My introduction to video games began with my mother's addiction to the original "Legend of Zelda," and my passion for the hobby ignited several years later with the classic "Link to the Past." I have been a fan of the series and of Nintendo in general ever since.
I didn't really care much at all about Princess Zelda in "Link to the Past," but the Zelda in "Ocarina of Time" filled me with a level of hatred that no video game character before or since has been able to match. Spoilers for OoT follow in this tale, which is probably much more hilarious to hear in person.
There I was, at The End of The Game, at the very pinnacle of the battle for the future of Hyrule. It had been a most difficult journey to this point ... I almost messed up the Water Temple beyond anyone's ability to fix, and the Shadow Temple scared me so badly with its whispers of war and blood, I thought I would keel over right then and there in the middle of the dungeon. But I survived every trial and Ganondorf literally dropping the floor out from underneath me.
I won the first round. Ganondorf cried out with rage as he fell, and the tower in which Zelda and I stood shook ominously. Oh shit, it was going crumble. And oh shit, we just happened to be on the top floor! I grabbed Zelda and bolted ... or rather, I ambled at an ambitious pace. You see, if ever I got too far ahead of or behind her somehow, she would immediately stop and put her hands over her face. When this happened, I was forced to go back and shake her out of her stupor.
I'm not sure if the tremors caused the doors I came through to be barred, or if Zelda did it so she could show off later, but it turned out that her magnificent Sagely Power was the ability to open locked doors. Say what? You have the Triforce of Wisdom and you're just a glorified lock pick!? Ah well, guess that's why I had to do the dungeon crawling, right? Down we went, down we went. Somewhere around the middle of the tower, she skillfully stood still and got recaptured, so I had to interrupt my escape to save her (again).
For those who do not know, I would like to point out that Princess Zelda wears a white or a very pale pastel pink gown. As we all know, such material attracts trouble. It's simply one of those proven Facts of Life. The building was losing all structural integrity. Flaming chunks of rock were falling everywhere. I was getting slammed by these fairly regularly, and it hurt. Did Zelda get hit? No. Not once. Ever. Despite the notorious reputation of the color white, she suffered no smudge upon her garments. So sorry, Zelda, I underestimated you. I guess your Sagely Powers include opening locked doors and miraculous stain prevention.
Anyway, we arrived at the main level. With all the rock shards embedded in my body, I was not exactly in the best shape of my heroic career, but I reminded myself that I've been burned to death before, so this isn't so bad. Right? Oh, relief, the beautiful door! Our time was running out. Precious few seconds remained before every floor above us would descend upon our heads.
Ganon's Tower was not designed with fire safety in mind. The only access to the exit was a narrow bridge, which Zelda promptly skipped across, as though all her frights earlier were mere show. I was baffled by her behavior, for not only did she leave me behind, she somehow managed to evade death by the single ReDead who stood upon the walkway. It did not even give her a second glance! Is there no blood in her body!? I am concerned. ReDead are undead creatures of terror, and they scare the bejeesus out of me. Which is worse, the rotting body who wants to kill me, or the princess who would rather I die than she?
There was nothing I could do. I had to get out of the tower before everything gave way, so I crossed, clinging to the railing as far from the monster as possible. My life in those few moments played in slow motion, for the ReDead suddenly sprang into action, paralyzing me with a single unholy scream. Oh heck no! It leapt upon me! NOOOO! And I watched the timer run out and the tower collapse on top of my noggin, and all the while, there was that blasted ReDead enjoying his last moments by taking every last heart out of me. Zelda! Somehow, you are to blame for this humiliating end! You have three Skills, I see! Opening locked doors, stain prevention, and zombie repellent!? Just what the hell kind of Sage are you!?
We began once again. I attempted to push her off one of the outside walkways at the top of the tower, a most subtle approach if I do say so myself, for there was no one alive in the immediate vicinity to see me do it. No dice, unfortunately, for once her hands go up over her face, she just doesn't move! I then tried to leap off myself; after all, I am the freaking Hero of Time, and I've got the Hover Boots and a Longshot. I could probably work something out before I hit the lava pit below, right? Though I've jumped off equally tall things before, there's no success this time ... it's probably Zelda. It's gotta be Zelda, holding me back with her Sage Skillz. She and I both know that halfway down, she'll walk into the middle of the room and just stand there, getting recaptured. That's why she needs my kick-ass abilities.
We finally escaped, and the tower crumpled upon itself, leaving a small semi-circular platform hovering over a giant pool of glowing red lava. Zelda is stranded here. I, however, am the Hero of Time. I could probably use my Golden Gauntlets (which enable me to perform feats of great strength) to pick up one of these crushed pillars and balance it over the gap to solid land, right? But no. Zelda heard a sound.
I know what that sound is. I'm so not going over there.
