Beginning with a full orchestra playing a new Zelda medley that mixed the series' signature theme with character pieces encompassing its main cast - adventurer Link, Princess Zelda and the villainous Ganon/Ganondorf, in sync with a montage video on the stage above, this was a very special recognition of Nintendo's other greatest series ever.
The montage worked its way through the original NES titles to the two newest games in the series hitting this year; the 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, out this month, and Skyward Sword, which is "finally completed" as confirmed Shigeru Miyamoto, who came on stage as the fanfare - revealed as Skyward Sword's principle theme - played out. The newest title in the series will be released before the end of the year.
The franchise creator (who crafted the explorative series invoking his own woodland adventures of childhood memory) marked the occasion by leading the orchestra through renditions of signature musical pieces heard throughout the series: the musical accompaniments that come with solving a puzzle, opening a treasure chest, or entering the hidden Fairy Fountains dotted throughout Hyrule. Miyamoto-san miming the actions as each was played.
He also announced that to celebrate the game's twenty-fifth year, there'd be a Zelda game released for each of the company's platforms. We knew about Ocarina 3D and Skyward Sword already, but the latter will see a special edition gold Wii Remote emblazoned with the Tri-Force symbol emblazoned on the front released alongside the game.
but he also announced that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, the Game Boy Color version of the handheld title, would be released that day on the 3DS Eshop as part of the Virtua Console selection. The game is available to download now, retailing at £5.40.
Additionally to this: come September, the multiplayer Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, which pits four Links joining forces (and fighting over Rupees) would be available as a FREE download to celebrate the anniversary.
He also went on to talk about the additions to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. The game will include Hint Movies for first time players (assumed to be similar to those seen in Mario Galaxy), and a remixed Master Quest for those wanted more of a challenge in their return to Hyrule.
And to mark the release of Skyward Sword and the series birthday this year, which will "deliver the most satisfying Zelda in the series," according to Shigeru, a series of special symphonic concerts will be held in each region around the world this winter. More news and details of that will likely surface closer to the time.
For those that are worried they'll miss out: don't be. Nintendo will release two soundtrack CDs. The first, out this fall, will be a recording of one of the symphonic concerts (either a live show or a studio version). The second is out sooner - a free soundtrack of Ocarina 3D new score, but will only be offered to those first few who register the game online through Nintendo's Club store.
The presentation ended with Miyamoto-san ushering on stage the key developers who'd worked alongside him on the franchise over the years. He thanked them for their important role, but also had one other thanks to give.
"More important are the fans - thank you." With that Shigeru and his staff bowed, and left the stage.