Category Archives: Zeldathon 2013

What’s a Zeldathon Like?

So we did it. 24 hours of playing Legend of Zelda and, although we didn’t hit our target, we raised money for a good cause. I’m feeling pretty chuffed with both myself and my brother, Chris. We did good!

The marathon began with a few technical problems which meant we couldn’t stream to YouTube. Instead we used Twitch.TV, and we’ll upload the video to YouTube for prosperity instead. Once that was agreed we dived straight into Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! And the conversation got weird quickly.

We both love Ocarina of Time (in fact I would say it’s my favourite Zelda game) so we dived in with zest. Perhaps a little too much zest.

We did well for the first few hours and spirits were high. Although playing the game constantly did irritate us in an unexpected way.

We had originally hoped to finish both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. However when we found it had taken us four hours to finish three out of ten dungeons in Ocarina we began to realise that wasn’t going to happen. That was a shame – Chris has never completed Majora – but we soldiered on.

The Water Temple frayed our nerves somewhat and I admit I got rather annoyed with Dark Link and Z-targeting. I was definitely grumpy until Chris posted this gem!

But we made it through and, after an even more frustrating battle with Ganondorf, Ocarina of Time was in the bag! It took us very close to 17 hours and that didn’t even include any side quests. But we powered on and plugged in Majora’s Mask.

That’s when we started to flag.

4 AM is always the time when an all-nighter struggles most. We were frequently standing, walking around and drinking energy drinks. We certainly began to question why on Earth we were doing this and began to blame the other for the idea. And, being tired, we began to make mistakes.

We also began to get easily annoyed.

Sorry, Link!

But we needed to rally and somehow making fun of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi seems to turn it around for us. After falling down a lot we finally rectified our mistakes and Chris beat our final boss fight! It was left to me to take us home, so I fetched our horse, Epona, so we could get the Zora mask and spend our last half an hour exploring the waters. And experimenting with control options.

All in all it was a great experience and we’re both surprised to find we’re not sick of the sight of Zelda. We’d quite happily play some more!

Our biggest thanks to those that sponsored us, we really appreciate every penny you donated. If you missed our stream, Chris will be posting video to the PandaPad YouTube Channel and if you want to donate any money I would recommend nipping over to the Child’s Play Charity website. It’s a good cause and they’ll make sure every penny you donate goes to helping these kids stuck in hospitals.

10 Reasons For A Charity Zeldathon

Our 24 charity gaming marathon begins on 20th July and although we discussed a few games to play, we settled pretty quickly on Legend of Zelda. There’s plenty of reasons to love the Zelda series, but here are our top ten reasons for playing Zelda for 24 hours straight.

1. The Music

This might be the number one reason why I love Zelda. The music is just incredible. The games include no spoken dialogue, so the music does all the talking. And it certainly speaks to you. It’s stirring, epic, creepy, fun and moving. The fact that there’s an orchestra concert of the music touring the world tells you how amazing the soundtrack is. It’s also just plain catchy.

2. Assassin’s Creed is Just Too Long

Chris did a gaming marathon earlier in the year with Halo, right around the time I was playing Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. But the AC games are just too long and too draining. Zelda, on the other hand, has the same epic quality but remains light and fresh. Perfect for a 24 hour marathon.

3. It Tells a Mature Story Without Being “Adult”

Assassin’s Creed is a very violent game. Violence is an easy shortcut to a feeling of maturity, but Legend of Zelda takes a tougher route. While it would be easy to write them off as kids’ games, (especially with the cute, cel-shaded graphics of Wind Waker), they actually tell mature stories without having to resort to the dark and gritty clichés. Legend of Zelda keeps an all-ages feel but tells stories about good and evil, or hope and faith, loneliness, the nature of friendship.

4. There’s no spoken dialogue

Dialogue is restricted to text displayed on the screen. On top of that the playable character, Link, has no dialogue at all. All he gets is facial expressions and the odd grunt. This invites the player to mentally voice the characters themselves and turns Link into a blank slate onto which they can project themselves. Legend of Zelda invites you to be the hero.

