The Missing Link
I have a theory. Feel free to debate and discuss this in the comments section.
My speculation: Nintendo will not (and should not) actually hook up Link with anyone in Twilight Princess.
Now, let me confess to you all that, yes, I am a shipper of sorts. I have always been a huge fanatic within the sageshipper crowd (that’s Link/Zelda for all of you not in the know) since my step into the Zelda fandom (which happened a long tim ago in a galaxy far, far away…). Since then, I’ve come to terms with nearly every other possible shipping pair their is (except for the ones that Masamune probably came up with); yes, I can even accept the validity of such “abominations” as Link/Ruto. However, I hear the warning bells alerting me that I am starting to go off-topic, so let me steer this train back to the crux of this article.
Nintendo, in recent games, has tried to spend a lot of its time these days creating oodles and oodles of plot for its Zelda titles. I mean, if you look at the general progression of the primary console Zelda games, you always seem to be getting more and more useful information per game with each successive game. In The Legend of Zelda, people spoke to you in broken Engrish; Link to the Past basically used text as a plot device to shove you towards Ganondorf;Ocarina of Time actually bothered to create a brief history of the world of Hyrule, while Wind Waker created rich backstory for its characters that would rival those of a few lesser-known superheroes and villans.
“But TML, that’s what you’ve said was great about video games! They’re just like novels! And novels have romance in them all the time! That’s all the better reason to have it in a Zelda game, right?”
Well… yes and no. (I bet you never tire of me saying that, don’t you?) Sure, those of you who are responding predictably to my theory are absolutely correct, but allow me the small indulgence (though I guess you really don’t have a choice in the matter… unless you stop reading now, but you guys are nice enough not to do that, right?) of relating to you my experiences from another game… a game which included a relationship between the protagonist and a certain someone else in the game. That game (dare I say it?) is Final Fantasy VIII.
The first half of FF8 made the game look as if it was going to be something that I would always look back upon fondly. Sure, it was more clichéd than a cucumber is cool, but even I have to admit that the beginning was fairly rock solid. Sure, an absolutely atrocious “plot twist” (plot destruction is probably more apropos to this) takes over in the beginning of Disc 4 when time gets compressed (whatever that means), but the beginning was still good.
Yet that wasn’t the thing that really stuck out in my mind; the thing I absolutely hated about the game was that Squall falls for, out of all the girls flinging themselves at him in the game, Rinoa. On what planet to those two even possibly make sense? Alright, alright, some people probably will take offense to that, but I just do not get them. At all. I’m sure someone finds the idea perfectly agreeable, but, as for me, I always believed that Squall and Quistis made such a better match than the pair that was forced upon us players. Every time someone ever made mention of the fact that it was Squall and Rinoa forever, I just wanted to toss my cookies to the floor. (Perfectly good waste of six white chocolate chip macademia nut cookies… grr…)
Even though games are becoming more novelesque as the days and years pass by, I do believe that there is some risk involved in having the game developers make such important plot choices for us, the gamers. Though our perception of the protagonist (and all characters, for that matter) is driven by his or her actions and lines of dialogue (and occasionally thought), there is still a lot of characterisation work that is done within our own minds. I feel fairly safe to say that, when gamers play games, they make assumptions about characters beyond the scope that mere words and voice acting can convey about them. Video games are, unlike movies and novels, interactive; the fine line between reality and fantasy, at least for me, becomes very fuzzy the moment I set foot into any RPG.
This goes doubly so for Link since Nintendo doesn’t let him speak; gamers fill in Link’s lines of dialogue within their own head, coming up with their own image of who Link is and how he acts. By the time such a romance would come along in the game… our perception of Link’s character will already be formed, and our notion of the character could very well be shattered by Link’s sudden(!) change of heart for character X, a decision that we very well would not have made for Link. Such a shattering of plot could very well ruin the experience for a good number of gamers since the plot since plot is liable to be one of the biggest projected components of Twilight.
Yet is having Link remain purely celibate a proper alternative? Let’s face it, he’s a young adult… a teenager. Nearly every single one of you reading this will know what it’s like being that age. Yeah, you know what I mean. Hero or not, he’s
The only way I truly thing this aspect can be properly brought into a Zelda game is if the player gets a lot more control over the fate of our beloved hero’s future. I’m talking about something like Harvest Moon, where you, the lovely and talented player, get to choose your spouse-to-be. Sure, this definitely tilts the game’s genre away from RPG and more towards a love simulation (certain someones would be happy about that!), but I think this also is (a) more realistic given our extended insight into Link and (b) a much safer way to make sure that all the players of Twilight Princess will enjoy the game.
Because, let’s face it, I could very well be wrong. After all, not all of you would jump at the chance to date a certain princess. Even if she were real.Follow This Entry | Read Other Posts by The Missing Link