The Legend of Zelda

When I was a kid, we had an original Nintendo, and one of the games we had was the Legend of Zelda.  It was a great game.  I remember my mom helping us make maps of the dungeons.  There was no Internet back then, so you couldn’t just go to a website to figure something out, you had to either buy a book or figure it out on your own.  I’m sure some of the stuff was passed around verbally at school.

Late last year, Amie was thinking about Christmas gifts to give me.  She mentioned she saw that a new Zelda game was coming out for the Wii and wondered if I’d like that.  This reminded me of the wonderful time playing Zelda as a kid and I told her that’d be great.  So I went on the Wii and downloaded the original Zelda game to play it again.  Then in the store, we saw that the first Zelda game for the Wii was now $20, so I decided to spend some of my fun budget on that, and then I got the new Zelda Wii game for Christmas.  Here’s some random thoughts on each:

Original Legend of Zelda:  The one thing I can say about this is that it’s amazing how much stuff you remember about a game.  I would be wandering through the forest, and I would know exactly which tree should be burned for the hidden treasure, etc.  I probably forgot a lot of stuff about the calculus classes I had late in college, but by golly, if you give me the opportunity to replay a game from 25 years ago (Not sure of the actual year we got Zelda), I can start recalling stuff like Rainman.  The other thing I noticed is that I’ve become a much better player.  Maybe as an adult, I have much better hand/eye coordination, I just remain calm, or I just flat out rock, but the game seemed much easier.

Twilight Princess: So this was the original Zelda game for the Wii.  I didn’t really do any research on it and started up the game, and it asked for a name, just like the original game did.  I put “Bryan”, because I’m unoriginal and well, that’s my actual name.  Then it prompts me for the name of my horse.  What?  I didn’t plan for this, and I don’t have a horse in real life.  Of course, I did the only logical thing and named the horse “Mr. Ed” (of course of course).  So then I go to play the game, and it’s a lot more involved than the first Zelda.  In the first one, you have a sword like 5 seconds after the game starts.  In this, you end up doing some other stuff before you get a sword.  It has a much longer story with tasks woven into it.  I played the game for a bit and then I get to this part where I get turned into a wolf.  Really, I didn’t like playing as a wolf.  It just sucked.  No cool weapons, and well, in real life, I’m not a wolf.  I might be as hairy as one, but I have opposable thumbs.  So you’d play for a while, and then turn back into human, and then into wolf again.  And eventually you get to the point where you can just choose.  So the things I noticed from this game:

1) Link (aka me) originally gets into trouble because he goes into the woods without a weapon. Why? Because the kids blocked his way and wouldn’t let him through without letting them borrow his sword.  How messed up is that? You’re an adult and you get bossed around by kids.  Not just normal bossing around, but HANDING THEM YOUR ONLY WEAPON!

2) The people in your hometown aren’t really that helpful.  During the course of the game, you have to save their children who get kidnapped.  You’d think they’d do anything to help get their kids back, right?  Nope!  One of them owns an entire store, but still wants to charge you for stuff.  They must be really big Dave Ramsey fans, because in Ordon, trying to save someone’s children doesn’t even get you a line of credit.

3) The guide that helps you is annoying.  I know it must be hard to progress the game a bit by trying to tie it into a story, but the guide, named Midna, looks like some flying monkey with a weird Phantom of the Opera mask, always sidetracks you.  “Hey, I know you want to save the girl, but help me get revenge for this thing first.”  I was half-expecting near the end of the game, “I know you want to defeat Ganon, but can we go and pick up my dry cleaning?”

4) Some of the bosses seemed to have really oddball ways to kill them.  It’s true in the Zelda games that you normally use the new weapon you found on the boss, but some of the stuff became so complex, Amie would have to explain what I needed to do.  She would be following along with online guides.  I didn’t need help on all of them, but a few I did.  Playing Zelda was my relaxing time, so I didn’t want to spend 2 hours trying to figure out what I was suppose to be doing.

5) Every chick seems to want you.  In the original Zelda, there was Zelda (who wanted you) and an old woman (or actually like 20 identical old woman).  Those were all the female human characters.  In Twilight Princess, there’s a bunch of women, and all of them flirt with you because you’re the mack daddy.

6) Zant:  This is the second to last boss.  You actually think he’s the head honcho for most of the game. He’s suppose to be scary and stuff, but he has a goofy fish mask thing on.  It just looks dorky.  And what’s with the tassels on the hands?  He actually looks creepier without the mask on.

