Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guild Wars 2: The Zelda Principle

The Zelda Principle in action

We've all done it in Zelda titles.  Don't even try tolay innocent, because you know exactly what I'm talking about.  While Link wanders though town twirling around and going "yah!", he accidentally kills a chicken.  The ex-chicken sqwaks, feathers fly, and it's pretty freakin hilarious.  It's so hilarious in fact, that you have Link do it again. And again. And again. And again. If he kills enough of the feathered fowl, their egg-laying brethren decide that enough is enough. Link must die, and it is them who shall seek revenge. This is what I personally call the Zelda Principle

It's not just chickens that have targets painted on their backs though.  Rabbits also fall victim.  In Skyrim, the player stats even keep count of how many fluffy bunnies you have slaughtered.  In Guild Wars 2, you sometimes earn daily achievements for their demise. Killing rabbits with ice in GW2 also has highly amusing results. The cold damage causes them to freeze solid before they topple over like fallen statues.  It's as if the developers encourage this kind of senseless violence!  Listen carefully and you can hear their maniacal laughter echoing throughout the world.

The problem with slaughtering adorable wildlife though is that they seek revenge, and these critters never do things half way.  Like in Zelda, the animal players should be most wary of is the chicken.  In inXile's Bard's Tale, a large, angry mama bird will attack the the PC if he slaughters too many of her children. She has an insane amount of health for the level, and will kill the Bard dead if the player isn't careful. Being the sharp-witted RPG parody that A Bard's Tale is, this game's inclusion of the Zelda Principle speaks volumes regarding the prevalence of player perpetuated poultry massacre. 

Needless to say, if you ever boot up Guild Wars 2 and find yourself in the company of Angry Chickens, please tell them that Callaidbhroin and Lizard Breath wish them well.