Nintendo has been very fortunate to be blessed with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the industry. They may take some flack for their lack of graphics within games at times, but there is no doubt at all that they give their creators the space to manufacture some of the greatest games of all time. It’s why many game designers still flock to the company today and why these same people are able to work outside of industry norms to create some truly unique games for us all to enjoy. It is this immense freedom that has inspired many new companies to follow the same model and it is no doubt what inspired one of the greatest game designers of all time in Shigeru Miyamoto to join the company.
Miyamoto saw great promise in the company and even though they were new to the gaming scene, he took a chance with them and believed in their vision for the future. They didn’t always see eye to eye, as was the case when he proposed Yoshi’s Island, but the company continued to put their trust in his abilities as a creator. It would pay off in the long run and he would give Nintendo two of the longest running and most successful franchises of all time in Mario and Zelda as a result. He designed both at the same time and continued to evolve them over the years in ways that allowed him to captivate new audiences. Zelda has become a well-respected name within all gaming circles and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t at least played a few games within the series.
25 An Unnecessary Route To Take
Something that always perplexed me about Zelda was the fact that you could break pots around a home or in a shop and then use the rupees within them to buy things. As strange as this practice was, it made a lot more sense than having them drop from random monsters, in a way. As odd as this was though, it gets even weirder when you consider that there is no real reason for you to break said pots in the first place. I mean, think about it, there isn’t really much sense in breaking said pot when you can simply reach in and grab the contents inside of it without anyone ever knowing that you were there.
Finding items in random pots and chest has been a staple of RPGs.
There have been many theories behind why Nintendo decided to do this and they have never really explained the practice in any way. It stands to reason that perhaps the main purpose of it being in place was to introduce you to the idea that you could use your sword to break objects. In this way, you would then have in your mind that such things were possible so that you could then apply this new knowledge to solving puzzles or exploring the world around you.
24 Heroes Can’t Jump
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t played Zelda at least a few times in their life and it’s easy to see why given how fantastically made the game is. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been games within the series that have missed the mark somewhat, but even then, it still provides an enjoyable experience for gamers everywhere. It’s a franchise that has evolved over time and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Sure, the last installment wasn’t the kind of graphic-quality that many were expecting, but it won over audiences in the end and with Breath of The Wild a truly captivating story was born.
Given the trials that Link has to face on his arduous journey though, many gamers have questioned why it is that he often times comes so ill prepared. He seems to have all the power and ability in the world and yet there are some very basic things that he just can’t do well. You might think that jumping is second nature, but for Link that is anything but the case. It isn’t just his lack of jumping ability that has frustrated gamers over the years though, but also his inability to simply reach up and grab an object that is only a few feet from him.
23 Easy Weight Redistribution
There are a lot of different things that go into making a game. Before game designers can even think about creating a world and the characters they have to come up with a storyline to mold them into. Once they’ve done that they have to select an environment and a supporting cast that makes it all come together. This alone takes a large amount of time and is a major undertaking, but it only scratches the surface of what is required to create a truly world-class game. Even with all of these elements in place, the game designers then have to fill the world with items fitted with detailed information and attributes that not only help to advance the plot of the game but also allow the player to make key decisions.
Often times when we are playing these same games we don’t overanalyze things at first. We put them in the context of the story and use the information that we are provided with to better understand how they fit into the story’s progression. With Zelda, there are more than a few items that make you do a double take and the Iron boots that allow you to sink in water are no exception. It makes sense that heavy boots would make you sink as this is how old scuba diving suits worked, but it gets a bit odd when you consider that you no longer sink when you take them off and carry them. It’s as if their weight that allowed you to sink before simply vanished.
22 Not So Helpful Fairy
In the early installments of the franchise, gamers became confused at the types of advice they were receiving from NPCs within the game. It just didn’t seem to add up and when they attempted to understand it they just became more confused as a result. As it turns out, there was a good reason for this as the Japanese to English translations weren’t exactly one hundred percent accurate. Over time people were able to provide more literal translations for the older games and players were able to use the hints in the way they were originally intended. Though this was simply a mistake by translators, the guidance given by Navi has made many fans questions the company’s intent.
