I’ve been gaming for over 27 years now, and even though I’m only 32, that is still a lot of gaming time, to say the least! As a veteran of this recreational hobby, I’ve played many games throughout my childhood and into my adulthood and I’m still showing no signs of slowing down.
I have a list on Microsoft Excel with well over 100 games I’ve played enough of to have a ranking for it. At the top of the list is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is my favorite game.
In OoT, you start as a boy from the Kokiri Forest and are summoned by the Great Deku Tree. He tells you of a vile climate that pervades the land, and that he’s been cursed. You are tasked with entering The Great Deku Tree and breaking this curse. After you defeat Queen Gohma inside, you are teleported back to an audience with The Great Deku Tree, and he tells you that your efforts were successful but that he was doomed before you ever started. He finally brings context to why the curse happened and speaks of a wicked man of the desert who uses his vile powers to find the sacred realm where he can get his hands on the Triforce. Later, you meet Princess Zelda who explains to you that the Triforce can grant a wish to anyone who comes in contact with it and that if anyone with an evil heart touches it, the world would be consumed with evil… yikes!
Zelda is unique, especially when compared to modern games. The structure of most mainline Zelda titles has you doing smaller tasks that will eventually lead you toward a dungeon in which you will need to not only find a tool/treasure to defeat the monster in that dungeon, but to also obtain a relic that will help further your progress in the overall story of the game.
Most dungeons in any Zelda title are a blast to play. These dungeons have puzzles that you must figure out in order to obtain a key to the next door. But in the midst of your plundering these dungeons, you also must skillfully use different tools and your sword to fight enemies, so there’s a great mix of puzzle solving and combat.
Now, the dungeons are the core of the game but there are tons of sidequests that will help you gain Pieces of Heart or maybe even something nicer for your efforts. One of my favorite side quests in OoT is the Biggoron’s Sword Quest, where you have to obtain items and bring them to another person who may give you perishable items that will expire if you don’t hurry. Doing the extra side quests are a lot of fun, and that is what a lot of people like to do when they play, which is why Majora’s Mask has it’s niche crowd.
In my top ten games of all time, you will find at least five Zelda titles. There’s a reason for that!
Why It’s Great
The Legend of Zelda games have been a big part of gaming since the late 80’s, and for almost 30 years gamers everywhere have recognized the Zelda franchise as one of the greatest of all time. The series has been iconic in its setting, aesthetic, and its music. When I think of Zelda, sure I get a bit of a nostalgia rush, but those games offer a decently lengthened adventure that I consume when I want to journey to Hyrule.
There are some interesting correlations that the Zelda series has with Christianity; there are so many ways to discover those correlations.
Creationism – In OoT, you learn that the three goddesses–Din, Farore, and Nayru–created the land of Hyrule. Din created the earth, Farore sprinkled the land with life and vegetation, and Nayru brought the concept of law to the world.
Now, this is all fantasy and is all in good fun for storytelling, but the fact that it even presents the world as having been created is really cool since it is a nod to Creationism, which also points to the glory of God in some way. Sure non-believers may not care, but you have to think that the writers for this game possibly took some inspiration from the Bible.
The Word – Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Throughout the history of the church, the Bible has been symbolized as a sword and we see that in scripture.
In OoT, and most Zelda titles, the Master Sword that you obtain is also known as the Blade of Evil’s Bane, and while the writers of the game probably never meant for it to symbolize the Bible itself, we can still see a similarity. God’s Word really is evil’s bane, and when we go to the Scriptures, we have what we need to overcome the darkness.
Video games are fun, and so is Zelda, but it’s a lot more fun when you can see some correlations between your favorite game and your very belief system. Now obviously I don’t condone the enjoyment of these games to be a replacement for where you seek wisdom and instruction from the Word; remember that gaming is a carnal hobby, and don’t let it consume you.
When you really want to overcome the dark powers of this world, there’s no better place to go than God’s Word and through prayer.
Game on, game smart, and game moderately!
GG and Amen Sisters and Brothers!