Monday, May 9, 2016

Of Sheikah and Gods

Someone tweeted me this theory video by HMK about the Sheikah symbol and asked for my opinion about it. Now, when it comes to predictions and theories of Zelda, I'm more of a practical guy. I think about the gameplay and game elements first and rarely ever dive into the story. That's because the story is usually wrapped around the gameplay and in my 18 years as a Zelda fan I've learned not too care much about it.

When I saw Link in his blue outfit, the technical reason always was clear to me. This game has an ocean of green grass and they needed Link to give a better visual contrast than with his usual green tunic. Link had blue clothes like these in the Wind Waker and they probably seemed like a good fit for the aesthetics of the new game. Story-wise this could wrapped in many different ways. And some of the theories remind me of the old Valley of the Flood idea, one of the things that appeared in the early days of Hyrule Blog. Essentially it's about having a game, where you don't really play the Chosen Hero of the Gods in a time period, where the Goddesses are about to destroy the world.

Of course in certain Zelda games like The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess or Spirit Tracks Link started with a different outfit and then got this green tunic over the course of the game, usually early on. This still might happen here, though I would expect this to happen very late in the game, if that's the case. The problem with the contrast still stands and Nintendo has chosen the blue outfit for game reasons, not for story reasons. The story will just be there to explain it all.

But if the rumors about an optional female protagonist are true, this might be related. If this game doesn't feature the legendary Hero as we know him, a Linkle-type character, who just seeks out to be the hero, is entirely possible as well.

And when I see these circuits around the Sheikah symbol on the book or tablet that Link is carrying, I think about the Wii U GamePad and its touchscreen first. Drawing these symbols in a spell book or on some magic tablet is probably the new Ocarina of this game. You draw the "Scribble of Storms" to make it rain. Or something similar. (I still think that it's a book, by the way. It might be a tablet, but gameplay-wise that wouldn't really make any difference. It's something to draw on with your GamePad. Actually a "tablet" makes even sense here, since the GamePad is essentially a "tablet", so I can't really say anything against it.)

I do like the connections made between Gohdan and the new monsters. The theory from the video is that the monsters in the new game were created by the Goddesses and now wreak havoc on Hyrule to destroy it. I don't follow this impression, simply because it appeared that they specifically were hunting for Link and not randomly destroying everything. But it still might be that they were created by the Goddesses to "test" the Hero, much like Gohdan was.

I would also be careful about drawing connections via design choices, because there always will be similar designs throughout the entire Zelda series that just get reused. Like the symbols of the Goddesses came originally from the three tunes of Ages without any deeper meaning behind it. So, if I look at these circuits around the Sheikah symbol I wouldn't necessarily see something from the Twili (which was another theory around) or the Tower of the Gods, though the latter certainly would be a nice connection.

After all it was also the Thunder God Lanayru, who created the Lanayru Mining Robots. And we're certainly in a similar territory here, where we're dealing with some ancient technology. In Fantasy technology usually is a thing from the past with a deep mythology behind it and that these monsters were created by the Goddesses is certainly a possibility.

In any case I'm eager to learn the real story and probably won't put many more thoughts into it. We won't have to wait much longer anyway, it's only one month until the big reveal.

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