Last night my husband and I attended the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. I’m no stranger to video game symphonies, having attended Play! twice, Final Fantasy Dear Friends, and Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy. Each time I’m amazed at the diversity of the crowd. Of course there are cosplayers dressed up as their favorite characters—last night was no exception with a bevy of green-clad Links, and a smattering of Zeldas. Link’s loftwing from Skyward Sword even appeared and boisterous members of the crowd urged one of the Links to ride it (thankfully he did not attempt it). Aside from the die-hard gamers, were the die-hard symphony goers looking out of place (for once) next to the underdressed hoard.
This was the first symphony I attended since the Nintendo 3DS released. I expected to get a good number of people via streetpass, but the sheer volume of people with them was overwhelming. Every time I cleared ten people out of Mii Plaza ten more arrived. I was able to complete all of the special pink puzzle pieces and complete two panels. I had hoped to be able to play kid icarus with people at the symphony, but there really wasn’t much of an opportunity. Everyone was too engrossed in harvesting Miis. Nevertheless I got a ton of people playing Kid Icarus via streetpass.
The merchandise was somewhat disappointing. There wasn’t even a program. They only sold a poster and a t-shirt. It didn’t even look like a woman’s style t-shirt, so I declined waiting in the very, very, long line to get one and went back to collecting miis before the symphony began.
I must confess that while I enjoy Zelda games and have played most of them, I think I have only successfully completed the Minish Cap and thus am not quite as familiar with the music as I should be. I blame this on the fact that long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away a little girl got to the very last boss of the very first Legend of Zelda and her game glitched and wouldn’t let her fight Ganon. Although she did get quite far in the 3DS version Ocarina of Time before abandoning it…
The symphony began with a medley. The movie screen above the stage guided the audience through memorable moments from the series from the original Zelda through Skyward Sword. Every once in a while the game images stopped and the screen showed the performers. Although whoever controlled that camera seemed to show the orchestra willy nilly and sometimes the performers were sitting there waiting for their section.
This symphony was different from the others I’ve attended. This one had a major theme—the goddesses who created Hyrule. Whereas I’m used to a theme, I’m used to symphonies proceeding song by song. This one was arranged and had movements. Each movement focused on a specific game. Most of which were from the console games and not the handheld games (which I’m a little more familiar with). The games highlighted were Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, A Link to the Past, and Twilight Princess. I expected more from Skyward Sword, but it only showed up at the beginning. Majora’s Mask made a surprise appearance at the end of the concert, but you didn’t hear that from me.
Honestly they could have played the “area unlock” sound for two hours and I would have been happy, but instead they played songs about good and evil, light and darkness, and showed pictures of Link using a chicken as a hang glider.