Good things come in threes, including The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest which returned for a third time to Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre Friday night. Following the naming convention used in the series to identify a new adventure, this four-movement concert includes new songs with the unforgettable arrangements from previous performances. Packed full with fans of all ages, this musical experience brought the adventures and memories of the popular Legend of Zelda gaming franchise to life.
Prior to the doors opening, the audience, some in costume, crowded the theatre’s lobby. As in previous years, tour merchandise was available for purchase; a new shirt featuring the Skullkid and poster from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask along with music books for guitar and piano. I dropped the $35 for the t-shirt/poster combo, because why not?
An announcement indicated the doors to the theatre itself had opened and that it was time to be seated. The seats I’d purchased through Ticketmaster were in the dress circle and close to the west wall. What I didn’t expect was that we would have a clear view of the stage and screen; I’d half expected an obstructed view with the angle of the walls.
Opening with a montage of over 25 years of Zelda games, conductor Amy Andersson led the orchestra in recreating the world of Hyrule, with a little help from the giant screen flashing footage from the series. Following the overture, executive producer Jason Michael Paul appeared on stage to introduce a special video message from Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind the Legend of Zelda series. Speaking in Japanese with English subtitles, Miyamoto divulged some of the background behind the series’ legendary soundtrack.
Then it was into Gerudo Valley theme from Ocarina of Time with it’s upbeat and catchy tempo. Immediately after, we were treated to a medley of boss music: Mini-Boss and Dinosaur Boss Battles from Ocarina of Time, Molgera from The Wind Waker, Fraaz from Spirit Tracks, and Fyrus from Twilight Princess. It was beautiful to hear these adrenaline-raising scores!
With the opening notes of the Majora’s Mask introduction, the audience let loose with cheers and clapping. A popular title considering it’s recent re-release on the Nintendo 3DS, we enjoyed excerpts of the Clock Town theme, Majora’s Wrath, and Oath to Order songs. A quick transition took us into another handheld game: A Link Between Worlds with a composition of melodies of overworld.
After another brief word, this time from director Eiji Aonuma, it was back to Ocarina of Time, beginning with a classic — the creation of Hyrule by the hands of the goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore. An array of songs followed, including the opening title sequence, Zelda’s theme, Hyrule Field, Lost Woods, Sheik’s theme, and the climactic battles between Ganondorf and Ganon.
Thunderous applause filled the auditorium as the waves of the Great Sea lapped at the giant screen above the orchestra announcing The Wind Waker. As with the previous movement, compositions of many of the game’s vast musical library, notably the Great Sea, Outset Island, Tetra’s theme, Hyrule Castle and Ganondorf Battle. It brought back so many memories when I first played the game over a decade ago.
Once everyone returned to their seats and the houselights dimmed signalling the end of the intermission, the orchestra refreshed the fans with a beautiful rendition of the fairy’s fountain theme. Composer Koji Kondo appeared on screen to address the audience on his work for the franchise. As the screen faded out, the opening to Twilight Princess began to the delight of the crowd. A selection performed included Midna’s theme, Hyrule Field, Ganondorf Battle and Midna’s departure.
The final movement returned to a classic: A Link to the Past. Chills ran down my spine as Link raced to save Princess Zelda in the depths of Hyrule Castle. With Zelda’s theme, Agahnim Battle, the amazing Dark World overture, Ganon Battle and a Legend of Zelda medley that made for a memorable selection.
The orchestra revisited Majora’s Mask with the Song of Healing, Termina Field, Deku Palace, Song of Time and a reprise of Clock Town. Andersson then walked from the stage twice with the audience on their feet cheering, but returned to lead two encores; the first with Dragon Roost Island from The Wind Waker and then Ballad of the Goddesses from Skyward Sword.
For a third tour, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest did not disappoint, bringing new songs in with ones performed on previous tours. It’s a great mix of what brings the Legend of Zelda series to life — the heartwarming motifs of a particular character, to an exotic jingle welcoming you to an unexplored portion of the map, and aggressive battle theme to draw you closer to the fight. The orchestra and chorus really do bring the music from this amazing series to life. If The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest is in your town, be sure to grab some tickets and friends for a magical evening!