Why Darksiders wasn’t the Dark Zelda I’d been waiting for

Just a warning, there may be minor spoilers for both Darksiders and a few Zelda games in this blog. Also, this blog is long but hopefully worth a read if the subject material interests you.

Zelda: My Summer Jam

Just about every summer I get the urge to play through games in the Legend of Zelda series. This summer has been no different. This time, though, I decided I would try the game that has been almost universally hailed as the dark Zelda game that the older fans of the series had been waiting for: Darksiders. I spent about a week of time playing—and finishing—the game. I really liked it (you can check out my extensive review of it here), but it wasn’t because I thought it was some grand and dark Legend of Zelda replacement.

It’s impossible to talk about Darksiders without drawing the appropriate comparisons to Zelda. The same dungeon-item mechanics exist, you collect heart pieces, magic upgrades, and you defeat bosses with newly acquired items (items that have obvious parallels to LoZ items). This game was clearly inspired in many ways by the Legend of Zelda franchise, despite what the developer claims. These things alone, however, don’t deliver the kind of experience I would want from a dark Zelda game.

Game is pretty dark

If I had to pinpoint where exactly I think Darksiders fails in this respect, it would have to be the atmosphere that the game provides. The game is dark, absolutely. I’m not denying this. The difference is that I don’t really care about why the game is so damned dark. Perhaps part of the reason I don’t care is because I have nothing to compare the dark overworld with. You start the game being thrown into an already pretty messed-up earth. After the game’s short abilitease section, you return to earth to find that it is now even more messed up. If you contrast this with Ocarina of Time’s transition between Link being a child and Link being an adult, there is an absolutely shocking moment when you walk out of the Temple of Time for the first time and see the grim red halo hanging above Death Mountain. It is apparent that Hyrule has taken a turn for the worse since you have been trapped in time. When you juxtapose the condition of town square when you exit the Temple of Time to what it was just moments (in terms of gameplay) ago, the feeling of dread sinks in far deeper than it ever did during my playthrough of Darksiders. I felt like I was to blame for all of this awfulness.

Link's a likable duder

Another potential reason for this disconnect is because I can actually relate in certain ways to Link and his motivations. War is, in all measurable ways, a complete and total badass. He’s a force with deity like powers and that’s a whole hell of a lot more than I can say about myself. Link, on the other hand, starts out as a young boy with no more experience wielding a sword than I do currently. He receives the call to adventure and embarks upon a journey that includes, among other things, huge personal growth. That’s something I can understand and relate to, even in such a fantastical environment. War, on the other hand, undergoes a transformation from badass dude to slightly more badass dude—it just doesn’t feel as meaningful to me. Additionally, the motivations of each main character couldn’t be more different. War’s story can be boiled down to a revenge plot. He has been framed, and he goes through great lengths to right this wrong, and kill the person(s) responsible for it. Everyone can relate in some way to a revenge story, but they aren’t exactly deep. Link’s story, in comparison, is generally a selfless one. He takes on huge responsibility in order to save the world—and, maybe, a bit of a love interest. It’s hard to call Link’s story deep, but it certainly goes further than a simple revenge plot.

This just feels right

All of these things take away a little from what I think Darksiders could have been. However, the last thing that I think really captures what a Zelda game is—to me at least—probably shouldn’t be a part of Darksiders. In general, War is alone on his journey. The only reason War interacts with anyone is because he needs to. War would just as soon kill everyone he meets as he would accept help from them. Samael is a good example of this: A character that needs War just as much as War needs him, but either character has no affinity for each other. I wouldn’t have been surprised if War killed Samael after he was no longer useful, which is saying a lot considering that Samael is one of War’s only allies (besides the other 3 horsmen). It’s War against the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, if I’m looking for a Zelda replacement, I want to have a meaningful connection to the world. Majora’s Mask is probably the most involved example of having a connection to the world, one which was often dark and depressing. Majora’s Mask gives out more sidequests than any other Zelda game I can think of. This leads to giving Link a greater connection to many of the characters in the overworld. When you reunite Anju and Kafei, it’s a wonderful feeling of satisfaction (it’s easily the longest sidequest in the game). However that feeling of satisfaction is soon wiped away as you realize that you must reset the flow of time, undoing all good deeds done in your previous three days. After you play the Song of Time, all the connections you have built disappear and you start from square one. In many ways, Majora’s Mask is the sort of dark Zelda game that I want to play, and continues to be my favorite iteration on the series so far.

