For how many years has this now-legendary piece of Zelda history been debated? For those who are unaware, there’s been a rumor floating around for a very long time regarding the music in the Fire Temple of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was switched from a live vocalized prayer chant in the initial run to a synth-pad vocal-less choir for all subsequent releases. No one has truly known the reason why…until now. It feels very odd to have closure, I’ll say that.
GameTrailers’ Pop-Fiction series has recently updated their original video on the infamous Fire “Muslim chanting” in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In their original analysis, GT managed to prove that the chanting was removed prior to release of the game (as opposed to coming from public outcry as many rumors stated), but were unable to figure out why.
Well, almost 14 years after release, the legend comes to a close. Nintendo has officially contacted GameTrailers with the story behind the chanting. What was its origin? Here’s the video in its entirety:
So there you have it! For those who don’t want to watch the video, here’s Nintendo’s basic email response to GT. The chanting was taken from an open sound library as opposed to composed in-house by Nintendo, and it is an Islamic prayer chant (as countless Muslim Zelda players have already pointed out). There was no public outcry - Nintendo only realized after initial release that it was a prayer chant, which conflicts directly with their “no real-life religious references” policy. In response, they replaced the track for all subsequent versions (second N64 runs, Gamecube, 3DS, etc).
So what do you think about this? Personally, I find the original chanting to sound (frankly) much cooler and atmospheric than the choir effects used to replace it. Comment away!