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LONG BLOG

Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #210 - The Occasionally Golden Land

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Featuring Zelda III - A Link to the Past, jazz and jazz inspired music.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

after several weeks of pause the time has come for game-pop music comparisons again. And we start with an early but major game from the Super Nintendo era: Zelda III - A Link to the Past from 1991 which contains some melodies that burned themselves into the memory of the gaming crowd forever, composed by, who else, Kōji Kondō. After Agahnim forcibly sends you to the other world in the mid of the game, you find yourself in a landscape formerly known as the "Golden Land" (or Sacred Realm) which has been corrupted by Ganon and turned into the Dark World. It now serves as a prison of Zelda and several maidens that you have to set free before you can confront Ganon and win the game. 

In the Dark World, a catchy theme plays that reminds of a certain type of music genre, but more on that below:

The first candidate is from the year 1970. A jazzy song with the title "Prestige Production" (also known as "The Riviera Affair") by Neil Richardson. People in the U. S. might remember it as the theme from the show "The 4 O'Clock Movie" from the 1970s.

Thanks to fatsumo from VGML chat for this one:

Is this the end of the line? Unlikely. Kondo is very aware of the problem of copyright and usually takes measures to avoid it. For example, he considered Ravels Bolero for usage in the original Zelda but refrained from it when he found out copyright on Ravels work had not yet expired due to his late date of death.

So, can we find other explanations for the Dark World theme? There is a certain kind of genre that produces soundtracks that have a strong resemblance in rhythm and tone to the Dark World theme: 60s italo western. Some examples:

Sean Todd - "Se Vuoi Vivere...Spara" (1968):

Nora Orlandi - "Ballad of Johnny Yuma" (1967):

Craig Hill - "Tre Croci Per Non Morire" (1968):

There is a song from 1970 by Pete Brown called "My Love's Gone Far Away" that uses the chords of the main melody:

I suspect that the music goes back to latin flavoured dance music like Flamenco that was pretty influential on 60s western music.

There is some more stuff in my list regarding Zelda 3 I think so it is likely that we see each other next week with the same topic.

Phil out.

- https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PhilsPhindings/ https://www.reddit.com/user/PhilsPhindings


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About PhilsPhindingsone of us since 5:50 PM on 01.21.2019