Game music is, pleasingly, getting increased recognition and appreciation for its role in the industry. So many of our favourite experiences are enhanced and in part defined by the soundtrack, and we can see this in the love shown towards iconic tracks. Fan-made performances and arrangements are easy to find, and some of them do brilliant things with the source material.
One upcoming album that looks likely to do just that is 'Hyrule Highlands II' - it's the work of Tim de Man, a one-man Celtic and Folk band. The first album in this series is above and is fantastic, and for the follow up they've teamed up with ZREO: Second Quest, which helped with the new mixes and promotion. Hyrule Highlands II launches on Bandcamp on 24th May, where it can be purchased for $10USD or more, before dropping on all major streaming services on 7th June. Picking it up on Bandcamp gets you a "music video featuring Tim de Man, high-resolution front and rear cover art, wallpaper with and without logos in 6K resolution, mobile wallpaper, and a complimentary photo of Tim."
You can listen to two full tracks as a preview ('Ballad of the Goddess' and 'Deku Palace') below:
We like the Celtic / Folk twist of the arrangements, with ZREO: Second Quest adding some orchestration. As you can see in the video of the original album above, almost all of the instrumentation is the work of Tim de Man, a skilled musician who now devotes himself to his favourite game music.
A pianist and music teacher by education, Tim de Man is a Dutch game music composer and multi-instrumentalist. He plays piano, drums, accordion, guitars, mandolin, and tin whistle, and has a vocal range of more than 3 octaves. Tim finally embraced his passion for old-school melodic game music in 2016. After seeing the first Breath of the Wild trailer, Tim took the plunge into making YouTube videos. Since 2020, he's focused only on game music, both on his channel and in his composing practice.
Take a listen and let us know what you think in the comments!