Several years ago, the Japanese artist, who goes by the internet monicker of Ag+, rocked the world with his incredibly detailed (and tall) 25th Anniversary Zelda painting. It’s been covered plenty of times over the years, though, in my opinion, not enough times as would do the painting proper justice. If you’re one of the few unfortunate fellows that have yet to have had the privilege to look upon the aforementioned painting, please click either this link or this link profusely.
But I’m not here to talk about that beauty. I’m here to bring your attention to a more recent painting digitally brushed by the same artist. Behold the 30th Anniversary Zelda Tribute by Ag+!
Initially, all I saw was Phantom Ganon contemplating a foggy expanse with some Ganondorfs watching from above. Awesome? Most definitely. Deep? Not a ton. Or, not as deep as Ag+’s 25th Anniversary painting, anyway. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed at first.
A longer study proved that my disappointment was unfounded though. Let me explain.
First, an obvious parallel can be drawn to this famous Romantic era painting, one of my all-time favorites. I wonder if the artist had been inspired by Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, and if so, if Phantom Ganon could be imbued with some of the Romantic ideals the German painting so clearly portrays. That sense of man versus the world.
My initial gut feeling is that this painting is set in the gap between dimensions, our focal character’s place of banishment after Link defeats him. If we go with that premise, then this would take place after the events in the Forest Temple. Considering the pose of Phantom Ganon, the ever-present god-like stature of the Ganondorfs above, and the vague quote (which has nothing to do with any previous reference of Phantom Ganon, by the way) — what would a phantom of the villain we all love to hate be doing with his time?
I expect that if he were a creation of Ganondorf to be a pawn, then a fair amount of personality would be transferred over. What if Phantom Ganon is biding his time banished to a realm outside of the ordinary, in a way that Ganondorf will soon be as well? What if Phantom Ganon’s fate is to be forever stuck, trying to escape, forever hating Ganondorf and the life that fate has dealt him?
What if this scene embodies what Ganondorf would do for centuries trapped in the Sacred Realm, with a bit of the Triforce at his disposal?
Is the gap between dimensions our friend’s fate? A place where he, without the help of the Triforce of Power to force the surrounding land to bend to his will, will tirelessly seek escape? If nothing else, it sure gives that quote “As long as the wind blows…” more meaning.
Ah, art analysis. Why are you so alluring?
How would you overly interpret this piece? Let me know below!