It’s done. It’s over. The list has been revealed, and the Master Sword has been crowned the best Zelda item of all-time. What did we think of how things turned out? Well…
Chris: I know the Master Sword is a bit of an expected pick at No. 1, but sometimes you have to make the right pick even if it isn’t the sexiest. What did surprise me, on the other hand, was how much overlap our group had in the voting. A half-dozen items received at least seven votes out of our nine panelists (although nothing was picked unanimously). That’s why the top 10 featured so many items with a ton of backing.
Unlike some of our previous lists, I’m not sure I have a complaint with anything that made it into the top 25. I might shuffle the order a little bit, but that’s a minor complaint. Before, we’ve had outliers like Star Fox 64 in the Best Games Ever list or Voltorb in our Top 25 Pokemon ranking that made me scratch my head/cry out in rage/consider the plight of the universe. Other folks might have preferred a switch at the bottom — say, the Hylian Shield or the Bombs making it in instead of the Four Sword or Magic Cape. But I’m good with it either way.
This was an interesting take compared to our other top 25s because of the limited and finite number of choices. Even compared to Pokemon, we had about 500 fewer options available. That produced a more focused list, but it also targeted a more niche audience. For our next ranking in the summer, I imagine we’ll look to do something more widespread — after all, if you weren’t a video game or Zelda fan, there wasn’t much here for you.
Joseph: I think this list is rather well done, but it was easy to choose from the plethora of items in the Legend of Zelda because most of them return game after game. If a one-shot made it on this list, it’s because it had good utility. The Fierce Deity’s Mask, for example, made you look, act and feel cooler overall, to the point where you wished he would make an appearance in another Zelda game. The bow, while rudimentary, has versatility that isn’t situational to one game design. Personally, I was surprised to see the Magic Cape on the list, but many of us think A Link to the Past was the best game in the series. I look forward to playing the coming installments in the series.
Cary: What I liked most about this list, and particularly the top 25, is that it mostly boiled down to the essentials. There are tons of items in each of the Zelda games – some are great, some are useless, and some are simply timeless. Despite their variations, no Zelda game would be complete without bows and arrows, swords and shields, bottles, boomerangs, heart pieces and containers, and, maybe, some sort of thing that makes music. And the fact that the Master Sword made the number one spot, well…that just makes sense. Link’s most constant raison d’etre is to craft a single sword that’s the most powerful sword since…well, the previous game in the series. And with those swords, Link defeats Ganon/Ganondorf/[insert boss name here] and saves Hyrule. It’s as wonderfully classic as a good vs. evil story gets.
I also found it interesting that three masks made it into the top 25. Though masks appear in a couple Zelda games, I primarily associate them with Majora’s Mask. I had totally forgotten that a bunch were in the Ocarina of Time! While my time with Majora’s Mask is but a distant memory, I thought I had spent enough time with the Ocarina of Time to remember it well enough. So I went back and reexamined both games’ release dates. And then I got depressed at recalling just how old I was when I played both games.
Y’know who never gets old? Link. Link’s very being is eternal. He’ll always be…perfect. His perfect hair. His perfect smirky face. His perfect ability to perfectly cut through perfect mounds of green grass. What is humanity’s purpose if not to strive for such ageless wonderment? For such infinite wisdom? For such that is the essence of Link?
In the end, was fun reliving the handful of Zelda games that I’ve played through their many items. If anything, this process made me all the more excited for the new Legend of Zelda game that’s been promised for the Wii U this year. Hopefully Link will get to hold a few more bottles this time round.
Michaela: I liked the turnout of the list as a whole. I do wish the bow was just a tad higher (it was my number one pick after all), but it’s not a huge complaint.
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