Zelda as a Protagonist

The Legend of Zelda

I happened across an interesting article from Nintendo Enthusiast detailing a theoretical idea for a Legend of Zelda title; one where Zelda is the protagonist and player-controlled character rather than Link:

[…] Yet, for all the times Link has been called “Zelda” due to the series’ moniker, we’ve never actually played as Zelda herself. Whenever she is involved, she is the damsel in distress, hoping Link will return to save her once again. Even when she debuts a tougher exterior in The Wind Waker, she is eventually reduced to kidnap-bait anyway. And although Zelda does help Link in his final battle a number of times throughout the franchise, it is never without Link that Zelda is able to escape from the clutches of evil.

So, why are we never able to take control of Zelda – or even better, her alter ego Sheik – once Link has completed his adventure? Why have we never learned of Zelda’s whereabouts in Ocarina of Time when Link travels to the future? Is Zelda not capable of even having an entirely new adventure on her own? [….] Continue reading

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Peter Molyneux, Hubris, and Emotions

Peter Molyneux

Love his dog as much as he loves his dog, or your pixels will be sad. Or something…

Perhaps Peter Molyneux could be seen as the M. Night Shyamalan of the video game industry:

  • Both had some rather excellent starts in their respective industries
  • Both created some very unique classices (P. M. and Black and White, M. N. S. and The Sixth Sense, etc.)
  • Both are strangely consumed by narcissism, “passion” and hubris
  • Both have fallen from their good graces and repeatedly created lackluster entertainment in the latter halves of their careers
  • Both have become a joke (more or less) in their respective industries

The only real difference is that one makes movies and the other makes video games. Continue reading

Super Smash Bros. Without Cutscenes: Closed Minds and “Two Black Ships”

Super Smash Bros. Logo

Before talking about the newest iteration, it is perhaps important to establish some thoughts about the previous game in the franchise; Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB). Super Smash Bros. Brawl offered a strange and conflicting experience. One one hand:

  • It had superb production value.
  • An amazing and inimitable soundtrack.
  • Was almost perfectly balanced (almost to a fault).
  • Fixed the horrendous level of “clone” and “copy-paste” characters (i.e. Mario/Dr. Mario/Luigi, Pikachu/Pichu, Captain Falcon/Ganondorf, Marth/Roy, Mewtwo and Ness/Zelda, etc.).
  • Had a much better variety of stages.
  • Added good variety of game modes.
  • The inclusion of an online mode.
  • Interesting addition of third-party characters.

On the other hand: Continue reading

In Video Games: Is It a Man or Woman?

The creators of Natural Selection 2, yet another big, brown, multiplayer focused FPS, has sparked quite a bit of controversy over their new female marine armor design. Basically, the new designs are more practical and realistic, like real armor, thus making the female marines looking practically like men, similar to what real military armor and equipment does.

Unsurprisingly, there has been a good amount of positive praise for the design decision, which is fine in itself. It’s difficult to argue that video games aren’t necessarily sexist when many of them have a healthy dose of female skin being flashed on screen. What’s interesting, however, is what this new design direction and philosophy means or represents as far as just how disingenuous the whole concept is.

Natural Selection 2 Female Marine

Natural Selection 2: Female marine armor design

Continue reading