Let’s Think Deep: The Great Zelda Schism

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In case you missed it, Kyle, Other Chris and I recently got back from PAX. During this time, we were forced to drop off our car roughly five miles away from where we were staying, and because I’m cheap, we walked back in lieu of taking a cab. This gave us ample time to pontificate about various gaming things, and in my lucid state I came upon what I feel are answers to one of the greatest undying questions in the video game world: Why are Zelda fans so often split? It’s a debate that I’ve engaged in with Gus at least once, but it wasn’t until recently that I figured it all out. So are you ready? Let’s Think Deep.

With a series this epic, what's the problem?

The problem I’ll be debating today stems from one specific point in the Zelda series’ history: The release of The Wind Waker. Wind Waker by itself was not inherently a problem. However, the sticky wicket comes from the release of supposed screenshots roughly a year before Wind Waker was really announced that showed what Link and Ganondorf could look like on the GameCube. It didn’t show what they WOULD look like, just what they COULD look like. Diehard fans, being who they are, forgot the qualifier “could” and just assumed these were screenshots of a new Zelda game going along the roads that Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask had happily taken the series.

So when gamers saw the new road the Zelda series was about to travel, the cartoony cell-shaded road with vibrant colors and harmless childhood fantasies, a lot of fans freaked out. A few boycotted the game. Other gave in and accepted the fate of the series. Still others probably did something else. I, regrettably, denounced Wind Waker, then played it, then denounced it as a Zelda game yet praised it as a game in general, a stance which I stand by to this day.

I'm not saying it should have looked this way; we just thought it would.

The reason this debate is surfacing again can trace itself to the announcement of the newest Wii Zelda title, Skyward Sword, slated for release sometime next year. In the little footage and screenshots we’ve seen, the style looks like Twilight Princess and Wind Waker decided to have a child and name him Skyward Sword. Fans, once again, freaked out. On the surface this was due to many gamers wanting the console Zelda games to continue like Twilight Princess, i.e. darker, gloomier, and more mature. Seeing another shift toward the cartoony style frustrates on a deep level that on the top layer appears to be pathetic whining. I have a deeper reasoning now.

What is one thing that Nintendo, specifically Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, have said is a constant for the Zelda series? It used to be that Link was left-handed, and for a while they were adamant that there was no real timeline (that’s somewhat changed recently), but the biggest thing is as follows: Link has never and will never speak.

Now, despite the ease of which Nintendo could make a Zelda game where Link speaks, there are a few reasons why he doesn’t. The first is that if he never speaks, we never feel that they got his voice wrong. In essence, this is the lazy/cowardly excuse disguised as “artistic.” Nintendo managed to get the perfect voice for Mario, so why can’t Link have a voice? Besides, all gamers know roughly what Link sounds like anyway due to his various grunts and yelps from the recent games. The second and much more reasonable excuse is because by keeping Link mute, the player inserts him or herself into Link’s place as the protagonist. This tactic is very prominent in Japanese games, specifically RPG’s. Look at Chrono Trigger or Dragonquest VIII for examples outside the Zelda series. By keeping that character silent, the players assigns traits and expressions and plays themselves as if they were in the game. Why do you think you’re allowed to name Link whatever you want in each game anyway?

Just think: This woman spent an entire game riding on your back. Sometiemes it feels good to be The Hero of Blank.

So if you’re following along, here is the train-of-thought I’ve lead you on thus far: Nintendo created the Zelda series with a silent protagonist so that players would connect more to said character as if it were themselves, then the gaming world becomes confused when gamers react so personally to Zelda-related decisions. Don’t worry, this train has more stops.

If the goal was to make players insert themselves as Link, it sounds like that’s been accomplished with gusto. The problem with this is that many Zelda gamers have grown up since they first played the series, some of which grew up as the series itself was growing from 8-bit to 16-bit to full 3D polygons and now the current iterations. Link has, since the very beginning, been a young boy around 10-14 years of age, roughly. This wasn’t very noticeable when his was little more than pixels on the screen with little detail. Once Ocarina of Time hit, Link’s childhood self became very recognizable and noticeable. Within Ocarina of time, Link literally grows up into an adult aged 18-years-old and goes about his business with a more mature swagger, able to wield bigger swords and better equipment. Plus pants. He finally had pants. Gamers inserting themselves as Link were given a game where they GREW UP AND MATURED. Since I’m using myself as an example, my save file said “Chris,” which is me, therefore I GREW UP AND MATURED in this game as well.

