Editorials

1000px-Kokiri_ForestFew Zelda games, or games in general, have made as big of an impact on the world of gaming as Ocarina of Time. While all of the areas in this game are memorable, intriguing and challenging, none are more important than Kokiri Forest. This wooded village might seem like a wonderful place in which to live, especially since the game sets it up to be nothing short of an in-game utopia. However, the personal fairies and the lack of any real responsibilities cannot change the fact that Kokiri Forest would be a horrible place in which to live, especially for the Kokiri. Hit the jump to find out why!

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Princess_Zelda_(Oracle_of_Ages_and_Oracle_of_Seasons)Many people who have never played a Zelda game are confused about the name of the protagonist. It is true that it would have made more sense for Link’s name to be included in the title, however, Zelda has to be a pretty important character to have the game named after her, even though she is only seen less than half of the time in most of the games. Unfortunately, Zelda is rarely recognized as the brilliant, beautiful, complex character that she actually is. She is seen as just a normal princess who spends her time stuck in a castle, waiting for her turn to be rescued. At a glance, it would seem that she does fit into this princess stereotype, considering that most of the other female leads in video games are harsh, aggressive, women of war. But on closer inspection, it can be made clear that Zelda falls into neither category. Hit the jump to see why!

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Would You Rather: Edition XII

RabbitMarch 26th, 2014 by Rabbit

Would You Rather (compact)Welcome back to Would You Rather! This week we have another great match up for you to get into, but before we talk about that, lets take a minute to discuss the results of our last installment. After reviewing the comments it seems like more people were interested in having a fairy, as long as it wasn’t Navi or annoying in general. That said, I did see a lot of strongly opinionated posts about wanting a spirit companion instead because it is more supernatural and they could presumably have a wider variety of powers to share with you. All the answers I saw were great, and some of you used your posting names to add to the comedy of your choice, so well-played to everyone and remember that there are no wrong answers in this game. Hit the jump to check out the all new contest put together for your entertainment this week!

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Would You Rather: Edition XI

RabbitMarch 6th, 2014 by Rabbit

Would You Rather (block)After a brief respite I have returned to provide you with fun and impossible choices! Our last edition gave you a choice for pets in the real world that came straight out of classic and new Zelda tiles. From what I saw, you are all totally crazy and would love to have a murderous chicken from another dimension do your dirty work! But that’s okay, as we all know that Cuccos are awesome and need to be respected. Like pit bulls, people would walk to the other side of the street rather than pass you as you take your deceptively docile pet out for a stroll. This week has another match up for you and I’m excited for you to see it! Hit the jump to join the conversation!

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MetroidIf Eiji Aonuma is to be believed, the Zelda series as we know it will soon change. His promise to rethink the conventions of Zelda is a lofty one that won’t easily be fulfilled. After all, how does one go about reworking the formula of a series that is arguably as near perfection as it can get? With a lot of risk and potential reward on the line, Zelda will have to plant its feet firmly on new soil to avoid a costly stumble backward. But the next Zelda doesn’t necessarily have to break its own ground. It can seek aid from outside design influences as well.

An unmistakable landmark on the road to modern gaming, the Metroid series is an old dog that stands to teach the next Zelda a few tricks. The Metroid series’ impact on gaming is so profound that we often forget who to thank when new items, upgrades, or abilities grant access to previously locked areas in our favorite games. Not even Zelda remains untouched by Metroid’s timeless innovation. For example, many dungeons tease players with inaccessible paths before opening the way with a new item. That being said, Metroid still has much to contribute to Zelda’s classic design.

After the jump, find out why Metroid is a top candidate for inspiring future Zelda games! Read more…

13. The Legend of Zelda - Twilight PrincessThe Zelda series is loved by many for its adventurousness and compelling storylines. I doubt that anyone would argue with the statement that any one of Link’s numerous journeys can be called a quest. But what few know is that the concept of a quest is so prevalent in stories from all around the world that a set structure has been made which outlines the stages of the quest. The majority of the Zelda games fit perfectly into this pattern, but one of the ones which fits the outline most accurately is Twilight Princess. From the calling of the hero to the journey through the underworld, Twilight Princess is a perfect example of the quest as seen in video games. Hit the jump to find out just how precisely this game portrays the concept of the quest.

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How Could a Spinoff Featuring Lorule Work?

