The Legend of Neil is a web series about a man named Neil who finds himself trapped in the land of Hyrule and has to defeat Ganon and save the princess. Comedy Central came to them requesting a second season and that season begins just next week, so we approached main character and co-writer of the series, Tony Janning, for an interview.
First off, how long have you been playing Zelda?
Tony: My brothers and I played the original NES game religiously, to the point we weren’t allowed to play anymore until homework, chores, and/or some form of playing outside was done first. And I remember playing the next two or three of them, but eventually I kinda stopped. To me, nothing would ever top that first game. I know Sandeep also fell in love with the original game, and has been gaming a while, and I’m pretty sure he plays the current Wii version.
How did the idea come up to create this series? Was it a similar process to the one Neil used to enter Hyrule?
Tony: Funny…It was similar, in that booze was involved, but no autoerotic asphyxiation. Sandeep had gone out drinking with his roommate, who claimed he could beat the original Zelda game in 30 minutes. Sandeep called ‘b.s.’ and the two went home and drank more while he watched his buddy play the game. Sandeep started thinking how weird some things in that world would be, like the Old Man, and this elf hero, and so he wrote out the idea. The next morning he still thought it was funny, so he emailed me, and I loved it, and then we shot the damn thing. It wasn’t until Atom.com (Comedy Central) came along and optioned 5 more episodes that we actually had a series on our hands.
So far, the series seems to be mostly just based on the original Legend of Zelda. Do you have any plans to continue through other games in the series?
Tony: We would love to, if we had the time and budget, sure. But, this show is about Neil getting sucked into the original ‘Legend of Zelda’ game. So, we are trying to follow that game and world as best we can. While taking certain liberties of course.
Season 2 will be launching as soon as next week! Do you have any hints for us as to what will appear in it?
Tony: Well, we definitely open up the world even more than we did in season one. More characters and more trouble for Neil. Some of the favorites will return (Old Man, Fairy, Octoroks), and we think there are some fun surprises this season. Obviously, we’d like to incorporate everything from the game, but there just isn’t enough time and you have to keep Neil’s adventure moving forward. So, hopefully Zelda fans will get their fix and be happy with what we do. If not, they can blame Sandeep…
Apparently you guys are giving out prizes for people who see you at Comic-con. What do we have to do to get in on that?
Tony: You’d have to be going to the event in San Diego, for most of them. And I know that thing is sold out like crazy. If anyone is going though, check out this. But, we do have some other fun contests coming up that we will be updating and posting on our Facebook ‘Legend of Neil’ page. So, stay tuned.
The Legend of Neil contains mature content, so if you are not comfortable with the language level of, say, South Park, you might want to give it a miss, but otherwise you can watch the first season here.