News Article

News Site Claims That Zelda "Takes A Dim View Of Workers, People Of Colour And Women"

Posted by Damien McFerran

Best not mention GTA, then

You might assume that time spent in the mythical land of Hyrule is unlikely to cause anybody any undue distress, but according to some, that simply isn't the case. News and entertainment site — which has a monthly unique readership of 15 million — has controversially branded The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "sexist", "racist" and "classist".

Author Jon Hochschartner explains that he's a fan of the game, but then goes on to point out the various things the N64 classic does wrong. The supposed "crimes" make for depressing reading — mainly because we never thought anyone could read so much into a video game before:

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the release of "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” Critics frequently laud the Nintendo 64 title as the greatest video game ever. And yet the ways it deals with class, race, gender and animal rights are all deeply problematic.

Hochschartner's analysis begins fairly meekly, picking up on the subject of class:

The relationship between the self-described “boss” of the carpenters and those he calls “my workers,” appears to be one of a guild member and apprentices or journeymen. The boss refers to himself as a master craftsman, and says the workers were hired by the royal family to improve the village. Karl Marx described this relationship as one of “oppressor and oppressed,” comparing it to that of “freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, (and) lord and serf.”

“Ocarina” portrays the apprentices or journeymen as lazy and shiftless, and the boss as the only one willing to work. “Young men these days don’t have any ambition,” the boss says. “Do you know what I mean, kid? My workers are just running aimlessly around the village, and they’re not making any progress at all … Even my own son doesn’t have a job, and he just wanders around all day! They’re all worthless, I tell you!”

Hochschartner then picks up on the racial undertones which everyone else seems to have missed:

The racial, ethnic and religious traits of the “good characters” and the “bad characters” within the game also demonstrate a certain xenophobia. All of the good characters, such as the Hylians and Kokiri, are white. In contrast, all of the bad characters, such as the thieving Gerudo and their king, Ganondorf, have brown skin. The Gerudo live in the desert, and in case it wasn’t clear what real-life group of people they are based on, the original Gerudo symbol is strongly reminiscent of the Islamic star and crescent.

There's also the prickly topic of sexism to contend with:

The title’s perspective on sex is arguably summarized in an advertisement for “Ocarina,” which asks, “Willst thou get the girl? Or play like one?” The game utilizes a damsel-in-distress trope that suggests women are weak and in need of male protection. Just like in every other game in the series, Princess Zelda is incapacitated and in need of rescue from the central character, Link. The repeated use of this sexist cliché helps to, as Sarkeesian [Feminist Frequency blogger Anita Sarkeesian] says, “normalize extremely toxic, patronizing, and paternalistic attitudes.”

For a portion of the game’s plot, Zelda is represented as an imposing warrior. But, as Sarkeesian points out, she is only able to achieve this disguised as a man and she’s kidnapped within minutes of revealing her true identity.

He doesn't stop there, however — The Legend of Zelda is also apparently unfair to animals, too:

In the game, domestication is portrayed as a mutually beneficial, voluntary arrangement. The anthropomorphized cows of Hyrule speak to Link, literally saying, “Have some of my refreshing and nutritious milk!” Of course depicting a relationship as anything like symbiotic when one party kills and eats the other, as well as the latter’s children, would be laughable if it weren’t so appalling.

Is Hochschartner digging for stuff that simply doesn't exist, or does he have a point? The longer you analyse something, the more you tend to find — even if it's stuff that wasn't really intentional in the first place. Let us know what you think about this feature by leaving a comment below.


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (208)



Blast said:

Is this a joke? Like really? This guy is throwing shots at a widely popular and well received game. He needs to stop. Ocarina of Time 3D had good themes. It doesn't have bad themes.



Morpheel said:

"I'm bored, let's find every single odd thing of an old game we can think about and make an article about how evil it is!". They just forgot to find anti-gay propaganda and complain about child labour in the games.

Now let me continue my day hating the working class, people of other races, being a macho and eating meat.



SCAR said:

Ya, I think he's "observing" a little TOO close. Insanity and mis-perception is quite a feat, I suppose.

How are we supposed to take this seriously? We can't.



LexKitteh said:

Wow. Many of the characters he's referring to are just for comic relief. Not everything needs to be analyzed politically, Nintendo isn't trying to send some subliminal message, they're just trying to create interesting and funny characters. And the ad they're referring to was from the 90's!



6ch6ris6 said:

well the claims are true but 99% of all videogames are either racist, sexist, classist or all of it.

btw: you dont have to be a racist to spread racial thinking



blackknight77 said:

My goodness people have to much time on their hands. But what do you expect from a site called
Its just an example of more political correctness out of control



BossBattles said:

Existence itself is "racist" & "sexist". Otherwise we'd be the Borg, which I guess is what these self proclaimed progressive lunatics want.



TheAdrock said:

He's a Leftist psychopath. They are all insane on the Left and see the world through "SIXHIRB"-colored glasses.
SIXHIRB = sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted. Everything falls into one of the categories for the Cult of Leftism.



RaymanFan2 said:

I'm pretty sure that covers just about everyone, then.
The only possible other category would be non-workers...



VoiceOfReason said:

If women are portrayed as "so weak" in the game, explain Impa. If I remember correctly, she was a warrior, and she seemed to me much tougher than all of the Hylian knights.



Macarony64 said:

When people can find something so minuscule and make such a huge deal out of it. It makes me think that he is talking about experiences in the area. Like how a ex nazi knows how to spot Jews. Such a world we live in it is a extreme comparison but perfectly on point.



Mk_II said:

Don't take this too seriously guys... the original article is clearly a brilliant mockery of pseudo-intellectual analysis of popular culture. Or just click bait.



kkslider5552000 said:

The racial stuff you could MAAAAYBE count as, at least in terms of the Gerudo (depends on how evil you actually consider them) but everything else is trying way too hard to do...I don't even know what.



Bensei said:

If you want a good book about the Zelda-Series deals with philosophical themes read The Legend of Zelda & Philosophy. Feminism IS the only part I could agree with him there, apart from Tethra and Impa there are no real strong female main characters in the Zelda-Series. As is with other Nintendo-series, were the protagonists are mainly male.

But come on: The Gerudos are thieves and their "king" is the most evil thing you can imagin, but if that guy would have really played the game, he would have seen that they were only be able to overcome Ganon by joining forces with the Gerudos as well, showing that Ganondorf is just an evil individual, not an evil race altogether. And the Islamic depictions were also found in the Goron regions.

Deconstructing the worker as Marxist isn't really clever either. The plotwriters aimed for that impression. Any child can tell you that. Can you doom them for it? Not in my opinion. The game doesn't encourage you to whip the workers or enslave them. It's an NPC in the game. If you look up tzo the Master and want to become one yourself it's your decision, but if you listen to the workers you see they suffer from him so much that they want to be thieves in the future. The game shows you that "enslaving" your underlings leads to problems, so it also suggests it would be a better idea to treat them fairly. But the game leaves that up to the player. If you are a Marxist you probably only saw ways to "motivate" your workers by yelling at them, and that you should yell louder so they don't become thieves.

The animal part was just ridiculous. No real argumentation line from him there

In the end, Hochschartner is just a philosophy student who wants to depict how clever he is by quoting theories to analyze a game, like a snub who just discovered there are other languages and tries to throw in many fancy french words into every conversation he starts to make people around him think he's multicultural, educated and superior to anyone around him.



joyousneck said:

Seems odd to criticize Zelda when there are games out there which are so much worse with these problems. At the same time we shouldn't ignore problems like these, though I do agree the writer blows them out of proportion in regards to zelda.



