i have this memory of playing zelda and it sort of looks like this

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”

Hi, everyone! If you’re like me and you love a good game soundtrack or a great playlist of all sorts of game music, this is the masterpost for you. I’m one of those people who studies better with some music in the background, and what better way of making a study session more enjoyable than by listening to the soundtrack of your favourite game?

Why listen to music while you study?

Multiple studies have proven that certain students who listen to music while they study perform better academically. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone, so you should really figure out if this is the right method for you before commiting yourself to it! The main arguement for studying with music is that research has proved that listening to classical music in particular helps the brain absorb more information and also helps stimulate one’s thinking! 

On the other hand, some people tend to lose all concentration when there’s any music or noise in the background, which leads to procrastination and lower productivity. In short, if you can’t concentrate on the task at hand and get distracted easily, this isn’t the best method for you! 


I started actively looking for playlists with game music about two years ago and instantly fell in love. There are so many good playlists of various lengths and genres that are accessable on platforms like spotify, 8tracks, youtube, etc. All of the playlists include the tracklist in the description below them! 

Note: I won’t be adding any playlists from 8tracks because they only work in the US and Canada. 

i. General

Game music for studying: Some of you might have already heard of these videos before. They’re roughly an hour and a half long and include some of the more calming tracks from a lot of different games. All the names of the tracks are listed in the description below, which is super handy if you want to find out which game it’s from! I thought I’d put in the playlist of all of them so you can just press play and enjoy!

Video game music! 2.0: Probably the longest playlist you’ll find anywhere. a n y w h e r e. 223 hours of amazingness that you’ll never regret! 

ii. Calming/ relaxing

5 hours of atmospheric game music: This is one of my personal favourites. It’s very long so you don’t have to worry about looking for another playlist when this one finishes. 

Relaxing video game music: Another gem! Once again with all the tracks in the description. This one’s great for shorter study sessions since it’s only and hour long.

More relaxing  video game music: If the previous playlist was too short for you, check out this 3 hour one! I used this one a lot last year! 

Calming Nintendo music: A super great playlist for all you Nintendo fans! It includes some really nice tracks from the Legend of Zelda series, if you’re into those soundtracks!

Jesper Kyd playlist: Ever since I first played Assassin’s Creed 2, I’ve loved Jesper Kyd’s work. This is quite a long playlist including some of his best tracks from various games. My favourites are towards the end!

Relaxing Legend of Zelda music: You had to see this one coming. The LoZ series has some of the best soundtracks to study to (, in my opinion,) and some of the prettiest and most calming tracks. I highly recommend this 42 minute playlist for those times when you just don’t feel like working.

2 hours of sleepy video game music: This is also a little series of playlists. There are 4 of these videos in total, which adds up to 8 hours of sweet, sweet music. 

iii. Epic/ badass

Epic video game music: For all of you who need a little badass music in the background! 2.5 hours of epic and awe inspiring music to really get some work done! 

Focus - video game music: Spotify has some really great playlists, so I thought I’d include a few! This playlist is a little more epic and loud, but if that’s the mindset you really need to push through, this would be great for you. It’s an amazing 11 hours long so you’ll never run out.

Orchestral video game music: Another epic playlist, including the occasional lullaby. This is a 7 hour long playlist, so a little shorter than the previous one, but by no means less epic and badass!


Compared to the playlists, soundtracks tend to be a mix of epic and calming music. Most games have their perilous moments and their I’m-so-relieved-I-managed-to-beat-that-boss-with-only-one-heart-left moments. The world of video games is vast, so I’ve selected a few of my favourite soundtracks to share with you instead of listing all of the ones I can find.

Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword: One of my favourite all time games! The soundtrack is long too, so you don’t have to worry about looking for a new one afterwards. 

Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time: This game is widely believed to have the best soundtrack in video game history. All I can say is so sit down, gather your work and to just enjoy.

Final Fantasy VI: This 1994 gem has an avarage playtime of 65-70 hours. The game has such a good storyline and the soundtrack is a little old school with a lot of non-orchestral tracks. I’d still recommend this to everyone who likes an older style of video game.

Suikoden Tierkreis: I have memories of me just going to the overworld map so I could listen to the music. It’s that good. 

Bioshock Infinite: I’ve only ever played the first in the series, but I watched a walkthrough of this particular game and I loved it so much! The music is slightly creepy and loud sometimes but it’s a really great soundtrack overall.

The Last of Us: Another game I’ve never actually played, but the walkthrough was amazing. The soundtrack is very atmospheric and doesn’t have a lot of loud parts, so it’s generally calm. 

Assassin’s creed 2: My all-time favourite game ever. As you know from before, I think Jesper Kyd is amazing, so putting these two elements together makes a truly great game. The soundtrack is actually quite well known because a few of it’s most popular tracks are featured a lot in other playlists. E.g. Dreams in Venice and The Madam

The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim: I’ve listened to this one a few times and I think it’s really good! It starts off quite strong but it has a lot of calmer songs too.