7) For some reason, you don’t quite finish all the characters in the game.  There’s this giant goblin creature you end up fighting I believe three times throughout the game.  You usually knock him down a final time, and then just watch as he gets up and leaves.  In one case, he gets up, leaves, and starts the place on fire.  You kill Ganon when he’s in beast form, but don’t finish it up with a beheading because you want to talk to Zelda first.  At which point Ganon gets up and turns into another form you have to beat.

8) At then end, you load up the kids in a wagon to finally return them to their parents.  You cross a field you’ve crossed many times before, but even in the epilogue, it shows there’s still some creatures running around.  Maybe they’re leaving, we don’t know. And why you don’t just take the kids one at a time on your horse is never answered.

9) In the end, the Midna person (now in human-ish form) tells you that you can always visit each other as long as the mirror exists.  Instead of inviting you to dinner next Saturday, she destroys the mirror.  Probably because she figured you didn’t completely off Ganon and doesn’t want him coming into their world.  And it’s a plot point of the game that the mirror wasn’t destroyed before, just broken into 4 pieces that you had to gather.  When she destroys the mirror, it doesn’t show it being destroyed in some “completely destroyed” fashion, just being shattered.  I almost wonder if the next quest will have someone saying, “We just need to gather the 50,000 pieces of the mirror.”

Skyward Sword: This was the game I got for Christmas.  I thought the plot was a little more cohesive, and the game was quite fun.  You had to swing your sword a little more accurately to kill enemies (for example, swing horizontally or swinging vertically made a difference).  Like Twilight Princess, most of the female characters want you because you’re the mack daddy.  This game is the first one in the Zelda timeline, so it start out with the characters living on this floating sky city called Skyloft.  You can run across Skyloft fairly easily.  It’s not gigantic.  The Skyloft Knight Academy is the biggest employer in Skyloft, with 5 employees.  But the thing I wonder is: Where are all the other parents?  Some of the characters have their parents in Skyloft, but for others, they’re simply not mentioned.  Is 75% of the city orphans?  How did all the parents die?  I’m expecting to come across some giant monument that explains what happened.  “Oh this?  This signifies the tragic event years ago when we had bird flu and most everyone died.  And the houses they lived in, we destroyed those so we have 100% occupancy.”  It kind of makes you afraid to graduate from the Knight Academy because Skyloft has a worse housing situation than Williston.

But Skyward Sword seemed to be much better put together than Twilight Princess.  I found myself figuring out things more on my own without convoluted things I had to look up in the guide.  For people being so interested in the sky, they really didn’t seem to interested in the openings in the clouds.

The thing I hated most about Skyward Sword were the Silent Realm trials.  Basically, you lose all your weapons, you run around an area collecting “tears” (that’s the crying things, not the rips in your pants) while trying to avoid these creepy ghosts things.  I just hate it.

Amie was most bothered by this dragon that when you first meet him, he’s a skeleton.  When you have him come back to life by bringing the past back to the present (it makes sense in the game), he’s alive and talks about being immortal. “Really?  If you were immortal, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this hassle to make you alive again.”

Also, the headmaster at the Academy (Zelda’s father), gives you some information that’s been previously secret in Skyloft.  But at the end of the game, it’s revealed that Zelda is part goddess.  Well, the headmaster isn’t, so it makes you wonder if perhaps Zelda’s mother was some goddess.  I expected the headmaster to say, “Oh, and one other thing I forgot to tell you.  Zelda’s mom was a goddess.  She had powers and stuff, but still succumbed to bird flu.  Not sure if that’s helpful or not.”

And the guide for this game was some human-looking thing that lived in your sword.  She’d pop out and spoonfeed you the next thing to do sometimes.  For some reason, the designers thought people would like it if every sentence she when she was spoonfeeding you started out with a percentage of whether or not it would work.  “Master, my senses tell me there’s a 85% chance that this door has what we need.”  “Master, there’s a 93% chance this guy will die if you hit him horizontally with your sword.”  And she’s never wrong.  It’d be great if there was an option to just cut down on the trite sayings and cut to the chase.  She also sang really weird.  Parts of the game involve you getting songs and playing them and she starts screaming them and then flying around like a flying child that lost their Ritalin.

Anyways, that’s all I can remember for now.  I probably should’ve taken notes when I was playing to write down more hilarious things, but I didn’t.  Oh well, Amie laughed enough at this so I figured it was enough to post.

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