Having a helpful companion was something that Nintendo felt gamers needed.
At first, you think that she’s going to provide you with great guidance and help you to perform your quest to the best of your ability, but you quickly realize that while she might provide you with useful information now and again, there are a lot of things that she says that seem a bit redundant. It’s one thing to give you advice on things that you might have no idea about, but when she insists that you need a key to unlock a door or that you need a particular item when it’s already been established that you do, it can be easy to see why gamers became frustrated with her rather quickly.
21 Color-Coded Effects
In a lot of RPGs that involve magic, you will have enchanted objects which give you special abilities, but with that, you will also tend to acquire abilities that help you to perform tasks that would otherwise not be humanly possible. Certain attributes like superhuman strength or magic damage might seem very realistic given the type of game you are playing, but even within that environment, there are a few games that seem to take a rather strange approach to things. It’s one thing to have a piece of clothing or armor that is enchanted to protect you from certain elements that you might face, but it is quite another to have that same armor give you some inhuman attribute that doesn’t really fit.
With Zelda, we see this with the different colored tunics that link acquires on his adventures. Having a red tunic that is resistant to fire makes sense, but it’s when you secure the blue tunic that things get a bit weird. You're introduced to tunics which protect you from certain elements and so when you get to the blue tunic you are thinking the same, only to find out that it helps you breathe underwater. How it could is anyone’s guess, but I think this comic brings to life the absurdity of such things pretty well.
20 Of Few Words
One thing that has really irritated gamers over the years is the large amount of dialog that is present within RPGs. There’s nothing wrong with having to read text from time to time, but sometimes it can get a bit much when you have to scan through entire paragraphs during a conversation. We aren’t used to doing this with any regularity and it is why online publications try to do there best to break up block text. In this day and age, it would be rather easy for game companies to simply have someone do voice over of the dialog, but even so, they still insist on putting large amounts of dialog into their games.
As a result of this practice, what tends to happen is that people do not read their quest dialog and instead read the small amount of text that instructs them on what to do next. I even find myself doing this every once in a while when I’ve gotten tired of reading all of the dialog and that’s why it’s nice when games give you the option to hear the audio over the text. Shigeru Miyamoto might have experienced this himself and that is perhaps why he limited the amount of dialog present within the games over the years, but even so, it is a bit strange that link rarely talks in text or otherwise throughout the games. In fact, there are only a hand few of times where Link has said anything at all.
19 Sneaking Into Position
Within the world of fantasy, nothing is really out of the question. If you can imagine it being possible, chances are a game designer somewhere has implemented it into their game. After all, what would a fantasy game be without some otherworldly objects or events being present? When it comes to sneaking around and not being seen, most fantasy games employ some sort of mythical object that allows the character to disappear from sight on a whim. Even for those games that don’t have items that contain those attributes, there is usually a spell that can be cast which allows the character to do the same thing. This not only adds a fantasy element to the game but also explains how the character is able to sneak through certain places without being seen.
One would expect guards to be constantly searching for the enemy.
Knowing this, you might expect that Link would have something similar in his repertoire, but in reality, he has neither. As a result of this, it seems rather unlikely that he could get anywhere without being noticed. After all, this is the guard’s job and it is likely that they would be looking around constantly for someone like Link. Given that he has to get rather close to some guards at times it stands to reason that he would be easily spotted by them. Strangely, this never seems to occur and I think this artist showcases the hilarity of these events pretty well.
18 The Source Of Those Items
The older you get the more you realize just how strange some of your favorite games were. Each time that you came across a chest, you were expecting a large number of items given its size only to find that there were hardly any at all. Sure, you could explain this away by imagining that the user of said chest had moved their items to another location or simply didn’t have the items to fill the chest with, but you wouldn’t expect this to be the case with each and every chest that you encountered throughout the game. When it comes to large amounts of gold or enormous items this makes sense, however.
