Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why a Legend of Zelda Movie Would be a Bad Idea

Despite some impressive April Fools efforts by IGN, there is no Legend Of Zelda movie. I think that there never should be for three reasons: the gameplay, the characters, and the story.

The gameplay of the Zelda series is timeless. The problem with a movie is that there is no audience interaction. In almost every Zelda game, Link travels around to several dungeons, gets an item from that dungeon, then beats up the dungeon's boss. I personally think this would be boring as a movie. Link travels to dungeon after dungeon defeating various and sundry monsters for vaguely defined reasons. I think it would be more akin to watching someone play a Zelda game rather than just playing it yourself, and that is a boring thing to do.

As far as characters go, let's start with Zelda herself. Princess Zelda is almost always kidnapped/ put in harm's way in some fashion that forces Link to save her. This makes Zelda seem like a very weak character at times, and may cause the audience to find her annoying in a movie. Also, Link setting out to save her after only just meeting, or sometimes not at all, seems like a very transparent motivation. It works in the games because they don't really rely on the story as much as a movie would.

The biggest character problem is Link. Besides a few grunts here and there, Link doesn't speak, and based on some of the negative reactions to Samus Aran having a more fleshed out character in Metroid: Other M, it may be a good thing that Link never talks. For the actor playing him, this would be utterly confusing. How do you play someone with literally no character information to go on? Is Link wise, confused, sarcastic, heroic, cowardly, scared, or oblivious? Some information can be gleaned from simply playing the games, but not enough to give a convincing performance. Although, a silent movie may be kind of cool, but it would create more problems rather than fix a few.

The story in Zelda games is obviously just an excuse to travel around and beat up monsters. Gamers know this. In a movie however, characters need reasons to do things. The most reasoning ever given in the games is that Zelda was kidnapped, or Hyrule is on the brink of destruction, and usually Link is the “chosen one” that can save everyone by collecting some magical items. That one sentence can not be expanded to make a full two hour movie without some liberties being taken. Also, the seven or so dungeons would just be boring, there's no getting around it. The movie would either feel rushed to fit seven dungeons into two hours (like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with the seven evil exes), or the movie would trim things down, eliminating key components of the games. Plus, giant monster fights are only so interesting for so long (like 2010's Clash of the Titans).

A Legend of Zelda movie would be interesting, but at the same time I feel it would be a disappointment because it just can't translate well to the big screen. Yes, I'd still watch it, but I probably wouldn't be happy with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments here, and please keep it clean.