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.


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  • Ryndax

    Thomas Alva Edison is credited with inventing the lightbulb. Einstein proposed the theory of relativity.
    I just though I should point this out to you 🙂

    • kaiser13576

      Stupid me. I wrote this too early in the morning. I will fix it 😀

      • Banooru

        Glad you took the time early in the morning. This article made me think. : )

  • heroofmasks

    i found all the godess cubes and heartpieces and gratitude crystles on my 2nd playthrough myself and wrote down the loctations little tip theres a goddess cube on top of the skyview temple entrance


    Um… to tell the truth, I am the worst 100% person ever… of all time. I did skyward sword with almost 100 by the end but, I just like the story, not wandering around for hours on end looking for stuff. Example I finished OoT with only 13 hearts. 🙁 I would like to see someone play Batman: Arkham City 100%. That game is HUGE!!!

  • If you're really gonna keep that spirit, than stay away form any pokemon game. There way too long

  • Banooru

    I don't think time and effort are the only elements necessary to become great at something. You also need critical thinking skills to evaluate your performance and look at areas where you can improve. Lazy practicing can be as bad or worse than practicing at all since it creates bad habits.

    I don't think human nature is to strive for perfection. I have seen many people who are complacent. However, I do think perseverance and deterermination are qualities we should strive for, and the Legend of Zelda is a great series to exemplify and teach these qualities.

  • cloverplayer

    Haha, at first I though "person X" was a reference my terribly uncultured brain was missing 😛
    Fail on my part.

  • zerandomguy

    Oh, and btw, great article! As I read it, I realized that probably about 15% of my personality came from Zelda.


    It's just so great; One of the best things that ever happened to me was when the guy at Fred Meyers was like, "You're looking for a GBA game? You should try this one, it's pretty good." He handed me 'A Link to the Past,' which was definitely my favorite game for a LONG time, and even now it is in my top 10. That was about 5-6 years ago, and ever since I have been a Zelda fan.

    Thank you, Zelda, for being awesome 🙂

    • Banooru

      That Fred Meyers shopguy experience is the equivalent of an old man saying:

      "it's dangerous to go alone . . . take this!"

      BAM! Life changed.

  • cloverplayer

    (spoiler allert)

  • I love doing 100% runs, but I select the game I do it in carefully. I generally like to beat the game without any guide or help whatsoever first, and then I might use a guide to help me complete the game 100%, possibly in the second run.

    I have been struggling with Metroid Other M, however, as I cannot find one last missile =(, and I've shelved it for quite a while because of the countless hours I've spent not understanding where it is. That is the only time where doing 100% runs get frustrating for me.

  • Ezluke

    Nice article! I, too, decided to combine hero mode and 100% in my second playthrough. I got everything and did almost everything, but the only things I didn't do were beat Peater's score or beat all 12 bosses for Lanayru. It took forever to beat 8 to get the Hylian Shield, so I knew it would take way longer to manage to beat all 12…

    Anyway, I always like to play a Zelda game once, and then do 100% on my second game. So far I've 100%-ed ALttP, OoT, MM, TWW, TP, and sorta SS. I got very close in Spirit Tracks!

  • Ryan

    I didn't finish Skyward Sword 100% on my first play through, now I'm dedicated to getting it on Hero mode. I really want to know what goes in that grey slot next to the baby's rattle on the inventory screen, I have never found that one out.

  • Fun Fun Island Heart Piece…Most annoying Heart Piece to get in Zelda history I reckon! Ugh.

    • Trikeboy

      I disagree, the one in the digging game from LTTP and the treasure chest game are so hard to get since they are in a random location each time.

      • Banooru

        That digging game emptied my full wallet so many times.

        Treasure chest one I got pretty quickly, though.

  • Jimmy Haik August 22, 2012 at 12:00 am