Tag: classics month

Feminism in Zelda

Is the Legend of Zelda degrading to women? Does its interpretation of the classic fairytale formula lead to nothing more than tale after tale of helpless damsels in distress? Does its portrayal of Link as the hero send the message that males are superior and females are useless? Sadly, to some cynics, the answer to all three is “yes”.

On some occasions these cynics have said that The Legend of Zelda is offensive to woman’s rights. Let us, however, take a different, more rational perspective on the issue. From every angle that I look at the series from, not only do I disagree with those claiming Zelda is sexist, but I have to argue the exact opposite. Zelda isn’t just not sexist, it really is inspiring to feminism. At least, it should be if you interpret it correctly.


Describing anything in just one word is always a challenge, let alone something as vast as 25 years of The Legend of Zelda. Zelda is gameplay; Zelda is story, Zelda is inspiring, Zelda is music; and Zelda is so much more. And yet, there has always been one word at the forefront of my mind that sums up the entire series for me, without me having to struggle to narrow it down to just one word. To me, Zelda is summed up by the simple word of ‘balance’. Now allow me to explain why in the following 1110 words or so.

There really is no clear cut place for me to start, or even list of points to make, because balance is woven so intricately throughout the whole series. Nevertheless, the Triforce is where I will begin. Ultimately, the Triforce is the center of the Zelda mythology, and in and of itself represents balance.  As Sheik says, “it is a balance that weighs the three forces: Power, Wisdom and Courage”. It is the unison of the three divine forces, left behind by the Goddesses in perfect balance, which watch over Hyrule.

zeldadungeon theme.jpg

The one thing that I’m a bigger fan of then The Legend of Zelda series is the works of J.R.R Tolkien. One of the main things that really made me appreciate Peter Jackson’s film interpretation of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is the music – composed by Howard Shore. I really admired how the simple themes of characters and locations evolved throughout the story. How at stages we hear the catchy Rohan theme in slow, shrill notes representing the enslavement of the kingdom to the will of Saruman, and then in full triumphant form when the Rohirrim ride to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. It’s just one example among many.

The exact same sort of musical integrity can be found woven all throughout The Legend of Zelda series. From its humble 8-bit beginnings the work of Koji Kondo has expanded drastically. Other composers have added to it, furthered it and made it more complex – to the point where not only is the music of Zelda intrinsic to the series, but is also a work of genius.

Obtaining the Triforce

“May the way of the Hero lead to the Triforce.”A Link to the Past Maidens

The Sacred Triforce, the Holy Relic of Hylian culture. The symbol of religion and an object of power. It is mythical and legendary. Simultaneously spiritual and physical. A part of the Essence of the Goddesses left behind at creation. It goes without saying that such an artifact would be highly sought after – for both good and for evil.

The Legend of Zelda series’ overall storyline, although not free from deviations, is focused around the conflicts that arise from seeking, obtaining, using and loosing this power of the Gods. From the villainous Ganon, to Princess Zelda, and of course, the Hero Link – the Triforce and its parts pass from person to person throughout generations.

As we look at each and every game in the 25 years of the Zelda series, it becomes clear that at the end of the path of the Hero, the Triforce lies in wait. Whether in its fullness, or in part, the Triforce seems integral to the life of a Hero. As the line of the seven maidens in A Link to the Past reads: “May the way of the Hero lead to the Triforce.” However, this catchphrase bears much more relevance to the series than is apparent in A Link to the Past alone!


For a long time I thought very little about the Kokiri race, all tucked away within their exclusive forest in Ocarina of Time. It wasn’t until The Wind Waker and the appearance of the Koroks that the Kokiri appealed to me as being more than meets the eye at first glance. Ever since then, it is often a struggle to get past the early stages of Ocarina of Time without stopping, investigating, and considering the possibilities.

What possibilities are there? What clues hidden away within Kokiri Forest’s foliage? Why are they a forever childish race who wear green tunics like they’re Peter Pan? Of course there are no concrete answers to such questions, but that won’t stop this theorist from exploring the possibilities!

