Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My hand hurts, also the Legend of Zelda and the CMOT Dibbler principle

 So, I suffered a two hour exam at nine o’clock in the morning today. I’m pretty sure I did okay, but by an hour in my hand was hurting like nobody’s business. By the end of the exam itself, I was actually wincing as I wrote.

 I feel I got off lightly, though, one of the girls in my group said her arm went numb.

 This is what happens when you never write by hand.

 Anyway, enough about the tendons in my hands, the Legend of Zelda.

 If you’ve played the games that came out from A Link to the Past onward, you start noticing a trend of characters appearing in multiple games. This might extend into the first two games in the series, but I never got further than the first dungeon in the first one and didn’t even finish that in Zelda II.

I see this a lot.
 By this I don’t mean just Link, Zelda and Ganon. In fact, I’m going to use Ganon as an example of exactly what I am not talking about.

 Ganon is the recurring villain throughout the game, right? But he is the same man the entire time. Ganondorf Dragmire starts his campaign in Ocarina of Time and continues it onward to whenever it ends, which may or may not be in Windwaker. He is, essentially immortal; possibly through sheer bloody mindedness.

 This is not what I am talking about, Ganon is most definitely the exception rather than the rule.

 When I talk about characters appearing in multiple games, I’m referring to characters like Tingle, Mutoh and Link.

 These are obviously not the same people in every single game.

 I’m going to use Tingle as an immediate example here, as he has undergone a massive personality change since he first showed up in Majora’s Mask. In that game he’s just a 35 year old guy who wants to be a forest fairy and embarrasses his would-be-a-biker-if-they-had-motorbikes-in-Termina father. He sells maps and is a well meaning guy, from what I can tell. This carries over to Oracle of Ages, where he’ll give you a sea chart so you can get to Tokay Island and later, if you collect a lot of mystery seeds, he’ll expand your seed satchel for you.

 So, in these two games we get a man in his mid-thirties who wants to be a fairy and confuses/embarrasses everyone who knows him. He is, however, a basically nice guy who sells maps and/or helps you out.

 This does not carry over to Windwaker and Minish Cap. In Windwaker he is a manipulative slave driver who charges exorbitant amounts for his services. At one point he expressly tells you to get a bigger wallet, and the moment you get to a post box after finishing the Tower of the Gods he’ll charge you 201 rupees for a chart to find the charts to locate the triforce. Your old wallet could hold a maximum of 200 rupees. Tingle is a man with his eyes on the prize. It gets worse as when you find the triforce charts, he’ll charge you 398 rupees to decipher each of them. Combine this with the fact he has his brother and a random dude who washed up on his island named David Jr. doing hard labour, and we have a pretty unpleasant character right here. He isn’t much better in Minish Cap, either.
Evil has a face... and a green jumpsuit.
 When taking into account how far apart Windwaker and Minish Cap are set in canon, this cannot be the same man. (I have heard that Tingles are created, not born, but I think it still counts.)

 The same rings true for Link, Mutoh, Impa and other such recurring characters.

 Clearly, reincarnation is nothing special in the Zelda universe.

 Personally, I like to consider this an application of the Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler principle. In the Discworld this manifests as a guy selling suspect street food in a variety of times and places with some variant on self harm in their name.

 The truest expression of this in Zelda is Tingle, although Mutoh definitely comes a close second, as he is variants on the same basic guy; although, the same can be said for Link. He does essentially the same thing every single time he shows up; that being saving the world. So perhaps Link is truly the CMOT Dibbler of the Zelda universe.

 However, I would not apply this principle to Zelda, as there is clearly an identical ancestors thing going on there.

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