Zelda’s 25th Anniversary Symphony in London – Report

Last night (25 Oct 11) 3632 fans took the available seats at London’s Hammersmith Apollo for the London leg of the very limited Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony tour.  The London leg is one of only three of these initial symphonies, the other two took place in Tokyo and LA.

But before the event, Nintendo Scene orchestrated a series of competitions and a Streetpass event that would prove to ease the burden of streetpassing later on.


In the run up to the Zelda Symphony, we ran three ‘Like’ competitions on our Facebook page.  The last of these was for a green link hat, which was presented to the winner, Monika on her arrival at our pre-Symphony Streetpass meet.

We also ran a twitter and facebook retweet competition to win tickets to the Zelda Symphony.  The winners Sarah and Harley were presented with their tickets upon their arrival.

And finally, during the Streetpass meet we were running a Mii catching competition, in which, if you can prove you have all five of the attending Nintendo Scene writers Mii’s in your plaza, you could win an Insert Coin Clothing Zelda related t-shirt.  View the details here. The winner, who was announced tonight was Raza.


Streetpassing before, during and after the event was a ridiculously easy procedure.  I received 260 unique Mii hits in my plaza and I was clearing my Plaza down pretty regularly without the need to hit the puzzle swap or quest.  The hits slowed down from the Symphony’s interval, probably because people stopped clearing their Plaza down, which in turn stops their Mii being received by others.  Just to put this in perspective, over the entire three days of MCM I received 110 unique Streetpass hits, that’s not even half of what I received yesterday in seven hours.

While we were streetpassing and meeting our readers and competition winners, Nintendo Europe asked to interview us about the Zelda Symphony with their 3D camera, so look out for that as part of a Zelda report on your 3DS.  They also filmed, myself, Orla, Reeesy and Raza playing Four Swords in front of the Apollo, which started on the Zelda 25th Symphony sign and slowly panned on to our 3ds screens playing the game.

It was lovely to meet Harley our competition winner, who came in one of the best Link cosplay I’ve seen.  She didn’t expect to be going to the symphony and when she found out she had won, had to remake some of her outfit from scratch, just for the symphony.

And also Sarah, our ticket competition runner up, who has the best Pokémon tattoos on her feet ever.

@dudettecolette looked stunning in her Link inspired dress

Thank you to everyone who came to say hi to us.  It was a pleasure to meet and Streetpass with you and we hope you enjoyed the symphony.

The Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony

The Symphony itself was a thing of beauty.  As you can see from the photos The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the 24-strong Capital Voices choir looked impressive before they’d even started playing.

The Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma was first on the stage to introduce the Symphony to the audience and passed on his wishes for our enjoyment.  He introduced the conductor Eímear Noone who in turn introduced our guide for each quarter of the symphony, Zelda Williams.  Zelda flew over just to be part of the symphony.  She reported on her twitter that she wasn’t being paid for it, she just wanted to share it with us.  She told the audience during her final speech that Zelda had always been a big part of her life, especially during her childhood where she had been socially awkward and had used the games as a form of retreat.

The Symphony was divided in to two parts separated by a short interval.  The music covered was as follows:

Part I
Hyrule Castle Theme
Princess Zelda’s Theme
The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement
Ocarina Melody Suite
Boss Battle Medley
Kakariko Village – Twilight Princess Theme
The Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley

Part II
Ganondorf’s Theme
The Legend Of Zelda: Selected Shorts Suite
Gerudo Valley
Hyrule Field from Ocarina Of Time
Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme
Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement
The Legend Of Zelda Main Theme Medley

After the two parts Koji Kondo, the Zelda music composer played Grandma’s Theme from Wind Waker on the piano.  The orchestra finished with the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword theme as an encore after Eiji Aonuma closed with telling us about Skyward Sword, which will ship with a CD of the music from this Symphony.

After the Symphony, VIP ticket holders got to attend a special meet and greet using their VIP passes and limited edition Zelda lanyards as access cards.  They were all given a copy of December’s Edge, in which Skyward Sword scored 10/10, an Ocarina and a Zelda keyring.  They then got to meet Jeron Moore, the producer of the Zelda concert, Eímear Noone, the conductor and the beautiful Zelda Williams.

