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The non game appeal of the Zelda franchise.

January 9, 2007

People complain, occasionally furiously, about Nintendo’s habit of making the Zelda storylines simplistic or lacking in certain areas. People also complain at the fact that Nintendo have not released an official timeline of the series, but is this necessarily a bad thing? For every person I hear complain, another has thought up potential answers to a weak area of story, or has made potential connections between games. What does this show? It shows how the series of Zelda extends beyond the games and into something much more in depth, people play the games to obtain information which they can use to argue points, create fan art, create fan stories and generally have fun with the series without playing it. Take a look at the Final Fantasy stories, while we see a fair amount of artwork and fan fiction for these games, the games on their own can be taken on face value and they present a complete story with little room for confusion, any further involvement from the community is most often speculation on topics that are outside the game, and are merely grasping at straws to stay in the world from one game that is made to be one story in one game. Artwork aside, most fan work around an intensely story driven game is predictable or unrequired. Turn to the Zelda series however, and this fan work occasionally gives alternate views on events, or shows how fans would have things play out after the series. Zelda’s ability to present a workable story, but also give fans a large amount of creative space is one of the series’ biggest draws. Series like Final Fantasy or Halo, with their obvious narrative can be considered good boys in that they don’t require much thought, whereas Zelda can be considered naughty with it’s tactful hints at plot points which tease fans into speculation and imagination. And while some may complain about it, it’s potentially the best thing about the Zelda series.

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