Einherjar said:

Comparing the scarcly clad, female only group of gerudo to any islamic culture, a culture where woman mostly have to hide themselfes under "bedsheats" in public makes this article as beleavable as capcom saying they care about the MegaMan franchise -.-
And who said that the gerudo are all bad people ? Sure, they imprison you if you invade their territory, but i guess the hylian guards would have done the same if it wasnt for Links young age when he sneaked his way inside the guarded castle.
And guess why the gerudos have a darker taint...they live in a freakin desert ! Seeing how barren the hylian fields are, you can argue that they have a rather cold / mild climate. Thats why most hylians have a light taint.
And whats so special about a boss complaining about his workers doing absolutely nothing on a building site ? My boss would simply explode in rage if we would lay down our work to run around aimlessly doing nothing with our worktime.
Also: OoTs Zelda a damsel in distress ? Kidnapped ? Shes a freaking cross dressing musical ninja girl helping Link to find his way around ! And even then, these "damsels" arent kidnapped because they are girls, they are most often kidnapped beause they are princesses. Its like capturing the presidents daughter / son. You could say "well, then why isnt Zelda a prince?" Whats wrong with a princess ? Would a kidnapped prince really solve any problems ?



Gerbwmu said:

Everything is racist, sexist, classist, if that is what you are looking for. If you want to have an academic discussion about people's views then fine....but I assume this is nothing more then foder to market his site



Macarony64 said:

@Bensei their is no strong females in real life either at least not physically.
Edit that came out very wrong. What I meant is that their is no reason to add a strong woman in the story if it is not necessary. And strong woman's dosnt just need to be physically. Zelda has always been strong and many others just not in the sense of the world like brocovich.



Zach said:

Pretty dumb stuff. What about the Goron as examples of dark-skinned good guys? What makes the boss one with whom we're supposed to identify? And video games as a whole have a problem with sexism, but to point to an advertisement as proof of that is proof of advertising's sexism, not the game itself. I could go on and on.



Morpheel said:

@kkslider5552000 in ocarina of time they're actually not all that evil... They're feared by the hylians because they tend to raid their villages looking for men but when you get to know them in the game they're actually quite nice.



Sir420 said:

Sure, there are worse games, but it's important to have a critical eye on the things we enjoy the most. The author's last paragraph says exactly this:

"On this 15th anniversary of the game’s release, I encourage readers to dust off their Nintendo 64 and return to Hyrule. Hike up Death Mountain. Swim in Lake Hylia. Explore the Lost Woods. “Ocarina” is a fantastic piece of art we can enjoy while being aware that, like so much other art, it has a lot of problems."

Don't take it so personally. Everyone has blind spots. Yes, Zelda is awesome; also, it has problems.



Neram said:

Video games are under so much scrutiny nowadays, it's ridiculous. Everyone's got a damn agenda to push. It's pretty bad that this guy is digging up an old game like OoT, when social conventions were much more down to earth and there were different levels of acceptance, to support his political viewpoints of the modern day. It would be like a femenist looking back at some 1930's movie and pointing out all the things they deem sexist, it's just pointless.

That's the thing about a work of art like movies or games, they encapsulate the thoughts, feelings, and points made by the creators. So as time goes on it's easy to overanalyze these things and literally see something that isn't actually there. This guy needs to make his point, and he will stop at nothing, even if it's blatantly false.



Shadowkiller97 said:

This seems to be a case of perception. He wants to see all these issues because apparently it is his viewpoint of the world.

When I look at Ocarina of Time, I see nothing but heroic acts from several characters besides Link. As others mentioned, Impa is a Sheikah warrior (who is a woman) and single handedly imprisoned Bongo Bongo in the Well years ago. And when he is released, she rushes off to the Shadow Temple to fight it again.

Ruto, when awakened from the ice, rushes off to the Water Temple to save her people.

Nabooru defies all tradition and rebels against the prophesized king. And let's not forget all the men who are prisoned by the Gerudo, that Link has to save.

Out of the seven sages, FIVE of them are women. It is the sages who in the end defeat Ganon after all.

And I do not understand why Zelda's heroism in the entire game is deemed worthless simply because she is a women masquerading as a man. Everyone is all proud of Sheik, but you find out it's Zelda, and the story turns into one of a damsel in distress!?! Heck, without Zelda/Sheik, Link would probably be dead.

Lastly, Ganondorf kidnaps Zelda not when she reveals herself as a woman... but when she reveals the Triforce of Wisdom. That's what he's after, after all. If he knew at that point that Link had the Triforce of Courage, he probably would have kidnapped him too. He is shocked when it shows up on Link's hand at the final battle...

I am pretty much tired of people asserting that since the main playable character is a male, the game is rife with sexist sterotypes... As I said, its not that the game has problems... it is that you're looking for them.



Shiryu said:

Can't wait till this guy starts analysing every resident in Animal Crossing!



gloom said:

Instead of picking apart a game like the Legend of Zelda, why don't they check out a game like Grand Theft Auto 5. Now there would be something to actually pick apart instead of this rubbish of an article.



MrGawain said:

The suggestion the Ocarina of Time is trying to say- white guys: goodies, anyone of a different ethnicity: baddies- has one iddy bittle little flaw.

It was designed by the Japanese.



NintyMan said:

This writer is looking far too deep into a Nintendo video game. It's one thing if it's a hyper-realistic game like GTA5, but Nintendo makes their games for fun and not to prove a philosophical point.

The Gerudo have a bad reputation as thieves among Hylians, but they're really not that bad. One of them, Nabooru, is actually a good character opposed to Gandondorf's evil and is a major character as one of the sages. The Gerudo are all female besides Ganondorf and they're strong warrior females at that, so I don't understand why the writer failed to remember that. Same goes for the strong Impa as well.

I thought the whole deal with the cranky boss and the silly workers was just supposed to humor? If he was that concerned about it, then why didn't he defend poor, hardworking Ingo who didn't get any credit compared to the lazy Talon? Political correctness is such a joke.



C-Olimar said:

Pretty ridiculous article.

Also, Impa is a main character and she has brown skin so you know....

Sexism? Last I checked Impa, Zelda and Nabooru were pretty strong characters.

Also, I'm pretty sure cows that are used for milking aren't used in beef production -_-



Neram said:

If your goal is to look for sexism, racism, enslavement, and religious implications, you will find it anywhere. Seriously, look at any other game or movie, it's shocklingly easy to make yourself believe there's something like that there. If you're going in with that mindset, that's what you're going to see, because you're telling yourself that you want to see it.



joyousneck said:

While I think some of the arguments the writer makes are off and wrong in the context of the game, it is flat out wrong to say this is a piece arguing for political correctness.

Critiquing power is not what political correctness is attempting to do. It is more to control the language we use, rather than actually critiquing power mechanisms and structures.



Morpheel said:

@C-Olimar it kinda looks like she lost her/was born without arms and there's someone behind her posing like it's her arms.

Edit afer google: oh wait, it looks like that because it is like that.



Dogpigfish said:

The Gerudo's aren't bad, that's complete journalistic failure. In fact one becomes a sage. I would argue the complete opposite; that this series helped alleviate racism in our world today, more so on the side of Link having to work with people of all different types and not judge them on the basis of whether they had fins or ate rocks.



AutumnShantel said:

Anyone who cares that much probably shouldn't be playing video games... you'll be offended somehow by every game you'll ever play.



Bensei said:

@Marcony-64: I also meant it philosophically. Ever heard of tomboys? It still has a bad connotation, as do guys who are more sensitive or passive, because they don't fit into the stereotype of a male hero/hunter.



NintyMan said:

If this guy has such a problem with Ocarina of Time's "deeply problematic" themes, then why is he such a fan of the game? Wouldn't that be kind of hypocritical to criticize a game for "deeply problematic" ways and yet still play it and like it?

This argument on animals completely makes no sense. For one thing, milking cows are not used in beef production, as someone already pointed out.



Klinny said:

I am a little annoyed sometimes by Zelda's "damsel-in-distress" role, however, she's only one of many female characters in the game, which also include Saria, Nabooru, Impa, and Ruto.

Also, the sages are intended to represent one of every race in the game. So, Ocarina gives each race equal power, and urges them to work together.

And we shouldn't forget that an attempt to perform animal cruelty generally results in a chicken storm.



Senario said:

Click bait and troll article on their part. And citing sharkeesian isn't at all the way to make an effective argument.



