By Carlos Gomez
The Legend of Zelda: Arrows of Light, the greatest Zelda game that you never heard of. Why, you may ask? Well, because I just made it up… Like, right now…
Wait, before you quickly dismiss this as click-bait, hear me out… Or read this out… Whichever makes more sense.
Ocarina of Time was originally released in North America (for its first iteration) on 23 November 1998. We have seen the game re-released ad nauseam, but Nintendo has never captured half of the story. What happened to Zelda during the game? We see various cut-scenes where she is a child at the beginning, then flash forward, and she becomes (spoiler alert) the indomitable Sheik. So what does this mean?
In a time where the public is thirsty for stories with strong female leads, who is stronger than Zelda, a young princess who would dare to challenge the power of evil sans the Hero of Time for 7 years? What did she do to become Sheik? What trials did she go through when Hyrule was destroyed? This seems like a great opportunity for Nintendo to do a re-release that is more than a powered-up graphical edition. It would not be difficult to create a game using the same physics engine as OoT; just model it off of the 3DS version and update some graphics.
A princess ready for battle.
What, Nintendo? You don't know how the story would go? Well, allow me to assist.
The game would start off with Zelda inside the castle, unable to leave because of the guards. This would give players a chance to explore the throne room and various chambers of the castle that we couldn’t as Link. The guards would keep Zelda on lock and inside the castle, perhaps a cut scene where we have Zelda witness Ganondorf plotting. We could have Zelda tell her father, who dismisses her and sends her out to play.
A door with three locks would work to seal the Ocarina of Time--perhaps it's been sealed since an ancient war. The keys are lost. Impa tells Zelda about the ocarina and shows a small hole that leads into an ancient crypt where the keys to the door would be. Zelda would have to retrieve these keys, and for this task, Impa would give her the Lens of Truth and Hover Boots. Not having a sword could prove to be difficult, but perhaps we could use a different weapon, maybe a small bow or boomerang that Impa gives to her as protection as well as a torch to burn mummies and such. This could essentially function as the three intro dungeons, with a few underground travelers to assist along the way.
Young Princess Zelda has a plan.
Returning from this adventure, Zelda must retrieve the ocarina--maybe on a time limit as Ganondorf's forces invade and take over. The castle ablaze and guards being pushed back, she must navigate her way to a stable where Impa awaits. This would connect cut-scenes to where she throws the ocarina to Link. Again, to see this from her perspective and flesh out her piece in the story would, I think, truly touch the hearts of Oot fans.
From there the story could really splinter in limitless directions. We could do a video sequence of Zelda training until she is an adult. Maybe show her on the run, hiding from Ganodorf's minions. Through this we can change the pacing of the game, making it unique with time-constricted plot points. Perhaps Impa goes off to investigate something about the Shadow Temple, taking the Hover Boots and Lens of Truth, never to return. We could see a cut-scene in which she accidentally drops the Lens of Truth down the well, or maybe it is stolen away. We could do something similar with all of the future Sages: after a meeting, they all go off on separate quests, sporting the items Link would later find in the temples across Hyrule.
Zelda would be left all alone when Kakariko Village is overrun with Ganondorf’s forces. We could have a moment where Zelda dresses as Sheik for the first time in an hour of need to protect Kakariko Village.
Sheik is a princess in disguise and a force to be reckoned with.
This could be the start of a mirrored quest to Link’s, a quest to make Light Arrows essential in defeating Ganondorf. A little retconning could resurrect some shrines and temples not seen in the game from other installments, as well as maybe some alternate paths and reworking of known Oot temples. The right balance could keep things fresh and new while playing the nostalgia strings of my heart container.
It would be interesting if Zelda had to interact with the Happy Mask Salesman as he fled the destruction of Hyrule Castle, perhaps allowing her to use the same masks or a few different ones. There could even be a situation with the Skull Kid interacting with the Happy Mask Salesman towards the end of the game. Maybe a portion of the game could show an unreachable area of the map explored by Zelda flying on Kaepora Gaebora.
This would give Zelda an opportunity to explore areas and perhaps flesh out more story points. Instead of a female character on the outside of a story, she would have a central role. As Sheik, she would be the warrior princess (sorry, Xena). This would be a gift to those of us who have purchased every re-release of Oot and still thirst for more.
Two heroes deserve two stories.
What I don’t want to happen is a complete gameplay change. If you have ever played Super Princess Peach for the DS, it was nothing like the Mario games. So different that it lost, in my opinion, what makes a Mario platformer great. I’m likely alone in this as it has a 94% fan rating and a 4.5/5 from GameStop. However, I stand by my vision that this type of Zelda game needs to enhance what we love and not revise it. Don't get me wrong--there should be new game mechanics. You have to keep it fresh. However, my Zelda-driven game is set in the same universe, and I think, in general, the same rules of play should apply.
With that being said, what would you like to see? Would you like to see an Oot-style game with Zelda as Sheik or perhaps something all new where Zelda has to save Link for a change? Either way, I think we are due a Zelda game where Zelda gets to save the day. Call it Legend of Link for all I care.
If you want to ping Nintendo to get the ball rolling on this, copy and paste the following blurb into your Twitter or social media account:
Hey Listen! @NintendoAmerica @Nintendo #IWannaPlayAsZelda
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I would love to know what you think! Does everyone’s favorite princess deserve her own game? Or do you like to adhere to the tradition of Link only? If you want to share your thoughts, you can reach me @The_Lost_Hylian on Twitter, thelosthylian on Instagram, or check out my Facebook Page TheLostHylian.