Haters Gonna Hate: "Unpopular" Zelda Games



by Ryan Kuhn


Is there a game you just can’t stand? Never gave it a chance or even tried it? Well, as a wise woman once said, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate.” In this blog post, I will go over three Zelda games that have a bad rap. It could be the mechanics of the game or the difficulty, or it just didn’t meet your expectations or dreams. I am here to tell you that every Zelda game brings something unique and great to the table.



The first game the haters love to hate is Majora's Mask. And the main reason people won’t try it? It is just a giant Water Temple from Ocarina of Time! It is too hard! Also, where is Zelda?!? I’ll admit it is very difficult--probably one of the hardest games in the Zelda Universe--but this game has a few things that no other Zelda game has.


First off, the concept of the game is one of a kind. Here, you play only three days over and over again, trying to complete each mission before the days are up because when you start back over on day one, everything you did resets (except the bank that somehow holds your money after time travel... makes sense). Yes, Ocarina of Time has time travel, and so does Oracle of Ages and Seasons--but not on this level. Another unique concept introduced in a Zelda game are the masks. I’m not talking about the Keaton Mask or Bunny Hood; I mean the four masks that transform you. Ever wanted to be a Zora and swim in the ocean? Boom, you can. Roll up in a ball and throw yourself in a boss battle as a Goron? Boom, you got it. This Zelda game is all about trying something new.


The other great aspect of this game (though many games have this, too) is the music. Majora’s Mask has an amazing soundtrack that can easily fit up there with Ocarina and Twilight Princess. There are also many covers to them, including those by Mikel and GameChops and Theophany.



Next, we’ll discuss the infamous Wind Waker. This game had a strong love-or-hate feeling to it: either you loved everything about it or you hated it all. I myself was one of the haters for a while until I actually gave it a chance.


The main reason for my initial hatred of this game was that it did not meet my expectations. Prior to its release, Nintendo put out promos for a Zelda game prior to any trailer that showed Ocarina-like art of Link and Ganondorf fighting, and I was pumped. Then we got Toon Link. What the Hades, Nintendo?! I was so angered by this that I refused to even buy a GameCube. It wasn’t until ten years later that my wife (then girlfriend) made me play it, and although I had gripes, I tried it. I actually fell in love with the story and the characters (just not the toon art). Even in the end, I was left feeling bad for Ganondorf and realized that he was trying to save his people.


The other part of Wind Waker that people love to hate is the Triforce Shard hunt. Yes, it is horrible to find those maps, pay Tingle a lot of rupees, and find the shards, but without all of that, you wouldn’t be forced to explore the entirety of the game world. The Triforce Shard hunt gives players a reason to explore all the islands they don't come across during the rest of the game. People didn’t complain about aimlessly wandering through the map in Breath of the Wild, so they shouldn’t complain about this quest, either.



When ranking all The Legend of Zelda games, I bet most put Skyward Sword near or at the very bottom. Why is that? Some say controller issues and mechanics (*cough* David *cough*), some say the music (*cough* wife *cough*), or some say the art style (*cough* me *cough*), but there are good things about this game as well.


My favorite thing about Skyward Sword is that it is an origin story. I love a good origin story. You see how the Master Sword was powered as you complete the journey with Fi. You see how the world worked before Ganondorf was ever a thought. We meet Demise and see how the cycle starts. You see Hyrule before it was Hyrule. How can you not like that?


We also get to see the coolest final battle, visually speaking, with the battle with Demise. The scenery around you is awesome with the water you walk on reflecting the sky. Demise is a menacing and terrifying opponent. The fight process is a complete battle of chicken with him seeing who will be able to hit the other first. This is one of my favorite final fights of all Zelda canon.


The last part is that those “Zeld-ink” or “Link-das” out there finally got what they wanted. Zelda and Link are actually in love (or, at least, I choose to believe they are). This may be the only Zelda game where Link isn't driven to rescue Zelda by duty... nay, it was love.


So stop drinking that Haterade, people, and give these games a shot! You never know if one will become a new favorite, and it is always good to try a new adventure.


If you want to talk more about Zelda, follow me on Twitter at @rambokuhn, or if you want other blogs to read on a different topic, check out my blog on beer and brewing at hopbrewandblog.com.


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