Fanart Friday returns, religiously following Linkstagram and suggesting you do the same. Last week, we marked out with fanart of our favorite pro wrestlers, but this week we're celebrating A Link Between Worlds (and following in the tradition of our Mario and Final Fantasy themes, alongside our regular Pokemon installments) with a full Legend of Zelda installment!
While I don't think reading Fanart Friday will take a full half an hour, this is really the best choice
Of course, this week's title is a reference to the god-awful Legend of Zelda cartoon that aired on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (more about that from Joseph Luster here), suggested by CR user Nuclear42 (who I'm really hoping has a less-educated evil twin named Nucular42). Naturally, opinions are divided on gamers' favorite Zelda games, but it's one of the few franchises where you not only know almost exactly what you're in for, but you're all but guaranteed a good time, as Nintendo's first-party titles very, very rarely go wrong. Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Let's start where it all began, with the original Legend of Zelda on the NES! Releasing in Japan in '86, then in America in '87, The Legend of Zelda introduced us to Link, Princess Zelda, the dark lord Ganon, the land of Hyrule, and the omnipotent Triforce. Just like Super Mario Bros. expanded on single-screen games, Zelda opened up a huge, connected world for gamers to explore.
Technically, this picture is based off the artist's friend's fanfiction, but it really captures the spirit of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, one of the most polarizing games in the entire franchise. Maybe I AM ERROR, but I still kinda like it... just not as much as other games in the series.
When A Link to the Past came out for the SNES in '91, it returned to the original Zelda formula we knew and loved, and gave us two massive worlds to explore. You have no idea how excited I am for A Link Between Worlds, the direct sequel to what I still consider one of the absolute best games in this series.
When we heard that Link's Awakening, the next Legend of Zelda title, would be on the Game Boy, it was met with the now-standard "why's it on a handheld?!" whining that you get today. Thankfully, and to everyone's surprise, Link's Awakening was really good, and used its smaller scale to try out some new things with the Zelda formula.
Of course, Ocarina of Time debuted on the N64 in '98, it made the same waves as Super Mario 64 in codifying how video games worked in a 3D space. It's amazing how, even playing it over a decade later on the 3DS, it still holds up as a very well-designed game, even with a few minor missteps (like that freaking water dungeon). I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, though, that almost every Zelda game since has slavishly followed its blueprint.
But not this one! Majora's Mask is another Zelda game that people have wildly different opinions of, since it ditched Ocarina's formula for a repeating three-day cycle (a friend refers to it as "Groundhog Holiday Weekend") with a ton of different people to help in that timeframe... before the moon came crashing down and killed everyone on Termina.
It seems like Zelda leapfrogs its releases--one's on console, then the next's on handheld, and since everybody was glued to their GameBoy Colors playing Pokemon, it only made sense for the paired releases of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages to bring The Legend of Zelda to a whole new generation! Sadly, I've been a little too busy to play the copy of Oracle of Ages I got for my 3DS, but I'll get around to reliving late 2001 all over again at some point.
By and far my all-time favorite game in the series, Wind Waker's timeless visual style and perfectly fine-tuned gameplay make it stand tall after all this time. I honestly never minded sailing long distances--the great soundtrack and feeling of actually travelling to new locations made it all worth it.
It was great getting A Link to the Past re-released on the Game Boy Advance, but The Minish Cap was the only original Zelda title we got on Nintendo's insanely awesome little handheld. The Minish Cap was developed by Capcom, and produced by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, so no wonder it's such an awesome game!
The original Four Swords was an add-on that came with the GBA re-release of A Link to the Past, but getting four friends to play Four Swords Adventures together on the GameCube led to some truly vicious get-togethers. I've always felt that it's more fun to play games with friends than by yourself... unfortunately, everybody I've played Four Swords Adventures with were raging, treasure-stealing assholes WHO REALLY SHOULD LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF TEAMWORK.
