Tag Archives: Majoras Mask

Fat Worm Blows A Sparky

Hey gamers,

As some of you may remember, my last post involved the excitement I had in being invited back to E3 for the second year running.

And There Was Much Rejoicing.

And There Was Much Rejoicing.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst, and I came down with something shortly after.

Editors Dramatization

Editors Dramatization

Having regained my wits, and possessing a renewed sense of vitality, I was excited to get back to the gaming grind. As I mentioned last week, I look forward to sharing with all of you, a treasure trove of assets and stories from last years E3, something I’ve been meaning to get to since about this moment in time. I never mean to hesitate, but it ends up happening on a continual basis. I can only speculate my constant delays involve how the creative process can be an unpredictable beast; one plagued with narcolepsy, sporadically remaining dormant, only to chaotically awaken at the worst moments.

Creativity Can Be Lurking Around Every Corner

Creativity Can Be A Very Horrifying Process

I didn’t show up here with an agenda today, aside from an attempt at entertainment (wait for it), as my focus has been rather divided. A lot of people I hear giving recommendations on how to “get shit done”, will suggest being a master of multi-tasking, which I’ve concluded is a load of claptrap. I know it’s probably different for everyone of course, but I find I do some of my “best work” when I’m not thinking about it, merely doing instead of thinking of doing. Apparently, this is referred to as wu wei in Taoism, though I assure you, my own machinations are far from mystical.

Pictured: How I Normally Get My Article Ideas

Pictured: How I Normally Get My Article Ideas

Dancing naked to Goodbye Horses isn’t the only thing I did while trying to come up with the motivation to start writing today, the list was extensive:

Died in Super Meat Boy a lot-

About Five Minutes Worth Of Dead Bodies Here

About Five Minutes Worth Of Gameplay, Here.

Changed clothes-

I Was Feeling 12thy Today

I Was Feeling 12thy Today

Ate some ice cream- (See Above)

Enjoyed a nip of whiskey-

Whiskey

Listened to the Attack on Titan theme song way too many times-

Foreshadowing is Fun!

Foreshadowing is Fun!

Browsed pictures of Panda Bears:

What Fun

Like This One!

Debated with myself about self-awareness and quality of work-

Walter: Is This Your Article, Pash? The Dude: We Know It's His Fucking Article, Where's The Fucking Content You Little Brat!

Walter: Is This Your Article, Pash?
The Dude: We Know It’s His Fucking Article, Where’s The Fucking Content You Little Brat!?

I believe all of these things occurred in my own wu wei, but I don’t think being buzzed and imitating Buffalo Bill is what Taoists had in mind when coming up with the concept. However ridiculous this aside may seem, I wanted to stress two points: getting shit done is sometimes an absurd process, and two, if you find your own flow, it’s not about doing one task or doing many tasks, you will simply task, and results will follow.

Or Not

Or Not

I recently picked up my second replacement 3DS. While I am grateful to get my hands on the device for a third time, I also can’t avoid feeling a little silly I’ve somehow estranged myself from so many at this point. I’m seriously considering surgically grafting this fucking thing to my body, so as to avoid having the device become lost or damaged once again. Some of the longer time readers won’t at all be surprised that the game I’m currently playing is indeed a Zelda game. However, a similar number of you may be surprised I’m not about to do a 17 part retrospective mini-series about Majora’s Mask, and how it relates to both culture and time travel.

Heavy, I Know.

Heavy, I Know.

Rest assured, I’m enjoying it thoroughly, and I think the portable remake works just as well as Ocarina of Time did, but I wasn’t really struck with any sort of inspirational lightning bolt for an article this time round. Could be the divided focus I mentioned earlier, as I’ve been playing probably too many games recently, and not really getting stuck on a single one. Which is what I should likely do, as I tend to uncover truths or identify more interesting concepts when I house arrest myself in a virtual reality for a long enough time. I also spread myself too thin, foolishly thinking in a single week, I can halt an apocalypse, reconsider my stance on nuclear deterrents, prevent history from dying, conclude whether or not free will truly exists, keep the high score of Ms.Pacman at a local barcade intact…

My flow is a no go, and those who depend on me are suffering for it.

Is he really not coming this time? Because I'm totally going to push them off this shit.

Is he really not coming this time? Because I’m totally going to push them off this shit.

