Zelda theory returns with a Christmas Special where we go in-depth on the religious past of the Zelda series.
Beginning from its Christian origins (The Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda: The Adventure of Link), over the transition to the Goddesses and Triforce (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past), through the Islamic controversy in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to the Buddhist temple in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
And best of all I am once again joined by Zeltik who has taken on the possibility for seasons in Zelda Wii U in his upcoming video that will be up on Christmas Eve.
The best of Christmas wishes from Commonwealth Realm and Zeltik! :)
Check out the The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD Mod Project by Tomoya Hamasaki!
Check out Blue Amnesiac on Deviantart (great transparent models of the most popular Zelda Items!)
The Spider's Thread (Japanese Amine)
Previous Zelda Theories:
Villain Timeline (Part 1):
Hyrule's Darkest Secret (Wars of Hyrule):
Jingle Bells (Royalty free)
Silent Night (Royalty free)
ZREO - Twilight Symphony 1. Overture
ZREO - The Adventure of Link 2. Battle
ZREO - A Link To the Past 1. Intro theme
ZREO - A Link To the Past 2. Opening Demo
ZREO - Ocarina of Time 68. Gerudo Valley
ZREO - Ocarina of Time 61. Fire Temple
Skyward Sword official soundtrack - Ancient Cistern.
The Legend of Zelda is a Trademark owned and registered by Nintendo.
Religious references in Zelda are no different from religious references throughout any Japanese media throughout the 80's and 90's. Whether we're talking about Neon Genesis Evangelion, Xenogears, Trigun, DeathNote or iconography in the Zelda franchise, Japan as a predominantly secular country uses religious references simply as a means of adding an exotic flair to a work's aesthetic.
Controversy? Maybe in Japan. But in Japan only. The Islamic chants were removed for US and Europe when it first came out. It's almost as if the Gorons made prayers for God to rescue them. And that you are the response to their prayers, chosen by God to rescue them. So since that's their chants, I don't see the problem with the Fire element or whatsoever. Plus, the beats we can hear with the chants can be considered as simples noises, and not as a haram.
Oh, fuck pandering to religions and calling it respect! Religion, tradition, history, heritage, and culture are just dead men's baggage. Respect is only for PEOPLE, not ideas, and all religions are just collections of ideas that should never have survived a grade school education.
You people actually worrying about this are just silly. Sure there might be some borrowed themes, but obviously Link and no one else in the Zelda games is Christian, bc Christianity doesn't exist in Zelda. They worship the goddesses. There, saved ya 8 minutes!
Using unauthentic commentary read by someone with a Japanese accent seems a desperate attempt to seem authoritative. Are any of these statements backed up by anything stated by Miyamoto or any others directly associated with Nintendo, or are they just your personal fever dreams?
There already is a religion revolving around the 3 goddess's who made the world and the tri-force is their holy relic they left behind. That's why it's everywhere and on everything much like a cross used to be. Stop trying to make this work.
Maybe they went with the old Tolkien Lord of the Rings approach? Basically the godesses are actually just angels that created the world together with the real God.
Another Tolkien idea that would fit PERFECTLY into the Zelda universe is that the world was created by God and his angels with MUSIC! Think about it, music in Zelda has world-bending powers that can change time and space itself. I can imagine one of the godesses singing the Song of Storms to fill the world with water for example.
How does religion work? I don't get it. I don't understand why people across the world believe in a different religion than Christianity or believe in Christianity itself! it's 2016/7 and we still carry on religious beliefs? that was like 1000 years ago! Cmon, we are doing fine, we aren't dying for us to pray for a god in this age? are we? what possibly could be important?
While they do all contain a lot of various religions in them, I think the one game that has the most religious references in it is A Link to the Past, specifically, Shintoism.
You should check out this document, here, which goes into detail in a lot of the Shinto aspects of ALttP.
Also, one of the shrines that Hijo prayed two was the Enoshima Shrine where he prayed for prosperity. That shrine, in fact, houses three kami-Benten, or goddesses. So, Hijo prayed to three goddess for prosperity...
Hyrule Historia is basically the meta-Bible of the Zelda franchise, and because it describes the story of Creation as that of the Three Golden Goddesses forming Hyrule and the Triforce and leaving them in Hylia's care, it is impossible for Christianity to be the true religion of Hyrule/the franchise without some serious retconning.
I was watching a documentary on why shields and why they used that symbol, its not even a christianity thing, it just happened to be the best, most efficaint symbol they could use on a shield, it was on all shields, also the crusifix T t, they used the symbol for everyone becuase if happenes to be the best shape they could use. 2 places for the arms and legs..
