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darkdesign's blog

9:51 PM on 11.17.2011

Zelda Week: Raccoons, Eagles, and Eggs

Originality; independent, and creative. I stare at the blank page ready to write my first blog on one of the most influential games in my early life, and I'm faced with a daunting task; being original. How do I even begin to describe this subject uniquely, when almost everything has been said about the damn series. But, I have something to say about Link's Awakening, and I know there are 3 moments from the game that affected me and are personal to me.


I was 5 years old when I got my first Gameboy in the Christmas of 1993. At that point, I had already been playing Sonic 2 and the always sexy stylings of Ms. Pac-Man for about a year. It was something new though, and had promises of keeping me entertained on long trips. "Santa" gave me 3 additional games to go with it; Star Wars, Super Mario Land 2, and Link's Awakening. I remember being excited for Star Wars (til I played it) and Mario, as I never heard of Zelda, but something seemed very promising about the title.

I could lie, and say from the moment I played Awakening, I was in love and created grand adventures in the woods behind my house (which I totally did later on). But the truth is, when I first played the game, I hated it. All because of one moment.

The Raccoon

Just look him. Look at that face. That my friends is the face of true evil. My 5-year-old self couldn't comprehend why such a small creature kept me from continuing on. All I wanted to do was get past him, but he would just laugh in my face and tell me to fuck off.

... Those words haunted me for months. Yes... months. I literally had no idea on how to get past him. No matter how many times I tried to stab him in the face, or tried to sneak upwards when his animation looked away. I just could not progress...

Just before the summer, however, is when progression finally happened. I was bitching to my older sister about the raccoon, when she had a novel suggestion, "why don't you sprinkle powder on him?" Holy shit! That overwhelmed my 5-year-old mind, and to my surprise, it worked. That was the moment where I realized I was playing something more than pressing right and jumping, or avoiding ghosts, I was playing a game that required me to use my head. That summer, I devoured the game until I reached another memorable point.

Finally Beating Eagle's Tower

Ask anybody who's beaten this temple how they felt when they finished, and they'll most likely tell you, "I felt like a pimp." It's the feeling you get when you solve a particularly hard Layton puzzle (looking at you Princess in a Box 4).

For me, it was also the epiphanic and enlightening moment where I really sat back and appreciated the design. It's one of the earliest memories that I can point to, and say, "that's why I'm becoming a software designer." It also got me some reputable cred, especially with my cousin (who's my age) that was still having troubles with that temple. I remember coaching him through it.

But, the good times end, and once again the game decided to stump me...

The Wind Fish's Egg

Just look at that artwork... It makes that dungeon look a lot more intimidating than it really was, but, for me, it was the hardest point in the game.

At the time, I was 6 years old, and Christmas was fast approaching again when I reached the egg. I couldn't wait to get in there and save the Wind Fish, but once I entered, all I got was my final fuck you. For months, I tried every possible route in hope that I would stumble upon the answer. Finally, it reached the moment where I just couldn't play it any more, and decided to give up my Gameboy for Lent (I was in Catholic school during this time).

Halfway into Lent, however, my cousin finished the game, and I had to know how he solved the impossible egg. Once he gave me location of the secret, I faced another predicament. I had given up my Gameboy, and it would be 2 weeks before Lent was over. I was such a religious kid at the time, I got down on my knees in my room, and prayed to God for forgiveness because I had to beat the game... beating Awakening triumphed over my devotion to God.

Link's Awakening means a lot in my life. I have tons of memories derived from that game (especially crafting my own adventures in the woods that following summer). It took me over a year to complete, but it's still one of the best experiences in my gaming life. It really turned me onto to design and puzzles, and set me on the path I'm currently on.

For Fun

Last year, I did an original composition based on Zelda for a school project, I hope you enjoy...   read

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