Friday, March 21, 2008

Making Music in Majora's Mask

As a friend of the blog proprietor, I will occasionally be making guest posts.

Since the N64 Zelda games had Ocarinas that you could play a variety of notes on, I decided to see how far I could take the concept. I've taken the first steps towards playing some actual songs on the Ocarina in Majora's Mask, and here are some of the things I've noticed:

* Notes are played on the A and C-arrow buttons, henceforth denoted as A, v, ^, <, and >, meaning A button, down C arrow, up C arrow, left C arrow, and right C arrow, respectively.

* The range of notes appears limited to a low C and a high E. This would correspond to third-finger G string and open E string on the violin.

* Notes can be raised a whole step by pushing the control stick all the way up while the note is played, and raised a half step by pushing the control stick up slightly. Pushing it down will lower the note. I'll be referring to these motions as full-up, half-up, half-down, and full-down.

* The speed at which notes can be played is somewhat limited. Even switching between buttons as rapidly as possible, you're only going to get Link to play so fast.

* Holding the control stick left and right appears to produce a trill/vibrato sound. More on this when I discover all the inner workings of it. The control stick can also be tilted diagonally to simultaneously trill and raise or lower a note.

All in all, I think the Zelda Ocarina has the potential to be a viable means of producing music. Although the range of notes you can play is smaller than what you'd get on a traditional instrument, the variations created by the control stick should suffice for a wide range of pieces.

While I work out how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, here's how to play a D Major scale:

Full-up A
Half-up v
Full-up v
Half-down ^

So there you have it: an introduction to playing on the Zelda Ocarina. You're not going to have Link busting out Caprice 24 anytime soon, but with enough patience, I think the Ocarina can be coerced into playing some legitimate pieces.

Next time: more scales, and a song or two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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