Faces of Evil
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Link: The Faces of Evil is a game created by Philips for its CD-i game console. Its unprecedented use of full motion video and deep characters have revolutionized the way videos games were produced in the 1990s. Nintendo has held this game as the standard for all future Zelda games, citing its use of complex characters, gripping swordplay, and realistic animation.
edit Concept and Creation
In an attempt to corner the game market and form a monopoly, Nintendo and Sony decided to pool their resources and create the "SNES CD:" an add-on to the SNES that would allow full motion video, bigger games, and a cup holder. However, after much research, Nintendo's shrewd executives decided that the future of the video game industry did not lie with Sony and their laughable ideas for their upcoming "Playstation" console (which they knew would be a flop.) In a bold and daring business decision, Nintendo broke the contract with Sony and signed an agreement with Philips, a company whose most recent accomplishments were the N1500 videocassette, (scrapped due to competition from Sony) the N1700 double-sided cassette (scrapped due to competition from Sony) and the Betamax tape (scrapped due to competition from Sony).
Despite this, Nintendo strongly believed in the future of Philips CD add-ons, and its executives had faith in the ingenuity of Philips' engineers. So confident was Nintendo that they signed an agreement where Philips took control of game development, beta testing, marketing, coding, and writing, where Nintendo's responsibility was to politely suggest how the characters should look.
The result was the famed game known across the Internet today for its unforgettable acting, its interesting controls, and bold scripts. Its sales numbers and player reviews are not important: what is important is the game's fame across the world and the standard it sets for CD add-ons.
Link is the bloodthirsty protagonist of the game. While appearing innocent, sweet, and demure, he is actually an unstoppable killing machine as well as the head of Hyrule's secret police. Skilled in many forms of swordplay and weaponry, Link's horribly efficient killing moves have been known to completely obliterate his enemies, leaving behind nothing more than a rupee or the victim's still-beating heart, which Link may devour for sustenance.
Princess Zelda is Link's love interest and the princess of Hyrule. Constantly at the mercy of Link's advances, she is not fooled by his imitations of gallantry and bravery. Knowing that it's only a matter of time until her father forces her into marriage with Link, she continues to hold off Link's requests for just a kiss...for luck.
Ganon returns in this game, and if anything is actually more evil and insane this time around than any other, quite a feat, as Ganon's original designers were Japanese. Going far beyond sulking in a cave, taking over Hyrule castle and leaving Hyrule's towns untouched, and drowning an abandoned kingdom that's already underwater, Ganon tortures a woman by freezing her alive, turns townspeople into hideous beasts, and executes people for simply bringing light to his lair.
The King is the sovereign leader of Hyrule. Despite Ganon's repeated invasions, monsters roaming the lands, and massive inflation due to naturally occurring rupees, the King's reign is secure thanks to his loyal army and secret police, headed by Link. He has a very limited role in this game, because his voice actor, Colin Fox, had some grocery shopping he had to do and thus was unwilling to commit his time to voicing the King.
Gwonam is Link's advisor who gives him hints throughout the game. In order to make his character as genuine as possible, Philips sent some of its staff to India to learn about Indian food, culture, and religious traditions. After spending two weeks living in a small village south of Calcutta, the staff felt that they had enough anthropologic information to make a character that would factually represent Indians. Gwonam is named after Gwonam Patel, the president of the Indian Cultural Society, who praised the character's "true depth in its portrayal of the Indian people...[and] its educational value about Indian life to those who play this game."
The story begins with Link complaining that there have not been any rebellions against the kingdom for some time and that "it sure is boring around here." The King reprimands him, reminding him that the peace caused by a population utterly terrified of its ruler is "what all true warriors strive for."
Suddenly, Gwonam arrives on his magic carpet and warns the King that Ganon has captured the faraway island of Koridai. Somehow sensing a threat to his own kingdom, the King agrees to send Link to fight Ganon in Koridai. Link begins to fetch his supplies of lamp oil, rope, and bombs, but Gwonam insists that there is no time, and that his wooden sword and shield are enough. Link tries subtly to get a quickie from Zelda before he leaves, but Gwonam insists that there really is no time.
Flying high over Koridai, Gwonam explains that Ganon has transformed all of the mountains in Koridai into Faces of Evil in his attempt to drive down property values. After stopping at Morshu's shop and buying lamp oil, rope, and bombs (items Gwonam said he didn't need,) Link embarks on his quest to defeat Ganon, using his trusty sword to slice enemies in half, open doors, talk to people (yes, really!) and pick up items.
After defeating an anthropomorphic pig, countless sorcerers (including a transgender one pretending to be Zelda), and a hobo asking for some change, Link faces the gluttonous Glutko. Using the hint that Glutko can be defeated by something spicy, Link buys a Chipotle burrito, and throws it in the beast's mouth, defeating him and retrieving the Book of Koridai, Ganon's least favorite book.
Link then finds the Crystal of Reflection, which allows his shield to reflect Ganon's curse. He also visits the blacksmith to reforge his sword so that it can defeat Ganon, something Link wouldn't have to do if sombody hadn't told him there was no time.
While completing these time-consuming tasks, Link finds out that Zelda has been kidnapped by Ganon. The reason for doing so is unclear, as Link was already going to kill Ganon and did not need Zelda' capture as an additional incentive. Nevertheless, Link sets out to find Ganon. After defeating more enemies and completing some mini-games, Link finally encounters Ganon.
Ganon gives Link two options: Join Ganon and rule Koridai, or he and Zelda will die. This decision actually puts Link in a tough situation: had Ganon not kidnapped Zelda, Link would have joined Ganon in a heartbeat to fulfill his bloodlust. However, Link realizes that his lust for Zelda is stronger (that, and the fact that he can still kill as many people as he wants as Hyrule's secret police chief.) Link imprisons Ganon in the book, ignoring his pleas not to go into the pit.
Link goes up the stairs to see Zelda sleeping. He decides to fool around with her before she wakes up, but unfortunately he trips and bangs a gong, waking her up and denying him the opportunity. Gwonam appears and takes them all back home to Hyrule, where they celebrate with roast Octorok.
The game enjoys world renown, especially on the Internet. The CEO of Philips was reportedly thrilled that "all over YouTube are videos of the great games we made, and some of the game's phrases have become integral parts of our pop culture." While sales of the games were lower than expected, they were more than made up for by the amount of tributes online.
The CEO of Sony told the Wall Street Journal "I really regret not making that co-op between Nintendo and Sony work. Had I known the game would be this successful, I would have done more to salvage our agreement."
Nintendo could not be reached for comment.
The Legend of Zelda - Link's Arousal - Ocarina of Time - Majora's Mask - The Wind Waker - The Midget's Crap - Twilight Princess - Phantom Hourglass - Spirit Tracks - The Wand of Gamelon - Faces of Evil
|Characters:||Link - Princess Zelda - Ganondorf - King Harkinian - Tingle - Vaati - That Old Man from The Legend Of Zelda - Lord Jabu-Jabu|
|Somethings:||Hyrule - Link is a Tree - The Legend of Zelda Link theory - Rupees|