Hello and welcome all to our new series of regular features, Zelda You: Our Stories. This is a series all about one thing, The Legend of Zelda and our love for it and with it being the 30th anniversary, we encourage everyone to send in their Zelda stories and experiences so we can share here! We kicked off the series, with a special Team Miketendo64 Edition, and because we didn’t want to cram all of our stories down your throat in a single instance, we chose to break it up into parts. So with that in mind, this is Part 2!
Kicking off this edition, our first story comes from Mr. Panda of both Miketendo64 and Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews.
Mr. Panda: “My first experience with The Legend of Zelda was Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. Before then, I had mostly played platformers, so I missed out on previous offerings. That made OoT even more special for me since I had never played any game with such depth before.
Although I had fond memories of games prior, OoT was the first game that invoked real emotions because of its story and characters. I felt sorrow when saying goodbye to childhood friend Saria, despair when I went to the future and found Hyrule Castle Town in ruins, friendship when I learned Epona’s Song and summoned my faithful steed for the first time, and surprise when I learned the truth behind Sheik. I also felt pure, unadulterated joy as I explored Hyrule Field, quickly learning that secrets were abound.
From then on, I would search every inch and use items anywhere I could, hoping that something special would happen and that the now-familiar “You uncovered a secret” jingle would play. I was so invested in OoT that it took me several months to complete it, but every second of it was a worthwhile investment into what would become one of my favourite series of all time.
I still love the series and have now played every entry in the franchise. Over the years, my love of Zelda has only grown fonder. I always get giddy when I enter its puzzle-filled dungeon mazes. I remain impressed by the grand scope of its bosses. I still become excited exploring every new overworld. I even enjoy all of the little side-quests and being able to help as many people as possible. My love for the Zelda series even transcends games. One of the most magical evenings for me was when I attended the Symphony of the Goddesses for the first time. Hearing orchestrated Zelda music while watching my favourite cutscenes on a gigantic screen was a breath-taking experience.
The Legend of Zelda has done so much to foster my love of gaming, and I will always be a lifelong fan of the series.”
We hope you enjoyed Mr. Panda’s tale and just like the last issue, this one will also consist of two stories and although I did intend to share my own, instead we’ll be hearing from Kuribo. Enjoy:
Jeff (Kuribo): “Surprisingly, unlike a lot of people, growing to enjoy Zelda games was a slow process for me and the thing that made me like Zelda is not what you might expect. If not for strategy guides, I would have never liked the Zelda series and missed out on many of the great games.
If you’ve played some of the old Zelda games, then you probably know how obtuse they can be. Not so much in the puzzles, but just knowing where to go next and how to advance in the game. My first Zelda game was Link’s Awakening on Game Boy and man did I struggle with it. Just figuring out what you’re supposed to do, especially when you’re a kid and have only played a few video games before is really tough. Even when I did figure it out, I remember getting stuck in dungeons because I didn’t know what to do in some rooms which made me not really enjoy the game all that much.
My next experience with Zelda was A Link to the Past when it was rereleased on Game Boy Advance and it did not go any better. I had no idea how to navigate the large world and quickly gave up on it. To this day, I’ve never really given this classic a game the fair shake it deserves. I mention this not as a complaint, but to show just how difficult of a time I was having with Zelda.
So when did it finally turn around? With what I think is absolutely one of the greatest games of all time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. At the time, I was a loyal Nintendo Power subscriber and one of the perks when you renewed each year was choosing a Nintendo Power Player’s Guide (which were very high quality compared to the competitors). So naturally, I got an Ocarina of Time Strategy Guide and it really paid off. I immediately fell in love with many aspects of Zelda. The side quests and charming characters. The sense of character progression as you gain items and hearts. And especially the plot which, while simple, is so satisfying and fits the game perfectly. I know for sure that without a good strategy guide, the Water Temple would have whipped me mercilessly and I would have not beaten yet another Zelda game. But thankfully, the guide helped and I beat the game and truly loved it.
From then on, I kept buying guides and getting better at the games. I was able to solve dungeons on my own and now I’ve gotten good enough at solving puzzles and understanding the game’s logic that I no longer need guides for the handheld games and buy strategy guides for the console games because I want to see all the side quests and what the game has to offer. While I prefer Mario games (and action games to puzzles), Zelda has become a staple in my video game collection and other than the multiplayer games (I enjoy single player games a lot more), I have purchased every Zelda game since Link’s Awakening. Of course, this likely would have never happened without a strategy guide and I’m happy to say I have kept all of my guides and look back on them fondly.
When Zelda comes out for NX, I will be there to buy it and I know that I’ll also be picking up a strategy guide alongside it. I might be buying a guide out of nostalgia or it could be because I have a subconscious fear that I might get stuck like in the old days, but for me, when I think of Zelda, I think of strategy guides and how much more fun I had once I combined the two. It saved me from growing frustrated with the games and has turned me into a lifelong fan.”
For the rest of the Zelda stories from our staff, which includes my own, be sure to check out the final part of the Team Miketendo64 Edition, which will either be next week, or the week after that. And one last thing, be sure to let us know what you think of our new header. We made it especially! But just remember we do want to hear and share your stories too! The details to do just that can be found in the next two paragraphs:
All those willing to put their story/experience forth will be credited for it and are allowed to submit photos of the own choosing to also be used. To submit photos, be sure to visit our Facebook Page Miketendo64, where you can either post your pictures to the page, or just message them in to us. You can also tweet your photos directly to us, just send them to @miketendo64. Or go straight for the jugular and email us your photos and story by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for your stories, you can either comment them directly in response this post, or as a comment on wherever you see the link to this feature, on Facebook. The choice is yours, so be sure to get them sent in whenever you can. As of now there is no closing date, so be sure to send in as much or little as you want! And one last thing, be sure to let us know what you think of our new featured image. We made it especially!
So until the next edition of Zelda You: Our Stories, till next time folks. You’re never too old to get your GAME on!