Fable 2: The Fable series is well-known for being short, so the soundtrack is also on the shorter side. I know the dialogue in the game almost by heart and I can guarantee you that there’s a lot of atmospheric music in this soundtrack. 

Fragile: This one was recommended to me by a friend on tumblr years ago. It has really sweet songs and has a lot of piano centered tracks. 

Now get to work!

I hope I’ve helped you find the perfect game music to accompany you while you study! If you have any recommendations, feel free to send me a message! I’m always up to discovering new playlists/ soundtracks.

More posts

X Lou

I Got You Part 5

Characters:  Dean x Reader, Sam

Summary:   Dean and Sam rescue the reader from torture.  Who kept her and why?

Word Count:  1353

Warnings:  Language


I Got You Part 5

You spend the next week at the bunker, giving Sam time to recover. You ask why don’t ask Castiel to come heal them. Sam shrugs it off, joking that it’s only a flesh wound. Dean tells you that they only call Cas when shit gets really bad.

Dean called Cas for you when you needed to be healed. You knew you had been in rough shape but it must have been far worse than you realized.

While the physical scars are gone, you find that you are on edge mentally. Since being tortured and then almost killed again, you’ve been a bit skittish. Sudden sounds set your heart racing. More than once you’ve woken up in the middle of the night, sheets twisted around your body, heart pounding.

Dean provides much-needed distraction and you spend your days helping Dean restore his car. It’s the most amazing thing, to watch him loving repair the car, bit by bit. He knows where every piece goes. He knows how to coax the metal just so. He knows this car down to every nut and bolt.  

He teaches you as he works, he enjoys it, sharing his love of this car with you. He’s naturally patient and encouraging. You can’t help but feel a twinge of pride when he praises you. You also can’t help but shiver when his hand covers yours, helping you twist the bolts tighter.

It seems so intimate, Dean letting you see this side of him. He lets you see it because he trusts you.

It feels like a very special and important thing to have Dean Winchester’s trust. You sense that his trust isn’t tossed about freely, it’s earned and valued. You feel a fierce tug of emotion, it’s almost protective in nature. More than anything, you want to be worthy of his trust.

Keep reading

Rewritten, Chapter 5: Saved

Read it on Fanfiction.net  ➜

(tbh one of my all-time favourite memories, the little piano riff that plays when she looks at him with newfound respect (and love let’s be real here) honestly made me tear up in-game and it was great to see Link saving her life for the first time. He killed a man. Maybe three. What a badass.)

Keep reading

Apparently in 2014 I drew some sort of Ava’s Demon/Zelda crossover. At least… I tried to draw it. This looks kind of unfinished.

I don’t quite remember the reason why. I think I was just playing Ocarina of Time around then.

Ghibli games masterpost

Did you know that studio Ghibli made games that WEREN’T NI NO KUNI?  Well they did! They worked on most of them uncredited, though so lets break it down:


Jade cocoon is a weird game.  On one hand I’m not entirely sure it’s technically ‘playable’.  On the other hand, it has a fantastically haunting sense of atmosphere.  The backgrounds are all prerendered and the music is mostly atmospheric.  You catch monsters like in pokemon, except you can merge them together and they all end up looking like clumps of low res polygons.  The characters that HAVE designs, though, are very much reminiscent of like, a beta version of Princess Mononoke.  If you’re a fan and have some patience, it is very much worth a look!


The designs still rock, but the environments feel sterilized, less dangerous than before.  There’s also a bunch of grating anime stereotypes added in- I didn’t get to far with this one, maybe you can!


If you play one game on this list, make it Magic Pengel.  The game’s claim to fame is that you can draw your own characters in 3 dimensions, and they come to life.  And it works!  Then you battle them turn based rock-paper-scissors style at one of the local arenas.

What makes this game for me is that its the only game on the list that actually feels like playing through a ghibli movie.  The town feels alive, the characters are all fun and unique, the music sounds great, and the game even has that weird longing for the sky.  It’s first person, too, so it’s really the closest you can get to being in a ghibli movie.


I don’t like this game.  Ostensibly it’s the sequel to Magic Pengel, and the drawing system is the same (improved) but the game itself is a really generic action/platformer.  Apparently miyazaki directed some of the cutscenes himself but they all look like garbage and so does this game


Lostmagic is a fun little game- sort of a combination monster catching RTS.  You also cast spells by drawing symbols, and you can combine symbols for combination spells, it’s pretty cool!  The story is charming enough and all the designs are neat, so this is one I’d actually recommend.  There’s a split midway through the story though, and I think I kind of got hung up there and never finished the game.  There’s a wii sequel, but honestly I don’t know much about it, or if ghibli’s designers were even involved.


Ni No Kuni is okay, I guess.  It mimics the aesthetic of studio Ghibli, but not the soul.  Honestly, it’s basically Blue Dragon if Blue Dragon was good.  Don’t play Blue Dragon.  I think I stopped playing the game after me and a friend spent an hour scouring the spellbook for a magic word that ended up being “Open Says-a-me”.  The game was originally going to be DS exclusive, and was going to include a real spellbook-  I wonder if that version was closer to the original vision?

