In a world of magic, world domination, and rock-spitting octopi, it is expected that a great number of ill happenings befall such a place. A wizard, always yearning to take the free world into his hands (and by what we have seen of it, he would do a pretty crappy job). A floating black eyeball, who is constantly attempting to cause chaos and ruin, disarray and confusion. Assorted minions, terrorizing good folk and lending their hands to greater evil.

It is also expected that, in order for this particular nation to survive and prosper, this nation would implement means of defense against outside threats. You would think that, in order for the citizens of such a country to meet a decent standard of living, they would need fearless soldiers, towering stalls and fortresses, and maybe even catapults. Unfortunately, in the kingdom of Hyrule, all this is expected from a lone warrior; and not only that, but a young BOY warrior. He infiltrates fortresses, treks through dungeons, and pretty much has the fate of said nation on his shoulders. Nevertheless, gamers find this fun and enjoyable, I find that this political structure is terrifying.

The thinking man quickly realizes that this state of Hyrule could never exist. Why? Because their leader, the King of Hyrule, is a puppet ruler. A figurehead. Moreover, an incompetent one. While this man sits on his decorated throne, sipping his 1824 cognac, he lets his country be wasted by the evils of the world. He seems completely content to let a boy from the forest (or from an island, or from the screen right below his castle) save his people. In fact, at the end of Ocarina of Time, there was a ceremonial dance celebrating Link’s triumph and return. Where was the king? Why wasn’t he at the dance? Shouldn’t such a hero be recognized and decorated with assorted medals, badges, or, at the very least, a quick speech in his honor? Did the king have more important places to be?

Although, according to some timelines, Link may have gone back in time and thwarted Ganon again by means of convincing the king he was evil. Maybe he was rewarded then. But it strikes me as ignorant when a king doesn’t recognize the evil in a Gerudo wizard, but a 12-year old girl sure as hell knows it. Why was the king so trusting, so quick to betray his country?

All right, maybe I am going overboard. You may be thinking, “What is this guy talking about? The King of Hyrule was your method of transportation in Wind Waker! The trip could not have been made without him! While in A Link to the Past, he was hypnotized! That could have happened to anyone! And in Ocarina of Time, Ganon was, like, really powerful.” However, let’s take a look at these possible excuses.

You would be incorrect. In Wind Waker, he helped you well enough – after letting his country sink under miles of water 100 years ago, the cause of which was a lack of defense against the return of a monster – a monster who was easy to defeat upon figuring out to hit his tail. Again, players may think, “Oh, but you need the Master Sword!” However, that’s not true, either. I defeated him with the Megaton Hammer and the Biggoron’s Sword. Therefore, that leads me to believe that just about any metal object could defeat the piggy beast. Hey, who do we know that has about a million soldiers, each carrying a sword or spear? The King of Hyrule. Why didn’t he employ his troops? Did he expect a boy would magically kill him again? Or were too many of his soldiers patrolling the garden around his daughter, making sure no one got to see her?

On that note, I went and counted the number of soldiers patrolling the castle garden and exterior. The answer? A shocking seventeen. Nineteen at night. Nineteen? I would expect that the King have an armada of troops if he can spare that many to guard his precious daughter. To make matters worse, he didn’t believe Zelda about her dream/prophecy, one that would later become truth enough. So why couldn’t the king fend off Ganondorf? Maybe you think, “Well, he needed the Light Arrows to defeat his human form, didn’t he?” But let’s think about that. Who used the Light Arrows against Ganon? Link. Who gave the Light Arrows to Link? Zelda. A clear display that the Royal Family had them the whole time. Zelda herself calls it a “treasure of the Royal Family, to be passed on to the hero”.

Furthermore, some of you might now think, “Well, maybe the soldiers aren’t as skilled as Link.” Well, we’ve seen the battle prowess of soldiers in A Link to the Past. Some of them are downright annoying. And the archers? Their accuracy is dead on, every time. And their vision is flawless, because, as you remember from sneaking around the castle in OoT, they can spot you from a mile away and throw Link in jail faster than you can say, “I didn’t kill her!”. So why is it that the king couldn’t take care of the little problem known as Ganon himself? Even if it wasn’t enough, he could draft villagers, use them as part of his army. But was the king reclining in his Laz-I-Boy, thinking of ways to get richer, seeing as how some random forest kid will take care of this, just like last time? And I’m not just talking about ONE king. The entire Royal Family male bloodline seems to be suffering from ignorance. Let’s look at the damage that the King from A Link to the Past inflicted.

