Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Adventures of Stink

So, last weekend Jade from ZeldaEurope and I decided to torture ourselves by watching the Zelda Animated TV series. *plays intro*

The show ran in late 1989 as part of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show on Fridays. Though Zelda II was already released at the time and enemies from the game even appear in the show (like the Moby or Deelers), the show mostly just takes the story from the first game into consideration. So, it appears that there are only two Triforces and the Triforce of Courage never gets even mentioned. Ganon resides at Death Mountain, where he has the Triforce of Power and his Evil Jar (this is where the enemies go, when Link "kills" them), and constantly tries to steal the Triforce of Wisdom from the castle, where Link and Zelda live. This is the status quo of the show and no matter what happens, it will be restored at the end of each episode. So, if one party has the chance to get their hands on the other Triforce, you already know that they will fail.

You also know that Link will always fail to hit on Zelda, no matter what. For the show the silent protagonist Link, who we all know and love, got turned into this jackass, who always try to get to first base with Zelda. It's weird, because normally you would identify yourself with Link, but here he can be hard to sympathize with. Zelda on the other hand literally wears the breeches in this show. She can be a bitch, but she is a lot tougher than in any other Zelda media. She even saves Link's life more often than he saves her.

And then there's Ganon. Like with all Zelda characters at the time there was only little known about him, he was basically just a big fat pig, which was able to cloak itself and teleport. So, they gave him Skeletor's voice, charme and character and made him teleport all around the room like he's drunken. And he has this ridiculous laugh, but that's about it.

One last thing of notice is that they used sound effects directly taken from the game. Like the sword beam or when Link gets items from his magic pouch, that magically shrinks all his stuff. This is actually pretty interesting, because no game so far tried to explain how Link is able to carry all his junk. Except for Skyward Sword, where you got the Adventure Pouch, which seems to be inspired by this.

We watched the German version of the show, but I've also seen the English original before. But the German dub definitely adds to the overall cheesiness of the show, the infamous "Excuuuuse me, princess" catchphrase gets replaced by two different catch phrases based on the situation. One is "Ich tuuuuuuu mein Bestes, Prinzessin" (I'm doooooooing my best, princess) and the other one goes "Es tuuuuut mir Leid, Prinzessin" (I'm soooooorry, princess). It's just sounds so ridiculously bad.

If I had to pick my favorite episode, it probably would be "The White Knight". Link and Zelda meet this snobby prince and Zelda totally has the hots for him. Of course Link, who gets called "Stink" by Zelda in front of the prince (hence the title of this post), gets jealous and lucky for him the prince doesn't like to get his hands dirty. But in the lands of the fantasy world Hyrule you would think that they could come up with more interesting problems. The Zelda universe was already pretty deep and exciting during the NES era and the possibilites for stories are exciting. However, instead they end up building a water park for King Harkinian or solve other ridiculous problems like Moblins building a labor union...

Well, we had a good time watching this. It's not as bad as the CD-i games, but for a Zelda fan it still can be quite embarrassing. However, if you manage to ignore the bad quality and the fact that the show was aimed for young kids, you can have a lot of fun with it. The show can be unintentionally hilarious. But it's not the end... Jade then pointed out that the Zelda Valiant Comics are based on the TV show, so I decided to check them out for the first time. And these comics are really the continuation of the show.... oh, my Din!

After the show got cancelled these Zelda comics appeared during the year 1990, there seem to be six or seven magazines in total. While the comic is based on the show, it also fully deals with the world from Zelda II - The Adventure of Link, which got mostly ignored in the TV show. The castle from the show is now the North Palace and other locations from Zelda II like the individual towns are mentioned and visited. You even get this nice map with the first book:

The scale of the area from the first game is way too large, but overall it's really cool. The world from Zelda II never really got so much attention as here and the comics make you wish that some game might return to Northeastern Hyrule in the future.

Also, Link actually carries the Triforce of Courage in the comics, which he got from the Great Palace. There's only one Zelda, however, so it's the Zelda from the show and the first game who fell asleep and Link had to safe her instead of a different princess from a distant era. I thought it would have been interesting to have a second Zelda next to the one from the show. You know, for jealousy and stuff, because after all Link hitting on Zelda is still part of the comic. Overall the tone of the comic is a lot more serious and darker than the show, for example there is one chapter where Link aquires the Triforce of Power, which then corrupts him and turns him into another Ganon. That's pretty deep stuff, but then comes the moment when Link tries to kiss Zelda (usually at the end of a chapter), which ruins everything and immediatly takes you back to the Super Mario Super Show's cheesiness.

And there's some other weird stuff in the comics. You actually get to see Link's parents in a land called Calatia. And Dark Link is not really a shadow, but more like a shapeshifter, while the Thunderbird is just a red eagle. So, while the comic is a lot better than the TV series, it's still quite weird.

If you're interested, you can watch the show here and get the comics here.


Anonymous said...

You made a mistake - you say that the Triforce of Courage never gets mentioned, however, one sentence later, you describe Ganon's Goal as "getting the Triforce of Courage". Is it the Triforce of Wisdom that you mean?

Glad to see you post again! =)

TourianTourist said...

Oops, my bad. Yes, he tries to steal the Triforce of Wisdom. Like he did in the backstory of the first game. Fixed that. Thx! ^^