The Legend of Zelda series reached 30 years this year, and with The ’Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ releasing next year (one can only hope) it is about time to review the series. What is The Legend of Zelda? One could say that it is just a game about a Robin Hood cosplayer that uses items straight out of Hogwarts to kill sentient cactuses that shoot cannonballs at you all accompanied with a mosquito telling you to listen every whip and flip… Or you could say that it is a magnificent journey of a fabled hero on a quest to save the princess of the illustrious kingdom of Hyrule by travelling through mystical woods, vast lakes, foreboding woods and ominous dungeons all with the help of your trusty fairy sidekick, Navi. Either way, The Legend of Zelda is a video game that is not only close to my own heart (since it was the series that got my into games), but like it or not, it is a game that is undeniably etched into the very fabric of what video games have become today. Throughout the multitude of games released in this series there have been some jaw-dropping ups, and some soul-splitting downs. So grab your heart pieces and sit back as we explore the Top Best and Worst Things about The Legend of Zelda’. This will be Legend, wait for it, dary.
The Best Things
The Kingdom of Hyrule is filled with large lakes, weird woods, foreboding forests and even a giant tree that can speak, but with every game in the series, the world always changes. It can get bigger, smaller or be flooded by the Gods. It is filled with treasures for you to collect; whether that be Pieces of Heart or spiders that, strangely, drop wallets. There will always be something to do.
Every Zelda game has dungeons that are either monstrously challenging, or brain-numbingly easy but almost always, incredibly enjoyable. No matter what anyone says if you have a fear of water, then you’ve most likely experienced the Water Temple. Dungeons usually introduce you to a new item, but masterfully allows you to explore that item to its fullest by making full use of it within the mechanics of its puzzles.. You can then use these items as part of your growing arsenal in the overworld..
From a Demon Lord to a lost kid adorning a strange mask, this series has some of the most memorable villains. From the goliath Ganondorf with the ability to transform into the deadly Ganon, to the ghoulish Ghirahim that is able to transform into a sword. Each villain in the series only adds to the lore with exciting stories as to how they link in (excuse the pun) with the Kingdom of Hyrule. One of the most recent but most important additions to the lore was the introduction of Demise who first appeared in Skyward Sword. He was the one that started the curse that made Hyrule the Kingdom it became at the beginning of the series.
The Worst Things
Hey Listen. Hey Listen… Hey…… listen. The series has had its fair share of good and bad sidekicks. No one can forget Navi or our friend the ‘talking boat’, and then there was Fi; a sword who sounded like a broken robot who was more concered about batteries then Skyworld. With Midna showing off Nintendo’s best ideas for a sidekick with most of Twilight Princess focussing most on her backstory, it does not begin to make up the annoyance of our wondering fairy ‘friend’ and the bland and cardboard-like Fi.
Since Ocarina of Time the series has followed a similar formula: complete three dungeons, get the Master Sword and beat the final boss. And although the art style shifts eloquently between games, the gameplay and combat formula have started to grow slightly stale and needs to bring something new and exciting to the table. Maybe Nintendo need a change of heart instead of a heart piece.
Every main game in the series fits into, not just one timeline, but THREE SEPARATE TIMELINES. Yes, you read that right. The Zelda Timeline gets more and more convoluted with each and every game. Whilst Ocarina of Time was critically acclaimed and, in fact, is one of the best games in the series, the plot itself caused a 3-way split in the timeline due to its use of time travel… Did Nintendo not learn anything from Marty McFly?! Time travel always adds a layer of ‘what-is-going-on’ to any story, and truly, no one really knows how it all connects, not even Miyamoto-san himself. Although, at least it’s not Kingdom Hearts!
Overall it is an amazing series that everyone should play at some point. It has its ups and downs but even if you have never played a game in the series you have definitely heard of Zelda and hopefully know who Link is.