The Legend of Zelda and Its Famous Soundtrack: a brief history of Great Fairy Fountain

Released in 1986 for the Japanese market by Miyamoto Shigeru, the designer of the already popular Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. series, The Legend of Zelda had seriously big boots to fill. Pushing the concept of open-ended gameplay, The Legend of Zelda quickly grew in popularity across the globe. 

About The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda follows a young commoner boy named Link whose sole mission is to save a princess from the evil Ganon. Set in the declined kingdom of Hyrule, The Legend of Zelda is a tale of good vs evil. Employing both mythical and magical themes, The Legend of Zelda is something of a fairy-tale in game form. As gamers explore mythical lands and allegorical pathways, Great Fairy Fountain helps to conjure a fantastic world where gamers are lost in a fabled world that’s far beyond the reach of reality. 

The history of Great Fairy Fountain

The Legend of Zelda is a much-loved video game with fans all around the world. As gamers continued to play The Legend of Zelda, they quickly grew to love a special composition that now holds a special place in the hearts of gamers everywhere: Great Fairy Fountain.

Composed by the famous Koji Kondo who is best known for composing music for both Mario and Zelda, Great Fairy Fountain is steadfastly popular in its many forms. With variations and changes with each new release of The Legend of Zelda, Great Fairy Fountain is a much-loved piece of music that continues to inspire gamers all over the world.

Despite its many variations, Great Fairy Fountain maintains its staccato melody and full harmony which complement the game’s overarching sense of adventure. So, without further ado, here’s a brief history of Great Fairy Fountain and how its changed over the past two decades.

Great Fairy Fountain

HWAoC Great Fairies Artwork
HWAoC Great Fairies Artwork

Great Fairy Fountain is a composition that is named after a series of destinations encountered in The Legend of Zelda. The place to go for upgraded playing abilities and loot exchange, each Great Fairy Fountain unlocks tiers and upgrades that enhance gameplay. Since the Great Fairy Fountains change slightly in each game, it’s only suited that the composition of the famous track varies too!

A Link to the Past: the original Great Fairy Fountain

Great Fairy Fountain first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, released in 1991. Gamers’ first experience of the composition was on the file select screen and when venturing inside one of many Fairy Fountains. Somewhat ethereal with repetitive harmonies, the original Great Fairy Fountain is simple and repetitive. Hear it for yourself – listen to the original version of Great Fairy Fountain here.

The Wind Waker: making progress

Two versions of Great Fairy Fountain appear in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002). The first and most memorable is Fairy Queen which is reminiscent of a magical carnival where fairies roam free. Somewhat different from the original Great Fairy Fountain, Fairy Queen is one of the most popular incarnations of the composition. I encourage you to make your own mind up by listening to the 2002 version here.

Minish Cap: a change in direction

The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap, released in 2004, takes a slight turn in direction with a fresh perspective on the original game’s narrative. With revitalized fairy characters that are based on insects – the Great Butterfly Fairy, the Great Dragonfly Fairy, and the Great Mayfly Fairy, Minish Cap’s version of Great Fairy Fountain is slower-paced and lends itself to the enhanced mythical layer of the game. You can listen to the 2004 version of Great Fairy Fountain here.

Phantom Hourglass: a synthetic symphony

Released in 2007 for Nintendo DS, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass adopts synthetic harmonies and muted notes that build a simultaneous sense of mystery and accomplishment. Encouraging gamers to continue on their path, Phantom Hourglass’ version of Great Fairy Fountain competes with Nintendo classic compositions including Mario Broshear for yourself.

A Link Between Worlds: a trio

The 2013 game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has a grand total of three Great Fairy Fountain versions. The most popular one – which you can listen to here – is faster in tempo than other versions of Great Fairy Fountain and features a unique harp that creates a mystical Jack and the Beanstalk-esque vibe.

Hyrule Warriors: action and adventure

Just like the weird and wonderful new narrative featured in The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors (2014), its version of Great Fairy Fountain is a little more unusual than previous compositions and stands out as one of the most memorable. Take a listen here.

Breath of the Wild: a wild take

The  Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released in 2017 with a totally refreshed version of Great Fairy Fountain. Accelerated to a surprisingly fast pace, Breath of the Wild’s version of the composition is in keeping with the wild and exciting game narrative. Step into the wild and wonderful world here.

The Future of Great Fairy Fountain

With yet another game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, set to release in 2023, I’m excited to see how Great Fairy Fountain develops and changes over time. A unique and fascinating composition with limitless potential, Great Fairy Fountain unites gamers everywhere through a passion for the mystical world of Zelda and its never-ending potential for fun. 

Learn Great Fairy Fountain for Guitar

Great Fairy Fountain is one of the best video game themes to learn to play on guitar. A beautiful melody that many are proud to accomplish, I’ve dedicated countless hours to perfecting a simple and effective video game tab along with comprehensive tips and tricks to mastering the composition. Click here to download the tab and learn to play one of the greatest video game themes of all time. Once you’ve mastered Great Fairy Fountain, I welcome you to browse my collection of premium video game tabs, where you’ll find other classics from The Legend of Zelda along with favorites from Mario Bros., Pokémon, and more.

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