Legend of Zelda – The Wind Waker – “Ancient Hero” (DarkeSword)August 3, 2010
Legend of Zelda – The Wind Waker (2003) seems to be the Nintendo game many people love to hate, whether for the cel-shaded graphics, kid link, endless sailing, or that damn Triforce treasure hunt. While the game certainly has its flaws, I personally found some aspects (such as the sailing) to be rather enjoyable. And the graphics I found had similarities to Link to the Past. In any event, the soundtrack at least was enjoyable, with a nice ocean and ethnic flavor, particularly with some of the island themes (Dragonroost comes to mind). However, the main theme is one that stands out the most, particularly through DarkeSword’s excellent rendition, “Ancient Hero.”
DarkeSword (Shariq Ansari) is known for his excellent instrumentation, and “Ancient Hero” is no exception. High production values mean instruments that sound much like the real thing, and the violins, choir, trumpets, and flute are spectacular. The arrangement is also top-notch, with a slow build where the bard’s harp recalls the tale of legend, with a lilting melody that seems all but lost in the distant past, that slowly grows in complexity and depth as the bard spins his tale, adding choir and trumpets. The main melody then arrives about 1:00 in, heralded by the violins at 0:47 which recall stormy seas, sheets of rain, and high waves, a distant light on the ocean. The atmosphere is exceptional, feeling straight out of an actual coastal town. In the middle, we finally hear the classic Zelda theme, which creates a nice break and tie with the rest of the series.
“Ancient Hero” is an arrangement of “The Legendary Hero,” the intro story theme. This, too, has a wonderful instrument selection, with guitar, ocarina, and fiddle – all ethnic instruments that would fit clearly within the world of Wind Waker. Also, the rendition of the Zelda theme on fiddle is amazing, an image that, along with the woodcuts and stained glass, will stick with me (along with the sailing!) as the most defining moment of this game.