Over the past year I have seen many sites come and go; some of the largest fan sites suddenly crash and burn, others just fall into the obliteration of no updates. One of the most frequently occurring reasons for Zelda sites dying is lack of interest from the Web master and the viewer. People blame Nintendo, for no game releases, but how can this be? In the past year there have been two games released onto the market, The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past and Fourswords. These two games in themselves are huge, and are easily enough to keep the Zelda community happy for a small amount of time. Yet, the Zelda community is still small; there are those few huge fan sites, like Zelda Universe, Zelda Elements and others alike. But the majority are small, and in comparison to another series, like Final Fantasy, they are nothing.
These 'big' Zelda sites, how many can you think of? Five or six? Possibly seven? Now, Final Fantasy 'big' sites, ten, eleven, sometimes even more depending how hardcore of a fan you are. How can this be, Zelda came first, Zelda is the one that breaks and makes all records, Zelda is also the one that has had the most critical acclaim over any game series ever recorded. The answer to this question is simple. It is loyalty.
The Zelda franchise is at it's peak, it's having the most games released, the most critical acclaim for a long time and it's being mentioned everywhere you go. But it's lost so many fans, why is this? The answer, cell shading. Nintendo announced this after the amazing Space World footage and instantly thousands of gamers were turned off by this new style of game making. They simply refused to buy the game, the strive for realistic polygonal graphics has corrupted the fine art of innovativeness. We are now so obsessed with making a characters ear look perfect that we lose track of what we should be concentrating on, and that is the game play. And the reason for this is Sony. They have destroyed games by releasing gaming to the general market. Not that opening things up is bad, but the way that they went about it was. The corruption of video games, and gamers itself is plain to see all around you. We strive for realistic graphics, and destroy the game play. The prime example is in Zelda.
The Wind Waker, was a great game in itself, not the standard of Ocarina of Time, but a fantastic game, with brilliant animation and a story line that could put to shame many a writer. But gamers, because of the 'kiddy' graphics, overlook this. So they left, moved onto a game that is turn based and has realistic graphics. Final Fantasy. (See where the loyalty thing is kicking in?) So, now you are all thinking that this is going to turn into a hate Sony article, and you'd be wrong. Sony, may have corrupted the 'gamer' name, may have the worst graphics and be the most popular console, par the GAB. But I am not going to criticise them any more, just the fans. The Zelda fans leave the prestige of the Zelda series for Final Fantasy. But that's not the worst part, oh no. Now Zelda sites, pure and brilliant ones, are branching out to add Final Fantasy to their sites, as if there are not enough Final Fantasy sites out there as it is.
So what's wrong with them branching out? Well, the first one would be that the Zelda content would suffer, at the moment the content for most of the games is pretty high, even if they are almost all shared word for word between the sites, such as Zelda Universe and Great Deku Tree. Which means that the Zelda theories as well would be neglected in the webmasters search for content to fill their sites up with. Some are doing this to try to poach some visitors away from Final Fantasy and hopefully convert them to Zelda. But is this necessary? Do we really need more fans that have been poached from Final Fantasy by sites with more than one set of gaming contents? No.
Zelda has always been known for its beauty in games. They are always the best of their generation. The fan base for Zelda at the moment is large, but not large enough. Especially with many of them leaving for Final Fantasy. Not that it is bad to have a passion for another game, I do. I love the Goemon series, but I don't ditch Zelda for it. Much to the contrary, I moderate on many Zelda forums, write editorials and rants like this one and make and run a Zelda fan site. But most Zelda fans just leave, because of the mediocre information on standard Zelda sites, or the shared information between the larger ones.
However, there is one solution to this. And that solution is to come together as one we love Zelda. But are fed up of mediocre content, shared content, lack of updates and lack of fan material. As without the fans there is nothing. How do we solve this? By writing out own content, of course some is going to be the same, like the Heart Piece locations, or item descriptions. But things like opinions, and our styles of writing are different. Our artistic styles all vary, some vary infrequently, and others vary dramatically on the same piece of work. We should allow this fan based interactivity. We should have forums with liberal rules, we should be proud of our nationalities also. Many Zelda sites hide the fact that they are Canadian or English, as they want to appeal to the mass market of the USA. Shout it out, we are all different, but that's what makes us brilliant.
If we embrace our differences, change out layouts to be different to one another's, write and don't share out content with other sites (written content that is) and allow fan based theories, songs, art, literature to be seen and recognised as an integral part of the Zelda community then we are sure to expand and stop the continual decline in Zelda becoming Final Fantasy, or another series, sites.
This is an UNOFFICIAL site and is in no way supported by Nintendo . The Legend of Zelda™, Link, Princess Zelda, Ganon and other related characters belong to Nintendo . The images and information on these pages are purely for entertainment value only.
This page was created by Juliet A. Singleton © 2004. All rights reserved.