That said, I loved Darksiders and am very excited for the next release. I’m also looking forward to Skyward Sword, but I don’t think that this game is going to do anything for people looking for a dark Zelda game (not that we know much about the game). Luckily enough, I'm still happy to play through a stock Zelda adventure. A salute to those who made it through this overlong blog. Thanks for reading!

44 Comments
45 Comments
Posted by Bass

Just a warning, there may be minor spoilers for both Darksiders and a few Zelda games in this blog. Also, this blog is long but hopefully worth a read if the subject material interests you.

Zelda: My Summer Jam

Just about every summer I get the urge to play through games in the Legend of Zelda series. This summer has been no different. This time, though, I decided I would try the game that has been almost universally hailed as the dark Zelda game that the older fans of the series had been waiting for: Darksiders. I spent about a week of time playing—and finishing—the game. I really liked it (you can check out my extensive review of it here), but it wasn’t because I thought it was some grand and dark Legend of Zelda replacement.

It’s impossible to talk about Darksiders without drawing the appropriate comparisons to Zelda. The same dungeon-item mechanics exist, you collect heart pieces, magic upgrades, and you defeat bosses with newly acquired items (items that have obvious parallels to LoZ items). This game was clearly inspired in many ways by the Legend of Zelda franchise, despite what the developer claims. These things alone, however, don’t deliver the kind of experience I would want from a dark Zelda game.

Game is pretty dark

If I had to pinpoint where exactly I think Darksiders fails in this respect, it would have to be the atmosphere that the game provides. The game is dark, absolutely. I’m not denying this. The difference is that I don’t really care about why the game is so damned dark. Perhaps part of the reason I don’t care is because I have nothing to compare the dark overworld with. You start the game being thrown into an already pretty messed-up earth. After the game’s short abilitease section, you return to earth to find that it is now even more messed up. If you contrast this with Ocarina of Time’s transition between Link being a child and Link being an adult, there is an absolutely shocking moment when you walk out of the Temple of Time for the first time and see the grim red halo hanging above Death Mountain. It is apparent that Hyrule has taken a turn for the worse since you have been trapped in time. When you juxtapose the condition of town square when you exit the Temple of Time to what it was just moments (in terms of gameplay) ago, the feeling of dread sinks in far deeper than it ever did during my playthrough of Darksiders. I felt like I was to blame for all of this awfulness.

Link's a likable duder

Another potential reason for this disconnect is because I can actually relate in certain ways to Link and his motivations. War is, in all measurable ways, a complete and total badass. He’s a force with deity like powers and that’s a whole hell of a lot more than I can say about myself. Link, on the other hand, starts out as a young boy with no more experience wielding a sword than I do currently. He receives the call to adventure and embarks upon a journey that includes, among other things, huge personal growth. That’s something I can understand and relate to, even in such a fantastical environment. War, on the other hand, undergoes a transformation from badass dude to slightly more badass dude—it just doesn’t feel as meaningful to me. Additionally, the motivations of each main character couldn’t be more different. War’s story can be boiled down to a revenge plot. He has been framed, and he goes through great lengths to right this wrong, and kill the person(s) responsible for it. Everyone can relate in some way to a revenge story, but they aren’t exactly deep. Link’s story, in comparison, is generally a selfless one. He takes on huge responsibility in order to save the world—and, maybe, a bit of a love interest. It’s hard to call Link’s story deep, but it certainly goes further than a simple revenge plot.

This just feels right

All of these things take away a little from what I think Darksiders could have been. However, the last thing that I think really captures what a Zelda game is—to me at least—probably shouldn’t be a part of Darksiders. In general, War is alone on his journey. The only reason War interacts with anyone is because he needs to. War would just as soon kill everyone he meets as he would accept help from them. Samael is a good example of this: A character that needs War just as much as War needs him, but either character has no affinity for each other. I wouldn’t have been surprised if War killed Samael after he was no longer useful, which is saying a lot considering that Samael is one of War’s only allies (besides the other 3 horsmen). It’s War against the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, if I’m looking for a Zelda replacement, I want to have a meaningful connection to the world. Majora’s Mask is probably the most involved example of having a connection to the world, one which was often dark and depressing. Majora’s Mask gives out more sidequests than any other Zelda game I can think of. This leads to giving Link a greater connection to many of the characters in the overworld. When you reunite Anju and Kafei, it’s a wonderful feeling of satisfaction (it’s easily the longest sidequest in the game). However that feeling of satisfaction is soon wiped away as you realize that you must reset the flow of time, undoing all good deeds done in your previous three days. After you play the Song of Time, all the connections you have built disappear and you start from square one. In many ways, Majora’s Mask is the sort of dark Zelda game that I want to play, and continues to be my favorite iteration on the series so far.