So yeah. That’s really it. This piece was suppose to be a warm up, and the unfortunate reality is that warm ups aren’t really top shelf dealings, but I had a couple of okay jokes in here so, yeah.

Animaniacs

~Pashford

P.S: You know, on second thought, it does feel a bit wrong I’m not excitedly espousing about Zelda, as I’ve done such a good job of it in the past, I think I’ll leave you guys with a poll, on whether or not my next article should be about Zelda. Just click on one of the buttons below and tell me what you think.

POLL: Do you think Pashford should write about Majora’s Mask for his next article?

Yes []
No []

Cheers,
~Pashford

P.P.S: Some of you may be wondering why I named the article “Fat Worm Blows A Sparky”, and the reason for the title is simple. The article title is actually the name of a 1986 ZX Spectrum game that shares the same name, and I believe the experience of playing the game, is as confusing as this article was to write, and read there after.

See for yourself:

I told you the title made sense.

~Pashford

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Back In The Saddle

Hey Gamers,

The world did not in fact end when E3 finally arrived, though it’s impact on my life felt just as I suspected it would.

Fucking Holy Shit

Fucking Holy Shit

Yeah, it was a god damn unstoppable celestial body bearing down on me with all of it’s tremendous might. I know some of you may be dumb founded I haven’t written about E3 since the event, considering it represents the pinnacle of both my writing and gaming career, but some of the most amazing stories are left largely untold.

It's complicated

It’s complicated

Rest assured, my E3 tales will be told at some point, as they represent a turning point for me that I won’t soon forget. I’m not being entirely honest about why I haven’t written more about my journey to L.A, but the reasons for that are as complicated as The Time War itself. As I’ve gone into before, I can tend to lose myself in some heavy bouts of isolated thinking, which can produce varied results.

This Guy Knows What I'm Talking About

This Guy Knows What I’m Talking About

Also, Her.

Her Too…We Really, Really Can’t Forget Her

The last visual punchline I use as a point of relevancy. The last major hiatus I went on involved far grimmer circumstances, but produced the result of a multiple part piece I did involving A Link Between Worlds and Zelda as a whole. I bring it up now, as I showcase some predictable habits in my own life. Even if we’re just going by this body of work I call Active Time Event, Zelda seems to be a historically effective way to will me out of emotional entropy, which is always very closely tied to my ability to game with full force.

Though I’m a fan of all kinds of gaming, Zelda has maintained a status most other games will never match (in my bias), let alone maintain for as long as the series has. I say this now, as some of you may be groaning I’m about to discuss Zelda for the umpteenth time on ATE, but it’s merits as a relevant force in my life never ceases to be true. I know I should really talk about other games more than I do, lest people believe I’m just a one trick pony.

Keeping In Mind, That One Trick Can Be Really Fucking Cool

Keeping In Mind, That One Trick Can Be Really Cool

Also, here’s the Gerudo Valley theme:

Also: Link fighting The Batman

WHERE IS SHE?!

Sweet

Refocusing my point for obvious fucking reasons, (though I mean, wouldn’t it be really cool if Link rode The Batman through time like some kind of seriously pissed of stallion? Dude, TimeBat!).

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, refocusing my point, while I love to talk extensively about a lot of games, Zelda always inspires me to write when no writing is happening, the Zelda series acting as a muse in my darker hours. Not that E3 represented a darker hour, but my life is not a rock & roll game fest 24/7. Real things happen too, and not every day can be as mesmerizing as those spent on the show floor at E3. Though there were several factors in my recent lull of work, one prime example involves a loss of spirit. Right before I went to E3, a bag containing a number of very important items went missing, two of which being my 3DS and my Vita. While physically replaceable, the data, memories, individuality and charm of those machines is lost forever to the march of time, all due to both cruelty on the part of the thief’s, and my own stupid irresponsibility. I knew I couldn’t let the passing of my electronic friends effect my mood too much, as I was fast approaching the most important event in my life.

Seriously, it’s E3.

Not Seen Here: Me, Just Out Of Frame To The Left

Not Seen Here: Me, Just Out Of Frame To The Left

That joke is funnier if you are me, because I was there, right before I briefly met Miyamoto. I have a picture of the man himself from the angle mentioned in the picture (just to really drive home how funny that is), which will make this little anecdote even better when I can locate the photo and edit it into this post at a later date.