Call me crazy, but I didn't feel I'd look sad and hesitant to go on an adventure after going on so many already.

Ocarina of Time was followed by Majora’s Mask, a direct sequel with the same Link, or more specifically, a continuation of the player’s growth. While Link stayed a child in this game, he very clearly didn’t act like it. There was a far deeper inner growth than outward physical change. Majora’s Mask was about loss and acceptance, and sometimes horrifying ghost boys, but by the end, Link/the player had matured in a vastly new and powerful way. This reversion to a child made sense and didn’t feel like a step backward since Link didn’t have to relearn everything. Link becoming a child again worked within the parameters Majora’s Mask set. Plus, much of the time he was an adult Zora or Goron anyway.

Suddenly Wind Waker comes along and Link is once again a boy. A boy who must learn to accept his destiny, reclaim the Master Sword, and fight Ganon…dorf…? Wait, didn’t we just do this? Say what you want about the art style, but Link turning into a child with no continuation of his former selves is what’s known as a Step Backwards. Longtime Zelda players were itching to keep their OWN narratives going, and telling us that we were naïve kids again was similar to finishing college and being told, “Okay, next week you start kindergarten all over again.” I’ve already learned which shapes go where. I can already count to ten. I know which color is red and which is blue. My childhood has past; where is my future?

"C'mon guys, learn to share and be a team! Now everyone lie down for naptime."

To put more perspective on this, let’s compare Link and Mario. When a player plays a Mario game, there is no instant assumption that the character on screen is anyone other than Mario. A Mario player works with Mario to complete a stage, but they themselves are not Mario. Mario speaks and has his own personality. We know he is brave and loves Peach. We know he doesn’t freak out or get surprised by anything. We know he can jump really high and craves spaghetti. These are things we just know. What about Link? He wears green and is also brave. And…that’s it. Mario’s personality is established and doesn’t require a dynamic character arc during each Mario game. Link’s personality, however, is inserted by the player, making the player experience his or her own character arc in each new Zelda game.

Think about this for a second. When a character approaches Link, he says nothing. Do you as the player say anything? “Oh, Tingle’s back. Hey I know you!” Or, “HERE you are Zelda! I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE!” Or, “Ganon?! Ganon’s back?! I HATE that guy!” Every time you smile or roll your eyes at a character or enemy that appears, you are displaying a character-driven response to the situation. Link is a blank slate, but you are full of emotion and you express it. Link is just what everyone calls you when they look at the game playing. “Link” is a Hyrulian term for “You” at this point. You did, after all, name Link whatever you wanted. Nintendo just gave a general suggestion.

Man, I remember when I fought hundreds of enemy soldiers next to a cross-dresser. That was SWEET.

Alright, back on the train-of-thought. Now we have: Nintendo keeps Link from speaking to allow the player to insert themselves into Link’s shoes, this works and Zelda players grow up to a level where they’re comfortable with the series, Link is turned into a cartoony child again and Zelda fans freak out since they view this as themselves being viewed as cartoony children yet again, Nintendo is utterly clueless as to why this bothers Zelda fans, the rest of the gaming community is utterly clueless why this bothers Zelda fans. Okay, we all caught up? Great, there’s more.

What Nintendo wants falls into two categories: Old Zelda fans and New Zelda fans. The exact numbers aren’t really known for either, so when a new Zelda game is made, the assumption is that fans will be fans, no matter what. This, however, is a misnomer. New Zelda fans won’t mind if Link is cell shaded, ten-years-old, and drives a train. Old Zelda fans familiar with reaching adulthood, slashing Ganon’s throat, and stopping a moon from crushing a small town may not give a crap about driving a train and blowing said train’s whistle when nagging passengers demand it.

To Nintendo, fans are fans, simple as that. They’d love the old fans to persist and the new fans to continue, but the series can’t function perfectly for both. Every step toward the darker Zeldas- the Ocarinas, Majoras, and Twilight Princesses- is a step away from the younger generation jumping at bright colors. Every step toward the brighter cartoony Zeldas- the Wind Wakers, Phourglasses, and Spirit Tracks- is a step away from the mature Zelda fans, long-since-grown-up and wanting a new progression and a new challenge. The formula can stay the same, but something needs to happen with Link that’s never happened before. He can’t just become the Hero of Blank again. He needs to experience something totally new to his character. Loss, hopelessness, destruction. Something more than “Now YOU’RE a hero, aren’t you kid?!”

Childish things can look cool, but they're still childish by nature.

