In A Link to the Past, Link’s uncle goes to Hyrule Castle in search of answers, and when he doesn’t return, our young protagonist’s adventure begins. In the following game, Link’s Awakening, it is only thanks to Marin nursing Link back to health that allows him to uncover the secrets of Koholint Island and the Wind Fish. In both, a stormy night precedes the start of his quest.
A lot of importance is placed on Link’s first interactions. The fervour and excitement that comes with the first play of a new Zelda game form our initial opinions – the characters we meet are largely influential. Rusl plays that significant part in Twilight Princess when, with an unerring serenity, he says, “Do you ever feel a strange sadness as dusk falls?”
Already, the start of the game is slower and quieter than in the aforementioned Zelda titles. Perhaps it’s because this game is longer and has the opportunity to spread the story out. We get given a chance to herd goats and fish, to help our fellow neighbours. Minutes in, we have already established connections with the people in Link’s life. But Rusl never gets his chance to shine, be it as a way to emotionally offset the storyline or as a physical presence in the heart of Link’s fight for Hyrule.