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Linke art by Kuvshinov-Ilya, gen­ders by Tumblr

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.

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The hero of our tale, Zelda

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.

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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.

 

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Jamie Agatha Rose
A beau­ti­ful pre­cious snowflake who is too su­per­nat­ur­al for pet­ty hu­man minds to com­pre­hend. ~ Amateur Artist and Writer
Jamie Agatha Rose

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