Let's Think Deep: Schrödinger's Zelda Portland OR
It’s a new year and with that comes new chances to try something fresh. I’ve written a handful of reviews and retrospectives and lists and such here at Toy-TMA about whatever (you know, you’ve read them I’m sure). But you know what we haven’t done yet? We haven’t thunk deep. So let’s do that. Let’s Think Deep.
Science In Motion
Today I want to talk about something that’s been nagging at my mind a bit. For reference here you need to be familiar with Schödinger’s Cat and the famous experiment that goes along with said feline. The experiment is all about the liminal state that the cat in the experiment takes when placed in a box. The cat has been fed a capsule of poison that has a 50% chance of breaking and killing the cat and a 50% chance of doing nothing. While in the box there is no way of knowing whether the cat is alive or otherwise (the experiment doesn’t compensate for zombification unfortunately). Officially, the cat is both alive and dead while also being neither. Technically, the cat ceases to exist in a state we can functionally understand. More than anything, we run into a moment of complete quantum physics scrambling our noggins. As long as we never look in that box, that cat’s fate is up in the air (though after a certain point you know for sure the cat isn’t alive anymore).
How does this pertain to video games you may ask? Well, how often do you find yourself in a situation within a game where you are asked to do something that you know will end poorly, such as pull a lever or walk through a door or hand the villain all the magical gems he needs to take over the world? Pretty frequently. But no matter what you say or do, you are forced to play this situation out to the end for better or worse. I absolutely hate when a game demands you fall into a trap to advance the story when I know I’m about to fall into a trap and don’t want to.
My favorite example of this comes from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time . Nope, still not done talking about this game yet. The first half of the game you spend running around as a young Link collecting three spiritual stones in hopes of opening the Temple of Time and grabbing the Trifroce before Ganondorf gets the chance. It should be no surprise but when you open the door and pull the Master Sword from its pedestal, Ganondorf walks in behind you and nabs the Triforce, mentioning that you did all the hard work for him and leaving you to look like a complete newb for your actions.
By the end of the game you discover that things would have been so much better had you never futzed with the spiritual stones and tried to stop the King of Darkness at all. Things probably would have ended just fine if you buried the three stones in remote parts of the map without any markings to show what they are and where someone else can ...