Reviews for The Praises of Nayru: Link's Awakening
Right What Is chapter 6 . 3/12/2018
Link can preach about courage because he has a privileged position within the dream. The simulation places significantly more weight on his actions and desires than it does those of other actors. As such, in the case of a system-wide meltdown, it will likely place high positive weight on his elimination (annihilate immediately) or high negative weight (eliminate only as a last resort). Since the owl has given him a warning, rather than immediately pulverizing his mind, the latter is more probable.

However, the other inhabitants have no such unusual weight, and may crudely guess that resistance will be met by sudden annihilation. Given that Marin's past could be rewritten merely by Link's own expectations and memories, they would be correct in thinking thoughtcrime is potentially punishable by (at least) partial overwriting of physical and mental attributes. Given the nature of simulated existence, there's really no way to tell if countless rebels have briefly existed and simply popped out of existence or been immediately overwritten into properly god-fearing subjects. The Nightmares exist, but they may only be permitted to do so for an ineffable goal. (I read your Reddit replies - from your description, it seemed as though the obstacles for the visitor were a deliberate part of the Wind Fishes' designs, which supports the controlled-opposition explanation for the Nightmares' existence. For a former Zelda-style hero, the obstacle course is most compelling styled as a series of dungeons ruled over by malign overlords with goals inimical to all that is Right and True and Pure - from the Wind Fish's point of view, that means opposing its awakening. In short, their ability to place a negative weight on their own inevitable annihilation and act upon that judgment is more an accident of their function than a sign of inherently-allowed freethinking.)

My point is that Link's commentary about courage is inappropriate to a world with an interventionist (and quite possibly omnipotent and omniscient, with reference to the dream) god. It's unclear whether courage would even be permitted to exist as more than a brief anomaly, somewhat like the temporary dysregulation of the brain during a migraine; though exceedingly memorable, the pain and impaired cognition fade as the brain restores homeostasis, and soon it's as though it never was.

It could still be argued under such circumstances that repeated rebellions might sensitize the system into collapsing into a dysregulated state with progressively less perturbation required, until at last the anomalous state would become essentially the norm and the Wind Fish would be rendered effectively comatose regardless of visitor intervention. Thus there might be some argument for martyrdom even assuming an essentially-omnipotent / omniscient / omnipresent overmind. But, assuming rationality from both the Wind Fish and its designers, plans should have been made to avert such a failure mode, such as a zero-tolerance mode once systemic instability has reached a certain threshold. (Call it a "system restore" or "factory reset". A possible rebuttal is that visitors have root-level permissions (if they do), but the kernel, at least, should remain untouched and ready to hard-wipe. A Wind Fish is undoubtedly costly to create, whether in resources, in time, or both, and having one become softlocked due to accumulating corrupted data seems... like poor operational hygiene.)

Apologies for the rambling. I just wanted to make the distinction between 'raging against the heavens' in the real world (the world above the overdream?) and a world in which 'raging against the heavens' can be not just obliterated, but so thoroughly overwritten that, based upon all data remaining afterwards, it would seem as though it had never occurred.

HHHHH

Much praise to this chapter and the prior one (all I've read so far, plus skipping ahead to the ending briefly), as I'm actually giving thought to the systems within the story. Treatment of LADX as a surreal and troubled world is excellent; I finally finished the game recently after getting a digital copy, and the gradual darkening of the tone was surprising in a Zelda game. Angst and drama is one thing - the realization Link is arguably the villain is another.

If the above rambling wasn't enough indication, I'd also like to praise this version of the Wind Fish's purpose and the dream's malleability. More Lovecraftian than most Lovecraft patisches - from the perspective of an island inhabitant, at any rate. One is entirely at the mercy of greater forces' whims for the sake of a purpose wholly external to one's entire universe. "After summer comes winter; after winter, summer."

As such, in-dream, Link is inherently an eldritch horror outranking even Azathoth - he warps the universe merely by existing, and it exists solely to cater to beings like him: all that exists does so merely so that it might be consumed for a few morsels of entertainment, enlightenment, or knowledge. That he is initially unaware of this doesn't make it any less true.

Which causes one to reflect on the nature of video game worlds and their players, but this review is long enough already...

Veeeeery interesting story.

HHHHH

Will login and review later.
FireBatVillain chapter 10 . 5/25/2016
This story was dark and gripping, and at the end I felt cold and a little scared. A great story about dreams and realities and what it means to think and be. I liked it.
Silent Roar chapter 2 . 4/13/2016
The second chapter was more rivetting than the first. Had to bust out a dictionary with the term 'methuselan'. Always good to learn a new word. Anyway, I'm seeing you are indeed making your own distinctions from the source material. You have me hooked now. I will be reading this through to the end.
Silent Roar chapter 1 . 4/13/2016
It's quite a pleasure to read a retelling of Link's Awakening; I used to own Link's Awakening DX but lost it during a move. Searching through box after box, only to come across the gamebox - missing the cartridge... Really sad. ;P

But I digress. Onto the review: what a learned and cautious Link we have here. An interesting incarnation to be sure. So suspicious of others, so analytical, so... controlled in his actions. I really think you've made quite a unique version of the hero here. So, as for the first chapter, I must say I am rather impressed.

I look forward to the next.