BetweenTheTrees said:

i don't think anyone sees what they see. they are the true racist, sexist etc etc. if no one saw it except them, these notions must have been in their minds already. they thought these racist things and projected them onto a video game. morons.



Mk_II said:

BTW: the author also did a similar piece on GTA. I quote:

Still, Rockstar’s output represents an increased engagement with class struggle issues that could lead a wider audience to investigate anti-capitalist ideas for themselves.

full story here

You gotta laugh



Wowfunhappy said:

I'm all for looking at games through this type of societal lense (and I really like the work Anita Sarkeesian has been doing!), but most of the things mentioned here strike me as a bit silly.


The race issue is completely legitimate. I don't think the developers INTENDED to be racist per se, but SERIOUSLY, just LOOK at the characters.

One one side, we have all of the morally righteous characters: Link, Zelda, the Kokiri, the residents of Lon Lon Ranch and Kakariko Villiage... honest, hard working people. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is white.

Now, let's look at the NON WHITE characters... we have the middle-eastern Garudo in the desert (we know they are middle eastern because of the original symbol in the mirror temple), a band of THEVES who live by STEALING FROM OTHERS.

And then there's the one truly dark skinned, "black" character in the game: Ganon. Freaking Ganon.

I'd never actually noticed it before this article but... no one else sees a problem with this? It's actually quite disturbing...



edhe said:

Seriously, reading through the headlines for this, the whole site seems to be a hive of hardline liberal, "occupy wallstreet" Marxists. If anyone is going to declare the Zelda game series is classist, sexist and/or racist, it'll be them.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

@Wowfunhappy It's not that simple. You have to analyze the situation before you go saying something is racist. They are thieves, not because they want to be, but because they live in a desert without any resources. That is in no way racist. Ganondorf is more green than he is black. The Gerudo people are most likely based off of what a group of people would do if they had no resources and were stuck out in the desert. It's also a fact that skin color has nothing to do with race. It is more based on which area you live in. If you live in a sunnier area, of course you'll have darker skin. It's an adaption, that doesn't make you separate from the human race.



3DSAllDay said:

I think that pong is racist because you play as only white bars and can never play as any other colored bar on the arcade version. #Genius!!!! /sarcasm



Wowfunhappy said:

@BlatantlyHeroic You make a valid point, and that may well have been what Nintendo was thinking when they were designing the game. I certainly don't think they were being purposefully racist, but a lot of racism is subtile and unintentional.

What you said notwithstanding, you don't think it's at all odd that these people are literally the ONLY non-white characters in the entire game?



BlatantlyHeroic said:

@Wowfunhappy. The Zoras are Blue, the Gorons are Tan. I fail to see your point. The Japanese are predominately white, and this game was made there. In the context of the situation, there is no racism other than prejudices that the races have with each other within the game, and that isn't racist, that is part of the lore.



TingLz said:

He conveniently ignores how Nabooru is a women and a Gerudo and she was a good person. He also ignores how 3 of the sages are women (4 including Zelda)



Wowfunhappy said:

@BlatantlyHeroic The Zoras and Gorons don't look nearly as human, though.

Yes, Japan is predominantly white... and yet they did include nonwhite characters, and chose to put them specifically into the morally questionable roles.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

@Wowfunhappy Roles that are based off of Arabic thieves who lived in the desert and stole from caravans. Your point is still unfounded. This is based off of historic things that actually happened. It is based on specific people who did what they could to survive in the desert.



AJ_Lethal said:

Oh God, not ANOTHER "sexism" article on videogames. Let alone made by people who does not know jacks-t.



Adam said:

My cow was deeply offended by the dialog in this game, so I have to agree with this article.



Pod said:

Welcome to The New Internet.

Any portrayal of any character as any less that self sufficient, strong, and capable of mind means that whatever categories that character can be fitted into are being looked down upon as a whole.

All so that the person pointing it out can be granted a moments attention.



PokemonManiac said:

This is all really stupid but is he really saying that because the cows are seen to have a good relation with people that it must be some kind of joke because we also eat them?? Also no mention of the cukoos(?) that literally kill you for hurting them



Bulbousaur said:

Why? Why overanalyse a 15 year old game just to bash it? I can understand GTA to some degree (even though I disagree with the non-gaming media on it), but why do so for a game which has done, if any, damage so long ago?



Pod said:

On closer inspection, this appears to all be a joke, as several seem to have pointed out.
Some funny exaggerations in there as well.

And of course quoting Anita Sarkeesian is comedy gold in and of itself.



Fazermint said:

Any game with white main character = racist
Any game with a male main character = sexist
Any game with a human main character = animal cruelty
Any game where the main weapon is a sword = discrimination against guns



Neram said:

One thing that gets me about journalists, or people, like this is that they're the ones coming out and saying that women, homosexual people, and people of colour are a minority. Normal people don't think like that. Nobody ever said they were a minority, unless you're the type of person that pays attention to politically driven jerks like this.

If anything, he's the racist, sexist bigot for recognizing it so easily.



Flowerlark said:

Hmmm, I do kinda agree on the sexist slant, but the rest of it? He's just digging for things to jab at. I must admit that as a woman playing video games, I'm a little tired of women being portrayed as damsels in distress... but I love Zelda games so much that even if I never get to play as Zelda rescuing Link (my ultimate gaming dream) I'll still keep playing them.



eaglebob345 said:

Am I the only person who could tell that Sheik was a girl? I mean it was a surprise to me that it was Princess Zelda, but I could tell she was a girl. The whole time I was playing I kept thinking, why can't I be her, she seems like a more competent character than Link.



Sir420 said:

@Neram It's not that "normal people" don't think like that, but privileged people. These kind of evaluations are GOOD if they open your eyes to the overwhelming preference in Western culture for "people like us."

Honestly, I do not understand why almost everyone on this comments section seems so defensive. This stuff is real. It's not that people are looking to find sexism, racism, etc. It's already there. If you can't see it, than the one revealing it is helping you.

Does it suck that Zelda is loaded with these harmful classifications? Yes. Have things improved since the 1940s? Yes.



Shadowkiller97 said:

@Flowerlark Really!?! Read my rant above. I hate how everyone quickly categorizes the game as "Damsel in Distress" when only the very last part has Zelda kidnapped. She was a pivotal character. It was she who pointed Link in the right direction. Without her, he would never have even gotten inside the Forest Temple... It was she who freed Ruto from the ice.

And as I said before, her getting kidnapped had nothing to do with revealing she is a woman. She get's kidnapped the moment she reveals that she has the Triforce of Wisdom... since the Triforce is what he wanted. If he had known Link had the Triforce of Courage, he would probably have kidnapped him too. Ganondorf was shocked when it was the Triforce symbol appeared on Link's hand at the end.

I don't care if you're a man or a woman... it is kind of hard not to be helpless when a powerful demon-possessed sorceror kidnaps you and places you in a giant hovering crystal.



smashbrolink said:

You know you've got some mental issues when you dig this deeply into something just to find flaws that weren't even intentional in design, then proceed to demonize whatever contains them as one of the worst things on earth.
Over 10 Years after it first came out.



eaglebob345 said:

@Shadowkiller97 Yet people don't see it like that. I bet they would make up some other bs if the genders were switched. Every story is a lose-lose situation because there will always be some group that believes life should cater only to them. I don't understand why people don't just admit that they are the racist/sexist problem and be done with it.



Intrepid said:

This guy must be offended by everything in existence then if he is willing to pick a fifteen year-old GAME apart. Really, he's looking to hard into things. He's just some attention seeker that want's to feel like his existence is validated by having people notice him. Some of the points he makes are incorrect as well. This is just really stupid overall on his part.



Sir420 said:

@Shadowkiller97 Clearly. That does not at all diminish my point. When I mentioned Western preference, I was not talking about the game itself, but the way Westerners view cultural examinations.



eaglebob345 said:

@Sir420 No. Every thing has flaws. If all of the Gerudo were men except an evil FEMALE leader, people would whine. It's not that it is always there in everything it's that racist/sexist people insert it just so they won't feel left out of normal conversation. If I am classified as "privileged" for seeing the truth, then what would "normal" look like?