Let me know if I missed anything, homies!


greetings from the future (present) ((2016)) since this list I learned that Nintendo actually got help from some of Ghibli’s artists on Mole Mania for the original Gameboy!


 The stage– a desperate father, willing to do ANYTHING(terrorism) to save his children (i havent played mole mania)

Miyamoto (not yet a talentless idiot) directed this game, and it shared an engine with Zelda: Link to the Past, I think their workers were spread so thin between these projects that they managed to strike a deal with Ghibli, to borrow some guys to help with art assets.  Odds are it was mainly concept and promo stuff, but Mole mania’s art is a notch above usual for the time.  I can’t seem to find my source- it’s probably an out of print magazine???  but i’m absolutely sure on this one guys, i’d stake my reputation as a JOURNALIST and a CONMAN on it.

 not a videogame, but i dont have enough material for a whole article on this… people kept talkin bout that shitty show goro made, but Miyazaki’s actual, REAL protege (asst. director of Spirited Away) already made a show with the eureka seven guys.  it’s called Xam’d: Lost Memories !  It’s very grown up-violence, relationships, worth of life- not really anime bullshit.  the art is top notch, ghibli lookin, and the monsters all look like kyogre from pokemon sapphire


its a good thing they released it for viewing on Playstation 3s to make sure everybody saw it!!!

You guys totally found my weakness – Four Swords headcanons :P  Grab some popcorn, because this got long.

Green and Blue got off to a rocky start.  Blue was the last one to really accept Green as the leader, and was at first pretty jealous of Green being the “main” Link.  For his part, Green was frustrated because he kept finding himself saying things to Blue that his dad used to say to him, and realizing how difficult he must have been for the other knights to work with.

They argue a lot, they’re competitive, and sometimes their sparring matches go too far and someone gets hurt, but they don’t hate each other.  They’re a team, and even though neither one will freely admit it, they care about each other.

Also, because of all the time spent sparring, they’ve come to know each other’s fighting styles incredibly well.  They’re a nearly unstoppable force when they team up, as if they could read each other’s minds.

To sum it up in a trope: Vitriolic Best Buds

I think their dynamic is very sibling-like.  Red looks up to Vio like an older brother, and I think you’re right about Vio being protective of him.  (There’s a brief scene near the end of chapter two where Vio tries to cheer up a disheartened Red, for example.)

They sort of band together for solidarity when Blue and Green start fighting, and they’ll work together to calm their argumentative teammates down if things get too antagonistic.

When they first met him, I think Red was really scared of Shadow.  Then he got the Fire Rod, which was a big confidence boost, especially since fire = light, so it’s an especially effective weapon against Shadow.

In a post-manga, nobody’s “dead” AU, he’d probably be really quick to accept Shadow as a part of the group.  I think he’d go out of his way to try and make Shadow feel welcome, which would actually backfire at first because Shadow would interpret it as pity and get all snarly and defensive.  Eventually, though, he’d figure out that it’s just Red being Red, and I think they’d get along fairly well after that.  Shadow might still find Red’s constant enthusiasm annoying at times, though, and he might occasionally play a prank that’s too mean and upsets Red.

I dunno, for some reason I feel like they might have impromptu singing competitions.  Something goofy like that.

So this is maybe an odd little headcanon without much to base it on, but I think Green is really fond of the old legends of heroes.  He likes just about any form the stories come in – the pages of a book, the lyrics of a bard, the tapestries in Hyrule Castle – but his favorite by far is the stained glass windows in the castle.  He has a lot of good memories of him and Zelda, as children, playing under the lights from those windows and acting out the stories.  Sometimes, on sunny days, he’ll go and sit under the windows and remember.  Sometimes Zelda will come and sit with him, if she can spare the time.

Red likes to make things – little decorative crafts, or useful tools.  He’s got a good eye for detail, but a short attention span, so any place he stays for a long enough time will eventually accumulate half-finished projects lying about in odd corners.

Blue tends to get restless if left with nothing to do.  Typically he fills his free time with sparing, maintaining his weapons, and/or cleaning and tidying his surroundings.  If there’s a particularly dry spell of nothing to do, he will become increasingly irritable and prone to just taking off on camping trips without much warning.  Usually at least one of the others has to chase after him and either drag him back, or keep him company until he’s ready to return.

Vio, of course, loves to read.  And not just reading, but studying, cross-referencing and comparing the texts to his own experiences and observations.  He once asked Shadow to fly him up on dragonback because he felt some stretch of wilderness hadn’t been mapped accurately enough, and he wanted to try his hand at cartography.

Shadow will hang out with Vio in the library sometimes, but if Vio’s busy reading he can get bored quickly.  Often, he ends up napping in weird places (and I don’t mean “oh, he fell asleep on the couch” weird, I mean “why is he on top of that eight-foot bookshelf?” weird).  He also goes flying with Skirrsa (his dragon) quite frequently.

