Though it’s coming to an end shortly, it’s one of my most favorite times of year: Shark Week! Why? I love sharks! It’s as simple as that.
The Legend of Zelda has featured a few different shark-based creatures in its realms, including the ever-striking Prince Sidon. However, when I first thought of sharks in Zelda, he surprisingly wasn’t the first thing to come to mind (which I was quickly — and fairly — scorned by the rest the Zelda Universe staff for).
Instead, I remembered back to my first playthrough of The Wind Waker. While sailing, there’s a chance of encountering a purple shark-like monster called Gyorgs. As much as I love sharks, when they tend to appear in video games they are usually not as allies and I do tend to get a bit nervous. I couldn’t help but assume the worst when I first ran into these fellows on a long journey across the great sea.
I don’t remember where exactly I was going or what my current goal was, but I do remember that feeling of dread when the eerie ocean battle music first began to play. I couldn’t see any enemies nearby at first, making me all the more nervous about what was to come. Still terrified by my Big Octo experience, I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could! The spooky choir and Jaws-like melody were enough to strike fear into my heart, but then I saw the fin.
I wasn’t as scared once I saw what was going on, but the music didn’t help any. It was clearly a shark of some sort, but how do I defeat it? It kept circling my boat as I sailed about. I didn’t want to stop in fear it would come up and bite my ship, so I kept moving. It continued to tail me and eventually sped up and made a sharp turn to ram me. I panicked. How was I supposed to avoid this thing?
The Gyorg charged and rammed me right out of the boat. Terrified that it would chomp into me or drag me underwater, I quickly made Link hustle for the boat. This happened a few more times before I started to get aggravated. It kept running into my vessel and I was starting to run low on hearts, and to make things worse, two more Gyorgs decided to join in the fun. Luckily I had some backup potions for my heart situation, but this had to stop.
I brought out the cannon, trying to shoot those pests down, but I could never aim it just right and they were just too fast. I then switched to arrows, which are actually supposed to work, but I guess I was just missing them because they were swimming too fast for me to keep up with them (I know now in my experience to wait until they are headed for the boat and not while they’re circling to shoot, but I was an irritated child who just wanted to get to the next darn island).
I must have been traveling to a new location or just didn’t think of using the “Ballad of Gales”, because I decided to stop attacking and kept moving on. They were hard to ignore and even more difficult to swerve away from, but I was persistent. It was a few more minutes before I finally discovered something in the corner of my screen. A button that said “jump”. Had that been there the whole time?
I pressed the button and suddenly the King of Red Lions was soaring through the air for a brief moment in time. This was fantastic! All my problems were solved! Every time one of the Gyorgs came my way, I would jump over them and avoid the damage and frustration that they had given me before. I was even having fun with it! While a calm voyage on the Great Sea is always nice, I do enjoy a little action to keep me engaged and this was just the trick. I even made a game out of how many consecutive jumps I could make over these ferocious fishies.
I kept sailing and eventually reached my destination where the Gyorgs couldn’t pursue me any longer. I didn’t know if they’d come back next time I’d set sail, but if they did, I now knew that I wouldn’t really mind. To this day I still make a game out of jumping the sharks, and it all started with this.