Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Legend of Zelda

I have been primarily writing about anime TV shows and manga series with the occasional movie review but I realized that The Legend of Zelda is fundamentally video game anime since there was a manga series and TV show made based off of the game, though very unique in its own right; I also thought that this would be a segue into another topic which I'll discuss at the end of this post.

The very first Zelda game, the original Legend of Zelda, came in 1986.  In the game the player travels as a young boy named Link who makes his way to Hyrule Castle to seal away the evil Dark Lord Ganondorf who has brought his army of minions from the Dark World after breaking free.  Ganon seeks the Triforce of Power that is held under the possession of Princess Zelda who breaks the Triforce into three separate pieces and scatters them across the land for Link, the Chosen Hero, to collect and return to her castle and vanquish Ganon and his minions, sending them back to the Dark World.

This story became the bedrock story arch for many sequels that came afterwards.  Oddly enough, the games' story lines don't follow in the order they were released.  One of the most recent Zelda games; The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword which was released in 2011 for the Wii, described how Zelda the Spirit Maiden, Link the Chosen Hero, the Triforce, the Master Sword, and the Kingdom of Hyrule itself was created whereas the very first Zelda game made, the Legend of Zelda, is listed as the eighth game in the series.  To make things even weirder, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998 was said to have created three different timelines for the Zelda series: one where Link is victorious in sealing Ganon away once more and remains a child, another where he is an adult, and the last timeline exists where Link failed to carry out his task.  So not only is The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening the seventh game in the series, but so is The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords + Hyrule Adventures and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks because they all happen relatively at the same time in three different timelines.

There is much controversy among the fans and the creators of the Zelda games as to whether all the games really do exist in one universe or not, but the theory of the three different timelines has given an answer that puts some fans into complacency.

I personally think that there is no possible way that all this weirdness could occur within one universe, even though I haven't played all the games or bothered to read all their descriptions.  The biggest, and only, piece of evidence I have to support my allegation is that the geography/locations of cities of the Zelda world changes every game even if the same generation of Link remains in multiple games, so that disproves the explanation that the tectonic plates of the world have shifted over the time it took for another evil to arise and the current generation of Link to seal it away.  Also, the Castle of Hyrule and the Sacred Grove change their layout every game as well.  I can except the possibility of renovations within the walls of the Castle of Hyrule easier but the Sacred Grove is an abandoned and ruined temple that holds the Master Sword which awaits the Chosen Hero to reclaim it whenever evil is revived in the land.  No one resides there who would bother to reposition statues and change the entire floor plan.  The layout of the Zelda games is not consistent enough to have all the games in the series occur in one universe.

Moving away from that topic to the characters themselves, Link is often shown sleeping during the opening scene of the games.  This, I see, is a way to convey an idea to the player the moment the game starts that Link is unsuspecting of the journey ahead.  He often starts off doing meager work around the village he lives in and though the player is presented with a choice in the game whether to carry out these chores, the game is always stacked to benefit the player in some way if he/she chooses to do what is being asked of Link.  Despite the fact that it is  an enticement to perform such various niceties, the game tries to send the message that Link is a modest and selfless young man.  He sets off to save the world and at the same time manages to help those in need, a true hero.

Zelda, usually the second to main character, goes through some different personalities as the generations of her lineage go by, whereas Link remains the modest hero. In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Zelda is an elegant and sophisticated woman of royalty; in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword she's an assertive kind teenager attending Knight Academy; and in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time she is a nice but powerful girl who disguises herself as a male named Sheikah to avoid Ganondorf and she aids Link throughout the game by providing information and teaching him songs.  Undeniably, to the core, Zelda remains a righteous, good, and reliable character for the entire series, without whom Link would never hope to prevail against the forces of darkness.

This is most definitely the longest post I've done, showing that I am most passionate for this subject.

Not that anyone cares because barely anyone looks at this blog but I'm going to start branching out in the kinds of stuff I write about on this blog; it will not be solely anime.  I can't only write about anime because that would be limiting the number of posts I could do so I think it best to mix things up a bit now instead of completely dropping what I'm doing here on Mushi Master once I've run out of anime media to write about and moving on to some other topic.

I've posted a link to the Official Zelda Timeline in case any of you couldn't read the timeline I included in this post (I could barely read it): The Official Zelda Timeline.