A2Z: Zelda Style!
Zelda characters. They're complicated, inscrutable, and frequently dangerous to themselves and others. Mostly, though, they're complicated. Like, so complicated that you could assign one of their traits to each of the 26 letters of the alphabet, then explain them in a wildly popular VH1 special. But we'd never stoop to that level.
On a totally unrelated note, welcome to A2Z: Zelda Style, in which we will examine one of the multi-layered, dynamic, and I daresay COMPLICATED Zelda characters using a certain system of pictograms representing sounds that might be familiar to you.
Anyhoo, our subject of the day is Link. After saving the world of Hyrule for what must be at LEAST the fifteenth time, he went downhill rapidly and hit the inhalants pretty hard.
(cut to: Shot of Link, sitting on velvet chair in a Playboy bathrobe, smoking bubble pipe)
"Not that I remember," he says.
But you wouldn't, of course!
So he's our first subject. Now, meet the experts who know him best!
Zelda! Ganondorf! Malon! Saria! Ruto! Rauru! Darunia! Impa! Nabooru! And Skull Kid!
So let's begin!
A IS FOR….
All of the members turned towards each other, nodded, and said in unison, "Attention deficit disorder."
"Well, the 'a' would be for 'attention' but as long as you keep the 'deficit disorder' part there, that sums it up pretty well," Zelda remarked.
"Sums up what?" Malon queried.
"Well, everything. Link in general can be summarized with the words 'attention deficit disorder,'" Zelda returned.
"Like, if we were to beam messages into space to tell extraterrestrial life forms the essence of Link's existence as a human being, we would say, 'a decided deficit of attention,'" Ganondorf opined.
"It was like living with a combination of a toddler, a butterfly, and a PCP addict growing up with him," Saria reminisced. "I built half of a Pine-Wood Derby racer with him before he ate one of the wheels and decided he was obsessed with astrology. Then he spent the next four minutes telling me I would make advancements in my career today, but would be vulnerable to assertive Scorpios. When I reminded him I didn't have a career, he responded that he didn't care about astrology, but had been researching frogs for the past fourteen seconds."
"No dispute there. Next!" said Darunia.
B IS FOR…
"Hmm..." mused Ruto. "Biceps?"
"Umm...well, he HAS biceps, in the same sense a raccoon has biceps. So do you. What's your point?" asked Zelda.
"They're SOOO HOOOT?"
"You're going to be sooooo unconscious in about five minutes."
"So what's B for?" Impa asked.
"How about...blondie?" said Nabooru.
"Blond. Yeah, he is," said Darunia.
"More than that, though, he ACTS blond," Nabooru continued.
"Right. And not in the attractive David Beckham way, but in the Dan Quayle way."
"Every blond joke you could think of applies to him."
"Yeah," Zelda mused, "Once he literally was stuck for hours on an escalator."
"Once," said Saria, "when he was real young, he couldn't find his green cap until I reminded him that he was wearing it."
"So yeah, B is for dumb blonde."
C IS FOR...
"Hm. Hard one."
"OHOHOH! I KNOW!" piped up the Skull Kid.
"Whatever it is, odds are you don't know it."
"NO! I REALLY KNOW THIS TIME! THE ANSWER IS..."
"YES?" everyone asked breathlessly.
"CATS!" the Skull Kid shouted, with a self-content smile.
"Cats? What on earth do cats have to do with him?" asked Ruto incredulously.
"HE HATES CATS! HE REALLY REALLY DOES!" Skull Kid insisted.
"What makes you think that?" Saria asked.
"THIS ONE TIME? IN THE LOST WOODS? I WAS GETTING READY TO CLEAN AND POLISH MY HEAD WHEN LINK CAME IN AND HE WAS RUNNING FROM SOMETHING!"
"And it was a cat?" Impa inferred.
"NO, ACTUALLY, IT WAS A PARAKEET, BUT THAT'S A STORY FOR LATER. BUT THEN HE RAN IN FRONT OF ME AND I YELLED 'CATS!' AT HIM!"
"Why did you do THAT?" Darunia wanted to know.
"THOUGHT IT'D BE FUNNY! ANYWAY AS SOON AS I SAID IT HE CLUTCHED HIS HEAD AND SHRIEKED LIKE A GIRL AND FELL TO THE GROUND AND CURLED INTO THE FETAL POSITION AND WEPT FOR DAYS. TRUE STORY."
"Well. C is for cats, indeed."
"Although I would have rather preferred I never knew about this sorry chapter in his life."
