This year marks the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series, and we could think of no better way to honor this fantastic series of games than by compiling a list of our top 35 favorite things about it! All month long, we’ll be counting down from thirty-five to one the people, places, items, and activities from The Legend of Zelda series that make the games special, memorable, and well-worth playing. Per our usual schedule, watch for new posts on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and share your own thoughts on the series in the comment sections. And so, happy 35th to The Legend of Zelda – let’s keep this party going!
21. “Frozen” Hyrule Castle in Wind Waker
Jacob: This spot was just interesting. The whole area has a disquieting effect, and leads to all manner of questions and ponderings. What exactly happened here? Who managed to make this happen? And how did nobody seem to notice it was there?
Duck: I’ll be honest here…Wind Waker wasn’t exactly my favorite Zelda game. As I explored that massive, open ocean, I kept thinking about how much I missed Hyrule, y’know. And then we travel beneath the ocean, and there it is, in all its glory… Well, not quite, because at first, Hyrule is frozen in time and devoid of color! Fortunately, we’re able to restore it, but that doesn’t mean the shock had yet to wear off. So Hyrule was hidden beneath the sea this whole time? Even though we only got to explore around Hyrule Castle, this was still an epic discovery indeed!
Cary: Finding and exploring the weirdly stopped world of Hyrule was pretty epic in an already epic game. It was such a surprise to go from the bright, open, and colorful seascape to a place that had been literally frozen in time. The juxtaposition between Link and the frozen-in-time landscape was so very odd and wonderful.
20. The Scary Skulltulas
Jacob: I don’t like spiders, so even though Skulltulas posed little threat, I absolutely hated dealing with them. It’s that scratchy, skittery noise they make! It never fails to make my skin crawl, so I have to get rid of them as fast as I possibly can!
Duck: As if spiders weren’t bad enough, these particular spiders also happen to resemble skulls, so that’s nice. Creepy as they may be, I absolutely love the Gold Skulltula houses in Majora’s Mask, particularly the Oceanside Skulltula House, an eerie abandoned underground building inhabited by Stalchildren and, yes, a bunch of sneaky Gold Skulltulas. This place is so mysterious that I can’t help but think about it even years later. I mean, what exactly was this place? What was it used for and who lived here? And why exactly are there portraits of Skull Kid in the library? It’s all very strange, if you ask me….
Cary: Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders? Okay, that’s not how the line goes, but I hold fast the notion that an adventure game just isn’t an adventure game unless it has giant spiders in it. (And I hate spiders.) But like the Duck said, Nintendo outdid themselves in the Zelda series where the spiders looked like skulls. (And I don’t care for skeletons, either.) I just don’t like ‘em. Even if they have stories behind them, I’m too busy being grossed out or running the other way or bashing them to bits to care.
19. The Terrifying Re-Deads
Jacob: That scream! That awful, petrifying scream! After hearing it a few times, I always try running straight through any rooms with Re-Deads in them, that or shooting them from a distance. I HATE that scream!
Duck: Okay, so when I was a duckling, Re-Deads absolutely horrified me. I mean it, I had literal nightmares about them. And whenever I encountered them in the game…oh boy, I can’t count the number of times I’ve stood frozen in terror (and not because they had seen me), too afraid to proceed forward and face these things like the hero I’m supposed to be. While the Re-Deads in Wind Waker are pretty freaky, those “classic” Re-Deads from the Nintendo 64 era will always be one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever encountered.
Cary: The scream. Oh, THAT scream! I mean the one from the Ocarina of Time’s Re-Deads. It’s a sound that is absolutely pertifying, and one I’ll never forget. I can still feel the fear that washed over when I first encountered them as young Link in that game. Most recent in my mind, however, are the very creepy and tall Re-Dead Knights in Twilight Princess. ::shivers:: Their screams aren’t quite as bone-chilling as those emitted by Ocarina of Time Re-Deads, but they are no picnic for the ears, either. Re-Deads are definitely among the most memorably awful enemies in the Zelda series, that’s for sure.
Up next, #18-16!