[RECAP] The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest at The Mann Center 9/25

"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"

Who doesn’t love Nintendo? Most random people you meet of the street would be able to hum a tune from Mario, Pokemon, maybe even Kirby, but the most elaborate and iconic musical scores from the House of M have to be belong to The Legend Of Zelda. The third in a series of orchestral concert tours dedicated to the aural beauty of Link’s heroic legacy, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest adventured into Philly on a gloriously chilly fall night this past Sunday, paying astounding sonic tribute to Miyamoto’s 30 year strong “Hyrule Fantasy”.

Conductor Kevin Zakresky led the 80 piece orchestra and chorus through the series’ history, from the 1987 NES original to last year’s 3DS Triforce Heroes, and all the sprawling adventure, cavernous exploration and grueling enemy encounters in between. The orchestra’s impressive musical prowess was timed perfectly with gameplay and cinema sequences representing each game, quickly recapping their basic plot structure, and dedicating time to both musical and visual reintroduction of series mainstays: the brave Link, noble Princess Zelda, mysterious Sheik and the dreaded Ganondorf.

Throughout the show, recorded messages from Nintendo legends: creator Shigeru Miyamoto, director Eiji Aonuma and composer Koji Kondo, would play to introduce each new sequence, adding an impressive layer of history and education to the proceedings. The visual element, prepared and sequenced by Mr. Kondo himself, and presented on a film size screen, was particularly impressive, especially when it came to showcasing recently HD remastered installments The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

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The overall presentation was thoroughly entertaining and affecting, standout sequences being the origin of the Goddesses and the Triforce from “The Ocarina of Time” and the medley dedicated to SNES masterpiece “A Link to the Past” The concert ended with several harrowing encores mixing various themes and visuals from each installment.

If I had one complaint it would be that one more short encore dedicated solely to the NES games from the series would have ended the night perfectly, though being left wanting more is never a bad thing. “Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link” may be the most universally reviled adventure in the series, but it’s music (the palace theme in particular) is some of my favorite in any game ever. It is a Nintendo game, after all.

Those very small nit picks aside, Symphony of the Goddesses was a stirring celebration of one of gaming’s most iconic and deservedly beloved franchises. It made me want to dust off the Zelda classics on my WiiU Hard Drive, and heightened my already fervent anticipation for the upcoming Breath of the Wild.


Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.

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