@Shadowkiller97 It's because as the West, we not meaning every single one of us just our screwed up country as a whole, feel we can poop on everyone else's awesomeness because what we, still not all of us, call fun is crap cough*cough*GTAV*cough*cough.

PS. I HATE GTA (and a whole lot of Western culture crap we have).



HyperSonicEXE said:

So he really missed the part where the "boss" is standing around doing nothing, and wonders why his workers are running around aimlessly?

Not reading the rest of it - this guy's analytical skills are not developed enough.



ajcismo said:

I'd love to sit down with Mr.Hochschartner and shoot holes in his theories piece by piece... starting with how the story, themes and characters are all taken from Japanese culture and lore.
Dude's just trying to make a name for himself via controversy.



HyperSonicEXE said:

Hold on, hold on, one more thing:
"Anthropomorphized cows"
Tell me this is a joke article. They are not MORPHED in any way, except speaking, so that the player can understand why they suddenly have a bottle full of milk.
And by the way, farmers do protect their cattle from predators, so while it isn't an agreed upon exchange, there is definitely mutual benefit.

Wow. Good luck in the press, bud.



Klimbatize said:

Not only did OoT make me feel okay for looking down on women and hate people with a darker tan than me, but I also break pots and cut down plants that belong to others in search of money.



Sir420 said:

@eaglebob345 It looks like you missed the part where the author called the game an amazing work of art. Did you even read the linked article?

You are privileged when you don't have to worry about being judged on the basis of your culture or physical characteristics. In our society, not everyone is able to live such a life.

Obviously, NintendoLife is not the place to discuss sociology. That being said, these examinations can have value if you take five seconds to think them through. No need to get so polemical over this.



Sir420 said:

@Klimbatize Obviously it didn't make you hate people. But it does reinforce harmful conceptions, no matter how subtly. GTA is an obvious offender, but Zelda? It's important to look at these sort of things to see how far harmful attitudes permeate our society, even our childhood. You don't have to stop playing OoT; the author is simply asking us to be aware.



meppi said:

From looking at their front page it seems like a random tabloid site.
Not even going to waste any more of my time on that click-bait.



zeldagaymer93 said:

I sort of agree with what he's saying. But not enough to make a big deal out of it. It's a game. The one that I have always had the biggest problem with is Zelda essentially being worthless in the franchise. In Wind Waker she plays a baddonkey pirate that distracts Ganon to help Link escape. And then when she turns into a princess, the King is like "Oh you stay here. Let the boys do the work." Excuse me? If she wasn't there to distract Ganon then Link would be dead.
Watch the profanity please — TBD



eaglebob345 said:

1. Yes, I did read that fodder of an article. I did see the end of the article where, after pooping on a very great game, Mr. Shartnose tossed a compliment at it.
2. Are you saying that to be privileged, I have to be a rich white man here in America? I would normally just say rich man but after seeing how President Obama, and other well to do black men, as well as women in general in America are treated, I see where your definition of "privileged" stands.



Sir420 said:

@eaglebob345 If you're confused about what I said, feel free to reread my comment. Another helpful definition of a privileged mindset would be: not caring enough about harmful social presumptions because they don't effect you.



Marshi said:

Heres the problem with journalism at its finest people. If you look hard enough at anything and try to find any sort of undertones you will find it,no matter how absurd. Its like those pictures paparazzi take of a star looking bored at their movie,but if you actually see a running video of the same moment you find the star was simply in the middle of blinking,and the paparazzi made it out like the star was bored



eaglebob345 said:

@Sir420 "You are privileged when you don't have to worry about being judged on the basis of your culture or physical characteristics." This is what you said. "Another helpful definition of a privileged mindset would be: not caring enough about harmful social presumptions because they don't effect you." Then this.
There is a big difference between not being judged by your culture or physical characteristics and not caring about social presumptions/stereotypes. I couldn't care less about what people think of me but that does not change the fact that people can judge me for being black.
I get how you can feel that you are right, but don't try to be condescending with me, and if YOU are confused by MY statements, then you are screwed because I can't dumb it down any further.Don't try to match wits with me, because I will bury you.



Marshi said:

@Sir420 Problems is such a strong word for what is simply a harmless fairy tale. If you look hard at enough at any form of entertainment looking to find anything wrong with it i guarantee you will find it. What a horrible way to go through life. I mean is this author right on what he has noticed in this game? Yes,i supose. Does it matter or affect your enjoyment of the game? Absolutely not!



LittleKing said:

The relationship between the self-described “boss” of the carpenters and those he calls “my workers,” ... portrays the apprentices or journeymen as lazy and shiftless, and the boss as the only one willing to work.

I always took the relationship to be a humorous take on how the older generation views the older generation. The boss never lifts a single finger to help while complaining about his crew's directionless efforts. It's a mockery of what the critic is saying it portrays.

"The racial, ethnic and religious traits of the “good characters” and the “bad characters” within the game also demonstrate a certain xenophobia." ... All of the good characters, such as the Hylians and Kokiri, are white. In contrast, all of the bad characters, such as the thieving Gerudo and their king, Ganondorf, have brown skin."

Great job of only examining a single game and the relationship between two races. While in OoT Ganon has "brown" skin, in later games he has pure black skin, like a glove. Since Hylians are elves, I've always viewed it as more of a Light Elf versus Dark Elf relationship. These are fictional characters that do not belong to any race–if blue men existed, would they be compared to the Zoras?

Also, the Gerudo are NOT portrayed as being evil. They are a strong, proud, all female "brown" skinned race of warriors, whose leader rebels against Ganon by accepting Link. The second-in-command of the Gerudo, Nabooru is the essential SIXTH SAGE and wanted to stop Ganon's plots. Thus, she is one of the most important characters in the game.

Gorons are portrayed as a friendly, loving, protective people in every Zelda game. They always help Link and are my favorite "race." They are "brown." Don't tell me that they don't count because they eat rocks or some cr*p; none of these "races" exist, so they are all equally applicable or not applicable. Most peoples in the Zelda games are portrayed favorably. It is inevitable that some are portrayed negatively because you need a bad guy. That is, unless everyone where the same race, at which point this article would be complaining that ALL of the characters are white/yellow/brown/blue/purple. Apparently, portraying any race in a game as having negative cultural traits when it resembles a real-life race is bigotry.

I guess all the races in games should co-exist in a multicultural love-fest like they obviously exist today? Especially when they exist in a medieval-inspired time? Also, if "whites" are supreme, what about the "yellows" that worked on the game?

"Just like in every other game in the series, Princess Zelda is incapacitated and in need of rescue from the central character, Link."

In most of the games, Zelda plays a central role of some sort beyond "getting kidnapped."

In Ocarina of Time, she immobilizes Ganon so that Link can finish him. She guides him as Sheik and is kidnapped once her disguise is gone not because she is no longer a "man," but BECAUSE HER DISGUISE IS GONE.

In Skyward Sword, she's the mortal incarnation of a GODDESS. Oh, no. How horribly sexist that Link should be a mortal with a sword and slingshot while Zelda is a GOD that apologizes for "manipulating" Link into helping her.

In Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass she's the leader of a band of pirates. In Spirit Tracks, she helps Link by controlling Phantoms.

She's almost always kidnapped, but there are lots of females in Zelda games. Most of the sages, for example, are female.

“normalize extremely toxic, patronizing, and paternalistic attitudes.”

The solution, obviously, will be extremely toxic, patronizing and maternalistic attitudes. Right? We'll solve this by making the protagonist a "brown" female, and the enemies "white" males? Any honest look at OoT's story shows that the only truly evil "brown" skinned person is Ganon himself. The others are being manipulated. Any honest look sees that there are many, nice races in the game. Any honest look acknowledges the possibility that the worker "classes" are a commentary. Any honest look sees that the MAJORITY of important characters other than Link are actually FEMALE.

I cannot say this is an honest analysis of the themes portrayed in Ocarina of Time.



