The Psychology of Zelda: Linking Our World to the Legend of Zelda Series

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Anyone who has played a game from the Legend of Zelda series can attest to the epic storytelling involved. Avoiding the simplicity of good versus evil and other conventionalities, its levels of insight and engagement have made it one of the most beloved franchises in video game history.

In The Psychology of Zelda, those games finally get their due as authors explore the themes and undertones of these expansive, immersive worlds. From interpreting the gameplay of Majora’s Mask as a journey through the five stages of grief as explained by Kubler-Ross to pondering how the series has embraced and redefined the role of women in video games (from damsels in distress to heroes and guiding forces in their own right), these are fascinating mental exercises built on a universe we all know well.

There are plenty of revelations to enjoy, even if you’ve already come to many of the conclusions the authors have. I, for instance, never realized that it was a female character, Navi, who received the first voice in a Zelda game, while Link remains silent.

Unlike most of the books out there which marry psychological concepts to pop culture properties, this doesn’t feel like writers simply showing off for their own sake. Each essay is the work of a fan who has mined deeper wisdom and joy from the games by exploring them through the lens of psychology, and it makes the book as a whole a much more fun and satisfying reading experience.

Reviewed By:

Author Edited by Anthony Bean
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher BenBella Books
Publish Date 2019-02-19
ISBN 9781946885340 Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Science & Nature


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