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What is your unpopular Zelda opinion?

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Mr. SidleInYourDMs
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True, but look at how big those regions are. Considering how long you can spend running around just one part of the world, how much time would you spend listening to one theme constantly?
heck look at Xenoblade 3, massive areas that have dedicated themes and you can spend a lot of time in
so to answer your question, I can spend a good deal in an area given it's not a theme I dislike
 

TheGreatCthulhu

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I'm fairly certain if they decided to do traditional melodic music, they wouldn't have one single theme for the entirety of the overworld, it'd be region based
The music in the field theme is melodic, in the sense it contains melodies.

Also, consider, BotW has a vastly larger overworld than in previous Zeldas.

The overwhelming majority of your playing time in this 50-189 hours it takes to complete the game is spent in the overworld.

In previous games, this wasn't the case.

Thus, this creates a situation, where, as a composer, you want to make music that sounds good and captures listeners' interests, but not have it be so repetitive, because overworld themes in Zelda games are around 2 minutes in length.

If you're spending several hours in the overworld, 2 minutes of constantly repeating music will be much more grating to the listener.

Sure, maybe we can try something like Hyrule Castle's theme, but let's also remember that the expectation of players now is fully orchestrated music played by real musicians. Paying these musicians, on top of recording them in a full orchestra, on top of recording much longer music in different variations for thematically appropriate reasons is going to be exorbitantly expensive.

Not to mention coding to make sure the music ties in with the intended vision.

This is why a lot of video game music is pretty short compared to say, jazz standards or classical music.

But, if instead of doing something with traditional functional harmony, if we go more with ambience and non-functional harmony, we can keep a listener's interest much better, because the music in this case isn't serving the same purpose that functional harmony serves.

Ambient and non-functional harmony tends to evoke a mood and keep you there.

I explained the purpose of ambient music in one of my blogs before.

So it was a smart choice to go for an ambient piece. Furthermore, think of the context of the story. Strong, bombastic themes are indicative of heroism, might, majesty, and if tied to a kingdom, this conveys the power and might of the kingdom.

But in BotW, Hyrule Kingdom is not strong or powerful, at all. So how would one convey its original might and majesty but also show that it's decayed, a shadow of its former glory?

But because it wasn't what people expected, people just thought it was random plinkings on a piano, even though each of the notes are meticulously placed and deliberately composed that way.
 
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While I kind of wish BotW had more thematic music for the different regions of the overworld myself, I'm actually kind of glad that it doesn't-- and that the music it does have doesn't play constantly. When it comes to sound design, silence is just as important as the music.
(An example of how silence is important for the atmosphere of something would be the original Dracula film from 1931; someone went back and retroactively composed a score for the movie, and while it's a good score, it plays constantly, never stopping even once, and it kind of ruins the suspenseful parts of the movie. I recommend watching it first without the score and then watching it with the score-- you'll be surprised how much it changes the tone of the movie. It would have been better if they had stopped the musical score for the more tense bits of the film.)

A good compromise might have been like, I dunno, maybe a music rune on the Sheikah Slate or something. Something that can be toggled on and off to suit the player's tastes. Maybe we'll see something like that in TotK? Who knows.
 

TheGreatCthulhu

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I'm not even say this is what I want, I'm specifically saying they wouldn't have 1 song for the entirety of the overworld since that's what was implied
Well, sure, but I think a lot of people vastly underestimate making such a thing happen.

People now have an expectation for fully orchestrated music played by real musicians. A typical full orchestra is 70 people. I'm not saying it can't be done, or the results wouldn't be great, but there are reasons why the music went the route it did, and, they were meticulously composed, as Zelda music generally is.

Plus, people give a pass to some Zelda themes. The Nocturne of Shadow doesn't even have an established key center, so it's almost completely atonal until the final chord lands.

Zelda music has done weird stuff like this before, I just think people are being unnecessarily harsh.
 

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