That said, I loved Darksiders and am very excited for the next release. I’m also looking forward to Skyward Sword, but I don’t think that this game is going to do anything for people looking for a dark Zelda game (not that we know much about the game). Luckily enough, I'm still happy to play through a stock Zelda adventure. A salute to those who made it through this overlong blog. Thanks for reading!

Posted by ArclightBorealis

Read through it all the way. Very nice.

I should probably replay Majora's Mask sometime.

Posted by Claude

I enjoyed reading that. I played Darksiders and agree that people calling it the Dark Zelda are reaching a little bit. Darksiders might have the trappings of Zelda, but there was so much more thrown into that game. I'm not saying it didn't work, but while I played I was like, oh man, Devil May Cry Combat and Portals. And of course the Zelda touches. For me, it made me want to play a Legend of Zelda game. But that's just me.

Posted by TooWalrus

You understand and relate to Link? He's the blankest slate possible!

Online
Posted by ajamafalous

I can see where you would think all of these things, but I kinda swing the other way in that the Zelda universe does nothing for me but I really enjoy the gameplay mechanics, so I thought Darksiders was way awesome.

Edited by Mikemcn

@TooWalrus said:

You understand and relate to Link? He's the blankest slate possible!

But, remember the part when Link and Zelda looked at eachother knowingly? IT WAS LIKE HE WAS ME!

Posted by ajamafalous

@Mikemcn said:

@TooWalrus said:

You understand and relate to Link? He's the blankest slate possible!

But, remember the part when Link and Zelda looked at eachother knowingly! IT WAS LIKE HE WAS ME!

Lol'd

Posted by Bass

@Claude: I agree that it made me want to play a Zelda game, I'm playing through Wind Waker now, just after beating Darksiders

@TooWalrus: In many ways, yes Link is the blankest of slates. At the same time, you have to feel for his situation. I relate to his situation I guess, more than his personality.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

A good read, but I think you expected too much Zelda from the game. No, it isn't exactly the same. But you are actually asking for a dark ZELDA game, not a dark game that is similar to Zelda. Sounds to me like you expected it to be a reskin or something, but it's not really. It has a lot of similarities particularly the way it is structured and the way it plays, but it is a homage, not a rip off. It is in it's own world with it's own characteristics and it's own tropes.@Mikemcn said:

@TooWalrus said:

You understand and relate to Link? He's the blankest slate possible!

But, remember the part when Link and Zelda looked at eachother knowingly? IT WAS LIKE HE WAS ME!

That is the whole point of a blank slate protag.

Online
Posted by Bass

@MordeaniisChaos: I understand where you get that idea from what I am saying, but that's not what I'm trying to get across. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while Darksiders is both dark and similar in structure to Zelda, it didn't actually satisfy my urge to play Zelda games (like so many people had claimed it did for them). This is primarily because I don't come to Zelda only for the gameplay mechanics.

Posted by SonicFire

Nice write-up here, but I can't help but disagree with you on many counts. The story itself isn't really why people call Darksiders the "Dark Zelda," it has more to do with its design and execution. You have darker subject matter, actual violence, an attack system that involves more than going "yah," and character design that doesn't make every enemy look friendly. Full disclosure, I've long since become jaded by the zelda series, primarily because it eschews any real tension for familiar progression. More to the point perhaps, there's nothing in a Koji Kondo soundtrack that will inspire anything other than, "hey, the kiddies should like this"

I'm not saying Darksiders nailed it, but if nothing else, it didn't repeat the same zelda formulas over and again. Nintendo has proven itself unwilling to tinker much with the formula.

Posted by Bass

@SonicFire: I fully understand why people call it a Dark Zelda, don't get me wrong. I'm not discounting those merits at all. But I couldn't help but not care about the darkness because it had no real impact on the experience. I appreciated the gameplay mechanics because they were fun and different from the norm.