When it comes to a game like Zelda, you see this all the time. You will break open a pot in the game and only find a few rupees inside or you will open a chest that contains the same small amount of rupees or an extremely small item. While this seems to be a prevailing theme inside of games such as Zelda, the game takes it a step further with the large wooden crate. These same crates are sealed up and yet, when you hit them, you are likely to find nothing or only a few small items. One particular artist shines light on this and points out how it can’t be cost effective for the people of Hyrule to do such things.
17 Not Thinking Things Through
There have been many instances where people have pointed out that villains within shows and games alike have made some rather questionable decisions when it comes to protecting themselves against an inevitable retaliation from the hero of the story. It’s understandable in some instances when the enemy doesn’t know enough about the hero they are facing, but in cases where they have faced the same hero many times before it becomes a bit redundant, to say the least. You would expect any villain, like most of us, to learn where their mistakes were made and correct them for the next encounter so that they don’t fall prey to the same storyline once again.
In the case of Ganon, who has encountered Link many times, it seems a bit difficult to buy the idea that he doesn’t understand Link’s weaknesses as well as his own. Given that he has adjusted his strategy when engaging Link it seems more than a bit strange that he would continue to make the same mistake of having items hidden within chest around him that could potentially defeat him. If anything, he would want to seal these items away or destroy them so that they can’t be used.
16 Some Strange Practices
There are many different ways that games deal with characters taking damage and healing afterward. You will have games that provide the user with potions which help them to regain health and others that require a spell in order to regain health. Other games will employ a combination of the two and will even allow the user to replenish their health through sleeping at an inn of some sort. The above healing options are the most commonplace options within fantasy games, but that doesn’t mean that things like food and bandages haven’t been used as well. Nothing about these methods is particularly odd given the type of game environment, but with Zelda, it is a bit odd that you can replenish your health simply by picking up a heart.
Many wondered why Miyamoto didn't simply use potions as many other RPGs had done.
This particular practice is especially confusing when you consider that the game also employs the use of fairies which use their magic to heal you along the way. It would make more sense if you ate food or slept to recover your health over time, but this particular mechanic wasn’t introduced predominantly into the Zelda universe until the latest installment with Breath of the Wild. I think this artist does a good job of showcasing how past Links may react as they contemplate their past heart-eating practices.
15 Fowl Play
Link isn’t your average everyday hero. He overcomes incredible odds time and again and manages to come out on top more often than not. Sure, there are installments where he doesn’t realize his true power and abilities until later on, but once he does, there is little to nothing that he can accomplish. Hearing the myths and legends surrounding his origin, it would be understandable if you came away thinking that you could overcome any quest that you come across. Well, anything, that is, unless it involves anything to do with chickens. You see, within the Zelda universe, we quickly find out that not only are chickens mean-spirited at times, but they are also indestructible. Is the castle on fire and falling down in the middle of Hyrule? If you’re a chicken it is hardly a problem at all.
There are many theories behind why this is the case with some suggesting that initially the game developers simply forgot about the potential interaction with said chickens. Other theories suggest that Nintendo wanted to prevent the depiction of harm to animals as many other game developers have done in the past, but given the number of creatures you encounter in the game, this seems a bit far-fetched. In truth, it is likely that Miyamoto simply inserted it into the games as a consistent and prevailing joke.
14 Not Exactly What You Hoped For
One of the first things that you will be looking for within any game that requires you to buy things is the best way to acquire said money. You know that you are going to need it from start to finish and for the most part, games will give you a good amount of inventory for said money as a result. In those cases where this isn’t available, you will want to know the best possible method to fill your cash limit in the smallest amount of time possible. Early on you don’t need too much money, but as time goes on and as you continue to progress, you need more and more.
Zelda is no different than many games in that regard. You are able to find money in a variety of ways and while you can find it within pots as well as chests, the best way to collect a large amount in a short period of time is either cutting up grass that it is stored in or grinding away on easy enemies until you have reached the amount you are looking for. While this practice is to be expected, what really frustrates users is the fact that the orange rupee only seems to drop right around when your rupee limit has been reached, making it effectively useless.