I dont think so! probably pagan if at all...there is alot of mythology in them, and who belived in that more than pagans, I read the t thing in the earlier sheild is pretty much the only symbol they could do, u dont see alot of X, on sheilds its not as efficient.
Regarding the music in the fire temple, what's funny is that the exact same chant is used in other games such as "Cruisin' The World", yet no controversy occurred (except supposedly for Kakuto Chojin). I recommend viewing GameTrailers's "The Fire Temple Chants". It's a very well produced video on the subject and debunks this myth rather soundly.
Aside from that, great video! I too thought Christianity played a role in Zelda due to the Triforce possibly representing the Holy Trinity. Glad to see I wasn't the only one.
I remember playing the original Ocarina of Time (by that, I mean before they censored it). I was really drawn to the crescent moon and star on Link's mirror shield, and at that time (I had just turned 7) I didn't really know what it was supposed to represent. The chanting in the Fire Temple creeped me out to the point where I had to mute my TV in order to complete it. Honestly, I understand why they removed the chanting (and I'm not complaining; like I said, it scared me back then), but even after familiarizing myself with the religion, I never understood why they removed the moon and star from the shield and blocks in the Spirit Temple. I honestly never tied it in with the thieving ways of the Gerudo until you mentioned it in this video, so thank you for informing us about it and putting my frustrations to rest.
+Ian Calhoun I don't like ISIS anymore than you I'm just not blindly prejudice to an entire religion. I'm glad you think I'm a loser that lives in my mommy's basement. What scares me is that you live with nobody and you're this mentally retarded.
Wowwww ok I understand the symbolism of the moon to the similarity of islam but then again it also has latin style music, I mean just saying, to me it references more latin style from the shape of the places and even how the village is constructed, only the clothes and the shield are different, thankfully I did not have to play a version of the game where the moon was removed from the shield I'd have freaked out because I really actually loved that shield just because of that. Other than that, what's the problem with having crosses in a graveyard? Just saying that is totally normal and then again if the people who made this video knew even the tiniest bit of history they'd know that most knights did use a lot of christian/catholic references due to the religion of the time, it's not wanting to insert religious themes really it's just history so they're trying to make the game look more real by using shields with crosses or whatever, although really if you were to ask it is a little bit a lack of creativity for creating cool shield or sword designs, other than that a church having a cross on top or a graveyard sounds perfectly normal to me, otherwise on those versions of the game where you can barely distinguish a rock from a graveyard stone how else would you know? :s geez!
Becca Hatfield But the legend of Zelda is all about religion despite what religion they introduce. Hyrule is created by higher powers, Gods or goddeses are mentioned. People worship something in that world. Link and Zelda and even Ganon have the power of the gods. Without religion Zelda wouldn't be Zelda no more.
what if he was just going to introduce the fact that they are bad and at some point reveal that there is only one, but they were appointed by him. maybe in the game they didn't just have the power, maybe it had to come from somewhere.
+Antnj81 dipshit. a cross, especially for that time, was very exotic. it helped promote the idea of a fantasy world even more. link isnt Christian. christ doesnt exist in that world. The world is conceived by 3 goddesses. And no its not the holy Trinity.
This was absolutely fascinating. I always equated the Triforce and goddesses with the Trinity. Even considered the original shield and sword from NES LoZ as referring to Knight's Templars, but knew about this. Thank you.
Thank fuck they didn't make link a Christian lol faith and superstition are some of my most hated things and Zelda is one of my favourite things haha I don't think there is need for any real world religion in Zelda but I'd love to see multiple hylian, gerudo, zora or sheikah religions, that'd be awesome, imagine if the zoras and gorons had a religious disagreement over how the true God/gods were and had a war lol that'd be mad
+TheFabulousKitten I think it's because everyone is too worried about being fair. They are afraid by putting religion in a game it'll pressure people to believe. I don't agree however since it was done in a peaceful manner.
Well, I think when they released the first two Zelda games, they were really trying to go more for a game influenced by Western Medieval culture, which would explain why Link, being a knight (kind of), would bear a crucifix on his shield and appear religious, and why there would be Christian churches and crosses depicted on gravestones. However, as the series progressed, these themes changed, and Nintendo chose to expand upon the game's own lore and mythology instead, but they still incorporated other religious themes and symbols to express the influences upon the games.
I would love to seethe return of Religiion in Legends of Zelda. infact I'd liketo the return of christianity itself return.