I'll Fix It In Post

To Quote Someone Great: We’ll Fix It In Post

All of this is very interconnected (The Home Movies with standing), as knowing you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. I avoided being devastated by my loss of equipment so I could fully enjoy my trip to E3, but knew well and good I need to fix my portable gaming problems upon my return home. Help came faster than expected, due to a last minute problem with my airline ticket. Due to some bizarre mishap, I needed to re-buy my ticket to get home from L.A, or else go Lord of The Flies at LAX until next years E3. The second plan sounded like it was going to be a plausibly difficult to pull off, and I was able to get a brief credit limit increase on the very credit card that got me out to E3 in the first place. Good thing too, as it left me with a bit of change left over. Not much, but enough to fix the problem of a lack of the 3DS in my left pocket.

A criminal injustice corrected.

Luckily, due to some good timing and some lucky breaks, I was able to score a mint condition second hand Link Between Worlds edition of the 3DS. An object that’s not only rare at this point in time, but one I’ve seen go for upwards of $250 these days. The fact that I got mine for $100 is mind blowing. I don’t normally bother to mention dollar value in my own workings, as it’s besides the point of the real quality at hand, but considering the quick turn around on value regained helped to wash away my own sad weariness. Needless to say, I was very surprised.

Like This Surprised. No, Not Toon Link, Donkey Kong Three Seconds After This Photo Was Taken

Like This Surprised. No, Not Toon Link….Donkey Kong, Two Seconds After This Photo Was Taken

As another odd aside, I ended up getting my new 3DS three years to the day I picked up my old one, which carried with it some soft charm for me. I thought of no better way to celebrate my regained fortunes by playing the same game I did on the very first day I received my first 3DS, and that was Ocarina of Time. A game that needs little introduction, but one that has effectively been prefaced with 1129 words up to this point. Never the less, a fantastic piece of gaming culture, with an excellence rarely matched, and one that reminds me why I continue to never lose hope in the realm of gaming.

A proper way to get back in the saddle, as it were.

Back In The Saddle

(To Be Continued)

~Pashford

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E3 Arriveth: 0 Hour

If it’s something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!

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E3 Approacheth: 24 Hours Remain

I wish I had more time, I really do.

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Tick Tock Tick Tock

In case you are just joining us, I’ve been following the lead up to E3 with a more intimate approach than my usual operation, with my own personal exposition and how I am dealing with the event as opposed to the games themselves. As you might have surmised with me comparing the event to an impending apocalypse, things feel dire. Feel is the key word there, as E3 does represent the end all be all for me, but in a marvelous way,  and has for some time. As any gamer who’s been around the virtual block will tell you, it’s kind of a big deal.

Kind Of

People Know It

While the event is still big, I’m not feeling as big as I normally do, as has been discussed very recently. In my constant bouts of mania preceding this monumental occasion, I’ve been less big and more this:

Trapped...(In A Glass Case Of Emotion)

Trapped…(In A Glass Case Of Emotion)

At least at times anyways. Mania is a wild horse, a mental state bucking and bronking until you’re completely thrown off due to the rough nature of the harsh ride. I know this may sound odd coming from someone who’s made it their goal to attend this event and is about to do so, but recent days have left me torn and tattered, and my own internal struggle to accept who I am vs what I’m actually about to do has made things a bit fucking crazy.

For All You Visual Learners Out There

For All You Visual Learners Out There

At the beginning of this post, I did mention about wishing I had more time. That was more literal of a declaration than you may have imagined, as it’s 3 in the morning as I type this. I work tomorrow (at my regular boring non-video game related job), get on my flight shortly after, and will be in LA immediately following. Needless to say, I really am just about out of time, and even sacrificing sleep just to tell you about what I don’t have left. I didn’t mean that to sound like I was fishing for sympathy, which was certainly not the goal. There is a sense of adrenaline about all of this, and one I’m starting to assimilate with entirely. The internal debate with myself and the nervousness that fuels it, is being rapidly overtaken by the realization that I do not have the luxury of being uncertain, hesitant or shy at this very moment.

What is important, is the fantastic, the sublime, and the reason of the season. E3 is just about here.I am fully aware of it’s might, and I know what kind of power is trying to draw me in…

But That Doesn't Mean I'm Not Going To Try And Hang On Tigh

But That Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Going To Try And Defy It Regardless

I’d say I envisioned this moment differently, but I think I realize, and frighteningly so, I didn’t actually envision this moment at all…which is quite bizarre, all things considered. An event that meant so much to me, year in and year out, a grand happening that spurred me forward, normally retaining more value in my eyes than any other major holiday ever could. The bizarre idea that E3, possibly one of the biggest catalysts that got me into games writing in the first place, never materialized in my mind beyond the mere idea of being present during it’s existence.