Bragoon said:

Sometimes I'm like "Yeah, I'll post a long, well-thought-out comment", and then I read the other comments and I decide there's enough of that.
I don't take this article seriously. Either the article is a joke, or the man's logic is.



Shadowkiller97 said:

@LittleKing Not because the disguise is gone, but because she reveals she holds the Triforce of Wisdom. Ganondorf is not Bowser who just wants the pretty princess. He's after power.



LittleKing said:

Also, I didn't notice the animal treatment section.

"In the game, domestication is portrayed as a mutually beneficial, voluntary arrangement. The anthropomorphized cows of Hyrule speak to Link, literally saying, “Have some of my refreshing and nutritious milk!” Of course depicting a relationship as anything like symbiotic when one party kills and eats the other, as well as the latter’s children, would be laughable if it weren’t so appalling."

All of the cows you can talk to in OoT are dairy cows. The only ones I know of that could've been eaten are in Jabu-Jabu's stomach. In later games it is suggested they could be used for meat. However, I don't think a dairy cow saying "WHEN I DIE MY FLESH SHALL BE CONSUMED BY APE MEN! HELP ME!" to Link in a Nintendo game that children will play is appropriate. It's natural to not want to think about it. Also, where is it suggested it is voluntary?

@Shadowkiller97 Thank you for the correction. My main point was that he didn't grab her because now she was a woman, when she had been a "man." It's been awhile since I've played OoT.



SomeBitTripFan said:

I can't believe this guy forgot to mention how this game makes fun of overweight people. The boss calls his relatively overweight workers "lazy" and forces them to run without ever giving them a break. Don't forget about the Zora King, he can't even stand up, but instead slowly scoots over. I regret playing Ocarina of Time. It's such a disgusting racist, sexist, and classist game that just typing the name of the game makes me want to vomit. Every copy of the game should be destroyed, every person who likes it should be imprisoned, and all Nintendo products should be banned in America because of just how vile this 15 year old game is! Excuse me while I play GTA 5 instead of this disgusting filth.

Honestly, this is probably the most ridiculous thing I've heard in my life. If this guy is honest, I could imagine him petitioning the moving of "Deer Crossing" signs to less busy roads. The only way a game could even be fair to everyone in this guys mind is if you played as an androgynous, transparent blob of goo and every other character was an androgynous, transparent blob of goo.



Arcanum said:

I bet they are gonna complain that there needs to be a male protagonist in Metroid Prime and an actual human boss instead of a phazon infused spider creature >_>



LittleKing said:

@Sir420 Hilarious. Trust me; I do have trouble eating meat knowing its origins. However, instead of complaining about a game having happy/willing dairy cows, maybe the author should be pushing for everyone to become a vegan? Complaining that a 15 year old game had dairy cows that enjoy Elves getting healed by their milk will not change anything.



ToastyYogurt said:

This guy doesn't seem to understand that it's hard to make an interesting story/character without it being analyzed as even remotely offensive. I'm not saying a good story/character has to be offensive, but some psychoanalyst (like this guy) could make it out to be offensive. I mean, look at all the people that say the Harry Potter series is anti-Christian (I'm still not sure what that's all about. ).



3Daniel said:

The legend of zelda series hasnt made ganondorf out to be evil for the sake of evil. What little backstory we have of him paints a tragic figure. I do see the parallel between the real world struggles of middle eastern and western ideology but i find it to be more enlightening then offensive. As far as sexism goes they clearly overlooked the plethora of strong female characters represented in the game. And the arguement of animal abuse is laughable as the animals in the series DO have a symbiotic relationship with mankind. I don't remember any slaughterhouses in the series.



LittleIrves said:

This is a silly article. (Jon's, not Damien's.) But in all fairness, he ends with this:

"On this 15th anniversary of the game’s release, I encourage readers to dust off their Nintendo 64 and return to Hyrule. Hike up Death Mountain. Swim in Lake Hylia. Explore the Lost Woods. “Ocarina” is a fantastic piece of art we can enjoy while being aware that, like so much other art, it has a lot of problems."

So in the end he's promoting the game as worthy and artful...



Magikarp3 said:

To this I say fair game. This guy has taken the time to deeply probe the game and encapsulate its errors and flaws in a piece of well planned academic writing. Even if he finds fault with some elements of the game, that's necessary as part of academic discourse. There is no single book or film without harsh criticism, no matter how acclaimed it might be, for example.

So tl;dr to gamers, this kind of writing is exactly what we want! Don't bash it!



SetupDisk said:

He should just see a shrink instead of writing stuff like that. I have a mental illness but therapy and prescription medication helped greatly.



Royalblues said:

That is kind of why I want to see an anime starring a legit black guy that isn't commissioned by MARVEL. Atshushi Kubo (creator of Soul Eater) is really the only one who knows how to treat black characters, and we are starting to see an ever-so-slight increase in the dark-skinned characters in anime today. So, let's see an anime starring someone who looks like Kirikou from Soul Eater. He has a boss design, too, I might add.
That might lead to an improved view of other, darker-skinned people from the Japanese public. We'll see, though.



Williaint said:

@Mellowkarp : The problem with the writing is the fact that it doesn't offer valid reasons (Other than mentioning nostalgic bias...). Critical examination is great, but the article comes out as sort of pointless, especially with that remark at the end.
Most of the subjects I'm not sure why they are bothered with the "class". Why would you have a game set in a world with imperial rule, but have towns that have a capitalist democracy? It wouldn't make sense — at least not in this game. I'd also like to say, I believe (from the given quotes) the BOSS was more concerned with the laziness of the younger generation, workers or not...
The only reason it's racist is because they want it that way... It's light and dark. What if the Gerudos were green? What if they were pink? Since Ganon has been portrayed as dark, it may ruin continuity. Might as well be judging Star Wars of being racist. Ever see a classic western? Racist, sexist, classist....
The comment, from this guy, makes the author seem less redeeming:



Royalblues said:

Also, a lot of you here are complaining about the people who comment on the white-washing of video game protagonists. I don't see why you are, seeing that the majority of main characters in all forms of media are white guys with buzzcuts, or anime charactes that have the same face, but ridiculous hairstyles. Why can't we have more and more video games starring people of a darker shade leading groups of people, or performing legendary feats? I know what you are going to say too; racism will stick around if you keep talking about it, and if you ignore it, it will go away. That is backwards thinking. Nobody has ever overcome adversity by staying silent, and racism is no different. The thing is, if anything, gamers are more racist than the people making the games, because every time someone tries to make a protagonist black or dark-skinned, they go crazy. Look at the gaming community after the initial concepts for Starhawk and The Walking Dead were released. That was pitiful. It is the same with comic books, movies, and television. We need more developers to challenge their audiences by making the protagonists look darker. That is the only way we can move forward, and end this debate.
But from Japanese developers, I don't mind that their characters look the same, because they basically primarily cater to Japanese people, and more than 95% of the people there are ethnically Japanese. They don't see too many black or Indian or Arab people.



Magikarp3 said:

Just popping out to mention, I think NintendoLife's coverage is missing two crucial paragraphs from the article:

"Some readers may take criticism of “Ocarina” as dismissal of the game. But this isn’t the case. As Feminist Frequency blogger Anita Sarkeesian says, “Remember that it’s both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Because games’ technological capabilities have increased so rapidly since “Ocarina” was released, I suspect the title’s reputation is somewhat inflated due to nostalgia of critics of a certain age. But it’s a nostalgia I share. There is no game with which I have more fond memories. So criticism here should be interpreted as loyal opposition."

This changes the tone of the article completely. It's not saying that the game is racist, sexist and should be lambasted at every opportunity. It just gives a potential lens for reading through the discourses of race, gender and class. It's to offer a new way of thinking about the game world because the writer himself acknowledges that the most common view of Ocarina is that it's the best game ever.

