Stories are products with infinite potential. Ultimately, the story teller decides to stop and wrap things up, but throughout the entire process there is no limit to where the plot can go next, and until the final work goes out the door, one can always go back to change a thing or two– or even the whole story. The books we read, the movies we watch, and the games we play are all malleable. Though the creators have presented us with their preferred form, it is not concrete and should we so desire we possess the power to reshape it with our own imagination.
Let’s embrace this criminally underutilized power and re-imagine one of gaming’s greatest adventures– The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
First of all, there is a problem that has always plagued the series, that whole “Legend of Zelda” part. The eponymous princess plays a vital role in most of the games, but Link is always the primary focus and Zelda is completely excluded from several entries. How can Majora’s Mask be a Legend of Zelda when she is safely sitting in another dimension, not being threatened by a falling moon? Ocarina does a much better job of keeping the princess involved, but there remains a great deal of potential left unexplored, especially when you consider the seven year gap at the center of the whole thing.
Think about it, we meet Zelda as a young girl, powerless to stop Ganondorf from bringing Hyrule to its knees and then, after seven years, we are introduced to her as Sheik, a badass ninja with mad harp skills. I’m pretty sure we could find a pretty cool story somewhere in there. Imagine an epic story of a soft princess used to the lap of luxury being pushed to her limits as Impa trains her in the deadly arts of the Sheikah warriors. This could be a whole new adventure all by itself, chronicling the ritualistic journeys and trials designed to prove the strength of those entrusted with the safety of the royal family. We could see Zelda learn all her deadly, stealthy moves, and figure just how she got so awesome at harp. Heck, this could even introduce some really cool stealth elements into the Zelda formula for all those crybabies who accuse the series of growing stale. At the very least we could have been given a totally cool ’80s-esque montage set to the inspirational sounds of generic hair metal to convey Zelda’s journey to awesomeness.
Or maybe we should think bigger. So far I’ve just been adding to the lore already present in Ocarina of Time; how would it be if we just rewrote the the whole thing! Actually, the beginning stuff with kid Link can stay, as it does a good job of setting up the premise, but how about we jump back to Zelda in the seven year gap and add a twist. Zelda (or Sheik, if you prefer) is tired of waiting around for Link to show up and fulfill the prophecy and save the world. Instead, she says to herself, “I’m a pretty strong fighter now, I know all the magic songs needed to access the temple, I can use my fair share of magic, and I am all around awesome. Let Link sleep, I’m going to save the day!”
How about Zelda gives Ganon a face full of flame next time he tries to conquer Hyrule!
Using her magical sage powers, she swings by the Temple of Time, grabs the Ocarina of Time and Master Sword from Link’s sleepless body, and gets to work. Link is a great fighter and all, but if Smash Bros. has taught us anything, it’s that Zelda/Sheik can be quite a beast. The game would transform, dropping the methodical sword and shield centric combat in favor of something a little more awesome. I imagine Zelda would have a little more in common with Ryu Hyabusa than Link, using her magic to blast enemies with light arrows before transforming into Sheik, running along walls, and eviscerating Moblins, Stalfos, and all sorts of baddies with a level of grace, agility, and ferocity that would make that green tunic clad pansy ashamed!
Maybe Link would still have to be the one to finish off Ganondorf for the sake of destiny and all that junk, but wouldn’t it have been a pleasant surprise for him to have woken up to find Zelda and all the sages raring and ready to go? Or maybe we could just forget prophecy and have Link wake up to Zelda holding Ganondorf’s decapitated head. Either way, it would definitely be a lot closer to fulfilling the true legend of Zelda.
Like this article? Want to read more about Link, Zelda and the importance they both play in the Zelda franchise? Then check our take on gender wars in Hyrule in The Heroine of Time!