E3 2014 has been and gone. The lights have dimmed, the smoke has cleared, and Yves Guillemot has, presumably, gone back to his full time job preventing Michel Ancel from making Beyond Good & Evil 2. But what about us? What do we, the humble consumers, do now? The only thing we can do; bask in the glory and promise of all those beautiful trailers. I say ‘all’, but let’s be straight here, there’s really only one that anyone cared about.
The Legend of Zelda is pretty much as high up as gaming royalty gets and the official reveal for Zelda Wii U caused hysteria in the gaming community the likes of which Solid Snake could only dream of. With everyone still reeling from that trailer, what better time to finally check this absolutely essential franchise off my High Score list?
Like Final Fantasy, Zelda has a heritage of its own and narrowing its innumerable musical tracks down to a playlist of 4 is no mean feat. I’m never going to please everyone so feel free to post your favorite tracks in the comments. Without further ado, let’s all revel in the work of Koji Kondo together.
Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement (25th Anniversary Symphony)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise, Nintendo held a concert where a full orchestra performed symphonies based on themes from the last three Zelda games, as well as some fan favorites. The entire album is worth listening to, but for me the it’s the Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement that steals the show.
Song of Healing (Majora’s Mask)
Koji Kondo loves his big, majestic, filmic numbers. That much is true, but he’s also got a wonderful ear for simple, haunting melodies that can get under your skin even on restrictive hardware with crummy sample rates. Song of Healing is one example of his status as a master not just of the sublime, but of the subtle too.
Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme (25th Anniversary Symphony)
Another cut from the 25th Anniversary show, no Zelda playlist is complete without this piece in at least one of its many incarnations. While each of them are special in their own way, there’s something truly mesmerizing about hearing it on actual live instruments.
The Legend of Zelda Overture (Symphony of the Goddesses)
What’s better than one piece of Zelda music? All of them. Or most of them anyway. The overture for the Symphony of the Goddesses show is a superb reminder, should you ever need it, of just why the music of Koji Kondo has resonated with so many people all over the world.
The Legend of Zelda is a staple for generations of gamers and it doesn’t look like the new kids on the block are going to feel any differently about it. Koji Kondo might be getting on in years, but he’s shown no signs of losing his touch so far and we’ve no reason to believe he will any time soon. All we can do now is wait. And watch that trailer. Over and over again.