Posts in category: Editorials

Gossip Stone: How Involved Should the Monarchy be in a Zelda Game?

Portrait_chateau_hyrule_tww In most Legend of Zelda games, it’s given that Zelda is a princess and therefore a member of the ruling family. However, the rest of her lineage is rarely spoken of and almost never has a profound impact on the course of Link’s adventure. Sometimes Zelda has a brother, or the King makes an appearance, but usually the government just gets brushed under the rug. What if the monarchy had more of a hand in the direction of the games? What if laws were in place, orders were being given by the King, or the main conflict was a result of warring governments? More of a focus on the monarchy may be a nice change, a way to make Link’s plight less of a secret and more of a harrowing public ordeal.

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Piece of Heart: It’s Baptism… or Drowning

maxresdefault Welcome to the seventh 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 “If She Comes Up… It’s Baptism”. Basically, being submerged in water can represent a character’s rebirth. The Wind Waker in its entirety comes immediately to mind, leading into the lands that emerge to make up new Hyrule in Spirit Tracks.

 
Characters being dipped in water, getting soaked, or drowning also have significance. There’s a shocking amount of water in Zelda if you really think about it; there are lakes, bays, temples, oceans, fountains! A drenching or two is inevitable, so I’m going to take the plunge and analyze a few.

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Gossip Stone: Do Remakes Help Improve the Zelda Series?

wwwiiugpsep2013_616 Throughout the Zelda franchise’s history, Nintendo has found ways to port and update Zelda titles as new console have been brought to the market. However, not until recently have there been full-on revisions to particular installments. Since 2011, the Zelda series has seen three remakes; one on a home console, the other two on handheld. I’m going to analyze just how each of these titles have changed in comparison to their original versions and see how their releases might have impacted the Zelda series as a whole.

In this article I hope to justify the influence that these remakes have had on both the Zelda Nintendo EAD team’s game design mentality as well as on the perception of the growing fanbase. In a way I’m playing devil’s advocate, as even though I’m not the biggest consumer, or proponent, of remakes, I will reason out why they are for the betterment of the Zelda series.

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Unpacking A Link Between Worlds

a-link-between-worlds-artA Link Between Worlds was nigh on universally acclaimed upon its release. Critics praised the game for its focus on gameplay, its well designed dungeons, and the cavalcade of nostalgic references to its predecessor, A Link to the Past. In this article, I look at aspects of A Link Between Worlds that I found unique to the game, be it good or bad.

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Piece of Heart: Lost Boys and Evil Ploys

ftale Welcome to the sixth 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 “Hanseldee and Greteldum” so we’ll scour the Zelda series in search of parallels to fairy tales (oddly enough I found none alluding to Hansel and Gretel, nor Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, so I changed the title rather than be misleading).

The land of Hyrule connects with the real world when it takes a page from our favorite bedtime stories. A young boy clad in green with an unruly shadow and fairy companion, a girl who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to protect her family and homeland, fairies who aid a hero on his way to slay a dragon and wake a sleeping princess– The Legend of Zelda sounds like something straight out of Disney!

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Gossip Stone: What is the Appeal of Fishing in a Zelda Game?

twilight-princess-fishing I remember playing Wario Ware on the Wii and loving the Animal Crossing fishing challenge because it required minimal strategy, was quick, and my catch offered instant gratification when displayed. Contrary to this fast paced mini-game, fishing in The Legend of Zelda actually requires some skill and a level of patience, so it isn’t a surprise that I never really took to fishing in Zelda. Fishing appears in five Zelda titles now with its implementation in Majora’s Mask 3D, which caused me to wonder, what’s so great about fishing in a Zelda game?

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The Back Cover: Dragons and Bongos

Hello and welcome back to The Back Cover, the series that brings you all some insight to The Legend of Zelda franchise’s manga counterpart. For those of you who don’t know, there are ten manga books for the Zelda franchise, written by Akira Himekawa, covering eight of the main series titles. Reading about Link solve endless puzzles in various dungeons probably wouldn’t sell well, so the stories told in the manga series tend to differ from the video games, but still keep the plot of their respective game. With the release of Majora’s Mask 3D coming up very soon,  this is the perfect time to look at what the manga has to say about the origins of the haunted mask. Obviously, this article contains spoilers for the manga (though none for the game this time). Jump the link if you’d like to read more! Read more…

Gossip Stone: How Effective are Zelda Symbols for Brand Recognition?

tumblr_miondkI2Xc1s5i5sdo1_250 The triforce is an incredibly simple icon, just three triangles; it can be scribbled anywhere and it isn’t really associated with anything but The Legend of Zelda. Despite the symbol’s ability to creep its way into an astonishing amount of media outlets, does it do a good job of inciting interest in the series? Even popular phrases like “I am Error” and “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone” are fairly popular, but are they effective as slogans? From a business standpoint, a logo and a catchphrase are important, but they aren’t a major focus for the Zelda franchise.

