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The Goron Research Institute will be an ongoing series of articles landing roughly once per month that analyzes various aspects of the Zelda series. The goal is to examine the past, present, and future for various places, people, and things to try and find out how things have previously evolved and may evolve again in the future. For the first volume, I will be discussing the history of the Faron Province in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

The Faron Province originally appears in 2006 when Twilight Princess first debuted. It is the second province the player is able to explore, and it marks the beginning of a long quest. The Province reappears a few years later in Skyward Sword, and is the first region of the Surface that the player traverses. It is especially significant that both iterations of the Faron Province contain a dense forest, similar enemies, and is protected by a powerful entity, which I will elaborate on later...

The debate around Sheik's "true" gender, which raged in the Zelda community for years, was allegedly put to an end with a proclamation from Bill Trinen of Nintendo America stating Sheik was a woman. In fact, our article on this announcement went down to be our most-viewed article yet. The debate around Sheik's gender turned on whether or not Princess Zelda physically changed her body (including genitals) when becoming Sheik or if she simply wore an outfit to disguise herself. But in reality, this debate has centered on the wrong question, focusing on irrelevant particulars that fail to take into account who the persona Sheik really is and what he (that's right HE) tells us about Princess Zelda, the Zelda franchise, and how conservative Nintendo can be...

At first glance, the relationship between Hyrule Castle Town and Kakariko Village is a simple one: they each represent a different way of life. The residents of Castle Town actively engage in commerce and trade, while those in Kakariko express a feeling of simplicity. The differences between these two communities are obvious; unless we unnecessarily over-think the basic facts of these settings' economies, we won't find many significant insights.

Well, over-thinking it is what I do best. So let's take a look at what context Ocarina of Time gives us on economy and production, and take a look at just how much Kakariko Village reveals about class, money, and society.

Last E3 we saw Tri Force Heroes in action. More than that, we got to play the game for ourselves. Before E3 we didn’t even have a hint this game existed – no one saw it coming. The reception may be lukewarm at the moment, but the reveal itself was everything a video game reveal should be.

In comparison, Zelda U’s reveal was practically pathetic. Yes, Eiji Aonuma talked about change and we got to see some pre-determined footage of Zelda U (they claim it’s all in-engine, but that means little), but that was it. Interviews kept being refocused to “open world.” They wouldn’t budge and let us know any real details. Beyond that, we never got to see true gameplay. For a new 3DS game we got gameplay, demos, revealing interviews, and a title. For the new home console game, we got a teaser and nothing else, not even a title.

Of course, not all reveals need to be as fulfilling as Tri Force Heroes was, but on every aspect that game executed in its reveal, Zelda U’s didn’t live up to a single one of them. We’ve seen gameplay since thanks to the Video Game Awards last year, but I can’t help comparing these two titles and feeling like Zelda U was shown before it was truly ready to be shown. If that isn’t the case, then Nintendo simply chose to show the game rather poorly.

So it’s been eight years. Eight long years since this all began. And most of you reading now don’t even know where it came from.

There are always whispers of the crazy man behind the scenes who keeps the servers afloat and does the code work to keep things running around here. Everybody knows Nathan, my partner in this monstrosity, but I just generally hang towards the back, keeping a watchful eye on things, making sure the servers work, and setting up the platform that our writers use. I see all of you, even though I hide in the shadows.

It’s surreal looking back on this site, for me. None of you have any idea, you just get your Zelda news here, which is, of course, the point. Mission accomplished! Go team! We have become a social virus spreading the love of Zelda across the internet and I love it. I never expected any of this to happen back then.

I grew up in a fairly isolated area, middle-of-nowhere northwest Connecticut surrounded by a bunch of abandoned mills, closed factories, and farms that were being foreclosed on to be turned into golf courses. I was a fairly obnoxious teenager, got into quite a bit of trouble, and had to deal with a fair deal of bullshit at school. Did I know how to interact with people like a normal human being? Nope. Weird and introverted as hell. I was a piece of shit to a lot of people in an attempt to “fit in” with people who in turn were a piece of shit to me. My memories of high school are fairly unpleasant, to say the least. So what did I do in my spare time? Escape to the internet, of course. Much like a lot of you young’ins probably do now. Damn right I know my target audience. I WAS THERE TOO.

Keep reading past the jump, I've got some words for y'all.

"Lake Hylia" by Jessica Smith

When Nintendo came out with the announcement that a 2015 release for Zelda U was no longer a priority for the title, fans (myself very much included) were rather disappointed; what happened to our big 2015 title? Adding insult to injury, Aonuma added that the game would not be shown at E3, further confounding fans. Hadn’t we seen gameplay back in December at the Video Game Awards? What stopped Nintendo from showing off a bit more of how this title will play this past June?

While there are undoubtedly many out there who are still struggling to deal with the delay, I believe it’s safe to say that most have accepted that this is for the best of the game. It’s not uncommon for Zelda titles to experience lengthy delays and, while it was nice to see some “gameplay” at the VGAs, it was certainly nothing befitting of a game nearing release. With this in mind, I won’t discuss why the delay is good for Zelda U; for that, I highly recommend this article by Alex Plant from Gamnesia. Instead, I’d like to discuss the opportunities now made possible by Zelda U’s delay...

Throughout his adventures in Ocarina of Time, Link encounters a number of eligible ladies who could be seen as viable love interests, and it's long been a subject of fan debate who among them, if any, won the Hero of Time's heart. But in reality, we can determine that most of these women couldn't have settled down with Link due to how the events in the Adult Link Timeline differ from those in the Child Link Timeline, as well as other factors. When we look at the hard facts, it becomes clear that if Link ended up with any love interest from Ocarina of Time, it would have been Malon...

Another Cosplay of the Week is upon us, and this time around I've got something a little bit different to show you all. This weeks feature is of a Cosplay by the creative Chochomaru (AKA Mary Mann) of Deviant Art, and is her interpretation of the all powerful Majora!

Instead of just going with a plain outfit and having Majora's Mask as the feature, she's gone above and beyond with this costume and created her own concept...

After Tri Force Heroes' surprising announcement during this year's E3, fans have expressed extremely polarizing responses to this new cooperative Zelda title. We've heard time and time again about the Zelda cycle; a Zelda game is announced and released to fan disappointment, only to gain acclaim in the years to follow. However the response to Tri Force Heroes seems to go beyond the traditional Zelda cycle, showing a grand disparity between excitement, interest, disappointment, and apathy.

Why such a polarizing response? Today, we aim to examine fan reactions and get to the bottom of Tri Force Heroes' extreme divisiveness...

Going into this particular E3, Zelda fans didn't have much to look forward to: Zelda U had been explicitly stated to be skipping the conference, and the only other new game on the horizon appeared to be a port of Hyrule Warriors (now officially called Hyrule Warriors: Legends). Some may have been hoping that Nintendo would go back on their word and throw out some sort of teaser for Zelda U or even surprise fans with an HD or 3D remake of Twilight Princess, but Nintendo did neither of these, instead bringing in a brand new 3DS title way out of left field.

Appearing at first glance to be a simplified Four Swords with an A Link Between Worlds coat of paint, Tri Force Heroes has shown us, through our time with it at E3, the potential to bring so much more to the table, despite the fact that it is unlikely to be a full-fledged, epic Zelda adventure.