Current Residence: Barcelona
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it's me... I'm not dead!
It’s been a year since the game’s release, so, for it’s anniversary, I thought I’d do what I used to do every time a new Zelda game came out; give my personal opinion of it in a journal It’s also a way to let you know I’m alive and with no intention of leaving DA, but still on hiatus because of my health (quick update: nothing changed).
There will be spoilers! You’ve been warned ^^
Breath of the Wild gave me quite the ride. As we all know by now, it is nothing like the previous Zelda games: no green tunic and pointy hat (until you complete all shrines and by then what’s the point) weapons breaking on a right-handed Link, no large inventory of items (RIP hookshot ), survival, and absolute freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Oh yeah, and what I’ve been dreading to happen in my absolute favorite game series of all time: voice acting.
Now, if anyone remembers, I’m a major Zelda fan, MAJOR, so it was only natural to me to get one copy for the WiiU, since the game was intended for it, and a special edition one for the Switch (I pre-ordered them all). Funny thing though, my Switch arrived on day one as well as the copy for the WiiU, but didn’t get the Switch one until later on, so I went first with the WiiU version.
I can’t stress how hyped I was for this game with all the waiting for a new Zelda and after all the reviews it got, but to be honest part of that hype died when I learned that the game didn’t have the option to change languages something I wanted BAD, because I can’t describe how much I hated, HATED, the VA in English; they all felt so forced, empty and lacking personality (except Ravioli) and most of that hate was directed to the character I was supposed to love, Zelda Q n Q I couldn’t stand listening to that awful fake British accent, but mostly that voice that made her sound like a 30 year-old instead of 17. To me she came across as a pompous, spoiled and whiny biatch that made me cringe so hard and say “Go save yourself!” every time I watched a memory or heard her speak. Since I was playing on the WiiU, I couldn’t change regions as you can do with the Switch, so I was stuck with that or Spanish from Spain, and no offense to Spaniards, but not only your dubbing is awfully exaggerated, but also your subtitles are terrible... this is the trained translator in me speaking not the Zelda fan >///< Since I’m a fan of everything in their original language (games, series, movies) with subs and not one bit of dubs, this was a major buzz kill. I know that many actually don’t like the Japanese VA, claiming that it’s generic and over the top, this specifically referring to the memory where Zelda cries her heart out, in contrast to the English one where you barely hear a sob, and to that I say: are you kidding meh?! She just lost her father with whom she couldn’t make amends with, her friends all died as well as her kingdom and she places all of the fault on herself for not being able to unlock her power. A heartbreaking, shrieking crying your lungs out is only natural, certainly more natural than that weird sobbing; I felt more moved by Zoolander’s crying when he was called a mermaid instead of a merman than fake British Zelda crying over her dead loved ones
So that was a major let down, if not the biggest in the end, although during my first run, I felt numerous let downs. Where did all my beautiful lore go? Yeah, I get it this game is more about exploring, but through the years the franchise created such amazing, deep stories that captivated my heart since I first played a Zelda game to its completion (alttp), and BotW threw all of that out of the window and fell short (especially considering the amazing story the last Zelda game, SS, gave us). Like the Triforce dilemma: I can only assume from what I’ve learned from playing Zelda games that, since we were against Ganon, the Triforce was not whole, it was split among those three, yet the only sign we get of the Triforce still existing in any way is through Zelda awakening her powers (where you can actually see it as a whole) and as accessories or decorations on anything royal. Suddenly Din, Nayru and Farore are out of the picture and Hylia takes the spotlight And what happened to the dungeons? Those big, majestic, I’ll-get-lost-in-here-exploring dungeons that were beautifully themed, filled with puzzles and enemies and mid-boss battles? They were replaced by these huge mechanical beasts (that are awesome to get into, not questioning that) that are basically bigger shrines and house basically the same boss but with different weapons... why T n T
The music... ooooh Koji Kondo I didn’t need to read the end credits to know you weren’t involved in the slightest with this game’s music, and it broke my heart because damn, Zelda has one of the best video games soundtracks ever thanks to that man, and I missed badly having the awesome music getting me hyped as I go, as well as the classics: Kakariko’s village song gone, the Gerudos are back yay!! But their awesome song scratched as well, why? The Rito, Zora and Gorons all kept their original tune, I fail to understand why someone would change so drastically such key songs OTL
Side quests? Fun, sure, but compared to previous games (I’m staring at you, Majora’s Mask) they feel lacking of emotion, that’s why I actually make my personal side quest to reunite Kass with his family because I get more joy out of it than doing some errands for random people. Kass absolutely owns my heart btw. Sorry Sidon!
