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The Five Finger Discount: Top 5 Zelda Games
Last Updated on Sunday, 29 November 2009 09:45 Written by Wrathie Thursday, 15 October 2009 09:00
Welcome to the 2nd edition of “The Five Finger Discount”, a column dedicated to giving you the “Top 5” in the gaming industry. I am currently trying to figure out whether to post this column on a biweekly or monthly basis; I’ll make my decision by the next column though. For those who are new to the column, I rate a gaming topic’s top 5 via a finger count down:
- Pinkie = 5
- Ring = 4
- Middle = 3
- Index = 2
- The Thumbs Up = 1
This week, I’ll discuss the “Top 5 Zelda Games”! Last time Mario, this time Zelda? Think I have a Nintendo fetish? You bet youe ass I do! 😀 (Note: I am going to omit Zelda II: The Adventure of Link from the list because I never had a chance to play through it completely, so don’t hate). Without further ado:
The Pinkie – The Legend of Zelda (1986, NES). The Legend of Zelda was one the first games I’ve ever played and proved to be one of the staples of the Zelda series. It introduced the world to the protagonist Link, antagonist Ganon, and damsel-in-distress (as well as titular character), Princess Zelda. It played out as a combination of an action; puzzle; and RPG game, displaying the world in an overhead view. Zelda would be one of the first successful action-adventure titles, and start off one of the most prized franchises in gaming history. Fun Facts: Was one of the first games to have a save function. A second quest was available after completing the game, or if you typed in “Zelda” as character name. Game came with a golden cartridge, which would be continued onward for future installments. Considered the “spiritual forerunner” of the console-RPG genre.
The Ring – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000, N64). A lot of people will question this one on the list, but I have to say that I’ve not had a more interesting experience with redundant actions in games such as this. The game, which seems to follow the “Groundhog’s Day” ideology, was one of the first Zelda’s that went outside the norm of the series. It is also more darker than other Zelda games. For starters, it was one of the few Zelda games not to take place in Hyrule, as this was in a parallel universe called Termina. It also had the recurring element of masks, which Link could use to further his quest. I found it to be an interesting game in the Zelda series, since it was the first game to be a direct sequel of another (Ocarina of Time). Overall, one of the better ones that doesn’t get enough respect. Fun Facts: Originally called “Zelda Gaiden” during early development. The Skull Kid from Ocarina of Time plays a more pivitol role in this game as the antagonist. Introduced the peter pan-esk character, Tingle. This is also one of the few Zelda games, where the titular character doesn’t appear in the game (Zelda does appears in a flashback though).
The Middle – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003, GC). Cel-shaded Link? What can go wrong? Absolutely nothing, as it proved to be the most visually vibrant Zelda game. Many people actually were angered by the change in design when it was first announced, but their fears that the game would suffer were set aside at release time. While the overall game theme involved the sea and wind, the game does not loose touch with its roots and provided another epic chapter in the Link saga. Using the “Wind Waker” to control the winds, you virtually travel the world called “The Great Sea” (which is actually Hyrule submerged). You also get a helper and mode of transportation in a talking boat called “King of Red Lions”. He guides you along your journey against the “ancient evil”, who is in fact, Ganondorf. It is one of the highlights of the Gamecube’s run, and a must play. Fun Facts: First time Link has been shown to have a sibling, a sister named Aryll (an obvious play on Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”). First time we are introduced to the Patriarch of Hyrule, King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule. First game in which Link does not start out wearing his traditional green hat and tunic. The Wind Waker is responsible for propelling the most successful pre-order campaigns in Nintendo history.
The Index – The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess (2006, GC & Wii). This was the most anticipated game ever…in 2000, when it was shown at Space World. After Wind Waker was released in 2003, people demanded a more realistic Link. Their answers would be heard 3 years later, when Twilight Princess was released. Originally designed for the Gamecube, it was first released on the new Nintendo console Wii and released a month later on the Gamecube. Both versions showed what people had wanted: a more darker and classic Zelda game in the land of Hyrule. The game was lauded for it’s visuals and mechanics, which was borrowed from Wind Waker. This was also the second Zelda game that Link could transform into another being, this time as a wolf. Using your guide and helper, Midna, you would both use your abilities as a Hylian and Wolf to help defeat the forces of Zant and Ganondorf. Twilight Princess is considered one of the best, if not THE best, Zelda games ever. It only falls short to our number one selection…Fun Facts: The Gamecube and Wii versions of the game are actually mirror images of each other; this was done because of the Wii’s motion controls, since the majority of the worlds population is right-handed (in entire series, Link is left-handed), so the Wii version had him use his right hand and the Gamecube his left. This is the first Zelda game in 8 years set entirely back in Hyrule (Wind Waker doesn’t count, since the land was flooded). First game to allow you to use a sword on a horse. One of the rare games that Link does not have an instrument as a item. First Zelda game that requires you to get 5 heart pieces to get a heart container, instead of the traditional 4.
The Thumbs Up – The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (1998, N64). If you asked what is the best Zelda game, the majority of gamers would say Ocarina of Time. If you asked what is the best game of all time, the majority of gamers would put this game in the top 3, if not the best. Ocarina of Time propelled the Zelda series into the 3D world, after spending nearly a decade in 2D. Many feared that this game would be a horrible translation, but like Super Mario 64 two years prior, it managed to dispel any negative thought about this game. The game featured such mechanics as the target lock-on and the context sensitive actions, which are precursors to the quick-time events in today’s gaming. With a perfect camera system, mind-blowing gaming sequences, and top quality sounds, the game fit into the glove that was 3D. It defied expectations and revolutionized a gaming generation; without Ocarina of Time, today’s games would fail to reach its full potential and that is why it is the number one on this week’s list! Fun Facts: First appearance of Ganondorf; the Skull Kid; the Gorons; and second appearance of the Zoras. Due to the popular success of the game, sales for actual ocarinas skyrocketed. The game, according to Nintendo, is considered to be the first Zelda game chronologically. First game to both have adult and child Link playable.
I’ll get a lot of flak for leaving out A Link to the Past and the Game Boy Color Zelda games, but these are my opinions so don’t be angry. Got a different top 5 from mine or want to suggest a top 5? Voice your opinion by posting bellow!
Next time on Five Finger, I’ll discuss the “Top 5 Hardest Games”. Something tells me that this guy will make it there…
Uh oh…Until next time!
(All fun facts were obtained from Wikipedia)
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