This year is the 25th anniversary of the Legend Of Zelda, and this week Nintendo had plenty of activities to celebrate this special occasion with its dedicated fans in the UK.
The first and most important was the Anniversary Symphony Concert which was held on the 25th October in London at the HMV Apollo. Here is my report from the event:
The second Nintendo announced the Symphony concert at their E3 presentation this year, I knew I would be going to it, no matter the cost, no matter when or where it was. Nothing was going to stop me from celebrating the 25th Anniversary of my favorite series of games. Four months later there I was, half an hour before the show was about to start, and the queues were already massive. Seeing so many Zelda fans in one place was truly an amazing experience, the atmosphere was good. Some Zelda fans were even handing out cards, urging people to show their support for Operation Moonfall.
At 18:40 the doors opened and we were finally allowed in, at this point the queue had grown even bigger, and was absolutely massive. On entering the Apollo there was Zelda merchandise shops selling limited edition posters and t-shirts, which sold very fast, considering every Zelda fan there probably wanted to buy some. The show didn’t actually start till 19:30, once everyone had been seated down. Eiji Aumona the current producer of the Legend of Zelda series came on to the stage, and thanked all Zelda fans for their years of support to the franchise. It was quite amazing to see such a legendary game producer standing just 20m in front of me. He then introduced the conductor of the symphony Eimear Noone, after telling us he hoped no one in the London concert would record the event like some of the American fans in Los Angeles had done.
The concert than began with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra playing the Hyrule Castle Theme. After the song, Eimear Noone, to everyone’s surprise, introduced Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams, onto the stage as the host for the concert. Zelda Williams then discussed how much the games had affected her life and how important they were to her. Here was the music list for the symphony concert:
- Hyrule Castle Theme
- Princess Zelda’s Theme
- The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement
- Ocarina Melody Suite
- Boss Battle Medley
- Kakariko Village – Twilight Princess Theme
- The Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Theme
- Ganondorf’s theme
- The Legend Of Zelda Selected Shorts Suite
- Gerudo Valley
- Hyrule Field From Ocarina of Time
- Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme
- Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement
- The Legend of Zelda Main Theme Medley
Once the main set list had been played and the tidal wave of applause had ended, Eimear Noone then introduced the audience to Koji Kondo, The Music Supervisor for the Legend of Zelda series, who after discussing how important music was to games and how the music made us feel a part of the game, played Grandma’s theme from the Wind Waker solo on a piano, it was quite a moving piece. After some more applause, Eiji Aumona returned to the stage once more, and began talking about Skyward Sword, and how its controls will help us feel like we are even more part of the Zelda world whilst playing. The orhcestra then proceeded to play the Skyward Sword Theme, the final song of the night.
The second Legend of Zelda event of the week was at the Gamecity festival in Nottingham on the 29th October, here is my report:
As soon as I found out it wouldn’t cost me much to get to Nottingham, and the fact they were giving out free Ocarinas, I jumped at the chance to attend this event. After a bus ride, a train ride and a bit of a walk, there I was at the Nottingham Gamecity festival. The description of the event implied that the entirety of the Old Market Square would be transformed into Hyrule Market, however when I got there, all I saw was this massive white tent at another massive queue. After 40min of queuing I was finally let in, given my ocarina, as well as a copy of ONM. The event was free at the end of the day, and to be honest for something that was free, they had indeed put a lot of effort into it, but the inside of the tent however looked nothing like Hyrule Market. I can see how some fans who may have had to spend quite a lot of money on getting there could have been annoyed, after all the site did say recreation of Hyrule Market, the picture below shows something quite different.
The event offered us a chance to play a demo of Skyward Sword, I played the flying demo, and the game does look gorgeous, but I spent the whole of my 5min allocated time trying to work out how to get the bird to rise higher than the bottom of the clouds, the controls were hard, but still, after watching the demos of the boss battle and dungeon, the game controls look like they were just fine. I guess it was just me. The event also offered face painting were they were painting the Majora’s Mask on people’s faces. There was also various TVs spread across the room playing Legend of Zelda 1 and 2, with Crossbow training on the main TV, I didn’t however see the tag team speed run of the games has had also been announced on their site. Next to each TV there was an amazing chalk drawing of various Zelda characters throughout the 25 years of the game series.
Overall I can see why some people may have been disappointed with the Gamecity Zelda event, especially after some people could have paid so much to get there. After the Zelda event, me and my friends headed off to the Robin Hood pageant which ironically turned out to be exactly what we wished from the Zelda event with our enormously high expectations, people discussing weaponry, a medieval theme, a bow and arrow shooting range. For a free event though Gamecity was good, it was just a shame it was miss-sold.
Now, how do I kill the next 20 days till Skyward Sword is released!