Needless to say, I was not having the best first experience, so when I was told I should give it a go on the Switch with regions changed so I could play it in Latin American Spanish because it was really good, I rushed my way to Hyrule Castle with all the food possible (since I was not done with all the shrines and exploring) and met the biggest disappointment of the game: Calamity Ganon. It is true that a Lynel can give you a harder time than this weird spawn of alien and predator, but I think what was most disappointing was the fact that there was no interaction with him whatsoever, he just drops from the ceiling, growls and on with the battle. He’s nothing but an empty shell. I don’t know about you, but I would’ve loved to see those two having a special scene, given that 100 years ago Link failed to defeat him, and still seeing a spark of Ganondorf still in there, hating both the hero and the princess. And then, the ending. I got the true ending and still, it is by far the worst ending of any Zelda game. You don’t get to see what your effort to save the world did as others show as the credits roll, you see only three brief scenes, you reuniting with Zelda, then Link and Zelda going away while they’re being watched by the champions and the king, and finally, a scene where Zelda is happy that her powers are gone... and again... to that I say WHAT?! No Impa reuniting with her princess?! No leaders of each race reacting?! Especially Mipha’s father and Riju since they’re the ones who know everything?? Disappointment. Disappointment everywhere!
Still, I was not going to give up on my Zelda, so I went to the Switch, changed regions, and started what now is my main file on the Switch with Latin American dubs. And it was beautiful Waking up to that sweet voice at the beginning of the game was lovely, and the more I heard Zelda, the more my previous feeling of total dislike changed to adoration; the only thing that made me cringe of this Zelda was how she pronounced Hyrule (as one would read it in Spanish), but this was true for everyone saying Hyrule xD
The more I watched all the memories again, the more I loved her; even in the memory she gets mad at Link I was like “Dawww! You’re adorable even when you get angry!” I felt Zelda as she was meant to be: an adorable, sweet and cute, driven nerd dealing with extreme pressure, buuuuut... oh dear Thor the in-game text translations to Spanish are TERRIBLE. Found numerous grammatical errors (again, the translator in me can’t help it) and all the names of NPCs and Shrines were changed. ALL. There’s no Kass, Hestu or Beedle, they all have other names (a MAJOR nono in translation) that my brain thankfully erased.
Then Nintendo did what should’ve done from the start: gave the language package so you can choose which one you want to play with, and so my perfect way of playing BotW was accomplished; English text with Japanese voice acting I rewatched the memories I had found so far to hear everyone as the were meant to be, and I freaking LOVED it. The more I played this way, the more I let go of the things I missed and got immersed in this beautiful world, because there’s no denying the beauty of this game; I’d be climbing up a mountain only to turn around a bit and suddenly find a breathtaking combination of colors creating a beautiful sunset, the northern lights at night in Hebra, the unsettling sky as you climb higher at Hyrule castle... I simply set myself to do what you are meant to do in this game: play freely.
And guess what? It absolutely hooked me. In spite of all the things I still wished this game had, to this day I still can’t put it down. I’m actually about to start my 6th run because this game is simply freaking awesome and I absolutely love it I love sneaking around enemies and fool around with them, I love taming and collecting horses, I love farming materials so I can then make my glutton Link cook himself some stuff and watch him eat it happily, or laugh my ass off as the great fairies upgrade your gear, I love fighting Stone taluses and hinoxes, I hate guardians, I love hunting dragon parts and freeing Naydra, I love finding koroks under rocks and hear their "ouch!" as I drop them on their heads (they deserve it, they literally give you shit), I freaking love Urbosa and Mipha, I love Paya's left buttcheek, I love all the references to previous Zelda games, I love you get to hear Fi, I love that every time I give it another go I keep finding new things, and I can’t get enough of everything that is Gerudo
I could go on and on with so many more reasons why this game rules, but I’d love to know yours! What did you think of it? What’s your personal experience with it? Let’s have a friendly discussion!