Zelda and the Art of Distraction

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Wyatt wanted to play RollerCoaster Tycoon last night. So I got him set up on the computer, pulled up a chair alongside him, and grabbed the Nintendo Switch along with Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Figured that I could make some progress in Zelda while letting the boy learn how to control/use the RollerCoaster Tycoon toolset. Win/win, right?

For awhile now, Wyatt has been dumping hours into Zelda, slowly beating each divine beast before me. Then, when I’ve sat down to play on Sunday afternoons, he’ll sit there and guide me. Later on, never failing, to remind me that he helped me.

“You didn’t beat that by yourself, I helped you.”

Deep in my 36 year old heart, I knew that I could not allow such a thing to continue. A 9 year old boy would not best me in a game, not yet anyways. I had just beaten the Zora and Ruto divine beasts, with Wyatt’s help. In his game, Wyatt was off chasing the beast out in the desert. So I decided to tackle the only beast he hadn’t gone after yet, the beast of Death Mountain, Vah Rudania.

A combination of wanting to play smart mixed with a smidgen of desperation to get ahead of the boy, led me to consult a walkthrough. I wanted to know exactly where Vah Rudania lay. The quick consult made me decide to plot a course to Goron City and set up a basecamp there. The walkthrough mentioned fire armor and a guy needing me to collect lizards for him. I warped into a tower, took a flying leap, and glided towards the lizard man. 10 lizards collected later, I had me some fire armor for protection against the volcanic environment.

All the while I’m navigating Death Mountain, Wyatt is engrossed in RollerCoaster Tycoon. He had no clue that I was pushing further into Zelda than he is currently. The only problem I face now is maintaining the momentum. Face it, I’m competing against a 9 year old who plays video games much more than me. He’ll probably get ahead of me in the long run, but I’m not giving up. I have a beast to slay!

Seasons of Zelda

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The next door neighbor boys growing up, Jeff and Joe, first introduced me to The Legend of Zelda when I was six years old. I remember their shiny golden NES cartridge; I also remember my Mom not letting me play the game due to its villain being referred to as the “Prince of Darkness”. Little did I know that seventeen years would go by before I’d ever touch another game in the series again.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was really my first Zelda game. I was terrible at it. Eventually I’d have a friend come over and help me beat it. In fact, I told him to get to the last boss and then just let me play. Tom Sawyer would have been proud. My friend ended up playing through the entire game and did come and get me to play the end…after he had played it through. I remember the final boss battles being spectacular. Especially the one that took place on the floor that you could fall through. Using the hook-shot to climb back up to where Ganon was standing was very Batman-like. The scope and size of the Nintendo 64 entry to the series was simply awesome at the time. The music is beyond memorable.

In college, I met the woman who is now my wife. One of my evil ploys was to get her into playing video games. So, in addition to buying her a Nintendo DS, I also left my GameCube at her house for awhile. Turns out, she really liked The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I have fond memories of playing through Niko’s Pirate Challenge with her. Nothing like swinging on lanterns to prove your pirate mettle.

My wife and I have played The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass since those days in college. Both of us found the game to be hard with it’s repeating Temple of the Ocean King segments. I have also personally played a chunk of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The game was slow but pretty looking. I also disliked the “wolf” portions of the game. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, is a game I have logged a bunch of hours into but never finished…

All of the above makes me realize that I have never truly beaten a Zelda game. Sure, I have played a good portion of them but never have technically beaten one. Odd.

Found a marketing video from Nintendo this morning that shows a guy playing Zelda games throughout the various stages of his life. Reminded me of how the Zelda series has always been a part of my life. With The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword coming out soon, I have no doubt that it will continue to follow me through my adult years.

Wii U: The Next Step?

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There is nothing more epic than music from the Zelda series being playing by a live orchestra.

Video games and me have a relationship that is much like the ebb and flow of the tides. There are times where I am gung-ho and play video games every evening; other times where my interest wanes and I will occasionally pick up a game. No matter what season I am in with my hobby, I do find one constant, I continue to read video game news.

Yesterday, Nintendo took the stage at E3 and announced:

  • Multiple Zelda titles across all Nintendo platforms
  • A 25th Anniversary Zelda Concert Series (TBA)
  • Assured continued support for the 3DS
  • and…the Wii U?
On the surface, the Wii U controller looks like a mash-up of a Classic Controller and an iPad. I love how clean and futuristic the white casing looks! After watching the Nintendo Press Conference, due to the limited information presented, I found myself swimming in a pool of questions:
  • How many Wii U controllers can be used at the same time?
  • Will the controller be sold separately?
  • Can I take the controller and use it on the go (since the system was not designed to be portable)?
  • What does the physical media look like?
  • Will my Virtual Console purchases transfer over to the Wii U system?
  • Can the Wii U play Gamecube games like the Wii?

Living in the innovative shadow of the Wii, the Wii U certainly looks like the next evolutionary step forward for Nintendo. I look forward to hearing more about the system and finding out if I need to sell one kidney or two to obtain one. My interest is certainly piqued for the moment, the tide is rising.