If You Knew This Sound You'd Be Cheering By Now
March 26, 2006
Quickly now, identify the video game from which this fanfare originates. Did you answer as soon as you heard the sound clip (or possibly even before it finished playing)? If you did then chances are you weren't at Nintendo's Game Developers Conference presentation last week. I say this because I've come across this video clip of people in the audience at the presentation watching the trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. The trailer opens with a nondescript door upon which someone uses the stylus to draw a symbol. When the symbol is complete, that glorious little "secret revealed" fanfare from every major Legend of Zelda game to date plays. Then Link appears and walks through the door. Then the scene changes to a shot of Link fighting in a field, and... watch the video carefully now... that's when people start to cheer.
I've been playing video games for just about twenty years now and I like to think I know my memorable sound effects and visuals. Last year at E3 during the Nintendo press conference there was a brief video in which a bunch of new games were revealed for the Nintendo DS. During that presentation a short clip of what would become Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time was displayed, and as soon as I saw Mario and Luigi doing their heroics in an RPG backdrop, I cheered because I recognized what was on display. I was the only one who cheered at that time, mind you. Three seconds later the crowd figured out what they were seeing and then celebrated. Listen to a recording of that conference and you may hear a lone "YEAH!" for the game; that'd be me.
So, my point is that we have a room full of game developers at the GDC presentation and yet apparently none of them recognized the supposedly-familiar Zelda jingle? I mean, this group that is supposed to be tuned into video games on such a deep level can't instantly identify a legendary recurring sound effect? Or the actual initial appearance of the famous Link? There's nothing particularly wrong with that; I just find it unusual considering the audience.