Tag Archives: Twilight Princess

The True “Link” in Hyrule Warriors

Link has always been the starring protagonist in The Legend of Zelda series. Yes, Link, not Zelda. Link is the player’s connection to the land of Hyrule. Link is you. Well, that used to be the case. Now Link no longer truly represents the majority of the players and the player never had a choice. Hyrule Warriors changes that.

A Link Between Worlds

Although not the true origin of his name, Link’s name evolved to symbolic  of his status as a “link” between the player and the game world. Eiji Aonuma, the director for The Legend of Zelda series, has stated, “When a player is playing a Zelda game, my desire is for the player to truly become Link—that’s why we named him Link, so the player is linked to the game and to the experience.”

Blond, blue-eyed, traditionally left-handed, with a fondness for green, music, and animals, and tends to be reserved with words. This is Link.


Link has become more and more detailed with each Zelda iteration. He has evolved to have his own distinct characteristics and personality. Blond, blue-eyed, traditionally left-handed, with a fondness for green, music, and animals, and tends to be reserved with words. This is Link. As a result, Link is no longer representative of everyone who plays him.

There is nothing wrong with Link gaining his own identity. However, if his role is to serve as a representative catalyst for players to interact with his world, many people are left out of the picture.

Diversity in Hyrule

As Link has evolved as a character, so too has his world and the people who live within it. There are now a multitude of different races and cultures within the land of Hyrule: Hylians, Zoras, Gorons, Sheikah, Twili, etc.

Even Princess Zelda, the namesake of the series, has changed to be more than just a damsel in distress. She is capable of fighting and taking the lead too. Despite this, she is often designated to the role of a hapless maiden and never given any limelight, even when equipped with a sword.

The player is given no choice. No, you can’t play as Zelda. No, you can’t be a Zora. You will be Link. You will be a blond, blue-eyed, Hylian male. Hyrule Warriors changes all of that.

Player’s Choice in Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors is the love-child of Koei Tecmo and Nintendo. A mix between Dynasty Warriors series and The Legend of Zelda franchise. With this collaboration carries over a unique Dynasty Warriors element: a diverse cast of playable characters.

Players now they have the option to play who they please, whether that be a demonic sword spirit, a Goron sage, or the king of the Gerudo.


For the first time, Princess Zelda is playable as a main character that fights alongside Link as his equal. She’s not stuck in some tower waiting for rescue and she’s not some ghostly sidekick. She’s kickin’ butt and takin’ names. There’s also a variety of other female characters to play as: Princess Ruto, Midna, Fi, Agitha, etc.

Also, the player no longer limited to being Hylian. Players now they have the option to play who they please, whether that be a demonic sword spirit, a Goron sage, or the king of the Gerudo.

It is truly exciting to see Hyrule Warriors provide this choice. It goes beyond fan service. It allows players to pick who they want to be in the Zelda universe. This is a true “link” between worlds.

Hyrule Historia: The Zelda “Bible”

Hyrule-Historia-Header-ImageIf you know anything about me or if you have been following my blog to any extent, you would know that I’m a pretty big Zelda fan. This is an admiration that started during my childhood, when I was just an 11-year-old playing through my first Zelda title, Ocarina of Time. My love for the series continued to grow as I played other great Zelda titles such as Link’s Awakening, Majora’s Mask, The Wind Waker, etc. Even with the latest installments, such as Skyward Sword, I am floored by how much I find myself enjoying playing the role of Link in his various adventures.

For Zelda fans, 2011 was a great year. It was the year marking the Zelda franchise’s 25th anniversary. Nintendo was treating the Zelda fandom with all sorts of treats: a free Four Swords Anniversary Edition available for download, an Ocarina of Time remake on the 3DS (plus soundtrack if registered early with Club Nintendo), Skyward Sword on the Wii (originally released with a bonus soundtrack and gold Wiimote), plus the amazing Zelda Symphony! To top it off, Nintendo created what is essentially the Zelda “Bible” and it was published in Japan. This book was titled Hyrule Historia.

Link Concept Art
Having a glimpse at the various concept art for characters such as main protagonist Link was a huge selling point for me. Doesn’t it look gorgeous?

It is a 274-page (the English version is said to have more) book full of never-before-seen concept art, notes from various Nintendo staff (such as Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Zelda, and Eiji Aonuma, the Zelda producer), a special manga by Akira Himekawa, and the now infamous official Zelda timeline. Being the Zelda junkie I am, as well as an aspiring game developer and appreciator of art, this was a book I had to get my hands on. Anything that would let me have a sneak peak at the creative process behind games that I love and admire was something that I greatly wanted to be in my ownership. At the time, the odds of a English translation and Western release seemed slim, so I was quick to look at various online Japanese retailers. However, by the time I looked, the book was already sold out everywhere!

Special Zelda Manga
Akira Himekawa’s special manga included in Hyrule Historia is the precursor to the story of Skyward Sword. This is one of many things in Hyrule Historia I look forward to seeing translated in English.

Determined, I turned to a friend familiar with ordering Japanese goods for advice. With her guidance, I was able to claim my Japanese copy of Hyrule Historia, something I probably would not have been able to do otherwise unless I dished out money for one on eBay… I was pretty ecstatic to see it arrive in the mail; however, there was one problem. Despite my limited understanding of the Japanese language, there was no way I could read the text, which was surely full of juicy details regarding my favorite video game franchise. As such, I was stuck with appreciating the art, until one day, perhaps, I could understand enough Japanese to actually be able to read it. I was content with this, however, because I owned a Zelda collector’s item that would never find its way to American shores… Boy, was I wrong! Dark Horse Comics announced that it was bringing Hyrule Historia to the West, which delighted many, including myself!