I tried to tell her that she should go check it out. After all, if she can manage to avoid getting dirt on her dress in this sort of situation, she's definitely way beyond my level. She insisted that she heard a sound, however, and refused to move an inch. I sure as hell don't want to go either! Our stalemate continued, and I ran circles around her to keep myself entertained. She didn't crack under my orbit, sadly enough, so I became exasperated. I tried to push her off the edge into the lava pit. She did not budge, which lead me to believe that she wears Concrete Boots underneath that gown of hers. I put on my Hover Boots and tried to go over the edge myself, but again, she used her Sagely Inability to keep me from saving my own skin.
Okay, fine, fine. So neither of us is going to get off this platform until somebody checks out the sound? Well, I can compromise. I ran around the perimeter of the small space. Oh, gee, Princess, nothing happened. There must not be anything there, you're just hearing things. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to lift this rubble so that we can get out of here ... oh. You still hear a sound. I can't do jack shit until I investigate the damn sound for you, huh?
I stepped into the middle of the platform, and instantly, Ganondorf rose from the debris of his fallen tower. He transformed into a gigantic monster armed with two huge swords, the Extremely Evil and Terrifying creature known as Ganon. I must have panicked or something, or maybe the Golden Gauntlets frizzed out on me in this moment of chaos, for the Master Sword was somehow knocked from my grasp. I screamed in terror and attempted to make a break for it, but wouldn't ya know it, there was a ring of fire around the entire arena. Zelda stood by my sword, gasping most dramatically. Did she do something useful, like pull it out of the ground and throw it to me? No, of course not! Yeah, sure, she's not the Hero of Time, but she's got the Triforce of Wisdom, so she should be able to figure something out in this time of dire need!! Instead of working her brains at the very least, she gasped in a most irritating spectator fashion every time I got my grey matter knocked out of my skull or my ribs cleaved open. Could you shut up, Zelda? I am well aware that I just went flying! I know that's an unnatural position for my spine to be in!
In between the darkness and the running face first into the flaming barrier, I am not sure when I got my sword back. What I do remember is that when I had beaten Ganon to his knees, Zelda decided to step into the fight to take all the credit. She used her amazing Sage Skillz, those very same ones that prevented me from jumping from the precipice, to "hold" Ganon still so that I could stab him in the head. Oh. Right. Thanks. What the hell makes you think this effort is even needed? Did you just see me kick Ganon's ass without a freaking sword? Do you not realize the bosses I have faced, the puzzles I have solved? You want to restrain him when he can barely fight back ...?
Even more annoyingly, that superfluous action exhausted her, and she dropped to her knees. Excuuuuse me, Princess (pun intended), what the heck kind of wimp are you!? I'm standing here with my innards running down my tights, barely a heart to my name, and you, you the Unmarked, you the Oblivious, you can't even stand up straight? Lame.
Well, fast forward a bit. The fight was over. The party had been had. She forever ruined any hope of coolness when she sent me back in time as though it would make up for all that I had endured for Hyrule's sake, as though everyone but forgetting the times of trouble was an all right way to end things. Oh no. Oh no you didn't. I had a cow in my house before you pulled that, Princess. No forgiveness!
My distaste for Zelda is one of the (many) reasons why "Majora's Mask" is one of my all time favorite LoZ games ... she only makes an appearance as a memory.
In Wind Waker ...
... I found her character to be utterly depressing. Sure, she was in distress when we first met her, but when we knew her as "Tetra," she was a kickass pirate captain with a sly sense of humor. When she was revealed to be Zelda, she suddenly became an impotent character, a weakness, a damsel in a gown to be hidden and protected. Argh! She actually participates in the final battle against Ganon, but her contributions are, again, of incredibly low worth. Even my aim with a bow and arrow is not that bad. I maintain that had she been "Tetra" during the fight, she would have been much more useful.
Also, you must go here and listen to what is arguably one of the best songs on the Wind Waker soundtrack. When I heard this new perspective on a Zelda classic, I had to get the CD ... combined with the plot, it moved me quite deeply. When I finally have room for my piano, I'd like to learn to play this piece.
Doodletime! Snow White.
I recently remembered that I once had a short story in my mind based off the Brother's Grimm version Snow White. Back in the day when I was overly enamored with the internet, I intended it to be a webcomic (I may have mentioned it once or twice here, long, long ago), but never could (and probably never will) iron down a style that's solid and consistent enough for sequential art. Nowadays, I'm thinkin' I'll just write the thing out and doodle scenes for my own enjoyment. Since I really have no need to produce lots of drawings of Snow White in a short amount of time as a result, I should probably give her a more interesting outfit! The illegible lettering took the longest. I can't decide if I like it or hate it ... it's pretty trippy looking, but damn, it's hard to read. Snow White herself was supposed to turn out looking rather tired or perhaps somewhat dubious, but I think she looks drugged ... the curly writing is probably contributing to this impression. I also had a hell of a time with the perspective on the black blob that is supposed to be her one foot.