Thanks to this episode of Gametrailer’s ‘Pop Fiction’ series on Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I am a little more enlightened on the “controversial” subject of Ocarina of Time’s Fire Temple music.
Very interesting, this censorship malarkey. As you might know, the original Fire Temple music with its distinctive atmospheric chanting was removed and replaced by a chant-less song in later versions of Ocarina of Time. Sounds pedestrian right? But hang on, the chanting sounds suspiciously like Muslim prayer. In fact, to be specific, the chant is a killer combo of the adhan, or call to prayer, and a line from the first surah or chapter of the Qur’an, Surah al-Fatihah. Now we all know, where there are Muslims controversy can’t be far behind. But, hang on. GameTrailer’s video offers proof that the original chant was actually borrowed from a sample library, so we know Nintendo didn’t record it themselves. It appears in several other games, including one pre-dating Ocarina of Time. GT conclude that the Fire Temple music was remixed pre-release, so as to avoid potential controversy. Key word here being potential – there was no outcry.
Fast forward to today and Nintendo’s pre-emptive controversy-dodging policy is back in the news (how ironic). Continue reading