The idea for this article originated during my second play through of Skyward Sword while adventuring in Hero Mode. I fell short of a perfect run in my first journey skipping the last few pieces of hearts and not acquiring the Hylian Shield. I figured that I would make my Hero Mode quest my 100% completion quest and kill two birds with one stone. No matter what game I am playing, whether it is Zelda or any other game, I have one common goal—complete the game with 100%. So what drives us to reach this goal of perfection and why is it important in our everyday lives?
Finishing a job or project only partially will always result with a poor outcome; however you can finish many games, not just Zelda, without acquiring 100% completion. You must go that extra mile to collect all those heart pieces, grab that last piece of intel, or finish a set of bonus levels only unlocked after your first play through. Accomplishing superfluous side quests are a must whenever pursuing perfect results. Is it a waste of time to strive for 100% in video games or does it reflect deeper into the nature of humans to do their best? I believe the latter of the two to be true.
Many Zelda games, Majora’s Mask in particular, include many side quests and tasks the player can choose to complete or not complete. To finish these takes not only considerable amounts of time but also lots of effort and patience—two vital attributes needed for real life situations. Edison failed one thousand times before successfully inventing the light bulb. Putting forth effort in combination with patience can result in life changing discoveries or simply just accomplishing a small task such as homework or project.
A friend recently brought up a point I found interesting. Late at night I was talking with some friends and someone mentioned they wished they could play guitar as well as “Person X”. That is when my other friend stated that “Person X” didn’t just magically learn how to play guitar, but rather spent almost every day practicing and improving. The book Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell, also follows a similar theory; Gladwell states on several occasions that the key to success for any activity is practicing the activity for over 10,000 hours. This may sound a little on the extreme side, but if someone truly has worked at a task for an extensive period of time they will surely become great.
I’ve spent the greater part of my life from ages five to the present playing video games. I know my total hours are nowhere near ten thousand, but out of all of my activities video games account for the largest time slot. Perhaps if I spent my hours in other areas (e.g. writing articles) I would be a little more productive. This may be true, but I have also learned a lot from playing video games, which can commonly be mistaken as products that make us more apt to do nothing. Before entering kindergarten I spent countless hours with Pokemon, which I believe helped me discover reading, Mario taught me to treat women with respect, and Zelda, most of all, taught me what it means to be courageous; moreover, there are numerous games targeted to learning, such as Brain Age.
Getting through life takes dedication, will, and perseverance; giving up on something shouldn’t be an option. I feel as if achieving 100% is innate to human nature. Accomplishing such goals can give us a sense of reward and self-gratitude. Link could have quit and sent Hyrule into despair, but he didn’t. When the going got tough Link faced evil head on, he kept going, he never backed down, and he completed his journey to rescue Zelda and save Hyrule; that is true dedication. If Link is said to be our link into the game, then possibly we are meant to reflect his perseverance in our lives as well.