13 Attributes Getting In The Way
When it comes to items within any game there always seems to be this dilemma between choosing what actually looks aesthetically pleasing and what is functionally right. Sometimes game developers will implement both things into a particular item, but more often then not you will find that the most important items within a game are perhaps the strangest looking of all. This could be in part due to a game designers want for it to stand out among all others and it could also be them testing players to see what they are willing to give up for said attributes. All that aside, there are other times when the attributes within the items just don’t seem to make much sense at all and seem to be a lot more troublesome than helpful when you really think about it.
We see this many times throughout pretty much every game that we play and Zelda is no different in that regard. You have boots that are so heavy that they make you sink, and yet, when you take them off, they are light as a feather. As strange as that is, it gets even weirder when you think about the strength gauntlets in Windwaker. How is it that you can wear those things and not destroy everything in your path without actually meaning to? How is it that Link can suddenly turn off their attributes when he sees fit during a delicate task?
12 An Odd Choice
Sometimes, learning a certain characters origin story actually leaves you with way more questions than answers. Other times it gives you great insight and helps you to understand why they act the way that they do in various situations. It gives you a clue as to their connection with other characters within the story and helps you to see why the end goal is so important to them. Some origin stories can be rather dark while some can be, well, weird.
Nintendo released a story timeline to help gamers eliminate some of the confusion about Link's origin.
One of the best Zelda games within the series, in my opinion, is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not just because it did more for the advancement of the franchise than any before it, but because it gave a greater insight into Link as a character and to his origin. Before this installment, we didn’t know about Link’s beginnings and it is here that we learn that his mother took him to the Great Deku Tree shortly after his birth in the hopes that the tree would raise him. You would think that she would take him to a village to be raised instead, but her choice to have the tree raise him has no doubt sparked some serious decisions about how things would have played out. I think the artist here does a pretty good job of depicting what many gamers imagined given the scenario.
11 It's In The Grass
Alright, I know what you’re thinking, you can’t have money simply be in containers or chests, because otherwise your environment would be littered with them. That’s a fair point and it is likely why game designers decided that they needed to come up with a new system that seemed believable to some extent while also making it rewarding for the player to progress. With many RPGs, the character needs to level up in order to progress and since they could only gain experience from battles and completing quests, it stood to reason that the player should be able to gain some monetary amount through the same battles as well. In this way, gamers didn’t have to feel like a large amount of time was being wasted simply leveling and instead they were able to see that leveling, in turn, gave them access to items and the money to buy said items.
While Zelda does employ much of the same sort of system within its franchise, many have wondered how rupees can be found in tall grass. Sure, you might find a rupee here or there that might have been dropped, but to find countless scores of them within the games seems a bit much. Either everyone in Hyrule has a hole in their pocket or the money secretly grows on the edge of the grass.
10 A Terrifying Thought
There are a few rare games which actually don’t increase your health throughout your journey and instead increase your resistances to damage done by your enemies through the use of leveling and better items. I tend to like these types of games more because they allow you to get more immersed into the game and they also cause you to think through your process more and be careful with your actions due to your limited amount of health. It has been argued that, because of the increase in health, gamers have been able to simply power level and become much stronger than their enemies so that they can then simply speed through the game.
In games where your health is limited, the enemies keep in line with your level and your resistances so that you feel challenged the whole time, but you also don’t feel as if you are in an unfair fight at any point. Within Zelda, there is a little bit of that, but oddly enough the only way that Link can gain any health to help him along in his journey is through picking up and consuming additional hearts. They are sometimes contained within a vile or simply found in a chest and I think this artist has a rather humorous way of showing what something like that may look like in reality when encountered.
9 All Those Side Quests
Ah, side quests, the cornerstone of pretty much any RPG or MMORPG that was ever created. As annoying as they can be at times, they are necessary in a sense because they introduce you to the mechanics of the game and its environment without thrusting you face first into it without any experience what so ever. Additionally, they provide you with experience, money, and items, which will often time help you with progressing through the storyline at a much faster pace than you otherwise might have. Even so, it does get a bit frustrating later on when you are still completing the same simplistic quests that don’t seem to drive the plot or provide you with any sort of new skill set or experience.
