30 years ago (almost to the day) I was in KB Toys at the mall getting an NES for my 5th birthday. I was allowed to pick out 2 games to go with my console. I chose Excitebike (cuz motorcycles) and the “gold” one. That “gold” one turned out to be Ice Hockey, kidding.
I turned 35 last week, I had my daughter when I was 30. According to my calculations, she is now 5 years old. I gave her my old DS when she was around 2 just to button mash. At 3 she was “playing” Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart getting fairly accustomed to the d-pad, analog stick, and multiple input buttons. By 4 she had become a decent competitor at Mario Kart 8 and begin mastering the shoulder L+R buttons. Things were moving fast. I always knew I was going to get her into Zelda at some point and I thought that the new Wii U Zelda (end of 2016) would be a good time because she’d be closer to being 6 and most likely have the attention span to incorporate a story with adventure gameplay.
However, Last summer (2015) I showed her The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, thinking that she’d enjoy running around Outset Island as Link. She enjoyed it so much that she demanded that I read to her everything thing the characters were saying. She became fascinated with Link’s little sister, Link’s grandmother, and the snot kid. She was appreciating that there was a story behind the gameplay for the first time.
A very Zelda Christmas Morning 2015:
In that very first sitting she ended up getting to and beating the Forsaken Fortress. She played the whole time while I read the dialog.
From that day forward we have a 1-2 hour time slot every night set aside specifically for gaming. She ended beating Wind Waker about 2 months later, with only some help on the boss battles.
Her whole world began to revolve around The Legend of Zelda. She started drawing Link and the Triforce at pre-school, She changed her favorite color from pink to green, She treated chores like quests for rupees, she would demand her pancakes be cut in to triangles to create Triforce shards with, she would get into heated arguments with her 5 year old boy neighbor about how Link could beat-up Spiderman, and she even began making Link style shouts/grunts around the house.
After Wind Waker we played through The Legend of Zelda (NES), A Link Between Worlds (3DS), Spirit Tracks (DS), and 4 Swords (3DS). What I find rather amazing is that she naturally gravitated towards The Legend of Zelda. I didn’t speak of the Zelda series or play any games in front of her before the Wind Waker experience. She fell in love with the cell shaded Toon Link and for the last 8 months she’s been living in the world of Hyrule.
I’m currently getting her pumped for the HD re-release of Twilight Princess. We will be streaming our gameplay and video commentary on launch day.