Fangirls, I’m still new to the video gaming world. I’ve only had my 3DS since June, but I’ve already finished two games, nearly finished one, and just started a new one. And my main focus has been The Legend of Zelda series, for various reasons. The main reason being the stories that the series tells.
I love fantasy stories, I always have. Mystical worlds, epic heroes, magic all around. And The Legend of Zelda is no exception. I remember first encountering it as a child. Not playing it though. I remember my best friend playing it and I watched, enthralled by it. I always wanted to have a console and play it on my own, but until this past June I wasn’t able to. Since then, I’ve finished two of the games in the series, and I plan to play at least 6 more including the upcoming Breath of the Wild which looks so beautiful. So, this could be an ongoing series about why I love or don’t love the storytelling of this series.
Onward with the games/stories!
Ocarina of Time
So because it was so prominent in my memory and because it’s potentially the most famous of the series, I started with Ocarina of Time. It was the first game I played, it was the first game I finished. I loved it, even if it made me rage (side eyes the Shadow Temple). But what truly won me over was the full on story.
You probably already know this, so I’ll keep it brief. You start as a child thrust into becoming a hero. The princess of the world is worried about the evil man who works for her family. She asks you to help her protect the world (keep in mind, you’re both children here) and you agree. Eventually, the evil man succeeds in his plans and you sleep for seven years to become an adult and truly be able to fight him.
One of the elements I loved about the story telling in this game was returning to the same places over and over and yet always getting new information. For example, the first time you visit the Deku Tree, you find out all about the Triforce and the ancient history of Hyrule. When you return as an adult, you discover your true heritage and why you are the chosen Hero of Time. I like having to go to the same places to discover new things. It made remembering the map easier and and it never hindered the story telling, to me.
The other element was the graphics. The graphics were updated from the N64 to the 3DS, and they’re just lovely. They could have updated the camera angles, but updating the graphics somehow aided the story. Seeing the beautiful world of Hyrule in modern day graphics is gorgeous and added to the story.
Ocarina remains my favorite game in the Zelda series so far. Like I said, I’ve only played two of them all the way through. But the extended and intricate tale that Ocarina weaves is a true fantasy masterpiece.
Naturally, after Ocarina, I moved on to Majora’s Mask. I knew nothing about this game. I didn’t know the story, I didn’t know the game play, I went in blind.
As far as plot goes, Link goes off to find an old friend and gets attacked by a Skull Kid with a mask on. He steals Epona and curses you. You then have to break the curse and stop Skull Kid’s evil plan to destroy the moon and the world, all in three days. Luckily, you’re the hero of time so three days can become however long you want. You must collect masks in order to stop Skull Kid and maybe even save him.
I really loved how time travel was an element in this game, but sadly resetting time would reset some of what you’d gotten done. And honestly having to restart mini quests over and over again seemed to take away from the actual story telling, as did some of the actual mini games. Many of the side quests gained you masks, but some would get frustrating only to succeed and receive nothing helpful.
The overall plot was told beautifully when it was allowed to. The cut scenes after each temple and when you go listen to the old woman’s stories were beautiful all around – the graphics, the story, all of it was beautiful. But with all the mini quests and fairy rescues and time restraints, it sometimes felt like the story telling got lost.
I enjoyed myself. I’ll probably play it again, but I wish more focus had been on telling the story than getting through annoying and ridiculous puzzles.
Both games had great fantasy stories, and both did well in telling their stories. Ocarina of Time let the story be the main focus more than Majora’s Mask, but I still love both and I still love this world of Hyrule.
Well, that’s all for this installment of Storytelling. I’ll see you next time.
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