As mentioned: bizarre, and I believe there’s more to this thought than I think I even have time to ponder (currently), but one I will definitely have to return to when time normalizes. My quick off the cuff assessment about this odd reality where dreams can sometimes be dangerously rhetorical, leads me to believe that while those dreams have value, I’m inclined to say that some of the best ones should be literal, too, helping to create a future that is almost palpable to the senses. Opposed to the alternative, where your dreams are so dreamy, you don’t even know if your dreams are too dreamy to become real outside the dream itself.

Not Sure If Referencing Inception Or Just Tired

Not Sure If Referencing Inception Or Just Tired

tl;dr: I may have had trouble grasping the reality of going to E3, because I was always so content with just believing in the fantasy.

What ever the case may be, I expected some kind of heart felt retrospective or nostalgic gush at last minute in explaining younger me’s journey to E3, but that may have just been the only part of the dream I could ever figure out. Now that the dream is here, there’s no point in fantasizing about it any longer, just enough time to make some old fantasies into new realities. I’ve traveled a great distance, not just space mind you, but journeyed far over a vast volume of time itself to arrive at this point, and having my head in the clouds would do a disservice to me, my efforts and the reality in front of me, the dream of this event an asset I no longer have any need of.

E3 represents a turning point for me, a very real destination after a long journey. I’ve buried the doubt, covered the critic, and put aside my asinine questions of how else it could have been done. I realize now is not the time to ask if I really could have “done it better”, arrived here “faster”, or if I’m “at my best”. No matter how much I could think about those things, I would simply ask for more in an endless debate with myself, with my own worst enemy, and forget what E3 is really suppose to be all about: having fun. The point isn’t that I did it weirdly or poorly or barely at all. The simple fact of the matter is I did finally do it, after everything was said and done.

And now that it’s here, it’s time to have fun.

~Pash

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E3 Approacheth: 72 Hours Remain

Firstly, let me start off by saying the obvious.

Actually, I realize the name of the article has already done that, so I’ll go with the second most obvious.

Elton John picture inbound.

You Knew It was Coming

You Knew It was Coming

The Elton pic is a bit of a non-sequitor compared to the last two, but I really didn’t know how else to start off this post. In fact, this line of thought is largely a spray and pray effort all together, as I brace myself for the oncoming battle many have come to know as E3. Somehow and surprisingly, I failed to mention my confirmation that I was going to E3 on ATE at all, which is astounding, to put it lightly. One of the very reasons Active Time Event was even put into motion was as a means to an end, this very end (point in fact), and one I’m about to reach in a few days time.

A Sense Of Foreboding Hangs In The Air

A Sense Of Foreboding Hangs In The Air

So where have I been? While I could cite my editors gig on Gamersyndrome as taking up a chunk of my time, anyone who would bother to check would realize I’ve been woefully quiet in the past…two months really. Very few articles to speak of, compared to my normal work load, which is offensive when considering E3 is basically Christmas for gamers. Last year, I was writing for ATE, Gotgame and Gamersyndrome, pushing myself to the limits in providing as much coverage as humanly possible regarding the lead up to the show (and then the show itself). I even wrote a very bizarre piece involving a several part non-review of Animal Crossing, which made the work load even heavier (and odder). I mention this all as an absurd aside, as I wasn’t even going to E3 last year despite my constant blood letting in covering the event, which was still a pipe dream in the making.

Random Plug For Retro Game

Random Plug For Retro Game

But, I digress. I didn’t fully answer the question I posed: Where I’ve been. The answer is simple, though not exactly inspiring. I mean to say, and sadly so…I’ve been no where, at least no where I should have been. Not looking at endless screens of E3 hype, not busy writing out my own speculation involving the inevitable bounties the show will provide, and not killing myself trying to become a master of a domain I seek to conquer. No, the sad truth of the matter is that I didn’t end up reacting the way I always figured I would to this grand eventuality. Whether rationale or not, I’ve been largely beside myself, confused and most certainly in a state of chaos. Trying to find the energy to write, pondering my relationship to games and my general sense of being through and through.

