Last night, I attended the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. A 66-piece orchestra and 24-person choir performed many songs from various games in the Zelda series, as footage from the games was displayed on a large screen behind them.
Not only is it a performance of some great music, but it’s a trip down memory lane for Zelda fans–especially those who have been long-time fans of the series. This was my first time attending…but it won’t be the last.
An opening montage shows a bit of each game as the main Zelda theme is played. Subsequent segments focus on one game at a time. There are segments for Breath of the Wild, Majora’s Mask, Ocarina of Time, A Link Between Worlds, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, A Link to the Past, Skyward Sword, and…more. 😉
As you’d probably expect, I most enjoyed the segments with the games I knew best. The Link to the Past montage brought back lots of memories, and I also loved the cheerful Wind Waker compositions. But you don’t have to be a fan of each game to enjoy the performance.
The Ocarina of Time segment just before intermission was my favorite part of the event. It was amazing, and yet, it provided an example of how the Symphony of the Goddesses could be even better. After hearing the beautiful overworld theme over a montage of video clips from the game, we see the emotional goodbye between Link and Saria, when Link first leaves his village. Saria gives him his first ocarina, and reassures Link that they’ll always be friends. They are also shown years later, when Link returns after he has grown up.
After a trip across Hyrule Field, the Lost Woods theme (Saria’s Song) was played. I was in heaven. But before long, it shifted to battle music as Link fought Ganondorf. Link attacks, jumps to the platform, returns Ganondorf’s fire, shoots a light arrow, and on and on. It dragged on a bit, and virtually the entire final battle was shown. I felt too much emphasis was placed on boss fights with tense battle themes. I’d rather see that time spent exploring the various locales of the games.
Two of my favorite songs from Ocarina of Time are the Zora’s Domain theme and the Gerudo Valley theme. Those locations were not represented at all, musically or visually. Likewise for Lon Lon Ranch, where Link first meets Epona the horse. (Link and Epona are shown briefly jumping over the outer wall, but the interior of the ranch is not shown). These locations, and others, are rife with memorable moments and tunes that would evoke nostalgia even with short segments.
Maybe I’m just being greedy. Perhaps it’s not realistic to expect more than 3-4 songs from each game. But the show has potential to be even more powerful, more nostalgic, more emotional, and more amazing than it already is.
But even though they’re not going to play every song you know and love, the Symphony of the Goddesses is truly an amazing experience that every Zelda fan should attend at least once. I’ll be sure to check it out again the next time it comes to town. If you’re interested, check out the upcoming tour schedule.
Believe it or not, this was actually the first gaming-related event I’ve attended. I was expecting to see a lot of cosplayers, but I only saw a few. There were a couple of Links (with elf ears, of course), a Zelda wearing a fancy dress, and a (possibly confused) Mario. But the most amusing was this girl dressed up a Link (or possibly Linkle), who proudly carried around a stuffed chicken (Cucco). She was holding it up in the lobby like she just scored some treasure from a treasure chest. 😛
One last note: I was expecting to get a lot of StreetPass hits on my 3DS, since this was a Nintendo event, but I only got six. Oh well. On the bright side, it seems that they all had Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so I had six new homes to visit in the Happy Homes Showcase.