All things come to an end and regular features on a news site are no exception, so as much as I would like to keep Zelda You: Our Stories going, it is time to lay the series to rest.
When I first come up with this series, I wanted to do something to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my all-time favourite game series and give others the chance to join. The chance to talk about a series that has brought us all so much joy, and share whatever stories we wanted to. For a while the series worked perfectly, but the longer it ran on, it started to fall apart.
As a series that requires stories sent in by Zelda fans, without submissions to keep it going, the series is dead in the water and while there are no shortage of The Legend of Zelda fans out there, only a minority of Miketendo64 followers are Zelda fans, so even if the series didn’t end this week, there was a good chance it was going to end this month regardless. Had there have been more fan demand, this series would easily have kept on going until March.
But let’s not think about that, instead let’s rejoice what was and reflect on a few of the submissions we did receive, 4 from readers and 1 from our very own Mike Scorpio:
*Taken from Zelda You: Our Stories Issue #1
Mykel Linden: -HOW MY LIFE WAS CHANGED AND IMPROVED BY THE LEGEND OF ZELDA:
“When I was 3 and a half years old, I was sitting down with a little cup of juice on my living room floor and I watched as my father (who had just come home from our local game store) pull a rectangular box out of a bag. I tried to read it, and all I could say was “Za” at the time. So, my father took the brand-new SNES cartridge out of the box and put it into his machine and turned it on.
I watched as three golden triangles started spinning and undulating, getting closer and closer together until they formed a symbol. Then, a beautiful sword (I called it a “Swuh” back then) pierced the triangles and the logo for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past appeared, accompanied by some truly memorable and beautiful music. After watching the intro, and learning about the Seven Sages and the evil “Again”, as I called Agahnim then, I was hooked utterly on the game…despite my young age.
For about two weeks, I watched my father journey through Hyrule’s Light World, and when he finally completed the Tower of Hera, I decided I had to try this game for myself. I snuck out of my bedroom one night and snuck over to my father’s Super Nintendo, and turned it on with A Link to the Past inserted. I had watched how my father controlled Link’s sword and various items, so I had a good idea of what to do. An hour passed, and I was already in Hyrule Castle, helping Princess Zelda escape her captivity by Agahnim.
However, a couple of hours later, when I was near the Eastern Palace, I looked over, and I saw the time, and realized my father and mother would likely wake up soon, so I very carefully turned the game off after saving, and I snuck back into my room and went to sleep, dreaming the best dreams. A few more weeks go by, and my father is completely stuck in the Misery Mire Palace (the 6th Dark World Dungeon,) and I held up my hands, trying to motion for the controller, and my father thought I wanted a hug, so he went to pick me up, but I pushed him away a bit, and while his hands were free, I grabbed the controller and I began playing. Within about 20-30 minutes, I had solved my father’s problem…and he was astounded. After that, he looked at me and said one thing: “Play.”
I obliged him happily, and within about 3-4 hours, I had reached Vitreous, the boss enemy of Misery Mire. After more than a few times of dying, I finally defeated Vitreous on my own without any assistance from my father. But I digress. I got carried away reminiscing about my first experiences with this legendary franchise. Eventually, my father beat A Link to the Past, and I began playing my file with much more interest, and eventually beat my own file on my own. A couple of years went by, and I ended up getting my hands on a copy of the recently released Ocarina of Time, and it was a short time before I entered Kindergarten.
From Grade 1 right up to Grade 6, I was mercilessly teased and bullied by nearly everybody, and even the Teachers and Principal of the schools I went to never came to my defence, despite being in the right most of the time. I was bullied, and I responded violently to the bullies, but only my response was ever paid attention to. Through all of my hardships at school, and some hardships at home (where my father and I began arguing almost all the time and fighting), one constant remained in my life: The Legend of Zelda. From A Link to the Past, to Ocarina of Time, to Majora’s Mask, to the Oracle series, and onward, I never failed in being amazed by the detail and depth of each world that was brought to the consoles and handhelds of the Nintendo company.
My imagination soared with the inspiration driven by The Legend of Zelda, and I began to also write my own stories as a way of venting my creativity and my desire to be carried away into one of these imaginary worlds to help Link rescue Zelda from Ganon/Ganondorf, or to simply be a citizen of Hyrule or Termina or whichever land was in the game I was playing at the time. Eventually, I went back and played the original Legend of Zelda, and Zelda II: Adventure of Link, but I had been introduced to A Link to the Past first, so I couldn’t help but be mildly disappointed, even knowing these games predated ALTTP.
