I am a little sad today. Do you want to know why I’m sad? I’m sad today because there is a Legend of Zelda orchestra concert tonight here in Dallas near where I live, and I can’t go. I asked to be put on the mailing list and notified when tickets would be on sale, and since I’ve been to concerts in Dallas before, I always get newsletters and emails, too. But I was not notified about the Zelda concert until after it was already sold out! I have a couple of friends who were not notified either, even though they signed up to be told as well. So it makes me think they had some sort of special ticket pre-sell and didn’t tell anyone. That happens sometimes, even though it shouldn’t.
Of course, it may be just as well that I can’t go to the Zelda concert. It’s on a Tuesday so it would be hard for me to get off work early and get down there, and it would be late when I got back. Plus, when I got Skyward Sword, it came with a CD of songs from another Zelda concert. And while I was glad to get that and some of the music on it was nice, it really wasn’t filled with songs I would’ve liked to have heard in concert form from a Zelda game. Of course, you know when you can’t go to something you want to go to, and you try and think of reasons to justify why you shouldn’t go anyway? I think that’s what I’m doing now. Because I still wish I could’ve gone to the Zelda concert and write a blog about it like I have done with video game concerts I’ve been to in the past.
But I’ve decided to make the best of the situation anyway. Have you ever watched a TV show geared toward little kids, like on Nick Jr., and the main characters can’t go to a circus or other exciting event because they’re too little/too poor/too far away? So the adults encourage the kids to use their imagination to pretend that they’re going instead? Well that’s what I’ve decided to do. You are all invited to my Pretend Zelda Orchestra Concert, and in this blog we’ll discuss what Zelda songs I would like to see in the lineup. So yeah, this is just a creative way to list my favorite Zelda music. But you all can humor me anyway, OK? I was in band in high school so I might get a little nerdy in the music department here, too.
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link: Palace Theme
Sorry fans, but Zelda 2 on the NES is probably my least favorite Zelda game. I prefer my Zeldas top down style. But I do have to admit, one of the songs in Zelda 2 is pretty nifty, and would be a great fit for the orchestra treatment. And that’s the palace theme when you enter one of the dungeons in the game. They even proved it would be a great orchestra sounding piece when they used it in Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl. So that’s how I would start out my pretend concert.
A Link to the Past Medley
The Zelda game on the SNES is one of my favorites, and walking out of the church and hearing the 16-bit orchestrated version of the Zelda theme for the first time is one of my most memorable gaming moments. But we’re not going to use the main Zelda theme in this medley. There’s actually a bunch of songs aside from that one that I’d like to hear an orchestra play from Link to the Past. First is the rousing Hyrule Castle theme. I’m glad they’ve continued to use that theme in other Zelda games like Wind Waker and Minish Cap. I also like all the low brass used in the Dark World theme (the main one, not the song they play on Death Mountain that sounds like Darth Vader’s theme). I played bass trombone in high school so I’m a bit partial to low brass. But strings and woodwinds would shine in the Lost Woods song, and I’d also add the ending theme because I like it.
Link’s Awakening: Ballad of the Wind Fish Small Ensemble
I’m actually surprised it took this long to have a Zelda concert, as all the games in the series have some kind of musical aspect to them. You have a musical instrument in every game, from the recorder flute in the first NES game all the way up to the harp in Skyward Sword. In fact, in my very favorite Zelda game, Link’s Awakening, your job was to collect eight instruments so you can play them to wake the Wind Fish. For this song, I would not have the whole orchestra play (at least not at first). For the Ballad of the Wind Fish, I would have a small ensemble of the eight instruments Link collects (granted, they may have to replace another horn with the Conch Horn). Sometimes a small ensemble is better, as it really brings out the sounds of each instrument. Less is more and all that.
Link’s Awakening Medley
I’m not sure if this would be a separate song or if it would follow the small ensemble before it right away, but it would be the full orchestra playing the rest of the songs I liked in Link’s Awakening. Yeah, I know one game is getting all the attention, but hey, it’s my favorite, so there! Anyway, the two songs for this medley would be Tal Tal Mountain Range and the Ending Theme.
I guess about this time we’d have an intermission, as all symphony concerts tend to have one. I know that there are lots of Zelda game songs missing from this concert, but I’m only picking the most memorable ones I liked. No songs from Oracle of Ages/Seasons, even though one of the dungeon songs was kind of catchy. Sorry Majora’s Mask fans, nothing from there either.
Ocarina of Time: Gerudo Valley Guitar Ensemble
While the orchestra is setting up after the intermission, I thought I’d do another small ensemble. On the Zelda CD, they did do an orchestrated version, but I think that the Gerudo Valley theme would sound better with just a few instruments, like Spanish guitars and such.
Twilight Princess: Hidden Village Guitar Ensemble
For me, there really weren’t many memorable songs from Twilight Princess. Except for one. There’s a hidden village you have to go through that reminded me of a Western ghost town. They also used it again for Link’s Crossbow Training. So I would have the ensemble from the previous song stay and play this one as well, as the two tunes are pretty similar.
Wind Waker Medley
There is actually a Wind Waker Medley on the Zelda orchestra CD, and I was pretty happy with it. It had the ship theme, Dragon’s Roost, and Title Theme, all ones I’d pick for my concert. So they can just do that one here.
Spirit Tracks Train Theme
The handheld Zeldas don’t get enough love. Which is a shame because they’re all fantastic. While riding around in a train cut down on some of the exploration aspects, I still really liked Spirit Tracks. It was like having your very own model toy train to play with, and having Zelda’s spirit along for the ride was fun, too. So in honor of that, I’d do an orchestrated version of the theme they play as you drive the train around. I think the train travelling around all the different environments would make a great Super Smash Bros. stage, too. What do you think?
Skyward Sword Medley
Even though Skyward Sword didn’t have that many memorable tunes, the flight theme and Goddess Ballad would sound great with an orchestra, I think. The Zelda CD did have Skyward Sword songs, and they were pretty decent.
Zelda Main Theme
And of course we would conclude my Pretend Zelda Concert with the main theme everyone knows and loves. How could you not? I’m not sure if it would be from a single game, like Link to the Past, or if it would have remixes of the theme found in other games like Link’s Awakening or Majora’s Mask, too. What do you think? In the comments section, let me know what you think of my concert lineup and tell me your favorite Zelda tunes.