Legend of Zelda cartoon writers reveal D&D influences
I may be biased, but I really feel like 1989 was a great year (I’m biased because it was the year I was born). But apart from my arrival in the world, it was also a great year because it was the year that the Legend of Zelda cartoon aired.
Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘Victoria, why should you care? You would have been a newborn when this cartoon was on TV, so you would have no idea what was happening. You’ve probably just learned what your hand is or are experiencing mashed potatoes for the first time.”
This is very true. I was. But I’m also a huge Legend of Zelda fan, so as soon as I found out about the existence of the Zelda cartoon, I tracked it down and checked it out for myself. And then, when I had kids of my own, I watched it again with them on YouTube. It was a family affair, and as it turns out, it was also a theme during the cartoon’s conception that this series would become an ongoing family affair. How’s that for an episode?
Speak with polygonwriters and siblings Bob and Eve Forward shared some fun anecdotes about their time working on the Zelda cartoon, including influences for various episodes.
Eve, who was “about 16-17 at the time,” was brought into writing for the show by her brother. “I didn’t have a Nintendo, so I rented one and the game and tried to play it, but didn’t get very far,” she mused.
But thanks to a “show bible” that provided an overview of who these characters were and how they interacted (“Ganon villain, Zelda tough girl, Link, charming rascal, Triforce MacGuffin, etc.”) Eve could take some of her own passions and use them as inspiration for the episodes she has now been commissioned to write.
“[The seventh episode] ‘Doppelganger’ was based on a cursed mirror in D&D,” revealed Eve.
“The monsters in Zelda were all based on things from the Nintendo game; the same goes for the weapons, like Link’s boomerang. But of course in D&D you’re always fighting monsters and imagining how cool your character looks doing it, so a lot of the various swashbuckling stuff that I liked to put in was based on things that had happened in our D&D games.
“I’ve always viewed Link as a villain rather than a fighter,” she shared.
But it wasn’t just his sister that Bob looked to as a source of inspiration for his writing. Even his mother, Marsha Forward, got involved.
“She wrote something that ended up being a lot of work for us, but it wasn’t a bad original concept,” revealed Bob.
This concept from Bob and Eve’s mother eventually became the eleventh installment in the series Fairies in the Spring, which (actually) revolved around a Hylian water park for the king. You can see it and Marsha’s appreciation in the video below.
With this new knowledge in mind, I now want to watch the cartoon again. I think it’s kind of great that the Forward family has bonded throughout its formation.
Meanwhile, 2023 will be a promising year for Legend of Zelda fans thanks to the long-awaited arrival of Tears of the Kingdom.
The Breath of the Wild sequel is set to release for Nintendo Switch on May 12th. If you’d like to read more of my and Ed’s thoughts on the game’s latest trailer (which you can see in the video above), you can watch our very excited chat about it here.
https://www.eurogamer.net/legend-of-zelda-cartoon-writers-reveal-dd-influences Legend of Zelda cartoon writers reveal D&D influences