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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...

Welcome to a new editorial series where I examine misconceptions some people have about aspects of the  Zelda series, its development, or even its surrounding fan base and community. For some readers you will simply nod your head along with this series. The goal, however, isn't necessarily to target those that already agree with these points – rather the point is to inform and educate those that don't know any better.

As with everything of course, many misconceptions with the  Zelda series and the surrounding community don't have an exact definitive answer. This series goal isn't always to define an absolute (though there certainly can be one, depending on the topic). Rather, the goal is to provide as much evidence and support as possible as to why I firmly believe that something is being misconceived. I will also try to detail out why such misconceptions exist in the first place.

The first topic is one that comes up rather frequently over the years...

So as Nate announced earlier this month, Zelda Informer is officially changing ownership, and as such, this is likely the last post I'll be making here. The past couple weeks I’ve been talking with Mases, unpairing Zelda Informer from Gamnesia’s code library, and personally setting up his new server that’s going to be hosting the site. He knows he can call me up for future advice and any development needs he might have, but beyond that, my time running this place is officially drawing to a close. So I'm gonna title this with the words I originally announced this with back in 2007, because it feels fitting.

Eight years on a project like this is a long time, and things are very different from when this all started. I turn 28 in a couple weeks, and simply put, would like to pursue something new. I’ve been gathering up people that I've known over the years - friends, coworkers, journalists, and hackers - and we’re putting together a new blog project for politics, culture, travel, music, and investigative journalism – Pod Six. Naturally, getting something of this caliber going properly requires quite a bit of investment of the time and money sort, so it’s been on the drawing board for a couple years now with no realistic way to get it going. Then Mases offered me up an exit plan that leaves ZI in, honestly, pretty solid hands between him and Nate.

I’m not sure how many people saw the last bit of ZI/ZD that happened last month, but the public backlash was pretty negative. So why not mend bridges? Both sites serve basically the same community in different ways, why not work together? I’ve been tempted to bail on this before, but the problem I always encountered was people in the Zelda community with the actual resources willing to take it on. Before ZI even started, I watched the site we grew out of, Zelda Universe, sell out to several people who wanted nothing to do with the Zelda community but to run the sites for ad revenue. This absentee landlordism created the worst environment, and is one of the things that got us together to start ZI. Mases has been involved in the community a good long time and has had the resources to keep an equally mammoth site online this whole time, so I consider him pretty capable of taking this on.

With the other projects I’m putting my efforts into this year, ZI isn’t going to quite get the attention it deserves from its owner if I try to hang on to this at this point. Furthermore, all the goals I personally had for ZI were accomplished a long time ago. With the latest redesign, it feels like a good high note for me to go out on and pass the torch...

It was a not-so-chilly Christmas when I received my turquoise Gameboy Color, as well as my very first Zelda game, Oracle of Ages. I was still in single digits as far as age goes, and it showed in my gaming capabilities – the intro and visuals to Ages enthralled me more than playing it did. But eventually, I got around to actually playing the game instead of restarting it over and over to gawk at the image of singing Nayru. Unfortunately, your adolescent author had no inkling of what a strategy guide was, or if I was even allowed to access anything but Neopets on the Internet. This issue reached its worst point when I would get stuck in the same room of the same temple...

Music has always been a very distinct and personal part of my life. I “played” piano when I was in my early years of grade school, was in choirs, and even in band. Even now, I play the Ocarina (just like a good little Zelda fan) and guitar. While this does not give me too much knowledge on the finer intricacies of music, I do have a greater appreciation for it because of my musical background.

I’m really big on understanding the “how” behind things. A sort of trail that I have been on lately is understanding and exploring the emotions in The Legend of Zelda and how they factor into the storytelling aspect of the game. I guess you could say this was all jump started by playing a fantastic little nugget of a game called Undertale. It goes beyond games, though. Using emotions as a method of storytelling is apparent in movies as well. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest vehicles to convey emotions, is music. I recently read an article by Dan Golding on Kotaku about John Williams’s music in the new Star Wars film. It discusses how the music helps fuel the emotions of the film and I couldn’t agree more.

