By Joseph Walter
Being in a major Zelda mood after helping one of my best buds conquer the original game (and then taking a first-ever plunge into Master Quest) I figured now was as good a time as any to kick off "Shatterpoint!," a series which discusses momentous moments that left a major impact on me.
Heralded by many as the best Zelda game of all time and one of (if not the) best video game of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has certainly earned the moniker of "legend."
Featuring a lengthy campaign, perfect atmosphere, a beloved score, great graphics and a story not soon forgotten, Ocarina is (mostly) worthy of its praise.
And while I'd love to discuss many of the elements that make (or don't make) this game work so brilliantly, today I specifically want to focus on one particular moment: Ganon.
Something that really intrigued me as a youth was that each and every boss had a name card that appeared when they'd make their presence known within their lair. These cards had both a cool title along with their name, such as "Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma" or "Giant Aquatic Amoeba: Morpho."
I thought this was so bad-ass. But the most bad-ass of all was when you finally got to face-off with Ganondorf in the future. A cruel, maniacal and power-hungry despot, I was not surprised at all for his title to be as intense as possible: "Great King of Evil."
When you finally defeat him (and see blood, holy shit!) and escape his tower, you believe all is won. But it's not. Far from it. Out of the rubble erupts a raging, pupil-less eyed Ganondorf, who brazenly shows you that he still has the strength of the Triforce of Power.
Using it, he morphs into his true form: A towering, monstrous creature, whose lust for destruction knows no limits.
The sky dims, lightning strikes, and the source of all Hyrule's turmoil, creating two enormous roars a hideous battle cry into the bleak night.
And then his name appears.
No title. No description. Just "Ganon."
It's as if the gloves were off and all pretense was dropped. And it's not even as though he needed a title; it's more like there was nothing else to say.
It had all led to this point, and now everything would come to an end.
After an entire game of being groomed to believe cool and descriptive boss titles would appear for every major encounter, to the point where you take them for granted ("Phantom Shadow Beast: Bongo Bongo," I mean, come on), for this concept to suddenly be tossed aside like this, it was immediately apparent how serious things had become.
This was an incredibly impactful moment for me, and left a lasting impression in terms of subtle story-telling.
This was a "Shatterpoint!"