010
What’s this? Two songs in one? Well, it IS almost the end here, and I realized I’d forgotten to talk about two of my favorite Zelda tracks, “Windmill Hut” and “Lost Woods”. I was always a fan of “Windmill Hut” due to its stormy nature – tossed ’round and ’round by wind and weather, and the sadness of never knowing where you’ll end up. “Lost Woods” likewise has the mystery of the winding forest path as well as the nostalgia of returning to the place of your childhood, a point that was by no means lost when the track was arranged for Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Thankfully, there’s a piece that combines them both, “Eye of the Storm” by Rozovian.
“Eye of the Storm” is a new age electronica piece with rich instrumentation through bells and percussion combining both forest and rain, water dripping through the canopy, a pure stream trickling through the glade. And I must say I was instantly taken by the atmospheric sounds of the thunderstorm in the intro. Rozovian chose to arrange the two tracks together because he saw a melodic similarity between the two, though “Windmill Hut” is more clearly audible than “Lost Woods”, which seems sunk more into background support.
“Windmill Hut” has a couple notable arranges, the first by SAiNT 420 (Jeff Little) called “SoS” (“Song of Storms”), a guitar arrange whose West Coast funk I’m partial to. The other is a more hardcore rock cover by Ashane, picked off VGMix 2.0, which is great for the angst of the storm.
Of course my favorite version of “Lost Woods” is from Twilight Princess, known there as “Sacred Grove“. What really sets this piece off is the use of harp for a truly enchanting walk through the forest. The song draws particularly heavily on player nostalgia, as it is most directly tied to Ocarina of Time, the favorite Zelda game to many, and so when the song plays, it brings back so many memories of past games in the series to longtime fans. I know this version isn’t exactly highest quality and has the forest sfx in the background, but all the same, its calmness and the centrality of the notes draws on the one-ness of nature befitting of a sacred grove. The spirit of Saria of the Kokiri Woods must still reside in this sacred place…