Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Persistent Presence of the Bad Guy - Analysis of Legend of Zelda series

Okay some people may regard some of what I'm about to say about some of these games as spoilers (although I'm probably not going to ruin anything but still...) so if you really are squeamish about knowing the slightest thing about The Legend of Zelda series' plotlines then maybe you should stop reading this post and find another delicious 103% article to whet your appetite with. Anyhow, in the most recent addition to the Zelda series we are introduced to a self proclaimed Demon Lord called Ghirahim who shows up very early on in the game declare that he is trying to capture Princess Zelda. One thing to know about Ghirahim is that he can be a bit unstable and rapey.

...if you know what I mean
But more importantly, Ghirahim repeatedly makes appearances throughout the main quest as usually he and Link are both trying to get to Zelda before the other. In dungeon boss rooms he sometimes introduces/summons the boss of that dungeon after delivering some plot exposition or general threats of violence. You even have to scrap with the douche a few times before the game is done. I really liked the fact that he kept on cropping up on the way to the end of this game as very few of the other bad guys in this series (and in fact many others) do this. Just take Ganondorf as an example in Ocarina, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. In the first two cases you see him for a small time near the beginning of the game and then you pretty much don't so much as hear from the guy until the very end of the game. In Twilight Princess, you don't even know he's part of the story until quite near the end anyway.

Who knows what he does in the meantime?
So it is little wonder that Zelda games have a reputation for delaying confrontations with Ganondorf by way of sidequests and collecting missions. While most players are collecting bugs or exploring hidden caves all over the place nobody seems to be bothered about wasting all this time because Ganondorf will sit pretty until someone goes and bothers him. Ghirahim however is always up in your grille which gives a much stronger impression that evil is afoot and needs a legendary hero to go and put a stop to it. Personally I'd like to see more of Ganondorf (none of this 'Phantom' shit) during the main quest of a Zelda game, possibly as he tries to acquire the Triforce of Power or something like that. Many will disagree with me on the grounds that part of Ganondorf's dramatic impact comes from his absence but I'd argue that it would be foolhardy for any villain to sit idly by in a castle watching a talented hero build up their skillset and ability to overthrow you without the villain at least trying to intervene. I'd respect Ganondorf a lot more if he tried to slap Link around a bit before he bags every last Heart Container in Hyrule.

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