Originally planned for the GameCube, Twilight Princess was quickly repackaged as a must-have launch title for the Wii, along with its standard-control twin brother on the GC. Answering gamers' requests for a "mature Zelda," Twilight Princess had a bigger focus on swordplay--you even got a kickass one-on-one sword duel with Ganondorf at the end!
Jumping back to handhelds (this time on the DS), Phantom Hourglass returned to the Wind Waker universe, with more of Link's adventures on the Great Sea. This game's timed dungeons irritated gamers who preferred to take things at a slower pace, and while I quickly got used to the touchscreen controls, they were another problem for people who wanted a more traditional Zelda game.
Spirit Tracks picked up right where Phantom Hourglass left off, and is sadly one of the few Zelda games that I haven't played at all. I want to finish Phantom Hourglass before I get started on this one--I've heard it's supposed to be quite a bit better, too.
I haven't even played Skyward Sword, either! Taking us back to the very beginning of The Legend of Zelda's split timeline, Skyward Sword set the stage for future games, detailing the history of Link's trademark Master Sword.
And that brings us to now, to A Link Between Worlds, the 3DS sequel to A Link to the Past! I'm actually gonna have to wait a bit before I grab my copy, but rest assured I'm gonna play the hell out of it--so far, I've heard nothing but good things, especially in how it shakes up the game's progression.
Man, that's a lot of Zelda--I know I skipped Link's Crossbow Training (which I think only I ever played and liked) and the CD-i games, but I'll get to those particular abominations later on. Check out the full-size version of this pic--the artist really shows off 25 (now 27) years of Zelda history!
Zelda herself has changed a lot over the years, especially in Ocarina and Wind Waker. Anybody else thinking of that awesome chart showing different Zelda's reactions to being told "I love you?"
HEY! LISTEN! Navi's kind of annoying, but she's also kind of necessary to actually play Ocarina of Time.
by 中越 明
I've posted Ocarina Ganondorf a bunch of times on Fanart Friday, but naturally my favorite is Wind Waker Ganondorf. Badass robes, the really cool paired swords, and he keeps the awesome beard? The King of the Gerudo is one bad mofo.
Link's had several travelling companions, like Navi who I mentioned above, but even standing alongside the King of Red Lions and the Crimson Loftwing, I've gotta say that Epona beats them all.
Then there's Sheik, who (spoiler alert for a fifteen-year-old game) is actually Princess Zelda, and you're also supposed to believe that this ninja with unusually shapely hips is actually a man. Of course, with a glare like that, no intelligent person would actually say such a thing.
A reader asked for Ocarina of Time's Mido last week, and I thought this was the best way to represent the little bastard. Yes, he is under-represented, and that's a shame--he actually adds a lot of personality to Link, who's otherwise a faceless cipher.
A friend of mine had no idea what the Legend of Zelda CD-i games were, so I found the opening movie of Wand of Gamelon on YouTube and showed it to her. Now, she's clawing her eyes out and saying something about "f'tahgn nagh yog sothoth" while bashing her head against the wall.
JUST AS PLANNED
Let's end on a less-terrifying note with this awesome piece by Captain Osaka, whose work I never get tired of. Almost thirty years of action, adventure, artistry, and sometimes infuriating puzzles, I will also never get tired of The Legend of Zelda.
And that's everything for this week! I already included more art than I normally do in this one, but I couldn't get everything--what's your favorite Legend of Zelda game?
Like I say every week, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to submit a piece, here are the next three themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on NOVEMBER 29th, we're giving in to our darkest impulses with our favorite VILLAINS! The bad guys took over Fanart Friday once before--who are your favorite agents of evil? THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on DECEMBER 6th, we're bundling up and getting ready for WINTER!
-On DECEMBER 13th, stretch out and get ready for the big game as we take a trip through the wide world of SPORTS!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday! Have a great weekend, and we hope you drop by next time! Anyone here grabbing A Link Between Worlds, or possibly even an Xbox One?