Why not religous refrences are one of the things that makes Legends of Zelda amzeing. but none of that satanik krap. there's enough stuff they kan use already that involves things like demons and stuff. In truth I kan see Gandorth being kloser to tha
t relgion more than Islam but either way he's pretty evil.
+DasKänguru Yeah but the companies decide the outcome whatever the size of the backlash is, no matter the size. These companies will do anything ( even playing it safe) to keep their reputation and money flow. Fuck urm!
it would make sense in the downfall time line that hyrule would get a new religion from other kingdoms because they may have lost faith in the 3 golden goddeses after the close to destruction of hyrule replacing the story of the triforce with christian lore.
I firmly believe the removal of Christianity saved a lot of controversy. There are entire concepts in the series that derive from other world religions and many ideas that exist in mythologies that are defined by many as Pagan. It would offend some Christians to coincide with those values. In other words, keeping Christianity would water down the series.
This is Hyrule. We want a sense of adventure, we want to leave our mortal world and be a part of something different. Lets leave religion as reference only.
Besides, pulling from multiple cultures and religions tends to create a better medium and having more of a Pagan overtone usually makes a better game or movie.
Zelda may have intended this and chose to do that and it might pull from this and reference that but it clearly has and end product that is more Pagan than anything.
The overall premise is a goddess who is reborn and needs to be protected along with the sacred Triforce. There are several gods and goddesses referenced throughout the game series and several cultures that have customs and ideals and beliefs that clearly would be identified as Pagan in our world.
We see it as different because it is not mainstream and since it is different it is less likely to come across as making fun of anyone's religion or giving it a bad name. The modern way to go generic is to make up your own religion and pull from multiple sources and make it more Pagan oriented so that it is not too much like the "norm."
I am sure someone will point out games and movies where this is not the formula used. I never claimed it always is but this is a common thing done in a lot of series and stories told and the products tend to be a lot better overall and usually only rival with games that barely feature religion.
I'm a Christian but I'm much happier knowing that Christianity was not used as the religion of hyrule in the later games. I always find it much more interesting and more immersive when the creators give their own universe its own religion, set of beliefs and customs. However, using religion as the base of temples and items and things like that I find to be very enjoyable and helps very up the gameplay and maybe even add more lore into the universe.
I'm sorry, but there are a couple things wrong with this video. First, Jesus wasn't born on December 25th. It would have been far too cold for him to be born in a manger then. He was most likely born in September. Second, there's a difference between a cross and a crucifix. A cross is simply two pieces of wood or other material arranged perpendicular to each other. A crucifix is said cross with a statue of Jesus fastened to it. I know the second one is a nitpick, but it bothers me when people refer to a simple cross as a crucifix as if they are one and the same
LMAO gerudo's clothings doesn't remotely resemble Islam in any form, since islamic women are completely covered yet there are definately resembles of buddism and christianity shattered all over plenty zelda games as we seen in the video
From a lore standpoint it's possible that now that the Hero of Time Link is considered analogous to Christ in the Downfall Timeline. He died defending Hyrule and its people and the narrative would likely spin it that his sacrifice gave the needed time for the Sages to seal Ganondorf. How a cross would have come to represent this, I'm not sure.
It is worth noting though that in their official legends Hyrulians have already begun to blur events as seen in ALBW and are actively erasing the Hero of Time's existence as a consequence of being a failed hero.
I like the majority of your videos but sometimes they make far too many interpretations. You would be branded a conspiracy theorist if you weren't talking about a video game. Don't get me wrong, you do a great job of finding the hidden symbolism and themes behind the Zelda franchise but sometimes this gets taken a little too far. After seeing this video, I wouldn't be surprised if your next one speculated on if link wears boxers or briefs.
If you understand Japanese culture, you'll see that when they borrow themes (like Zelda's midievil theme) they go in with a deep understanding of what those themes mean and their roots. So the inclusion of Christianity and later other religions is great imho. I'm not a fan of very surface theme borrowing, and I think that's why most of us appreciate Japanese games and/or anime. They usually have a pretty deep understanding and respect for the roots of those themes and aim to implement them the best they can.
Uh.. "deep understanding" .. have you WATCHED most Anime? Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the worst culprits of surface borrowing ever to happen, All that talk of Angels and cross explosions where just because that moron thought "This sounds cool"
Same with any catholic or church themes in crap like Trinity Blood, The Holy Grail in Fate Stay Night or even "Video games" in that terrible Sword Art Online bull crap.
Hell.. There's a fricken anime where a guy has Mjolnir, but its a fricken Katana..
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