The Master Sword: A Blunt Blade

The Master Sword. What a fabulous core element of the Zelda series. The legendary ‘blade of evil’s bane’, or less commonly, the ‘sword of time’. It has been alongside Link since the release of A Link to the Past in 1992. Truly, it is his trustiest companion yet, but at the same time, it’s hardly necessary. I mean, it has only been in seven of the sixteen games. It debuted in A Link to the Past, rose to fame in Ocarina of Time, made extremely questionable appearances in both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of seasons, before continuing to pander to Zelda fans with weak appearances in both The Wind waker and Twilight Princess. Now it returns in Skyward Sword once again. Seriously, this blade is thousands of years old in the Zelda universe – it’s hardly a sword anymore. A blunt blade if you’re lucky, but more likely a piece of old and rusted metal. About time the Master Sword was put to rest permanently I reckon.

Seven out of sixteen appearances isn’t even half of the games either, but it’s easy to see why: there just aren’t enough story possibilities for it. Look at the games The Master Sword has been in and you’ll just see it performing the same clichĂ©d role over and over again. Twilight Princess copied The Wind Waker which copied Ocarina of Time which copied A Link to the Past. Link always has to gather some things that prove his worth, then go get the sword and then gather more stuff before facing Ganon. In the Oracle games the Master Sword was just a novelty, and who knows what Skyward Sword will provide in the end. The Master Sword is all washed up, if it really ever was anything. Its story is ambiguous at best, with all of the usual inconsistencies that the Zelda series gives such artifacts. Each time it appears raises more questions and gives no answers. I swear, it’s worse than Lost.

Then there’s that boring old look that it has every time, that we’re all sick of. Get a makeover or something. And that same music theme that plays every time you obtain it. Seriously. If I saw Link carrying The Master Sword down the street I know what I’d say: “Nice sword ya tough hero, does it come in men’s? Ya know, without all the purple and sparkly jewels?” The sword never looked better than it did all in greyscale in The Wind Waker. Back on track though, if I did actually come across the Master Sword instead of being shallow and judging by appearance, I’d give it some advice. Advice along the lines of “quit while you’re ahead”. You can’t do any better than having such an important role in the best game of all time. You can’t do better than having your own orchestra for every swing you get. Don’t become to Zelda what Ric Flair was to sports entertainment. Let go.

It’s time to put the blade of evil’s bane to rest. It has had a good almost 20 year run. It’s backstory is going to apparently come alive in Skyward Sword, which completes the cycle. We have its creation, then its lifetime in Ocarina, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and the Oracles, and also its big finale in A Link to the Past. That’s right, the first game the sword appeared in ended with the line “AND THE MASTER SWORD SLEEPS AGAIN… FOREVER!” If only it had, then I might actually faithfully attend Din’s Temple Worship service every Sunday morning, instead of just spending my life claiming to be an observing Hylianist. But that’s not the way it is, because The Master Sword insists on continuing. Shame.

You know, the more I think about it, the Master Sword can’t really quit while its ahead, because it hasn’t ever been ahead. The Master Sword is nothing more than a jealous failure. How many times does it want to have epic encounters with Ganon where it ends up beating him, but Ganondorf just comes back eventually? The sword should be able to boast about stabbing Ganondorf through the torso in Twilight Princess, and in the face in Ocarina of Time, and again in The Wind Waker where it turns him to stone. It must be a pretty crap sword to do all that and still have the victim alive. Then there’s all of the seals. How many seals has the sword had in place that have been broken? The Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time… yeah you get the picture. They say the blade was made to protect the Triforce and the Sacred Realm. Well it clearly failed there. Epic fail? No, there’s nothing epic about it. It’s just a failure, plain and simple. It should be put to rest before it goes emo and starts cutting itself, for its own good.

That truly is what a real sword looks like.

Now that is a sword!

Then there’s the Master Sword’s jealousy. The so called legendary blade has spent its entire life wishing that it was a silver arrow. You know, those arrows in the original Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past that actually defeated Ganon. Those ones that turn him to ash and stuff, yeah those. But that’s not all. The Master Sword spent the whole of Ocarina of Time wishing that it was as cool and powerful as the Biggoron’s Sword. In A Link to the Past Link knows how bad the sword is which is why he goes and gets it reforged into the Tempered Sword and then the Golden Sword as soon as he can. Let’s not even compare the Master Sword to the Double-Helix or the Great Fairy’s Sword, because it just can’t compare. On the Great Fairy’s Sword though, now that is a manly hero’s sword, and the Master Sword knows it. Unquestionable truth.

Turns out The Master Sword isn’t even that powerful at repelling evil in the end, its power just comes from some sages praying to the gods for it to actually be something half decent. I do worry about the split timeline though, because now there’s two of them out there failing. Let’s hope that its already weak power wasn’t split across both timelines. It needs everything it can get. Well, if is was to keep going that is, which it shouldn’t. The Master Sword needs to ends its myth and actually go to rest forever. A really good friend of mine, a gracious man called Rauru once told me that “Only one worthy of the title of “Hero of Time” can pull the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time.” If only what he said was correct, then we’d only have been burdened by this sword once. Shame he was wrong then!

And now, at the time when the sword really needs to come to its end, what do Nintendo do? They personalize the inanimate Master Sword into Zordiana, a humanoid, for Skyward Sword. You know, I really hope that the Master Sword had some success back in the days that it was the Skyward Sword, because it had none later in its life. But seriously, life to an inanimate object? The last thing we need is the Master Sword running around and failing on its own. Well, at least the whole sword-person thing explains how the Master Sword moves from the Temple of Time to Hyrule Castle’s Basement and then to the Lost Woods – it just enjoys going on strolls. But how about instead of moving your location, you just move on? You fail Master Sword: take my advice and don’t let yourself fail again. Now I really should stop, because I’m probably hurting the poor sword’s feelings-which it apparently has as a person. For a person it sure does lack dignity and self respect though. As Ganondorf said, it is “an impressive looking blade, but nothing more.” Well, only if purple’s your thing, which it must be for Ganondorf. I’d much rather go for a massive bright pink and green sword given to me by a fairy any day.

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