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The Legend of Zelda Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Campbell’s Mythic Structure

Image Credit: Nintendo

The video game series, The Legend of Zelda celebrated its 35th anniversary with many looking to source of the longevity the game has enjoyed. At least one writer is pointing to Joseph Campbell. In an article for Tom’s Guide, writer Marshall Honorof explains Campbell’s work around the monomyth, concluding, ” This is not only the story of Gilgamesh and Odysseus; it’s also the story of Rama, Yamato Takeru, King Arthur, Beowulf, Moses and Jesus. It’s the story of Bilbo Baggins and Luke Skywalker. And, yes, it’s the story of Link, too.” Honorof goes on to more thoroughly explain the various stages of the Hero’s Adventure that Campbell described. “There’s much, much more to say about the Hero’s Journey — especially its “character archetypes,” which were inspired by Carl Jung’s psychological research — but for the moment, I’ll just assert that the most memorable Zelda narratives fit neatly into the monomythic structure. This is why Zelda “feels” different from most video games — and, perhaps, why we’re still clamoring for more, 35 years later,” Honorof said. To learn more about the connection between the Zelda franchise and Campbell’s work, read the entire article here.