Colonel-MajoraFebruary 20th, 2014 by Colonel-Majora

A_Link_Between_Worlds_Prologue_(Part_1)With the reveal of Hyrule Warriors, it seems that Nintendo is fully willing to expand on the Zelda series’ success outside of the main series. This could mean more spinoffs in the future, but of course, spinoffs have to based on something. In terms of characters, venue, and possibilities of brand new material, A Link Between Worlds seems like the prime candidate for a great side-story.

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Is The Legend of Zelda a Literary Work?

AsaFebruary 17th, 2014 by Asa

Zelda book coverWhen someone, most likely your English professor, asks you to give an example of a literary work, what do you tell them? Do you respond with any of Shakespeare’s masterpieces? Do you say that any fictional, written work can be defined as “literature”? While the latter definition gives us a good place to start, what defines literature, especially in this day and age, is not so black and white. Hit the jump to see why I include not only Zelda, but also video games as a whole, in my definition of literature!

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How Would a Good Zelda Movie Work?

edufishFebruary 13th, 2014 by edufish

The Master Sword in the Lost WoodsOnly a few movie adaptations of video games have actually been very successful, but Hyrule seems like the perfect place to explore on the big screen. Nintendo definitely hasn’t proven that their franchises work well as movies, but they haven’t tried developing a full-fledged official movie in over a decade. The only real question is could they make a Zelda movie that isn’t a total disappointment? Could Nintendo make a film that appeals to both film fanatics as well as Zelda fans? Hit the jump to read more!

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Milk Bar Mornings: The Wind Waker Bosses

MaanavLinkFebruary 12th, 2014 by MaanavLink

Milk Bar logoWelcome back to another issue of Milk Bar Mornings. To start off Milk Bar Mornings after a short break, we will be looking at the various boss themes from The Wind Waker. The Wind Waker has an amazing pallet of bosses, from giant birds to hundreds of poes, The Wind Waker‘s boss themes are fast, upbeat, and cinematic. Boss music is an important factor in any game, ensuring that each track fully represents the grandness of both the boss, and the stage that the player went through to get to the boss. We will be looking at how the composers of The Wind Waker have created amazing pieces, through technicalities and story. So hit the jump to see what we have in store!

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Tingle_SSM_1Later this year, Nintendo’s all-star heroes and villains will assemble once more to duke it out in new Super Smash Bros. games for the Wii U and 3DS. An impressive line-up of characters has already been confirmed for both titles, including three Zelda mainstays: Link, Princess Zelda and the always adorable Toon Link. With plenty of time left for Nintendo to unveil more challengers, it isn’t unreasonable to expect Princess Zelda’s alter-ego, Shiek, or Link’s nemesis, Ganondorf, to return as well. There is, however, one additional Zelda character who I think deserves a spot on the roster this time around. I’m speaking of none other than Link’s infamous map-making pal, Tingle.

Find out why I think the Zelda series’ ultimate eccentric is Smash Bros. material after the jump. Read more…

What Causes Link to Die?

BrendaFebruary 10th, 2014 by Brenda

Game_Over_(Twilight_Princess)Over the span of almost 28 years, through all 17 of his games and plenty of spin-offs, Link has accumulated quite a collection of quests and adventures. Unfortunately for him, these heroic tales are guaranteed to come with numerous deadly situations. Now, most of Link’s deaths make sense, as the human (or Hylian) body is only capable of taking so much. But occasionally, the factors which cause Link to die or to live simply don’t add up. These situations fall into two categories: things that don’t kill Link but should, and those which do kill Link but shouldn’t.

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Skull Kid on EponaThe Zelda series, particularly the 3D games, is generally the subject of almost unanimous critical acclaim. Even after over two-and-a-half decades, new additions to the series still receive perfect scores from prominent video game publications. That’s not to say the games go without scrutiny, however. Zelda hasn’t quite mastered every key ingredient to a great game, and one such chink in the armor is the opening portions of the 3D games. Unlike their 2D counterparts, the 3D Zelda games produce a lot of mixed reactions with their introductory moments.

These mixed reactions seem to stem from the starkly different approaches that 3D and 2D Zeldas take with their openings. 3D Zeldas tend to start at a crawl with sometimes long-winded intros that focus more on characters, story, and tedious tutorials rather than hurriedly sending players off to their new adventures like a stressed parent eager to get the kids out of the house. Whereas a 2D Zelda game has you rescuing Zelda with your dead uncle’s sword in under an hour, a 3D one will have you asking yourself why you must lure a cat home and herd goats before you’re set loose in Hyrule Field. In a franchise that values gameplay over story, tiresome opening sequences that try a little too hard to stage the plot seem counterproductive. But not every 3D Zelda game’s opening is a snooze-fest. I’m here to make the case for Majora’s Mask and why its introduction stands as a great example of how future 3D Zeldas should incorporate both story and new gameplay elements to help make a better first impression on players. Take the jump for details on why Majora’s Mask excelled where many other 3D Zeldas were lacking!