Warmth: ZeLink Week Day 5

ZeLink Week Day 5: “Warmth”
Game: AU post
Ocarina of Time. Spoilers abound!
Summary: There was no way that Zelda would let Link stay in his proper time. But he supposed that was alright as long as she came with him to this Ganondorf-free world. … Zelda started dreaming of the odd green-clad man and the older version of herself when she was six. Finally, at eleven years old, she met him, and that was when she remembered everything.
Word Count: 5,203
Notes: This is probably the fluffiest prompt I’ve done for ZeLink week so far. Enjoy it while it lasts.


“Please, don’t send me back! I need to stay here with you! I don’t belong back there anymore!”

“You have to go. It’s only your right…”

“It’s my right to decide!”

“A chance you never got back then! Don’t you see I can give you your childhood back, Link?”

“Maybe I don’t want my childhood back!”

“Well, maybe you need it back, whether or not you want it!”

A moment of silence as their shouts echo away. Panting, heaving breaths. Eyes boring into each other, each silently letting the other know that this was non-negotiable.

“Come with me.”

More silence; this more stunned than challenging.


Keep reading


Title: Professor Maximoff.

Summary: Zelda Ruiz is an 18 year old mexican/american mutant, she can stop and travel through time, when she arrives to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, on her first day she meets Peter Maximoff, the silver haired guy with awesome musical taste who turns out to be her teacher.

Parts: 1/?

Fandom: X-Men | Days of Future Past | Apocalypse.

Love interest: Peter/Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver.

Characters: Peter Maximoff | Anne Marie / Rogue | Kitty Pryde |

Warnings: Main character falls in love with Peter Maximoff, her music professor. | 12 year age gap | Swearing |

Notes: At first this was going to be a Reader x Peter fanfic but it was really hard for me to do it so I created a main character, but you can imagine it’s you.

The story takes place in 1990.

PD. I am really sorry if my English kinda sucks, but it’s not my first language.

I would also love to get some feedback, write me if you liked it or if you hated it, please reblog.

I had discovered my mutation after a The Cure concert, it was late, the subway was closed and I had spent all my money in band merch so Nate (my best friend) and I decided to walk home, stupid decision.

A guy with a gun came out of an alley and took our wallets, he got really mad when he realized we had no money so he shoot Nate; long story short, I panicked and somehow managed to stop time, the bullet stopping mid-air, and moved Nate out of the way, two days later I recived a letter from the Xavier’s School.

It took me three weeks to convince my parents that going to the Xavier’s was a good idea, of course they didn’t know about my mutation, and they were really dissappointed, specially my abuela, because I was supposed to start Law School on August, but they ended up being realy supportive.

It was my first day at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, after meeting Professor Xavier, I had Counseling with Professor Kitty, she gave me my class schedule and promised to assign me a room after lunch time.

At the cafeteria I stood in the line and waited patiently, a slice of pizza and a large Pepsi, I managed to find a seat next to the window, I took my Walk Man out of my pocket, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers began to fill my ears while I ate.

Suddenly, my Walk Man disappeared and a guy was siting in front of me, he was wearing my headphones.

He had big brown eyes, silver hair and was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt, he looked a couple of years older than me.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I shouted as soon as I realized he had took my music away. “Do you usally do this?”.

“Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I like them.” He smiled and I felt my heart beating faster.

“Duh! Who doesn’t?” I rolled my eyes and tried to reach my Walk Man.

“They’re fine, but, have you listened to The Clash? I mean, they’re amazing”

“London Calling is one of my favorite albums” I admitted, he seemed pleased.

“First day at Xavier’s, what’s your name?”

“Zelda Ruiz, and I assume they call you Kleptomaniac”.

“Not even close, Quicksilver.”

I laughed and took a sip of my Pepsi.

“So, Mr. Quicksilver, The Cure.”

“Saw them live last month, my favorite album is Disintegration.”

“You kidding? Mine too! I absolutely love Lullaby, it’s one of my favorite songs.”

“Miss Ruiz, you have a really good musical taste, what about Alice in Chains?”

I was about to answer when the bell rang, lunch time was over and I had to meet up with Counselor Kitty to get my room assignment.

“Can I have my Walk Man back?” I asked him while  picked up my things and packed them in my bag, he handed it to me, there was this bried moment in which his fingers touched mine and it felt like an electric shock.

“See you in class Miss Ruiz.” He smiled and I couldn’t help to smile on my way to the Counselor’s office. I also liked the way he pronounced my last name.

When I arrived to the Counselor’s office, a tall girl, with white bangs was standing next to C. Kitty.

“Zelda, meet your roomie” The Counselor said.

“Hey, my name is Anne” She smiled and gave me a handshake, I noticed she was wearing black leather gloves, she seemed nice.

“Hey, I’m Zelda, but you already know that” I laughed a little.

Anne helped me to carry my things to the room.

“We have 10 minutes before our next class, so, tell me about you.” She said sitting on her bed as I

began to tape a The Cure poster to my side of the wall.

“Well, I’m from Queens, my parents are mexican, they wanted me to be a lawyer but I really want to play music, they were really dissapointed when I enrolled here, specially my abuela, she kind of hates me now.”

“They don’t know about your mutation then?” I shooked my head.

