Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scary VGM Monday: Forest Temple (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

We conclude this series of Halloween-themed VGM Monday posts with a scary music selection from my all-time childhood favorite: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You’d probably assume that I would have chosen the music from the Shadow Temple. That music is, indeed, very creepy. It’s also very obvious. Which is why I’m showcasing something less obvious: the music to the Forest Temple.

Even playing the game as a kid, I was never really scared by the Forest Temple. (Or, at least, I wasn’t traumatized by it like some reviewers.) Looking back at it now, I really wonder how I wasn’t. The temple is set in a haunted mansion located in creepy dark woods that’s guarded by werewolves, haunted by ghosts and hands that fall from the ceiling and grab you, built with hallways that twist upside down, and—oh yeah—the final boss is a ghost that rides in and out of spooky paintings! How was I not scared by this?

But perhaps what makes the temple all the more unsettling is the music. It really does sound like music you would hear wandering in a creepy woods at night. The rattles sound like rustling leaves and branches, and the woodwinds sound like a soft breeze rustling the trees above. And that creepy echoey sound in the middle, it sounds exactly like someone, or rather, something, calling out in the distance. The entire music invokes a sense of unsettling mystery, which in turn adds to the unsettling mystery of the dungeon. Really, what could possibly be a more fitting song to end this month on?