It’s been well over 20 years since the green-clad Hero of Hyrule has entered my life and I’ve never regretted welcoming him in.
The Legend of Zelda is my favorite gaming franchise and has been for a long time. The first game I ever played was Ocarina of Time, though I didn’t fully understand what I was doing at the time. It took The Wind Waker to make me a fan and returning to Ocarina of Time in college cemented my fandom.
I often find it interesting to dissect our personal passions. We all love certain genres, entertainment, and franchises. What we like shapes us throughout our lives. What’s fascinating is we can sometimes love something that others just don’t understand.
A Journey Beginning with Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda is one of those beloved franchises for me. I think the moment I finally fell in love with the series was beating Ocarina of Time for the first time.
This happened much later in life as I returned to the game in college back in 2013. I beat it then and loved the ending so much. Yes, Zelda games aren’t necessarily known for their stories, but Ocarina of Time’s ending had me intrigued in an overarching timeline.
I loved Ocarina of Time so much because of the adventure embedded in the story. This game follows closely the Hero’s Journey storytelling model and I love those types of stories.
Furthermore, the music was phenomenal and the idea of a video game being a somewhat cohesive adventure really made me want to branch out. I always played platformer games that had an extremely loose, if any, story.
The Legend of Zelda was different. This was well before I realized how much I loved role-playing games because of the narratives.
Twilight Princess has always been my favorite game in the franchise because of its darker themes. Playing this game after Ocarina of Time really added to my love for the franchise.
Not only did this game directly connect to Ocarina of Time, but it filled out the world more. While I’ve never been one to enjoy too much exploring, the world of Twilight Princess was a lot of fun to venture around.
After Twilight Princess, I grew my Zelda catalog and beat so many in the franchise. I still have a few to go, but I have yet to find a Zelda game I hate. There are some that are better than others but overall, I always enjoy venturing with Link.
Finding Familiarity Within The Legend of Zelda
There’s so many reasons to love The Legend of Zelda from its enchanting music to its enigmatic worlds filled with quirky characters. I readily admit The Legend of Zelda was formulaic prior to Breath of the Wild, but it worked and it spawned many copycat games like Blossom Tales.
The Legend of Zelda has become my comfort food. I’ve played so many of these games that whenever I return, it feels like returning home after a vacation. Even in a game so unique like Breath of the Wild, I feel at home.
Don’t get me wrong, I love playing new games and learning fresh combat systems. That said, returning to Zelda games will never get old.
This familiarity may be so poignant to me because a lot changed in my life when I started to get into these games.
In late 2012, I returned from a two-year proselytizing mission for my church. I married my high school sweetheart in 2013 and returned to college that same year. I then moved to a different college a few hours away so my wife could complete her schooling. This was my first time living away from home since my mission.
All of this can be a lot despite none of it being bad moments. This was just a time of a lot of change in my life and yet I did have some stationed pillars during this time that helped keep me grounded.
It just so happened that the familiarity of The Legend of Zelda helped me through this time. While so much changed, returning to a traditional game kept me grounded.
I won’t say it was the only reason I adjusted to the changes. My wonderful wife is a far more important stalwart in this story.
Rather, having something you can use to escape from the pressures of life will always be welcome. It also helps when that escape is familiar to you.
The Impact of Video Games
Video games, and art in general, can have a big impact on your life. Each of our passions have a story behind them as to why we first connected with our interests.
For me, The Legend of Zelda has always been just a fun game with magical soundtracks that helped bring a sense of familiarity to an ever-shifting time in my life.
To this day, returning to Hyrule, or any of its adjacent worlds, really feels like coming home.
And that is why I love The Legend of Zelda.
Nintendo Pow Block Podcast – Wednesdays at 7 a.m. ET
Nintendo Pow Block is Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network’s Nintendo podcast. Each week, Edward, Corey, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk about the week in Nintendo, including news, rumors, new games, questions, and the fan-favorite Snacktendo segment. Check out Nintendo Pow Block Live on Twitch every Monday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern / 5:30 p.m. Pacific or on Podcast Services and YouTube Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. If you enjoy the show, consider leaving us a five star rating on iTunes and Spotify. Thanks for listening to Nintendo Pow Block!
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