Monday, May 2, 2011

Horrendous Theory: The Legend of Zelda

Once ago, in a scolding review far, far away, I mentioned continuity is a tricky mistress, and I stand by that. Keeping the story from becoming a swiss cheese of plot holes is fairly important  for people to become engaged in your escapist fantasy. But...not always.

Take the Legend of Zelda. Each game features a hero called Link Booger "Whichever name you put on him", a princess named Zelda a villain named Gannon (sometimes with "orf at the end) and some other constants but...the tone of the world, the story of the world and the world itself does not seem continuous. Important events from one to the other don't seem to factor in, and the hero often is JUST BEGINNING his adventuring at the start of the game.
"And then one time I saved the day. All four of me."

Franchise fanboys have actually tried to piece together the story, deciding in which place in a timeline does each game take place. Many have settled on the conclusion that there where , thorugh Hyrule's History, many Links/Boogers, many Zeldas and many Gannons. That's...strange. Imagine if Batman Beyond was about Bruce Wayne's new protege, Bruce Wayne.  Other's remain steadfast the same guys have done a very similar thing many times. Even Nintendo doesn't seem quite sure.
"I dunno. Sometimes I just say stuff, you know?"

I think the answer has been in our noses all along.


I think The Story of how Link/Booger saved Zelda and banished the dread Ganon is a legend.

Throughout years, legends and stories grow and take different forms. They are adapted, changed, retold. Their meaning is reshaped by the condition of the tellers. I think each  Zelda game is a reflection of the story teller. You have your childlike fable, your ominous cautionary tale, your drunken, badly dubbed russian animation and your totally radical cheesy 80s cartoon. All are true in the sense they are a telling the legend, but none is completely accurate.
I just made it canon, didn't I?

I think there was a historical Booger/Link(fictionally, if that makes sense), but all versions of the story we have seen are attempts at decoding the myths from one important moment in Hyrule history. The other option is to believe  our favorite creators are making it up as they go, and that...that's just plain silly.


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