“They believe I won a scolarship here because I’m sort of a Chemistry genious.” We laughed, she helped me to tape a few posters to the wall before the bell rang again.

We rushed to the classroom, it was a blessing sharing classes with her, otherwise, I would have found myself lost in the labrynth of hallways.

“What class do we have next?” I asked her, History with Professor Logan was finishing.

“Music with Maximoff.” She said, I laughed.

“Wait, do we really have Music? I thought this was more like a superhero academy.”

“We have normal school subjects, like History, Math or Music, but we also have special classes depending on our mutations so we can learn how to control them.”

“And how is this Maximoff guy? Please tell me we don’t have to play Ode to Joy in flute because that brings back too many Middle School memories.”

“Absolutely not!” Anne laughed “He’s really funny, he likes rock, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones… that kind of thing.”

“He won me at Pink Floyd.”

We walked to the classroom and sat next to each other, a blonde guy with blue eyes sat in front of her, she introduced him to me, Bobby.

The classroom began to fill with students and I was doodling in my notebook when a familiar voice snapped me out of my thoughts.

“Class, today we have a new student.” They Quicksilver guy from the cafeteria was standing in front of me. I felt my heart beating faster. “She’s Zelda Ruiz from New York.”

“Um, hi everyone.” I said shyly.

“Well Zelda,  I’m Professor Maximoff.” He smiled and I felt my heart beating so fast I was sure every single person in the room could hear it.

Yooo I’m again replying all in one because I got many! I’m tagging the ones who asked off anon, hope it’s okay!

@guesswhatruru my first oc was one of those things you come up with when you’re 11. A girl with wings. Named Fly. How very original ahahah.
Here’s a thing I did last year for a comparison with a super old drawing:

Nonny I’m replying the OC asks here, the inquisitor asks later ;)
1. Already answered.

5. If you could make only one of your OCs popular/known, who would it be? 
I think I’d pick my Zelda OC, Lotte. I’ve been developing her since 2008 (that’s the reason we almost share names haha I was 13) and she’s the one I know more about. Would take almost no effort to take her out of the whole Legend of Zelda context. 

14. Introduce an OC with a tragic backstory
I don’t have any! Unless you consider Gillyflower Cousland, but I didn’t come up with the human noble origin, Bioware did haha. 
I have one with a tragig story tho! My interpretation of the Queen of the Woodland Realm.

10. Introduce an OC with a complicated design?
Oh, I don’t think I have any, unless outfit designs count! If it does then most of my ocs have a complicated design since I really really like layers of clothes. <:

21. Your most artistic OC
Okay, this one is confused. Does it mean the one I consider most artistic in looks or the one whos most “gifted” artistically? We’ll never know hahah
However, I’ll g for the latter. I’d say Amelia. She really likes music. She plays the lute quite well and loves to dance.

31. Pick one OC of yours and explain what their tumblr blog would be like (what they reblog, layout, anything really)
I pick Gilly! Her blog would have one of those minimalistic themes and shed’s pick white and gold thones. She’d mostly blog about food. Bakery of all sorts. Always trying to keep that white/gold color scheme. She’d also write some super angry personal posts about social justice. An aestethic longsword here and there.

1. Already answered!

11. Is there any OC of yours you could describe as a “sunshine”?
Leo. He’s Lotte’s third son. Very quiet, talks only if it’s very necessary, always smiling, always wishing to help. Owns a flower shop when he’s older. Here are some doodles from last year:

26. Have you ever had to change your OC’s design or something else about them against your will?
Nope. Unless you count a few designs for school.

43. Do you have any certain type when you create your OCs? Do you tend to favour some certain traits or looks? It’s time to confess

Also I seem to really dig freckles and light colored eyes on dark skin tones. 


43. Already answered!

44. Something you like about your OCs in general
Idk. I guess the fact that almost them all live in a fantasy setting. Most of them are elves, which I really love.

2. Already answered!

6. Two OCs of yours that look alike despite not being related?
Lotte and Amelia (see above). :)

17. Any OC OTPs?
Lottie and Nick from ZAP! 

22. Is there any OC of yours people tend to mischaracterize? If yes, how?
No, I don’t think so. Mostly because I either don’t talk much about an oc or because I talk a lot about them, making them be known pretty well.

40. Any fond memories linked to your characters? Feel free to share!
OCs always helped me going through difficult moments of my life. The stories I made up in my mind being a way to escape reality. So I have plenty of fond memories. Especially of the ones I share my cousin @onone-san.


2. Already answered!

11. Already answered!

12. Name an OC that isn’t yours but who you like a lot
@guesswhatruru‘s William Shepard, @awaari‘s Galathan Lavellan, @galoogamelady‘s Buttons, @skyneverthelimit‘s Sheila, @onone-san‘s John Bengal :^))) The list is actually infinite but I’ll shut up because I’m super awkward.

20. Do any of your OCs sing? If they sing, care to share more details (headcanon voice, what kind of songs they like etc)?
Shame on me, I don’t have an answer to this question! Garlan Lavellan (Amelia’s bother) does sing but I haven’t thought of an headcanon voice for him yet!

Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch Trailer

By Ian C. Schafer

This morning, Nintendo released the trailer for the Nintendo Switch, formerly known as the “NX.” As was assumed, it’s a console/portable hybrid that uses flash-memory cartridges and has a modular controller. In the trailer, Nintendo does a good job laying out the modular nature of the hardware, with numerous controller configurations on display. Watch the trailer below and then scroll down for my breakdown.

Third-Party Support

Let’s get my first major concern out of the way. The WiiU, and to a lesser extent the Wii, struggled with attracting support from major third-party publishers. This was presumably due to the weaker hardware in comparison to the competition and the late release of the WiiU in the console cycle.
To allay fears, Nintendo released this image showing a list of all of the third-party developers and publishers that have pledged support for the Switch.

This list is extremely promising, and if the trailer, which shows someone playing Skyrim both at home and on the go, is any indication, we’ll get ports of some of the previous generation’s hits. This is something I’d be more than happy to see in addition to Nintendo’s first party offerings. The ability to play Skyrim or a Souls title on the go would more than make up for the no-doubt underpowered hardware.


The Switch is powered by the Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset, and according to most reports, a next-generation version of it. While the chipset has been used in Android-powered devices, like Nvidia’s own Shield series of tablets and set-top boxes, developers should be able to get a little more juice out of it in a 100% gaming-focused piece of hardware. While games like Doom 3: BFG Edition have been ported to the hardware, it suffered a bit of a graphical hit, but had improved framerates and resolution in comparison to its releases on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, which the Tegra X1 is usually compared to power-wise.

The Controller

Something that really impressed me was the concept of the Switch’s controller, which comes in many configurations.

Configuration 1: The two modular pieces of the controller, called the Joy-Con, can slot into the sides of a piece called the Joy-Con Grip, creating a very familiar controller configuration.

Configuration 2: Alternatively, the Joy-Con pieces can slot into the sides of the Switch system itself, as seen below.

Configuration 3: On offer, is a controller very reminiscent of the WiiU pro controller, with shades of Xbox in the placement of the analogue sticks.

Configuration 4: The two pieces of the Joy-Con can be used separately and wirelessly for multiplayer gaming. Each piece winds up with one analogue stick, four face buttons and a shoulder button, more than enough for things like Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers.

I’ve got visions in my head of modular pieces for the Joy-Con, like an arcade stick attachment. Hopefully Nintendo takes full advantage of their decidedly clever take on the video game controller.

First-Party Games

The trailer does a pretty good job of showcasing some of the early first-party games for the Switch, which includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon, and an unannounced 3D Super Mario game. Nintendo’s strength has always been in its first-party offerings, and hopefully, coupled with the surprisingly extensive third-party support, the Switch can succeed where the WiiU faltered.


In my opinion, the Switch looks like just the sort of thing Nintendo needs to compete. It doesn’t quite fill the niche of the other home consoles, but it totally fills the mobile gaming niche that Nintendo has had on lock since 1989, and in an extremely powerful way. I only hope that the system is durable and that the battery life is something to brag about, because overall, those are the only two concerns I had about what was shown in the trailer.

Why Samus Aran Matters To Me

As one of the older people I’m aware of on Tumblr, I remember when the original Metroid came out. I remember reading about it in the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter, the precursor to Nintendo Power. It seemed really cool. There was a person in a space suit exploring a huge world and killing weird, scary looking aliens. There were lots of letters and blurbs about how much fun people were having playing the game and how many crazy secrets it had. 

And there was one big hook that pushed the game into “must save up allowance and buy” territory: if you beat the game fast enough, you would learn Samus’s true identity.

My family didn’t have internet yet. Our computer at the time was a Commodore 64, which was a glorified game console with a keyboard that hooked into our TV. The only way to find out who Samus really was was to either get a friend who finished the game fast enough to tell you, or to do it yourself. Since I didn’t have any other friends who had the game, I had to find out the hard way.

The game was hard. The original Metroid didn’t have an X-Ray scope or Power Bombs, so the only way to find secret passages was to shoot or bomb EVERYTHING. There was no mini-map, so I started keeping a little Metroid notebook. It was loaded with (ugly) maps and dozens and dozens of passwords with various different combinations of power ups. I had to spend hours learning how to perfectly time bomb jumps.

Over time, I finally figured out how to find the REAL Kraid since there was a fake one that was hiding in his hideout. I also was able to eventually find and defeat Ridley. The first time I confronted a metroid I had the wave beam and got eaten. I died five times before I decided to come back with the Ice Beam JUST TO STOP the damn metroids. Then I finally beat Mother Brain and escaped Tourian to get the “Bad” ending in which Samus just turns around and shows you the back of her suit.

It took me two more total victories before I was finally able get the reveal. And what was the reveal? Well, everyone knows now, but the big twist is that Samus was a girl.

Of course I told all my friends about it. I had earned the bragging rights to the twist and I wasn’t going to waste it. We all thought it was pretty cool. WE NEVER SAW IT COMING.

