The lights are on
Does anyone know any other way to send feedback to the magazine? I'm kinda new. I wasn't really sure. Anywaaays here's a letter I just sent, because I had so much to say about the issue!
(Disclaimer: This is not meant to rag on
your writers or magazine. The issue was beautiful, the articles were
wonderfully written. Space constraints may have played a part. I adore Game
Informer, my heart skips every time I pick up a new issue. (Also, you'll have
to forgive me, some specifics escape me- names, certain items, etc.))
Hello. Is it too late to e-mail thoughts
about the Skyward Sword issue of Game Informer? It probably is. I'm going to
anyways, because I had a lot of thoughts!
First off, I'd like to say that I
immensely appreciated the foreword by your editor in chief, Andy McNamara. I
agree! You have let much too much time pass since your last
Zelda based issue. But it's alright, you more than made up for it. The foreword
was a warm way to start off the beautiful 10-page spread.
And what a gorgeous spread! The Evolution
of Link, the reflections- touching and real-, and an in-depth look at the new
title that left me breathless.
aside, some of the reflections lacked something so important they felt
almost... empty, after I was done weeping and sighing at the writer's
recollections and thoughts. What makes Zelda games so great, so long lasting
and fond to look back on- the small details. While the epic quest of saving
Hyrule, of rescuing Princess Zelda and braving daunting temples makes your
heart speed, the short sidequests, the little quips of wit in the script, this is
what makes the Zelda series become nestled in your brain, to stay.
I was most empty after I read the Majora's Mask recount by Dan Ryckert.
Yes, the moon was terrifying. The three day time limit frustrated gamers, and
the many masks were innovative and drove you to try and find every one. I would
have gained hope that the passage would offer an insightful look into the
emotions it inspired at the line "while others were fascinated with the
new experiences it created", if it wasn't at the end of the article.
Instead of comparing it to Ocarina of Time, why wasn't it looked at as the
beautiful, chilling tale it is? You could go on and on by how fans were
disappointed that it was Young Link the whole game, and how awesome being
Fierce Deity Link was. Majora's Mask was Eiji Aonuma and the rest of the Zelda
team's way of expressing that Ocarina Of Time didn't have many side quests- you
didn't have much time to focus on the quirky characters while running around,
gathering up Sages and items. (Which is actually really ironic, considering in
that the three day mechanic of the game meant you were always rushing, but in
Ocarina of Time you had limitless time.)
The wonder and frightening feel to
Majora's Mask makes it a stand out game on it's own- the comparison to Ocarina
of Time isn't needed. The soft, poignant moment of calming the son of the Goron
Chief, the tearfully sad tale of many, many
Termina's residents make my heart tighten. I was eight years old when I played
Majora's Mask. Encountering the music box house, with it's courageous young
girl inside, tore me apart. Not only that, but solving the Composer Brother's
riddle by calming their spirits during this segment of the game is a beautiful
look at the after life. And how prevalent the after life is, with the mask that
allows you to calm the dead ninja spirits, still lingering, protecting their
land. Another mask, allowing you to impersonate the Stalfos chief and interact
with his soldiers is another incredibly beautiful experience, all of them still
lingering, still fighting. The dead Deku boy, the Goron, and the Zora, all
their spirits in the masks you've inherited, allowing you to fight too.
"I felt like I was constantly
running for my life." Exactly. Everyone is, in Termina. They are all still
fighting, still fiercely protecting and doing what they think is right. The
postman, unable to leave his post. Malon, protecting her Ranch, her sister,
against alien invasion. Malon's older sister, even, braving a treacherous trail
of bandits in order to make her last delivery. The Great Owl, the enormous
sage-like tortoise, both constantly allude to your doomed state, to Termina's
sure destruction. It's enough to make you give up, but then you remember Anju,
still waiting, waiting forever. You remember the bright restored state of the
Goron's home, the Deku Princess returning to her bumbling father, and the
traveling Goron sleeping in the rain, due to you stealing his bed for a paltry
reward of 100 rupees.
Majora's Mask allows an attachment to be
formed. Even the main enemy- this game was not hijacked by Ganon, that must
count for something- the poor, pitiable Skull Kid, is a heart wrenchingly
complex character. Your new companion, Tatl, allows insight into his
personality, his child like nature, now twisted and corrupted by Majora.
Termina was never doomed, not when you are driven to protect characters you can
get to know, to grow protective over. The small, small details are a breath of
fresh air when everything is so dark. A groping hand in a bathroom, searching
for toilet paper, a mischievous enemy that can steal your sword and leave you
feeling naked, panicked, and out for revenge.
Where was the emotion in the article? Why
didn't it focus on Majora's Mask main draw? The same could be said for Wind
Waker. It focused on fan disappointment, and comparisons to Ocarina of Time.
