This Incredible Link’s Awakening Song Is Actually From Its Commercial

This Incredible Link’s Awakening Song Is Actually From Its Commercial
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Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s frequent hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-arse sounds they make. Today’s column is all about a reinvigorating classic that didn’t actually make it into the game it was used to promote.

Link’s Awakening is one of the greatest games in the Legend of Zelda franchise when it comes to music, and “Ballad of the Wind Fish” is its crowning jewel. It’s an instrumental part (no pun intended) of the handheld game, both in key gameplay moments and for purposes of storytelling, so when it came time to promote the Switch remake, Nintendo wisely chose to tempt fans with a reimagined version of the track featuring actual vocals.

I was already a huge Link’s Awakening fan, but this sealed the deal. The breathy vocals of Japanese folk musician Ichiko Aoba, the haunting etherealness of the piano melody…this song was made for me. I would listen to the brief snippet from the commercials on repeat. Luckily, the full track was eventually uploaded to the remake’s listing on the official Nintendo website, giving music channels the opportunity to reupload it for easy consumption.

Nintendo / Dystify Music (YouTube)

Nintendo also recorded “Ballad of the Wind Fish” with English and Korean vocals, and while both have the same wonderful qualities as the Japanese version, they don’t quite match up. Still, they’ve provided a nice change of pace during my long, looping sessions with the song.

Here’s the English-language version:

Nintendo / Dystify Music (YouTube)

And here’s with Korean vocals:

Nintendo / Dystify Music (YouTube)

While they may seem like shoe-ins for the credit sequence, these tracks never appeared in Link’s Awakening on the Switch. And strangely enough, the Japanese track has mysteriously disappeared from all Nintendo channels. The original TV spot can no longer be found on the company’s YouTube or Twitter feeds, and the full song has been removed from the official website.

Perhaps there was some sort of dispute between Nintendo and Ichiko Aoba. Maybe the rights were only for a limited period of time. Or maybe Nintendo is just being Nintendo about the whole thing. In any case, the odd disappearance only makes the song’s ghostly qualities all the more compelling.

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