Let me re-iterate.


You see, when we talked about Samus Aran we either were talking in first person, like in the sense of “I fell into a pool of lava between two big pillars I couldn’t jump  or bomb my way out and I died,” or we talked about Samus as a “him,” generally thinking of him as a space man or astronaut. The NES manual cheated of course, using male pronouns throughout. But at the time no one saw it coming. 

Still the game was so good that I had to go through it again. The game let you replay it with Samus outside of her suit, which allowed me to preserve victory bragging rights for any friends who came over to my house. It also made me very aware that, yes, I was playing as a girl the whole time.

There were very few games with playable female characters in that era. The most notable is probably the under-appreciated Alis Landale from Phantasy Star.

But Phantasy Star was a game on the Sega Master System and almost no one had one. The NES was the console of choice for just about everyone and any of my friends who didn’t have one wanted one.

Now at this point in time I was in first grade and  Super Mario Bros. 2 hadn’t come out yet. So when a bunch of my friends were running around during recess pretending to be video game characters the lone girl who hung around in our group was always Princess Zelda. What did Princess Zelda do exactly? She hid a bunch of triforce pieces and got kidnapped. We didn’t have a worthwhile playable female character for her to portray. I wish my memory of that time wasn’t so fuzzy, but I’m hoping she didn’t feel too left out. I mean, all the boys had active characters like Link and the Mario Brothers. But she had a character whose every important action occurred offscreen and was explained in horrible English during a text scroll if you stared at the title screen long enough.

I didn’t finish Metroid until that summer and I was with an all boys group at day camp. So while all my summer friends had fun talking about Metroid, the person for whom that revelation might have meant the most wasn’t with us. I imagine cool space bounty hunter is a big step up from distressed damsel.

Now fast forward to Super Metroid when everyone knew Samus was a girl. No one cared. We were all excited for the game. We all wanted to play it. We all played it. Samus had all sorts of cool new abilities she could use. We wanted all of them. Did we want to get the best ending where she took off her suit? Sure. But that was more about bragging rights than about seeing her suit come off. Remember, in Super Metroid, Samus’s suit breaks when she dies. 

(animated gif source: http://animatedscreenshots.tumblr.com/post/40543189974/super-metroid-metroid-fusion-metroid-zero)

I’m not going to pretend that there weren’t people out there who REALLY wanted to ogle Samus outside her suit. At the same time, I doubt many people BOUGHT the game for that purpose. 

But I think the major point is this: Super Metroid was a high profile, MUST HAVE game. To play it, you had to accept that you were going to play a female character. At this point, Samus didn’t have much personality, but, during the 16-bit era, outside of RPGs and PC Adventure games, very few characters DID. What we could take away from Samus through the first three games is that she is female, she is incredibly good at what she does, and that she was the star of games that NEEDED to be played. 

Now, Samus skipped over the N64 era outside of her appearance in the original Super Smash Bros. and many female characters became iconic during her absence. There was Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series, Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil series, the various female leads in many different RPGs, including mandatory leads like Lenneth Valyrie of Valkyrie Profile. Samus’s standing as THE female character in hardcore gaming was gone. But she was still important because people MISSED the Metroid series. I for one skipped the N64 entirely. It’s the ONLY NINTENDO CONSOLE I DON’T OWN other than the Wii U and the Virtual Boy. The absence of Metroid was a major reason for that.

Then came what I will call the split.

Two Metroid games were announced at more or less the same time. There was Metroid Prime for the GameCube and there was Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance.

Metroid Prime was developed by Retro Studios, an American game developer out of Texas. Metroid Fusion was developed in house at Nintendo of Japan. Now, like a lot of people, I was really nervous for Metroid Prime and really excited for Metroid Fusion. After all, Fusion would be a traditional 2D Metroid designed by many of the creators of Super Metroid, one of the greatest games of all time. Metroid Prime was going to be a FIRST PERSON game developed by unproven Americans. 

History vindicated Retro. Metroid Prime was a masterpiece, generally in the conversation with Resident Evil 4 as the best game on the Gamecube and one of the best games ever made let alone best for its era. Metroid Fusion, on the other hand, is a minor black sheep of the series. It is still liked and respected, especially in light of what would happen in later games in the series, but it’s generally looked upon as a minor disappointment.

But even outside of the games’ receptions, there was a crucial difference in how Samus was portrayed in each game. 

This is Samus’s design in Metroid Prime.

And this is Samus’s design in Metroid Fusion.

Around this time of these games’ release I learned some background information about the series. The Metroid series is much more popular in the West than it is in Japan. Metroid Prime was designed from a Western Studio’s perception of Samus, while Metroid Fusion came from a Japanese perspective.

The Samus of Metroid Prime looks like a realistic, weathered woman who, though in good shape, was not designed to titillate. The Samus of Metroid Fusion, well, look at her.

