Posted on October 30 2015 by Alexis S. Anderson
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!
To start, let’s pin-point the game with the best setting for some slaughtering of young people. Immediately, Majora’s Mask comes to mind– being the darkest Zelda title and masks being typical for horror antagonists. But let’s not forget that the majority of Zelda games do contain a cemetery, at least one creepy dungeon, spirits and ghosts in human or enemy form, and varied intensities which are important for building suspense. My personal choice for the job would be Twilight Princess. The land gets to be covered in Twilight, Zant wears a mask and is clearly mentally disturbed, Poe’s are scattered throughout the terrain, and there are a lot of young Ordonian children for our serial killer to pick-off while pursuing Link.
Next on the agenda is characters. As mentioned, we’ll have all of the little Ordonians there as the killer’s fodder. For major characters, I think Link, Ilia, Midna, and Zelda will do. We’ll assign the “killer’s main objective” role to Link. He’ll be a sweet and shy boy that everyone in the neighborhood loves (not very off from his character in Twilight Princess anyway), unsuspecting of his role as a serial killer’s target. He will also grow to be more courageous as the story progresses, but will scream a lot and have breakdowns when his friends die in his stead. All of the girls will be Link’s close friends (the protagonists must always have a posse of friends that the audience comes to care about very quickly simply because these people have names and families and lovers). Sadly, Ilia will be the first friend to die, because her mayoral father can alert the town and incite panic. Second to die would be Midna, as she is the real fighter of the bunch expected to stop the evil, but is bested and killed perhaps because she sacrificed herself to save her friends. Now, it isn’t often that two friends survive in the end, but it can happen. So to stay in line with the Zelda series we will have the Princess survive with Link, though she will have to be injured to the point where Link believes she’s been killed so it is a twist when she turns up alive.
Finally, the plot! A good amount of horror films have flimsy plots that they make up for with jarring slaughter-scenes. But The Legend of Zelda series is known for its extensive plotlines and this fact will remain for its horror flick counterpart. In the Halloween films, Michael Myers will chase one person in particular and kill anyone in his way to get to that person. So the antagonist for this movie will be Zant and he will pursue Link (this leaves Ganondorf open to be the antagonist in the sequel, assuming Zant is defeated in the first movie). Ganondorf will be hinted at in the first movie and then explained in the sequel, well explained unless we want to stay in line with the horror trope of doing a terrible job of connecting sequels to their originals.
Anyway, Zant will be after Link, because of, say, a prophesy that a blue-eyed “boy” will ultimately defeat him (I almost went the werewolf route with this story, but I’m in too deep with my Michael Myers obsession not to parallel Halloween). People will be shocked that someone could murder so senselessly, this is where Ganondorf will be hinted at as a powerful evil influence hypothesized as the reason for Zant’s insanity. We’ve got the choice of placing our core four in an abandoned house in the Hidden Village, trapped in a house in Ordon, in a cabin by Lake Hylia, or in a dimly lit Hyrule Castle. I think Lake Hylia would present a lot of interesting ways to be killed, so that’s our location. I won’t go into too much more detail since we already have a pretty good outline, much of the rest can be left to the imagination.
Some tropes to fit into that imagination gap would be, we’ll say, “moments of intimacy,” as well as skepticism surrounding the existence of the rumored killer, stumbling upon a dead friend while trying to escape and promptly sobbing, and lots of screaming. Oh, and that hilarious exchange that a victim has with him or herself when alone but worried that someone is watching them; you know the one, “Hello?… Link, I know it’s you, you can come out now… Link, this isn’t funny… Come on now, I’m really starting to get scared, stop messing arou–AHHH!” when the killer shows up.
You get the picture, I think I’ve set the scene. Maybe I’ll sit down and write the screenplay for this slasher mess one day. In the meantime, you guys may share your ideas for plot and character development, remind me of the tropes that I’ve missed, or share the premises of your own Zelda horror flicks. Helping think of a name for this one would be much obliged as well, have a Happy Halloween!
Alexis S. Anderson is a Senior Editor at Zelda Dungeon who joined the writing team in November, 2014. She has a JD from the UCLA School of Law and is pursuing a career in Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. She grew up in the New Jersey suburbs with her parents, twin brother, and family shih-tzu.