Twilight Princess
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Twilight Princess and the little imp girl that upset Hyrule

In the Legend of Zelda series, the roles of hero and villain are fairly consistent. Link, using the resolve of courage, overcomes Ganon, whose lust for power represents the ultimate in evil. This is the reliable dichotomy that surges throughout each game. However, the 2006 Wii title (and now re-released in HD for the Wii U) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess complicates this previously steadfast ideological balance. The game introduces Midna, a dark, impish character that raises the question of where a “good” hero who uses “dark” powers would align in Hyrule. We are confronted with the possibility that…

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The brilliant cruelty of Bravely Default’s nonlinear narrative

If I started this article at the end it probably wouldn’t make much sense. There’s a reason most writers put words and events in chronological order to tell a story. Some stories, however, are best told out of order. Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) works this way as it uses the chaotic scrambling of the nonlinear narrative to explore the limits of human memory. So too does a recent episode of Doctor Who, “Heaven Sent” (2015), which uses a repeated narrative to highlight the stubbornness and fortitude of the Doctor’s character. For videogames, taking these same…

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The Dualism and Morality of “Golden Sun”

My father always says there are two sides to every story. There’s one party’s side, the opposing party’s side, and then the truth tends to fall somewhere in the middle. Most videogames, however, exist in a vacuum of storytelling, where the player takes control of a set of heroes out to destroy a set of bad guys. Through this, they mostly attempt to capture and tell only one side of a story. Mario is good, and Bowser is bad. Sora wants to save the world, the Heartless want to destroy it. Link is the Hero of Time, Ganon the bringer…