When I first heard that we might be presenting The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, I think I leapt out of my chair and proclaimed that we HAD to do it! You see, I’ve loved video games for a very long time and the Zelda series is one of my all time favorites. Also, my dear husband Ted is a huge fan, and I knew he would love to see the concert. Over the weekend I sat down with Ted to do a quick interview to showcase our nerdy love for the series and get some insight as to what makes Zelda such a beloved title in the gaming universe.
Meredith: The Legend of Zelda series features many titles spanning over 25 years. What is your first Zelda memory?
Ted: I definitely remember the first Zelda on NES and how it was pretty noteworthy in that it was one of the only cartridges at the time that had a battery and could actually save your progress. So it was one of the first epic-feeling games I’d played since you actually stop at part of your adventure and then pick it up the next day. I think I was 5 or 6 when it came out. I remember being very envious of my cousins because they were so much better at it.
Meredith: Yeah we were pretty young when the first game debuted. Honestly I never gave it much thought – I was focused on Super Mario Bros. I do remember going to a friend’s house and watching her older brother play Zelda and thinking it was neat. Which is your favorite title of the series?
Ted: Zelda 3: A Link to the Past.
Meredith: 2 or 3? I thought A Link to the Past was the second one.
Ted: Nah, Zelda 2 was that weird side-scrolling/RPG one on the NES. A Link to the Past was on the Super Nintendo. The SNES was my favorite system and A Link to the Past was probably my favorite game on it. It just had a sense of scale that I’d never seen in a game, you’d run across stuff you couldn’t get to yet, but you knew something was over there and you just hadn’t achieved enough to get there…
Meredith: So it was the ultimate big adventure?
Ted: Yeah. Plus when it first came out I had to go to my cousin’s house to play, so it was fun to hang out with the ‘cool’ teenagers. I have a lot of great memories because of the game. What’s your favorite?
Meredith: Hands down Ocarina of Time. It was the first one I really put an effort into playing. I didn’t really give the other ones a chance because I thought it was too much of a “boy” series. The only reason I tried Ocarina was because I heard that you played an instrument in the game. I don’t recall a game before Ocarina that allowed you to play an instrument by assigning tones to the various buttons on your controller. I know Super Mario Bros. 3 had a “flute” but you didn’t really play it. I guess Ocarina appealed to the music geek in me, and then I quickly fell in love with the whole game and continued to play the other games in the series.
Ted: Yeah, that’s a good example of Nintendo’s emphasis on the significance of a game’s soundtrack. I think Zelda and Final Fantasy do the best job of creating a musical landscape that really enhances gameplay.
Meredith: I completely agree. What is your favorite musical moment from the series?
Ted: I know a lot of people would say it, but the Overworld theme is my favorite. It’s very energetic; it’s the music that sort of signals the start of your adventure. The Animal Village from Link’s Awakening is good too. Oh and the title music to Ocarina of Time was pretty awesome; hearing that for the first time Christmas morning of ’98 was pretty sweet.
Meredith: So basically too many to choose from?
Ted: Something like that. I think the music is a big part of the sense of adventure. Any epic has to have an appropriate soundtrack.
Meredith: Why do you think the gaming community has been so faithful to the franchise?
Ted: Nintendo is good at making characters with broad, lasting appeal. Compared to Sony or Microsoft a lot of the people gaming today grew up with these characters. Link has always been a voiceless perspective character that lets the player take on his identity in the game. Who doesn’t want to feel like they are the simple kid destined to be a hero that rescues the princess and saves the kingdom?
Meredith: And finally, why should people come to this concert?
Ted: Because Zelda games are usually such a singular experience and it’d be a shame not to share that appreciation with some like-minded people and to just see the broad spectrum of ages and people that love the franchise. We know the music is great; add that in with a great orchestra and I think everyone is in for a treat.
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