Whenever I would go away or stay with a relative for a weekend, I would always pack up my GameCube to plug in wherever I went. The game that always came with me was The Wind Waker. I was so determined to beat it, as it was my first Zelda game, so I would lug the system with me wherever I went just so I could continue my epic quest across the Great Sea.
One weekend, I had to stay with my great-aunt Tessie while my parents were out of town, and of course, I brought with me my GameCube. She was an older relative who wasn’t very familiar with new technology, and to be honest I wasn’t even sure if she had a television that would be compatible with the system. It wasn’t that I couldn’t live without the game for a few days, but I had just gotten up to the Triforce Shards quest and I couldn’t wait to get started! I was so close to the end! Or so I thought, as finding those shards took a long time.
While the GameCube couldn’t plug into her bigger, bulkier television in the living room, it was able to fit into the tiny kitchen television. We always spent a lot of time in the kitchen together, so I thought it would be fine. As long as I unplugged it in time for her to watch her soap operas that I never understood, I would be able to play for a while. I hooked up the system and began the game as she carried on with her own business.
As I progressed further into the game, she occasionally glanced over to what I was doing and asked questions you would expect from an elder woman who didn’t know much about video games. She asked things such as “who was I playing as?” or “how do you beat that monster?”, all of which I’d happily explain to her. She seemed very amused by everything that was happening on the screen, but not as much as she would be once I entered the Savage Labyrinth.
She left the room for a while when I first entered the Labyrinth, so I was just getting a feel for the trial that lied ahead. Things weren’t too complicated — I beat the enemy, I go down to the next floor, repeat. However, there was something in between all of this that made it a little more irksome. Every time Link would drop down to the next level, he would scream. At first, I didn’t mind, but after about the 10th time, I was fed up with it.
When my aunt Tessie came back into the room and heard this for herself, I was sure she was going to get just as annoyed and tell me to unplug the game. Instead, she laughed — and it wasn’t just the first time either! Each floor that I went down, she would laugh at the goofy scream Link would let out, which in turn, made me laugh as well. Though the challenges throughout the rest of the cavern got progressively harder the deeper I went, it was all finished with a big laugh from me and aunt Tessie.
Unfortunately, aunt Tessie passed away back in 2014, but there are so many memories I still have of spending time with her. It’s the simple things I remember the most; the delicious food she would spoil me with, the two of us watching The Days of Our Lives, and of course whenever I pick up The Wind Waker, I can’t go through the Savage Labyrinth without hearing her laughter, and that always helps me make it through with confidence and a smile.