So first let me talk about my inspiration for this article. I’ve been playing A LOT of Zelda lately, I’ve been playing The Wind Waker HD, A Link Between Worlds, and A Link to the Past all at the same time. It made me think a lot about the series and its history. The Legend of Zelda is a series that fits my personal tastes and needs in a game perfectly (depending on the title of course). One thing that dawned to me as I was playing three different Zelda gameplay styles and games was that there was one thing in common. You see Link is a swordsman, now I know that sounds redundant but here’s what I mean. What makes a great game is feeling like you are your avatar. In the case of the Legend of Zelda series the most important part of the game is to build around the fact that Link and whoever is controlling him becomes a swordsman.
Being a swordsman is more than just having a sword and knowing how to fight with it. A person who wields a sword, especially one with a sword known as the blade of evil’s bane, must make the way of the sword (especially in the time the Legend of Zelda games are set in) the most important aspect of their life. A swordsman must be patient, they must observe their enemy and environment to achieve victory, they must maintain a level of intelligence and resilience, and only draw their sword when necessary. The way of the swordsman is a way of life. All the Links throughout time all had these qualities especially bravery, some had to learn the way of the swordsman, some learned it naturally, and some were just born with it. Link’s everlasting quest to keep the triforce safe from evil is a quest to achieve three important qualities of leadership and the ways of the swordsman, to achieve Courage, Wisdom, and Power. The swordsman was treated with the utmost respect, the way their sword became a part of them reflected how they fought and how the pushed their way forward to protect those they love and the land they live in.
Between dungeons, quests, and exploration the Legend of Zelda series always respects the ways of the swordsman and designs the games perfectly around the qualities of Link. This is why I think the Zelda formula both 2D and 3D are so fluid and fun. They achieve the most important part of a game, having the player get an enjoyable and immersive experience. A whole mythology, mystery, and great characters help as well to assure that the players mind and body are in the game, that they themselves are the swordsman. Playing bosses in the games is where I feel its most apparent. The odds seem against you and you have nothing but your wits and weapons to make it through. For example, when playing a Link Between Worlds, I was fighting a boss where I noticed there was a part of the level the boss had trouble getting to, so I just went in their and my sword was able to reach the bosses weak spot. As the boss tried to reach me I just kept hitting it until it went down. I used my environment to help me win, I found a simpler way to beat an enemy. Then there’s also the countless I went by a hunch, I saw something, tried to interact with it, and I was able to move forward. Link is said by Miyamoto to be the link gamers have between them and the game. To that I say well done, this is a series I always look forward to seeing grow and continue. After all I am the guy who bought a second copy of the Hyrule Historia to keep one in its plastic sealing.
The achievements the Legend of Zelda series is amazing and I personally think it is because these games truly achieve what all games strive for. That is to became who you are controlling, in this case a swordsman. To think like one, to have the instincts of one, to act on the philosophy, to take action like one, and to fight like one.I’m looking forward to seeing the series grow as my life continues and I’ll enjoy playing them for years to come. Thank you for reading and your support, I hope you’ll check out my videos on game analyses and more on my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/NaismithBilly