Also, the tagline for the NL article becomes a whole lot funnier when one checks the Salon writer's profile and sees that he's written two articles - the other one is on Rockstar and GTA



Flynn said:

I remember when games were just fun and we didn't have all this crap on the internet trying to pick apart games for the heck of it, or stupid fanboy wars. Also no, he really doesn't have a leg to stand on. He's looking way to much into this game. I mean heck the 3 strongest beings in LOZ world are women. The 3 goddesses to be exact.



gefflt said:

The author says "Zelda is represented as an imposing warrior. But, as Sarkeesian points out, she is only able to achieve this disguised as a man".

Well, if you're going to go there, let's point out that Link accomplishes absolutely everything in this game while wearing (what strongly looks like) a skirt. With that in mind, the entire "sexist" section of the author's argument crumbles.

All other arguments can be discarded pretty easily too but I'll leave that fun task to other!



RawkHawk013 said:

Moronic article. Someone looking for a way to cry and complain. Take your political correctness out of here



TwilightV said:

Gannondorf aside, the comparison between the Gerudos and the people of Islam is something that really should be admired, rather than taken offense to. This is an entire race of women who were likely oppressed by their one and only male/king. It strongly reflects the real world conflicts in Islam today.



WaxxyOne said:

Yay for getting cheap attention by poking at a popular game with the racist/sexist card! While he's at it why doesn't he examine the sexist themes in Halo or accuse Mario of being a white-supremist?

This moron proves he doesn't even understand the material he's accusing. Let's take a look at some of those claims, shall we?

Let's see... The game is racist because the Gerudo, who live in a desert, have darker skin than those who don't live in a desert. Let's ignore the blatantly-obvious reason for that for a moment. So, he says this is clearly racist because the Gerudo are the "bad guys." That's funny, because during the game you get help from one of them, end up becoming a member of their organization, oh, and the one that helped you earlier? Yeah, she becomes one of the freaking sages who at the end of the game entrap Ganon in the Golden Realm, an act without which he would have continued to reign as the evil king. Just because the villain happens to be a member of one of the in-game races does not inherently make that entire race "the bad guys."

Okay, what's next? Oh right, sexism. How laughable. So let's see all the ways the female characters in the game directly refute this bizarre claim:

1. Before the story even begins, Link's mother sacrifices her own life getting him to safety in the Kokiri forest. Without her, he dies and there is no one to stop Ganon.
2. Saria provides Link with help in the form of his first ocarina, one of the tunes required to advance in the game, helpful tips throughout the game as needed, and she becomes a second of the sages who as already mentioned save the world at the end of the game.
3. Impa provides Link with another useful ocarina tune and gives him helpful advice to continue him on his quest.
4. Zelda provides Link with much necessary aid in procuring the sacred stones needed to access the Temple of Time, and also provides him with the ocarina later. After Ganon takes over, she then proceeds to directly aid Link in her alternate Sheik form and provides invaluable wisdom needed to defeat Ganondorf, as well as hooking Link up with several vital ocarina tunes. It is also her magic at the end of the game which allows Link to deliver the finishing blow to Ganon's beast form.
5. Malon teaches Link another tune for his ocarina that is very helpful in advancing the game, and introduces him to the horse without which he would not be able to progress. (By the way, the horse is also female.)

To say that the women in Ocarina of Time just sit around and wait for rescue is ridiculous to anyone who's actually bothered to play through the story. One of the most iconic sequences in the game features Link sneaking through a fortress run exclusively by women in a quest to save male workers they captured. Did he conveniently forget that when writing this trash?

Idiots and their opinions are a dime a dozen, and nobody with any brains is listening. This person should go back to the dark hole from which they crawled and never speak again.



oreqano said:

I enjoy digging deep into content and revealing underlying themes and possibly overanalyzing. Having these discussions is healthy as others have said. However in this case, Ocarina of Time, has probably been underanalyzed and generalized at every turn. The main argument he tries to make is Zelda being portrayed as a useless damsel in distress and Ganon being a dark skinned villian. Zelda was far from a "useless". Sheik is more capable then Link in many ways. When it is revealed to be Zelda, it actually flies in the face of sexism. Don't under estimate women. She's kidnapped because of her connection with Triforce, not because she is a women. And as for dark skinned Ganon, black vs white, light vs dark, it is sybolism at the most. It visually shows an oppostion. It is used to compare Link and Ganom. Make them appear as opposites. It doesn't imply everyone with dark skin is in anyway evil. The problem is generalization. For example, if Zelda was just a damsel in distress, that doesn't mean all women are weak. Just the character. Eh, just my two cents.



Marioman64 said:

HAHAHA what a moron!
also, "The anthropomorphized cows of Hyrule"....... those don't exist, unless he thought that Talon was a cow



DarkNinja9 said:

lol and i thought my life was boring but seems like it can get worse but sure least talk about a game that came out years ago

why not make game theories they are more interesting while your at it



Zodiak13 said:

All I have to say is being PC is garbage. Everyone takes everything to seriously. I work with a black, an asian, massively obese, extremely old, hawaiin, and a lesbian in my shop, and I'm the OCD dude with a gambling problem. All we do all day is make fun of eachother, and we have a blast. Best workplace environment I've ever worked. Everything in life can be construed to be anti-something. The fact we can't laugh at our quirks and fitting a stereotype is what makes this world untolerable for the most part. The more you go looking for this kind of stuff, the less you can fully enjoy life.



FriedSquid said:

Wait a minute, I've already read this word-for-word but whoever posted it said that Anita Sarkeesian wrote this. So guess either one of these journalists are plagiarizing...



ejamer said:

He's stretching. Many of the complaints are just silly and read far too much into tiny details. But there are also some areas where Ocarina of Time (and other Zelda games) could/should improve.

The damsel in distress trope is a crutch at best. There are some racist overtones (chanting in the volcano that had to be changed, Gerudo issues) that simply don't need to be there. Turning a blind eye to the problems might make the games more enjoyable... but acknowledging there are problems and pushing for change in the industry is probably a better option for everyone.

Use a critical eye to think about the media you are exposed to - what it says, why it was produced, and how it affects your views and actions. But sometimes that also means understanding when a game is just a game, and not reading more into than you need to.



Zombie_Barioth said:

You pretty much hit every nail in the head I was about to, point for point. Its funny how context is usually ignored in these kind of "analyses", to quote Anita as this guy has done "context is irrelevant". It doesn't matter how or why it happened, just that it has.

These are real world issues but you just make a mockery out of them by trying to paste these sorts of labels on everything. Going around shouting about every little thing that bugs you will just cause your voice to fall on deaf ears, a boy who cried wolf story if you will.

Not to get all philosophical but seeing the world that way is just as bad as being ignorant. Your seeing labels that shouldn't necessarily exist. Theres a fine line between critical thinking and connecting dots that aren't there.



AtlanteanMan said:

Political correctness offends me. I don't think any single movement over the past 20 years has been as great a detriment to freedom of speech and expression in our society.

Just a few examples: schools in Michigan are banning games of tag. One in Maryland recently suspended a kid for wielding a toy pistol AT HIS OWN HOME. Florida and Connecticut schoolteachers have been caught telling elementary school students it's "okay to give up some freedoms to be safer". We have people who are adamant about tearing down statues of Confederate veterans and removing Confederate battle flags yet see no problem with stomping on/burning the US flag in a rap video. A Barney Fife neighborhood watchman shoots a kid and the media whips up a frenzy of racial outrage and hatred, while a guy shoots dozens of fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, killing a dozen, while shouting "Allahu Ackbar"...and it's classified as a "workplace incident".

Political correctness is about CREATING division and anger through gross double standards. It polices thoughts, creates a culture of litigation and witch hunts, and brings out nutjobs like the person who did that write-up on Ocarina of Time to stir up trouble where none is justified. It's nothing but bad news and the American people should have enough sense to send it and its promoters packing.



IKAY said:

Oh yeah, very racist... One guy + two others of a "race" are evil. This means automaticly, that the other people of this "race" are evil, too? By the way: Ganondorf is green, so I don't think, that he his a real gerudo. Is he a mudblood or the halfblood prince?

Don't forget about he other races in the game like zora and gorons. The fact that you are helping them in a crisis for their tribes is racist too, I guess. Because only the white man/kid can help them.

