Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – “Gerudo Valley” (Koji Kondo)February 28, 2010
The final piece in the ‘cowboy’ set, while not being the end of all cowboy music that’s out there in games, is a real classic that might have been overlooked as fitting in this genre – “Gerudo Valley” from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time(1998). This is a fantastic tune depicting dusty Gerudo Valley, guarded by the Amazonian Gerudo warriors, who don’t take kindly to men (even if that ‘man’ happens to be a 7-year-old boy). Once again, Kondo demonstrates his ability to compose a piece that fits the atmosphere of trudging through a dusty canyon with a mud-and-brick city built into the cliff faces and inhabited by fearsome warriors, with a catchy tune to match.
“Gerudo Valley” has a wonderful driving beat perfect for dancing, almost as if Kondo is channeling Ricardo Montelban to dance in those boots of his (it’s more likely wood blocks or sticks clapped together). This sound is persistent throughout the piece and gives it a great ethnic feel, which when coupled with the guitar and trumpet, has a distinctly Spanish taste to it. So when you think ‘western’, this is probably more a Mexican western or one set in Spain. The piece is but built around a few central notes and progresses through multiple variations on this theme to create a rondo effect.
“Gerudo Valley” is also one of the most popular tracks from Ocarina of Timeand has been remixed dozens of times, garnering eight mixes on Overclocked ReMix alone, of which Scott Peeples’ is probably the best. There was anorcehstrated remix on Hyrule Symphony (1999), which is a lovely violin and cello rendition, complete with string-plucking. Both Ocarina albums should still be available for purchase through CD Japan, Play Asia, and other stores.