Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ocarina Of Time: A Great Game, or a Zombifying Machine From Hell?

It took me too long to realise it. How blind could the humanity be, for all this time, to never notice the obvious truth? Notice the simple fact that all of our actions, all of our hopes and dreams, are artificial. Your words aren’t yours and your thoughts do not belong to you. We are, and have always been, under the direct influence of the device so primitive, so deceptively simple that we could never understand the true magnitude of its abilities. Of course, I am talking about the videogame Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
                The realisation didn’t come to me at a moment’s notice, of course. Only by blind luck, had I happened to pass the primary zombifying phase and thus, managed to save what shreds of free will I possessed, a mockery of a free Man, who once proudly stood amidst the chaos of this world. However, although I was one of the few to never play the “game”, as it came to be known, I was too blind, too oblivious and stupid to notice the changes that it brought upon this world. For all the curses I have laid upon me, once I realised what an atrocity had happened, I can never be able to wash away our sin of ignorance. We willingly walked after the shepherd, when he asked us to follow, and never once stopped to question, whether we followed willingly, or were led by the unseen strings, wrapped around his arms. My understanding was as long, as it was bitter. The proof was everywhere, but there was no one to point at it.
                Of course, this all must start from the very beginning, on the cold winter of ’98. Ocarina of Time was released upon this world, for Nintendo 64 game console, and immediately beat in sales almost every single game of that year, despite only being released 39 DAYS before the end of the blasted year. It wasn’t well received. Oh, no, by God it wasn’t. It was praised, louder than the sun. People stood in lines, waiting for the chance to bask in its glory, their worthless lives suddenly gaining before unseen meaning and purpose. The critics were blinded and deafened, and screamed at the top of their lungs the praises for their new God. If you want to see the direct proof of this game’s hypnotic power, know that when the game was released, ocarinas, a primitive musical instrument, only known to the few fans of tribal music, suddenly became one of the most selling musical instruments. Let me rephrase that. This game kick-started a whole musical trend, without any help from any other media. Imagine if Super Mario Brothers brought thick moustaches into fashion. At least, we can bless the kind masters over at Nintendo for making Link, the protagonist, play on ocarinas, and not wield dual machineguns, clearing village after village of civilian population. In any case, the devil was out of the box. The game received all possible awards, it got almost complete, nine point nine out of ten points on Metacritic, a web-site that collects reviews from the best videogame reviewing sites, and grew to be the most popular videogame, ever created. Its popularity, though, wasn’t the problem. In the industry that creates blockbusters every Sunday and forgets about them by Tuesday, another great game is not a surprise, no matter how popular it becomes. What is different about Ocarina of Time, what really should have made us realize its true purpose, was its persistence.
                As I have already noted, Ocarina of Time was released back in 1998. That’s 15 years ago. That was a year that Bill Clinton didn’t quite manage to close his zipper in time. It was a year, when European countries thought that it’s going to be easier for the global economy to introduce another damn currency, called, quite egotistically, Euro. Finally, it was a year Microsoft company released Windows ’98, which was the best thing to ever happen to computers, since Alan Turing. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came out 15 years ago, and is still the most memorable piece of entertainment from that time. Just think about it. There is no famous story, linked to it. There is no quote or meme or anything to make someone quote it, for you to recall it. There’s nothing – and yet, the game persists. It’s thriving in popularity, getting remakes and overflowing with fans, fifteen years after it was released. You can seek through every pixel and you won’t understand it. You can ask people the reason for this, and they won’t answer. The secret for this is hidden deep in the long corridors of Nintendo Corporation’s headquarters, in the darkest corners of the single locked door by the end of a long underground corridor, where the grey suits are gathering to control the obedient population, and advance this world to a future, only known to them alone. I am not afraid of what fate awaits me, after I publish these words. Certainly, this blog will vanish from existence at the second the person, who looks over this part of Internet, sees this article, and my body will never be seen again, but I can only hope against hope that perhaps, this warning of our mistake will reach to the right eyes and maybe, just maybe, the world will remember a true freedom it once had. Heed the call, my friends, and steer clear of the sound of Ocarina.