For many Link, Zelda, Ganon and the Kingdom of Hyrule represent the apex of gaming for the past 25 years and Nintendo plans on celebrating this with a series of new releases, new hardware and...concerts.
The opening of Nintendo’s E3 press conference was dedicated to the series with a full orchestra and choir playing as the audience was treated to a montage of clips from the various installations of the game from the past 25 years. Shigeru Miyamoto, whose walks in the hills around his home in Sonoboe, Japan as a child inspired the kingdom of Hyrule, took to the stage to detail what Nintendo is planning by way of celebration. First up will be the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening which will be the first title available in the eShop Virtual Console. The next announcement was the launch of Zelda 3D, the Ocarina of Time port which will be available to buy for the 3DS next weekend. On the DSi, the Four Swords episode will be coming as free download from September. And finally, but probably most importantly, Skyward Sword will launch for the Wii this Christmas.
And even more exciting news was the announcement of a special Wii Motion Plus controller being launched in conjunction with the Skyward Sword release. It will be a special edition golden controller but we are still awaiting pricing. The final part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations will be a series of concerts held around the world this autumn. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony concerts will be held “in each region” but specific dates and locations are not yet known. There will also be two music CDs released this year, the first is the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D official soundtrack and this will be a gift for those who first register the game with Club Nintendo – though how many free copies will be available is unknown. The second CD will coincide with the Skyward Sword release and be recordings of the orchestra performances.
It’s amazing how well Link and Zelda have aged these past 25 years and hopefully Miyamoto and the 200 people within Nintendo who have brought the series to life will continue to defy time and bring us more Zelda goodness for another 25 years.