Event Review | The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (MusiCube)

By David Lovato 17.04.2016 1

From the very beginning, music played an important role in the Legend of Zelda series, when a young Link played a flute to drain a lake and reveal a dungeon. Various songs have since become a staple of Link and Zelda's adventures, often opening pathways, waking ancient beings, or defeating foes, but even the game's non-participating music is among the strongest in the industry. Primarily written by Nintendo composer Koji Kondo, music was picked by him and his team, who turned to Jason Michael Paul, Inc., to launch a worldwide symphony tour.

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The show opens with a bang, as the symphony (in this case, the Kansas City Symphony) plays "Overture," a massive rendition of the series' main theme. Behind the musicians, footage from the games plays on a large screen, working its way from The Legend of Zelda up to more recent titles (even including the recent Tri Force Heroes). The rest of the night follows suit; the footage displayed on-screen is taken from various games and is perfectly synched to the music; rapid violin bows might be accompanied by frenetic slashes of Link's sword, for example. Link's triumphs aren't the only thing showcased here, as our favourite hero in green clothes sometimes falls victim to his enemies, and Link's humanity is reflected equally in the music being played. This footage is also used to tell the underlying stories, going so far as to hint at the trouble to come for Link following the events of Ocarina of Time with a quick tease of the titular Majora's Mask, a very nice touch put in for diehard fans.

Interspersed within this is footage of various musicians, some with big parts to play and others contributing on a smaller scale, though all of it equally important. Between some movements, videos appear of Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, and Koji Kondo, discussing the importance of music in the series. Miyamoto speaks of growth (with a fun titbit about how Nintendo had to develop NES hardware specifically to play music in The Legend of Zelda), Aonuma talks about far off lands, and Kondo describes his intentions of using music to evoke emotions and experiences in players. These three are some of the best at what they do, and it shows in the music: from the calm, serene "Prelude - The Creation of Hyrule" to the imposing "Boss Battle Medley," these tunes are sure to conjure images of the moments they accompanied, and the feelings players got when first experiencing them. Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and A Link to the Past each get their own medley movement, while the encore  (which the audience thunderously cheered for) covers Majora's Mask, "Dragon Roost Island," and Skyward Sword.

The music is balanced well, though the show's first half almost seems to overshadow its second; Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker have age-added fondness on top of their impeccable soundtracks, and while still fantastic, Twilight Princess and A Link to the Past have a harder time keeping up. The encore makes sure to close things on a high note, with a perfect performance of Majora's Mask's "Clock Town Theme" and Skyward Sword's "Ballad of the Goddesses," a tune likely to go down in Zelda history as one of the best.

At roughly two hours (including intermission), Symphony of the Goddesses is a spectacular event fans of The Legend of Zelda are sure to love. Between the game footage, famous tracks, messages from the series' creators, merch tables, and cosplayers, it's an experience Zelda fans can feel right at home in and keep with them forever—much like the games and the music we've come to love over the decades.

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I've been four times now (once each of the four seasons they've done) and it is simply a fantastic show. If you have the chance to go, you definitely should!

(The Pokemon Symphony was also fantastic)

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