Although I already own Hyrule Historia in Japanese, I can’t wait to read all of the content such as the intro written by Shigeru Miyamoto or the various notes surrounding several pieces of concept art in a language I can better understand. Also, if you ask me, the green cover design for the North American version looks very nice and is better than the Japanese version. There is also a limited edition of Hyrule Historia being made by Dark Horse Comics. What makes the limited edition stand out from the regular is mostly aesthetics, having instead a faux-leather hardcover and gold guilded pages. Truly a book that, as Dark Horse Comics likes to put it, “looks like it could have been pulled off the shelf of one of the sages in Hyrule.”

The wait isn’t long now. On January 29, 2013, Hyrule Historia will have its North American release…or if you’re in New York, you could attend the special launch event happening at Nintendo World on January 25th. Nintendo World may be the only place you may find the rare limited edition now, because it sold out so quickly online. However, fret not, because the regular edition is still available for pre-order! Nintendo does not release special collector’s items like this often, so get one now before they’re all gone.

Zelda Symphony: Atlanta & West Palm Beach

Zelda Symphony LogoThe Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is a dream come true. I’m not sure if anyone can comprehend my level of excitement when the Zelda Symphony made its grand entrance at E3 2011. Nintendo’s announcement of a touring symphony featuring music from Zelda was the most exciting thing I’ve heard from E3 since the Twilight Princess announcement in 2004. Take a moment to let that set in… Finally, my childhood dream of attending and listening to an orchestra perform Zelda music was a reality. When a date was announced for Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, you could only imagine how I was bouncing off the walls with sheer joy. There was no doubt about it; May 12, 2012 was going to be a highlight of my year. I was quick to get myself a good seat and then spread the news of its arrival, which I’m sure many of my friends can attest to.

Soon the fateful day arrived… Led by Susie Seiter’s energetic conducting and performed by local musicians, the main performance consisted of 4 main movements, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and A Link to the Past. Afterwards, the Atlanta audience was treated to 3 encores, “Ballad of the Wind Fish” from Link’s Awakening, “Gerudo Valley” from Ocarina of Time, and a Majora’s Mask arrangement. Each encore ended with standing applause, SotG was a hit. If I had to pick a favorite, “Ballad of the Wind Fish” would be it, but in all honesty, I love the show in its entirety. The way SotG was constructed to tell a story through its musical arrangements and videos made it so that even those who never played a Zelda game before knew the narrative behind the music. It makes me enthusiastic for the future of video games as form of art and storytelling. Events like SotG are truly video games at their finest, allowing fans to relive the nostalgia while also introducing youth to the fine arts.

The 3 goddesses of Zelda, Din (top), Nayru (left), and Farore (right) grace the cover of our card.

Soon murmurings of second trip to see SotG was making rounds among my circle of friends, especially since one of them, a huge Zelda fan, missed her chance to see the show in Atlanta. I was quick to add my support, and soon I found myself planning a trip to the West Palm Beach stop on December 8, 2012. Only a couple of days before our departure to the Sunshine State, I got the idea of preparing a gift for the Zelda Symphony team. Lucky for me, I also dragged the aforementioned huge Zelda fan, Sylvia, to help with the job. The result was large thank you card, crafted out of construction paper, crayons, and markers. Imagine “Paper Zelda” and you’re on the right track.

Our trip to Florida could not have turned out better. Being the enthusiastic Zelda Symphony fans we were, we decided to visit the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts early. As a result, we had a fated meeting with the event manager, Priscilla Crespo, who gave us an exclusive tour of the facility. I am truly blown away by her great hospitality. She really contributed into making our Zelda Symphony pilgrimage into the fantastic experience that it was. Thank you Priscilla!

After an enjoyable day at the beach, it was finally time for the main event. Everything I didn’t do for Atlanta, I did for West Palm Beach. This meant going in costume (which was very popular among fellow fans), meeting with the producer and creative director, Jeron Moore, and the conductor, Eímear Noone, and getting my poster signed. It was truly an amazing experience getting to meet with the creative forces behind it all. I’m very grateful to know Jeron, whose down-to-earth personality and willingness to welcome all fans with open arms is a real delight. Eímear’s passion for the Zelda Symphony is truly contagious both on stage and off it. Her method of conducting is hypnotic and graceful. You can tell that she is passionate for what she does. Talking with her about it was a great joy and it led me to a revelation of how similar Zelda mythology is to Irish/Celtic mythology. In fact, I want to learn more about Irish culture thanks to her! During this time, my friends and I presented both Jeron and Eímear our hand-crafted card, congratulating them for a successful 2012 tour and thanking them for bringing the Zelda Symphony into fruition so that fans, like us, could enjoy it.

Not picture here, “Thanks for being so clucking awesome!” written by my friend Steve was one of Eímear’s favorites.

After a highly successful first year, the Zelda Symphony now begins its second quest. The Zelda Symphony is making a second visit to Atlanta with new arrangements on Thursday, June 6, 2013, and you can bet that I will be going to see it for a third time. The good seats are already going fast, so buy tickets while you still can!