Disclaimer: This is a repost of a blog I posted on my other account Krow. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, I just wanted it to be moved to my primary account. Now excuse me while I dither on for a bit and share with you a story about The Legend of Zelda series. Also, I'm young. Get over it.
Every time I see that video I'm reminded of just how much I hate most modern day commercials, and how shitty video game advertisements have become over the last two years. I can also safely say that I think about just how much I love The Legend Zelda: Majora's Mask in all of its incarnations. In all of my life as a gamer, no game has ever moved me the way this one did. I'd go so far as to call it my personal greatest game of all time, if it weren't for a couple of design flaws (Here's a note from the future. I've decided that those design flaws don't matter and I firmly hold this game up as my favorite). Are you prepared for a fapfest? If so, read on.
Growing up for me meant living with two parents who stopped functioning at 6:00 p.m. nightly, thanks to alcoholism. When I was younger, I didn't pay much attention to their drinking habits. I don't even think that I was aware of their problem until I was nine years old. Once it started to become a little more clear to me that my parents were different people at night, I started to play video games more and more. One of my refuges was the Zelda series.
Now, I always name the hero Zach, after myself. As Harassment Panda once wrote about, Link is every single one of us embodied in the form of the blond elven boy from Hyrule. Not everyone feels this way, but to me it remains truth. Link is my escape from the world around me. He lets me explore a world that exists only in my dreams, saving a land that would never know me, but forever be indebted to me.
My love affair could be said to have begun on the SNES with a Link to the Past in 1995, though I was only four and five when I played that and I never really understood what I was "supposed" to be doing. Regardless of whether or not I ever properly started me quest, fond memories remain of exploring Hyrule as the little boy with the green hat, finding wonders and delight around ever corner. The love affair wouldn't turn into a full blown marriage until six years later, shortly after the release of The Ocarina of Time.
As I said, this was around the age that I was starting to become aware of my parents deplorable habits. It also marked the first time I played a Zelda title with an understanding of what to do and what was happening in the land of Hyrule. It was my duty, my destiny, to save this land. Save it I did, though it took me years to finally accomplish that feat. This story of destiny and redemption runs parallel to my acceptance of my parents' ways. Around the time that I finally saved Hyrule I decided that I would have to love my family the way it was. Sometimes I wonder if Zelda helped me to understand that.
Now here we are, six years since I sealed away Ganon. My parents were just recently divorced, something that has been a long time coming, and I'm left to wonder if either of them are truly happy. My Mother was just released from a halfway house, punishment for her DUI last August, which was the thankful wake up call my father and her needed to take the initiative required to curb their drinking habits. Suffice it to say, the past year marks a very somber time in my life.
How appropriate it is then that I took it upon myself over the past month to play and complete the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The journey of the Hero of Time still runs parallel to mine. Although we conquered our sins years ago, we're still faced with trials and tribulations. The first time I re-entered the world of Termina, I felt the sense of joy I did many years ago. This was a new world for me to explore, a new land full of wonder and mystery. A place to exist only in my dreams, but to remain just as real as the world I live in today.
As my journey pressed on, a very real sadness started to envelope me. Termina is enveloped in an aura of hopelessness. The moon is going to destroy the town again and again, no matter how many times you turn back the clock. Though I saved the Gorons from being eradicated by the dropping temperature, as soon as I reset the clock they would fall right back into despair. The further I pressed on, the more I realized that I couldn't save everybody. Even if I stopped the mask, the Goron would still freeze to death atop the icy cliff. Romani would still be taken by the mysterious creatures. Though I continued forward in my journey, these simple facts haunted my psyche.
The ending of Majora's Mask was unlike any other Zelda title I had played before in that it was bittersweet. I had saved Termina from its fate, but not all of its denizens from theirs. My heart hung heavy for those that were lost, and watching Link ride off alone into the forest was far harder than it should of been. If you wrote Majora's Mask off as a half-assed attempt at an Ocarina of Time sequel, please revisit it. I think it's something every Zelda fan should experience.
Some write off the Zelda series as being stuck in its ways, refusing to conform to the modern perception of what makes a game great. If I were to say any of that wasn't true, I'd be a liar, and as a fan, I welcome change in the Zelda series so long as I can keep adventuring as Link. Long live The Legend of Zelda, the best therapy a kid can buy.
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