After all, aren’t you supposed to be attempting to save Hyrule at the fastest rate possible? You are told from the very beginning that there is no time to waste and so why is it that you find yourself having to spend so much time on pointless side quests? Additionally, why is it that Link’s guide doesn’t step in a say that they have no time to do such things or even give you the option to do so when you want to progress on with the main quest? In all fairness though, no one would really blame Link if he wanted to relax a bit and have some fun along the way, given the kinds of things he tends to run into along his journey.
8 Misplaced Priorities
The goal of guards inside any kingdom is to keep the peace and protect the citizens from enemies that may invade. They have to be forever vigilant and ensure that they are ready at a moments notice should any problems arise. In the land of Hyrule, given the ever leering presence of Ganon, you would think that they would be concerned with preparing for that eventuality and do anything and everything in their power to ensure that they could hold off such a threat until the point in time when he can be defeated. Instead, it seems that the guards around Hyrule are instead focused on rather mundane problems that seem pretty unimportant considering what is going on around them.
Many were frustrated at the fact that the guards would make their quest more difficult.
You would think that the last thing they would want to do is hinder anyone who is attempting to overcome the enemy that is now upon them and yet, they seem to bother you at every turn as you are trying your best to save the kingdom from utter destruction. It makes you wonder what exactly they were doing when Ganon began his assault in the first place and why it is that they aren’t joining forces with you to now overcome him.
7 Heroic Deeds
Thinking about it, it is rather odd that you are able to make your way through the town in any RPG without having random people attempt to stop you when you enter their house unannounced. It’s rather strange that the citizens would never lock their doors or worry about someone taking their items without permission while they were away. The fact that Link does these sorts of things makes it seem as if he is anything but a hero. As bad as this is though, this isn’t even the worst thing that Link does during all of his adventures. In addition to stealing from homeowners, he also steals from shop owners and uses their own money to purchase items within their shop.
Additionally, he is able to walk into random homes and take a nap with no problem at all. You would think that he would at least have to request such things in order to not get in trouble with the authorities of Hyrule, but this simply isn’t the case at all. Granted, he is the hero of the kingdom and it is likely that the citizens would help him complete his quest by any means necessary, but it is worth noting that the game never tells you to break shop owners pots or take from people’s homes. In the end, it pretty much boils down to choice.
6 Questions Left Unanswered
One thing that you will learn rather quickly when playing fantasy games is that they don’t always have to make sense. In reality, anything is possible in the fantasy universe and there doesn’t really have to be an explanation for everything, but when it’s a major plot point within a game’s storyline there can be some problems that arise. It doesn’t have to be in line with what we are used to in reality, but it has to at the very least be believable in a sense. Given the types of events and societies that Link comes across on his adventure there really isn’t much that hasn’t been covered already. It’s a pretty safe bet that Zelda has incorporated a large portion of fantasy elements within its franchise over the years.
As we’ve already seen here, there are quite a few things that don’t make sense logically within the Zelda universe and it continues on with the introduction of the Gerudo race. Like the Amazons, they are a predominantly female race that has a male child born only once every hundred years. Knowing this, it begs the question, how exactly is it that the male child is born in the first place without an actual male being present to make such a thing happen?
5 Come Again
Being a hero to many isn’t an easy feat. Link is thrust into a situation that many of us couldn’t handle and yet, even at a younger age, he was able to overcome his fears and save all of Hyrule against the ensuing threat of Ganon. Even though it is his destiny and he has the ability to do so, it has to be rather difficult in reality to do. The amount of pressure that he would face would be enormous and it puts things into prospective when we think about how difficult our real lives can be at times. To aid him in his difficult task there are many items that he can collect along the way which give him new abilities and added strength. With these new found abilities he can overcome situations and solve puzzles that he otherwise would not be able to do.