The portrayal of Samus was also quite different between the two games. In Metroid Prime, Samus doesn’t speak. She emits grunts when she’s in pain (courtesy of  the great Jennifer Hale), but she has no dialogue. What Metroid Prime does that, if not revolutionary, is extremely clever is work its butt off to convince you that YOU ARE SAMUS. The HUD in the game is designed to look like the inside of Samus’s helmet. You see EXACTLY what she sees. Further, during flashes of intense light, you see her face reflected back at you.

This is not just a decision that increases a sense of immersion in a game with a deep sense of ambience, it forces male gamers to see a female reflection as their own. While this is obviously no substitute for authentic lived experience, it’s an interesting exercise in empathy. To play ONE OF THE BEST GAMES EVER MADE, you must accept that you will do so as a woman.

As you progress through the game, you find Space Pirate data logs. They are filled with fear. They don’t want you in their bases because they know how dangerous you are. They call you “the hunter,” they try and fail to steal your technology. They consciously pull out the biggest guns they have in the hope that they can stop you. They are afraid of this woman… YOU.

Contrast this with Metroid Fusion which goes to great length to give Samus a character. Whenever you enter a new area Samus talks more and more about her backstory. She talks about a former commander of hers named Adam Malkovich who used to order her around by calling her “lady.” And when you finish the game fast enough you are treated to the most sexualized portrayal of Samus yet, a total contrast from the Samus of Prime.

By the time Metroid Prime 2  and Metroid Zero Mission arrived, Nintendo had decided that they wanted a uniform design for Samus outside of her armor. Enter the Zero Suit.

Every appearance of Samus from this point on would be a variation of this design. The weathered, realistic Samus of Metroid Prime would be gone forever, replaced by this busty, anime-esque aged-up Winry Rockbell. 

On the face of it, there was some sense to this decision. Every other major Nintendo character had a canon design, after all. Nintendo wanted a marketable version of Samus that everyone could instantly recognize. To its credit, the Zero Suit showed considerably less skin than the various bikinis and two-piece workout outfits she’d worn to this point. And, though I missed the Metroid Prime design, the initial design of the Zero Suit in and of itself wasn’t much of a problem, though that didn’t stop Nintendo from using it to show off her rounder regions.

Despite this, I was still more or less OK with the Zero Suit…

Until Other M.

Other M is where the heels were added to the Zero Suit. I have ranted about this before, so I won’t elaborate here. 

As I mentioned above, Metroid has always sold better in the West than it has in Japan. When Nintendo of Japan decided to create a Metroid Game for the Wii with Team Ninja, it was in part to expand her appeal in Japan. Though I loved the Prime Trilogy, I didn’t mind a change in direction with the gameplay. I still don’t like having to aim the Wii Remote at the screen to shoot missiles and the game was WAY too linear for a Metroid title, but those complaints aren’t why I and so many others really hate the game.

We hate it because it completely annihilates Samus’s character. It took a character who had been independent and fearless and made her dependent and paralyzed with fear. Ludicrously so. It replaced Jennifer “Commander Shepard” Hale as Samus’s Voice actress with someone who spoke in a complete, weak monotone. It made her suicidally subservient to a male commander when she wasn’t even actually under his command. It showed her terrified of recurring foe Ridley despite her never previously having experienced fear at facing him and having defeated him many, many times. As I joked to my wife, Samus shouldn’t have been traumatized by Ridley, Ridley should’ve been traumatized by her! How many times had he been destroyed at her hands only to be agonizingly reconstructed only to be destroyed again? Samus defeated him in every game in the franchise other than Metroid 2 where he didn’t appear.

Samus had never shown much characterization before, yet what was provided here countered what many people had loved about her. Samus wasn’t a talker, she was a doer. Samus used whatever she had at her disposal to defeat her enemies. Samus fought through pain. Samus didn’t want or require help. 

And then I thought back to the different character designs in Prime and Fusion. Retro Studios saw Samus as a powerful, fearless bounty hunter who simply got things done. Nintendo of Japan saw her as just some pretty girl who needed to be put in her place so we could sympathize with her weakness. 

We play Metroid games to explore, to enter scary alien environments, and to become strong enough to overcome them. We don’t just want to get through these environments, we want to tear them apart, expose their secrets and use those secrets to our advantage. We want to go from strangers in a dangerous place to its rulers. We want to face things that once made us sweat and to make them sweat when we fry them with a new weapon. 

Other M occurs so late in the series’ chronology that this regressive portrayal of Samus is not only illogical, it is offensive. We believe in a Samus who conquers, not one who cowers. 

But, as seems to often the case with Japanese game companies, the desires of a large Western fan base go ignored. There has been no word of a new Metroid game after Other M had been loudly rejected by the largest segment of the series’s fanbase, and the first time we see Samus in several years in the new Smash Bros reveals that Nintendo is doubling down on the impractical, stereotypically feminine, high-heeled Samus. 

But whatever Nintendo does with the next Metroid game, when or if it comes, I’m not going to forget the games where Samus was the most badass woman in the Galaxy. Who, when robbed of her gear, seemed to say “so what? I’ll get it all back, I’ll break into your base, and I’ll kill all your dudes.” That’s the Samus I grew up with, and that’s the Samus I’ll happily play as when Nintendo decides to give her another shot.