Friday, January 17, 2014

I Am Tired of All These Motherfuckin' Clichés in This Motherfuckin' Industry!

Motivation is difficult to pin down. Do you act in self-interest or in altruism? Do you hate yourself? Or others? Do you love yourself? Or others? Or something?

The reason I ask is that it seems like in nearly every game, movie, novel, etc. I’ve experienced recently has used the all-too-familiar last minute betrayal as its ultimate story device.

Man, am I tired of that shit.

Does absolutely no one have a solid character? Does absolutely no one have any principles? All of these characters go through the entirety of the time we spend with them as one set of thoughts, feelings, and desires, but then, in the blink of an eye, all of the goodwill built up disappears entirely. If done well, there are clues along the way that someone is going to betray you, like Cypher in The Matrix or Wesker in the original Resident Evil, but it seems like nearly every game, book, and movie thinks it needs to have some sort of twist to make it more interesting to its audience.

Perhaps this is simply a sign of poor writing or poor choice on the viewer’s part. Final Fantasy Tactics, the original one for the PSX, is Game of Thrones through and through, and it’s just as complicated and ridiculous. Some of the betrayals in that game are unexpected and surprising, but to the benefit of the overall story. They’re caught up in an epic power struggle that none of them can escape of their own volition. Except Ramza.


But The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’ betrayal is pointless. At the end of the game, the alternate Princess Hilda for whom you’ve been working to bring peace back to Lorule, decides that she’s actually pretty stupid and tries to kill you and your entire kingdom of Hyrule. She, Hilda that is, knows just as well as Zelda that acquiring the Triforce means that you can make any wish you like to any effect, practically without consequence, and yet she decides that she has to destroy Link and Zelda's planet to save hers. Perhaps it can be put up to temporary insanity, but it felt to me like the classic clichéd “oops, time to kill you because no reason” ending. And I was quite disappointed that it took that turn.

But it didn’t tarnish the game. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the finest Zelda game I’ve played since Ocarina of Time. Thank god for that.

You got lucky this time.

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