Been A Bit Of A Mind Trip, Let's Say

Been A Bit Of A Mind Trip, Let’s Say

Probably not the exciting hype machine you wanted, and I sympathize with you dearly in your disappointment with me . As has been mentioned previously and can be cited historically (many times over I may add), I’ve always been stoked, psyched and completely excited for these paradigm shifts in gaming information. Observing the culture always entertains me, satiates me, each massive out pour of juicy information holding me over for the next big feast. E3, the biggest meal of them all, leaving me full and stuffed without effort. I only need look back at a number of journals and word documents I’ve written, detailing past expos’ I’ve watched from afar with great fervor, in reminding myself of the delicacy they represented. Endless documents proving my excitement, from a distance, talking about the event as If I was already there, even if only in spirit.

Why then, when I’ve been guaranteed success and am about to claim my long sought prize, do I falter and waver in the face of confusion? I’m not entirely sure, which makes sense, hence the confusion. I could mention a few events in the past six months that have most certainly contributed to an underlying sense of misery and distraction, though something as monumental as going to E3 should override all of that, bringing out energy that no amount of negativity could ever suffocate.

Reality Has A Tendency To Prove You Wrong

Reality Has A Tendency To Prove Me Wrong

Which is something I’m trying to keep in mind moving forward, something I have to keep in mind moving forward. I’m not even sure how I’m going to effectively cover the event, with very basic means and an overwhelming sense of overwhelmed senses, but rest assured, I’ll try my damnedest to. You may think this post is a little raw, and you’d be right. I don’t normally go on about myself at such great lengths without hiding behind the games as the relevant point of interest. The games, the very reasons I’m here, the things above all else that are worthy of y time and thought. Due to my own internal state of severe irrationality however, the impending storm I’m not quite ready for, and the magnitude of importance it all represents, I’m trying my best to not be without words…

…because when I’m finally at E3 and barely comprehend what it all means, it will be a tall task not to be speechless entirely.

~Pash

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Whore Swords Adventures

Hey Gamers,

After finishing up my last post, regarding how best to whore your swords, I realized it was time for an adventure.

Way Greater Than This

Way Greater Than This

I really thought I had wrung dry my ponderous juices from the sweet fruit of Zelda (ew?), but it’s that special sweet sauce that keeps on sustaining me.

Let me rephrase.

I thought I had reached conclusion in discussing A Link Between Worlds, which was the initial reason I was roused from my dormant state of writing slumber. While I’m largely finished talking about ALBW, it did make me realize there were immediately interesting topics to be had about Zelda. More so, when I spoke of Nintendo’s failure, in reference to selling Zelda, it made me think of why the company has so much trouble selling their concepts (see: whoring their swords). I related the idea of overlooked marketing, and Zelda itself, to the Halo series.

This odd comparison was an attempt to show you that despite having four different games…and ultimately four swords, all feeling slightly differently, they all held onto that “sword feel”. Zelda, like any good game, does this in spades, though I thought it was a worthwhile intellectual effort to analyze how.

Okay, it’s probably not going to be such a grand mental endeavor, but it will involve video games…and those are always fun, right?

(Citation Needed)

Never mind

I will begin with acknowledgement of what A Link Between Worlds does exceedingly right, and that’s the equipment rental system. Above all else, this is the biggest element of ALBW that really helps define it from other Zelda games, even A Link to the Past, it’s glorious predecessor. One of the reasons ALBW maintained it’s simplicity and kept “That Zelda Feel” I discussed in my last post, was due in part to it’s reinforcement of what makes Zelda games great. Exploration is Hyrule’s bread and butter, and the more you have in a single title, the tastier the experiences is.

In letting players rent almost any piece of equipment from the start, the designers practically tossed you the keys to the car and said “enjoy the ride”. This is a massive deviation from past Zelda titles, where progression was tied to gear acquisition. ALBW tries something different however, and it pays off immediately.

Zelda is exploration, and the rental system reignites the fires of curiosity from the start.

Which Is More Ideal Than Just Being Lit On Fire.

Which Is More Ideal Than Just Being Lit On Fire.