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How Could There Be An Entire Seven-Game Timeline Based on Ganon Killing Link?! Maybe Link was TriForced to Lose!

350px-Ganon_Battle_ALTTPThe true timeline of the Legend of Zelda games is a debate as ancient as the games themselves.  The actual order of the games has been on many fans’ minds over the years. I myself am guilty of heavily mulling over the history of Hyrule, searching through the internet and the games themselves for answers.  Things were further complicated when Ocarina of Time was released and time travel was introduced.  It was not until the Wind Waker that we fully realized the effects of our time-traveling hero. Fortunately, Nintendo released Hyrule Historia to give us the definitive canonical version of the timeline of Hyrule. However, when I got my hands on Hyrule Historia for the first time, I did not get the answers I was expecting. To my surprise, and to the surprise of many other fans, the chronology was split into not two, but three timelines.  Even more surprising was that a large chunk of the timeline was based on an alternate reality where Ganon kills Link. Yet this was a fact I had a hard time coming to grips with.

Hit the jump to find out more.

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Piece of Heart: Marked for Greatness

Triforce-Hands Welcome to the fifth 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 weeks lesson is titled “Marked for Greatness” and we’ll be analyzing how distinctive markings, scars, deformities, and other oddities stand as indicators of a character’s importance.

One of the most obvious indicators would be the appearance of the triforce on a character’s hand, but any other quality that sets a character apart qualifies; If you’re a rare crimson Loftwing, the only male Gerudo, or a Kokiri missing a fairy then you’re marked for greatness, and I’ll tell you why that’s significant.

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Gossip Stone: Should the Four Sword Return?

Four-Swords-Adventures-Artwork As most Zelda fans know, Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures are not typical Zelda games. Neither contain an overworld, both are multiplayer, and wouldn’t you know Link splits into four. The emphasis on multiplayer mechanics in these games shifted focus away from compelling story lines which made them feel less welcome in the series. But, technology has come a long way since 2004 and we’ve yet to see another multiplayer Zelda. With the recent outcry for Vaati to return to the series, there is reason to cry for a return of the Four Sword.

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Piece of Heart: It’s Greek to Me

FotoFlexer_Animation Welcome to the fourth 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 Greek to Me” so we’ll be analyzing how the influence of Greek myths add depth and resonance to Zelda’s legend.

It’s shocking the amount of Greek influence in the Zelda series; from temples, to goddesses, to greedy men turned to gold! And Link is a regular Heracles to be sure.

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Piece of Heart: Acts of Vampires

FotoFlexer_Photoh Welcome to the third 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 weeks lesson is titled “Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires”, and believe it or not many of the enemies in Zelda are actually life-sucking creatures of the night.

Though they may not show up in mirrors, literary vampires are very easy monsters to spot– you won’t even need to Z-target!

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Gossip Stone: Are Recurring Tertiary Characters Becoming Stale?

tertiary It comes as no surprise that characters from The Legend of Zelda often make appearances in more than just one title, since most of Link’s adventures follow the same ancient prophecy. But aside from the core characters that are expected to return, many less important characters tend to pop up in multiple titles in one way or another as well. While they may be entertaining references for those players who recognize them, is the recycling of characters getting old?

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The Back Cover: A Witch’s Broom

Hello and welcome back to The Back Cover, the series that brings you all some insight to The Legend of Zelda franchise’s manga counterpart. For those of you who don’t know, there are ten manga books for the Zelda franchise, written by Akira Himekawa, covering eight of the main series titles. Reading about Link solve endless puzzles in various dungeons probably wouldn’t sell well, so the stories told in the manga series tend to differ from the video games, but still keep the plot of their respective game. Today we’ll be taking a look at Maple in Oracle of Seasons. Obviously, this article contains spoilers for the manga. Jump the link if you’d like to read more! Read more…