D IS FOR...
"Well," Zelda said, "I think that it's got to be for 'dungeons.'"
Saria raised her eyebrows.
"All the time – all the time – he complains about how much he hates dungeons. They're dark, dank, dangerous, deadly and disastrous."
"Don't forget dastardly," added G-dorf helpfully.
"And diabolical," continued Ruto thoughtfully.
"And...DARUNIA!" shouted Darunia, displaying the kind of brainpower rarely seen outside the lower ruminants.
A profound silence followed.
"And DONUTS!" shouted Rauru, as if in response to an idiocy challenge.
A silence profounder still followed. Everyone shifted uncomfortably in his/her seat. Rauru and Darunia, however, were grinning like the Cheshire cat.
"Well," said Nabooru hesitantly, "no. Those things have nothing to do with dungeons. But that doesn't make it untrue that dungeons are an important part of Link's life."
"True," went on Impa. "He spends most of his waking hours in them."
"Ya know," Ruto mused, "I wonder if Link has any steady job outside of looting dungeons. I mean, it pays the bills, but..."
"Yeah," wondered Ganondorf, "what DOES he do outside of monster-killing?"
"I hired him to paint my castle one summer," Zelda reminisced, then shuddered violently. "If what my castle looks like NOW is any indication, I'd say Link has no job outside of heroism."
"Funny that the Hero of Time needs the job so badly."
E IS FOR...
"Epona, no doubt," said Malon proudly.
"Naah, that's too easy. How about..."
"Evil?" suggested Ganondorf.
"Well, I guess. You would know."
"Damn straight I would. Anyway, like we were saying, without evil Link would be out of a job. It was MY evil that got him off his lazy butt and out into the world, slaying monsters, solving puzzles, collecting artifacts, stabbing me to death and then...umm...anyway, it's all thanks to evil. If it wasn't for me he'd be still sitting in Kokiri Forest eating Pine-Wood Derby car wheels. Me! ME!" Ganondorf raved helplessly.
"Once again an attempt at conversation has turned, pathetically, into desperate self-aggrandizement," Ruto remarked astutely.
"But it drives home the point, which is that Link's career is pretty darn weird."
"Yeah. And if you look, evil always has something to do with it."
"Well, let's see," Rauru rambled, while inside his mind monkeys with typewriters tapped tentatively on the keys. "Oh yeah!" he ejaculated, the monkeys accidentally typing Hamlet, Act I, Scene III. "He was in The Legend of Zelda, and he saved Zelda from evil, and then he was in Link's Adventure, where he saved Zelda from evil. And then there was A Link to the Past, where he saved Zelda from evil."
"Damn, girl," Malon remarked, "You get saved so often the hard disc is full."
There was an awkward silence.
"Anyhoo, in Link's Awakening, Link didn't save Zelda, but there was evil. And then there was Ocarina of Time, saving Zelda from evil, Majora's Mask, saving the world from evil, namely YOU," Rauru continued.
"HEY! INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT!" Skull Kid shrieked.
"And finally the Wind Waker, back to the good ol' saving Zelda from evil."
"So you'll note," Ganondorf added, "That evil was a central element of all those games."
"Yeah, and so was rescuing the hottie," Darunia added. "Yeah, 'rescuing' that BOO-TAY! WOO!"
"Um, I'm right over here," Zelda responded, rolling her eyes into next week.
There was yet another awkward silence. These happen a lot, don't they?
"The point remains: E is for evil."
"YES!" shouted Ganondorf, getting out a notepad and a pen. "A POINT FOR ME! HA HA HA, MY IDEAS ARE SIGNIFICANT!"
Again with the awkward silence.
F IS FOR...
"That's a tough one."
"Lets see. Maybe...fish?" Rauru postulated.
"FISH? WHERE? WHAT KIND AND HOW WELL COOKED?" Rauru gibbered, drooling.
"No. You suggested 'fish' as being what F is for."
"No, I was saying what I wanted for lunch."
"Oh. Thanks for clearing THAT up."
"Well, fish could work," Malon said.
"In what sense?"
"Well, Ruto over here is pretty fishy, and...you know..."
"We prefer the term 'ichthyoids,'" Ruto clarified indignantly.
"I prefer chunky peanut butter, but I don't get it, do I?" Darunia said nonsensically, as he does so very well.
"Anyway. If I recall, Link also used a fish to get into Jabu-Jabu, who himself is a giant fish."
"Okay, fine. Fish it is."
G IS FOR...
