Tales From Hyrule, or I Fell For A Character: How Fictional Love Can Impact Our Lives
Last week Zelda lovers were made aware of the next release in the long line of Hylian tales. The uproar screamed of good news for some, bad news for others. It turns out that the next release is a remake of the cult classic The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, this time for the Nintendo 3DS. In the same fashion that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was remade for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2011, this new release will ultimately be the same game, with minor tweaks, and a 3D remastering to make it all more fitting for today’s gaming world.
Now, I have personally met many die-hard Zelda fans that will defend Majora’s Mask all the way to the grave and farther, claiming it’s unorthodox storyline and creatively dark tune make for the best game in the Zelda series. I am not one of these people. To be fully honest, and this is hard for me to admit being the self-proclaimed biggest Zelda fan in the world, I have never finished this game. I have tried and failed to grasp the overall idea of the gameplay, the looming three-day doomsday, the mask play, and the time traveling Link. But, although I was not a fan of Majora’s Mask before, in the name of my true love, Zelda, I will give it another shot — and also, the enigmatic trailer Nintendo used to get the news out was fascinating.
It never occurred to me before, but it makes complete sense now why Majora’s Mask never interested me too much in the past, why I never felt the urge to finish this grim tale before. In Majora’s Mask, the ultimate goal is saving Termina from the big, bad moon heading straight for collision. A hero saving the world from impending doom, sure, that’s fun and all, everybody wants to save the world, but what I love about the Zelda games is what you would expect me to love about them: Princess Zelda! The joy from these games is mainly from the facts that I get to save the princess, saving the girl, and as an added bonus saving the world. Much like the Super Mario series, it’s the girl who matters. Since this aspect of the knight in shining armor is missing from Majora’s Mask, I was never too inclined to delve fully into the story, I never felt like a needed hero because there was no princess that needed me.
But hey, come Spring of 2015, I have another shot at this game. I’ll get over the lack of a princess in this fairy tale, keep my memories close from the many rescue missions I’ve had in the past, and figure out why people claim this game is the most underrated in the series. The Skull Kid is coming back, reincarnated in 3D form, and ready to steal Majora’s Mask again, to end Termina with the help of that creepy moon, in three days time. I’m getting ready.
Best of Zelda — According to this Triforce tattooed reviewer:
5. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap – Like a fun, Saturday morning cartoon version of the Zelda saga. The handheld installments have usually been kept out of most mouths while arguing about best-in-show, but The Minish Cap deserves to be on people’s list. Hyrule can be an amazing place to wander, with beautiful sights and mysterious corners, so imagine taking that world and shrinking down to see it pixel-by-pixel. What an adventure!
4. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Link is older now, and as we all know, with age comes violence. Being the first Zelda game with a “Teen” rating, it was bound for greatness. Since Zelda fans everywhere were waiting for a more adult, more difficult version of the classic game, aimed for the original Zelda generation, this definitely did not disappoint. Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy playing as Wolf-Link, what could be cooler than that?
3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker – Toon Link, cel shading, and a vast sea to roam. You might think the hours of virtual sailing to be a huge waste of time, but there was no time-waster that made me feel better while I was stuck in boarding high school. I didn’t have my own GameCube, but a senior friend of mine did. He used to let me hangout in his room (in the senior floor nonetheless) playing Wind Waker while I skipped class, sailing for hours, losing myself in the two-tone waves, laughing the hours away.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – In fifth grade, birthdays can be some of the longest days. You can barely get to sleep the night before, impatiently waiting to get to school the next day to enjoy those hours where you’re the freaking man, everyone saying happy birthday, your name getting called over the morning announcements, your teachers treating you like a king. But quickly you realize that getting home after school means getting presents, glorious presents, and the hours in class can take FOR-E-V-E-RRR. The cold, anticipated walk back from school isn’t long, usually about a 20 minute trek, that is, if I’m not sneaking around and goofing off with friends. This special December day I damn near ran back, wanting so bad to open my gifts: maybe a new Paul McCartney CD, some drawing notebooks, or maybe, just maybe a new video game. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came out on November 21, 1998, just two weeks before my birthday. When I got home, after what seemed like a whole two weeks of classes rolled into one long day, I was greeted by my dad, with a little golden box, with one of the greatest games I’ve ever played inside. I was the proud owner of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I couldn’t hold my excitement in, but I didn’t understand how to pour my joy out. I started to step back, ready to plop down on our couch, gaze over that beautiful golden box, before my dad stopped me mid-plop. “Check under that pillow before you sit,” he divulged. After I nearly threw the couch pillow through the wall, I see it: a golden booklet. Not only do I have the greatest game, not only did I get the greatest gift from the greatest dad, but the puzzle is finished, all the pieces in place, as I also have the collectible player’s guide to the greatest game. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is my most cherished childhood memory.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – From the moment Link’s dying uncle hands over the sword and shield, my blood starts boiling, ready to give my life to save the young princess from her awful fate. Lucky for me, these lives I’m giving are quickly returned by a flying fairy or a quick slide of the restart button, but it’s the thought that counts, right? And frankly, at this point, with the hours I’ve clocked on this classic SNES game, I have basically given my life to Zelda. A Link to the Past is not just a perfect game with daring adventure, mesmerizing puzzles, big boss fights, and tons of great tools and trinkets, it is the best Zelda game because it has set the bar for the rest of the Hylian tales to be told. Pinning the light world against the dark, good against evil, A Link to the Past is the accumulation of what every Zelda game should be. The groundwork is there for the rest of history. Link and Zelda can be from different eras, change looks, different settings, and whatever else you could imagine, but at the end of the day, the gameplay, the adventure, the weapons, the battle, and the hidden love story are there forever. Graphics can get better, story can get a little wild, but the rock on which Link is built will always be based on this Link, the Link from the past.
Which is your favorite Zelda game? Do you think Majora’s Mask is worth playing?
– Nahuel F.A.