Video game villains can be just as memorable as video game heroes. In some cases, the main antagonist’s popularity can seem to be even greater than that of the main protagonist’s. However, in almost every game, the villain is fated to lose in the climactic battle. Worse yet, they always seem to lose on their home turf.
In this series, we tell a new story. In each episode, our featured villain will instead succeed in eliminating the hero(es) who would otherwise win. Then, in true villain fashion, they will be unsatisfied simply dominating their own realm, and will move to conquer others. In a new and unfamiliar environment, our villains will test their mettle against the champions of other worlds.
Episode 1 – Light Warrior Link – Part I
Cutting the last of the Light Warriors down, Chaos collects their orbs, taking their power for his own. With the ability to travel unhindered through time and space, he opens a portal to an unknown realm and steps through. Surveying the terrain, he spies Kakariko Village, nestled snugly at the foot of Death Mountain. Knowing full well the best way for heroes to appear is to cause problems, he takes flight toward the unsuspecting town. Without an iota of restraint in his mind, Chaos quickly reduces Kakariko Village to a pile of charred wood, scorched earth, and smoldering feathers. Satisfied with the destruction, Chaos descends and stands stoically in the middle of the burning ruins.
Not far away, an eager Link has just finished gathering the power of the six sages and is preparing for a showdown with Ganondorf in his hovering citadel. However, the sound of a dozen houses splintering simultaneously amid the force of a gigantic exploding fireball easily draws his attention. Predictably, and like the true hero that he is, Link quickly mounts Epona and rides off to face this new threat.
Upon arriving at the destroyed remains of Kakariko Village, Link is aghast at the tragic and horrifying sight of the smoking crater where the peaceful hamlet once stood. He has no time to lament, however, as Chaos has now noticed his presence. The fiend adopts an intimidating stance, spreading his wings and bearing his claws. Uttering an ancient Hylian oath, Link–now full of sadness and rage–unsheathes the Master Sword and readies his trusty Mirror Shield.
With zeal, Link charges at the monster, leaping forward with an overhead strike. The Sword of Evil’s Bane finds its mark, opening a large wound on the creature’s knee. Roaring in pain and anger, Chaos makes a retaliatory swipe at Link, which he dodges by rolling underneath the massive arm. Using his momentum, Link springs from the ground and slashes the demon’s other knee. The combination of the second knee being damaged and the loss of balance created by missing his claw attack causes Chaos to fall to his badly-wounded knees. Infuriated and somewhat confounded, Chaos casts a spell at Link, as brown-orange mystical energy streams from his outstretched claw. Closing in for the ostensible coup-de-grace, Link sees the danger and stops in his tracks, raising the Mirror Shield just in time to bounce the energy right back to Chaos.
To Link’s chagrin, the reflected blast dissipates on the monster’s massive frame, causing no apparent damage. Annoyed but unfazed, Chaos then attempts to smash Link using an overhead double axe hammer. Immediately deciding that he could never block such a powerful strike, Link darts forward, rolling between Chaos’ legs. Emerging behind him, Link turns around just as Chaos’ clenched fists hit the ground, causing rock and dirt to be flung in every direction. Predicting an attack from behind, Chaos attempts to sweep Link using his massive barbed tail. With remarkable agility, Link no-hand cartwheels over the hazardous appendage, even slicing into it at the apex of his jump. Bellowing wrathfully, Chaos spins around, flinging his tail at Link yet again, in haymaker fashion. Surprised, but not off-guard, Link quickly leans backward, letting the tail pass just a few inches in front of his face, a telltale *whoosh* sound permeating the air.
Finally bringing himself back to his feet, Chaos casts another spell at Link, spraying blue and blue-white energy in a colossal cone at the hero. Believing it impossible to evade such a wide spell, Link raises his shield, hoping to turn back at least part of the magic. This time however, Link’s Mirror Shield does not fully protect him, and the wintery blast covers the area in shin-deep magical ice, freezing Link to the ground.
Desperately trying to free himself, Link aggressively twists and jerks his body, but is nowhere near strong enough to break through the magical ice. Seeing him struggle in vain, Chaos sneers and takes to the air, the mighty thrum of his wingbeats echoing tauntingly from the ice. Coming to a halt some one hundred feet in the air, he hovers, pleased to have taken his incredible bodyweight off of his badly-injured knees and tail. He puts his fearsome claws together and then begins to slowly separate them, a mixture of pale green and blue-green energy crackling between his palms. Peering downward, he looks upon Link with disdain as he prepares to end the fight.
Shivering so badly his teeth chatter, Link looks skyward and sees the impending attack. Throwing down his shield, he dives into his bag of holding for something to break the ice. Frantically pulling out his Megaton Hammer, he slams the weapon into the ice with all the force his cold bones can muster. Much to his dread, the hammer recoils from the ice without so much as making a dent, causing vibrations so strong that Link nearly loses his grip on the shaft. As Link continues his fruitless effort to free his legs, Chaos completes his spell, and unleashes it. He howls triumphantly as the arctic blast flurries through the air into the ground, his spell spiraling in frozen fractals all around.
