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The Legend of Zelda franchise is absolutely exploding with incredible music. From the first game all the way up to Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo’s team of composers have crafted some unbelievable, unforgettable musical moments. There are so many that it’s hard to name them all, but there are a select few that sit slightly above the rest.

One of the most impressive audio works in the Zelda franchise has to be the music that accompanies your climb to the Wind Temple in Tears of the Kingdom. As Link works his way upwards slowly but sure, the game builds an amazing audio experience the entire time. Creating this astounding work was no easy task, but thankfully one of Nintendo’s composers was up to the task.

Masato Ohashi is one of the composers who tackled the audio of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and he was directly responsible for the music you hear during the Wind Temple ascent. In a feature posted on Nintendo’s recruitment website, Ohashi shared a ton of insight into the challenges of crafting this multilayered tune. You can read a portion of his breakdown below, courtesy of a translation from Nintendo Everything.

If you’re not familiar with the music, you can hear all phases of the Wind Temple ascent in a video at the bottom of this post.

**The challenge with writing the pieces was this game created a vast world with a large degree of freedom. Furthermore, it was difficult to make pauses in the piece, as the player spends a long time climbing upwards in a violent snowstorm and there were places where it was difficult to maintain clarity in the music. We decided to divide the area into steps: at the lowest altitude was the place of departure at the snowy mountains, in the middle were groups of blocky ruins, and at the highest altitude were the boats floating in the air, followed by a final scene of diving into the clouds; we wanted to make music that rose in tension as the player ascended.

There is a scene that takes place at the end of the very long journey. When you reach the peak in the last ship sailing in the sky, you look down to see a huge ship flying in cumulonimbus clouds, and then skydive into it. I felt this was a very dramatic scene and wanted to make a piece of music suitable for the climax. And from there I then worked backwards down the journey to make the others.

First we started with just a few instruments, and gradually increased the number as the altitude increased. We wanted to reflect the change as the player got closer to the hidden goal of their journey in the clouds, as they climbed higher and higher, and the cold became more severe. Then, when you reach the ship and jump down into the clouds, the blizzard stops and a blue sky stretches out before you, and we decided to have the scene without music, to give a truly lasting impression of a sunny spectacle. This was how music was then made by the programmers, and I was truly moved when I got to play it for myself, and see it had been realized according to plan.**

[Masato Ohashi, composer]

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Comments (3)

totodile

2M ago

I played this, stopping and starting over several days due to tending to a crying baby. I also didn't have the volume up too loud to placate said baby. I really didn't notice the music at all, and it bums me out that I didn't experience it properly.


rawmeatcowboy

2M ago

@totodile

I also had to tend to a crying baby while playing this part, but I happened to be that baby. This whole ascent and then the boss fight made me so emotional with the music and atmosphere. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to fully experience it, but you can always go back!


gamefreak613

2M ago

This sequence and the music will stick with me as one of the best parts if not the best part of the game. It gave me chills.... Which was appropriate given the altitude, but these were on an emotional level! haha