Fans gathered in their thousands at London’s HMV Apollo in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda
Thousands of fans queued around the block for hours to witness the sellout performance of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony which took place on 25th October 2011 in London, UK. The excitement in the 3,600 capacity venue was palpable, as fans both young and old had travelled from across Europe to listen to orchestral arrangements hand-picked by Nintendo composer Mr Koji Kondo and his team from the iconic video game series. The world famous Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra took to the stage and was joined by a number of surprise guests throughout the evening including Nintendo’s Mr Eiji Aonuma and Mr Koji Kondo who have both played pivotal roles in the history of the series.
The evening began with an address from Mr Aonuma who has produced and directed many games within The Legend of Zelda series. As one of the most important creative forces behind the series his attendance at the event was met with rapturous applause from the fans. Mr Aonuma expressed his thanks for the fan support throughout the 25 year history of The Legend of Zelda series and introduced the thousands of fans in attendance to their conductor for the evening, Eimear Noone, who then lead the orchestra and fans on a magical journey through the musical history of the series.
Exclusive to the London performance, Zelda Williams, daughter of the award-winning Hollywood actor Robin Williams, acted as surprise guest and compere for the evening as she took to the stage to the delight of the packed house of fans. Delight erupted around the room when she revealed a Triforce logo on the back of her hand and explained how her father had named her after the legendary princess who features within the series. Zelda, who had never hosted an event of this scale before, also spoke movingly about her passion for The Legend of Zelda series whilst growing up and how much her namesake means to her.
The 70-piece orchestra was joined by The London Voices Choir to perform new arrangements including Hyrule Castle Theme, Ocarina Melody Suite and the Kakariko Village - Twilight Princess Theme, all of which were accompanied by classic video footage of The Legend of Zelda series. Each section of the orchestra performed solos using the Ocarina melodies written by Mr Kondo, and as a surprise encore, Mr Kondo himself took to the stage to thunderous applause to give a solo piano rendition of Grandma’s Theme from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
The emotion in the auditorium was high and energetic, as fans whooped and cheered, giving standing ovations to the orchestral performances, many of them having waited for hours outside the venue to hear the performance and some even dressed as Zelda and Link. Fans also flooded Twitter throughout the evening with comments such as “enchanting”, “beautiful” and “magical” to describe the event; many expressing their long-standing love of the series since its humble beginnings.
The finale of the performance was once again introduced by Mr Aonuma to much delight and emotion from the fans. He moved the thoughts of the audience on from the past 25 years of The Legend of Zelda series to the latest instalment, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. After discussing the upcoming release and its place in the series Mr Aonuma introduced a performance of the new theme for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Laurent Fischer, Managing Director, Marketing & PR at Nintendo of Europe, said: “We were blown away by the atmosphere, passion and excitement expressed by the fans. People travelled from across Europe and queued for hours, they were having a lot of fun and it truly was a magical evening. We see this as an absolutely fitting way to celebrate such an important anniversary – 25 years of The Legend of Zelda series – and the impending European launch of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on 18th November.”
"It was truly an honour and privilege bringing The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Orchestra Concert to London. It was an unforgettable experience and something we hope to do again in the future!" said producers Jason Michael Paul and Jeron Moore of Jason Michael Paul Productions, Inc.
Fans that missed out on attending the concert will be pleased to know that they will have the opportunity to get their hands on an exclusive CD featuring selected orchestral arrangements of iconic music spanning the history of the franchise that were performed as part of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony performances should they pre-order either the Limited Edition or Special Edition bundle* of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Nintendo 3DS owners will also have the chance to receive via SpotPass on Nintendo Video a special 3D video of The Legend of Zelda Main Theme Melody which was performed as part of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony performances. Keep an eye out as special 3D clips of Ballad of the Goddess from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Great Fairy's Fountain Theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past will also become available on Nintendo Video before the end of the year.
For more information about The Legend of Zelda visit www.thelegendofzelda.co.uk
For more information about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword visit www.nintendo.co.uk/skywardsword
*Stocks are limited and the limited edition bundle will mainly be available to fans who pre-order from GAME or Amazon. It is possible that part of the stock will be available at retail following the pre-order period. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword can be pre-ordered with or without a Wii Remote Plus, but players will need either a Wii Remote Plus, or Wii Remote and Wii MotionPlus accessory to play.