Occasionally I’m roped into a conversation where I’m forced to admit that I really don’t know much about Zelda. By far my biggest experience was playing the original NES outing on the 3DS some years ago (which I picked up for free as part of their ambassador program), but only making it past two or three dungeons before abandoning it. Following one such admission, I began to think about how to best express this lack of knowledge and decided that writing Zelda Fan-Fiction with this severely limited background would really hammer the point home. This was a terrible idea… but I did it anyway. So for your reading pleasure here it is; a short Fan Fiction introduction to Zelda based on my limited knowledge of the series. You have been warned… enjoy?:
Link materialised. He winced; the hot desert sun nearly blinded him, his eyes barely ready for the onset of day compared to the … the… non-existence that was before.
“Do I even have a backstory,” he pondered, carefully inspecting his clothes, “I guess I’ve got clothes… and they’re green…” he murmured, to nobody in particular, but genuinely pleased that he had discovered something about who he was.
The ‘green’ thought rattled around his brain for a while and he was just working his way up to drawing the conclusion that he presumed he must either be an elf, or Robin Hood when something else happened. A Ganon appeared:
“I am a Ganon!” said the Ganon.
“Yes,” said Link, ” I can see that,” rolling his eyes; if there was one thing that a Link knew, it was what a Ganon was. Nevertheless, the Ganon seemed unconvinced.
“Prove it! Describe me… that’s if you think you can Zelda,” he said with an arrogant shrug and a slight chuckle.
“Link,” said Link.
“Right… ” mumbled the Ganon slowly, “…Link.”
Link looked the Ganon up and down. He was big. Too big to be a person – and his face had a snout and tusks, like a boar or a pig, or maybe it was just that Link was getting confused between Ganon and Gammon. Link thought he must be wearing leather armour because that’s what those pig guard things from Jabba the Hut’s palace wore and the word Ganon kind of reminds him of that. The Ganon had begun to smirk on whatever sort of face he had, and Link, being pretty sure that he was the hero, was worried about losing any credibility he may have had so decided to just jump in with a punt.
“You’re my nemesis, and the most evil one that I’m trying to… get… or whatever,” he added with as much conviction as he could muster. The Ganon looked impressed:
“I see that you DO know me,” spoke the Ganon, wryly raising one eyebrow in the kind of way that made Link a little unsure if he was an enemy, or just coming on to him. “Anyway Link, I have the Princess Zelda and you’re not having her back!”
The Ganon reached behind his back and, with an impossibly huge claw, whipped it back around in-front of his body brandishing a cardboard cutout of Princess Peach which he wiggled slightly just out of Link’s reach. Link’s general perplexed demeanour continued. To him it seemed to be unfair to be brought into existence in this kind of elf or Peter Pan form, immediately presented with a Ganon, and now expected to make some kind of reaction to a, what he was pretty sure was the wrong, princess.
“I…. I think that’s the wrong princess,” murmured Link, not really wanting to steal his antagonist’s thunder, “… and… and it’s just a cardboard cutout…”
The Ganon shrugged.
“I’m not going to spend time coming up with a new princess and a more convincing form for her as I’m 90% sure that she only serves to be a McGovern in this plot which arguable perpetuates the stereotypical roles of the male and female gender serving the rescuer and rescuee respectively!” he boomed.
Link was startled by this outburst and did a barrel-roll which demonstrated his catlike ninja reflexes, or his ninja-like cat reflexes (delete as appropriate) that suddenly kicked in from some kind of training he might once have had.
“Fine you Ganon! I’ll rescue that cutout of Princess Toadstool and make you pay”
“…Peach…” corrected the Ganon.
Link rubbed his brow slowly in frustration.
“We… we really don’t have time to deal with THAT on top of all THIS,” he said, gesturing to the ridiculous pig-type creature, cardboard princess, mysterious desert, and Tinkerbell who had begun hovering next to him about thirty seconds ago. The Ganon grunted in agreement, neatly folded the princess, and slipped her into the back pocket of his leather studded armour.
“Bring me triangles and I will release the princess.”
“Yes, for that is what I crave, ” said the Ganon, fist clenched and raised to the sky “Six or so triangles. I think they’ll glow… and maybe… erm.. interlock?”
The Ganon vanished before Link could ask anything else, which turned out to be a relief for Link who had been finding the exchange difficult given his lack of knowledge about who he was, or his penchant for green clothing.
Link was once more alone which gave him time to get to grips with his surroundings, work out how he was going to get ‘triangles’, and establish if he was really all that bothered about a cardboard princess. His eyes, now used to the scorching sun and burning sand, began to make out other things; rows of trees formed impenetrable barriers blocking him in to a roughly rectangular area. To the west, east and north there were conspicuous gaps with what appeared to be nothing beyond; next to the northern gap was a cave. Link took an exploratory few steps towards it.
“DUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRR DURR DURR DI DUR DU DU DI DIRRRRRRRRR!” chimed in the first bar of some rousing heroic quest music.
“Is this going to happen for the entire time I’m questing?” asked Link.
“DURRRR DURRRR DI DUR DUUURRRRRRRRR!” continued the music.
“DI DI DURRR DI DI DURR DI DURRRRRRR!”
Link decided to just accept it as a further facet of his unfolding existence, and despite his best efforts ended up marching perfectly in time to the rousing quest music toward the cave.
The cave entrance was pitch black, damp air rose from the darkness. Link breathed in and stepped forward. In that instant everything changed; the cave interior appeared, a few stone steps led down into the main chamber and Link could now make out the crackle of torches burning above the blaring quest music. Behind him was the cave entrance which displayed no details of the scene he had just left, just a flat white portal. Link continued down the steps, brushing shoulders with Simon Belmont who was heading the other way.
“HIT DEBORAH CLIFF WITH YOUR HEAD TO MAKE A HOLE!” Came a voice from the main chamber.
“What?” Replied Link
“He was taking to me,” said Simon, an air of dejection in his voice. “It’s just the same cryptic crap as always, kneel here, do this, don’t do that, look for the something,” he continued to mutter as he left the cave and disappeared; Link shrugged and continued down.
Once in the main chamber Link noticed how the brown stone walls formed a perfect rectangle of approximately the same size as the clearing outside. In the middle were two burning torches, floating in the air, and between them a robe clad, bearded, old man. The man looked bored. Link decided to take charge of the quest; if he was supposed to be the hero then maybe he should be a little more assertive.
“I am Link! The Legend of Zelda!” Announced Link in the most imposing voice he could muster.
“The what?” Replied the old man.
“… The legend of Zelda…”said Link, a little less sure then before, ” I thought that was… You know… My title… Like The Duke of wherever, or the Baron of Someplace.”
“I don’t think so,” replied the old man, shaking his head, “Luckily you didn’t announce yourself as The Leg-End of Zelda, then you would just be her foot”
The old man broke into a smirk at his own joke which faded after a few seconds when he realised Link wasn’t amused. He straightened his robes and continued.
“Right, let’s get on with it. IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS.” He boomed as he handed Link an object.
Link took the object and turned it over in his hands a few times unable to really place what it was.
“Is it a companion?” he asked hopefully.
“No, of course not.”
“It’s just that you said it was dangerous to go alone, so I thought maybe you’d given me a companion. Are you coming with me?” asked Link.
“Me?… No, it’s far too dangerous,” scoffed the old man before sighing, “It’s a sword OK.. for… you know… fighting things”
Suddenly Link became aware that the object was a sword and he swooshed it around a bit to get the feel of it before stopping and turning once again to the old man.
“Shouldn’t it be a bit more detailed?” he asked, “Maybe it could have some features or a more descriptive existence?”
“Try holding it aloft and we’ll see what happens” suggested the old man.
Link held the sword aloft and the light from the torches glinted against the blade. The edge was razor sharp and shone with a golden hue whilst the fuller seemed to contain distorted purple reflections of the surrounding cave. Link’s eyes tracked down the blade to the hilt. The cross-guard was carved from onyx and depicted two sphinx-like beings facing outwards, their legs and paws forming its shape. The grip felt firm but comfortable in Link’s hands, gold was braided over the velvet underlay and finally the pommel housed a radiant cut emerald surrounded by six small round cut rubies set with claws of gold.
“Better?” enquired the old man.
“Seems a little elaborate,” said Link thoughtfully, “but yeah, at least there’s some detail there,” and Link turned to leave the cave.
“Oh, one more thing,” said the old man, “if you’re feeling particularly healthy it fires.”
“The sword of course,” snorted the old man, “if you’re feeling healthy, it fires.”
“Fires?… like a gun? do i need to reload it? does it have a trigger?” asked Link inspecting the handle.
“No, of course not! It’s kind of automatic… if you’re feeling healthy that is,” he added
“How healthy?” asked Link, “What if I have a cold?… or stubbed my toe?”
“It wouldn’t work if you had a cold, and…” the old man thought for a second, “I guess it would depend on how bad you had stubbed your toe.” He waved Link off dismissively, “you’ll work it out.”
Link turned once more and made his way towards the mouth of the cave before pausing for a second at the portal to look back at the old man.
“Is it always going to be this confusing?” he asked.
“Pretty much” said the old man as he resumed his post between the two torches.
Link sighed and left.