"Hum. Grape-Nuts," Rauru offered.
"What is with you and food-related suggestions?"
"It's three in the afternoon."
"I see time as nonlinear, with no past, present, or future, and all as one. Therefore, it's ALWAYS lunchtime. And breakfast time, and dinnertime, and teatime, and snack time, and..."
"Hate to interrupt your litany of meals," Nabooru said, "but I think G is for...hmm."
"Well, THAT was eloquent."
"How about grass?"
"Umm, in what sense?"
"His clothes are the color of grass..."
"How about girls?" offered Ganondorf.
"You know, girls. Like I'm not," added El Dorf-o helpfully.
"Really? Coulda fooled m..."
"Well, girls would fit pretty well."
"That's true. People think he's had sex with every female character from every game he's been in."
"Where did you hear THAT?"
"Anyway, people think he's a player."
"So G is for girls girls girls."
"Or maybe more like girls girls girls girls girls girls...boys..."
H IS FOR...
"Hero! As in Hero of Time!"
"Yeah, that's true, but...well...let's think of something more original."
"Hardships? Yeah, I guess Link's life is full of obstacles."
"It consists of nothing BUT obstacles, if I'm not mistaken."
"Well, in the part of it that we see. In the games."
"BUT THEN AGAIN," said the Skull Kid, "WHAT IS ALL OF LIFE BUT AN ENDLESS SERIES OF HARDSHIPS, EACH A TEST AS WE MANEUVER THE TANGLED RIVER OF LIFE?"
"Wow, Skull Kid, deep."
"I WAS DUE."
"So, yeah, H for hardships. Lots of them."
I IS FOR...
"I..." mused Saria.
"You what?" Nabooru shot back.
"You WHAT? What about you?"
"Nothing! We're talking about I!"
"No we're not! We're not talking about you!"
"Yes! I know! I didn't say we were!"
"Yes you did! You said we were talking about you!"
"No! We're talking about I!"
"That is, you!"
"I think we have strayed far from the original point. We're doing the LETTER I..."
"YOU WHAT? WHAT ABOUT YOU?" Nabooru ranted, just not getting it. "WHY IS EVERYONE BEING SO EGOCENTRIC? IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU!"
"I IS FOR ICE CREAM!" Rauru shouted above the confusion.
Silence fell across the group abruptly.
"Rauru: kills conversations dead," said Impa wryly.
"His favorite flavor is butterscotch," Rauru added, a self-satisfied smile on his face.
"Odd, I'd expect him to like a manly, plain flavor, like chocolate."
"Or that green mint chip stuff."
"I think a better question is, how did Rauru find out Link's favorite ice cream flavor?" asked Malon.
"I know EVERYTHING about people and desserts, Miss Sneak Downstairs At Two A.M. And Eat A Whole Half-Pint Of Rocky Road Straight From The Box In Her Underwear!" Rauru retorted, giving as usual too much information. Malon flushed red.
"Ooo, sexy," Darunia said. "Next time do it in the maid outfi..."
"Shut it, Rocky," the farm gal replied.
"Malon, do you have some dietary problems you'd like to talk about?" Ganondorf said patronizingly.
"Hey, I'm not the one on trail here!" Malon retorted, turning redder.
"Whatever you say, chubby," Ruto cruelly jibed.
"Stop it! It was just that one time!"
"That's what I said to myself, too," Rauru said sadly, slowly shaking his head.
"NO! STOP! YOU'RE CREEPING ME OUT!" Malon shrieked, quivering.
"THERE'S NO ESCAPE, TUBS! GIVE IN TO THE BINGING!" Skull Kid joined in.
"WAAAAAAAH!" Malon burst into tears, dashed offstage to a mini-fridge backstage, and returned with a tub of rocky road and a spoon. "OH, WHENEVER I'M UPSET I EAT!" she sobbed, tucking in with relish and getting chocolate smears all over her cheeks.
"This is truly disturbing."
"Let's move on."
J IS FOR...
"Jugs," Darunia offered.
"Dude, what the fufff. You're being such a perv."
"No, no, no, the jugs that he always would smash with his sword, or pick up and throw on the ground. Y'know those?"
"Oh yeah, the brown clay ones? He'd smash every one he saw."
"I think it was because sometimes there were hearts or bombs or Rupees inside them."
"So...you're saying he was a destructive kleptomaniac when it came to jugs?"
"Well, yeah. But it was sort of a compulsion with him. I mean, I saw him smashing jugs he knew were empty, just to watch them break."
