Best Legend of Zelda Dungeon Music (From All Games)

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Few franchises require almost no gaming experience to recognize.

The Legend of Zelda series has long been one such title. While not everyone knows the complex storylines(or even which character is Zelda…), the games have been a household name for years.

Most people can recognize bits of the game without having ever played it.

Things like the triforce or even phrases like “It’s dangerous to go alone” are universally understood as Zelda things. Why is the game so popular though? That’s a question you hear only from someone who has never played them.

The games have intricate storylines, endearing characters, and breathtaking settings which have getting increasingly impressive as technology allows it. (I mean Breath of the Wild is a literal work of art.)

Arguably the dungeons are some of the most memorable parts of the game as they are the site of the majority of puzzles and boss battles.

To really add to the atmosphere of suspense and urgency, these dungeons are accompanied with anxiety inducing tracks, a handful of which I want to rank and share in this post!

The franchise has come a long way since its debut in 1986 and with over twenty titles to date, there are a lot of things to go through.

20. Palace (Zelda 2: Adventures of Link)

I love my retro stuff as much as the next gamer. And a lot of the classic Zelda soundtracks have exactly what you’re looking for in old school style.

Being able to come up with a catchy and emotionally evoking song was a lot harder back in the day when designers were limited by the consoles (or computers).

This song is fun -fast paced, gets you ready for danger, and fit the whole atmosphere of the dungeons of the game(excluding the final one which had a special theme).

Monsters coming at all corners and a lot of enemies with projectiles matched the song nicely.


19. The Earth Temple (Wind Waker)

A medieval Nintendo game is the last place where I would expect to hear a digeridoo.

Yet it seems developers got a little inspiration from the land down under when trying to figure out exactly how to score this temple.

Totally gives off the whole Indiana Jones vibe where you feel like you are going to be taken away by a pack of savages who are itching to redecorate their home with your remains.


18. Snowpeak Ruins (Twilight Princess)

I say it in pretty much all of the list I make about songs, but I do have a soft spot for tracks games choose for wintery settings.

Even when they are supposed to be warning you of danger, they still have this nice little relaxing element to them.

It just might be the bias of all the snow and that old mansion-esque setting, but I get some definite nutcracker princess vibes. Especially when the flute is interrupted by that fast paced chime.


17. Ancient Cistern (Skyward Sword)

This song is straight from my nightmares.

Unlike the other songs which are more directly, in your face scary, this uses the more indirect approach.

Much like horror movies that use dolls or creepy young children. If I had to describe it, I would think it is just a regular background song playing, then someone decided to open up a broken music box and just went with it.

If the music wasn’t there I really wouldn’t think anything else about this place at first glance -not where I’d plan on fighting giant spiders.

It goes from innocent to a tad foreboding. This is an excellent example where music changes the entire context of the game.


16. Forest Temple (Ocarina of Time)

If you are looking for a song that makes you feel like you’re walking blindly through some abandoned ruins you just happened upon -this is your jam.

I like the fast paced music going on in the background. Almost mimicking weird echoy sounds or wooden windchimes.

While I may not be musically gifted (or cultured enough) to identify the instruments that are being used, I can say that this is a song that really stands out and instigates your sense of wonder.

Instead of making me feel fearful or ready to fight I am just ready to explore in a less defensive manner than normal.


15. Wind Temple (Wind Waker)

If anyone else went through that phase where you obsessed over those dark fan-made vocaloid video, you know exactly why I like this song.

The slow and depressing beat makes it the perfect background for any rather empty scene where you can expect a boss to appear from.

It also had some contrasting cheerful parts that I find rather distinct for this cave. This really helped separate it from a lot of the other soundtracks that have some overlapping components.


14. Turtle Rock (A link Between Worlds)

This lava themed area got a rather exotic song.

The novel use of instruments and the way the song builds up really fit in with the lava atmosphere.

There is also something weirdly appropriate about how this song fits in with a game where you spend some time as an ancient drawing on the wall.


13. Dark World Dungeon (A Link to the Past)

Now this fast paced and quick climax 8-bit song is a favorite among a long of retro gamers. I mean, who could forget ALTTP?

For such an old BGM track it really paints the picture of a creepy dungeon you have to hurry through, and without the use of more intense instruments.

As with the older titles which often reused tracks, this was played at several points throughout the game.

Still it managed to remain entertaining and never lost its mojo when it comes to psyching you out.


12. Divine Beast Vah Ruta (Breath of the Wild)

Pianos are one of my favorite instruments in existence and I love when they manage to make it into gaming tracks.

As I said earlier, I found Breath of the Wild to be a complete work of art. From the scenery to the music, it is hard to find anything to criticize about its aesthetics. And its gameplay and storyline definitely earned its impressive ratings.