Breathing heavily, Link grits his teeth as he watches the immense magical blast close in on him. Clenching his fists, he wracks his brain for a fallback plan and otherwise braces for impact. Suddenly, Link hears a familiar voice in his ear. “Hey! Listen! Use your magic!” With widened eyes, Link spins his head around to see none other than Navi, who has finally caught up with him. Sensing his hesitation, she implores him again. “Link! You have to do it now!” With sudden understanding Link grabs the tiny fairy and stuffs her under his cap. Turning his attention quickly back to the fast-approaching spell power, he channels his magic and prepares to counter. With mere moments before the energy makes contact, Link focuses his gathered energy into Din’s Fire, creating a wide dome of magical flame that melts the ice beneath him. As the two spells converge, their opposed-element energies experience magical attenuation, negating one another, leaving only a vast vapor cloud behind.
Outraged in disbelief, Chaos continues to press the attack, following up with yet another spell. Pulling in more energy, he wastes no time in letting the incantation fly. A great spray of hot pink and pale-red energy projects from his claws, forming into gigantic fireballs as they race toward the earth. Alarmed at first, Link gives Chaos a knowing glance. Storing his Megaton Hammer, he bends down nonchalantly to pick up his shield. Slipping it back onto his forearm, he crouches in the puddle and holds it aloft, simply waiting for the spell to touch down. As he predicted, much of the fire is snuffed when it hits the water. He is able to block the remainder of the flames with his shield, and his Goron Tunic protects him from any residual heat or cinders.
Now furious beyond reckoning, Chaos clenches a fist. Then, concentrating his will, he hurtles himself toward the ground at a frightening speed, causing Link to stare bewilderingly. Baying with the rage of a wolverine, he punches deep into the ground as he lands, causing tremors so immense that Link loses his balance and falls onto his rump. From the epicenter of his strike, a deep fissure begins and races toward Link, the earth splitting more violently every second. Flailing in a less-than-heroic manner, Link stumbles to his feet and tries to move away from the fast-forming trench, but the trembling of the earth is so profound that he cannot maintain his balance long to outrun it. With the ground giving way beneath him, Link begins to fall to his death. Popping out from under his cap, Navi cries out hysterically. “Link!! No!!”
Tumbling into endless darkness, Link eventually regains his equilibrium and pulls out his Longshot. Making as best a guess as he can in the stark blackness, he pulls the trigger, hearing the familiar sound of the harpoon impaling itself inside the rock a mere moment later. Holding fast to the handle, he braces himself for a sudden stop, which occurs as he swings into the rock face–hard. Now disoriented from head trauma and essentially blind, Link does his best to clear the cobwebs before starting the climb back to the surface.
Navi, whose cries have gone long unanswered, becomes both inconsolable and infuriated. Feeling her tiny heart beat at levels she’d never before experienced, she lashes out Chaos, flitting toward the demon just as fast as her fairy wings can propel her. Still recovering from what he believes to be his victory strike, Chaos is bombarded by a loud and glowing-blue blur. At first he tries to simply shoo the pest by indifferently swatting at her. However, Navi is riding an emotionally-fueled adrenaline high, and easily darts around his feckless movements. As she continues to pummel the evil fiend’s face, she succeeds in badly wounding Chaos’ left eye. Suddenly realizing the threat this diminutive creature actually poses, Chaos growls with ferocity and begins to aggressively beat his wings, creating a strong wind. Finding it too difficult to fly against the tempest Chaos is creating, Navi is pushed back through the air, though she is able to remain airborne. As she attempts to approach Chaos for a renewed attack, Navi finds herself checked against the strength of his wingbeats, unable to get close.
In the distance, the sound of metal against rock can be heard, followed by a recognizable chain-winding sound. A moment later, a gauntleted hand swings above the precipice, burying itself in the blackened earth. Finally pulling himself out of the chasm, a fatigued Link rolls over and catches his breath, thankful to be alive. Realizing he has no time to spare, Link sits up and scans his surroundings. Immediately spotting Navi and her current predicament, Link pushes himself to his feet and draws the Master Sword, readies his shield, and moves to the attack. Still struggling against the gusts of Chaos’ wings, Navi suddenly catches the sight of Link approaching out of the corner of her eye. Going through a myriad of emotions all at once, she turns her attention from Chaos and begins to wing her way toward Link. Seizing his opportunity to strike, Chaos rushes forward, fiercely slashing at the unsuspecting fairy with his giant claw. Catching Navi completely off-guard, he scores a telling blow, knocking her utterly senseless and opening grievous wounds in her delicate fey flesh.
