Mythical historicism as orientation in The legend of Zelda

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2016-12

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Ovalle, Joseph Alexander

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Since the release of The Legend of Zelda in 1986, the video game series has received critical acclaim. The success of the franchise has culminated in 18 games, a television series, numerous awards, a comic series, and the institution of a traveling symphony dedicated to the performance of music from the series around the world. Throughout the first 25 years of its existence, the creators of The Legend of Zelda managed to keep one detail secret from millions of fans worldwide – the games were not released in chronological order. An analysis of the games that most heavily require players to engage in musical performance practices reveal elements of mythical historicism utilized to evoke a sense of the past and reinforce the official timeline. This report seeks to highlight aspects of historicism by examining the iconography, narrative, and performative practices in Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker through comparison to western musical traditions.

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