Hello readers and welcome back to another My Favourite Series post! Strictly speaking this feature was supposed to be wrapped up by now but ho-hum, I guess I got lazy! This time I’m taking a look at The Legend of Zelda and the things about this iconic series which make it one of my favourites!
So…Zelda! I don’t need to explain what it is right? Zelda must be one of the most recognizable series around as well as one of the longest running. Behind the swords, shields, fairies in bottles and that annoying blond boy there is an awful lot that makes the series truly legendary, so let’s take a closer look!
Games Played from the Series: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild
Favourite Game in the Series: Majora’s Mask
Favourite Character from the Series: Midna (Twilight Princess)
What do I like about it…?
I have been consistently impressed by the worlds in Zelda games. There are numerous similarities between the worlds, whether it is the characters, the sweeping green fields or just those little pot things that are so much fun to smash (if you are a destructive little punk). It is not surprising to see these similarities as the majority of the games are set in, or at least have some connection to, the land of Hyrule. However each game still has its own unique personality which is reflected in the design and feel of its world. Twilight Princess for example is set in quite an empty, cold world. This works nicely in tandem with the Twilight realm which sits alongside it. Majora’s Mask on the other hand is dark rather than cold, which helps to emphasise the TERRIFYING MOON, whilst Wind Waker has a much brighter, friendlier world disguising the peril which is initially unknown to our
idiot beloved hero. These worlds hold many wonders and even before the vast open-world of Breath of the Wild, it was always a pleasure to explore them and discover what makes each of them unique.
Zelda is a bit of a strange series when it comes to characters. I mean, it has lots and lots of them, but isn’t generally focussed on character development. Despite that it has offered us a number of wonderful characters along the way. I have already referred to the games’ recurring hero – Link – a couple of times, and you may have noted I have done so with some cheek. It isn’t that I don’t like Link, quite the contrary, but I have noted over the course of the series that he likes breaking other people’s stuff more than he should. As a silent protagonist there isn’t much opportunity for character development (although the flashbacks in Breath of the Wild are a nice touch), but I really like how they are still able to give him personality in each of the games. There are also other characters in the series who have really stuck with me. Midna is both mysterious and full of attitude, Mipha is sweet but shows great strength, Skull Kid is probably worth an article of his own and the Happy Mask Salesman, despite barely featuring, will always haunt my mind.
Abilities and Items
Many aspects of the gameplay in Zelda are good fun, but the thing that I particularly enjoy are the abilities and items Link can have in each game and how cleverly they are used to form a really rewarding experience through a combination of puzzles, fighting and exploration. Many of these appear in more than one game and will be familiar to most Zelda fans, the hook-shot and the boomerang for example. Others are a bit more niche, like Twilight Princess’s spinner. I also like the way abilities are conferred in different ways throughout the series. In Breath of the Wild for example, some abilities and stat boosts are given for wearing matching items of clothing, in Majora’s Mask many abilities are linked to masks which transform Link into the form of the mask he is wearing. My favourite of all the items and abilities in Zelda has got to be the para-glider in Breath of the Wild, which allows the player to effortlessly sail (stamina gauge allowing…) across the skies, discovering new places and giving a unique perspective on the true vastness of the game.
When I started writing this article I put ‘The Music’ as my final topic, however it is not just the music in the series but the whole use of sound that stands out. The music itself is vitally important, not only providing delightful tunes while our hero undertakes his quest, but also forming an important part of the game mechanics. In the different games we see a variety of instruments used by Link to evoke the songs which help to shape his journey. From the ocarina which gives Ocarina of Time its name, to guitars, harps, drums and more, the series is full of music which is both beautiful and memorable. The musical themes are not only delightful in themselves, but the repeated use of individual phrases in different games creates a sense of familiarity. You know it is a Zelda game just from a few notes, no matter which game in the series you are playing. The sound effects add to this sense of continuity. From the twinkly sound of picking up rupees to the triumphant tune which echoes when Link finds something cool, the series is full of little effects which will be familiar to gamers from any country and of any age. In a way they create a mutual sense of understanding without the need for language.
What is there left to say about Zelda that hasn’t already been said? It is, and will continue to be, a series loved by many and one which will be passed down to future generations of gamers. Although some had misgivings about the series’ latest iteration, I personally am super excited to see what Breath of the Wild 2 has in store for us and whilst it would be nice to see Zelda given the leading role, I’m pretty sure I’ll love it even if it is just more of that pesky Link!
So, what do you think? Are you a fan of the series yourself or maybe you are thinking of trying it for the first time? What is your favourite game in the series? Let me know that and more below in comments!
Thanks for reading,