Posts in category: Editorials

The Women of Legend: Ilia

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Ilia-of-Ordon-201332733
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Ilia-of-Ordon-201332733

Courage. It is the defining ability of the Hero. It is what we seek as we quest to save the world. In most Zelda titles, the only person who possesses any kind of courage is our hero Link. Most of the citizens of Hyrule are shown as cowards, shirking responsibility for the comfort of ignorance. But there are a few characters whose courage shines as bright as the sun they were born under. One such being is Ilia, a gentle and loving, yet fierce, inhabitant of Ordon village during the Era of Twilight. Join me as we take a stroll through Ilia’s story, and glance at just how much of a Hero she truly is.

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Piece of Heart: Heartaches and Sick Days

hs 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!

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What If The Latest Puzzle & Dragons Included A Special Zelda Edition

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 7.28.31 PMPuzzle & Dragons (Pazuru Ando Doragonzu in Japan) started life as a free-to-play mobile game released in 2012 by Gungho Online Entertainment. The title is a puzzle game with strong RPG elements where you have to battle monsters, solve puzzles, and survive numerous dungeons. Do some of these elements sound familiar? The game released to much fanfare with numerous collaborations over the years in Japan. Now we see it make the jump to dedicated gaming devices with its release of Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Edition for the 3DS. The two games are being released as one, already having landed on other countries shores and next week in the U.S. on May 22.

But what if instead we had Puzzle & Dragons: The Legend of Zelda Edition? Head past the jump to see what it might be like!

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Piece of Heart: …So Does Season

11165827_1075087582519354_144673436_n 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.

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Piece of Heart: Geography Matters…

MMMap Welcome to the tenth 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 “Geography Matters…” The gist of it is that certain environments breed certain types of people– culturally, psychologically, financially, historically, and otherwise. Aside from general settings, specific geographical monuments also have significance.

The effect of geography is easy to see in the Zelda series, one simply has to look at the different races that have developed throughout Hyrule. And hey, if it hadn’t been for the odd customs of the Gerudo Tribe, the Prince of Darkness may not have turned out so dark.

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Making Zelda Work on Handhelds

ArticleLessonsLearnedFromLA-Link'sAwakeningThe Legend of Zelda has a long and storied past with mobile systems; indeed, the marriage of the two dates as far back as the series’ fourth game, Link’s Awakening.  In this article, I take a look at the design of portable Zelda games by comparing Link’s Awakening, the oldest, and A Link Between Worlds, the youngest, side by side.

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Piece of Heart: Flights of Fancy

maxresdefault (1) Welcome to the ninth 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 “Flights of Fancy”. This chapter could be wholly devoted to Skyward Sword since the name itself implies a departure from land, but instead we’ll examine literal, figurative, and ironic instances of flight that occur throughout the Zelda series.

The Legend of Zelda has a great variety of aerial crafts; from loftwings, to warp tunes, to cuccos, to canons, to carpets, to feathers, to broomsticks, and everything in between! And while the mode of flight is important, whether or not it’s a bumpy ride makes all the difference.

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Piece of Heart: It’s All Political

unclesamLink Welcome to the eighth 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 All Politics”. While I don’t think that any Zelda game was created as an analogy for a real-world political situation, it does usually surround war and the dangers of a power-hungry government.

This lesson argues that no piece of literature is devoid of political bias, because every author has a personal political preference that is likely to present itself in that author’s works. Likewise, every person who has ever had a hand in creating a Zelda game has left his or her political footprint on it, it’s just a matter of spotting the tracks.

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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…