The enchanted world of The Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap

Behold! It is I, Graybrow Mistlebuck, risen from the torpor of arcane study to contribute this sagely column to the Arts & Culture page. Why has the Vanguard summoned me, you ask? Is it my unmatched knowledge of ancient tomes and mystical rites? Could it be my respected involvement in the medieval re-enactment community and renaissance chat rooms?

Nay, student, but it is none of these. You see, even the great Graybrow Mistlebuck frequently forays into folly, which lately has taken the form of those time-honored whimsies – video games. That is why I come to you as such – I shall offer my learned opinion on a recent fantasy offering by Nintendo, entitled The Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap, released for the Gameboy Advance.

Forsooth! Dire times have indeed befallen the mythical land of Hyrule and, once again, its fate rests in the begloved hands of Elven everyman Link. Armed with an enchanted hat capable of shrinking our avatar to the size of a Stygian frostberry and an arsenal of shoddy weaponry, Link must face off against the nefarious regime of evil wind-lord Vaati and his dark-minded minions. This of course is no easy task, as Link is but a child who must travel an untrodden path of nightmarish proportions, and somehow rescue not only the fair maiden Zelda but the entire kingdom as well.

Yet despite the ill wind that ruffles the souls of even the heartiest Hyrulians, this game remains as light as a pint of the finest Elven draught. Our hero traipses to and from the classic Zelda dungeons pushing blocks, scaling vines, collecting rupees and running errands for the good folk of the towns and countryside, all the while keeping a keen eye trained on the shadowy dealings of his nemesis. I found the game-play to be quite intuitive, and the addition of the magical cap only adds to the creative genius of the puzzles and never seems gimmicky. The plot is magical, the action is robust and the adventure is grand. When I, Graybrow Mistlebuck, am not overly disposed with mending torn gaiters or fashioning makeshift contraception out of rabbit hide, bugbear skin and just a drop of frostberry nectar (to keep those odious bugs at bay), I delight in tarrying with this instant classic in the Zelda series.

Now, while I am granted the gift of public forum to make known my mind, I proclaim this: To my lady Silverdew whom I met at the Reed College Renn Faire last spring, when I told you that the enchanted bone ‘neath my tunic creeps again, I was merely referring to the artifact given me by a dryad enchantress that warns me when love is nigh. Please come back to the chat room so I may woo you more tenderly! And to Shadowcasterjohn420: The lands of Valderot have lived under your death-bringing gaze for far too long. I now possess the only weapon that can cast the wrath of your blackened soul from this land! So before I do so, nefarious demon, I kindly ask that you return my special edition "Tron" DVD.