Also, I don't think it's fair to say that there is no "actual violence" in Zelda games. In Wind Waker, probably the most "kiddy" looking Zelda game, Link straight up stabs Ganon through the face. That's pretty violent.

Edited by Kjellm87

Darksiders only borrows elements from Zelda, many games have done that through the years.

People who say Zelda should be more like Darksiders I strongly disagree with.

Posted by SonicFire

@Bass:

Yeah, that's just my take. You make a good point about Wind Waker though. That was the last game I actually enjoyed in the series, mainly because it went with something a little different. Unfortunately the series lost me since then. Twilight Princess was literally the first game I ever bought and decided it wasn't worth finishing.

I think though, that until Nintendo decides to so something different, Darksiders is going to be the best alternative, at least for me.

Posted by JackSukeru

The guys mentioning Majora's Mask on the bombcast some weeks ago got me thinking about all the messed up things that happen in that game, it also made me want a 3DS "remake" in the same vein as the one I'm currently playing through on my 3DS. Maybe now that I've already read the faq's and have some faint memories of how to solve the sidequests I wont have to resort to guides either :P

I've thought a lot about Zelda the last few weeks. Partly because of this, partly because of the Darksiders 2 announcement, I redownloaded the Darksiders demo and played it with a friend (all the way through this time) just to se if I could get into it, but it didn't leave me wanting any more.

I have, over recent years, greatly fallen out of love with the Zelda series, and I've some to believe that part of this is because my expectations for the series were always misplaced. After Ocarina of Time so firmly planted itself in the beginning of the Zelda timeline, not only establishing that there was some sort of a timeline to begin with, but also setting the stage for what could be the main draw for me; continuity . I wanted deeply for every following game in the series to follow this formula and to accept the canon of Ocarina. I wanted each game to take an unquestionable place in the timeline and for earlier games to be referenced in newer ones, or maybe future games being referenced in current ones.

I was disappointed.

When Wind Waker mentioned the "Hero of Time" I was happy, when the Deku tree's kids weren't Mido and the gang (I assumed Kokiri were immortal) I was sad. When Ganon was mentioned as being sealed away by sages in ancient times in Twilight Princess I was happy, when they turned out to be just generic holy men, not an assortment of familiar Goron, Zora and Hylian faces I was sad.

These past few weeks, thinking about (and playing some) Zelda, I finally feel commited to put those feelings and expectations aside. I feel that they have kept me from enjoying the unique parts about games like Twilight Princess, which I had to dig deep to remember anything about at all, only to be suddenly flooded with recollection and memory. Small things, events, characters, side stuff. I suddenly had to remember that "Yeah this game was totally good, I enjoyed most of what I played of this" which certainly felt weird after only having the momery of it dragging at the end, for so long.

But, I ramble, what I wanted to say was that I've actually found it in my heart to look forward to Skyward Sword with expectations other than how it will tie into the "Zeldaverse" and that, that notion has made me very happy.

Also: Geez, maybe I should have just written my own blog, huh?

Posted by CheapPoison

I didn't play the newest zelda.. but after Darksider.. I am kinda over Zelda.
 
Still love the series as a whole, just think that currently darksiders feels way fresher.
and i kinda love the art direction and the story is pretty interesting.

Posted by Pinworm45
@Bass said:

@Claude: I agree that it made me want to play a Zelda game, I'm playing through Wind Waker now, just after beating Darksiders

@TooWalrus: In many ways, yes Link is the blankest of slates. At the same time, you have to feel for his situation. I relate to his situation I guess, more than his personality.

You relate to the sitation of living in a forest and then having to go into a giant tree to kill a spider thing and then having to go to various temples to kill other things and collect hearts and then a sword that travels you through time so you can go to more temples to kill more things so you can fight a giant pig that stole a princess?
Posted by Hailinel

@Pinworm45: You're taking his words literally?

I always thought that the people calling Darksides a "Dark Zelda" was kind of ridiculous. Yes, the game uses the basic Zelda design template, but it has the darkness and maturity of a game that a fourteen-year-old would see as dark and mature. If I want to play a dark Zelda, I'll play either Link's Awakening or Majora's Mask.

Posted by gootxoon

Darksiders is a overrated and mediocre clone of so many superior games it copies.

