I’m trying to squeeze some reading of my massive stack-o-books in between the short fiction I’m reading for the Cirsova mag and have returned to Thomas Burnett Swann with Green Phoenix. Man, any book that begins with “Aeneas must die!” is bound to be pretty solid. It’s a bit rapey-er than the other books of his that I’ve read, but so far it’s done to frame Aeneas’ son as a villaintagonist who is sympathetic from his own perspective but may be a villain from the perspective of the fey. Whether or not Aeneas can convince Ascanius to chill out and not rape fairy women so he can fulfill his destiny remains to be seen; having just accidentally killed the dryad’s best friend(zoned) centaur does not bode well for him.
Unfortunately, I’ve also been distracted by Zelda. I broke down and grabbed a cheap game-cube and the collectors edition a couple weeks ago and have been spending way too much time on it.
Rebeat first quest of the original, and yeah, it totally blows away the ‘women as a prize’ narrative that Sarkeesian tried to attach to it. I lost my magic shield to like-likes 5 times, had nearly 90 continues and Link doesn’t even get a kiss. Link’s quest to restore Zelda is more of an affirmation of the myth of feminine power (that is magic power, not girl power); only the mystic maiden has the power and magic to restore the balance and order to world. Link only has the power to pave the way for her. Sure, he could defeat Ganon, but Hyrule is still screwed without its queen. Zelda and her connection to the triforce of wisdom makes her an obvious analog for Sophia for whom the esoteric seeker must search, because without her, there is only darkness.
But enough about that. I am probably just an old curmudgeon, but I am kind of hating Ocarina of Time. It’s soooo sloooow! And everything is so damn unintuitive. Even though it’s way less sandbox than any of the other Zelda games I’ve played, I can never figure out where I’m supposed to go or do without ages of dicking around and wishing I could carry more than 99 rupees. It took me over an hour to find the sword!? Adventure of Link is probably the best Zelda if for no other reason that it’s the one Zelda game (out of at least the first five) that you don’t have to find a sword; you leave the castle and immediately begin stabbing thing and having epic sword fights. No rounding up chickens, that’s for sure.
Yes, I’m that guy who thinks that Zelda 2 was the best Zelda, with Link’s Awakening as a close second. Why? For one thing, great sword fights. The battles with Darknuts were hard as crap but super rewarding when you finally killed one. I also liked that it clearly showed that the entire 1st game took place in relatively tiny corner of Hyrule. And hey, in Z2, Link actually gets a kiss if he saves the world!
But I was trying to look some things up, and man, I miss the old-canon that has since been retconned to oblivion. Apparently now, Z2 takes place in the distance past, before even Z1! Old-canon was a pretty simple order of “Link to the Past as prequel to 1, 1, 2, then Link’s Awakening”. Bah, it’s neither here nor there. Head-canon is the only tru-canon anyway.
Also, Angry Video Game nerd is totally doing Death Mountain wrong. You ALWAYS cast shield on yourself when you’re about to fight one of those Axe dudes.