And now, much time has passed, and here I am, at 21 years of age, and I, like a good portion more of the Legend of Zelda fanbase, am excited for the upcoming Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX. Throughout all of my life, the Legend of Zelda series has not failed me in being there when I needed somewhere to go; somewhere to get away from all of the daily nonsense of this world.
I also believe this is why there are SO many gamers: We all just want somewhere to go that we can live out our dreams. Whether you want to break the law, blow people and vehicles up, and run people over in Grand Theft Auto, or you want to be the one with the most kills in Call of Duty, or you want to see how many soldiers stopped adventuring because they got an arrow to the knee in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…these are worlds people can escape to that often defy what the real world is like. These worlds are fantasy, and to a video gamer, fantasy is as real as it can get.”
*Taken from Zelda You: Our Stories Issue #2:
Liam Callahan: -Why I Love the Legend of Zelda:
“Man, this franchise. I LOVE IT SO MUCH IT HURTS. It has so many great qualities, and that’s what I’m here to talk about.
First off, the characters. We have the main ones, Link (my favourite!), Zelda, and Ganon/Ganondorf. However, we have characters such as Talon, Moosh, that clown guy from Skyward Sword, my point is that these characters are the most creative and unique I’ve ever seen. They’re unlike any characters I’ve ever seen.
Now we have the story. I’m not going to explain the story, because I can’t! Each game has its own awesome story, each one being different than the last, and I love all of them. Such as in The Wind Waker, Hyrule is sunken in the ocean! Or Majora’s Mask, where Majora’s Moon CRASHES INTO EARTH. How about Skyward Sword, where they live in the sky. See what I mean?
Next is the addition. The addition, besides for the story, makes each game unique. Each game has one, except for maybe the first, you know, being the first in the series and all. You know what I’m talking about, being able to become a painting in A Link Between Worlds, the masks in Majora’s Mask, the sailing in the Wind Waker, the flying in Skyward Sword, stuff like that.
The dungeons, although being hard sometimes, are fun and challenging. The atmosphere and settings are great, as well. Over all, this franchise is a masterpiece. I love it beyond belief, and it will always be my favourite. Thank you for your time. Oh, I forgot to mention that the music is AMAZING.”
*Taken from Zelda You: Our Stories Issue #6:
Norman Bennet: -I’m not just addicted to Zelda, I’m obsessed by it!:
“With some games, you sit down, you pick up a remote and you play for a bit. Sometimes for an hour or two and other times you’re up on night because you just don’t want to stop. For me, games that have that effect on me are the Zelda games. Handheld and home console, I play them all and if I were to reveal how many nights I didn’t sleep because I was so adamant on beating Ganondorf one more time, it would honestly surprise you. I’m not just addicted to Zelda, I’m obsessed by it and that makes me happy.
I don’t think there has ever been such a videogame series that has had such an effect on me and have so much variety. Between all the puzzles, water temples and engaging storylines. I love all Zelda games and I can say that because I’ve actually played the CD-i and I actually didn’t think they were that bad. Yes I know they’re not canon and ‘No true Zelda fan would ever admit to liking them,’ but they weren’t all that bad and if Nintendo weren’t so busy trying to deny the games very existence, they could actually decide to remake them and make them so much better. Make them into the Zelda games they should have been, as opposed to the non-canon Zelda games they are now. And since I’m admitting to liking Zelda games others hate, I LOVE Tri Force Heroes!
I have no doubt that last comment will have you all running off to grab your pitch forks, but yeah I liked Tri Force Heroes. Yes the story is terrible, but the puzzles weren’t. Playing that on your own is challenging and playing with others can be a real nightmare when they’re more interested in throwing you off a cliff than completing the objective, but that’s just all part of the experience. It is a shame though the game is hated so much and I really hope they would bring more dlc to it, another Den of Trials thing because that was fun. It’s not going to happen though.