Posted by Fat_Magnum

I agree, a Zelda replacement Darksiders was not. I enjoyed it because it was a pretty hilarious, creative and other times literal interpretation of a certain text I studied in youthfuller times.  The mechanics were certainly drawing inspiration from other stuff but it seemed to work smoothly in its own context.
 
I don't really feel that Zelda could be replaced, but I do wish they would do something with it for the ones who grew up playing the franchise. Which seems like everyone who likes games at this point. 
  
Majora is a great argument for the capability for Zelda to be darker, but still Zelda, as it  still retains its implicit and bizarre elements. Today it seems  marketers would make Link be an angsty teen crybaby and  Zelda some kind of gothy "Bad Bitch". Or the myriad other weak ass routes that are taken to make something "dark, gritty and mature"
 
I guess what I would like to see most is its technical elements to be pushed forward, better sound and graphix, while still retaining the creative aesthetic that make each entry memorable on its own merit. Not like I won't keep checkin out Zelda games if they don't, it would just be neat to see them push that side of the presentation forward, but that is just the Big N's style so... yeah. Even with that weird ass not-handheld-platform-masquerading-as-a-controller-console, just seems its a bit too late/early to try and jump to HD. But that could change a lot or whatever, since all we know about is "Dat Xpyriance!" 
 
I am conflicted about having voice acting though, cuz what happens if Link opens his mouth and he sounds like... Christ, the terrible possibilities are endless! His incessant shouts get annoying as it is.

Posted by MikkaQ

To me Darksiders came off as bizzaro zelda. It's like if Nintendo ditched their good, original art design for whatever they imagine 16 year old boys would be into but actually focused on the gameplay for once.

They should combine the gameplay of Darksiders with the look and feel of Zelda. Then you'd get a game that belongs in 2011, instead of continually building upon the mechanics of a dang N64 game. I'd play it. Also Nintendo if you're listening, give me a cold open for once. I hate dillydallying in whatever crappy village Link was born in for two hours before everything happens. TP was the worst one for this. Just open me in the middle of a conflict or something, that would immediately grab my attention.

Edited by Lazyaza

Interesting opinion but I had absolutely no issues with Darksiders and feel that if War weren't so bad ass it would have detracted from both story and gameplay immensely.  I could definitely see a Zelda-esc title with your idea for the lead character working quite well though. 

Posted by Trylks

The problem is that darkness is overrated, every game is too dark nowadays, specially the darkness, a game about turning off lights. 
 
I don't want a darker Zelda, I just want a more mature Zelda, which doesn't have a face on the moon and where dialogues make sense. Darkness is a mature like theme for teen rated games, where no blood or sex can be put, or they would be m rated games. But, none of them (darkness, blood or sex) make a game more fun to play, although sex may make it more exciting. 
 
Actually I don't want anything to be put on Zelda games, I just want the childish to be removed. For instance, Metroid is one of the least childish franchises in Nintendo, that's ok, kind of megaman, but not childish, that's good, some sidequests, a little sandbox and that's it, a perfect game. 
 
We are not there yet, but darksiders has opened a door taking some zelda dynamics out of zelda. I think it won't take too long before we see more games taking similar approaches.

Posted by Bass

@RockmanBionics: Yeah I think my expectations for TP were too high. I am going to go back and play it at some point since I really don't remember anything about it other than I thought it had the best final boss fight of any Zelda game I have played.

@rockingham: Yeah, Link should never be voiced. NPC's I could probably deal with, but I seriously doubt that a Zelda game will ever have full voice overs. I don't think I could live with anything but Link as a blank slate that occasionally grunts or reacts in surprise.

@XII_Sniper: I have been finding that the opening's for Zelda games are incredibly slow paced. Darksiders did a good job of throwing you right into the conflict immediately, which I really liked.

@Lazyaza: I absolutely agree, War needed to be a badass. The story wouldn't make sense if War, one of four horsemen of the appocalypse, wasn't a force to be reckoned with. I guess I just didn't feel a significant progression in my badassery, which was disappointing.

@Trylks: Well put. You said in 3 short paragraphs what I unsuccessfully said in 5 or 6 longer ones. That said, I still think there's a place for goofy Zelda games (Wind Waker is still one of my favorites).

Posted by ikwal

I agree I felt disconnected from the world and story of darksiders and therefore only got about half way through the game before I lost the motivation to continue.

