(This post contains spoilers. Just throwing that out there.)
Apart from the obvious fact that it is a video game, I've always thought that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a great story that conveys the typical Hero's Journey, the kind outlined by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I can appreciate a good ol' Hero's Journey.
That being said, Ocarina of Time is also an atypical princess story. Unlike most princess tales, which demonstrate how the princess faces adversity and has to wait for her prince to come, The Legend of Zelda is seen by the hero's point of view rather than the eponymous heroine's.
I mean, if you need proof as to who the real protagonist is, Navi, the Fairy harbinger, clearly called upon Link to save Hyrule.
This, of course, was an incorrect prediction by the Jerk Mido (yes, I know he refers to himself as the Great Mido, but, c'mon, we all know he's a pretentious jerk because he refers to himself in the third person) because the "Old Man" figure summoned Link to begin his quest and to right the hubris wrongdoings of Ganandorf, the Gerudo King. (Boo! Hiss! Jeer!)
Even after being thrust upon a perilous quest, Link didn't get any slack from his Kokiri "pals."
He soon learned that the outside world was dangerous, filled with mysterious creatures, menial jobs and creepy people who shamelessly rip him off.
It wasn't all so terrible for Link, for he managed to aid the citizens of Goron City and the Zoras. Yet even after all that, including the haphazard arranged marriage, Link still hadn't gained enough experience to save the world because quite a number of Hero's Journeys take place over a period of several years. I suspect that's the reason why Link, upon unleashing the Master Sword, was put to sleep for seven years.
Imagine being woken up seven years older and being confused as to how you ended up wearing a new attire. More importantly, WHO changed you out of your old clothes and saw you butt nekkid while you slumbered? Was it Rauru, the ancient (albeit portly) sage?
Kinda freaky if you reflect on it too much...
Then, as if things weren't creepy enough with the whodunit about the new clothes, Link encountered a new character who, amazingly enough, showed up right after he woke up.
Thus Link continued on his Hero's Journey of collecting stuff. However, in the time that he slept and aged, he discovered, much to his dismay, that the prosperous Hyrule he once knew had fallen to pieces under the command of Ganandorf, the Evil Gerudo King! (Boo! Hiss! Jeer!)
Link ventured into various temples, solved block puzzles, helped creepy strangers--
--defeated more bosses and continued to be harassed by Navi about what was painfully obvious.
He was also turned back into a kid, then returned to his adult form so he, Troll Sheik and the Sages could defeat Ganondorf, the Evil Gerudo King (Boo! Hiss! Jeer!) only to then be re-changed into a kid once more.
With all that happened in Ocarina of Time, I'm honestly surprised that Link wasn't asked to go clothes-shopping with Zelda in Hyrule's Market and ended up carrying her purse as he denied that a pair of jeans made her butt look enormous.
The more I think about how video gamers played through Ocarina of Time and experienced Link's trials and tribulations, not to mention confronting scary-ass ReDeads, the more I feel that the franchise has been wrongly titled. It's true that certain Legend of Zelda games have acknowledged the protagonist with their titles (The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening), but the point is his name comes after the colon, as if he were an afterthought that didn't merit much importance. I'd say that Link got majorly screwed-over in the title department.
For those of you wondering how on Earth I ever came up with this post in the first place: fine, I admit that I just felt like making a bunch of drawings based on Ocarina of Time (if you must know, I am a bit nerdy). This sort of thing happens when you really appreciate a good Hero's Journey story and clearly need a job.
Anybody feel like employing me to make some crappy illustrations?
Barb the French Bean