This gorgeous song is one of the many examples on how LoZ has managed to make such a dangerous and suspenseful moment be so beautiful at the same time.


11. Inside the Deku Tree (Ocarina of Time)

For many, Ocarina of Time really marks their true introduction or devotion to the Legend of Zelda series.

The Deku tree is one of the earlier(and more memorable) moments as you get excited to head out on your first quest.

This fun song always elicits feelings of nostalgia when I hear it. Although it sounds suspiciously like the Cats trailer at some points, I don’t think anything could ruin this song for me.


10. Palace of Twilight (Twilight Princess)

Here’s a song can only be described as beautiful.

Even though there are some alerting undertones, I still would not find this piece out of place at a ballet performance.

The consistent mystic background tone is captivating, but doesn’t take away from the space-like notes playing slowly over it.

This matches perfectly with the overall atmosphere of the game which has a rather quiet and earthy color scheme and intricate character designs.


9. Great Bay Temple (Majora’s Mask)

Unlike a lot of the contenders on this list, this song was rather minimalistic. And not due to limitations on the console or anything like that.

The entire game had some unique and super creepy sounds that utilized some distinct instruments and methods to really lay on that disturbing ambiance.

This reminds me of those artsy alternative pieces that plays while someone does an interpretive dance at an expensive exhibition that everyone pretends to understand.


8. Tower of Gods (The Wind Waker)

This epic track really makes you feel like you are on a quest to face some almighty mythical deities.

Not to mention this dungeon is a giant pillar in the middle of the water.

The mix of organ keys and a wide assortment of bells makes this track worthy as background music for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I can’t help but to feel motivated and important with this song going in the background.


7. Pirates’ Fortress (Majora’s Mask)

What I like about this song is the depressing rhythm in the background.

Rather than make you feel like you have a mystery to solve, this song makes you feel more like it’s completely hopeless.

The trumpets and drums are reminiscent of old-timey war music, or even just the theme song to you getting pushed off a plank.

The hopelessness that this song forces into you really goes to show how a piece of music can change the entire feeling of an area.


6. Labyrinth Theme (The Legend of Zelda)

While I never really played this game until after I had a go at the 64 titles, I have to appreciate the nostalgia factors of this game.

It really has a retro feel to it and even though I didn’t play this game in my childhood, it still throws me back into a state of nostalgia(that I didn’t have?).

It is exactly what you would expect from creepy dungeon music from games in the late 80s/early 90s.


5. Shadow Temple (Ocarina of Time)

The shadow temple was arguably the creepiest location in the Ocarina of Time.

You literally enter from the back of a graveyard only after you played a song called Nocturne of Shadow.

The slow beat and weird howl-y chanting sounds almost sound like people giving off a weird scream. I remember having to turn down the TV as I played this part because I was not brave enough to overcome the anxiety.

To this day it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. In a good way.


4. Skyview Temple (Skyward Sword)

This song sounds like it was ripped out of some opera or tragic musical.

There is a lot of emotion, drama, and suspense put into this track.

It really makes you feel as though something is about to jump out and kill you at any moment -arguable the point of dungeon music.

With the creepy background and prominent flute it perfectly encapsulates what you should expect from the franchise.


3. Temple of Droplets (The Minish Cap)

Now I think this song is mysterious in a way that is a little more lighthearted than some of the other titles.

While the music isn’t cheerful, it is done in a way that is more whimsical than frightening.

It almost feels like the music that would play in the background of some child-geared horror film.

Ominous enough to let players know danger is coming without scaring them into thinking they are going to get mutilated any second. A happy medium, so to speak.


2. Hyrule Castle (Breath of the Wild)

I am a fan of Zelda and all, but this game was really exceptional. I feel like it really outshined a lot of its predecessors.

I loved this song and really felt as though it got you pumped up for victory when first hearing it.

Having the trademark Legend of Zelda theme mixed in cleverly in the background amidst all of the orchestra has that perfect nostalgia boost you need to up the enjoyment factor of an already amazing game.


1. Hyrule Castle (Twilight Princess)

Hyrule Castle is a reoccurring area of importance for nearly all of the Zelda games to date.

Being one of the final spots of particular importance, the songs are a great reflection of the atmosphere of the game in its entirely.

Each version is radically different from the others, but they are always in my top favorite tracks for each game.

I generally have a soft spot for nostalgia and ranking some of the more classic versions of songs higher on the list. I had to make an exception for this version because, well, just listen to it.

It is so gorgeous and mystical sounding. Makes me feel like I’m the princess.

I think the Zelda series has one of the few exceptions where the sequels can totally outshine the originals, still holding all due respect for the classic series that started it all.

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