Posted on November 26 2008 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The Legend of Zelda. The game of the series that has defined Action-Adventure gaming for over 20 years now still resonates with anyone who’s picked up a controller and ventured into Hyrule. However, some of us have never left the land the Golden Goddesses made. I haven’t for just about as long as the series has been around, and that dates me quite a bit. However there are numerous people who hold the series in a high esteem given the technical merits it has shown over the many games, and even more importantly, the emotional core the game has. That core has connected with MILLIONS of people across the globe. The following this series has is almost at a level of the fans of Lord of the Rings in terms of fervor and emotional connection to the source material.
Personally, the first Legend of Zelda is, and this is the god’s honest nerdy truth, my first conscious memory. The first memory I can recall is playing the first game on my NES with my mom way back in the day. Unfortunately I stopped playing the series after that. I wouldn’t rediscover the series until about the seventh grade, when a classmate was weaving his own tapestry in art class like we all were. His was a simple field of green with three strikingly familiar triangles on it. It was something familiar, like it was from childhood. A very “All Along the Watchtower” moment for the Battlestar Galactica fans reading this. I had to ask and it started me on a path down the internet that finally let me come to rest among the Zelda community as what I am today. That moment lead me to the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and precious few moments in my life have been so defining, as nerdy as that is. Technology being what it was in those days, there was a strong adhocracy in the community. Looking for information on the games was tough and brought you to many, many amateur websites, but they were all equally valid on some level, despite a .com name or a Geocities account.
A few of those sites have passed into legend now themselves, somehow inexorably linked to the series itself, almost as much a part of the series as the Triforce. VGX’s Odyssey of Hyrule, Falco’s Hyrule: The Land of Zelda, Nile’s Zelda Headquarters and Ice’s Zelda Central. These sites and their creators are part of the memories of many of the fans of Ocarina of Time. We’ve seen many of them fall and possibly be resurrected but none will truly recapture those days spent in a new frontier, talking about this new game on a new medium to us and developing a connection. That’s just how the internet has evolved though. There’s very few fan sites still running from the old days and the old guard have tucked themselves safely away in their own corners of the net, hoping to retain their community.
The community around these games is unique. The majority of it isn’t super creepy like Sonic fans, it’s not OMG KAWAII DESU~~ spouting retards like Final Fantasy attracts. We get reasonably intelligent people who are open minded for the most part. We get unique characters as individual as the stars in the sky. I’ve met absolutely amazing people through this community, people I’ve been willing to share my birthday with, drink with, and lent money to. We’ve lost a few over the years, and had more than a few PRETEND to be lost. Yet somehow we’re all still here. The old guard of the first wave in 98 to 2000 are all still around. I can easily track them down and they’ll remember me. This release gave us a community and we’ve held that torch together for ten years now. It’s incredible to think about. I came here following a sled accident that’s left me with an injured spine for the rest of my life and a limp like House on a bad day. I’m still here ten years later because these people are worth sticking around for. That’s insanely rare these days. It’s almost like a class reunion when we all start talking about the old games. Some of us stay in contact; others drift off for a while until we run into each other again.
Nostalgia is a tricky thing, things seem better in retrospect for a while until you find a perspective it’s not so attractive from. This game, this community, my friends…none of it has an angle I disagree with. That’s my two cents on the impact of Ocarina of Time.