Legend of Zelda Audio Evolution

Timeline created by Sky115
  • The Legend of Zelda

    The Legend of Zelda
    The first Zelda game was released for Japan's Family Computer (NES) in 1986. Koji Kondo composed the game's score. His name will be common in this timeline as he has worked on many of the Zelda games. Sample rates on the NES were 4.2 kHz to 33.5 kHz. See Digital Pulse Code Modulation
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  • The Adventure of Link

    The Adventure of Link
    The second Zelda game was also made for the Family Computer. It was released in 1987 and the score of this game was composed by Akito Nakatsuka. The audio quality did not take a huge leap since the first game but it sounds like they may have taken advantage of the hardware a bit more.
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  • A Link to the Past

    A Link to the Past
    This was the first Zelda came to be released on the Super NES. With the machine upgrade obviously came a quality upgrade all around including audio. Like the first Zelda game, this one was composed by Koji Kondo. The Audio quality is quite a lot better, with many more layers and sounds that actually sound like instruments,
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  • Link's Awakening

    Link's Awakening
    In the case of Link's Awakening, we don't see an improvement in sound quality because it was made for the Nintendo Game Boy, which obviously sacrificed quality for portability like all handheld consoles do. The score composer was Kazumi Totaka, Minako Hamano, and Kozue Ishikawa. You will find that the music sounds more like the NES games than the SNES game.
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  • Ocarina of Time

    Ocarina of Time
    Ocarina of Time was another console leap, bringing Zelda to the N64. Koji Kondo composed the score again. The 64 bit processor and 48 kHz sampling rate gives us another noticable increase in audio quality and substance.
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  • Majora's Mask

    Majora's Mask
    Majora's Mask came out a couple years after Ocarina of Time, also on the N64. While the game required te 4MB expansion pack on the N64 to run, that was mostly for graphical improvements. Audio quality is very similar. This game's score was composed by Koji Kondo and Toru Minegishi.
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  • The Wind Waker

    The Wind Waker
    With the Nintendo Gamecube came The Wind Waker. The Gamecube sample rate is 48kHz like the N64 but the 64 channels lend themselves to yet more increases in audio complexity and quality. The score of this game was composed by Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi, and Koji Kondo.
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  • Four Swords Adventures

    Four Swords Adventures
    Four Swords Adventures was a cooporative multiplayer Zelda game for the Gamecube. The audio quality is nothing more exciting than The Wind Waker, and the score was composed by Koji Kondo and Asuka Ota.
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  • Twilight Princess

    Twilight Princess
    The next console to support Zelda games was the Nintendo Wii. As always with a console upgrade comes an audio upgrade, but it was really pretty decent on the Gamecube so it's not percievably much better. At some point with these you are going to reach a near-maximum quality and just be optimizing memory usage for audio. The score of this game was composed by Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota, and Koji Kondo.
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  • Skyward Sword

    Skyward Sword
    Skyward Sword is the second Zelda game for the Wii console. It seems to be a recurring theme that each console has two games, and as before there are not significant changes in the quality of audio between games on the same console. The score for this game was composed by Hajime Wakai, Shiho Fujii, Mahito Yokota, Takeshi Hama, and of course Koji Kondo.
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