Latest posts by Alex Tinsley (see all)
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- Breaking the Narrative Episode 42: In Lieu of a Question, The Mary Sue Has an Answer?!” - April 10, 2017
Alright, this might be a little short and quite spoilery. This whole thing is based around a series of tweets that prove once and for all that Anita Sarkeesian never plays the games, should never be listened to, and should lose any and all support that she has garnered over the past 5 years. I know MundaneMatt already did a video on this, but there is more to it than simply what Zelda does during the game. I’m here to not only prove her wrong about the character of Zelda Hyrule, daughter of Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, but to show that she hasn’t played the game because of the bevy of strong female characters that aid Link within this whole game. As such I’m putting this out there right now THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! If you haven’t played the game yet do so before reading this article. You won’t be disappointed. The story overall is infinitely better than a lot give it credit for, and the amount of lore this one game alone has trumps most games in the series. With that in mind Let’s Hammer This In!
With this line of tweets its obvious to me, a person who has played through the game on the Nintendo Switch at this point (and I’m not getting a lot of the issues people claim to have with the system at this point though I’ll admit there are some improvements to be made that can be made over time,) that Anita is basing this purely on the trailers of the game and not actually paying attention to the words and concepts in the scenes. Throughout most of the memories, Zelda finds Link to be lacking, and perhaps hateful of her as a royal, misunderstanding his feelings and concerns. This, I feel, goes to show how most contemporary women misread and misunderstand men on the whole, a noble sentiment if that is what writer Akihito Toda intended with the script. Eventually Zelda ends up seeing Link not as the ‘arrogant knight’ she initially saw him as, but as the worrisome and protective man – and friend – that he is. In fact, they managed to through this game make some of the most complex character relationships I’ve seen in a while without Link saying a single word audibly in the entire game. This is an impressive feat that Nintendo has always managed with their more narrative driven games. The fact that the gameplay is just as deep is also a testament to the company. In addition, its because of this deep friendship, camaraderie, and dare I say love for one another that Zelda finally unlocks her powers to protect Link. That’s right, the entire premise of the game ISN’T that Zelda is the damsel in distress. Zelda is the one who saves Link’s ass so he can heal and come help her finish the job. On top of that she has been holding Calamity Ganon off for 100 years without aging or faltering. I’d like for you to tell me how that’s weak.
Like I said before though, this incarnation of Zelda isn’t the only strong woman in this game. To continue, let’s look at the first guiding characters you meet, Impa – Chieftain of the Sheikah and Purah – Lead Researcher of Sheikah Technology. These sisters are short but ultimately powerful and intelligent, although Purah accidentally got afflicted with eternal youth to the point where she always looks like a child. Then again, these over-100-year-old women aren’t supposed to be sexualized. They are meant to be valued for their intelligence alone. Impa is there to help guide you on your journey. She’ll not only restore the Divine Beasts to help you in your quest and by proxy get the powers from your fellow Champions suggested to survive the battle with Ganon but also aid in the recovery of your memories lost to time. Purah, the older sister (wrap your mind around that one,) is there to help unlock and boost the remaining powers of the Sheikah Slate – the tabletesque Macguffin that gives you your supernatural abilities and bombs which originally belonged to Zelda. She is also the one who guides you to her colleague and former subordinate Robbie who helps make the Ancient Arrows seen in the prior trailers.
Now lets move on to the Champions, those meant to aid in the battle against Calamity Ganon alongside the Fated Princess and Appointed Knight. Two of them are women as well, meaning this team of six heroes is half women. This is not unusual in Zelda games actually, looking back at Link to the past, the daughters of the sages were meant to help reduce Ganon’s power in that game and in Ocarina of Time only two of the total seven sages were men. The first I encountered in my playthrough, and I think the most common, is Mipha, the demure and capable spearwoman. Her powers are healing and support related but she has also been shown and told to be a powerful expert in her own right. The power you get from her is Mipha’s Grace which revives you from near death, adding five extra hearts temporarily, and recharges every half hour of gameplay. This is really useful early on and against bosses, particularly since you don’t find a lot of faeries at first. On top of that its shown in the memories of Mipha that she is in love with Link, and has known him since childhood, having always been there to heal his wounds caused by his recklessness. She also ended up as part of Zora tradition, and wove one of her own scales into a suit of armor meant specifically for Link as a declaration of this love. So her fight was not for the sake of Zelda but for Link’s sake. She gave her life for him.