This is one of the elements  I feel Nintendo simply overlooked in their marketing of the game. This notion of immediate accessibility really opens Hyrule up tremendously, due to it’s simplicity in honing a better Zelda game, by focusing about what is the Zelda experience. The game is about exploring, so don’t keep the players waiting to explore. While (perhaps) it may be a difficult facet of the game to vocalize, I’m not sure Nintendo has really adhered to keeping “non-linearity” synonymous to the Zelda brand.

While I’m aware non-linearity is not initially a “sellable concept” in terms of the snap, crackle and pop of marketing, the effort to try and put it in the minds of respective gamers is key to the experience. Having non-linearity be synonymous with the name Zelda, is a good way to use unspoken truths, and ultimately more fun language to elaborate on a dry semantic of principle gameplay. The rental system I feel is invaluable to the future of Zelda,  and opening exploration up with such negotiable terms in getting items so immediately is perhaps one of the best innovations in Zelda since 3D.

ALBW offers up the rental system, which gives way to instant gratification in the exploration process. This should not be a one off, and should carry as a staple element of what helps to make the Zelda tradition, and gives us at least the first element to our all inclusive Zelda experience.

Next up, I take a look at what I feel is an overlooked element of what made Twilight Princess so much fun.

While not an immediate follow up to Ocarina of Time, as many Zelda games were sandwiched between both titles, it was more or less the spiritual successor to the title. Many Zelda fans believed OoT was the pinnacle of the series (aside from retro purists in regards to LttP), and were completely ruined when they saw the graphics for Wind Waker. I’ll leave that discussion be for now, but the acknowledgement of what fans wanted was abundantly clear. The darker tones, the more adult atmosphere…Twilight Princess was what many Zelda fans had been clambering for. TP did a lot of what OoT did, in creating a living breathing world. One of the ways TP helped to capitalize on he formula, however, was with it’s cunning use of in game dungeons.

Or seemingly, the lack there of.

I'm Sorry, Do You Live Here? I Was Looking For The Next Dungeon...

I’m Sorry, Do You Live Here? I Was Looking For The Next Dungeon…

Twilight Princess really reinforced the art of dungeon design, mostly due in part to us (the players) not even knowing we were in one. While I readily admit the earlier dungeons were a bit more obvious in execution, Zelda does trip up a little bit on the hand holding aspects of the “tutorial” phases of the game. Even so, and considering that we were treated to the standard forest, fire, water levels of Zelda’s past, they had just enough clever elements as to feel more engaging. To run through just the first few levels, The Goron Mines felt more relevant to the geography of the world, with purpose and relevancy. Further, the quirks found within felt fresh and well done. Using the iron boots to be able to walk on magnetic surfaces, including the ceiling? Magnifico!

Lakebed Temple just felt danker, like you really were speulinking in an underwater cavern. Hell, it was a Water Temple that didn’t drive us to self-mutilation based on difficulty, and more importantly, didn’t suck. Full stop, that’s a great improvement on Ocarina’s dungeon, and pretty much across the board for water levels in video games. Even the forest temple, with all of it’s simplistic splendor, had fun elements other games just never pulled off. The entire thing was filled with Monkey’s for shitting sake, making the whole thing jump to life with an absurd tone most Zelda levels don’t ever exhibit…

…and all because of a load of monkey’s.

It Was Some Proper Monkey News Going On In The Forest Temple.

It Was Some Proper Monkey News Going On In The Forest Temple.

Which brings about a random but relevant question: Twilight Princess…Karl Pilkington’s favorite would be Zelda game?

So There Was Like This, Monkey, Right? And It Was Knocking About In Some Temple With A Boomerang And All That.

So There Was Like This, Monkey, Right? And It Was Knocking About In Some Temple With A Boomerang And All That….

Ah…love that man. Head like a fucking Goron.

Anyways, my point is, even the introductory dungeons, in there more obvious implementation, still offered a lot of vitality and exuberance in what they offered. Interestingly enough, I feel as if I couldn’t do the later dungeons enough justice with just words, as they feel so pitch perfect, and organically nestled right into the bosom of Hyrule. The Arbiters Grounds, Snow Peak Ruins, The City In The Sky…they were all crafted so well, I forgot I was even in the process of beating a dungeon, and in a stroke of genius, didn’t even know I was actually in one to begin with.

An anecdote I don’t mind sharing here, involves my continual reference to Snow Peak Ruins as the Yeti’s House for years to come, finding out only much later the dungeon had a different  name.

