Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Was Originally Going To Have Updated Music

By Ishaan . June 2, 2011 . 3:15am

A new edition of “Iwata Asks” with original The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time composer, Koji Kondo, and Mahito Yokota, who worked  on the Nintendo 3DS port, has some interesting details to offer about the game’s music, and its transition to the 3DS.


Notably, Yokota reveals that, initially, he created re-arranged, more up-to-date music tracks for Ocarina of Time 3D, until Kondo asked that Yokota and his team remain faithful to the original Nintendo 64 tracks.


Yokota then goes on to discuss some of the challenges associated with making the music in the Nintendo 3DS version sound the same as it did on the N64. In particular, he says, the change in hardware caused several tracks to sound different, and that the new tracks had to be adjusted to give off the same vibe as the original game.


He also reveals that the Hyrule Field theme posed its own unique challenge because the original N64 track was interactive, and would change in pace, depending on whether or not the player was battling an enemy, and the distance between them as well. “We made the music on Hyrule Field interactive, so we ended up allotting a lot more of the CPU to sound than we usually would,” Yokota elaborated.


Ocarina of Time 3D won’t have an orchestrated track, but Yokota worked on Super Mario Galaxy 2, which did. Wanting to create orchestrated music again, he included a single orchestrated track in Ocarina of Time 3D, but wouldn’t say which one it was.

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  • I think the last paragraph confuses me. 

    Ocarina of Time 3D won’t have an orchestrated track…
    He included a single orchestrated track in Ocarina of Time 3D…

    So is there or is there not one?

    • While Ocarina of Time 3D’s soundtrack in general will remain unchanged, there is one updated track included.

      • lostinblue

        They even spoiled which one… the ending, surely, the whole “MALON SINGING WOULD BE OUT OF PLACE NOW, I’LL HAVE TO FIX IT” says it all. Not to mention it’s the one part (apart from cutscenes) that wasn’t dynamic to start with.

        To be fair though; it makes sense, a orchestrated soundtrack working as a dynamic one would be very hard if not impossible to do, Zelda should have orchestrated music on cutscenes and the ending, only. Other than that only if they can add a bunch of triggers like what they did with Mario Galaxy (forcing the orchestrated music to match the tempo and timing of stuff happening) but much more complex.

        The one thing I wish they changed was the horse’s and Link’s steps though, and of course stuff like Malon singing could have been upgraded. Other than that, they’re in the right and seems like they went to great lenghts to make it so.

        • malek86

          “To be fair though; it makes sense, a orchestrated soundtrack working as a dynamic one would be very hard if not impossible to do”

          The Monkey Island 2 Special Edition managed to replicate (at least in good part) the iMuse’s system of changing the tunes dynamically from the original game. I’m sure it could have been done here too. Of course, it would have been complex… but hey, I was hoping they were willing to put some resources into this one.

          I mean, they are already upgrading the graphics, so they have no reason to stay completely true to the original sound. Keep the same tunes, just better sound quality. Or, it would be even better if we had the choice ourselves.

          • lostinblue

            I actually had a conversation with a friend yesterday after reading the article and we brought up that same argument.

            The thing is that iMuse was scripted, when you entered somewhere it would plug off a few instruments/sound tracks and plug in others; who were technically always running. That overlying structure was always there, making it easy to implement a reworking provide they kept being separate streams.

            That’s not the way OoT did it, OoT was dynamic with, as they explained:

            Iwata: They shared a certain chord progression, so the music could shuffle them around.

            Kondo: Right. Each group of eight measures ended with a chord that would lead nicely into whichever group started next. It sounded natural even when you played them randomly.

            Iwata: How many of those “components” did you make?

            Kondo: About 20. They’re in battles, too.


            Now imagine doing those kind of “triggers” orchestrated. It’s impossible to ask for, for starters it was never done; Mario Galaxy did some groundwork for something that *could* work (there’s actually two tracks in there, the MIDI one and the orchestrated one, the MIDI is running in background but it’s there to keep track of how the streamed one syncs and how it triggers/interacts with other sound effects) For OoT, and most likely other Zelda’s though they’d have to make all the transitions orchestrated, run MIDI’s in the background and fine tune it until the transitions were seamless. Zelda Skyward *might* attempt it but even there it’s a case of going the extra mile (and even if they try, like with Mario Galaxy before trying, it might turn out like a failed experiment/not being possible to do).

            It’s just like the whole “the stairs are still ramps” comment. Sure, I’d like them to have steps, but the thing is newer Zeldas have skeletal animation:

            -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Dwv7yiByg

            How do you implement “that” in a 1998 game where every “step” triggers auto-jump (and you don’t want to autojump your way into Kakariko Village) and even if you made steps over the ramp, that the character would “ignore” the steps would be de-synced with character walk animation and when he stopped you’d have him standing there, unrealistically with his feet under the steps as if they weren’t there. The only way to achieve that would be major, major rewrites seeing these were technologies they implemented from the ground on newer games, they aren’t present in the overlying foundations for the game here; major rewrites have a problem too, who knows what’s dependent of what so who knows what could be broken by them.

            Coming back to the Monkey Island “thing”, Special Edition did it because it could, it wouldn’t be easy to do at all with real “dynamic” music; OoT is dynamic, Monkey Island II is scripted. There’s a difference.

            Then again they could have changed the way the game sounds when they redid it (yes, because they “redid” it), but they chose not to. With that there’s no arguing, some people will be grateful it sounds the same some will think they were lazy.

            The music is higher quality in this version, they say as much in the interview. It just sounds the same.

