Digital rendering of the Hero of Time Link using Riley Smith's likeness as a base for the facial structure. Accompanying him is his faithful (yet sometimes annoying) companion, Navi the Fairy. Queen Gohma lurks in the background.
And before anyone says anything, I am fully aware that Link fought Queen Gohma as a child. I did his face, then Navi, and then thought Gohma's creepy eye in the darkness would be appropriate to set the mood I wanted. Everyone remembers that moment in the Great Deku Tree... entering the final chamber and hearing something crawling around in the darkness...
My love for the series eventually spurred me to create my own game and story. Using a Dungeons & Dragons style table-top game style, I put together player and monster statistics, designed dungeons and enemy encounters, formulated a Player's Handbook and Beastiary, and drew characters and maps. Below are some of these pieces I did for this game.
Although the title is "The Dark Deluge" (which is both a reference to the invading darkness of the Dark World from Ganondorf's attempt to escape it but also of the impending flood that will eventually come and lead the way to The Wind Waker), my friends and I loving came to refer to it as "Dungeons & Ganons."
This is my sister's character, a Gerudo Sorceress. I had her use her limited artistic skills (I have drained the family of this skill for the last few generations at least) and she designed a decently well thought-out costume for her, inspired a bit by Gypsy clothing. Later, her boyfriend and I went to a hobby store for tabletop games and we found the PERFECT figure for her, one that not only looked like a Gerudo, but who wore an outfit very similar to her drawing and had a bit of a Gypsy flair.
So, in this drawing, I decided to combine elements from the two: her sketch and the figure. This is what I came up with. I also wanted to put her in a visually-interesting place, and the most interesting place in Gerudo Desert (besides all the lovely sand lol) is the Desert Colossus statue, marking the entrance to the Spirit Temple in Ocarina of Time. The setting takes place a few centuries after Ocarina of Time, so I figured perhaps the bottom half of the statue would have been claimed by the sand by this point and the Spirit Temple forgotten to all... except those delving into the dark magic arts that is. Perhaps her character has been spending some time there and learning the ways of Koume and Kotake? We shall see.
For my Zelda game I wanted to feature some artwork of existing characters done in a more realistic style. One I particularly wanted to do was the King of Hyrule, who in the setting of the game is Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the King in The Wind Waker. The game actually takes place when this king is in power and when the seal of Ganon finally breaks and he begins to bring darkness to the land once again. At the end of the game, none of the players will be able to defeat Ganon because none of them are the Hero Incarnate, so the people beg for the aid of Goddesses... bringing on the events that lead to The Wind Waker. Perfect right?
This is a fun little addition to my tabletop Zelda game, which I've entitled The Legend of Zelda: The Dark Deluge. The game is situated about 300 years after the events of Ocarina of Time in the Adult Link timeline and the events of the game lead to the legend mentioned in the prologue of The Wind Waker (specifically, the return of Ganon from his imprisonment, no Hero of Legend there to defeat him, and the people resorting to praying to the Goddesses to save them... resulting in the flood). Personally I felt it was the perfect place to create the setting because I would be able to feature a lot of classic Zelda stuff while still retaining the timeline (in the end, Ganon cannot be defeated by the players, only fought to a point where he loses his chance to completely take over Hyrule). I'm a sucker for keeping things canon.
Anyways, I wanted the game to feel very real because it would indeed be based on the Dungeons & Dragons template and using those books as guides. I spent a lot of time setting up creature stats, dungeons, and artwork to go along with this game... enough that I felt I should probably publish the thing online when I'm done with it so others can use it if they so choose.
This is the map of Hyrule I created, which is sort of a combination of the maps from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, while introducing places that will eventually become islands in The Wind Waker. Some of the towns are named after the Sages of Ocarina of Time, in the same way many towns in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link had these same names (though in a completely different place and probably different timeline). Even the ranch is named after Link's horse, Epona. Overall I wanted to establish much more immensity to the land, make it feel much larger, uncharted, and epic while also creating the atmosphere of a Hyrule that has long prospered and rejoiced in the memory of the Hero of Time and the Sages that saved them long ago, but now darkness creeps back, threatening to undo it all.
A few other places are my own invention, like the Flood Temple. Since there was an Earth Temple (probably in honor of Din) and a Wind Temple (in honor of Farore), there would probably have been another one for Nayru. I put it near the peak that would eventually become Great Fish Island, a place that Jabun (presumably Lord Jabu Jabu) had once lived. I included a structure from Four Swords Adventures, the Pyramid, but dubbed it the Forsaken Pyramid because it would not only be the housing place of the Trident of Power (which I decided is a creation of the Dark Interlopers) and therefore a stronghold for Ganon when he returned to the Light World, but also the name would be retained when the nearby peak becomes the Forsaken Fortress.
This is the accompaniment to my Hyrule map for my tabletop Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: The Dark Deluge. As stated in the manual for A Link to the Past, the Golden Land (aka Sacred Realm) was a beautiful place that was a mirror copy of Hyrule when the Goddesses ascended again, leaving the Triforce behind in the center of the Sacred Realm. This realm remained untouched and untainted for untold eons until the Great Cataclysm... when Ganondorf found a way in, stole the Triforce, and corrupted the Sacred Realm to reflect his own evil heart. After being defeated by Link, he was sealed within this land by the Sages. This realm became known as the Dark World.
In the same way that my Hyrule map is a culmination of familiar and unfamiliar, so too is this one. I'm fairly certain that the events of A Link to the Past were not in the same timeline as the setting of my game so I figured it would be OK to do a lot of my own things to it. A lot of elements from ALttP make a return, though perhaps in new locations or used for different purposes. The Palace of Darkness returns but is instead the Dark World equivalent of the Forsaken Pyramid in the Light World.
Other places are just plain new, many as final dungeons for my players to traverse before attempting Ganon's Tower. Each is the Dark World equivalent of the Earth Temple, Wind Temple, and Flood Temple in Hyrule. Also tossed in the Freezard Tundra for good measure.
The overlaying image is that of the evil eye symbol used by Agahnim, and ultimately Ganon, in A Link to the Past. I do believe that there is definitely something about the whole eye symbol in the Zelda series that must mean something. It's literally everywhere. This symbol, the Sheikah symbol (the Lens/Mask of Truth, Gossip Stones), and symbols on character's clothing (Veran comes to mind). The eyes on Majora's Mask and the eye on the Fused Shadow are not only reminiscent of each other, but of this "evil eye" idea. Also COUNTLESS enemies, especially boss enemies, feature a single eye and usually this is the creature's weak point. Gohma (every incarnation), Bongo Bongo, Arrghus, Vitreous, Kholdstare, Diababa, and Morpheel are just some of the bosses with one large eye. One that stands out even more is Vaati, who begins as a Minish, takes the form of a blue-skinned Hylian, but by the end becomes an incarnation of the evil eye. Now I'm not sure how the Sheikah relate to it, but I do believe that there must be something behind this and I decided the evil eye symbol would be the best one to define the Dark World.
Battle for the Triforce (2012)