It’s been a long and hectic couple of years for the most enthusiastic of Zelda fans. In May of 2004, we first learned of Twilight Princess’s existence, and now we finally stand a mere week or so from its release. It’s a game that we’ve been anticipating for the longest time, a game that promises so much greatness, and a game that Nintendo has devoted more time to than any other title in their history of game developing.

But at the same time, there’s something that plenty of fans, I included, are probably going to miss from this period of waiting, this time where we’ve only received the tiniest of news about TP; and that is the fun of anticipation.

I’m in no way saying that I don’t want the game to come out, because like most of you, I’m sick of sitting here not enjoying it. Though, I won’t deny that there have been a lot of experiences that I will have fond memories of from these two years. No doubt, we’ve argued and debated over this game more than probably anything else. And from my perspective, that’s the perfect way to have a good time on the internet, bickering with people you don’t know.

Okay, so I did more than bicker, but I think you guys should get what I’m saying here. The fact that we knew so little about Twilight Princess, but that we were so hyped for it lead to the most activity the Zelda community has seen in years. It’s not even just the online fandom, this goes for every single fan across the globe. There hasn’t been this kind of excitement, this kind of zeal for the franchise since Ocarina of Time was on its way. I mean, just look at me, every article I’ve done on here in relates to Twilight Princess in some way. If it weren’t for that game, well darn, I don’t think I’d have a job as a Zelda Universe writer.

That’s a great thing, to see the fans so eager for something, to see them have so much zest for a thing that they have a very big interest in. We haven’t even played the game yet, and still it’s the single hottest topic across every Zelda site. There’s so much that we don’t know about the game, and as a result, we’ve been able to participate of thousands of discussions about what we think the game will be like. Because Nintendo didn’t flat out tell us fact after fact about the game, the community became robust with the fans’ unending interest. People’s minds opened up to the possibilities.

And anyone’s opinion was fair game. This was not a time where someone’s personal point of view could seem crazy or illogical, because it contradicted the truths about the game. No, you could say what you want, back it up, and you had created a solid argument. You could believe whatever you want, and in most cases, you could very well be right.

That creates life in the fans, the ability for them to speak their mind about any topic and have a legitimate opinion. This would probably be the single greatest factor for the incredible amount of activity in the community, and as result, we got to interact with one another more than ever, hear all kinds of perspectives, and enjoy one of our favorite game series without actually playing a game.

It’s a sign of a terrific franchise when the fans are equally excited and active about a future title as they are when it’s in their hands.

And alas, the time for speculation is all but over. Come November 19th, we won’t be able to throw around our guesses of how it’ll play, or what character will do what in relation to the plot. Instead, we move onto the next act, one which will definitely last us an innumerable amount of years; trying to figure out the game.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility, either. Twenty years later, there are still new ideas and debates going on about the original Legend of Zelda, or the Adventure of Link. In Twilight Princess’s case, we’re getting the most detailed Hyrule that Nintendo’s ever created, in addition to what they considered the deepest storyline yet. Unless they come out and explain every last detail about the world we’re going to explore, there will always be room for the fans to study it and put the pieces together. And like all good creators of a fantasy culture, they’ll leave the tiny details for us to decide on, just as Nintendo always has.

But when all is said and done, there’s something far more important then realizing the universe in Zelda, and that of course, is the gameplay. You can have a video game with the most detailed world, the greatest of voice-acting and graphics, and a blockbuster storyline, but it could still fall short because of mediocre play-mechanics. And lucky for us, the Zelda franchise has only rarely disappointed with its entries. Twilight Princess, of all titles, is shaping up nicely when it comes to letting the player indulge in the many different scenarios.

If you’re getting it for Wii, then you’ll be able to execute all of Link’s moves in a totally different manner using the motion-controls of the Wii remote. Aiming the bow and arrow like it was actually in your hands, flicking your wrist just as Link slashes with the Master Sword and the many other actions which have continuously been praised by critics. But if you’ll be getting it for Gamecube, there’s still nothing to worry about, because either way this game is looking to have excellent gameplay overall. There seems to be such variety in the campaign, with a plethora of dungeons, and all kinds of different quests in between. Not only that, but the game is really giving the fans a lot of new experiences, including things like horse-combat and the in-depth mechanics of Wolf Link. This will help to set Twilight Princess apart from all other Zelda games, and better yet, all other adventure games.

The road to Twilight Princess was a story in itself, and now it appears that it has lead to one of the greatest video games ever produced. Sure, some of us may miss the fun of anticipation, but no doubt that it doesn’t come close to matching the fun of exploring Hyrule one more time.

Enjoy it as much as you can, all.