What Wind Waker did wasn’t the inherent problem. It did deal with loss, hopelessness, and destruction. Hyrule was destroyed at the end of the game and there was nothing Link could do to stop it. The scale was also rather grand. If it stood alone as a Zelda game with its original art style there would be no problem. Phourglass and Spirit Tracks made Wind Waker a problem insomuch as they perpetuated the thought that cartoony Zelda games are pure empty calories. The two DS Zelda games are simply junk food that add nothing to the overall series or function as memorable stand-alone titles. The cartoony style has come to represent stagnation and repetition, as well as awkward controls when a button or D-pad would work perfectly. The hope was that the Zeldas for kids/New Zelda fans would stay on the handhelds while the Zeldas for the mature players/Old Zelda fans would forge on with the consoles. Fusing the two only seeks to bother the Old Zelda fans since the art style is associated with stagnation, frustration, regression, and overall lower quality. Zelda for the sake of Zelda does not please the Old Zelda fans.

This is where we’re at for Skyward Sword. The cartoony art style says to Old Zelda fans, “Skyward Sword will be lower quality than the games you prefer to play.” The big positive is that Skyward Sword is supposedly based around the origin of the Master Sword, a definite progression in subject matter due to adding to the overall Zelda narrative rather than rehashing. We will learn something new about this land and its history rather than just sail around and fight ghost pirates. Good.

Here are some other points in time Old Zelda fans would love to experience: The Forging of Hyrule, The Imprisoning/Sealing War, The Origin of Zelda’s lineage, How Hyrule Was Flooded Before Wind Waker, The Split Timeline Theory/Fixing The Split, What ANY Iteration of Link Does After Saving The Land, Finding Navi/Concluding The Hero of Time’s Story, etc. There’s a lot left to tap from the series, so why isn’t it being tapped?

Who was the first Zelda and how did her family rise to power? I want to know these things.

I’ll wrap my argument up by saying that Zelda fans as a whole are never going to be happy no matter what happens next. It is just the nature of a long-running fanbase to be outraged at everything. Trek fans become frustrated with the new series because they aren’t like the original. Star Wars fans become frustrated with the prequel trilogy because it wasn’t made for them. Fans of established bands get frustrated when the bands release new albums that don’t remind them of the old albums. There is just no winning.

But there can be a happy middle ground if we realize WHY longtime Zelda fans become frustrated. They aren’t just complaining that things are different; they’re complaining that they feel they’re viewed as childish, repetitive, and overall immature. At least, that’s my feelings anyway.

So what’re your feelings on the matter? Hardcore Zelda fans, how do the new games make you feel? Does the cartoony style bother you profoundly? Do you actually change Link’s name to your own? And newer Zelda fans, do you care about this at all? I want to know your opinions, so leave a comment and let your voice be heard. After all, it’s not like Link is going to say anything.

Want more Let’s Think Deep? Check these articles out:

Let’s Think Deep: The Used Games Dilemma

Let’s Think Deep: The Virtual Utopia

Let’s Think Deep: The Moral of the Story

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

14 Comments

  1. I’m not really a new zelda fan, i mean i have been playing since majora’s mask came, i have ALL the old zelda games(except alttp) and i beat almost all of them,but i really dont care about graphics.all i care about is that the game has a great story line, wich nintendo has not failed on that yet.

  2. @jojo

    Seriously? The bosses in Twilight Princess weren’t any more difficult. And in fact, I remember quite well the Sand dune boss in Wind Waker being a real pain in the ass. You had to get so close to lock on him and you only had a matter of seconds to reel in his eye and slash him before you were pulled inside and he ate up half your health. It also didn’t help that there was all these little anoying worms that kept attacking you in the mean time. and if they hit you while you were locked on, you’d lose your lock and enter FP mode and wouldn’t be able to move away as he swallowed you.

    Gannons snake form was Hell too. He was constantly moving and I thought I’d never get a clear shot at his tail. The only way was to be that quick or that lucky.

  3. well you have to realilze that they do this so they can get more age groups and get more money thats why twilight princess was made for the older people who like zelda and most of the older games aren’t as cheesy but, i do agree that wind waker was very cheesy i mean what the heck! i can see pirate turn to princess in a dramatic way all the boses in wind waker were retarded i beat them all so quickly.

  4. I can agree there. Zant was played up a lot better than he turned out. I was still a big fan of Twilight Princess though. I didn’t feel that Zelda and Ganondorf were shoehorned in as much as the Master Sword was, but I still feel that TP was an excellent game with a pretty good story. I still don’t understand why so many people keep saying it’s just Ocarina of Time redone though.