This is fitting, because it wasn’t until I was about to fight the boss I realized it was even a dungeon to begin with. That is what I’m talking about. That is world building, that is nuance, and that is immersion at it’s finest.

Bitch Please, My Dungeons Be Bumbin.

Bitch Please, I Know My Dungeons Be Bumbin.

While I readily admit, TP was not the first Zelda game to do this, but the Zelda game that did it the best. While Ocarina gets some heavy credit for some inventive invites (Deku Tree, Lord Jabu Jabu), Twilight Princess still stands as Queen of the Quest Areas, something even the best Zelda’s out there (Wind Waker, ALBW) can’t brag about.

Leaving behind some fascinating earthbound geography, I look to the skies for my next topic of interest.

Out Of Fear, Mind You.

Out Of Fear, Mind You.

Majora’s Mask is another good example of a Zelda game that had special flair, but wasn’t quite embraced within the Zelda pedigree from the start. Then again, and much like any (and many) sequels following highly successful games, MM was initially at arms length of fan approval as a follow up to Ocarina. This is understandable in one way, OoT is still the best rated game of all time, and is a regular on “best ever” lists right next to Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter II and GTA III.

That level of greatness.

Talk About Lighting The Flames Of Curiosity.

Talk About Igniting The Fires Of Curiosity

Regressing back to the initial release of Majora’s Mask, we see a bit of a slow reception of the title, with only die hards really singing it’s praise. As time moved on, and the Ocarina hype train rode into the sun set, we had a second of introspection, in re-examining what MM did great. General Zeldiness…”That Zelda Feel” if you will, but what did Majora’s Mask do that Ocarina just couldn’t quite boast about?

More Hats

More Hats

I’m only slightly kidding. The selection was fantastic though…I mean that bunny hood…

Those ears!

*Clears Throat*

Focusing on what helped to truly innovate Majora’s Mask, was the culture found within the game. While the span of Hyrule Field, the inhabitants of Hyrule Market, and the change of day and night really did make Ocarina feel more alive than most other games at the time, MM really took this concept and ran with it. Keeping in mind the game deals with time travel,the apocalypse and having only three short days to get shit done, the developers put a conscious effort in portraying every day life adequately. However, they did this quiantly, almost in a fourth wall breaking way. All of the NPC’s doing the same thing over and over again, was completely acceptable on the grounds that you keep repeating the same three days over and over again. Since Link’s passage through time technically doesn’t effect anything, as he’s only moving back to a singular point, this cyclical sense of familiarity made the entire game feel very alive.

Which Is A Refreshing Notion, Because Everyone Really Dies

Which Is A Refreshing Notion, Because Everyone Really Dies

Surprisingly, an in game element that usually stresses people out, and is the bane of virtual existence to many (time limits), would end up becoming the brilliant foundation Majora’s Mask is built on. Getting to know the townspeople, their issues, how you can help, and trying to make their lives a better place for the short time left they have to live has a subtle beauty about it, one that makes you feel kinda touched. A rare form of emotional heroism that no amount of slain dragons could ever match. Even if we just look at the heart wrenching Kafei side quest, you realize one of the most touching love stories ever told by Nintendo is in a Zelda game…and it doesn’t even involve the main character.

Just two lovers, finally finding each other at the ends of the earth, meeting under an apocalyptic sky, one last time.

True Love

The World Can End Now

Majora’s Mask’s culture is simply astounding, especially considering the limitations of the N64. That sense of inter-connectivity, intimacy, and involvement has to this day, not been topped by another Zelda game. That’s fourteen years of undisputed dominancy, by Termina, a couple dozen masks, and that gigantic bastard moon. The game effortlessly reminds us all, of how much you can really do, in three short days.

And the true joy that can follow suit.

Or Death

Or Death

In summation, while I do enjoy the individuality that each of these stellar elements brings to their respective games, I don’t think we would be robbing their own quality, if we continued to capitalize on their proven formula. Zelda was for a very long time, considered the best of the best, and for good reason. All of these elements and more (top-notch exploration, clever design, and culture) are all key reasons the games continued to keep topping themselves, again and again. I am a firm believer that this series will continue on long after their makers pass away, and very likely long after I’ve made a final trip into my own personal Lost Woods. We shouldn’t let inevitability ever stop us, and we should always do well to remind ourselves where we came from, and what we’ve done right to even have that thought in the first place.

It can mean a world of difference.

~Pashford

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