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Continuing the Story of the Hero of Time

edufishFebruary 3rd, 2014 by edufish

Link Hero of TimeAt the end of Majora’s Mask, the Hero of Time rides off into the distance on Epona, towards another adventure. Since then, the Hero of Time hasn’t appeared in another Zelda game, except for a cameo as the Hero’s Spirit in Twilight Princess. Should the story of the Hero of Time be continued? What kind of things could they do with him in another starring role? Hit the jump to find out!

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majora's mask artworkLast week, I dissected how the events of Ocarina of Time had such a negative effect on Link in his journey that he would most assuredly be a prime candidate for being a victim of clinical depression, as well as potentially experiencing survivor’s guilt. However, there is evidence to suggest that in Majora’s Mask, the Zelda game known for its dark undertones, Link actually has an emotional turnaround, and by the time his adventure in Termina is over, he is well on the road to recovery. Hit the jump to read why!

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What are Rupees?

BrendaFebruary 2nd, 2014 by Brenda

The Zelda series tends to change from one game to the next. The gameplay mechanics might be different, the controls may be reworked, and the roles of the characters could change from princess to pirate to poltergeist. However, there is one aspect of the Zelda universe which is always the same. In every single canonical game and in most of the spin-offs, the currency is always rupees. But what are rupees exactly? And what would they be worth in the real world? Hit the jump to find out!

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Would You Rather: Edition X

RabbitJanuary 30th, 2014 by Rabbit

Would You Rather (compact)Hello and welcome back to Would You Rather! Last week was certainly interesting in the amount and type of comments we got, but after fishing a bit I found that those of you who actually answered the question are pretty split on what species you would rather be. If you missed out and want to check out our last edition, you can take a peek here. As for this week, after what seems like an eternity, I am happy to say we are releasing our first A Link Between Worlds segment in this series. Excited? Anxious? Hanging off the edge of your seat?! Hit the jump to see our almost impossible match up and help choose the better option!

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Zelda_Wii_U_ALBW_1Two months have flown by since A Link Between Worlds was released outside Japan. With Link’s portrait-themed adventure now behind us, anticipating the next major Zelda game on the horizon is the new order of business. Little is officially known about this elusive title, set to be the first original entry in the series to come out on the Wii U (not counting the Dynasty Warriors spin-off, Hyrule Warriors, that is). What we do know, however, is that the game will have over 25 years of Zelda history to draw inspiration from.

A Link Between Worlds is one chapter of this history that could strongly influence Zelda’s first full-fledged Wii U installment. After all, what better way is there to judge the direction Nintendo wants to take the series than by looking at its freshly minted 3DS game? Not only does it represent the Zelda team’s most recent work, but both it and Zelda Wii U likely shared development time at one point or another. It’s to be expected that the two Zelda development teams bounced ideas between the two projects.

The question is: what design choices should Zelda Wii U borrow from A Link Between Worlds? What aspects of the game can be easily carried over to a 3D console Zelda, and represent trends the series as a whole should continue to roll with? Hit the jump to find out. Read more…

skyward-swordHello readers! Brian here with the twenty-second edition of “The Best and Worst of Zelda.” Today we’ll be covering the second half of the Zelda series’ overworld themes, beginning with the Great Sea and making it all the way to Hyrule and Lorule from A Link Between Worlds. I’m really appreciating your feedback and opinions, and I’d love to see some more topic suggestions for the future, so keep them coming!

The newer Zelda games feature more game-specific music. By this I mean that there’s a lot of deviation from that classic Hyrule theme to further emphasize each game’s specific themes. For this reason, this batch of games will be a bit more interesting to analyze. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

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zelda3dVery rarely do we take notice of the emotions of fictional characters within video games. While some games have an emphasis on emotion as a central theme, the Zelda games, especially in earlier installments, generally do not. Due to the subjective nature of emotions, it is difficult to determine what makes any particular person happy, sad, angry, etc. However, Link’s experiences in Majora’s Mask would seem to suggest that his time in Termina was more emotionally satisfying than his time spent in his native land of Hyrule. Hit the jump to read about Link’s strife in Hyrule in Part One!

