The Legend of Zelda, Done Orchestra-Style
As with probably pretty much every guy my age, yes, I once had a Nintendo (one of the early ones, before all the extra letters got added in later versions). Okay, I didn’t have it, technically; my parents bought it for all three of us, my two brothers & I. And we played the crap out of that thing.
Sure, we’d had an Atari before that, and there’s still a fond place in my heart for Pac-Man and Defender (the latter of which I once spent a really long damn time getting an ultra-high score on; I took a picture of the TV and learned the hard way that the camera’s flash pretty much makes a CRT show up blank), but with the Nintendo, video games really had a point, y’know?
Suddenly, it wasn’t necessarily about getting a high score anymore, or even about playing for longer than anybody else on the block. Now it was about solving the game, figuring out the puzzles, and finding the weakness of whatever boss happened to be the toughest. I know the younger gamers of today are probably shrugging and saying, “yeah, and…?”, but it really was a paradigm shift back then; games became less tests of dexterity and stubbornness and more, well, tests of puzzle-solving skill and stubbornness.
And The Legend of Zelda was a big, big part of that, at least for me. When we got the game, I became absolutely obsessed, playing it over and over and over ’til I solved it…and then I solved it again and again. I freaking loved that game.
Granted, time moves on, and video games generally fell by the wayside for me (replaced by role-playing games for several years there, ’til college killed that for me), but Zelda stayed with me.
Part of the reason the game worked as well as it did was the music. While I can’t claim to be able to hum Koji Kondo‘s score off the top of my head, if you hummed it to me, I have no doubt I’d recognize it immediately. It’s ingrained in my subconscious mind, by this point.
Now, fast-forward to now for the cool part: Zelda is coming to the Houston Symphony, this week.
No, seriously; on Fri., July 6th & Sat., July 7th, the Symphony & the Houston Symphony Chorus (the vocal arm of the Symphony itself) will be performing something called The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, which will reportedly involve “dynamic and compelling video” (of the game, maybe? I dunno…) up on a big screen while the music plays.
Granted, this probably won’t appeal to everybody out there, but I happen to think it could be amazing to hear/see Zelda performed by a real-live orchestra, even though I’m decades away from having played any of the games.
Tickets start at $25, and I’m told other performances of the show elsewhere have sold out, so old-school gamer nerds, get yr tickets quick…