I found a 30 Day Video Game challenge on Tumblr, but I’m so wordy that it would be impractical to post my thoughts there. So instead, it’s going to be a series of blog entries! Enjoy.
I really did try to come up with a different answer for this one. Ezio Auditore. Lara Croft. Arthas Menethil. The guy from Guilty Gear with the giant hand that bursts out of his chest. These are all great characters and they’re all on my list, but I can’t lie. I tried to come up with a different answer because I know mine is going to be the same as a lot of folks’:
Link, from (of course) The Legend of Zelda series.
On my old blog, I wrote a bit about how much the Zelda series means to me and I imagine it’s the same for lots of gamers in their thirties. We were little when the first Zelda came out. It was the first game that truly captured my attention. I spent hours mapping out the dungeons on graph paper.
I think for many of us in our early thirties, we connected with Link because Zelda was the first RPG to hit the system I believe, even if it isn’t an rpg in the most traditional sense. In most of the games, Link was a kid, like us – nine or ten years old; he wasn’t some plumber or grizzled badass axe slayer. Just a little boy. He didn’t speak in the games, so his personality was a blank slate onto which we could write our own traits. We were Link.
When I was a lonely, weird kid, I would pretend to be Link. I’d run around in the woods behind our house slashing at trees with my plastic sword, pretending I was fighting moblins. Link was cool. He was a kid, but he could and did do something about the scary situations he found himself in. It was a little empowering.
(Okay, I’d also pretend to be Zelda too, when I did stuff I wasn’t supposed to. I was all “okay, Princess Zelda wouldn’t bite her nails” or “Princess Zelda wouldn’t draw on her desk and get Ms. Price mad at her.”Like I said, weird kid.)
I’ve grown less attached to the series over the years, partly because of the changes in the actual games, partly because I’ve moved on to Xbox and Playstation as my primary gaming platforms but man, basically the only reason I still have my Wii is the Virtual Console so I can go back and play those old Zelda games and be Link again, just for old time’s sake.