When Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild released on Nintendo Switch at the point of its launch, it was THE game to get. This was a Zelda game like no other, and an open-world game that few (at the time) could compare with because of its grand scale and nature. One thing though that really helped it get to the next level was the music. Now, Legend of Zelda has always had a great soundtrack, but this one felt different, and apparently, that was the point.
Because while doing an interview for the soundtracks release in Japan (translated by Nintendo Everything), composer Hajime Wakai revealed how he wanted to do something different for Breath of the Wild:
For a year I tried different types of music to go along with the battles and tried to include ways for the sound to interact with the gameplay itself. As an example let’s take the main piano theme. In the other Zelda games there have been other instruments, such as harps and ocarinas becoming key items during the game, so the main instruments I initially thought of were portable. It might be a little crazy but I also thought of a Dulcimer… “
But at its core, he wanted to make sounds and music that felt more “open world”:
But the idea with changing the usual Zelda score was to express this feeling of a large, open-world. So, I thought: isn’t it OK to use a large instrument that isn’t necessarily portable? In the end I decided on a piano, which hasn’t been used much in the series to date. But even though I thought there were lots of things about the piano that made it ideal, I was still anxious over some points, and I remember composing while worrying whether or not it would work at all.
Well, it did work, and Breath of the Wild is one of the best-selling games on Nintendo Switch.