          • malek86

            But why would the steps thing be a problem? I thought this game was being essentially made from ground up. In that case, they just need to program it so.

            I’m really trying to understand if this Ocarina of Time is a remake, or just a “port with updated graphics”. I thought it would be the first one, but so far, it looks like it’s actually the second one.

            Then again, if it’s really being done by an outside studio, I guess they didn’t have much freedom regardless.

          • lostinblue

            @malek86:disqus it clearly wasn’t made from the ground and that was never their intent.

            It’s built over the N64 version, as a definite version if you will.

            As for the steps I just remembered there were actually some detailed in the game:

            -> http://images.wikia.com/zelda/images/0/03/Door_of_Time_(Ocarina_of_Time).png

            I really think the ones needed for Kakariko would be too steep for the game’s “autojump” detection though.

            From what I played a few months ago, it’s pretty upgraded but it’s indeed the very same game, the feel is untouched and lots of local/terrain geometry weren’t really messed up with. I left the demo thinking Wind Waker would be a much better fit too because of how it’s geometry engine was awesome (Deku Tree with the fireflies and the Death Mountain lava/ashes particles), then again the new particle engine is probably the best part of this new version, it’s really pretty in 3D, makes depth more noticeable.

          • Suicunesol

            It’s a port with updated graphics. It’s not a remake. You can tell because while a majority of textures are redone and key character models are replaced with better ones, there are too many reused graphics from the original. The layout of the game is almost identical to the original, and glitches like Epona galloping in-place next to walls/rivers when you call her are still present.

            (On a personal level, I don’t mind, as (in my opinion) it would’ve been better to make a brand-new game if they were going to make anything from the ground up.)

          • malek86

            Oh… if they were going to make just a port, then I would rather get Wind Waker. I liked it much better than OOT. So I was hoping they were gonna change something for this version, and maybe I would have bought it. If it’s the same game as the N64 version, it’s not quite as exciting for me.

    • It’s exactly what Paradox said. Although, I should point out that it doesn’t mean they just took the N64 music files and dumped them onto the 3DS version. Music has been recreated, but it’s been recreated to capture the sound of the original game.

      • lostinblue

        Yeah, they mention it’s higher quality now.

        Porting it/emulating it should be manageable to do so, as they point out, but they didn’t, they remade it to sound just the same.

  • I can’t believe I’m this excited to hunt down that one track. Or, just look online, as it’ll surely be revealed fairly quickly.

    An orchestral OST would’ve been a neat bundle item though. Maybe even a voucher that’d allow you to download the updated tracks from the eShop.

  • malek86

    I’d normally be all for keeping the same music (who said Persona?), but why not use an upgraded version if they can? If the console has the hardware to do it, unlike the N64 which had to run on midis due to cartridge limitations, might as well do it.

    • That’s what pisses me off about Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The “alternate” soundtrack is just the original soundtrack, only every track is now twice as long and the instruments are slightly different. I was looking forward to more badass vocal battle themes. >_<#

  • You know… an orchestrated soundtrack would have really justified the game being $39.99…

  • Missed a great opportunity to record and release it as a preorder bonus. Mind you, that would have cost a lot more money compared to a low quality plastic ocarina, tin of nuts or a heavily folded poster.

  • Honestly, it’s something of a wasted opportunity, as we are almost certainly never going to see this game remade again.

  • I feel like the Falcom remakes on PSP have spoiled me, since all of them (except for Gurumin and Sora no Kiseki) have alternate soundtracks you can swap between.  Why couldn’t Nintendo do the same?

    • doomspeller10

      Precisely my opinion. Even Square Enix did that with FF 4 Complete Collection. I guess they focused so much on making the game sound like the original that eventually they had to choose one soundtrack over the other. They could have at least included System Of A Down’s “Legend of Zelda” cover as a bonus.

      • Henk vdBroek

        I know that song.

        Although the guy sounds a lot like Serj, its not him.
        It doesn’t bother me though…it’s in my itunes, sorted with System.

    • I’d be all for that. I do like getting updated sound tracks, but I the same time I love getting lost in nostalgia with the original tracks. Why couldn’t Nintendo have that “then let’s have both” logic.

    • YsyDoesIt

      I couldn’t agree more.  It’s not like they’re utilizing all the space on the 3DS cart.

  • Suicunesol

    I’m really tired of hearing these complaints about orchestrated sound when there are so many tracks in this game that clearly can’t be faithfully recreated with an orchestra without raping the atmosphere. Preserving atmosphere. Is. So. Important.

    • FireCouch

      Yet the redone graphics already changed the atmosphere…

      • Suicunesol

        I disagree. :) It’s an enhanced port so almost everything will be as you remember it, except with better textures and a more detailed Link (and a few extra additions like a more detailed Malon’s room).

        • FireCouch

          Link looks worse.  Overly detailed compared to the other characters and his surroundings.  He just seems like a colorful cartoon goon thrown into a darker, less detailed world.  Bad.

  • zeldas lullaby or title screen

  • It seems every time Nintendo says first “We’ll do orchestrated music for this Zelda,”  They go back and change their minds.  Maybe if they started off thinking they’ll keep old music, their minds will change to doing orchestrated tracks.

  • Why? Why didn’t they? I’m kind of mad now :/… I would’ve loved to hear their take on an updated soundtrack…
    Oh well. I guess if Koji Kondo insists, then it’s alright ^^

  • EmLeingod

    God dammit. They could have at least had it as an option.

  • I feel I am the only one hoping that the orchestrated track will be the Gerudo Valley theme. Just imagine it, an amazing theme played on real instruments.

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