Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Legend Of Zelda November

"The spirit, the state of mind of a kid when he enters a cave alone must be realised in the game. Going in, he must feel the cold air around him. He must discover a branch off to one side and decide whether to explore it or not. Sometimes he loses his way. If you go to the cave now, as an adult, it might be silly, trivial, a small cave. But as a child, in spite of being banned to go, you could not resist the temptation. It was not a small moment then."
- Shigeru Miyamoto on The Legend of Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda is a series close to the hearts of millions of gamers, mainly because its themes - the shedding of innocence, self-discovery, the abuse of chickens - are also among the great themes of everyday life. For a series whose games frequently unfold as though filtered through the fog of a hazy memory, it's somewhat appropriate that, perhaps more than any other series, Zelda videogames are frequently discussed with the hushed, idealistic tones of nostalgia.

They are after all games that we, in most cases, encountered at an age not so dissimilar from that of Link himself at the outset of his latest adventure, a role-playing experience of a very literal kind. And yet we get older, but Link never does, and so each subsequent game takes on a powerful, transportive experience, building on memories not just of previous Zelda games but of what our lives were like around their release. As Leigh Alexander recently said in an EDGE column referencing Ocarina of Time: "Much of their (gamers') passion is not about the details of the game, but instead its overall feeling - and playing a primary and much-overlooked role in that sentiment is individual context."

All this November Moon Witch Cartridge will be celebrating this greatest of videogame sagas, which not only celebrates its 25th anniversary this year but which also, on the 18th of the month, sees the latest (and according to some) the greatest chapter released: Skyward Sword. Across the next thirty days we'll be discussing our favourite Zelda games and moments, reporting from the recent anniversary concert in London, liveblogging 24 hours in the company of Skyward Sword on launch day and finding out whether getting a Zelda tattoo makes you more attractive to the opposite sex*, amongst many other features and random Hyrule-related posts.

We've featured Zelda on MWC before of course, way back in January 2010 when we reported on the varying ways in which Ocarina of Time's music was being sampled, and earlier this year in thinking about the 25the anniversary. A good place to start this month of festivities however would be over at The Guardian, which ran an excellent article in October entitled 'Zelda is 25, here's what we've learned'. There are also many delightful comments below the main piece from misty-eyed readers.

In fact, if you'd like to get in touch with your own Zelda memories and/or feedback then feel free to get involved - you can email me at moonwitchcartridge@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter for the latest Legend of Zelda November updates @mwcartridge.

Thanks for reading - Enjoy!

However, there is one boy who does not have a fairy...

* We're guessing no.

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