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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Legend of Zelda is Legendary

This post is about Legend of Zelda. I have been feeling in a Zelda mood recently and I started playing Skyward Sword (I am in the final dungeon, the Sky Keep!!!!)

I thought I might do this post for old time's sake. So here is some info on some really notable Zelda games.

Let's start at this fun fact. Until the book Hyrule Historia was released, dozens of Zelda fans and experts debated over the timeline of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Some people actually say that there is no timeline and each game is retelling of the original story. Why was that?

Enter Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Not only is this game the first 3D Zelda game but because it has a LOT of Time Travel in it this game single-handedly sparked massive controversy over the chronology. It also introduced Z-targeting, later renamed L-targeting, and again renamed Lock-On. This next fun fact applies to all games with Lock-On. This is how Z-targeting works. Imagine a Middle Ages style Knight ambushed by a dozen or so bandits. One of the bandits pulls out and lashes with a whip. the Knight catches the whip with his free hand. The bandit moves around in a circle. The Knight keeps his eyes on that particular bandit and attacks with a sword. Now that the first bandit is defeated, the Knight keeps his eyes on the next bandit. Z-targeting works pretty much like that, even though the whip is imaginary and the bandits are enemies and the Knight is Link.

Almost every Legend of Zelda game has the Master Sword in it. And why not? It's so Awesome!!! In fact one might even say it's the most powerful close range weapon ever!!!! But has you (or anyone) wondered how the Master Sword started life? Now comes Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This game is a origin story or the whole franchise and according to the Hyrule Historia is the first game in the timeline.

Have you every played the original Legend of Zelda released in 1986? If you did you would know that if Link was at full health his sword could shoot lasers. Well in Skyward Sword you can shoot lasers of various shapes and sizes but this time all you had to do is simply point the blade towards the sky (straight up).

Anyway for those of you that want to know the origin story it goes something like this (WARNING: THIS GAME IS SO AWESOME THAT THE STORY ACTUALLY SOUNDS BETTER IN REAL LIFE RATHER THAN ON PAPER). Long Story Short Skyward Sword Link and Zelda (she is not a princess this time) were attending a graduation ceremony for Link (being promoted to Senior class in the Knight Academy). While out flying on giant birds called Loftwings Zelda is sucked into a Tornado And Link sets out to rescue her.

But in order to do that he has to MAX OUT the Goddess Sword and turn it into the Master Sword by dowsing the blade into three Sacred Flames and all the while Link meets time and time again with Ghirahim who at first acts like a gentlemen with a sense of sportsmanship but later shows his true colors as a ruthless but flamboyant psychopath. With a sense of drama, based on his need to act overly dramatic (i.e. Ghirahim: "I will make your ears bleed from the sounds of your own screams!"). Also, he clearly has no sense of "personal space" as he often violates Link's personal space ( possibly to scare him), normally after a quick Teleport. Despite all that, I love the music that plays every time Link fights him. He clearly has the best theme music out of every boss of the franchise as a whole.

Here is another awesome Zelda game. Twilight Princess!!!! The thing about this Link is that unlike all the others he can transform into a Wolf. Which is awesome. Wolves are cool. Though I noticed something weird when Link first transformed. When his Wolf form was locked up in a dungeon (not the kind of dungeon Link explores, but actually a prison) the guards shackled his left paw (right paw in the Wii version). Why did they (the guards, I mean) even bother with the shackles? Wolves don't have thumbs, so there is no way for them it open doors by themselves. I am going to guess that they didn't know wolves don't have thumbs. Anyway, Wolf Link's abilities are pretty cool (digging, seeing invisible things, etc). Combine that with the adorable Midna and you get a winning formula. Speaking of which, did you know and the only reason Midna was created (initially) was to be some random creature that rides around on Wolf Link's back? During normal game-play Midna is almost always seen riding on Wolf Link's back. However later on in development Midna's role was enhanced and became a crucial part to the story.

Humorously Midna often annoys Wolf Link when they first met. One might even say that she pushed Link to the brink of insanity but that was done for comedy (the scene where Midna wears Link's shield as a mask and swings the Ordon Sword wildly was my favorite).

And in almost every Zelda game there is Ganondorf (please excuse how absurd his name sounds). The only major exception is Skyward Sword, but that game hints at the birth of Ganondorf. After all, the final boss, Demise, looks strangely similar to Ganondorf. They both wanted the same thing: the Triforce. They both challenged Link to a one-on-one duel. Link's defeated both of them in the same way; knocking them off their feet and skewering them in the chest (otherwise known simply as the Ending Blow).

Generally Legend of Zelda is one of the most iconic video game franchises ever, coming second only to Mario. Both were made by Nintendo. Speaking of which, did you know that while "family friendly" Nintendo and "hardcore" Sony are polar opposites they were going to be partners to make a Zelda game? Nintendo basically betrayed Sony in favor of Phillips to make three spin-off games but those games are worthless. Basically nothing more than glorified garbage. Why? because Phillips only cared about graphics. Ironic because I have seen all three of these games in action and the graphics are barely half decent to my eyes. But I started my hobby playing X-box games, and the X-box is a system with overall better graphics.

These spin-off games also explain why Nintendo refuses to include voice acting for in-game dialogue (Personally, I actually like reading Text Boxes over listening to voice acting. It makes hints to later puzzles more obvious. And I really like reading things). These spin-off games actually do have voice-acting but the voices are simply terrible. Then again, Phillips only had a $600,000 budget and all of it was focused solely on graphics (part of me thinks they were trying to make a interactive movie). The good news is: The system these spin-offs were on is currently extinct.

Generally, Phillips did such a horrible job with their spin-off games, lots of people think Nintendo would erase those games from history. I think that Nintendo would do something much more harsh and/or uncalled for, like erasing Phillips itself from history. That is literally how bad Phillips did with those games. How do I know all this? Zelda wiki. And there is a "History of Legend of Zelda" video on the Internet.

Anyway, it is interesting to note that these Spin-offs are not in the Hyrule Historia. Basically Nintendo is pretending those sad excuses of video games never existed.

Enough about (really) cheap knock-offs, back to the main series. I almost forgot about the Four Swords mini-series (which are awesome. As awesome as awesome frosting!!) This is the first Zelda game with co-op. Sadly the original Four Swords made it MANDATORY that two or more players play. This was fixed in later entries of the mini-series.

Overall the Legend of Zelda franchise is almost perfect (I would say perfect but nothing is completely perfect. Some games are perfect in their own way). Legend of Zelda is possibly one of the most Legendary (pun intended) franchises ever. Mario, Pokemon, and a handful more franchises are the only ones that are as amazing as Legend of Zelda.

Here is one last fun fact. When Ocarina of Time was released Nintendo loosely based Link's swordsmanship style off of the way of Bushido. That means Samurai style sword fighting, if you don't know anything about Japanese culture.

for more info pleas ego to the Legend of Zelda wiki.

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