Posted 2023-05-12, evaluated by Emunator

We're taking a break from celebrating the release of SeeDs to celebrate today's release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom!! Now, this is a bit of a pain/shame point for me, but I STILL haven't finished Breath of the Wild... because I'm a terrible person, etc., BUT I'm still a big fan & love the game, including the unorthodox soundtrack. At the time, I had the same reaction a lot of folks did, missing the prevalence of dominant, catchy melodies, but as I spent more hours with the game, the more minimalist & atmospheric approach started clicking, at least for me. Here to celebrate BotW's soundtrack & the release of its long-awaited sequel is Vijay van der Weijden, who is developing quite the habit of blowing us away with unique, creative, and exceptionally well-produced arrangements; he writes:

"I would like to submit a cover I made of Breath of the Wild's Lost Woods.

The Lost Woods are an interesting concept. In most entries of the Zelda series, it's there to protect something. Only people who are supposed to find said thing (usually Link, of course) are able to find their way through the woods.

So, what happens if a person that's not supposed to be there enters the woods? They get lost, obviously, but the outcome of getting lost differs per game/lore/non-canonical stories. Will they just find their way back to the entry of the woods, or will something more gruesome happen to them?

This track represents some innocent villager unwittingly entering the woods. They naturally get lost and one of the more macabre outcomes takes place. They lose their way more and more until they're quite literally swallowed by the woods. At the end, the villager is no more, and everything carries on as if nothing happened.

Thank you for your time, I'm stoked to hear what you think about it!

Well, I think it's bloody brilliant, and I don't invoke the hematological slang of our British friends lightly; the ambient, spooky extended intro marries chromatic percussion with haunting vocalizations from JuKayVid, and could really have been a standalone concept staying in that general ballpark, but then we move into darker, harder rock when the pedals kick in on electric guitar, and eventually morph to full, frightening metal. Emunator evaluated:

"I wasn't quite sure where this was going at first, but I was sold from the second that the guitars hit at the 38 second mark. That section is tremendously, overwhelmingly beautiful and feels like it warrants a full-length remix of its own in that style, but then you take a detour somewhere completely unexpected, and things start to really get wild.

I have to admit, on my first listen, I was underwhelmed by the production during the section starting at 1:50. I couldn't shake the feeling that the soundscape wasn't fully fleshed out and just didn't hit as hard as I wanted it to, but by the end of the arrangement, it was clear that this was just a feint. Each successive iteration of the heavy guitars ramped up the energy, until you finally reach a climax at 4:32 with an absolutely massive cacophony of sound. Just when the track feels like it is about to crumble under the weight of its own chaos, seemingly against all odds, we break through the fog and find ourselves exactly where we started, with only sparse piano and mallets remaining.

I have to call specific attention to your treatment of the Lost Woods theme, and the way that you developed more overt lead melodies out of small slices from the original arpeggios that closely resemble the iconic Lost Woods melody from Ocarina of Time. Your concept wouldn't have worked nearly as well without some sort of explicit melodic line; it could have easily sounded like a lot of original riffing over a disconnected backing track. Whether this link between the Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild versions of Lost Woods was the result of clever composition or simply a serendipitous coincidence, your arrangement is all the better for the way you capitalized on it.

I should have never doubted you—after all, you fully laid your intensions bare in your submission letter. And yet, by the end, I still felt lost and disoriented with an inexplicable feeling of "what in the world did I just experience?" I knew what was going to happen, but the way you accomplished that was a feat of sheer sonic brilliance. This is a masterclass of impressionistic storytelling through music, and I adored every second of it!"

Since nitpicking is in my job description, I confess there were some seconds I loved less than others; specifically, while I applaud the creative use of woodwinds in general, and certainly in this less common setting, the clarinets at 4'01" do feel comparatively static, and some dynamic envelopes and/or progressive vibrato might have addressed this. That's less than twenty seconds of a nearly six-minute opus, though, and when Vijay dials in the cacophonic wall of demonic sound possession at the five-minute marker, DAMN does it go hard-spooky. Fully delivering on a unique concept with a captivating palette of chromatic percussion, ambient vox, and aggressive metal ingredients, this mix is another gem from the artist & a fantastic homage to the music of Zelda and BotW specifically - enjoy it, and enjoy Tears of the Kingdom!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-28 14:26:30

I absolutely was digging the first couple minutes of the song, very ambient and world-building. The intense guitar definitely took me a bit by surprise, but it was still good!

on 2023-05-12 09:56:12
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Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
( , , )
Music by
Additional Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo , 2017, WIIU)
Music by Hajime Wakai,Manaka Kataoka,Yasuaki Iwata
"Lost Woods"
Additional Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo , 1998, N64)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Lost Woods"

Tags (17)

Chromatic Percussion,Clarinet,Electric Guitar,Marimba,Piano,Singing,Vocals: Female
Effects > Distortion
Origin > Collaboration
Usage > Halloween

File Information

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