Dystopian Video Game Party Podcast: 30 Years of Zelda

As some of our geekier listeners may already know (oh, who am I kidding, all of our listeners are “geekier”), 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Nintendo‘s Legend of Zelda series. We wanted to mark the occasion with a podcast, which we did in mid-April–but then Prince died, and the original podcast we recorded went back on the shelf. We’re posting it now for the most inauspicious of reasons: Nintendo has announced that the next Zelda game will be the focus of their presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next month, so a lot of the stuff we say in the last ten minutes or so will be out of date soon (in fact, some of it already is–at one point I say that the game is “almost definitely” coming by the end of the year, when in fact we now know that it’s been pushed back to 2017).

All that aside, however, I’m glad we took the time to talk about the Zelda games. As I say at the beginning of the podcast, this is one of the few video game series that I will consistently drop everything to play; depending on what we see at E3, it may even be the series that convinces me to buy Nintendo’s next console. A lot has changed, in video games and in life, since 1986; but for us, at least, The Legend of Zelda has maintained its luster. So join us as we share our (sometimes hazy) memories of the series–and check below the jump for notes to explain what the hell we’re talking about.

00:00:00   The Legend of Zelda TV Series Intro

00:01:12   “Still D.R.E. (Getting Treasure)” by Team Teamwork (from The Ocarina of Rhyme, 2009)

00:03:54   Title Theme from The Legend of Zelda by Kondo Koji (1986)

00:04:47   “That Compilation,” The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition for the Nintendo GameCube

© Nintendo

00:06:29   Bush-Burning Nonsense in the Original Legend of Zelda


00:08:20   “Threat (Legend of Zelda)” by CW2k3 (from The 8-Bit Black Album, 2011)

00:09:16   The Original Gold Cartridge, 1987

© Nintendo

00:09:45 Title Theme from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link by Nakatsuka Akito (1987)

00:10:33   The Horrible Final Boss Gauntlet from Zelda II

00:11:23   The Cheater’s (i.e., Zach’s) Way to Beat Dark Link

00:12:22   Iron Knuckles (a.k.a. Ball Swingers) in Zelda II

00:13:25   Palace Theme from Zelda II by Nakatsuka Akito

00:15:14   Title Theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Kondo Koji (1991)

00:18:47   Overworld Theme from A Link to the Past by Kondo Koji

00:19:35   Some of A Link to the Past‘s Distinctive Trees

© Nintendo

00:19:43   The Dark World in A Link to the Past

00:20:41   Sanctuary Theme from A Link to the Past by Kondo Koji

00:21:35   Concept Art from A Link to the Past by Kotabe Yōichi

© Nintendo; photo stolen from History of Hyrule.

00:22:17   Dark World Theme from A Link to the Past by Kondo Koji

00:22:23   The Talking Timbers in A Link to the Past

© Nintendo; photo stolen from Zeldapedia.

00:23:01 The Flute Boy in A Link to the Past


00:24:50   Light World Dungeon Theme from A Link to the Past by Kondo Koji

00:26:58   “Roc’s Feather” by Aquma (from Jay-Zelda: Beat’s Awakening, 2011)

00:27:59   The “Tanooki” in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (1993)

© Nintendo

00:28:03   The Hippo Figure Painting Model in Link’s Awakening (NSFW?)

00:29:55   The Beach in Link’s Awakening

00:31:05   Shop Theme from Link’s Awakening by Hamano Minako and Ishikawa Kozue

00:31:17   Stealing from the Shopkeeper (/Bird) in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

00:31:39   Stealing from the Shopkeeper in Link’s Awakening

00:32:26   Tail Cave Theme from Link’s Awakening by Hamano Minako and Ishikawa Kozue

00:32:51   Zelda meets Mario in Link’s Awakening

00:33:55   One of the Things I’ve Written About Zelda

00:34:17   “Still Tippin’ (Great Fairy Fountain)” by Team Teamwork (from The Ocarina of Rhyme)

00:37:28   “Knockin’ Doors Down (Hyrule Field)” by Team Teamwork (from The Ocarina of Rhyme)

00:37:59   The Deku Tree in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

© Nintendo

00:40:57   Ocarina of Time‘s Chronic Masturbator

00:41:00   “Windmill Hut” from Ocarina of Time by Kondo Koji

00:42:40   “Don’t Touch Me (Gerudo Valley)” by Team Teamwork (from The Ocarina of Rhyme)

00:43:50   The Gerudo in Ocarina of Time

00:46:50   “Oath to Work Hard” by BotanicSage [BS] (2015)

00:52:25   “The Clock Tower” from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask by Kondo Koji (2000)

00:54:54   The Infamous Water Temple in Ocarina of Time

00:55:02   The Even Worse Water Temple from Majora’s Mask

00:55:30   “Two Quests of the Triforce (Intro)” from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages by Sada Kiyohiro and Adachi Minako (2001)

00:57:47   The Dungeon-Dwelling Hermits from the Original Legend of Zelda

© Nintendo

00:58:00   The “Old Man” Makes His Return in the Oracle Games

© Nintendo; photo stolen from Zelda Dungeon.

00:59:02   The Animals of the Oracle Games

00:59:54   Title Theme from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker by Kondo Koji, Minegishi Tōru, Nagata Kenta, and Wakai Hajime (2003)

01:01:31   The “Bird People” (Rito) in Wind Waker

01:01:46   Explosions in Wind Waker

© Nintendo

01:04:25   Story Intro Theme from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap by Takano Mitsuhiko (2004)

01:05:56   The Library in The Minish Cap

© Nintendo

01:07:50   Title Theme from Twilight Princess by Minegishi Tōru and Ohta Asuka (2006)

01:10:20   The Slooooooow Introduction of Twilight Princess

01:11:22   The Arbiter’s Grounds in Twilight Princess

01:12:13   “Twilight Princess Medley” by Minegishi Tōru and Ōta Asuka (from The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD, 2011)

01:16:22   Sonic the Hedgehog Turns Into a Werewolf in Sonic Unleashed (2008)

01:17:30   Link’s Original Transformation in A Link to the Past

01:19:28   “The Great Sea” from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass by Nagata Kenta and Minegishi Tōru (2007)

01:21:48   Link the Train Conductor in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009)

01:23:32   Intro Theme from Spirit Tracks by Minegishi Tōru, Tominaga Manaka, Ōta Asuka, and Kondo Koji

01:23:48   The “Penguin People” (Anouki) of Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks

01:24:11   The Temple of the Ocean King from Phantom Hourglass

01:26:49   “In the Dark Dungeon” from Phantom Hourglass by Nagata Kenta and Minegishi Tōru

01:28:00   “Ballad of the Goddess” by Wakai Hajime, Fujii Shiho, Yokota Mahito, and Hama Takeshi (from The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD)

01:29:34   The “Bird Things” (Loftwings) in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)

01:30:42   “Skyloft” from Skyward Sword by Wakai Hajime, Fujii Shiho, Yokota Mahito, and Hama Takeshi

01:32:10   The Sandship in Skyward Sword

01:34:40   “Hilda’s Theme” from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds by Nagamatsu Ryo (2013)

01:36:48   Zach’s Post on Link Between Worlds (Again)

01:37:50   “Virginia (Lost Woods)” by Team Teamwork (from The Ocarina of Rhyme)

01:41:25   “The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley” by Kondo Koji (from The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD)


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