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GrooseThe empowerment of decision-making is a popular trend in video game stories these days. As shown by the critical acclaim and commercial success of series like Mass Effect and Telltale’s The Walking Dead, players obviously enjoy the sense of free will and importance that meaningful in-game decisions create. Even games with narratives that are otherwise set in stone like to offer choices at pivotal story moments, particularly ending sequences. While I doubt Zelda will ever embrace interactive storytelling, it’s fun to imagine what might happen if it did.

As it turns out, I believe there is a lot of potential in a game like this. Zelda has always placed game design as a higher priority than story, but there are plenty of intriguing and unique story elements that only Zelda can provide. The eternally reincarnated main characters, splitting timeline, and rich history of Hyrule can be explored and expanded upon in ways Nintendo might never dare to try. Considering so much has already happened in the Zelda universe, I think it would be best if a spin-off game or series of games told its own original story based on existing Zelda lore. Here are my ideas for such a game, and why I think it would be great.

Take the jump and find out why I think there’s so much potential for a choice-driven plot within Zelda’s signature brand of storytelling! Read more…

Milk Bar Mornings: Twilight Princess Towns

MaanavLinkJanuary 22nd, 2014 by MaanavLink

Milk Bar logoWelcome back to another issue of Milk Bar Mornings, the weekly article where we analyze various themes from the Zelda series for the story and technicalities. Today we will be looking themes of the many towns and villages present in Twilight Princess. Each town in the game has a very unique style, supporting the history and future if the town. From a cozy village, to a lively town, Twilight Princess‘s composers, Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota, and Koji Kondo, did an amazing job at creating a track that fully represents the town’s role in the player’s adventure. So hit the jump to see what we have in store!

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hyrule-field-1Hello readers! It’s Brian, back from a two week hiatus with the twenty-first edition of “The Best and Worst of Zelda.” Today’s topic is something of my own creation, mostly due to the fact that there just have not been many suggestions lately (and not for lack of comments), but do remember that I’m always taking ideas for future editorials, so leave those in your comments below!

I absolutely love writing about music. It’s not only something I am quite passionate about, but it is also something I tend to focus on in all video games, Zelda included. The overworld being the main area of travel, it contains the music you’ll be listening to the most for the entire game, so there’s a lot of skill that goes into making music that won’t get boring (or at times, painful) to listen to for multiple hours straight. How come I can’t listen to a perfectly good song more than three times in a row outside of a video game, but I can sit for hours in Hyrule Field and still be enchanted by the gorgeous melody? Well that’s part of what makes Zelda music so interesting and brilliant.

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Zelda II level upAs the years have gone by, more and more people have complained that the Zelda series has become boring, due to its dependence on a formula-based progression through the game. For those of us who have stood up for the Zelda series when presented with this argument, a popular counterargument was the steady improvement of the level-up and trading systems with each new release. There are subtle changes in each new title, so these improvements aren’t always noticeable, leaving many people with the idea that they aren’t there, or that they’ve become stagnant, and that there’s nothing new that can be done. However, those people would be wrong.

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Innovation in Zelda: Past and Future

edufishJanuary 19th, 2014 by edufish

Zelda Sequel imageOne of the problems with popular video game franchises lately has been the tendency to repeat old successes without taking any risks. Major franchises have churned out a similar product year after year, without any major advances to the form. Has Zelda fallen into the same trap? Hit the jump to hear more!

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Would You Rather: Edition IX

RabbitJanuary 16th, 2014 by Rabbit

Would You Rather (compact)Hello and welcome back to Would You Rather! I have another exciting match up for you today that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do! Last week we discussed what kind of heroes we would all want to be, and it certainly looked like many of you chose to be unknown so that the pressure to succeed was less and you could stop if you really wanted to. However, a fair amount of you chose to be the hero of destiny so that you would be loved, revered, and most importantly, guided. With completely valid reasoning on both sides, I can’t help but say that I agree with all of you. If you missed out on last week’s edition, you can check it out here. As for this week, unfortunately your choice does not effect the fate of the world, but it certainly would provide a stark contrast to your current life. Hit the jump to find out more!

