Big thanks to Kaiser for the Christmas images!
On behalf of all the staff here at Zelda Universe, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all you readers a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Wow, what an incredible year 2013 has been. Eiji Aonuma wasted absolutely no time in making this year special, announcing The Wind Waker HD way back in January. With the game now released, it has now reached a whole new audience and rekindled the pure joy in long-term fans. Mere months later, Nintendo of course announced an all-new entry for the franchise, a sequel to A Link to the Past–which, in turn, was later titled A Link Between Worlds. Since its release, the 3DS hit has been hailed by many as the greatest Zelda game in years. I’m sure many of you are looking forward to unwrapping at least one of these games, in which case I’m sure it’ll be a very memorable Christmas day indeed!
But before we hurtle head-first into the holiday and inevitably the promising year of 2014, how about you stick around for a while? Read on and join us for a round-up of the very best this year had to offer!
2013 kicked off spectacularly with not only the promise of a Wind Waker remake, but we also finally got our hands on the English edition of Hyrule Historia, the mighty tome of Zelda knowledge that fans had been pining for over a year prior. We also saw a brand new Link figurine appear from Medicom’s toy range, making even the beloved Figma Link seem arguably obsolete. Prima announced a collector’s edition box set of Zelda guide books, packaged in a sweet treasure chest and including a number of other goodies.
Then of course we had the riveting unveiling of Super Smash Bros. 4 for Wii U and 3DS, with brand new faces in the roster and the glorious return of Link and Toon Link. Just last week we were also given a glimpse of the upcoming Wii U title Hyrule Warriors, which is looking immensely fun. The year ahead is already looking like an exciting time to be a Zelda fan.
Outside of Zelda, the year was also full of other neat surprises. The announcement of the 2DS came out of nowhere, with Nintendo cleverly broadening its audience with a more affordable alternative to the 3DS system, while the Wii U received a welcome price cut.
I don’t think it would be exaggerating to say that Zelda Universe now has the best news team we’ve ever had, more than tripling our previous news output, leaving no detail uncovered and keeping every important news accurate, timely and a joy to read. It’s been beyond a pleasure to work with the team–kudos, boys and girls!
It’s not only been a huge year for Zelda/Nintendo fans, but also for Zelda Universe itself. In perhaps the biggest feature we’ve ever presented on the site, Jason, Cody and Hombre had the incredible opportunity to interview Zelda director Eiji Aonuma.
Elsewhere, we had the infinitely fun CD-i Month, wherein we celebrated the Zelda games that people love to hate and try to forget–or in our case, love to love and force you to remember. We also launched our line of Zelda Universe t-shirts, revived the ZU podcast after a long hiatus, and Melena even got the chance to meet the ass-kicking name-taker himself, Reggie “The Regginator” Fils-Aime, as she kindly shared her experience at the Nintendo of America HQ in Redmond.
We’ve had a number of fantastic editorials from our article team too! The Missing Link has provided us with a number of pieces from his highly fascinating “Mysteries of Hyrule” series, which explores the more vague and unexplained aspects of the Zelda games. He kicked this off with a fantastic analysis of Gerudology.
In his Link’s Awakening article, Tesla uncovered all of the references to other Nintendo titles hidden within the game. Even the biggest fans of the game among you might just be surprised at the amount of references you missed! Of course, we all love Top 10 lists, and Aaron had us covered with an interesting and comical list of the lamest items in Zelda. Hey, with the number of large inventories across all the games, there’s bound to be some poor choices. Antonia also made a very convincing case for why the 2DS is relevant in the gaming market, and why it’s a system not to be scoffed at–and I couldn’t agree more!
We also decided to fondly look back (even further than this year), at all the times that the Zelda games truly had phenomenal impacts on us. Strawcup513 celebrated fifteen years of perhaps the most iconic game to a lot of Zelda fans, Ocarina of Time. She recalled the touching tale of her first experience of the game, and how the game even had the power to help her pull through a serious illness. Similarly, I happily celebrated the 10th anniversary of my favourite video game of all time, The Wind Waker, and how it helped me through the worst time of my life. It’s the most personal thing I’ve ever shared on the internet, and I’m more than happy that it was Zelda Universe that allowed me to do so. I also can’t wait to read the delights that the article team brings us next year!
We’ve been pretty active on our ZUTV YouTube channel too, with the Skyward Sword Let’s Play still continuing and the introduction of our podcasts in visual form. Other highlights include Hombre’s interview with the extraodinarily talented violinist Lindsey Stirling, the debut of the competitive show Zelda Versus, and my personal favourite, the excruciatingly awkward and relentlessly hilarious “My CD-i Day“. Oh, and you better believe Cody’s been ranting.
If there’s one thing that people come to Zelda Universe for, it’s the community–and you lot have been very busy indeed on the forums. The release of A Link Between Worlds of course allowed the Zelda Theorizing board to thrive with intriguing ideas and compelling discussions. Even after all this time, Hyrule Historia has proven itself endless in its surprises regarding the Zelda series, allowing users to create yet more interesting threads. This year’s Clan Wars was a very close game between the Din, Nayru and Farore clans. While Din and Nayru smashed it in the Limericks event, the ferocious Farore clan was victorious in all other events and came out on top as the ultimate winner. The opposing teams sure gave it their all, though; check out how close those final scores were!
We also saw the revival of The Museum thread, where “Muses” can gather to critique various works. Remember, if you’ve made any form of art, (such as poetry, graphic design, photography or something else) that you’d love to get helpful and constructive feedback on, go check it out! Likewise, if you’re interested in providing the critique and are willing to commit to the requirements of being a Muse, go ahead and contact one of the Creativity Corner moderators.
Elsewhere we kicked off this year’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament, “ZU Says Goodbye to Brawl“, as an extravagant farewell to the highly acclaimed Nintendo fighter. Contestants gathered from all over the world to brawl it out, with user theunabletable coming out on top.
The return of the Zelda Riddles thread was so popular that it found itself nominated as “Best Zelda Thread” in the ZU awards. Elsewhere, Ruki introduced her ZRPG, “The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom Come”. She’s truly gone all-out with her idea, detailing story, history, races, NPCs and more. It’s a very clever concept with many committed players involved. Ruki is planning to restart the game very soon, so if you’re interested in getting involved don’t be afraid to contact her!
And of course, I can’t discuss the forums without giving a huge shout-out to all of the moderators who help make ZU such a pleasant place for discussion. Your hard work is never gone unnoticed, guys–swiftly removing any inappropriate users and threads, organising events for members to participate in, and of course handling the disaster that was the “Black Valentine” database crash which caused a loss of three months’ worth of forum data. Also, congratulations to gamtos who became a section moderator!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Once more: have a Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year! As always, let us know what festivities you get up to, what gifts you received and especially if you got something Zelda-related. Perhaps you’d like to tell us your favourite memory of 2013, ZU-related or otherwise. 2014 looks to be just as grand as 2013 was, with Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. 4 on the horizon, and perhaps we’ll even unravel the many mysteries of Zelda U. Happy holidays, be safe, and play Zelda!