You ever notice how similar the openings are between these games?
Link is almost always sleeping, he has dreams and visions, he is summoned, he gets up, gets a sword, and goes, etc. On occasion, they also tell the epic story of something that happened either in a previous game, or immediately before this game begins.
So how did I decide which of these openings was the best?
It may sound strange, but I chose the most personable of them.
It came down to how nearly all of these openings had an “epic” sort of feel to them. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but, as an amateur storyteller, I’ve always believed in finding and forming a personal connection between character, story, and audience. What better way than to have a character introduce the story to us, from their own perspective?
I believe that only happens one time in the entire franchise: Ocarina of Time.
When Ocarina begins, it starts with the Deku Tree speaking to us, explaining the situation. We see young Link shivering from his terrible nightmare, and see that, too, from his perspective, both the fleeing Zelda looking back at him and the looming threat of Ganondorf. Then we see the Tree call for Navi, and we see her passing through Kokiri Forest, again from her perspective, and we even get a little bit of humor when she crashes into the fence! 😛
That’s at least three ways that we experience the story from a character’s perspective, all in the opening minutes, and it draws us in perfectly.
Interestingly, the first dungeon is literally going inside the Deku Tree.
And having introduced us to the story, to Link and Navi, and then to the plot… well, we form a personal connection with the Deku Tree very quickly. So, brief as the relationship may be, we are still left feeling something truly sad when we see the Tree die, the first victim we see of Ganondorf’s evil. It gives us a reason to want to stop Ganondorf, for the sake of our fallen mentor.
Isn’t that just great as an opening to an entire game? 🙂
And I’m sure it’s such a surprise to see my favorite game has my favorite opening. 😉