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OPINIONS: Is Music Becoming an Overused Part of Gameplay?

Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Music and musical instruments have always been an important part of the Zelda series, starting with the flute in LoZ. This has been a reacurring element in almost every major game (FS,FSA excluded), and starting with LA has become integral to both the games and their stories.

With OoT/MM, the titular ocarina is used for almost every possible purpose you could imagine. TWW gave us the (again, titular) baton. I believe OoX and MC downplayed the instruments back to the level of LA. TP also downplayed music, leaving it for calling Epona, the Skull Kid, and the Golden Wolf. Returning music as a major plot device, SS made the Goddess's Harp seem to be a worthwhile change in how music was used, but IMO felt flat and unrewarding.

What do you think about the use of music in the games? Would you like to see something different, or just a fresher/more robust mechanism?
 

Curmudgeon

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Dec 17, 2012
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While I'm not opposed to instruments as items, I'm not a big fan of using them heavily. In TWW, the novelty of the baton quickly wore off, especially in the dungeons where you had to use command melody several times. If I must use instruments frequently, incorporate them into the action and make their purpose novel. Otherwise, I prefer them a la Link's Awakening or OoA where a single button press got the job done.
 

JuicieJ

SHOW ME YA MOVES!
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On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
It doesn't matter to me whether an instrument is central to the gameplay or not. I'd just rather it not become something merely routine, which was starting to happen when The Wind Waker rolled around. Being a major element of the game needs to be an every now and then sort of deal.
 
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Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
The past two games have had their respective musical instruments somewhat central to the plot, I'll totally be fine if they tone that down for the next game. What I would like to see happen is if they give us an instrument from the beginning that's just sorta... there. It's not a world-shattering instrument of divine beings, you've just had it since you were a kid and like playing it. Like, a flute or violin or something. Using it can have certain effects, like you can play it at night in bars as a sort of side job (like that thing with Kina in SS, only not as annoying to play), playing it in the forests can attract wildlife around you, or you can just play it for fun.

Much later on, there can be a part where you come across some troll. There's no obvious way around this guy, and you desperately need to get past this thing. You don't get any previous hints about him, you don't get parts in red saying you need to play the flute to make guys fall asleep. Getting desperate, you start using every item in your inventory, from bombs to arrows to whatever. Then you start randomly playing on your flute, and lo and behold, the troll falls asleep to the sound of your flute, and you can safely pass.

I'd like something like that to happen, but for the most part keep the musical instrument on the downlow for the next game.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
That would be enjoyable!

With the harp, I really felt like I had no control over whatever song was being played. If there had been a way to select the song (a la LA) or more control over how it was played, both the instrument and the Kina side quest would have been more enjoyable.

That's why the Ocarina was so well liked, which in turn is why playing music keeps appearing in the games. You felt like you were playing it. With the Skull Kids in OoT you felt like you were playing along with them, and MM was the same way playing at the bar and with the Indigo-gos. It felt expressive and not like you were just running around as a bard with a sword.
 

Ventus

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Musical instruments used to be a nifty thing (like in LoZ, ALttP, OoT and MM) but come modern Zelda, the concept has been shoe-horned in just because Nintendo can do it. The harp was totally insignificant, with its soundbites being largely outclassed by the BGM. The Spirit Flute sounded great and had some wonderful tunes, but again it was shoe-horned in simply because Nintendo could. I don't quite remember PH having a musical instrument, and TP's "musical instrument" was used solely for sidequests.

I do think the concept of the musical instrument needs to take a backseat; perhaps have a 3D game in which we do not get a (significant) instrument would be the right way to go about this.
 
The ocarina forever remains my favorite series instrument and stands as a model for all videogames on how to incorporate music effectively into gameplay. Musical instruments can be central-as they are recurring franchise motifs-but never a hindrance from enjoyment of the overall experience. The Spirit Flute and Harp from Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword, respectively relied on hardware gimmicks and felt forced rather than intuitive.

It's time to reconsider the role musical instruments should play in Zelda. Perhaps it should be nothing more than a minor item in Link's arsenal as A Link to the Past's ocarina was. What I'd personally like to see is a music based dungeon requiring players to search for notes and play songs to unlock hidden pathways. Playing notes with the 3DS or Wii U touch screens would circumvent recent difficulties and allow gamers with less than perfect rhythm to progress.
 

Random Person

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I'm kind of torn here.

On the one hand, using musical instruments is somewhat a tradition in Zelda games. On the other hand, it can feel overused at times. I want to say that after MM, there was really no need for musical instruments to be a part of the gameplay aspect in Zelda. WW feels really gimmicky and tedious to a degree. Having to memorize and play song after song for simple things like going somewhere. (Because changing the flow of the wind is simple [/sarcasm]) SS felt like it was trying to force an old Zelda concept into modern day gaming, not giving letting you actually play the song, but just swinging the wii-mote back and forth. TP's concept was well done, but that howling is grating on the ears and the whole purpose of music is to be able to listen to it. So yeah, I want to say it's no longer a good thing, but I found that ST had a nice balance. It wasn't perfect mind you, but nice. The songs were pleasant to listen to, they were quick to play, and you didn't really feel tedioucity (not a word) when doing so.

Thus, I said all that unnecessary stuff to say this... Musical instruments in themselves, imo, aren't particularly overused when the concept is thought of correctly. They can be a core part of gameplay, or just a side thing, but how we play, what we play, and something else that ends with "play," determines how the overall audience will feel.
 

theoathtoorder

“Zinga-dingding!”
Joined
May 10, 2012
Am I the only one who enjoyed the harp duet with Kina? Sure, it isn't as fun as using the old school ocarina in OoT and MM. Will anything every measure up to those classic games though? I love Zelda's music almost as much as the game itself.
 

Deeds

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Dec 16, 2011
The harp in Skyward Sword was dissapointing for me, this made me realise that I really do value the instruments in LoZ - and would like to see, a well used one in the next LoZ to be released.
 
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JuicieJ

SHOW ME YA MOVES!
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On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
Am I the only one who enjoyed the harp duet with Kina? Sure, it isn't as fun as using the old school ocarina in OoT and MM. Will anything every measure up to those classic games though? I love Zelda's music almost as much as the game itself.
Eh, I thought it was decent, but rather underwhelming. The harp was intended to be an accompaniment instrument, and it did serve that role, but it did it rather poorly.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
I enjoyed the idea of the duet with Kina, but like JucieJ said the harp is an accompiant, and thus the effect was really moot.
 

vengenz

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It's definitely a huge part of the game and I would like to continue to see it.
I always thought that the music was always one of the important parts of the Zelda games since
the makers didn't want to have 'songs' but only music. As well as how Link doesn't talk.

(Link's voice revealed, now THAT I would be disappointed to see. Everyone has their own expectations of it. *off topic*)

I think something new and fresher would be nice, but I think the melody's and instruments really make the game complete.
 

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