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Concept art makes the fanboys get catty, shows hypothetical Hyrule universe

April 12, 2008

Another of our beloved Inf transplants, Albo, posted these early concept images for the original Zelda on his blog to much discontent. What should have been a simple piece of videogame archaeology became a nasty bout of internet soapboxing. As all arguments Nintendo, it started with the author/critic saying something disagreeable.

This is the kind of thing they would print to convince you the little blobs of sprites on your screen were actually fierce monsters and the brave heroes that slay them. Technology has advanced since then, and gamers no longer have to rely on their imaginations to visualize dramatic worlds. So why is the current incarnation of the Zelda universe so dull when compared to these early drawings?

I can’t answer that, can you? These images smell of 70s-era D&D to me, and the style is dated to hell by today’s standards. However, i think what Albo really sees is the grandeur of this would-be Hyrule, one that would match what our imaginations conjured as kids, should it be more in touch with 2008 and modern tech. I see it, too.

In all frankness, Zelda is not as epic and mysterious as it needs to be. When i was coming up, even Mario 3 seemed epic to me, the airship level specifically (with that music, oh god). But Zelda always had this air about it, making it apparent that housed within its fantasy was something more ethereal than what the limited technology portrayed. This is why so many adults now dress up as Link, as un-hetero as cosplay is. There’s imaginative magic in the series, but it’s been unrealized and bastardized.

THIS is what we gamers were visualizing as we played and replayed the original NES masterpiece. The monsters were huge and terrifying, not goofy slapstick comedians. The shopkeepers were craggy old men in dusty caves, not moon-faced jokesters. And most importantly, MOST IMPORTANTLY:

In our minds, Link was a hero with gravitas and personality, not a bland effeminate mute. When your hero has no character development your story is in trouble. Giving the poor kid some personality and a fucking voice (text is fine) would at the very least eliminate the necessity for the annoyingly chatty fairies and sidekicks that have plagued every modern Zelda game.

But of course, the fanmen poured out of every little internet crevice to fight the contrary word. File over to Geekanerd’s post to see what’s become of it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 13, 2008 4:39 pm

    Fanboys get pissed when they get what they asked for but it’s not as different as they hoped. I loved WW and most hated its kiddy graphics. They made TP with more realism and they bitch that its not enough of a Zelda title. No one will ever be happy. The games are great. Play a crappy game and then play TP pretend the Franchise started with it. Would it get your coveted seal of approval then. Bunch of bitches they are.

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