The lore behind the Hylian royal family, like many other aspects of the games, varies from title to title, but there are some consistencies. One of these constants is not what one might consider a tradition more so a pattern of storytelling: Zelda’s mother, or rather any Queen of Hyrule (with the exception of Zelda’s status in Hyrule Warriors), is absent.

This is very consistent with a lot of figures in the Zelda universe, Princess Ruto, Malon, even minor characters like the Deku princess or Pamela from the Music Box House in Majora’s Mask. Why is the Queen of Hyrule consistently not mentioned, presumably dead, throughout all the games? What significance does this have on her daughter...

What makes a hero? Courage? Wisdom? Power? Or a tri…ad of the three? While these are simple concepts to understand, they are difficult to convey, especially in unknown characters. When telling a story, the author must build the character in such a way that the character is likable, understandable, and replayable. Therein lies the difficulty of telling stories in video games. How does one make the player’s character fit these three molds in a memorable way? While character development takes place over the course of the story, the first hour or so is the most crucial part of the character development. If the audience is adverse to the character at such an early stage, repairing this damaged view of the character will take quite a bit longer.

The character of Link is an interesting one to say the least. While he rarely speaks, he is, in my opinion, one of the most well-developed characters in the history of video games. There are many instances of Link, and while a few of them have not had any story or background, from A Link to the Past on, each Link has been given a unique introduction that has given the character a life of his own. Throughout the years, Link has been recreated in many different ways in many different places, yet, there are a few characteristics that remain the same. These are the essential building blocks of our hero. While the traditional hero is considered a tragic hero, Link is the opposite.

Throughout history, storytelling has been a method used for many purposes. While some stories may be used to sway people to a particular position, some stories are used as simple entertainment and relief from the troubles of the world. At the core of these stories, however, is the tool of emotion. Storytelling, at its heart, is about convincing the audience to feel. It makes the experiences memorable, but it also lets them remain with the reader or viewer for quite some time. I recently finished Undertale, and I can honestly say that it will remain with me for a very long time. While the game was fun, the story and the music were great, the main thing that stood out to me and caused me to truly treasure this game is the emotion I felt at one particular scene. Now, I won't spoil it for you, but that has resonated with me since I finished the game back in December.

Recently, the director and creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima, released a statement about gamers and creators on his new website. It is a very emotionally-driven statement and evokes a sense of swelling pride and empowerment. I’ve read it a few times and even heard it discussed, at length, on podcasts such as Kinda Funny. Truthfully, this declaration of gamerhood reminded me of the feelings that creators and gamers alike experience due to video games. People on the outside might look at us, wearing ourLegend of Zelda hoodie or Pokéball beanie, and think that we’re odd. While that may be the case, it’s mostly that these games mean something to us.

Last year we shared with you a list of how the Zelda Informer staff then collectively ranked every single Zelda game in the series. Our staff has gotten smaller in 2015, but it’s also gotten closer and as such things change. We had the release of Tri Force Heroes to now consider and obviously the subtraction and addition of staff members over the course of the past year.

Due to the decrease in number of staff available I didn’t feel we have enough data to truly rank all 18 main line Zelda titles. However, we all have our ten favorite and as such we are starting a new tradition of presenting Zelda Informer’s top 10 Zelda games each winter. Why winter? It allows for at least a few weeks buffer from the potential release of a new title and it helps bring in the New Year with where ZI’s collective staff stands in terms of what games in the series we like most...

We don’t know that much about The Legend of Zelda: Wii U. Our information and glimpses have been few and far-between. We know that it is open world and we know it has a day and night cycle. We know it has a different animation style and we know Link looks way different. We also know that it’s for the Wii U. That’s not a lot to go on. However, that does not stop people from speculating about this forthcoming game. There are fan theories and fan art galore and it might be possible that this could be the best Zelda game to date. However, there are a few things that this game must have in order to contend with the biggest games of this generation. Otherwise, it might not hold up.