Not to brag or nothing, but I’ve probably put more time in playing the games than most of you could ever dream off, and every second is well spent. Sure I may not have gone to a single concert the Symphony of the Goddess, or done a cosplay or even collect every piece of Zelda merch going, but I buy the games and I play the games, even after I have completed each one at least twice (some games like Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask are six a piece,) I continue to play them over and over. It’s just too a series and hopefully Breath of the Wild won’t disappoint. Yes it’s a huge game, yes there are puzzles and shrines, but will it actually live up to the name the Zelda series has earned for itself, or will it just be too big that it actually gets boring? That is something that worries me, but I will still play it regardless and I will strive to be the very first person to complete it!”
*Taken from Zelda You: Our Stories Issue #12:
LonLonJon: -To spend, or not to Spend? That is the Question!:
“A lot of you may find this weird, but although I have been an avid Zelda gamer since early 2000, I never actually brought into any of the memorabilia pertaining to the series. I never collected and read the mangas, I never purchased Zelda figma and toys. Never even brought Zelda clothing either, but the more I play the games, the harder it is to say no to that Hylian Shield pendant and chain. Harder to say no to purchasing the Collector’s Edition Game Guides. Not that I actually need them, but let’s be honest, they do look really nice.
Right now I find myself saying no to purchasing the first instalment of the new Legendary Edition series manga. Ocarina of Time is one of my favourite games in the series, but the manga follows its own path and this particular reprint has new content as well, so while it is tempting to purchase it, at the same time I’m worried it’s too much of a change of the game I love and even if I do finally decide against purchasing it, I’ll only have to go through this process of humming and harring next month when the new Zelda amiibos come out.
So far I have been real good at saying no to them, including Wolf Link, but the Breath of the Wild ones look good and so do the 30th anniversary Zelda ones. I’m not so much a fan of the 8-bit Link, or even The Wind Waker ones, but an Ocarina of Time amiibo? How can I say no to that? I have the money to buy them, I have the money to buy all of the Zelda amiibo, and mangas, thanks to actually having a decent job, but once you start saying ‘yes,’ it’s a long slippery ride downhill from there.
You see I’m a fan with an addictive personality, if I start something, that’s it, it has me hooked and there is no saying ‘no,’ I suppose that’s why I never gave any of the Pokémon or even the Yo-Kai games a try, because I knew full well that they would consume me. It’s the reason why I only own each title on my current consoles digitally, were I to buy the physical versions, I would have to buy every game in its physical form and I really don’t want to go through all of that just yet. In short I am confused as hell as to what I should do and I just want to know if there are any others out there who are just like me.”
Mike Scorpio: “We all remember our first Zelda game and that moment where we find ourselves truly captivated in the amazing world in front of us. There are mountains to scale, lakes to submerge into, dungeons to master and a damsel in distress for us to rescue and the multitude of side-quests to keep the player entertained and feel rewarded afterwards. Whether it was the very first ‘The Legend Of Zelda’ on the NES or ‘The Wind Waker’ on the Gamecube or like me, it was ‘The Ocarina Of Time’ on the Nintendo 64.
When I was 11 years old, I remember the first time I gazed eyes upon my first Zelda game, I was watching my neighbour playing it. I didn’t know it at the time but I later learned that he was in the Goron mines and making his way to the fire temple. Link was in Red Goron Tunic and was trying to grab a heart piece at the end of a lava pit. I was intrigued by the gameplay and ultimately asked my parents to buy me the game for my birthday. It was November time and I was being a naughty boy and searching around for my presents. My parents were out so it was a good time to nose around and low and behold, under my parents’ bed, I found it. It was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time for the Nintendo 64.
I inserted the cartridge into my N64 console and before I knew it, I was taken into a world that filled me with awe and wonderment, I was a child of the forest who had to slay monsters that had infested inside the Great Deku Tree, Meet the Princess in which the game gets its namesake and save the world from a terrible evil, all whilst completing side-quests to make the lives of other characters in the game easier and content. I continued to play in secret up until my birthday which, I then was able to play officially.
I will always remember that moment when I was only a boy with the fate of Hyrule on my shoulders and that it was up to me to save it. It made the experience truly unique and fulfilling. Whatever game in the series it was for you that started your love affair, it has ultimately shaped us into the fans we are today. Whether you are the just a fan of a few games in the series or the proud owner of a vast collection of Zelda games and memorabilia that would make most of the Zelda Fan world envious, we are all at the end of the day fans of one of the most memorable and compelling Game series of all time.”
To everyone who participated and sent something in, you have our sincerest of thanks. Thank you for helping make our bi-weekly feature one of my most favourite pieces to post!