With the recent rerelease of Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U, I have been thinking a lot about my love of that game, compared to other hate for it’s opening. While I understand what about it makes many people dislike it, I love the opening because of exactly what it is.
So, let’s talk about the opening of TP. Twilight Princess opens with a lot of stuff that is not being a sword weilding hero out to save the world. You initially spend a lengthy chunk of time just living life in your home town.
Living in the small remote forest village of Ordon, lots of jobs need doing on a regular basis. Fishing, goat herding, keeping the kids out of trouble and helping carry things for those unable. It’s a slow start, but one that builds a sense of a lived life.
Where many players were infuriated by this delay to the core gameplay loop, I was glad to have a Zelda game open with a more mundane start. I got to deal with small, managable problems and appreciate that heroism wasn’t Link’s entire life.
And when Twilight princess progresses, I really felt like I had a home to fight for, and maybe one day return to and settle down in. That to me is a valuable opening to a narrative.