"So, we'll say J is for Link's deep-seated, psychotic obsession with the theft and destruction of jugs," Zelda confirmed.
"Yeah, and he liked seein' 'em on that Zelda slut!" said Darunia, amazing everyone with his seemingly bottomless capacity for being a moronic ass. "I mean, that cheap slut was all, 'Oooo, lookie my boobs!' and that man-ho Link was all, 'Damn, girl, you got a nice rack 'a melons!'"
There was an awkward pause for the umpteenth time.
"Dude, I'm sitting right here," Zelda fumed.
"Don't give me yo sass, skank-ass bitch!" Darunia shot back.
"That's it, punk, you gettin' the chair!" Zelda picked up her studio chair and tried to attack Darunia, while Ganondorf tried in vain to break them up. Burly stagehands grappled the enraged talk-show guests while streams of censored expletives poured from their mouths. The crowd started chanting, "GAN-NY! GAN-NY! GAN-NY!"
K IS FOR…
"Killing," Zelda said without pause. She was red-faced and breathing heavily.
"Oh, come on, Darunia was just being stupid," Saria tried to intervene.
"No, not killing him…as much as we would all love to…" she muttered to herself.
"So killing what, then?"
"Um, EVERYTHING?" Ganondorf answered.
"It's true. Like, everything that wasn't a townsfolk, he stabbed to death. The monsters, the boulders, the shrubs, the Cucoos..."
Ganondorf placed his face in his hands. "Goddesses…you have no idea how hard it is…"
"What?" queried Malon, spraying everything within a two-foot radius with delicious ice cream.
"I had to send twenty platoons of those young, innocent Gerudos to their deaths!" he cried. He held a fist in the air, and shouted to the heavens, "WHY! WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DIE!"
"Uh, because you're a power-hungry megalomaniac?" Ruto asked.
"IT WAS TERRIBLE! They were in a cave twenty clicks upriver on the Mekong Delta...I TOLD THEM THE BLACK HAWKS WERE ON THEIR WAY! DAMNED CHARLIES! THEY'LL ALL PAY!"
"What ARE you babbling about..."
"IN THE P.O.W. CAMP I HAD TO EAT BOILED MAGGOTS FOR FOURTY DAYS STRAIGHT! I GOT OUT, BUT WITH A METAL PLATE IN MY SKULL!" Ganondorf broke down sobbing.
"Maybe we should move on."
"I CAN'T MOVE ON! I CAN NEVER MOVE ON! SO MUCH DEATH...STAINING MY HANDS..."
"Yeah...moving on would be a good idea..."
Still more awkward silence.
L IS FOR...
"No. Not that. That has nothing to do with anything."
"How about Lon-Lon Ranch?" Malon opined, moving on to Doritos.
"Malon, it's not ALL about you."
"But I mean, really! He got a bottle from me, he got his horse from me, he got all the free milk he wanted, he could stab my chickens any freakin' time of the day or night, I put a cow in his bedroom..."
"Dude," Impa said, "what the HELL were you thinking?"
"To be honest, I really don't know."
"Who in their right minds would want a cow in their bedroom?"
"Well, I would!" Malon insisted.
The pause that followed was as long as it was awkward.
"I don't even WANT to know why."
M IS FOR...
"Malon!" Malon said.
"WILL YOU SHUT UP?"
"NEVER!" the Skull Kid cried.
"I wasn't TALKING to you!"
"BUT I STILL WON'T, NOT NOW OR EVER!" he cried defiantly. "OH, AND M IS FOR MASKS."
"WELL, THEY'RE IMPORTANT! I MEAN, I WOULD KNOW!"
"Yeah, he would have never lived through Majora's Mask without them. I mean, see the second word in the freakin' title?" Nabooru pointed out.
"And they were useful in OOT, too," Rauru pointed out. "He could make people think he was a girl!" Rauru giggled disturbingly. "Hee hee hee! They thought he was a GIRL!"
"That was really, really strange."
"Okay. But did the masks do anything useful besides giving him cause to question his sexuality?" Darunia wondered.
"Well, the Mask of Truth let him read Gossip Stones."
"Oh, THAT'S helpful."
"Hey, they yielded valuable insights! Like, 'Despite her appearance, Princess Zelda is, in fact, a tomboy.'"
And that, my children, is foreshadowing. You know, Sheik...he's a guy...but he's Zelda in disguise...yeah.
"Hey, who was that?"
"You stay out of this! This is OUR show, bub!"
N IS FOR...NEXT TIME!