Girl in the Machine
Monday, July 2, 2007
Power, Wisdom, and Courage


Ocarina of Time truly is a very female-oriented game. Not only have the seven wise men from A Link to the Past been turned into the seven sages -- five of whom are women -- we have the reintroduction of Nursemaid Turned Sheikah Warrior Impa, a more active role for the titular Princess Zelda, and the formal appearance of Hyrule's three creation goddesses.

Din, Nayru, and Farore: the three goddesses who not only formed Hyrule out of chaos but also fashioned the Triforce, a physical manifestation of their power. According to the Great Deku Tree, the goddesses descended upon the chaos that was Hyrule and reshaped it according to their specific strengths: Din, goddess of power, shaped and cultivated the terrain with "great flaming arms"; Farore, goddess of courage, created all life with her "rich soul"; and Nayru used her wisdom to grant the "spirit of law" upon the world.

The three goddesses of Hyrule are a particularly interesting part of the Legend of Zelda cosmology because of their very sex. It is (unfortunately) less common to see a religion, fictional or practiced, headed by women, and rarer still for female divinities to take on the world-creation process without the (usually sexual) aid of male counterparts. And while the ability of women to give birth, and the significance of such a thing, is most definitely nothing to be sneezed at, it's still quite refreshing to see female deities undergo the process of creation without their wombs being a sole requirement.

I salute the Zelda team for avoiding the obvious traps when characterizing Hyrule's creator-gods. Think of how easy it would have been for Nayru to take the form of a wise old grandmother, Farore a fertile young mother-figure, or Din a raging, fiery muscle man. Instead of these oft-seen stereotypes, we have the three golden goddesses whose personal strengths perfectly compliment one another in a universal trifecta of power, wisdom, and courage.


And the goddesses' personal realms are indeed universal. We have Din's domain over red earth and fire, Farore's of green forests and life, and Naryu's of blue oceans and time. While it is definitely legitimate to call the three goddesses mothers, their scope is not limited to creation itself: their influence percolates throughout everything, from the coveted Triforce in the Sacred Realm to the order of every living thing in Hyrule. In this way, instead of being potentially walled in by their sex, the goddesses draw power from breaking down the hard-and-fast "male is default" rule that we see so often in video games.

And this is something that Ocarina of Time does so well. Though our plucky hero and dastardly villain are both male, we need not forget the scores of other mostly-female characters, without which Link may never have succeeded. How far would he have gotten without Saria, Zelda, or the frighteningly enthusiastic Great Fairies, anyway?

(Thanks to the Zelda Wiki for the images.)

Labels: , , ,

 Posted by BomberGirl
 12:57 PM + Link to this post
  4 comments

 
About
Girl in the Machine
BomberGirl
Calabar
PlasmaRit

Latest Entries
A Tribute to Birdo
Some Words on Terra Branford
Katt Monroe's Evolution
What Little Girls are Made Of
Thanks, Nintendo; I had No Idea She was a Chick.
Let's Sing a Sad Song about Doggies
Notice
On the Rag in the Mushroom Kingdom
Lara Croft's Ten-Year Mam Jam
Graaah! I'm naked!

Tags
Action Adventure
Adventure
Body Language
BomberGirl
Calabar
Castlevania
Character Spotlight
Civilization
Elder Scrolls
Fatal Frame
Final Fantasy
Fighter
First Friday Drinking Game
FPS
Getting it Right
Guitar Hero
Half-Life
Harvest Moon
Indie
The Industry
In the News
Legend of Zelda
LGBT
Linkfest
Mario Bros.
Mass Effect
Metal Gear
Metroid
MMORPG
Motherhood
PlasmaRit
Platforming
Primal
Prince of Persia
Race Issues
RPG
RTS
Rule of Rose
Scale
Sexuality
Shadow Hearts
Shin Megami Tensei
Silent Hill
The Sims
Star Fox
Stealth
Stereotypes
Street Fighter
Super Smash Bros.
Survival Horror
Tomb Raider
Turok
Video Game Movies
Violence
World of Warcraft

Archives
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008

Links
BlogHer
Cerise Magazine
The F-Word Blog
Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog Game Girl Advance
GayGamer.net
Iris Gaming Network
Killer Betties
New Game Plus
Penny Arcade
Racialicious
Shrub.com Blog
Under the Table Gaming
Women Gamers
Zone of the Gamers

Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox at a 1028 by 768 resolution.

Powered by Blogger

blogspot visit counter