With all that being said, not every item on his journey or every ability he gains is equal in terms of worth. They all serve a purpose to be sure, but the explanation behind their usage at times can make you scratch your head in confusion. You learn how to control fire to defeat your foes and you acquire wisdom which helps you to overcome obstacles, but when you gain the wind ability it gives you pause. It allows you to flee in an effort to show your courage as a hero which doesn’t exactly make sense at all.
4 The True Champion
If you’ve spent any time playing RPGs you no doubt know that you will eventually encounter a strong foe that will be rather difficult to defeat and as a result, you have to acquire the best items that you can to give yourself the best chance of success. You have to make guesses on which items will give you the best chance and often times you will have to try multiple times before you have both your item selection and your strategy down pat. Even with a full proof plan and the correct items, a good RPG will make you work for victory and it is always satisfying when you finally accomplish your goal.
The indestructible nature of the chickens within the game has led many to wonder what type of companion they would be.
Even after all that preparation, it is still sometimes not enough and your favorite characters don’t achieve the ending that you were expecting. This can be disheartening at times and yet, it is these same games that show us the harsh reality of defeat that we begin to admire most and hold with the greatest esteem. Given that the chickens inside of Hyrule are vertically indestructible though, it makes you wonder what the outcome would have been had the chicken been able to fight off Ganondorf instead of Link. Having a companion like that would have certainly turned the tables.
3 No Backup Plan
What seems to frustrate many gamers when they first played The Legend of Zelda was the fact that Link seemed to go into things relatively unprepared. After all, he knew that the kingdom of Hyrule was in ruin and that the area surrounding it was rather dangerous and yet he didn’t have the weapons needed to defend himself or to begin to complete his quest. As it turns out, Shigeru Miyamoto did this on purpose as a way to punish those same gamers who kept telling him that The Legend of Zelda was too hard and that they needed to make it easier. He felt that in this way he could show how truly difficult things could be.
Luckily for us, he presented us with a cave where we could receive our first weapon in the game, but it did present a lingering problem that wasn’t likely to have been thought of until much later. If the old man in the cave knew it was dangerous, why was it that he gave us his only know weapon? What was he to do once we left the cave and the surrounding monsters approached him? This logic problem within the game is represented brilliantly by one particular artist who showcases exactly what is likely to happen once you leave with the sword.
2 Harder Then It Has To Be
From a very young age, we begin to learn that it is best to do things in the most efficient and easiest way possible. It not only helps us to save time but also makes for a much more stress-free environment. Often times this process takes a lot of trial and error, but eventually we discover the very best ways to do even the most basic of tasks and we are able to then apply that knowledge to new things and quickly find ways to do the same with them. It’s finding that happy medium between creating the best quality while also saving the most time that we all strive for.
Throughout the games, we learn about these particular things and there are people who teach us the best ways to defeat monsters and to minimize the amount of damage we take. While it’s understandable when it comes to puzzles and mazes that there is no easy way to solve them at times, there are instances that make you wonder about potential solutions. Such is the case when you are trying to make your way through a maze to rescue Zelda and yet, even though time is of the essence, you are not able to use a creature within the realm of Hyrule to fly to her rather than go through the arduous task of completing the maze.
1 An Unexpected Outcome
With some games, there is a quite detailed process when it comes to selecting your mount. Each mount will have various attributes that can help your character along with certain advantages in terms of speed or the distance they can run. Other times games will have you make a decision about your mount based solely on the amount of weight it can carry at any given time or its ability to be called forth at a moments notice. When it comes to increasing their abilities or upping their speed some games will give you the ability to train them or to buy special equipment which enhances their abilities or their speed.
All of these are viable options and they add an extra element to the game. For Zelda, things were a little bit different though as there was no real way to train your horse or to acquire one that was any better. Instead of giving you the ability to upgrade or to train, the creators of Zelda decided that the best course of action was to give you the ability to feed carrots to your horse as a sort of speed booster. This seems fine in moderation, but you can probably imagine what would happen in reality if you constantly fed a horse a bunch of carrots over a long period of time.