There’s a certain level of attention to detail that makes the Zelda franchise memorable. The setting, plot, and characters just have a relatable “human” feel to them. I believe that a large part of this is due to the strong presence of cultural references. The world’s heritage, especially in its Eastern and/or ancient forms, pops up everywhere in Nintendo’s Zelda games; Keatons display Nintendo’s Japanese roots as the manifestation of the many-tailed kitsunes, Epona borrows her name from the Celtic god of horses, and the desert areas take influence from Middle Eastern cultures. In sharing this vast wealth of inspiration from various cultures, the CD-i games show no dearth. There is, in fact, a strong Western influence acting upon these entries in the series.
The large, green-mound enemy with just one eye from Faces of Evil resembles an ancient Grecian Cyclops. Perhaps his gluttonous character design was based off of Polyphemus, an antagonist from Homer’s The Odyssey who ate many of Odysseus’s men.
This wolf-girl from Faces of Evil is more than likely influenced by Roman culture. “Lupa” is the Latin word for a female wolf. Romulus and Remus, before founding Rome, were taken in by one such she-wolf; that’s a kind of power you’d expect to find in one of Link’s enemies.
This Faces of Evil character may have some derivation from Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen. In the fairy tale, the Snow Queen is described as such: “[Her clothes were] made of millions of little star-shaped snowflakes. She was beautiful but all made of ice: cold, blindingly glittering ice…” The color of the Ice Queen’s skin and the harshness in her gaze call back to this short description.
The clothes, the mug of beer, and the color of his clothes/skin immediately make this Faces of Evil character distinctly Irish.
A skeleton warrior in Faces of Evil, he has armor resembling that of a Roman legionnaire or Grecian soldier. Sleepy Bones calls back to the spartoí, warriors which sprang from the Earth fully grown and armored. In some versions of mythology, the spartoí that Jason and Cadmus created by sewing dragon’s teeth were, like Sleepy Bones, undead.
The Royal Retainer
Better known as Fari by fans, this character from The Wand of Gamelon is a Spaniard. Just look at his clothes!
This character from The Wand of Gamelon is in a very fashionable, eighteenth-century Western Europe get-up. That wig is the very height of sophistication.
The CD-i games do a fantastic job of continuing the Zelda legacy and portraying cultural heritage. The diversity of Western influences here adds greatly to the human experience of the games. Can you think of any other characters from the CD-i games that show cultural influence?
How much time have you spent visiting Tortimer Island in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, scavenging for bugs, fish, and hidden treasure? I know I’ve spent far too many hours doing just that! Director Masahiro Sakurai has revealed on Miiverse today that Tortimer’s Island is one of the new stages appearing in the 3DS iteration of Super Smash Bros. 4.
“Pic of the day. Here’s a new stage for the 3DS version: Tortimer Island! I’ve been here countless times to catch bugs.”
He also adds that with each time you play on the stage, the layout will randomly change, offering a fresh experience each playthrough. With Animal Crossing: New Leaf being one of the most popular titles for the 3DS, this is a great way to introduce both the game and a brand new challenger in the The Villager to the Super Smash Bros. universe.
“What a beautiful day. On this stage, fighters are randomly placed on a different island layout every time they visit. Yar, come back anytime, will ye?”
Many know that A Link Between Worlds features a Hero Mode just like several previous iterations of Zelda games; however, we know now why the Hero Mode is not available from the beginning of the game like The Wind Waker HD. Coming from Eiji Aonuma...
Many of us have fond memories of the 2006 Nintendo Monopoly board game, or at least memories of how much we wanted it. Well, Nintendo is once again taking a stroll into the world of board games with the announcement of Zelda and Pokemon themed Monopoly games.
Announced by USAopoly at last month’s International Toy Fair, the games will be coming out this September and will retail for $45.
This comes shortly after Iwata’s January announcement that Nintendo would be using character licences in new fields, so maybe we will see more off-beat products like this in the future.
Several months ago - Club Nintendo started offering the A Link Between Worldsposter set seen above. It quickly sold out after only a few days. Well, good news has come to those who did not get one - it is now available once more so go on by Club Nintendo and get it. This offer is on the North American Club Nintendo for only 500 coins.
A few months ago, a 3 piece poster set featuring artwork from A Link Between Worlds was available on Club Nintendo for 500 coins. Due to its predictable popularity, the poster went out of stock pretty soon after it was made available.
But fret not! The poster set has recently been restocked, so grab one while you still can!
It appears that Link’s greatest weapon serves an alternative purpose outside of its ability to repel Ganon’s evil. This sword can also be used as a weapon against your partner’s ex-boyfriend, as it did for Zelda fan Eugene Thompson of Texas.
During an altercation with his girlfriend, and her ex, Eugene armed himself with a Master Sword replica. Apparently this decision did not end well for Eugene or the other guy, he explains,
I heard him heading to the bedroom where I was, so I jumped in the closet and I grabbed one of my replica swords, and I pulled it out and stood at the doorway, and he was coming down the hallway at me while I was yelling, ‘Go away, you don’t live here’ and he just walked right into the point of the sword, I don’t know if he thought it was a toy.
Just like the Zelda series, the hero did not end up with the girl, as Eugene was dumped by his girlfriend and told to pack up his swords and leave.
As we all know, Gerudo Valley will be making an appearance as a stage in the 3DS version of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. title. Today, Sakurai announced on Miiverse that Kotake and Koume will be in the aforementioned stage.
While we certainly don't know exactly what role they will play, it seems pretty obvious that they will serve as a stage hazard. A previous screenshot of the stage shows the bridge destroyed, as well as fire in the background. It makes sense that the twin grannies are the cause of this. The fire also seems to imply that there may be ice as well. Perhaps you will turn to ice (much like you would from a freezie) if you're unlucky enough to get in the way.
Be sure to stay tuned for more Zelda related SSB4 news!
Nintendo announced a while back that there would be an A Link Between Worlds Art Academy event would be held from January 24th to February 16th. Fans from all over the world submitted all kinds of art, and Nintendo has now picked the winners!
The image to the left was chosen for gold and the images below were chosen for silver. Check out the full results, including bronze and Eiji Aonuma's picks, here!
The folks over at Gametrailers.com have just recently posted a Zelda-related video in their highly popular Pop Facts series. This one is all about the original NES Game’s second quest, and the subtle Easter Eggs hidden within it. Be sure to give it a watch if you happen to be a fan of Easter Eggs in Zelda.
Okay, sure, everyone knows about this stuff already, but the second quest could use some more recognition. Maybe this will encourage some of you long time fans to delve back into one of Link’s least appreciated, and most difficult adventures.
The Stalfos (sometimes incorrectly referred to asStalfos Knights) are skeletal knights that have challenged Link since their debut in the original The Legend of Zelda, and have appeared in nearly every game. The name Stalfos is both singular and plural (variations such as Stalfo and Stalfoses, etc. are incorrect). Their name is a portmanteau of stal- and -fos; meaning skeletal (see stal) humanoid (see fos). (more...)
Wow, wow, wow, this is really good artwork. There's not a whole lot going on, and that's a good thing. Through its simplicity, it stands as a very relaxing image, with smooth yet vibrant colors. It makes me feel like laying down in the grass and taking a nap myself.