The Illusion of Being Alone

Majora’s Mask is well known for its many complex layers of underlying meanings, messages, and inspirational themes. Cliché as that may sound; it is even more of an understatement than it is a cliché. 11 years later, and we are still discovering and discussing new themes that we find in Majora’s Mask. There is so much beneath the surface of the game, and it will always be able to provide something new each and every time it is played.

The message that has always stood out most for me is one of appreciation, as Link learns during his quest. Intertwined with that, Majora’s Mask has a lot to say on friendship, and its opposite, loneliness. It was this theme that took prominence for me in my most recent playthrough of the game. A theme that permeates right from the main storyline of the Skull Kid, through to Kafei and Anju’s classic sidequest, and even to the barrenness of Ikana.  What is there to the game’s emphasis on the importance of friendship and the dangers of loneliness? Let’s take a look.

Tree on the Moon

Many of you viewers will be familiar with the article called “The Message of Majora’s Mask” by Dan Merrill; more commonly known as Hylian Dan. Years after release, it is still one of our most actively viewed pages. Unfortunately, we also know that many of our viewers aren’t aware of this piece and other works by Dan. Well, we’re happy to provide you with another one of his fantastic pieces: “Immortal Childhood”. If you’ve read many of my articles, this is a piece that I refer to a lot. This piece was originally posted over at Zelda Universe on June 14, 2009, so thanks very much to our friends over there, and to Dan, for allowing us to share this article with our viewers – especially those who haven’t seen it at Zelda Universe, where you will also find more of Dan’s work. So please enjoy what many call the best Zelda article written to date.

Making Others Happy

The Legend of Zelda series is full of classic quotes, ranging from entirely comedic right through to some of the most inspirational lines there are. As a child, many sayings in Zelda just seemed like nice little sentiments with no real meaning behind them. But as you grow up and experience more varied circumstances in life, you come to be able to relate to and understand them. For me, almost all of Sheik’s wisdom fell into this category until I had experienced something where I could relate to it. The children on the moon have always intrigued me, and their quotes have always made me think, but not until recently have I come to truly understand the essence of their meaning.

Often times around these parts we are unfairly mentioned as “Zelda haters”. Now, any educated reader who actually takes the time to read our articles, our opinions, and our news reports would see Zelda praise all over the place. Even when we are being critical of the series, or it’s sales, we are still saying some very nice things about Zelda. However, one game lately seems to always bring the mallet down on us in the court of public opinion: Skyward Sword.

It’s true I have been asking Nintendo to run with the Wii U Tech Demo. It’s true Skyward Sword didn’t sell as well as previous console entries. It’s true Skyward Sword came at the end of the Wii’s life (okay, so a year before the end, but who’s counting?). It’s also true through all of it, the observant readers have noticed that I have been praising Skyward Sword all along. Why is this? Why in all of my asking for consistency and for a return to Twilight Princess like visuals am I praising a game that is so split in the fan base? It’s simple really: I truly think that Skyward Sword is potentially the best Zelda game ever crafted.

The Hero of Time a Prophet?

The iconic carving on Link’s treehouse in Ocarina of Time is something that I have long pondered the precise meaning of. It depicts a sword and shield wielding warrior fighting a monster with his fairy companion. People have described the monster as a T-rex and even Godzilla. Some say that it is an Easter egg of Bowser. What exactly the creature in the carving is depends on what we take the meaning of the picture of be. It is a logical assumption that the carving was done by Link; after all, it is on his house. There are therefore two different explanations behind this picture.

Firstly, it may just be an expression of Link’s inner desires. Although a slight generalization, it is not absurd to say that most boys of Link’s age dream of being a mighty warrior fighting savage beasts. Being the only person in Kokiri forest without a fairy, it is only logical that he wished he had one of his own to fit in, explaining the fairy in the carving. Going by this analogy, the monster could really be anyone – a product of imagination. However, what if we take this carving to mean much more? What if we view the warrior as Link, the fairy as Navi, and the creature as Ganon? What if we take the carving to be the result of a more literal dream: a prophecy?