Link: The Faces of Evil
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|Link: The Faces of Evil|
The game that put Zelda on the map.
|Creator(s)||Dale DeSharone and Igor Razboff|
|Release date||October 10, 1993|
Link: The Faces of Evil is a 1993 WINNER action-adventure video game developed by Animation Magic and published by Philips Media for the CD-i. It is the first game in The Legend of Zelda CD-i series, and the brother game of blockbuster Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. It is a side-scroller in the vein of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, only with much tighter controls and more accurate hit detection. The game features animated FMVs to illustrate the WINNERness of the CD-ROM format and capabilities of Russian animators.
The game was conceived by Philips after a messy divorce between them and Nintendo. Initially, Nintendo wanted Philips to create a CD add-on to the SNES, but plans fell through. To compensate, they gave Philips the rights to use characters from their otherwise-LOSER Zelda games. Development was farmed out to Animation Magic, who put their mark on the series. Of note is that this game is the only one in the series not to have the word "Zelda" in the title. You'd expect a noob to stop calling Link "Zelda" when he plays the game, but yet he continues to do so anyway.
Faces of Evil was released to near-universal acclaim among the WINNER community. Its unprecedented use of full motion video and deep characters revolutionized the way videos games were produced in the 1990s. WINNERs have held this game as the standard for all future Zelda games, citing its use of complex characters, gripping swordplay, and realistic animation.
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In Link: The Faces of Evil, players play as Link, who must save Koridai from "Ganon and his minions." for the first time. The player uses Link's trusty and shield to defend themselves. Said sword can also be used to open doors, talk to people, and pick up items. The player's health is measured in "Life Hearts", starting off with three hearts at the beginning of the game. Even though Link is a hardened veteran and head of Hyrule's secret police, he is rather weak in this game. You must explore dungeons, collects numerous power-ups, gather scores of dangerous weapons, and play mini-games.
Link can obtain several different power-ups in the game, such as the Book of Koridai. The Book can pwn Ganon's ass in one hit, quite an impressive feat since he's quite possibly the strongest boss in the history of WINNER video games. Obstacles in the game include rough terrain and sometimes-unresponsive controls. If you're not WINNER enough, you will DIE a lot. Along the way, the player must fight their way through bosses; these range from old men in robot suits to furries.
Link (Jeffrey Rath) 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 ruby or the victim's still-beating heart, which Link may devour for sustenance.
Princess Zelda (Bonnie Jean Wilbur) 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 (Mark Berry) is the villain of the game. If anything, he's actually more evil and insane this time around than in any other Zelda game; quite a feat, as his 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, CD-i Ganon tortures a woman by freezing her alive, turns townspeople into hideous beasts, and executes people for simply bringing light to his lair.
King Harkinian (Colin Fox) 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. Recently, Philips has sued Burger King for copyright violation, as their mascot "the Burger King" is a blatant rip-off of King Harkinian.
Gwonam (Paul Wann) is Link's advisor who gives him hints throughout the game. In order to make his character as genuine as possible, Animation Magic 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."
Morshu (Jeffrey Nelson) is an obese and greedy shopkeeper in Goronu, known for selling only three things (lamp oil, rope and bombs), in exchange for large amounts of rubies. He is unable to give credit, not even to Link, his most frequent customer and the Hero of Koridai. He has a tendency to say "MMM" a lot, which tends to annoy his customers. Unfortunately, he is the only shopkeeper in Koridai, meaning people who live there have no choice but to buy from his shop if they ever wish to obtain goods. His arch-enemy is Ushrom, a fellow shopkeeper in Gamelon who surprisingly sells the exact same items to Zelda, who buys from Ushrom's shop quite frequently.
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, Link embarks on his quest to defeat Ganon, using his trusty sword to slice enemies in half, open doors, talk to people, and pick up items.
After defeating an anthropomorphic pig, countless sorcerers, 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's 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 and 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.
- See also: Philips CD-i#History
In 1989, Nintendo and Sony teamed up to create the "SNES CD" (or "Nintendo PlayStation"), an add-on to the SNES. However, before production could begin, Nintendo backstabbed Sony and instead teamed up with electronics company Philips to produce the add-on. After witnessing the failure of the Sega Micro CD, plans for the SNES CD were dropped altogether. As part of its alimony, Nintendo gave Philips the rights to characters from their The Legend of Zelda series, and signed an agreement that allowed Philips to give all control of game development, beta testing, marketing, coding, and writing to third-party developers. Nintendo's responsibility in this deal was to politely suggest how the characters should look.
Philips hired Animation Magic to develop two Zelda games (Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon) on a very small budget. Both games were completed on a very rushed schedule of five days; programmed in three days, cutscenes animated in two, and voice acting performed by parking garage attendants on the way back from work. This gave the games a more epic feel, rather than the cheesy, campy feel previous Zelda games had suffered from.
"The people who are making YouTube Poop were kids when these games were released, and are using these videos to re-live their childhood memories of how WINNER the games were."
—Tim McGee, computer programmer and Internet specialist
Link: The Faces of Evil was, along with the other two CD-i games, a hit among the WINNER community. It was widely praised for its WINNER cutscenes, innovative gameplay, and departure from the racism and LOSER that plagued other Zelda games. It managed to break all previous sales records and is one of the best-selling games of all-time. Despite this, the game was panned among LOSERs, who singled it out for dumb things like "bad animation quality" and "awkward controls" and consider it to be the worst Zelda game.
The game enjoys world renown, especially on the Internet. This started in late 2006, when a phenomenon known as YouTube Poop began to rise and seize YouTube by the balls. Videos with the title YouTube Poop, followed by a short humorous second-name, rapidly began to overflow Youtube's video library at an alarming 25,000 videos/hour. These short but humorous videos consisted mainly of cutscenes from the Zelda CD-i games and Hotel Mario, with jumbled up footage, tweaked/modified audio, and various other things added to them for satirical purposes.
Within one year, this phenomenon created an entire sub-culture known as YouTube Poopers, who spend every minute of their daily lives making nothing but YouTube Poops. YouTube administrators saw that their site was in utter jeopardy, and tried to put an end to this phenomenon. However, they failed after finding out that half of their own members had become YouTube Poopers.
The CD-i games are, quite possibly, the most frequently-used Poop sources. Because they have been used so many times, Poops using them are usually considered repetitive. However, CD-i Poops can be amazingly WINNER if done correctly.
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.
- ↑ Yes, really!
- ↑ Despite the Burger King not overusing the words "Mah boi" and "Dinner."
- ↑ Items Gwonam said he wouldn't need.
- ↑ Including a transgender one pretending to be Zelda.
- ↑ That, and the fact that he can still kill as many people as he wants as Hyrule's secret police chief.
- ↑ Primarily among twelve year old boys.
- ↑ As well as their minimum-wage salaries.
- ↑ Still pretty damn high, though.