TURN TO CHANNEL 3: Please wave ‘Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon’ out of existence
You would think that, with the debacle known as “Hotel Mario” that we discussed last week, at least the beloved “Legend of Zelda” franchise would be saved from the dreaded association with the Philips CD-i but, oh, you would be sadly wrong.
Not once, but twice, Zelda fans would have to find ways to rid their lives of such atrocities, so we continue our fearful journey down the rabbit hole of terrible games during Turn to Channel 3’s “Foolishly Bad Games” month with the first of these two sins against humanity – “Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon!”
Oh, sweet Golden Goddesses of Hyrule, help me through this.
“Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon” (Philips CD-i)
This game doesn’t have terrible music, but if you’re looking for the kind of tunes that were a part of your childhood growing up with this franchise then, my friend, you are looking in the wrong game for sure. “Wand of Gamelon” possesses some of the most cookie-cutter tunes that remind you that you’re playing a game from a company that has no idea what makes this franchise so great to begin with.
The sound effects are some of the most generic sounds I’ve heard in gaming and, trust me, I’ve heard a few – the less said about the corny, Internet meme and YouTube Poop-creating voiceovers, the better. Mario may have wanted to forget “Hotel Mario,” but the Hero of Time is probably still in therapy over the two games present on the CD-i, even though he doesn’t have much of a part in this one, as the actual adventure is handled by Zelda instead.
Hear me out here, OK? I found the landscapes of “Wand of Gamelon” very lush and almost as if they were painted there. However, what makes these same landscapes graded so poorly is that they actually inhibit gameplay! At times, you don’t know when or even where you need to jump or climb in the game. It is as if the artists said, “Well, they look pretty, so who cares if we have no idea how the character will interact with them?”
The enemies are so weird, but in a boring way that offers little to the eyes. If this wasn’t bad enough, the cut scenes offer some truly nightmare-inducing episodes, especially with the townspeople! Why the animators of, say, the cartoon show, weren’t called upon instead of what appears to be the acid-tripping “Lord of the Rings” animated movie artists is beyond me, but let me assure you, “Wand of Gamelon” offers you nightmare fuel to spare.
“Hotel Mario” was a dismal failure because it wasn’t what gamers knew “Super Mario” games to be at that point. Perhaps even more emphatically than that, “Wand of Gamelon” takes the action-packed “Legend of Zelda” and turns it into a pathetic fetch quest for items while offering so many plot holes that you might as well be playing the gaming equivalent of Swiss cheese.
The control scheme is nauseating, cheap hits run rampant, and even items that are supposed to make the quest easier really don’t help at all. Add in the fact that not only do rupees pay for necessary items, but they also affect weapon power, and you have a recipe for one of the worst adventures in Hyrule (or wherever the hell Gamelon is) in “Legend of Zelda” history.
“Wand of Gamelon,” despite being awful, still fetches around $60 for the disc alone and somewhere between $90-$225 complete! There are sick, twisted individuals out there, and then there are those who will pay that kind of money for this piece of crap. Think of the many other uses for that kind of money, think of the children, and think of your own well-being, because unless you prefer headaches induced by games this bad, you don’t need “Wand of Gamelon” in your gaming collection.
But wait, there’s more! Next week we take a look at Link’s own personal career low in “Link: The Faces of Evil!”
Until then, remember, I’m doing this so you don’t have to! Game on!