  5. On a slightly unrelated note, I’ve argued with friends before that Twilight Princess may have been better off as a side story like Majora’s Mask. It almost feels like Zelda and Ganondorf were shoehorned into the plot simply because Nintendo felt obligated to include them in a “core” Zelda game. It’s unfortunate that Zant was made to look like such a badass in the cutscenes and then… well, let’s just say that I doubt I’m alone in feeling severely disappointed with the final battle against him.

  6. It’s always baffled me that fans were so up in arms over Wind Waker’s art style despite the fact that A Link to the Past, widely considered the greatest of the classic Zeldas, also had a cartoony look and a young version of Link. I kind of equate the Zelda series to each new Pixar release: cynics keep waiting for them to finally release a stinker. Nintendo will never allow their flagship series to be anything less than polished to near perfection. Also bear in mind that Wind Waker is beloved by many Zelda fans and the DS games were both quite well received by both critics and fans. I’ve always looked at the Wind Waker universe as a refreshing change from the more typical medieval fantasy world seen in OoT and TP. Then again, I’ve always been a sucker for high seas adventures.

  7. People seem to be misunderstanding my argument here. I’m not saying that you have to agree with how longterm fans feel, I’m saying that you need to recognize that this is why a lot of them get bothered. The sense of entitlement is absolutely there, and that’s never a good thing, but this is the reasoning behind the entitlement, as I see it.

    I am still a bit confused as to how wanting a franchise to mature when it used to be childish is considered childish? Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were by no means something I’d consider childish, at least in terms of atmosphere and tone. There were a lot of straight-up horrifying things in those games. After those, the series took a sharp turn toward “safe imagry,” or rather, worlds that are no longer scary. Think of a movie from your childhood, let’s say Secret of Nimh as an example. While that was a movie made primarily for children, it is full of a lot of scary imagery and a serious tone. Zelda has been the same way to me up until Wind Waker. The series has been made with a younger audience in mind, but didn’t exclude the older crowd either due to a lot of scary imagery. Ocarina pushes this pretty far with places like the Shadow Temple and the Bottom of the Well. The tone was done right, keeping it spooky without just going BOO! From Wind Waker on, specifically the DS games, no more serious tones appear in the same way. Any time something supposedly scary comes along, it usually has a long tongue and just goes “Oogaboogabooga!” as if it doesn’t really want to be scary at all.

    So once again, my point isn’t to exclude new fans. A fan is a fan. Older Zelda fans’ opinions are not worth more than new Zelda fans’ opinions. Rather, this is here to explain to new Zelda fans how old Zelda fans feel and why they act the way they do. We’re not resistant to change; we’re resistant to change that makes these experiences empty calories.

  8. I suppose then, that as a fan who was only introduced to the series after college — and via WindWaker, at that — that my opinions don’t count as much as the childhood fan who played the original LoZ on the NES way back when, hmmmm?

    But I’ll give my opinion to you anyway, since you asked.

    There’s a general pattern in the wider culture right now, where today’s adults are bringing back franchises from their childhoods. As if, even though we’re now paying mortgages and raising our own kids, we still want our beloved Transformers and Thundercats, and whatever else we cling to from our childhoods.

    Except, now we’re adults, and we want these things to change for us, to reflect that. We wanna see what would happen if the Sword of Omens actually was used *gasp* as a SWORD! and drew blood! and the real-world implications of having only one childbearing female for HOW many males?!

    …okay, little bit of Thundercats nostalgia there. *cough*

    But the point is, go back and watch these things now, and it’s clear to see that it’s not the high drama that your 13-year old (or whatever age) self thought it was. It’s still just the same cheesy after-school cartoon it has always been, once you get past the nostalgia-filter created by all the fond memories.

    If the more recent Zelda games have seemed like a return to childhood, it’s because that’s where Zelda has always been rooted. Like a cartoon that relies on a basic premise as the set-up for episode after episode, Zelda’s set-up is: blonde boy with the sword gets stuck with saving the world. It’s always been about an unsure kid getting caught up in wide-reaching events that force him to tackle the wide and dangerous world, and it always will be.

    Wanting Nintendo to cater to your adult sensibilites by making Zelda a “mature” franchise is like, I dunno, insisting on a re-imagining of Thundercats in the vein of Last Airbender (or Battlestar Galactica, even!). It ultimately amounts to wanting the franchise to be all about YOU. And that, dare I say it, is….well, childish.