Edited by ryanwho

Tedious combat rooms and easy a shit puzzles killed the Zelda vibe for me. So I laugh a little when someone like Jeff says it out Zelda'd Zelda. Darksiders has its merits but how many bosses left an indelible impression on me? Zero.  Most of them reminded me of better bosses in Zelda and occasionally SOTC. How many puzzles did I feel like a genius for solving? Zero. So what im left with is a convuluted story, vestigial RPG elements that every game has now, and an art style that I personally don't dig at all (I know Joe Mad has his fans, I'm not one of them). Its a testiment to the power of the Zelda formula that DS has so much working against it yet its still a good time.

Edited by Nasar7

I never played Darksiders because I was turned off by its art style, combat system, "so dark, so badass" tone, pretty much its whole aesthetic. I am a huge Zelda fan and would love a more mature Zelda, though not necessarily DS in-your-face dark, which doesn't strike me as very mature unless you are a 12 year old boy.

Edited by Klei

Hey TC, i'm a bit like you. Every summer, I get the urge to replay Zelda games. Right now i'm going through Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. That said, you say that you can elate to Link and his motives, well, as for me, it's the other way around. I couldn't care less about the storyline other than '' Save the princess and u win! '', even i f most characters are fully fleshed out and often funny. But for the motives of the hero alone, I think they're quite good. Especially in Wind Waker, where it's your sister that flies off between your fingers.  

Anyways, it was a good read!
Posted by MEATBALL

Good read. I think you were always bound for disappointment if you were hoping for "Dark Zelda", it's an enjoyable and competent Zelda clone with some nice voice acting and (depending on your tastes, Joe Mad isn't for everyone) some nice art. Not really complaining about your blog, or anything, just leaving a comment and a thought.

Posted by Icemael

There was a darker, more mature Zelda game over a decade ago. It was called Alundra.

Darksiders has way too much combat and way too little puzzle-solving to be any sort of substitute for Zelda. Also, I can't stand the designs. They remind me of World of Warcraft, and I detest that game's look.

Posted by Fat_Magnum
@Trylks: Yeah that hits the nail on the head for Zelda "growing up". I liked the darkness is overrated bit, it made me think of this One of Blizzard's April Fools jokes this year jabbing at "darkness". 
 
@Bass: For sure, Link is as expressive as a blank slate/silent protag needs to be. His interactions with the village kids in TP were great, imo. Midna was great too, I still giggle at her emotes while you are in wolf form.  
 
Oh, man. I might need to play through it again now.
Edited by JackSukeru

@Bass: I seem to remember not liking the final boss fight in TP, seeming like a lamer version of the WW one. I also can't remember if anyone even knew who Ganondorf were except the notion that he was some "ancient evil", so there was just nothing personal in it.

Here are a bunch of things that helped jog my memory of Twilight Princess:

  • No Gerudos in the desert :(
  • Zora prince and blue tunic with built-in ninja breathing mask and flippers. You take more fire damage so there's a reason not to completely trade in you green tunic.
  • Rowing downstream in a canoe and fishing in a boat.
  • Rebilding bridges with Midnas power.
  • Hunting invisible Poes with the wolf senses during the night.
  • Double Hookshots!
  • Bug-girl-princess wants a male/female version of all the worlds bugs.
  • Snowboard racing against a yeti. not as fun as advertised.
  • Getting new powers by finding a wolf master, never got all the techniques myself.
  • The howling as ocarina/wind waker (conductors baton) replacement sucks.

I've also been thinking about replaying TP from the beginning at some point but I'm afraid it'll spoil my interest in Skyward Sword so I'm holding off for now. Don't wanna burn out on Zelda just before the new one comes out.

As for voice acting, keeping Link silent definetly seems like the way to go, even if I think that Jak pulled it of pretty well (though it firmly placed him in the "dark and edgy" camp). I've been thinking for a few years that maybe going down the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus route of having spoken dialoge in a made up language could be a way around it (also not requiring more than one set of voice-work), since it leaves a little to interpretation as well as giving you a clear tone to go by. There was some kind of similar effect, that was not quite voice acting, when Midna spoke, but it was so murmuled and low and felt very MIDI synthesized.

