If you were into video games at all during the mid 90s, you probably played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was about a socially awkward kid travelling through time to become a socially awkward adult and deflower a fish princess, and also save the world from evil. It was amazing, and unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m probably wasting all this text explaining it right now.
My favorite part of the game, and probably a huge factor in me eventually starting a career in game music, was the ocarina. For those who didn’t play it, your character finds a magic ocarina (shell flute) that can doo all kinds of rad stuff when you play different songs on it, from changing night into day, to teleporting, to taking all the carbs out of your chicken alfredo but leaving all of the flavor. The tunes all had names like “Serenade of Water” and “Requiem of Spirit.” You played the songs on it by whipping it out and then pressing different button combinations on the controller. Each button was a note, so you got to play each song in real time, which I loved.
All my friends simply played each song as fast as possible to get the effect they wanted, but I, being well into my music nerd evolution by that time, insisted on getting the rhythm and inflection right. When you keep in mind the fact that this was a virtual shell flute with like, 7 playable notes on it, it should give you some idea of how popular I was with the ladies in middle school.
But my favorite part was when the game taught you a new song. The “notes” popped up on the screen and you had to play them out, sing-a-long style. Then, after hearing the “you did it!” sound cue, you’d be treated to a full midi-orchestral version of the tune you just played. For me, that was the reward for learning the song, not the ability to teleport or summon a horse.
Those always stuck with me, so I’ve made my own here. You hear the little 3 note pattern the player would input with the controller, the “you did something right, bully for you” sound cue, and then my orchestral version of that 3 note theme. Zelda fans will know what I’m talking about, but I try to make this site accessible to non gaming nerds too, so sorry for all the explanation. Hope you like!