To all Zelda Reorchestrated fans, both long-time and recent, and to all of those who have lurked as well:
First of all, the views that will be written here are my own. This post is in no way on behalf of the team, nor does it reflect their views (probably). Now that the disclaimers and crap are out-of-the-way, today, June 12, 2013, marks the final day of operation for ZREO. While the project has existed for roughly nine years now, I’ve had the honor of working with the team since 2007. Since then, the people on the team have changed a couple of times, but the team has always been an awesome team to work with. While I can’t speak for the rest of the team, personally, I think we have the best fans you could ask for. The support we received for Twilight Symphony was nothing short of incredible. When we released the completed Ocarina of Time album, well, I think the server crash speaks for itself. While we may not have had a full-house at our MAGFest panels (they were huge rooms anyway), getting to really see for the first time just how many people had heard of us and were fans is a day I don’t think I’ll soon forget (even if my camera battery did crap out five minutes into the first panel).
So, on this last day as my position of support staff, I thought I’d tell the full story of how I became involved with ZREO. I believe I’ve shared it here before, but I can’t recall when, let alone how much of it I did. As I previously mentioned, I started at ZREO in 2007, roughly in late December. Having finally gotten ahold of a Wii, I knew the first game I wanted for it: Twilight Princess. I was constantly playing the demo at GameStop, even though I had memorized it. Perhaps the second thing I fell in love with about the game after its story was its music, especially Boss Room Calm. If I could “get” any of the music from Twilight Princess, Boss Room Calm was at the top of my list. So, Google search time. That search led me to The Hylia, which was streaming the music from not just Twilight Princess, but all of the Zelda games. At the top of the page was a banner AD. I can’t remember exactly what it said now, but it was one for ZREO. Immediately, I bookmarked the site as one to come back to. Well, I did come back the next day… to find that the site was shutting down over some internal issues. Well, as it’s now obvious, ZREO did not shutdown in 2007. For lack of a better way to put it, it was in limbo for about three days (again, I forget now exactly how long it was). But when the site came back, I started getting engaged in the forums, on the site, and the live chat. FireGS, who at the time was the project’s head, took note and offered me a spot on the team. I accepted the offer, having no idea where my engagement with ZREO would take me.
Well, six years later, now I know where it took me, and I doubt I ever would’ve guessed any of it. The first time I actually met the team was in 2009, when we exhibited at VGXpo in Philadelphia. While I could only attend for a portion of one day, it was awesome finally getting to meet in person the people I had been working with online for the last two years. A year later, in 2010, I had the opportunity to attend New York Comic Con as a member of a press thanks to the position I took on at Gemakei, which I became a part of after they began hosting ZREO’s forums. I’ve been going to NYCC for three years now, the last two as an industry professional. In January of this year, I had the opportunity to attend another convention I had no idea what is was about as part of the ZREO staff. That convention was MAGFest, the most epic weekend I’ve ever had. So, yeah. In 2007, I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was getting myself in to, but I’m sure as hell glad I took the opportunity.
With that in mind, some of the amazing opportunities I’ve had over the last six years weren’t just thanks to the ZREO Team. No, they were made possible by a much larger group of people.
To every single fan of Zelda Reorchestrated, thank you for making a part of the last six years of my life possible.
Stephen J. Weber
Support Staff, Zelda Reorchestrated (December 2007 – June 12, 2013)