A Hyrulean Journey
How the Legend of Zelda Inspired Me to Write
Hooked From the Start
I'm thirteen years old, sitting in front of my clunky old-school television. I've just hooked it up to my brand-new, ultra-fancy, state-of-the-art Nintendo GameCube. I pull out the game that came with it, The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition, and place the tiny disc into the console.
From the first moments, I'm drawn in. An orphan boy living amongst the Kokiri in a lush forest sleeps on a wooden bed. He's the only one without a fairy to guide him, and he's having a nightmare. A young, scared princess is being whisked away on horseback, followed closely by a man with a menacing presence. It's dark. Raining.
Then, he's visited by a cheery, glowing fairy with a voice that grates the nerves: Navi (Hey! Listen!). He needs to wake up. He's needed. Like any good hero, he resists the call, preferring to nap.
She leads me on my very first fetch quest, where I learn the value of a rupee before leading me to the Great Deku Tree. He's been cursed. Link is a child of destiny, and he has important work to do.
My imagination boils and bubbles with my own ideas as I become more drawn into the game's world. I dream of the music that soars when riding Epona across rolling green hills and the lullaby I play in Zelda's garden. My mind is wide open with wonder.
I crawl through dungeons, solving puzzles and finding treasure. I climb to the top of mountains and dive into deep, sapphire water. I rescue those in need and break pots for the fun of it. Hyrule is vast, with so much ready to be discovered.
Inspired to Create
Hyrule is rich with lore and colorful with characters. It not only inspired me to dive deeper into the legend but drove me to learn more about the mythology of ancient cultures. I likened the Great Deku Tree to the tree of life, connecting our world to another.
The map is filled with exciting places: a dark volcano brimming with magma and friendly humanoids; a kingdom of water, later frozen and in despair; a lush forest where the elusive skull kid hides, wearing his infamous mask.
I learned about a hero's journey from Link, the hero of time, and the blank slate he represents allowed me to immerse myself in the adventure. I created my first lead character, a girl thrown into a fantasy world in turmoil from that feeling.
The kingdom is peaceful when the game begins, on the verge of catastrophe, and seeing it fall into ruin taught me what it meant for a story to have an emotional impact. All the places that felt nostalgic and characters I grew attached to, suffering because of my failure. Heartwrenching.
A Lasting Impact
I finished the first novel of the series shortly after beating the game. The music of Hyrule rang in my mind through the entire process. It was short and immature, but then again, so was I. I still have the draft, and I continue to expand and edit as inspiration strikes.
I can't read the words I've written without smiling in remembrance of what brought them to me in the first place-A small boy with long hair, wearing a green tunic with a legendary sword and a mission.
I'll be forever grateful to Hyrule and the Legend of Zelda for igniting in me a love of storytelling and mythos. And for teaching me what it means to be a hero in the most endearing, whimsical way possible.
I still dream of the world I created, and whenever a new addition to The Legend of Zelda is released, I lose myself to the familiar beauty and the 35 years of lore built into it. I allow it to comfort and inspire me, wrapping me up in the feelings I had when I was first introduced to the triforce.