There was no sign of Koji Kondo or Eiji Aonuma at the meet and greet, leaving a lot of VIP ticket holders sore for the money that they had paid out and the time they had spent queuing at the end (two hours in one case).  I would loved to have met the two of them, but they are gaming legends and I expect to have to work slightly harder to earn a meet with them.

Orla, our News Editor had the following to say about the event:

Well, what can I say!  The biggest Nintendo event of the year has come and passed and has left many memories in my heart.  The electricity at the event was unreal, many fans gathering together, young and old, chatting excitedly about the event.  People were so nice, jumping into photos with you and talking with you as if they’d known you all their lives.

As for music, Gerudo Valley was definitely my favourite, that song has stuck with me since I first played it in its N64 days.  I was over the moon to hear it live at such an event.  A close second was Great Fairy’s Fountain, the harp was beautiful, and it was so hypnotic.  It all was spectacular, just those two stood out for me personally.

Stuart, Nintendo Scene’s founder thought the following:

The convergence of so many people from all parts of Europe to one location. A pilgrimage of the gaming age. Providing a point of focus and unification for Zelda fans. The London Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony provided the most amazing night possible for anyone who found a friend in the game’s series. As Zelda Williams put it, she found the game to be her own friend and world as a child. Like her, many of us grew up with the series too.

The sounds from all their midi personality, resonated through to full blown orchestral spectacular. Detail was added but the tunes were still the same. It brought back feelings and emotions that we all have had, that were just waiting to come alive again. This concert was more than just humming along to some cool gaming tunes. If you closed your eyes and let the visual performance flow over you, you would have been taken to another land. The power of this symphony was so captivating, you didn’t know whether to shout or cry. Before entering the Hammersmith Apollo I had an idea of the tunes I would like. But as a result of what I heard, it wouldn’t be justice to pick one. Every tune just had so much detail, untrapping each note and concisely noticing would be a quest in itself. I will get the Symphony disc on Skyward’s release. I could listen to this orchestra a millions times over. Thank you Nintendo for making it all that it is.

And Neil, our deputy Chief News Reporter concluded with:

Being a fan of the Zelda series has always been something I have enjoyed alone. After all, its’s very much a solitary gaming experience. So arriving at the Apollo to see thousands of likeminded fans was truly a special moment for me. The atmosphere was electric and the excitement of the fans was through the roof. I always knew the Zelda series was popular, but this event really brought home the fact that other people love it just as much as I do.

The show itself was everything I hoped it would be. With every track a new wave of nostalgia swept over me. Time after time I was taken back to happy times of my childhood. I had a grin from ear to ear throughout the entire show.
There are 25 years of history here, so obviously they couldn’t play everything (I would have loved to hear more of the Windmill Hut), but I thought the song choice were diverse enough and well thought out. Most of the main popular themes showed up.
The Highlights for me were definitely the Gerudo Valley theme, Great Fairy Fountain theme and Koji Kondo’s surprise piano rendition of Grandma’s Theme from Wind Waker which was amazing.

Combine that with some epic street passing and you have a night I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

There should be a full world tour in 2012, dates are yet to be announced, as are any full plans or details.  We’ll have to see.

Did you make it to any of the Zelda Symphonies?  What was your favourite piece of music?  How many Streetpass hits did you get?

What are you waiting for? Pre-order your copy of Limited Edition copy of Skyward Sword or Standard Edition now!

A great video made of the event by our friends over at Zelda Universe.

Our video of the queue moments before opening.

6 Responses to “Zelda’s 25th Anniversary Symphony in London – Report”
  1. Whow,… Seems like you got the best out of the event. A meeting with Zelda Williams! Great report. I am impressed with all the competitions. Awesome night in every way.


  2. ktx8 says:

    Was a truly amazing night, I hope everyone that went had a great time 🙂 It has got me even more excited for Skyward Sword than I already was!!


  3. Here’s the Nintendo Scene moment from the above video. Glad I put that T-Shirt on in the morning.


  4. Chai says:

    How the hell did I miss this?
    I read that there will be a 2012 tour in the US but not in London??


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