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SocratesWhat is it that controls our respective destinies? Do we have a choice in where life takes us, or is every chapter of our lives mapped out, fated to follow one singular path despite our feelings of our own freedom? Questions like this have plagued the philosophical world for centuries, and The Legend of Zelda is a franchise where the debate is prevalent. Do the people of Hyrule and its many parallel countries have a say in their futures, or did the goddesses devise a plan for the world that would undoubtedly play out the way they had designed? Hit the jump to see how this philosophical conundrum plays out in a myriad of ways in the different games!

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images-5 The Legend of Zelda games will sometimes have an instrument with magical properties that are needed to complete the game. These instruments are a core part of the game they’re featured in and can be fun to play with. This will be a general overview of the instrument use in the game and plot. The instruments that I will be discussing in this series are actually instruments and are vital to completing the game, so you will not see me discuss things like the Ocarina of Winds or Wolf Link’s howling. Read more…

Old_Koume's_Boat_CruiseHello unwinding readers, it’s been a while since we last visited some of our favorite areas. We haven’t even made it to part ten, yet we have covered a handful of some of the more notable unwinding areas compared to most all potential areas throughout the series. However, this time around, I’ll be discussing several mini games that are considerably unwinding. The less stressful ones anyway. Although we have mentioned a few mini games in previous parts, this part solely features mini games, including: the Goron Race, Koume’s Boat Race, The Wind Fall Auction, and Mail Sorting. Hit the jump to read more!

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What Happened While Link was Asleep?

BrendaJanuary 9th, 2014 by Brenda

GanondorfOcarina of Time has been claimed to be one of the most popular games of all time. Part of its fame is due to its central plot mechanic: Link’s seven year period of unconsciousness, which separates the two time periods of his life; child and adult. Players may travel back and forth between the two eras, each presenting a different atmosphere as well as varying mini-games and activities. But there is a third section of time which is often overlooked: those seven consequential years of Link’s sleep, during which the land of Hyrule was revolutionized. Hit the jump to read about the changes that occurred during this time period and the general order in which they happened.

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Moon fallBack in late November, a new episode of the popular YouTube series, Game Theory, relating to Majora’s Mask was released. Game Theory tackled Majora’s Mask before with its episode that asked whether Link might already be dead, but this episode was all about the moon. Apparently, real-world science says Termina’s doom at the hands of its moon is not as certain as the game makes it out to be. So, is Link’s heroic adventure in Termina really all for naught? I would like to argue otherwise.

After the jump, ready why I can’t accept this theory! Read more…

Top 5 Dramatic Moments in Zelda

AngelJanuary 7th, 2014 by Angel

3582.link_In both of my last editorals, I mentioned how one of my favorite things about Zelda was how dramatic it can be when it wants to be. So, I decided to make a top five list of my favorite dramatic moments in Zelda’s history. These moments were chosen by me alone, and are among my favorite moments in Zelda all together. But there are also some major spoilers, so keep that in mind. Hit the jump to see my picks!

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zelda_1280_wp4Seldom does one see Four Swords Adventures referred to at all, let alone in the context of remaking Zelda titles. It is rarely recognized, having sold less than any other main series Zelda game in history, leaving it under-played and under-appreciated. Now to make my point here clear, I am not defending Four Swords Adventures as some brilliant masterpiece that deserves idolization and praise, as this is not at all the case, but what I am going to try to do is convince you of why it would be an excellent candidate for the next remake in the Zelda franchise, and why the Wii U is the platform that this game would most excel on. Read more…

The Voidcast #1 – Zelda Movies Pt. 1, A Roundtable

Colonel-MajoraJanuary 6th, 2014 by Colonel-Majora

ZD post graphicHey, everybody! Welcome to the Voidcast! After the bittersweet ending of the Z-Talk podcast, I needed to find somewhere else to prop up my microphone. Now, I’m back with more ranting, and this time I’m not alone.

To jump-start the Voidcast, I brought together some of Z-Talk’s old contributors – Axle the Beast, Nerion, and AnimeBassoon – to talk about the ever-so-debated topic of putting Zelda on our TV and theatre screens.

Hit the jump to catch the whole discussion!

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3heartchallengeIt seems to be the general consensus among Zelda fans that the majority of the games in the series are not the most challenging. There is almost always a fairly generous learning curve, and after the first couple of hours, players can usually get into a groove and can progress rather smoothly throughout their adventures. However, some choose to increase the difficulty by introducing their own elements that make the experience more enjoyable. One such challenge is the Three Heart Challenge, and if you want to read about it and my experience accepting the challenge in Ocarina of Time, hit the jump!

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