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We understand Link as the hero, the sole savior of Hyrule, the one prophesied with the Triforce of Courage. But we also understand that he never truly does it alone. Through many Zelda titles, Link is aided by a trusty companion. They vary from side-kick to full blown plot devices, but they’ve always had a place at Link’s side one time or another. There also seems to be a correlation between the development of Link’s companions and the development of the franchise itself. To do that, we can take a look at each companion Link has had throughout a game and how directly he or she has impacted the story. This, however, means that temporary companions, such as Ricky, Dimitri, and Moosh from the Oracle Series will not count, as will mounts such as Epona and the Crimson Loftwing. As an aside, despite many of these titles having been out for a long time, a lot of these analyses contain spoilers because of their nature, so you have been warned. So let’s see the lineup...

A topic that has been debated on the site recently is the issue of Link being an established character of the franchise, or a player avatar meant to be a "link" to the games that he is the protagonist of. Whenever someone such as a staff member or fan suggests a major change be made to Link for whatever purpose, the standard counterpoint to this suggestion is the fact that Link is viewed as an established character such as the iconic Mario from Super Mario Bros., or Samus from the Metroid franchise...

Are we spoiled as Zelda fans? That’s a tough question because that term often carries some negative connotations. The very definition of the word contains completely negative references, so it’s not a term I like to use lightly. However, I bring it to the forefront after watching a couple weeks’ worth of reactions to the news that Zelda U has become Zelda U/NX and that the game has been delayed again to 2017 (a likely, but unconfirmed, 4-month delay).

I will go ahead and quote some of the reactions I have seen, but unless they are made by a more public figure I will leave the comments as anonymous. So you’ll see a mix of fans and more public media types reactions to this news...

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U & NX is undoubtedly a big game. Let’s set aside that it is now rivaling Ocarina of Timefor total development time and consider that this is the first fully open world 3D Zelda game ever made. The industry has set insanely high bars with games that go this approach and it's highly doubtful Nintendo wants to release an inferior product in comparison. In fact, Nintendo loves attempting to set all new bars with ideas that have been done by others before, let alone their own unique twist on those ideas.

However, this title’s true importance isn’t necessarily just about being an expensive game with a long dev cycle that dives deep into the open world concept. Rather, this title could fundamentally alter the entire future of The Legend of Zelda franchise to the point where it may be the single most important title ever released in the franchise (sans The Legend of Zelda (NES), which is undoubtedly the most important)...

Love cannot exist without courage, for it takes courage to love. Love is dangerous and scary, but at the same time, it is something that everyone strives for, whether they would admit it or not. But what is love? (Bear with me here.) There are many definitions of love, but my favorite one comes from the Bible in the book of John. Specifically, John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” The Greek word used in this passage comes from the root word ἀγάπη, which denotes a type of sacrificial or charitable love. It implies that there is a sacrifice on the part of the one performing the action of love. In both The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the central conflicts are incited because of love; specifically this type of sacrificial love.

In articles that discuss things that Zelda U needs in order to be successful, there are plenty of commenters that insist upon its Japanese purity. The question is: should this remain the standard for The Legend of Zelda? In fact, should it remain the standard for Nintendo in general? In recent years, the Japanese game market has seen a decline in sales and is losing its grip on the video game market as a whole. A sad statement, to be sure, is not without its foundation in facts and quotes from industry leaders. However, I believe that not only can The Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX (for our purposes, Zelda U) save Nintendo, but restart the Japanese market...

The Zelda series has always had an interesting portrayal of crime. Most characters throughout the series unwaveringly obey the law and provide us with safe world to explore, but many Zelda games still offer at least one unlawful or dishonest individual for players to meet. Many thieves have appeared throughout the series, each one serving a specific role. Some provide danger or challenge for Link to overcome, some provide moments of levity for players to enjoy during lengthy adventures, and some simply provide one extra step into making the game worlds seem that much more believable. With so many different flavors of thieves populating the series, we think it'd a good idea to examine the best, worst, and most noteworthy thieves of the Zelda series...

Some of the saddest news that comes up every now and then is the cancellation of a fan project. Whether it’s something as simple as a fan movie or something more ambitious such as a complete remake of a game (or even a fan game), it seems that whenever we get our hopes up, it gets a cease and desist. While other companies have a bad track record of shutting down fan projects, Nintendo seems to have a task force for hunting down and shutting down different projects.

Recently, it was reported that Pokemon Reorchestrated was removed from YouTube for copyright infringement. While I can kind of understand why they would want to do this, they’re hurting a very beautiful and very fun fan project. However, I think the biggest example of a Nintendo shutdown lies with the Hero of Time fan film. It was an uphill battle to get it finished, and even when it was finished, it was only given a limited lifespan before Nintendo struck it down. Further examples of this can be found in similar attempts, such as the Zelda Project. It just seems like Nintendo hates fan projects.

The Legend of Zelda community disagrees on a number of elements concerning the game’s nature, but they can all probably agree that the universe is a high-fantasy genre. There are kings, knights, mages, monsters, prophecies, quests, etc. Even the title suggests the fantastical element: that transitional period from oral tradition into written text, similar to legends like Beowulf and the Arthurian Legends. However, there are some puzzling elements to this world of magic and, well, technology.

Fantasy and technology have always had this strange distance to each other in fictional universes. If we’re being honest, it’s probably because feudal lords in historical Britannia hadn't harnessed the ability of powerful magnetism, electricity, or even explosives. Now I’m not going to even touch on the fully functional rock band, from Majora’s Mask. Let’s just all agree that Termina is a widgety land of mystery with many theories and arguments challenging its very existence.

Companies are pretty good at subliminal advertising. It’s everywhere you look—in commercials and even billboards. We may never notice it, but it’s there. Little did we know that Nintendo had been doing this to us with The Legend of Zelda in the past couple of years, preparing us for the inevitable (maybe). There are certain factors that Nintendo has been pushing in the series for a while now; factors that, when taken a close look at, are very reminiscent of a Japanese Roleplaying Game. They have slowly inserted different mechanics as a sort of test, but also preparation. They wanted to see if we would like it and if it worked, and I believe it did...