Now some of you are surely thinking, “Well, in A Link to the Past, he was hypnotized by a cunning, clever, and ruthless wizard. How can you blame him?” I’ll tell you how. In the real world, high-ranking officials must take extreme care when dealing with foreign diplomats. In A Link to the Past, Agahnim shows up in town, clears a few storms that he himself undoubtedly caused, and the King rewards him with money and prizes. And I quote from the SNES Link to the Past Instruction Manual:

Many centuries have passed since the Imprisoning War. The land of Hyrule healed its wounds and the people lived in peace for a long time. Memories of the vicious Imprisoning War faded over the generations…

So it is no surprise that no one was prepared for the new disasters that have recently struck Hyrule. Pestilence and drought, uncontrollable even by magic, ravaged the land. The king of Hyrule, after counsel with his sages, ordered an investigation of the Imprisoned Dark World (as the Golden Land had come to be known) but the Wise Men’s seal was apparently intact. He offered rewards for anyone who could find the source of these troubles. In answer to these summons a stranger named Agahnim came and quelled the disasters with a previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the king gave him a new position as chief advisor and heir to the throne.

Another frightening look at the unjust process of political hierarchy in the Zelda continuity. In the United States, it is required that a senator be a member of the country officially for eight years. A representative, at least six years. But to be chief advisor you can walk right into town and produce water and food, and elected you’ll be. A desperate move by the King, maybe? Maybe he was afraid that if he didn’t help Agahnim, the disease and drought would come back. It’s understandable, but not when a bigger problem overtakes the land – the problem of world domination by the same monster that could’ve been killed years ago by a different king. But it’s okay – another kid will come and save the world. And the Zelda series may continue to be like this, now, and forevermore.

I hope that the vote is unanimous; every one of you reading this agrees that this King and all future descendants are not fit to rule. So now we have a new problem: how are we going to elect a new king? Of course, a new blood line must be started from the very beginning, so it’s only fair as of now to elect those who were present in Ocarina of Time. I only consider characters from that particular game to be King, because they are the ones who have seniority. I’ve asked Anakin to put up a poll in the topic concerning this article to hear your responses to the decisions you make.

The obvious answer would be, “Hey, elect Link!” He would probably win, due to his popularity. It is a very real possibility. However, there are some issues. Link is not of a political mindset, nor does he want to spend his days ruling and not enjoying his life. After all, there are SOME dangers that he might want to help out with. I suggest that he join the King’s army and become a major staple in the forces. You know, big promotion and all that.

Well, then who? A solution came to my head almost immediately: Ingo. That’s right, Ingo. Sure, he was a jerk to Link, rather grumpy in general, and he did break the deal to let Epona free, but he wasn’t bad with the upkeep of the ranch at all. I think he’s got the work ethic to bring Hyrule to its peak of its civilization. He definitely was about a billion times better than Talon. Besides, he might not have been so cruel under different circumstances. For example, what kind of man would he be if he didn’t have to work under Talon for years, someone he knew he was better than? I see tons of leadership in him, if he wasn’t so embittered by being a servant for so long.

After some thought, another answer struck me: Rauru. Of course, he’s wise, he’s kind, but most of all, he’s a sage. But that in itself would present problems. Wouldn’t there have to be a replacement sage? Could he even resign as a sage? What if he’s actually dead, and the Rauru that you see in the Sacred Realm is a spirit or something? He could easily be King, but could he be a King and a sage? Maybe it’s better to just leave the guy alone.

After all this talk, the majority of you might be thinking, “Who cares, Mute, it’s only a video game!” You may have a point there. But you fail to realize that this could very well be a reflection of our own world. I now find myself drawing connections between virtual politics and the state of the world. While some of you may not care to read about such trivial matters, I think it was extremely worthwhile to delve into such a new concept. For those of you who don’t like it, there’s the door.


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This retro article was originally posted August 4th, 2004.
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