Link: The Faces of Evil

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Link: The Faces of Evil
The game that put Zelda on the map.
Developer(s) Animation Magic
Publisher(s) Philips Media
Creator(s) Dale DeSharone and Igor Razboff
Release date October 10, 1993
Genre Action-adventure
Platform(s) Philips CD-i

Link: The Faces of Evil (1993) is an 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. Its animated FMVs, adapted to the CD-ROM format, show that Russian animators had nearly all the skill and foresight of Russian economic planners.

The game was conceived by Philips during a messy divorce with Nintendo. Initial plans fell through for Philips to create a CD add-on to the SNES and, to compensate, Nintendo gave Philips visitation rights to the characters from the Zelda games.

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 noobs to stop calling Link "Zelda," but they do anyway.

edit Gameplay

In Link: The Faces of Evil, players play as Link, who must save Philips from the "bastards at Nintendo". Again. The player uses Link's trusty shield to defend himself. The sword has all the usual uses, such as murdering people, murdering chickens, and murdering evil wizards.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Link: The Faces of Evil.

Protagonist Link, despite being a hardened veteran and head of Hyrule's Cheka, starts the game unable to do just about anything. The player must explore dungeons, collect trinkets, and be taken on numerous wild-goose chases with .

Link can obtain several different power-ups in the game, such as the Book on How to Keep Fit by Murdering Chickens. The Book can pwn Nintendo's ass in one hit, which makes it a must-read. Along the way, the player must fight its way through bosses; these range from old men in robot suits to lovable furries.

edit Characters

CDiCast

Various characters from Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and Hotel Mario.

Link (Johnny Bravo) 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 (Princess Peach) 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.

Nintendo (Sum Jap) is the villain of the game. If anything, he's actually more fucked up 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 Nintendo tortures a woman by freezing her alive, turns townspeople into sexy beasts, and executes people for simply bringing the party to his den.

King Harkinian (Colin Fox) is the sovereign leader of Hyrule. Despite Nintendo'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.[1]

Gandhi (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. Gandhi 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 Gonorrhea, 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.

edit Plot

Link Angry

"There is no time," he said. "Your sword is enough," he said.

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, Gandhi arrives on his magic carpet and warns the King that Nintendo has captured the faraway island of Koridai. Somehow sensing a threat to his own kingdom, the King agrees to send Link to fight Nintendo in Koridai. Link begins to fetch his supplies of lamp oil, rope, and bombs, but Gandhi 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 Gandhi insists that there really is no time.

Flying high over Koridai, Ghandi explains that Nintendo has transformed all licencing contracts in Koridai into Faces of Evil in his attempt to drive down Philips' NET profits. After stopping at Morshu's shop and buying lamp oil, rope, and bombs,[2] Link embarks on his quest to defeat Nintendo, using his trusty sword to slice enemies in half, stab doors, accidentally injure people, and pick up chorizo.

Link Zelda

He's ready to pounce, she's asleep and unaware...just as Link always dreamed.

After defeating an anthropomorphic pig, countless sorcerers,[3] 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 on How to Keep Fit by Murdering Chickens, Nintendo's least favorite book.

Link then finds the Crystal of Reflection, which allows his shield to reflect Nintendo's curse. He also visits the blacksmith to reforge his sword so that it can defeat Nintendo, something Link wouldn't have to do if somebody 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 Nintendo and did not need Zelda's capture as an additional incentive. Nevertheless, Link sets out to find Nintendo. After defeating more enemies and completing some mini-games, Link finally encounters Nintendo.

Nintendo gives Link two options: Join Nintendo and rule Koridai, or he and Zelda will die. This decision actually puts Link in a tough situation: had Nintendo not kidnapped Zelda, Link would have joined Nintendo in a heartbeat to fulfill his bloodlust. However, Link realizes that his lust for Zelda is stronger[4] and imprisons Nintendo 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. Gandhi appears and takes them all back home to Hyrule, where they celebrate with roast Octorok.

edit Development

Dale DeSharone

Dale DeSharone, the guy who brought us Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. God bless his soul.

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.

edit Reception

"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, widely praised for its innovative gameplay and departure from the racism that plagued other Zelda games. However, the game was panned for trivial faults like "bad animation quality" and "awkward controls" by critics who called it 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 rose and seized YouTube by the balls. Within one year, this phenomenon created an entire sub-culture known as YouTube Poopers. YouTube administrators saw that their site[5] 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 CEO of Philips was reportedly thrilled that ""YouTube is bulging with videos of the great games we made." While sales of the games were lower than expected,[6] 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 deal with Nintendo work." Nintendo could not be reached for comment.

edit References

  1. Despite the Burger King not overusing the words "Mah boi" and "Dinner."
  2. Items Gandhi said he wouldn't need.
  3. Including a transgender one pretending to be Zelda.
  4. That, and the fact that he can still kill as many people as he wants as Hyrule's secret police chief.
  5. As well as their minimum-wage salaries.
  6. Still pretty damn high, though.
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