One-Off: noun. Something occurring, done, or made only once.
For being relatively common, one-offs are rarely given any spotlight in the Zelda franchise. This is unfair; the importance of singular moments with different mechanics or a different tone from the rest of the game cannot be understated. From the Romani Ranch side quest in Majora’s Mask to The Sand Sea in Skyward Sword, I’m going to take a look at some of my favorite unique moments from the history of The Legend of Zelda and briefly show their importance in the game as a whole.
Nintendo hasn’t given us much in the way of new Zelda Wii U content aside from some promotional art and short clips we’ve all no doubt watched a hundred times over; we’ll have to wait until E3 before we get much of anything else. Those of us who’ve hungrily scrutinized the little we’ve been given probably noticed the curious notebook Link has on his person in a number of these promotions. With the mysterious book displayed so prominently in the most recently released artwork, and the Sheikah symbol that dons its cover appearing on Nintendo’s E3 website, I figure it’s about time for a little speculation.
Skyward Sword was a game focused on awakening and redemption, and Impa was one person whose personality and actions reflected the major growth of her character. As a young woman, Impa was intensely focused on the task assigned to her by the Goddess. But as the years ticked by, her demeanor changed to a much more relaxed and confident in both herself and those around her. Though she is still the same Impa she was during the Ancient Battle, the change in her is striking and the change she elicits in others is all the more. Hit the jump to read about the importance of old Impa and the legacy she leaves behind! (If you missed part one on young Impa, read it here.)
Protecting the mortal incarnation of the Goddess Hylia is a pretty big job, but one handled with the utmost grace in the capable hands of the very first Sheikah warrior– Impa, from Skyward Sword. Though she initially had a stern exterior and was very critical of Link, Impa turned out to be an extremely loyal and trusting individual with a heart of gold. It’s no secret that Impa is a flawed character, if she was perfect she wouldn’t be interesting, but the beauty of her appearance in Skyward Sword is that the players get to see her character develop over thousands of years. A selfless servant of the Goddess, Impa will do anything to make sure that Zelda stays safe and Demise stays sealed away. After the jump, get a glimpse at the motivations and carefully calculated actions that lead Impa to become the legendary Sheikah icon she is!
When thinking up editorials, my mind tends to stray towards the same games: The Wind Waker always seems like a good option, I always have something to say about Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess, and I never tire of talking about my personal favorite title in the series, A Link to the Past. I try to avoid repeating myself, but it keeps getting harder and harder to think of something fresh. So, when brainstorming for my latest editorial I thought that it would be fun to go completely outside of my comfort zone and talk about a game I hear little about, and what I hear is generally negative.
Welcome to the first installment in my new editorial series, Revisiting Phantom Hourglass. In this edition, I will be getting through the introduction of the game, up through the meeting with Astrid just before entering the Fire Temple.
In anticipation of the wonderful celebration of Halloween, I have been watching copious amounts of classic horror films– mainly The Omen, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and my personal favorite, the Michael Myers’ Halloween series. With all the frights I’ve been experiencing, I’ve pretty much got the cheesy-horror-formula and tropes down pat. That being said, I figured why not see if I could merge my two great loves and fit The Legend of Zelda series into the confines of a scary movie? To see how I’d turn our beloved series into a behowling thriller, hit the jump!
In games like Ocarina of Time, designating a specific element to each dungeon made perfect sense because each corresponded to a Sage of said element. In many Zelda games a similar pattern is followed, either by having the player collect element specific items within the temples or placing them in provinces that bear the same elemental traits as the dungeon residing in it. This made receiving and using specific weapons in each temple viable, but with a new age of nonlinear open world Zelda games dawning, can and should this gimmick remain a staple of the series?
Dreams are typically joyful escapes from reality, journeys into worlds with limitless potential and lifted restrictions. Most people would jump at the chance to live in a dream, but that apparent freedom we as humans find in our dips into the surreal turn to enchaining and stagnant nightmares when there’s no way out. When stuck in one place without the possibility of growth nor fulfillment, one would likely go insane and just give up. But Marin isn’t one to conform. Trapped on the island of Koholint like an evergreen in a snow globe, this girl remained vivacious in the face of confinement. She was always encouraging to those around her and expressive through music and her fixation on flight. But above all, she was hopeful. Let’s further examine the significance of our precious seagull without wings: Marin.
