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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...

Update: A note from the author is available at the bottom of the editorial.

Yesterday, we shared with you a harmless fan project where a father modded A Link to the Past to make Link appear gender-neutral for his daughter. The result is that Link can be whatever gender the player wants Link to be. This is typically the gender of the player. The father did this by taking every time the game referenced Link as a male, and changed the gender pronouns into gender-neutral terms, such as "kid" instead of "boy." Needless to say, the fanbase lost their minds...

One debate that has been raging on for at least a decade has been voice acting in Zelda. Sure, there is a lot of focus around Link himself – should he have his own voice or should he remain a silent protagonist? Of course other games have proven you can be a silent protagonist while everyone else has voice acting, but the series itself doesn’t really build itself out in how it frames the story to lend to that feeling anything but awkward. Of course this is one of many reasons why some fans want not only Link to be silent still, but they want no voice acting at all.

But the debate over voice acting shouldn’t really be about if it can be done well (it can, but it can also be done poorly), how it might change our perception of certain characters (and they get new iterations frequently, so they aren’t even the same character game to game most of the time anyways), or if they can do it and keep Link silent (the definitely can). Rather we should be debating about the role of story in the series...

Fun fact about me: I actively deal with depression on a daily basis. While I take steps to deal with it, it is something that I still fight with quite often. One of the things that those that struggle with this disorder would note is that they have a lack of hope. Personally, I can identify with this. While not outwardly showing this, I struggle quite often with feelings of hopelessness and even worthlessness. It’s kind of funny, because if you met me, I would make sure that you didn’t know. I am never shy about it and I never intend on hiding it from people, I just choose to not let it show.

Hope is a strange thing to discuss as it is a completely intangible. In fact, it’s rather paradoxical. You cannot see it, but at the same time, you can. You can see it in the eyes and actions of those that hold onto it. In fact, it is often through the actions of others that we receive hope or can at least catch a glimpse of it. As a kid, a depressed shut-in of a kid, hope was something that I really did not have a lot of. I was always looking for an escape. Some may view escapism as bad, and while it certainly has the potential to be, it can also be used as a coping method. We can identify with a character in a world so purely and emotionally that we can even be given courage through them.

The Legend of Zelda has always been a series about courage...