I have always been a fan of The Legend of Zelda Franchise, enjoying the idea of playing the young hero adventuring the kingdom of Hyrule to rescue Princess Zelda from Gaon. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, was the first installment in the franchise I was introduced to and played all the way through on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Over the years my vision has gotten worse, thus making the games harder to see.
The Legend of Zelda Plot
The Legend of Zelda published by Nintendo and created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka in 1986. The series follows the hero Link, and his quest to rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon also known as Ganondorf. Link must travel through the kingdom of Hyrule to collect the pieces of the triforce to summon the wisdom, courage, and power to defeat Ganon.
A Long Franchise
There has been a lot of games featured since the first games release in 1986. Some of the most popular are The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and most recently, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. These are only a handful of titles featured over the years, of the trials our brave Herp of Time has faced in his quest to rescue Princess Zelda.
There are many titles where Princess Zelda is the damsel in distress yet. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, is one of the few games where we learn that Zelda is the fierce pirate Tetra in disguise. There are rumors that Sheik, is another disguise Zelda uses but is never seen played out in many of the games. The alias Sheik is referenced in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
I often wondered how those that were completely blind were able to play video games that focused on graphics and combat like The Legend of Zelda series. On Youtube I found a blind gamer’s Let’s Play of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Let’s Play, is youtubers filming their game play of a video game. The Youtuber goes by Megargareett and he has posted several videos of him playing two-dimensional video games and three-dimensional video games.
I was born with Bardet Biedl Syndrome, (BBS), most people categorize it with those who suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa , but there is more to it. People often feel rude asking me what I can see yet sometimes, I wish more people would help cut down on confusion.
Let’s start with the basics, I have low vision meaning that I’m near-sighted and struggle to read fonts without the use of a magnifier or other technology. I’m color blind and can only see basic shades of color, but if you place a dark blue next to purple they would look the same to me.
Moreover, I have zero depth perception; many people will notice I tap steps and curves with my foot because I can’t tell where to step down. I have night blindness, meaning I can’t see at night and lack perspectival vision.
Bardet Biedl Syndrome, affects more than just my vision. I was born with twelve fingers, the extra two were removed at the age of four, when I was first diagnosed. My height is short compared to other members in my family. And, another side effect is bending stunted and overweight, an issue I’m still dealing with to this day.
There is a diverse debate of whether Link, the Hero of Time, should be given a voice or kept as a mute. Currently, the games have remained side scrolling text games. I think for blind games it would be nice to have all the text voiced out loud. An alternative would be to have the text in a clear contrast to make it easier to read. Some argue that Link’s voice has only been changed in the animated cartoon, which was not received well by fans.
Furthermore, the idea of blind gamers playing modern video games seems like it would be a hard feat, but with the aid of technology it is possible. It’s even easier when music and sound effects takes the focus of the game like in The Legend of Zelda, but it doesn’t mean game designers shouldn’t try to create accessible video games.