Best of ND 2014! Track of the Week: Clock Tower (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)

Take a trip back to the dark land of Termina with this track!

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 01/04/2015 21:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

This story was selected as one of our best from 2014. It was originally published on September 29, during Issue 24: The Legendary Franchise.

Few video game franchises are as steeped in music as the Legend of Zelda. Since its earliest days on NES, music has played an integral role in the series, from the aural cues that players would need to follow to navigate through the Lost Woods, to the various musical instruments Link would acquire in his never-ending battle against the forces of darkness, to the stunning soundtracks that have accompanied each of its legendary installments. For this week’s edition of Track of the Week, we’ll be returning to Termina, the setting of Link’s second N64 adventure, to revisit one of the series’ most haunting melodies…

While the Legend of Zelda is typically renowned for its heroic themes, it’s the series’ more somber pieces that resonate strongest with me. From the desperate, piano-driven melody of “Midna’s Lament,” to the heartbreaking beauty of “Follow Fi,” these compositions represent some of the series’ most memorable and evocative tunes. This week’s track is no exception. As the first song to greet players when they set foot in the strange land of Termina, the Clock Tower theme sets an appropriately melancholy tone for the adventure ahead. Stripped of their weapons and twisted into the form of a hapless Deku Scrub, players begin the game feeling lost and powerless, and that feeling is only reinforced by the mournful tune that washes over them as the gateway between Termina and Hyrule is sealed off.

But what really lends the Clock Tower theme its poignancy is how frequently it recurs throughout the game. As the basis for the “Song of Healing”— one of the ocarina melodies that Link learns in his travels across Termina– players will perform the theme countless times during the course of their journey, typically to help some restless spirit make peace with a lingering regret. Each of these encounters is heartrending in its own right, but witnessing the deceased come to terms with their fate, as the Song of Healing gently soothes their burdened soul, lends a profound new power to the melody.

What are some of your favorite Zelda tunes? Share them with us in the comments!

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