We could continue this by describing the primarily female and Persian-influenced Gerudo tribe as a whole. This would be a feminist paradise since ‘voe’ or men aren’t even allowed in their capital. Still, I think we’ll concentrate on their champion: Urbosa. As one who also fought alongside Link and Zelda 100 years prior, she is an expert swordswoman, and as a Gerudo she sports an Amazonian physique. Sarkeesian is probably going to claim she is sexualized for her minimalistic garb (a style Link himself can sport, going full drag to even step foot in the women only society.) However, to the tribe that evolved from bandits into a vibrant warrior-merchant guild, the outfits are utilitarian for their desert environment. In fact, the only men that end up allowed in Gerudo Town happen to be Gorons who are unisex male in the first place, as rock people. In the memories and in her spirit form, Urbosa comes off primarily as a big sister type, someone who sees herself as an elder looking over the then-17-year-old Link and Zelda. She occasionally teases Zelda and the other champions, and has a wit as sharp as her specialized scimitar. While she seems carefree, she is also well meaning and unwilling to allow anyone to regret a thing, constantly stating that people shouldn’t blame themselves for bad things that happen unless they had intended malice. Therefore, she isn’t only physically strong, but also has the emotional and spiritual strength to be ever forgiving of mistakes made. Considering my mindset I like this character perhaps the most out of all the champions.
Now that we’ve gotten through the Zelda, the Champions, and the other support characters what about the average NPCs? They range from the reclusive Paya, daughter of Impa, to the out going shopkeeps and other interesting characters. Like I said before, the Gerudo have become warrior merchants, so you can find seamstresses to jewelers and even a full blacksmith. In fact, if you go straight to the stable from getting off the Great Plateau, the first character you meet is an elixir expert Sagessa. She doesn’t say much but she gives you a Hasty Elisir and tells you the basics of cooking elixirs. In addition, you have the egalitarian Zora guards, and you occasionally run into female foragers and hunters getting attacked and fighting back along your journey. In short anyone who calls this game sexist in any way is either lying out their ass, hasn’t played the game, or is potentially mentally impaired by a certain vile ideology.
So to review, we’ve determined that the diversity of characters within The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is extremely diverse with multiple cultures depicted in the game world. Zelda herself is a strong and independent character in her own right but like any character she does need help from time to time. We’ve shown that there were strong unique women that not only had their own flaws but were depicted fairly even when they were killed. This means this game is what feminists claim they want, but we’re still hearing that it isn’t. That’s because what they want is the power of victimhood currency and not actual equality. Anita, if she knew about these aspects, attacked this game NOT because its sexist, but it demolishes her entire argument, since it was put into development before she was even a public figure. Breath of the Wild was originally announced as Zelda WiiU in 2013, meaning it had started development in early 2012. Tropes vs. Women in Video Games was announced in May of the same year. At first neither project was exposed to the other. A lot of the story was likely hashed out before the announcement of the game and by proxy before the first episode of Sarkeesian’s impotent lies dropped in March of 2013.
In conclusion, the fact that Nintendo thought of the story of the game in this manner a full half a year before Anita was even beginning to get relevancy goes to show that the last thing the company is, is sexist. My final proof of this? Look at the production staff. While it might not be 50-50 there are a fair amount of female programmers, debuggers and other staff, many of whom have been employed by the Big N for years.
I will end this whole thing on this note: Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency, through a large majority of these Breaking the Narrative articles I’ve written for the past year on this platform I have overturned, debunked, and eviscerated every single argument you’ve ever made concerning video games, harassment, and representation. You are a talentless hack with no idea what hornets nest you’ve actually poked. I am done with you, your suppositions, and puritanical bigoted mindset. I want as many people to read this as possible and see that you and by proxy your arguments are of no worth, not because you are woman but because you are a charlatan, a sham, a thief. If you have any sense whatsoever you will not allow me to see you argue this shit ever again because I will link my articles in any available comment section about you from this day forward until everyone sees you as the con you are. As for everyone else feel free to do the same, get this game in some form and remember to Game Freely!by