As most gamers already know, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away last Sunday. For those of us who may not know how to express our grief over this loss, a good idea would be to put your thoughts down in writing. Tokyo Otaku Mode is sending fan messages of thanks, farewell, and support concerning Iwata’s passing to Nintendo and to Iwata’s family members. All you have to do to be a part of this is add your message to the comments on Tokyo Otaku Mode’s Facebook post, here.
Akira Himekawa, creator of many official Legend of Zelda mangas has contributed heartwarming artwork to honor Iwata’s memory. Accordingly, you may also contribute original artwork with your message. Messages will be accepted until July 20th at 11:59 am PDT. To read specific procedures and see Himekawa’s full tribute artwork, hit the jump!
Zone Watts over at The Zone Game has published an article about customization in the world of Zelda. It is rather obvious that while Nintendo wishes to immerse players in each new iteration of Hyrule, they don’t seem to like changing their main character. Link is sort of overdue for customization, considering how much Nintendo talks about making their fans feel like they themselves are a part of the game. Zone discusses this problem, and addresses how we should be able to choose how Link looks and acts to the level of the upcoming Fallout 4.
Check out some bits from the article after the jump! Read more…
While there are many different types of Zelda musical renditions, (orchestral, acapella, synthesizer) my favorites as of late are the electronic remixes. Youtube remixer nOkbient released two different Zelda mixes this past week, pulling songs and sounds from throughout the series and skillfully mashing them together into these electronic beauties. The first focuses primarily on manipulating the Song of Storms and does so charmingly, the second is composed around the Dungeon Theme from the original Legend of Zelda. These remixes were tastefully done, there’s a great variety to the pieces and they never get overly noisy. Listen to nOkbient’s jam-worthy compositions after the jump!
In the fantasy world of Hyrule, not much concedes to the restrictions of reality. But with Zelda Wii U’s shift into open world gaming, it wouldn’t be unthinkable for a more real economy to present itself. Modern open world games are sometimes more realistic than what the Legend of Zelda is used to, and adapting the series to fit around a true economy is one way for it to be more realistic without damaging the integrity of its fantasy elements. Fluctuating item pricing and availability due to supply and demand or the socioeconomic state of a shop’s location could add more structure to the economy.
Though this may change the usual abundance of rupees in Hyrule, it could also allow for Link’s different interactions to improve his chances of earning money or paying lower prices.
Once again The Legend of Zelda series has proven its prestige in the Nintendo community by landing both of its current Wii U titles on Nintendo UK’s “Top 10 Wii U Games” list. In May, Nintendo UK asked fans on Twitter what their favorite Wii U games were, and Zelda fans new and old made their choices known. In the end, The Wind Waker HD took fourth place and Hyrule Warriors snagged the third place spot. Seeing as the Zelda games were only bested by Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, third and fourth place is impressive indeed. To see the rest of the list and Nintendo UK’s favorite Zelda tweets, hit the jump!
Welcome to the twelfth and final installment of Piece of Heart, where we look at The Legend of Zelda series through the eyes of a literary professor and examine how its literary elements enhance the gaming experience. This week’s lesson is titled “It’s Never Just Heart Disease… And Rarely Just Illness.” We’re going to take a step away from the weather in setting, to look at the weather in one’s soul. A disease of the heart is almost always caused by emotional or social decay, and all illnesses in literature harbor underlying meditations on character or society.
Illnesses are rarely named in Zelda, though they’re usually caused by a curse or something of that sort. However, we’ve had antagonists die from shots through the heart, and we’ve even had a case of amnesia. So let’s pick apart the symptoms that our dear characters exhibit, and make informed literary diagnoses!
Welcome to the eleventh installment of Piece of Heart, where we look at The Legend of Zelda series through the eyes of a literary professor and examine how its literary elements enhance the gaming experience. This week’s lesson is titled “…So Does Season.” Similar to geography, the season during which a game takes place has a profound affect on the overall theme of the adventure. For instance, Winter usually denotes death and hopelessness, so the despair surrounding Queen Rutela’s death and the disappearance of her only heir was elevated in Twilight Princess by the temporary winter of the then-frozen Zora’s Domain (here we can see how geography and season act hand-in-hand).
Of course Spring, Summer, and Autumn are also host to their own emotional and physical associations. The season in a Zelda title can greatly reflect the mood of the game, and knowing how to spot these seasonal patterns will further aggrandize the game’s plot.