    Let it go. Let Zelda be what it is – a game about the brave kid with the sword who takes on the whole world against all odds. Let it be discovered by the kids who, hopefully, will one day be posting rants on whatever the Internet has morphed into by then, about how Nintendo has RUINED their happy memories of Skyward Sword with their latest Zelda offering.

    Because, otherwise, Zelda dies with us.

  9. The problem is, if I take the Zelda games as stand-alone games, the new ones suck horribly. Take out the Zelda from the DS games and they’re worthless games. I’m not saying that Skyward Sword is going to be a bad game, I’m just saying what the perception has become. Wind Waker was NOT the problem, the RESULT of Wind Waker was the problem, i.e. Leave Hyrule and make the game hinged on some sort of gimmick like a boat or a train. The cartoony games after Wind Waker are boring to me. Twilight Princess was excellent because it knew where it was coming from. It knew it was a Zelda game and it embraced it. It showed what Hyrule could look like if it matured just a little. It was still crazy, zany, fun, and quirky, but it was both Hyrule and mature at the same time. Don’t take the term “mature” as “hardcore, badass, blood and guts and GREY.” “Mature” here means exactly what its supposed to, “Hyrule grown up.”

    My Avatar reference is just asking you to look at this from the perspective of a fan that has a deep connection to the source material having to watch it catered to an audience other than said fan. Nintendo wanted Zelda fans to connect with Link as if it were themselves, so when Link is reverted to kindergarten, it loses that connection with the fans that already matured with him. Simple as that.

  10. I guess the main problem right there is that I didn’t see how Windwaker “dumbed down” the series. I played it right after I played Ocarina of Time, and they played EXACTLY the same. Both were fun adventure games that had dark turnes half way between them, both were funny when they wanted to be, and They just looked different.

    Therefore I don’t think that your Avatar senario really is comparable, because I don’t think Zelda was changed in that way. If however, you did want to say “Okay so The Last Airbender finished up, and then a year from now, Legend of Korra comes out and continues the story while slightly matureing the themes. Then, years later, the creators were like, ‘we’re making a third Avatar series,’ but it turnes out its going to be about an Avatar thousands and thousands of years in the future, the world is nothing as it use to be, and the art has changed from it’s classic style to… say the style of Samurai Jack, or I don’t know, something like this?

    http://animecaster.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/wind_waker_avatar_by_isaia.jpg

    I’ll admit, that would be strange, but I wouldn’t jump to conclustions and say “THIS isn’t the Avatar I grew up with. THIS is blasphemy! This is madness!”
    No, I would tell my judgments to shut up and actually watch the freaking show before I decide how authentic it is.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with this sort of problem. inFAMOUS 2 premeared at E3, and developer SuckerPunch had a brand new desighn and voice actor for the main character, Cole McGrath, I was actually very pleased with the preview and started liking the new Cole. It meant that he would no longer be a Jason Statham lookalike with Christian Bale back-of-the-throat voice overs. But apparently “fans” of the origional game (I don’t see how I’m any less a fan than they are) started throwing such a big hissy fit about how he looked different (in complete disregeard to how freaking awesome the actual GAME is turning out), that Sucker Punch whent back to the drawing board to give them something more familiar, and now I’m the one whose frustrated, but because I’m mature, I’m going to live with it.

    In all honesty, I see where you’re coming. I really do. You’re a life long fan for a series that has existed in your eyes since you were born. But please. This obsession of the series and your own personal view on how it should be done is only going to take away from what you love about them. I enjoy each of the Zelda game’s I’ve played so much because I don’t treat them as sequels, or prequels for that matter. I just see them as their own game with their own story and have a blast. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the Zelda series it’s that one game, by itself, is incredibly well crafted with a very tight well placed story, yet the second you try to get into the statistics and connect it to the other games of the series, than you’re only going to trap yourself in the lost woods of cronological inconsistancies.

    My favorite explanation of this is James Rolf’s video, where he attempts to make sence of it all. I know you find the guy annoying, but seriously, if you haven’t seen his video on Zelda Cronology yet, just give it a chance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHIP9UtkQDQ

  11. If Wind Waker rid itself of its artstyle, no, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it any more as a Zelda game. It still felt out of place, and while I keep saying that as a whole it was a very good game, it opened the doors for the DS titles to begin losing anything “Zelda” about them. Wind Waker was an attempted finale of Hyrule’s story, and while that’s good and well, there’s more to tell that’s getting brushed under the ocean in favor of pirate ghosts and demon trains.