Although it did implement the true, raw feeling that Wind Waker carries with it
with the paragraph beginning with "The game's cel-shaded world masks a
story of loss and regret, hope and redemption." The deeply sorrowful tale,
again perked up by beautifully funny, bright details, was recounted wonderfully
when Jeff Cork spoke of the hollow, colorless Hyrule Castle. But again, this
game carried the character attachment and meaningful side quest aspect of
Majora's Mask over, with the moment when the rich girl, now thrusted into
poverty, attempt to steal money from Zunari's safe. Caught, the small line she
utters at the end of the exchange, wishing her soul could be as clear and
bright as the bottle she gives to you, leaves the player with a heavy heart.
Gaming is at it's peak with Zelda games, in terms of leaving an impact and
touching you emotionally. The articles barely touched on this, waving away the
fact that this was the most driven Link so far. He was personally invested from
the beginning, his own sister being kidnapped- this wasn't, "You are the
chosen one, you must do this." It was his sister.
Not to mention the return of an amazing,
snarky Zelda. With Shiek's bandages shed, Tetra rises and delivers. She's a
twist, in that she's really Princess Zelda, a soft, pink girl- totally the
opposite of the rugged leader of a band of pirates. Discovering the portrait of
Princess Zelda and her advisors (hmm, they look very familiar) in Hyrule Castle could
be an 'aha!' moment that was very subtlety delivered. This Link also had
feelings, something that was now possible with the graphics and developments in
game animation at the time. Waving to his grandmother, being utterly confused
at the King of Red Lions speech of Ganon's wrath, and clearly driven and fierce
at the actual confrontation of Ganon, leaping forward without thinking at this
massively cruel villain. It gave him personality,
attributes. From his pajamas to his stern poker face while hiding from guards,
becoming the Wind Waker and orchestrating breezes is something special.
Not to mention the hilarious cut scene of
meeting the Fairy Queen. He's just her type! From mini games, to calming,
serene sailing (Or frustratingly boring. It depends on who you talk to.), the
Wind Waker is a master piece that was almost done justice in it's article. Not
a word goes to the heart breaking image of Prince Komali alone, clutching a
flower and looking to the sky, or the whimsical, silly forest sprites that
becomes suddenly heart shattering when you realize they were once the Kokiri
that a past Link grew up with. Discovering Makar practicing alone in a damp
space, hidden by a waterfall, then conducting him and his sage, is a nice
memory. The bone chilling introduction of the Ghost Ship, the dutiful butler
(door?) on your own private island- this game is literally chock full of
moments that cause you to pause and wonder to yourself what a vast game this
is, and how much more there could possibly be.
I realize this is a lot, and that you
could not possibly mention every
single encounter you have in every Zelda game. But a mention might have been
nice, a small recount of the details, the quirks and quips that make a Zelda
game what it is. I thought the gameplay
mechanics would not have been described, since we have heard it before. The Phantom
Hourglass article was composed of this, sacrificing the funny, charismatic
Linebeck and energetic Celia. Yes, the DS is exciting, but the story was new,
and funny, and full of heart
and miraculously absent of Ganon. The bosses were amazing to battle, and
everything was not as it seemed. The twists and turns of the story delivered an
Twilight Princess was one of the better
ones, even though it discarded the beautifully told tale of the Twili, and
Midna's fantastic character. This one was almost Wind Waker-ian in that it's
stories were heart wrenching, when you think of the Zora Queen looking down on
her son and Yeta's mind corrupted into madness. The Western themed scene of you
throwing yourself into a deserted old town, shooting down enemies was
fantastic. Similarly, finding yourself in the Lost Woods, with the music and
everything, left a nostalgic pang for more whimsical days. I could go on
forever, paragraph after paragraph, but I'll stop. I'm sorry!
The best article was A Link to the Past.
It was perfect. Dan, why didn't you devote the same focus on mood in Majora's
Mask? I moan, I groan. Sorry. The issue was fantastic. The coverage superb.
Now, if you could devote a ten page spread to the small details of Legend of
Zelda... Kidding. I just wanted more from an already good spread, I saw missed
opportunities and parts where the focus could have been drawn on the darkness,
the richness, the emotion that is the
Legend of Zelda, so beautifully written and made. The fact that a game can
evoke so much, can make you recall details so easily- it's unsurpassable. No
game comes close.
Alright, I'm really done now. Thank you
for your time. I hardly expect anyone to read all of that! But, I needed to get
it out of my system. I love your magazine, I love the people you have working
there, I love your editor. I gobble up every single issue. The Skyward Sword
issue is one I'll have by my desk for a long time. I thank every writer that
worked on it.
Keep up the good work, so I can write a
novel sized e-mail about it every month.
Hello, you can contact the magazine by going to the Contact Customer Service option under the magazine tab (or alternatively just click the Contact Us option located at the bottom of every page). From there you can click on Letter to the Editor, then fill in the fields there.
On a side note, POST THIS IN THE BLOGS SECTION! This was a very good read.
for one it was already 10 friggin pages long. they had to do what they could with the space they had. AND not everyone feels the same about a game. they said what it made them feel. not what it made you feel.
Whatever peels your orange