chapter  8
17 Pages

A Link Across Adventures

Literacy’s Relevance to Time in The Legend of Zelda Series’ Mythopoeia
WithMatthew Sautman

Tolkien’s Middle-earth emerged through excursions across continuity, resembling the mythopoeia that Miyamoto and subsequent developers use to expand Zelda’s continuity. This chapter explores how such revision moves not only into the future, but also into the past and across multiple timelines that possess aesthetic continuity. A contrast thus emerges between the mythopoeias of Middle-earth and Zelda: Tolkien’s mythopoeia and the approach used by Miyamoto and other developers both produce richly imagined fantasy worlds, but these worlds are not as equally accessible to their audiences. Examining players’ literacy, plot expansion, and temporality in relation to constraints based on videogame design and worldbuilding reveals that at least three of the techniques Zelda’s developers use to expand Zelda’s continuity imbue Zelda with a queer temporality that enables Zelda to be intricate and accessible simultaneously.