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No, Hyrule Warriors doesn’t actually have traditional voice acting. What it does do that no other Zelda game before has done is provide voiced narration. Let me step back a bit: It’s not really a Zelda game at all, but for what it is involving Zelda lore, worlds, and characters, it makes me personally feel like it’s time to explore this in the main series.

I understand many of the valid arguments against voice acting. There is a real fear, for the most part, that it will be terrible – a Metroid: Other M type of terrible, and naturally if that is the alternative… we would rather stick with text boxes. Except that doesn’t have to be the alternative. Now, you may not like the narration voice/tone in Hyrule Warriors (I do like it), but it’s really adding something to the experience that the cut scenes themselves don’t have. A type of impact emotionally to me as a player – a sort “taking me into the world” that the cutscenes break me away from, simply because I have to read text boxes.

The Legend of Zelda has had its fair share of crossover Easter eggs. Whether it be Link's cap showing up in Kirby games, to Zelda's jingle playing in Super Mario 3D Land, to Link racing alongside Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach in Mario Kart 8, the population of Hyrule has found its way into little nooks and crannies of other franchises throughout its history.

Now, we're nearing the launch of a crossover of proportions never before seen in Zelda...

The Happy Mask Salesman (or HMS) is the source of much speculation and intrigue in the Zelda community, and rightfully so. The hints as to his origins and to what exactly he is are scattered throughout Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time in such a way that bringing them all together takes some serious snooping through the text of the games and some serious consideration of the motifs in Majora’s Mask. Some have taken particular note of the dark and frightening aspects of Majora’s Mask – especially the Salesman’s erratic behavior – but Miyamoto has said that that game is meant more to get gamers thinking than to frighten, that the designers’ goal was "to present something which is very mysterious, rather than scary."

Let’s see, then, what we can discover about the mystery of the HMS. This article will first go over what is obvious about his character, examining what he says about himself in his opening speech in Majora’s Mask. Then I shall take a look at what may have happened in Ikana Canyon before it became a region of unsatisfied, anti-social undead. Finally, I shall take a look at the relationship between the moon children, Majora’s Mask, Skull Kid, and the Happy Mask Salesman before drawing some conclusions.

I have been looking forward to Hyrule Warriors since it was announced. The Legend of Zelda series has had many war stories told in its time...just, you know, it was always via backstory for whatever current conflict Link found himself wrapped up in. We have never gotten a Zelda game set in the middle of a war, with thousands of enemies coming at Link and his companions, and so the very concept of Hyrule Warriors appealed to me from day one. And I'm sure I'm not the only person like that.

Yet as time has passed, I've felt a bit of concern growing in the back of my mind. There's this constant worry that I've experienced every time we make a Hyrule Warriors post, or every time I read the comments, or even as I talk to the rest of the ZI Staff about it. It took me a while to put my finger on what exactly was causing this anxiety, but now that I've got it, I think we all need to step back and remind ourselves of one thing—something so simple, but which could drastically alter the way we receive the upcoming game:

Hyrule Warriors is NOT a Zelda game.

It's been many years since we last compiled a staff list of all 17 main line games being ranked. The question today is where the games collectively rank from our staff in 2014! Later we'll run a poll to help determine where our fans rank games, but more on that later. These sort of lists are ever changing each year as everyone shuffles games around over time. As of today, this year, in 2014... this is what the staff have determined to be our full list. This list is based on individual listings by staff members behind the scenes.

Never fear—this isn't a post that is going to be spoiling anything. Instead I am here to talk about the real enjoyment that can be had by spoiling a game. Not in the sense of us "ruining" the game for folks, but in the real logical sense why there are so many that want to have the game spoiled for them. You all know who you are, and when it comes to Zelda I am right along with you. The goal of this is to have an open discussion on the benefits of enjoying spoilers to give those who don't insight into a side they may never fully agree with.

Who is Tetra? I mean, we know who she is, but… who is she? A reincarnation of Zelda, obviously, but before we knew that, she was a pirate. A little kid who, I can only imagine, usurped power in whatever shanty town she hails from, somehow...

Development has concluded, a Nintendo Direct has been aired, and now Hyrule Warriors is finally ready for its upcoming release in Japan on August 14th. With the game so close to arriving, there is still a surprising amount of unknown pieces of the title, namely, the roster. The developers at Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have done their best to pack as much Zelda into this Zelda game as possible. Little nods to the series are featured in each character’s fighting style, with signature moves like Link’s spin attack to Zelda’s ability to use the Wind Waker.

Yet, I still think there is room for improvement. There has yet to be an announcement that the current Hyrule Warriors roster is final. New fighters could be announced any day now; there is even a possibility of DLC in the future. I think the developers are missing a few key characters that are necessary to create a true love letter to The Legend of Zelda.

Will all my demands be met? Probably not. I would at least like to see a few. Head inside to see my thoughts and share yours.

There was a time when we as Zelda fans did not have a ton of variety to choose from for our handheld pleasures. There were not very many original Zelda titles that were available on the Game Boy Advance, and in the distant past of 2004 we received the bright light that is The Minish Cap. This game was the last true top down Zelda game until the recent A Link Between Worlds and that was almost a decade ago! The game is under appreciated and I think it deserves an extra little bit of love from us...

I am probably one of the few who hold Link’s Awakening as their favorite Zelda title. It was the one that introduced me to the world of adventure and the one that, to this day, has had the most impact on my love of the series. I still get a little teary-eyed when I hear the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Unsurprisingly, it is the one that I have replayed the most as well. As I’ve gotten older and studied more in the world of literature, I've found something that makes me love the game even more: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening takes inspiration from medieval English literature.