Shocked and sickened by the demon’s cowardly attack, Link double-times it over to Navi’s motionless body and scoops her up. Sticking her safely under his cap, he turns his attention back to Chaos, who laughs at the hero’s misfortune. Chest heaving with unbridled fury, Link grits his teeth and charges the creature once more. Knowing better than to face Link on the ground in his current state, Chaos returns to the air once more, but simply hovers about 30 feet off the ground, as if mocking him. Sick of playing defense on the ground and determined to end this fight, Link stops and pulls out his Biggoron Sword and Longshot, storing the Master Sword and Mirror Shield. Pointing the Longshot at Chaos, he waits a few moments and studies his movements intently, sword-hand holding fast to his greatsword. Timing his shot perfectly, he lets the Longshot fly, the harpoon impaling itself inside Chaos’ ribcage. Groaning in profound pain, Chaos flails, barely able to keep himself airborne. Retracting the chain, Link flies toward the creature, letting go at just the right time to continue propelling himself upward. At the height of his assisted jump, he grips the Biggoron Sword tightly and slashes fiercely downward. With force added from his fall, Link cuts deeply through Chaos’ giant wing, nearly severing it from his body. With a baleful moan, Chaos lashes out at Link as they both begin to fall from the air. As the hero attempts to wrest his blade from the dangling wing, Chaos catches him across the back, shredding his tunic and leaving large claw marks in his skin. Tensing greatly from the impact of the strike, Link reflexively arcs his back, just as he frees his sword.
Having no more energy for further aerial combat, they both plummet to the earth. Chaos collides with the ground with the force of a meteor, a massive crater forming around him. With no way to break his fall either, Link pulls off his cap with Navi inside and clutches it to his chest. A fraction of a second later, he hits hard, feeling just how little bounce the ground provides. His greatsword skewers itself into the scorched dirt just a few inches away, barely missing his arm. Only able to take shallow breaths, Link’s muscles twitch unnaturally. He can feel Navi’s body moving through the fabric of his tunic, though he knows she barely clings to life. Tilting his head weakly, he looks over at the spot where Chaos landed. Seeing only swirling dust and no other movement, he lets his head fall back and breathes a sigh of relief. Poking her head out from beneath Link’s cap, Navi speaks faintly. “Did we… do it… Link?” Lacking the ability to respond, Link drags his arm atop his chest and embraces the eternally optimistic sprite once again, in order to keep her warm.
As he searches for the strength to pick himself up, Link hears a loud noise. Alarmed, he moves his head to look at the crater once again to behold an angry Chaos staring him down. Gripped with disbelief, Link looks on helplessly as the creature lugs his torn and broken body out of the giant sinkhole it created. Resting on one knee, Chaos pulls Link’s Longshot free from his chest, and heaves it into the fissure. Breathing heavily, Chaos simply observes Link for several moments, unsure of what to make of him. Seeing that Link is unable to move, Chaos snarls and begins to evoke a spell. With eyes widened, Link desperately tries to think of a way to counter whatever is coming. To his amazement, Chaos does not blast him with the gathered energy, but instead turns it upon himself. Link’s relief quickly turns to dread however, as he watches the pale green vortex mend Chaos’ wounds, even reattaching his wing. With the spell having done its work, Chaos stands to his full height once again and begins to advance on Link.
With no options left, Link reaches with unknown strength into his bag and procures the Ocarina of Time. Dragging it to his lips, he is just barely able to breathe out the notes to the Prelude of Time. As the magic begins to take effect, Chaos suddenly realizes what is happening, and moves more quickly in order to stop it. Swinging for the fences, Chaos throws a wild punch at Link, hoping to disrupt the effect, but it is too late. Link disappears just before his fist splits the earth.
When Link opens his eyes again, he sees the ceiling of the Temple of Time. As he starts coming down from his adrenaline high, he feels the full brunt of his wounds as pain wracks his body. He lays there in anguish for many minutes until he feels strong enough to move. Arm-dragging himself to the wall, he props himself up into a sitting position. He sits Navi, still housed in his cap, down in his lap as maneuvers his hand feebly around in his bag. Eventually finding what he needs, he pulls a bottle of red liquid free and waits a few more minutes before summoning the strength to pop the top off. Looking down, he holds the bottle upright in one hand and lifts Navi with the other, bringing her face above the rim of the glass. Dipping her weakened arms into the potion, Navi gathers some of it into her cupped hands, lifting it to her mouth. Drinking it down, Navi’s, injuries magically disappear and her wings begin to flutter. Happy to be able to fly once again, she beams at Link. Now lifting the bottle to his own lips, Link tries to drink, but finds his arm too weak to hold the bottle high enough. With gusto, Navi flies beneath the glass and pushes it upward, adding her strength to Link’s. Finally able to imbibe the alchemical concoction, he feels the pain leave his body. Standing with renewed vigor, he pulls out his armaments again and walks over to the entrance. In the distance, he sees Chaos in the sky once more.
To be concluded…
Artwork courtesy of Ashley Davis