    The problem is very much that Old Zelda fans feel that the series “belongs” to them, but they earned these feelings by being longtime fans. Would you think it fair if someone new to Avatar decided, “Hey, I like this whole bending thing…but what if we made them bend BULLETS and all the girls’ clothes fell off?!” I, as an Old Zelda fan, have been with this series since I was a kid, so when the games get dumbed down in any way to allow new players to join, it becomes extremely frustrating and feels as if fans like myself don’t matter to the powers that be. That’s the core of the problem.

    As for your Pokemon argument, how many diehard Pokemon fans do you still know? I’m not asking popularity numbers, I’m asking for legacy statistics. I used to be super into the games and had a bunch of friends that were also super into the games. How many of us do you think are still excited about a new release that’s asking us to Catch ‘Em All again? Take note that even the Pokemon franchise is making a small step toward maturing. White & Black versions have the kids start as 15-year-olds instead of 10-year-olds.

    Even worse for Zelda games, I know graphics whores that have taken one look at Skyward Sword and said, “Oh, that looks awful. I’ll never play that.” The compromise isn’t a bad idea, but it’s just highly charged. In essence, as I keep saying, the biggest worry for Old Zelda fans is that Skyward Sword is going to have gimmicky controls, a cheesy story, and a worthless adventure, just like the cartoony Zelda games on the DS have shown is the trend for the games. The compromise had already been made that the Ds games are for new fans and the console games are for old fans, so now the old fans are worried that they’re getting phased out. It’s as simple as that.

  12. As much as I love Wind Waker, I have to agree with you that Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks appeared to have missed the point and kind of made that whole style of Zelda games seem gimicky, which I find quite a shame.
    So, if I’m hearing you right, your saying that if everything from Windwaker remained the same, and they just canged the graphics so it looked more like the classic style, THEN you would have been able to accept it as a Zelda game? That… doesn’t sit well with me. Especially when I consider how well that game has aged in comparison to it’s predicessors and even Twilight Princess.

    The thing that bothers me most about some “Old Zelda fans” (guess that’s what we’re calling it now) is this attitude that the Zelda series “belongs” to them, and how dare Nintendo do anything to the series to attract new gamers (much like myself at the time) without their permission.
    What you say about Windwaker being a step backwards for the series as far as growing up goes, I can’t say I agree. I always thought that Link was suppose to be a hero that was reborn in a new child with every passing generation, (Similar to the Avatar in Avatar The Last Airbender.) and every time he’s meant to retake those steps from boyhood to manhood. When I played Windwaker, it was my first year in college, and I was extremely sceptical about where life would take me, let alone nowhere ready to grow up. Not only did Windwaker become a one of the quintisential games that made a hardcore gamer, it was a wonderful journey that follows one of my life long cheesy morals about never being too old to be a kid at heart. I don’t ever want to be like my parents, who refuse to watch a movie simply on the grounds that it’s a cartoon, even if it’s something like “UP,” which was easily the greatest, most origional, well written family film in 2009. JC’s Avatar has nothing on it.

    You make a good point about incerting your peronality and your identity into the games, however, with that I want to adress another series. In Pokemon, you do something very similar. You give your own name and interact with others on your own accord in a similar fasion. Yet in all 4 [going on 5] generations, they all begin in roughly the exact same manner. You living with your mom who conviniently lives next door to a professor who gives you your first pokemon, and off you go. If the series only wanted to catet to those who played Red and Blue and continues to grow up and get darker, more mature, until we get titles like “Pokemon Blood Red: Rated M for mature,” then where would that leave anyone else who wants to experience it for the first time? To get chewed up and spat out? No, everyone diserves a chance to jump into Pokemon and live in that world as it was when it first came to be.

    To bring this back to Zelda, what I see from Skyward Sword is an attempt at a compromise. They are keeping the same world from Twilight Princess to continue with that story arc to please the “old fans,” yet turned the graphics style to Windwaker so the “new fans” don’t feel they are any less appreciated or being abandoned.
    Either that or maybe (WARNING: Personal Opinion) they just flat out found that the Twilight Princess Link looks BETTER when cel-shaded. To be honest if there was anything I thought was lacking in Twlilight Princess, it was that the character models looked… off; like it was being insonsistent on whether it was going for realism or not. Whether or not you blame it on the graphics limitation of the Wii, the result was a very realistic background with people that looked like puppets. His model in Skyward Sword is almost identical to that of Twilight Princess, yet in that art style, he looks eons more natural.

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