To start, what exactly is The Legend of Neil? To be completely honest, I was unaware what it was myself until our friends over at Zelda Universe turned me on to it by interviewing a member of the cast. In that interview Tony Janning, the man who plays Neil, had this to say when ZU asked them about the idea of the series:
How did the idea come up to create this series? Was it a similar process to the one Neil used to enter Hyrule?
Tony: Funny…It was similar, in that booze was involved, but no autoerotic asphyxiation. Sandeep had gone out drinking with his roommate, who claimed he could beat the original Zelda game in 30 minutes. Sandeep called ‘b.s.’ and the two went home and drank more while he watched his buddy play the game. Sandeep started thinking how weird some things in that world would be, like the Old Man, and this elf hero, and so he wrote out the idea. The next morning he still thought it was funny, so he emailed me, and I loved it, and then we shot the damn thing. It wasn’t until Atom.com (Comedy Central) came along and optioned 5 more episodes that we actually had a series on our hands.
It’s a series about a guy who got drunk, played The Legend of Zelda, and somehow got transported into the game. Now that you got the basics of what exactly this series is, lets get into the actual review.
Now, it should be noted that when you go into even contemplating watching this series that it is indeed completely fan made. It cannot be held in the same regard as other fantasy series like “Xena” or “Hercules”, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be equally entertaining. Each episode runs about five minutes long, and for good reason.
The series itself offers some really hilarious moments, moments that may not work if each episode lasted a lot longer. If I had to sit down and watch a thirty minute episode, I would most likely grow tired of the entire series. As it stands however, it offers it’s comedy gold in short five minute segments that fit extremely well together. From moments like when Neil discovers Zelda is black, the overly hilarious “Old Man” and his brother, “Old Man”, to Ganondorf smacking Wizrobe around for suggesting that level one is a joke, the comedy gold of this fan made series just fits perfectly into the realm of Zelda.
There are draw backs. The special effects are none to special, but what makes up for that is the fact they make fun of the effects themselves. Ganondorf calling for the fog machines because they make things better, to Link complaining about a really crappy fake sword, the questionable special effects begin to add to the charm of the actual series. Still, for some I can understand if they are a turn off, and in that regard I would think fan created work just isn’t something that interest them. In short, The Legend of Neil isn’t for everyone.
I mentioned I would answer a few questions in regards to the series, so here I go. Is the series worth your time? If you are into the Robot Chicken sort of comedy, Futurama, and yes even Family Guy, I can see this falling right up your alley. Since I am a fan of all of the above, this series really struck a chord with me. Does it have entertainment value? As a action series, no. As a comedy? If you’ve ever played a Zelda game… then this series will entertain you in some fashion. Is it better to watch when you yourself are drunk? Most definitely. After my drunken experience with it last night… let me just put it like this. I am Neil. I had a threesome with Zelda and Ganondorf. Or, I was Neil. Wait, I am Neil… or is it Link? I can’t recall, but I do remember that it was truly epic.
In closing, The Legend of Neil wont please all, but it should please a great many. It’s a nice thing to sit back and take a break from work to get yourself relaxed again. Be sure to check out all of Season 1, and the first episode of Season 2 at their website. You may watch the pilot video below.