Christmas and Easter nihilists

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Michael Card
    September 7, 2016 @ 12:40 pm

    I disagree with your statement that Ocarina of Time is a remake of Link to the Past. In many ways it is its own unique, although very similar, game. There is a reason why most complaints about Zelda games are couched in terms not of Link to the Past, but of Ocarina of Time (Wind Waker was originally disliked for the way it diverged from Ocarina of Time, while Twilight Princess was originally dismissed as too much like Ocarina of Time).The main difference, I feel, between the first three games and Ocarina of Time and most of its successors (Skyward Sword, Minish Cap and, obviously, Link Between Worlds being the exceptions) is one of focus. The first three games, and the exceptions I just noted, focus on rescuing the princess, with saving the land being a prerequisite for doing so. The other games, however, focus on saving the land, with rescuing the princess being a consequence of doing so. In the NES games, Link to the Past, Skyward Sword, Minish Cap and Link Between Worlds, you are explicitly given the task of rescuing Zelda from Ganon, Demise, Vaati or Yuga and the journey to do so ends up saving the land from the villain’s influence. The other games have the explicit goal be to save Hyrule, Termina, Holodrum Labrynna, Koholint, the Great Sea or the Twilight Realm, and in the process, with the exception of Majora’s Mask, you rescue the princess on the way. Two princesses in the case of Twilight Princess. The focus, however is firmly on the land itself and the princess is often not in any form of immediate danger until near the end of the game. This might seem like a small change, but it alters the nature of Hyrule, Zelda and, most importantly, Link. In the early games and the games I listed as exceptions, Link is Zelda’s personal hero, doing everything for her. Ocarina of Time changes that, leading to Link finally earning the title he was given all the way back in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, At the end of Ocarina Of Time, Link truly is the Hero of Hyrule. Ocarina of Time is the point at which the title ‘The Legend of Zelda’ becomes even more of a misnomer than it was to begin with. From that point onwards, the series is really ‘The Legend of Hyrule’.


  2. Eve Schmitt
    September 7, 2016 @ 4:31 pm

    The phrase “Zelda is your…” appears to be a mistranslation. In Japanese the phrase is “You’re the princess’…”


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