What game is next? Super Mario? Look at the goombas skin tone and compare it with marios...

You can really put things into other things that aren't there. Reminds me on a southpark episode. "Must kill all posers!"



Kosmo said:

It's just a a drop in the ocean, but I'm with everyone in saying that the author of this article is a complete idiot and has no clue whatsoever at what's going on.

The lazy workers are a stereotype, just like the tyrannic boss, and they go together. WHile he's at it, he could attack Disney because Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck have the exact same relationship.

The Gerudo are brown skinned because they live in the freaking desert! It would be strange for them to be white. And Ganondorf is green... As it's been pointed out, the Gerudo couldn't be more different from current Arab people, because they are a tribe of warrior women dressing... lightly. And the crescent shape is just on so many flags of Northern African countries...

How about Zelda? Well... SHE IS A FREAKING PRINCESS! She's being captured because that's what princesses do. Why don't you attack Peach then? And the "princess" in Save Mii? And Razpunzel? And every single princess princess in CHILDREN'S TALES? At least Zelda has the guts to make a stand as Sheik. She also helps you escape from the castle. And to finish Ganon. Did you ever play the game???

And the cows... screw you. Cows are here to give milk and be eaten, get over it. Otherwise they'd be wild animals, not farm animals. Go back to the Carebear world if you can't handle the simplest of reality. (I imagine the author of this BS pestering waiters at the restaurant: "Do you know what this is? This is meat! Yes, I ordered meat, but I'm very unhappy to eat it and I'm going to be a donkey about it too!")



Wesbert said:

The problem with such analyses is that they tell you more about their author than about the thing s/he analysed. They are like Rorschach tests: They reveal what someone wants to interpret into things, not about what is necessarily really there.
A right-wing author could easily cherry-pick and oversimplify their way into decrying the game as a piece of leftist propaganda. Starting with Link's notorious disregard for other people's property to the caricature of an evil, abusive landowner that we find on Lon-Lon Ranch, the BOSS who just shouts and bullies his workers around instead of providing them with proper security when attempting to build in a dangerous environment. And near the end Link actually joins a group of female robbers.
Then he would go on to denounce the game's leftist "man-hating" stance, clearly visible through the fact that the only male to be born into a noble, all-female warrior race turns into an evil, powerhungry maniac. Similarly, most of the boys in the Kokiri forest are either useless buffoons or bullies who try to hinder you, while help naturally comes mostly from female NPCs. Also the only visible part of Hyrule's ruling class is a woman. So is her bodyguard. And the majority of sages are female. Even the cool ninja turns out to be a woman.
And so on.
Personally, I find it hard to consider a game "racist" where one of the key plot elements is the joining of forces by representatives from all Hyrulean races (including the "evil" Gerudo) to weaken the main antagonist.
As for sexist, I must say that a whole race of proud warrior women who are actually among the most able melee fighters in the game hardly promotes a "damsel in distress" message. And as for Zelda: even when she's dressed as a male, she's still a woman underneath. So everything she did she still did as a woman.(Besides, I never thought she disguised herself as a man. Sheikh looked like a ninja with no discernible sex. During my first play-through I briefly thought it was actually Impa in disguise.)
And yes, my interpretation also reveals more about me than about the game itself, and what I want to see in it. But at least I acknowledge that.



Zael said:

I think that only a silly person can think that zelda is sexist racist and classist



Chris720 said:

What the heck did I just read? That is just... What?

Most of the stuff he mentioned is most likely just coincidence anyway. A lot like the subliminal message in Super Mario Galaxy having stars only on U, R, M, R, G, A and Y.

And I'm guessing Mario is sexist as well along with every movie, TV and game featuring damsel in distress situations being saved by a male.



GeminiSaint said:

@eaglebob345 The problem with this is that Ganondorf chose to abduct Zelda and ignore Link, when there's no reason he couldn't have abducted both. Why did he leave Link alone? He was right there, in the same place as Zelda, and both were revealed to possess parts of the Triforce at the same time. It's a huge plot hole in my opinion.



AJWolfTill said:

The classist stuff is ridiculous, I interperet the boss of the carpenters speech at a joke at the technological limitations. They are all on repeating patterns and unlike Majoras Mask time doesn't really progress in that game (except for the 7 year divide).
Also the Gerudu stuff is unfair, Ganondorf is the only one with any malicious intent the others act against you with good justification and become allies later on.
The damsel stuff is unfortunate but I would say it is more shackling itself to tradition rather than patronising women. I do think they should move away from this trope as it is somewhat demeaning and unimaginative.

I'm not even going to touch upon the animal...



Jellitoe said:

This is just another of them websites for American Democratic Party and their puppet minorities (I am minority by the way) to whine. People need to stop being over sensitive and try to find issues with everything. People always trying to find an excuse for the crappy life they choose to live.



Whopper744 said:

Are you serious? I really get tired of overly sensitive people. Get over yourselves, seriously. Did the people who came up with this smoke crack since birth or what?



Sforzando said:

Saw one comment at the top that said this guy was reading "deep" into it. And yes, it's simply ridiculous.



Ren said:

pretty funny read. I'm someone who takes that stuff really seriously too, but this is pretty over the top. So I guess this guy just landed on planet earth last week or so and hasn't picked up any of the ads, magazines, tv, movies, packaging, music... maybe he landed and then woke up from a nap with the game in his hand.

I do remember thinking the most human depiction of Ganon here and the desert clan being oddly arabic looking with some overtones that say Islam part but it's not very specific about anything to be that harmful to anyone.




You know what? Gamers are fickle. People were freaking out when Metroid Other M was released, calling it "sexist, misogynistic" because it portrayed Samus as weak and subservient to men. They also said she was a battered woman in an abusive relationship with Adam M, citing poorly done gameplay mechanics (you can only use items once Adam approves authorization) and falsely interpreted interactions. Gamers called out all these social injustices and quickly used them for grounds of why they disliked the game.

I made the point that you can literally dissect and critique any piece of media and find social injustices. The author makes valid points, but since Ocarina of Time is well liked, they are supposedly "wrong" with their assessment of Ocarina of Time. What makes Other M more wrong that Ocarina of Time other than not being as good?

All of you need to grow up.



Einherjar said:

@Zombie_Barioth I thought about it a little more: Hylians arent even "human". They are some sort of elve people, hence the pointy ears. And its rather funny that the positive examples about the races in the Zelda universe fall under the carpet here: Why isnt it mentioned that the Hylians have absolutely no problem with their goron and zora neighbors and that they live happily side by side. Or that Impa, Zeldas maid is a shiekah, another ethnical tribe working together with the hylian royal family. Or the skulltula curse victims, living in kakariko without beeing bothered. They basicly represent disabled people. And even whichcraft, alchemy and occultists living among commoners without problems, something, that was hunted in killed in real life a couple hundret years ago. What about the circle of sages, consisting of every tribe that is resident in hyrule, working together to keep the land peaceful.
The Zelda universe gives so much positive examples agains sexism (female warriors, sages etc) and racism (different kinds of people, classes, races living and working happily together) and nobody ever takes notice.
Also, calling hylians "the good people" is also way wrong. Just look at the Gorons or the Zora. Both tribes are very noble and friendly. And then you have a corrupt, hylian farmer, holding you hostage for winning a horce race, or the lazy workers, the insane Windmill guy etc.



DarkKirby said:

A glance of the website and I can see Salon panders to liberals.

Democrats are saints, Republicans are demons, personal responsibility shouldn't be necessary, everything everywhere should be politically correct, keep raising taxes, government should keep spending more money, debt doesn't matter, etc, etc.

And before someone accuses me of it, I'm not a Republican or a conservative. Some people seem to have the idea that if you're not a Democrat and liberal, the only option left is to be a Republican and conservative or vise versa.



sagen said:

This guy's attacking zelda like peta attacked pokemon - just as pointless and idiotic.



