Trans Eye for the Gamer Guy: Legend of Zelda
This piece is dedicated to the stunning and brave Sandy Beaches.
I remember how much I loved playing The Legend of Zelda when I was a little girl (even though my parents always referred to me as a boy…). I recall with such wonder how fascinating and empowering the experience was. Exploring such an amazing world as a boy in a green dress. I decided to go back and play the game again. My hope is to give it a completely unbiased review from the perspective of nostalgia and retro gaming and totally not from the typical view of a trans woman.
Playing as the hero, Zelda, was quite empowering for young Jamie. Even though I was slightly put off by being told I would need a phallic object if I was going to “go alone.” Despite this, I did quite enjoy being able to put the big brown sword into all the gibbering mouth monsters I encountered. As I delved into the first dungeon, I became entranced by the tonal shift from the cheery music of the overworld to the tense tunes of the dark underworld. Forging through the evil catacombs reminded me of every time I went to school and wanted to stab meanies and bullies with a long, sharp, hard extension of myself. I’m sure the average gamer understands how that feels.
Unfortunately. I died several times traversing the first dungeon and it made me quite upset after a while. However, I did manage to persevere despite the raging misogynistic bear creatures throwing their hate projectiles at me. Happily I was able to slay the dragon of heteronormativity and claimed my first golden triangle, my first step on the path to self-completion. This was a great step to launch me on my adventure of exploration and self-discovery. Seeing various landscape and finding all sorts of new tools to use. As well as plenty of mouth creatures to stick my big brown sword into. I’m sure every perfectly normal gamer felt the same joy that I did.
Sadly there were some hiccups as the game went on. Early on, I had to exchange my beautiful brown peni…sword for a white one which was significantly more powerful. It made me sad that Nintendo was being so racist. I also had to buy candles and bombs to progress in the game which meant I had to support capitalism, and I was horrified that I had to use them to blow up peaceful rocks and trees just to find more money. It made me feel like a filthy Republican. Though nothing could prepare me for the horror that awaited when I went to the third dungeon and it was shaped like a swastika! At that point I couldn’t take all the horrible cisheteronormative patriarchal symbolism being shoved down my throat and I was ready to give up on the game. Fortunately I stoically pushed on, because nothing is gained from running away. After all, Samus never ran from all the nasty monsters that attacked her for being a strong transwoman. Besides I can’t really give a good review of the game from a totally unbiased and free of transfeminist ideology viewpoint if I stop playing now.
Pushing on in the game proved difficult. The monsters and puzzles became far more challenging as I progressed, which felt unfair and obviously biased towards white male cishet gamers. Still, the experience rewarded me for my perseverance. Acquiring items like the rings which made Zelda’s dress change color, and a part where you just fed a puppy rather than kill it, were quite rewarding and refreshed my determination. Also getting bows and arrows and keys and lots of other long pointy objects to stick in holes was quite empowering to a young gamer who is totally not basing her views on ideological bias.
Getting to the final boss of the game was a challenge in itself. The last dungeon was an excruciating maze that made very little sense, and the difficulty of the enemies was so brutal that it made me long for playing more accessable, narrative driven games like Sunset or Depression Quest. The fight with Ganon was incredible though. Fighting a gruesome manbearpig who veiled himself in the darkness to hide from the awesome light of my womanhood was incredible and symbolic. It’s something I think every gamer — who is totally not a blatant social justice warrior pretending to be normal so they can pass off a clickbait article as a legitimate review — can agree on.
When I entered the final room and found the princess I was disappointed to see that the game had ended in a typical damsel in distress trope, the very kind our lord and savior Anita warned us about. Then as they held up the golden triangles together I realized that the princess was the grown up Zelda who had completed xir transition from merely a boy in a dress to a full-fledged drag queen independent woman. I was amazed, thrilled, and joyful to come to that conclusion and remembered how awesome it felt when I realized Samus was trans as well. Truly it was one of the greatest days of my life, and I think any person who beat this game would understand how a totally normal, not genderbiased, actually hardcore gamer who isn’t desperately seeking validation for their tenuous grasp on reality would feel the same.
Isn’t Nintendo amazing? Back in the days of hateful cisheteronormative transracial bashing patriarchal capitalist white christian imperialistic oppression, Nintendo was a shining beacon of light for the oppressed. Helping to tell our struggle and shit on white cishet males bring empowerment to me disenfranchised minorities in every corner of the globe. I think we should all praise Nintendo for creating such a wonderfully inclusive character like Zelda, who has appeal that breaks all gender, racial, and social lines. Xir struggle for equality and acceptance will be heralded and praised for generations to come!
And if you don’t agree with me you’re a white cishet MRA GamerGate shitlord oppressor and you should be strung up in town square for raping our safe spaces with your horrible opinions… but I’m totally not biased or anything.