Willow, on the NES was a game that I bought for a couple of reasons.
- I loved the movie.
- It was by Capcom, and they made Mega Man, so it must be awesome.
- There was a box label that said it was $10 off (but only after you bought one or two additional Capcom titles).
I hadn't heard much about the game aside from what I read in the November/December 1989 issue of Nintendo Power. So I bought the game (sadly found out that I didn't immediately get the the $10 discount) and played it. I was introduced to the game with this awesome intro movie sequence and amazing score.
(For those of you who never played Willow, it was like a combination of The Legend of Zelda, but you gained experience and could equip various swords, shields, armors and spells).
Now back to the music.
The composer/programmer for Willow was Haruji Fujita who also composed the music for Ghosts 'n Goblins, Gargyole's Quest, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and others. Basically, she knows her shit. Sadly, there isn't a whole lot of information about Haruji Fujita's compositions for Willow, so we'll just have to admire the music as is without any sub-context, which is perfectly fine as the music is awesome and stylistically varied.
The overworld music, which is probably the piece that's heard most often, is a great "We're going on an adventure!" theme:
The theme for Nockmaar Castle starts out as this beautiful medley then moves into a harpsichord/Baroque-esque that doesn't sound quite right, as if the music were trying to show you the glory that Nockmaar Castle once held before it fell into ruin and overrun by evil. And, for me at least, the music makes me a little uncomfortable, which is great because it's the last area of the game before you defeat General Kail and Bavmorda:
So that's my brief go around with some of the music from Capcom's 1990 NES release of Willow, which I would recommend playing, both for the music and because it's a really fun game. If you have a functioning NES, pick it up,otherwise download for an emulator. There's plenty of music (well, 15 additional tracks) that I didn't list here that are all equally as beautiful as what was written for the game and again, highly recommended.
Peck, Peck, Peckpeckpeckpeckpeck!