WiiLovePeace said:

It's a game, it ain't real. & LoZ: OoT spoilers the Gerudo turn out good after breaking into their hideout, having split away from Ganondorf. end LoZ: OoT spoilers

Also you don't save Zelda in Link's Awakening iirc & probs other Zelda games I haven't played too. Hey wasn't she not needed to be saved in Skyward Sword too? I really don't remember, maybe she was. In any case it really doesn't matter.

Games are interactive entertainment. The player character is the player, who will either be a boy or girl. For example I don't suddenly feel less in control of the main character in the Metroid games just because Samus is a woman. The person's article is amazingly dumb, attacking a 15 year old game on fake issues the game doesn't have instead of at least trying to be relevant to current game trends & attacking GTA Oh well.



Jukilum said:

It's interesting to note than when they redid that trailer for OoT3D they changed the line cited as being problematic.



JoostinOnline said:

@Hit-Girl That's not true. While his beast form is always called Ganon (to my knowledge), he is also referred to as Ganon many times in his human form as well. There are many theories as to the "correct" way, but the only one that is without conflicting evidence is that the two names are interchangeable.



JoostinOnline said:

@NintendoLife I really wish you guys hadn't posted this. It just brings more attention to a stupid article that was probably written mostly for attention.

I will say this though: No matter how you believe the characters were portrayed, they are not a representation of an entire people (race, gender, religion, etc.). If a movie has a lazy black guy, that doesn't mean that all black people are lazy. It just means that one fictional person, who is also black, is lazy. If the viewer imagines that there is a relation, then it's just their hangup.

More than anything, it's people's obsession with searching for stereotypes that make them continue to exist.



Moviefan2k4 said:

The guy who wrote that article is an idiot. While some traits are similar to different cultures, there's no direct correlation with any of them in the "Zelda" series, that I'm aware of. Also, one of the so-called "bad guys" (Nabooru) turns out to be the Sage of Spirit, helping Link defeat Ganondorf. Darunia also has brown skin, and remains an aide and "sworn brother" to Link through the whole game...funny how the author forgot about that.

The whole sexism bit is crap, too. Like it or not, most women are physically smaller and weaker than most men. We were designed to be their protectors, not abusers. Radical feminists always link (or it it Link?) dominance with oppression. =(



Captain_Balko said:

Guys, it's clear what needs to happen in light of these current events.

In the next Zelda game, to make up for the blatant sexism, racism, class discrimination, and animal rights issues, a few things must occur:
1. All characters must have an identical mulatto skin tone, not too white, not too black.
2. Link must be a hermaphrodite... Actually, all characters must be hermaphrodites.
3. Hyrule must be completely communist. Get rid of all of the Hyrulian symbols, replace them with the sickle and hammer. All characters must make note of "How glorious it is to work in fields of Mother Hyrule". There is no more royalty, and everyone equally contributes to great working class, and reads only Marx.
4. There must be no animals at all to exploit. In fact, there aren't any creatures at all in the game other than humans. Link may only fight members of the KKK, misogynists, and capitalists.
Yes, this is the only way to remedy the wrong that Ocarina of Time has caused.

... But seriously folks, this guy's antics are laughable at best, I can't fathom how one could write something this unintelligent and poorly thought out - it's one of the dumbest things I've ever read, and I've read some PRETTY STUPID things in my time on the grand internets.



Neram said:

@Sir420 You actually believe this stuff as real? I do hope you're joking. Zelda disguising herself as a man is absolutely not sexist at all. If she could only get away with hiding as a warrior male then why the hell is Impa a warrior female who is depicted as being strong and protective of Zelda? Is that sexist too somehow? The fact that she's being protected by another woman!? Also, there's nothing in this game that even suggest that anyone eats cows, so that is bullocks too. This smart donkey who wrote that asinine article is looking at the game from a total outside "real world" perspective, and especially a political perspective.

I can't believe you're calling us priviledged, that right there shows how you obviously don't view everyone as equal people. It's not that I'm getting defensive that my precious Zelda could have things like this, no, it's that I'm totally flabergasted that this guy would actually come up with such nonsense! I'm normally one to debate in fairness, but this is just WAY out there. I cannot believe that you seriously think of his viewpoints as real. Have you played this game? Have you done any research into the development process?
Watch the profanity and insults please — TBD



Sir420 said:

@Neram Honestly, I think it's important to be aware of unintentional offenses. Can you live your life in fear that you will offend someone? No. Should you do your best to help rather than hurt? Of course.

If you'd like to look up the error of a privileged mindset, I'd encourage you to do so. As I've said previously, NintendoLife is clearly not the forum to discuss social theory.



JoostinOnline said:

@Sir420 What you call "being defensive" is people pointing out that this article is full of flaws.

I think you should read my previous post.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Yep, thats because it goes against their purpose. The game is the way they say it is because thats how they choose to see it, you can put a negative spin on just about anything if given enough thought. Anybody who isn't familar with it would be inclined to take your word for it, for better or worst. The person sounds like they know what they're talking about, therefore it must be true, right?

Thats why you get people being "defensive" or "immature" when these kind of articles pop-up, they know its misleading. These aren't just little rumors either, they're things that could greatly influence a person's view of the subject.



Sir420 said:

@JoostinOnline I have no problem with people pointing out flaws. That's give and take, conversation, discourse. What I call "being defensive" is people not even giving these ideas a chance. A quick look through the above 200+ posts will show a completely dismissive attitude by most. Is the Salon article flawed? Of course, what isn't (yes, that includes Zelda).

In your previous post, you say "More than anything, it's people's obsession with searching for stereotypes that make them continue to exist." I disagree. I say that it's a lack of understanding diverse viewpoints that continues stereotypes. Angry, dismissive attitudes towards opinions other than our own prolong this lack of understanding and strengthen stereotypes.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it is certainly not healing or helpful. Education is the answer.

I expect this post to be dismissed at least as much as those I've made above. As I've said before, NintendoLife is not a healthy environment for this type of discussion. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but at least try to understand where I am coming from. Thank you for this exchange. You are welcomed to have the last word; I am finished with this comment thread.



Henmii said:

Well, you could say that the Zelda series is also discriminating shop-owners (the very unfriendly bomb-shop owner from Windwaker as a good example)!
Lol, I think it's a bunch of nonsense! Oot is awesome, as are most of the Zelda games!



JoostinOnline said:

@Sir420 Articles like this are one of the biggest reasons that stereotypes are even known.

People are dismissive because the premise of the statements are flawed. Nothing holds up without a solid premise. I think it's pretty clear that you missed my point about characters representing a group of people. For example, even if Ganondorf had been black (he's green, despite what this article says), it shouldn't matter. If a stereotype didn't exist, the author never would have made the connection. He only saw an (invalid) connection because of the way he views the world.

People are upset because by implying that the game is racist (among other things), he is himself being racist. This stuff doesn't occur to most people, and you don't find all of these (invalid) points unless you want to see them.

So again, the world would be much better off without articles like this.



Moviefan2k4 said:

@JoostinOnline Ultimately, this world would be much better off without people who constantly play the victim card, when its painfully obvious no harmful intent ever existed.



Badjacoon20 said:

Can you imagine what would have been said if the kokiri were black?
When people dig this deep it just makes them look stupid.
I would think the energy spent on this article could have been better put to use elsewhere.



NightmareXIV said:

starts playing Ocarina of time. wow this is great.
10 minutes later thinks Gosh I'm gonna go out, and find green people who live in the desert to kill.

(I get annoyed when people over analize games. Then say things like this. might as well blame todays society based off of racists, and sexists calling normal peope racist, and sexist on the first game I ever played.)
Now if you'll excuse I'm gonna see if chickens really can glide when you jump off a cliff holding one over your head.



TingLz said:

This guy must hate every book he reads, every movie he watches and every game he plays. He just nitpicks everything "wrong" with Ocarina of Time



NightmareXIV said:

You can't go wrong with Zelda it's not like Gannondorf is innocent just look what he did to great fish isle in Wind Waker you are clearly stopping a bad guy.



NightmareXIV said:

I'm just glad my mom didn't read articles like this when I was a kid, or I wouldn't be posting on this site today.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...