5. The Mythos

The Triforce. The goddesses. Even Link and Zelda themselves, the reincarnating heroes of Hyrule. Each game builds upon what came before, building up an enormous mythos (and a convoluted timeline) and creating a rich world for us to play in.

6. Chris Has Never Completed Majora’s Mask

I’ve heard it said that Majora’s Mask is the Empire Strikes Back to Ocarina of Time’s Star Wars. It’s an apt comparison. The first act is a grand, uncomplicated epic of good verus evil. By comparison the sequel is messy, smaller, more interested in characters than noble battles. The sequel is harder to get into as a result, but the rewards are great for those who manage it.

7. There Are No FMV Videos

FMV (Full Motion Video). Me no likey. It yanks you out of the game and shows you a cutscene with achingly beautiful graphics. Then it drops me back into the game, which now looks like Polygon World by comparison. Legend of Zelda renders its cutscenes using the same sprites as the one you play with. It makes the game more cohesive and doesn’t interrupt my experience.

8. The Puzzles

Block puzzles. Lock and key items. Even some fetch quests. The puzzles mean your brain gets as much exercise as your thumbs. Some of them are pretty straightforward, others are long and involved. Others are controller-crackingly infuriating. Kafei’s Mask, anyone?

9. The Population

Gorons and Zoras, Deku Scrubs and vengeful cuccos. And then there are the characters themselves. The Happy Mask Salesman who always seems too happy until he flips out. Sweet innocent Malon who never seems to catch a break. Guru Guru and the catchy tune of his. Old Men who tell you it’s dangerous to go alone. Legend of Zelda is full of bizarre and wonderful characters and races, always entertaining and delightfully…unique.

10. It’s straightforward

I didn’t play Ocarina of Time until some time after it was released. I’d been put off RPGs mostly thanks to Final Fantasy VIII. Hit points. Experience points. Dance points and hokey-kokey points.

Legend of Zelda lets me run around and hit things with swords. If it was a hammer it’d be perfect. It’s straightforward fun, perfect for a 24 hour gaming marathin.

Our marathon starts at 10:00 GMT 20th July and we’d love for you to join us. We’ll be live tweeting from @realjtk and @Christopher_J_K. You can also watch the action at the Panda Pad at on Twitch TV. We’ll do our best to entertain you and please do consider donating. It all goes to Child’s Play charity, who provide toys and games for kids stuck in a hospital. How can you say no to a cause like that?

Charity Zeldathon for Child’s Play

I spent a few days in a hospital as a kid. I was about seven or eight and I’d had a pretty severe asthma attack. It was all a bit weird and lonely and scary. I remember feeling a little lost too. But they had a room full of games and toys. That was kind of cool. I liked that.

Child’s Play know that play can help distract a child from their unpleasant experience so they donate toys and games to hospitals. It’s a good cause and so my brother and I are going to be raising money for it with a Zeldathon.

That’s right, a Zeldathon! We’ll be sitting down to play Legend of Zelda for 24 hours straight! We’ll start with Ocarina of Time (my favourite!) and move onto Majora’s Mask. It’s a 21st Century and totally geeky test of endurance, skill and ability to put up with Tingle. We’ll be live tweeting as well as streaming video too, so you can listen to us curse and cry and wail over water dungeons…

The fun and games start at 10:00 GMT 20th July. We know there are so many people in your life asking you to sponsor them. But if you could spare a pound/dollar/unit of your currency then we’d really appreciate it. Please donate. You’ll be improving the lives of kids in hospital and and my brother and I will try to entertain you in exchange for your generosity.

24 hours of Zelda. It’s going to be legendary.

Update: If you can forgive that bad pun, you can now donate using the widget on the right of the page. Alternatively, you can donate using this link, which will take you to the Child’s Play website.