Posted by Bass

@MEATBALL: I honestly didn't know what to expect when I was going in. I think that, in reality, I didn't think that I cared about anything other than the gameplay in Zelda games. Then I played Darksiders and it did little more than remind me why I still have a soft spot for Nintendo, even after all the disappointment the Wii brought with it.

@RockmanBionics: Yeah I remember almost all of the dog stuff being pretty boring/disappointing for me.

Posted by buft

You know something when i was playing darksiders i couldnt help but think of zelda but now playing through OoT on 3DS and reading this blog i cant help but agree with you, the story is one of the best things in a zelda game and when you take that element of the rise to hero out of the equation you're missing a large part of what makes Link feel so integral to the plot. 

Posted by babblinmule

I literally just finished Darksiders 20 minutes ago, and I thought it was far more like God of War than Zelda.

Posted by Seroth

As the TC said, Majora's Mask is the "Dark Zelda" that people want...but tons of people ignored it. :(

Posted by paradox121

Really great blog post thng. 

I think Darksiders was definitely an interesting game, both to play and see the reaction to. Leading up and during release people seemed to lambaste it for being a Zelda rip off and that if was a bit of a try hard. Then, for some reason, a little bit after everyone started saying it was the most 'unique Zelda for years' and that it was what they wished Zelda was.  

I loved Darksiders for what it was. It definitely had clear Zelda vibes but you could also argue it had clear Metroid vibes. It was nice to see a 'mature' (I hate that term) game have item progression and a heavy focus on exploration. The combat was a bit meh, as were the enemy designs and story, but it was nice for what it was. In no way, either positively or negatively, does it really need to be compared to Zelda.  Zelda's never gonna be designed for the dudebros. TP is about as mature as its gonna get because you need that sense of whimsy and childlike fun to make it a Zelda game. Miyamoto has always talked about how Zelda was inspired by him exploring forests as a kid.  

To be perfectly honest, I find it a little sad that people are sat around waiting for a dark Zelda as if that will somehow get them re-enchanted with the franchise. I'm all for something in the vein of Majora's Mask which was flat out freaky and disturbing, but dressing Link up in bulky armor and having him grunt and have 'angst' won't make the game any better. It's like demanding Mario starts carrying a gun and swearing just so you can play platformers again.

Posted by Bass

@paradox121: I'm perfectly happy to see any new Zelda game because I will always love Zelda games. That doesn't mean Im not more excited at the prospect of seeing a more mature Zelda game. I actually think that the Adult portion of OoT was very mature as far as Zelda games go. The state of the game's universe was obviously not in the best of positions when Link came out of the Temple of Time at the age of 17. I think a lot of people discount how mature OoT was.

Posted by paradox121
@Bass: Most definitely. I'd be interested to see how you'd go about making a mature Zelda game that's still loyal to the series if nothing else. But like you say, there have been lots of mature moments throughout the series. Link friggin stabbed his best friend (albeit in a dream) in Twilight Princess. I love a good bit of grittiness in my games. Arguably that's one of the things Darksiders was lacking-  
"Hey War, you started the Apocalypse and killed all the humans." 
"Did I? Oops, I done screwed up! Guess I better brood about it."
Posted by Dallas_Raines

I'm having more fun with Darksiders then I did with TP at least.

Posted by Nasar7
@babblinmule said:
I literally just finished Darksiders 20 minutes ago, and I thought it was far more like God of War than Zelda.
I thought so too, the combat is straight up GoW. Many people gush about how much better the combat is in this game than Zeldas,but I love Zelda combat and there's only one game I like GoW-style combat in, and that's GoW. Well, and DMC too.
Posted by Xpgamer7

Interesting, but darksiders was never a zelda game itself but more of a homage. It took the gameplay and design, but storywise the fact that it's different and less relatable didn't make it a worse story, just a different one. It's simple but it's simple done well.

Posted by KennyIsMe93

Doesn't matter to me if it's not on the same level as the Zelda games. Darksiders was still tons of fun

Posted by DystopiaX

I just quit halfway into the portal levels cause I didn't want to do that bullshit. And played portal. Darksiders just did it so poorly, and it was one more thing of like "oh, I guess you guys really can't do anything original". I'd have loved to see the ending but have no desire to go back and finish it.

Posted by Bass

@DystopiaX: I didn't have a problem with the portal stuff at all. I thought it was fun, and it was different from Portal so it didn't feel like too much of a rip-off. I thought that Darksiders was a game definitely worth finishing.