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P-Vock's Music Box: The Land of the Dead

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Halloween is almost here, which means we only have a few more days to get spooky. There are so many wonderful spooky areas in games, so it's honestly tough to restrain myself and not ramble on about Halloweentown in Kingdom Hearts or Big Boo's Haunt in Mario 64. But instead, I can return to my all-time favourite franchise and talk about one of my favourite entries that is known for its more somber and intimidating atmosphere that just celebrated its 22-year North American release anniversary.

You got three days to stop the moon from crashing down and destroying the land. That's the gist of Majora's Mask and what a phenomenal set-up it is. It already affords the game to contain so much dark and emotional content as people have to literally deal with their inevitable deaths staring them down all hours of the day. Aiding this terrifying world is the phenomenal soundtrack. Have a listen:

The main field theme of Termina is honestly amazing. It starts off so upbeat, so inspirational, and so very Zelda. But, as quickly as you feel that sense of familiarity, it reminds you that this is not your average entry in this beloved series. Between the creepy xylophone, the somewhat odd instrumentation, and the completely insane tonal shift after about a minute, there's a reason this one stands out as a favourite among the fans of this series.

But, alright, that was a little too lively. Let's get real spooky.

Ikana Canyon is the land of the dead, filled with the lingering regrets and despair of those long past. So, it's only fitting that the music for the area would be equal parts ominous, foreboding, and depressing. While the melody isn't anywhere near as catchy as most of the other field themes in this series, I don't think any other field in the series (or the medium as a whole) really nails what the place is supposed to be as well as Ikana Canyon's. The creepy drums and strings mixed with the depressing vocals that seem like the lingering voices wailing in despair really give this place a vibe you can't get anywhere else.

But now, let's transition into a still spooky, but a little different vibe:

Such an ominous opening, only to transition into an absolute flippin' banger! You have that same creepy and sad vocal backing, but a certain level of determination with the incredible main melody that has been living rent-free in my head for decades. The addition of the ocarina is not only a wonderful way to tie it into one of the pinnacle mechanics of the N64 Zelda titles but offers up some of the most memorable notes in the series.

I look forward to the Stone Tower Temple every time I play this gem of a game, and the music is as much a reason why as the content of the dungeon itself.

I love Majora's Mask an unhealthy amount. It's a game that's so unique in this franchise that it seems like a miracle we ever got it. But I will not complain. It's unforgettable world, genuinely touching moments, ominous tone, and really insightful commentaries on mortality as well as how people comprehend that all come together to craft a work of art that is truly unique. If you can, please give this gem a shot. You will not be disappointed. Just, bring along a guide and some tissues.

Thank you as always for checking out my content. I'll catch you right back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

Stay Brutal!

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