Like many of you, I failed to order a Switch and instead spent the weekend kicking myself because I couldn’t play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While the weekend only lasted the usual 48 hours, it felt like 10,000 hours, making me an expert on this subject. I am, therefore, authorized to give you some tips.
This one might seem obvious, but when social media is exploding with enthusiasm for a thing you can’t have, it can be hard to get excited about, well, anything else. Let’s not forget, though, that it’s already been an insane year for games. Just off the top of my head, we’ve got Horizon: Zero Dawn, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Yakuza 0, Night in the Woods, Nioh, For Honor, and Resident Evil 7. Sure, none of those are “the best Zelda game to date” according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, but they’re all Really Damn Good according to people who aren’t Kotaku’s Jason Schreier (and some who are).
OK, so maybe playing other games just makes you feel even worse about the fact that Breath of the Wild is, to you, like a star-crossed lover in the hands of another. Good news, though: you’ve got options. For instance, you can go for a walk. It’s basically spring at this point—or a hellish mix of ruinous summer and suffocating winter, thanks to global warming—so just take it all in.
The birds chirp, the breeze sings, and you’re CERTAINLY not thinking about Zelda, seeing it in every blade of grass and each conspicuously placed clay pot in your path. Your mind is serene, like a fairy shrine or a Zora cove or the second childhood that was stolen from you when Nintendo didn’t manufacture enough Switch units.
Oh great, some fucker is walking down the street with their brand new Switch, like they’re putting on a damn parade. They might appear to be quietly minding their own business, but you know they’re flaunting it. You are rightfully disgusted. Now they’re taking out their phone to tweet about it, and they refuse to stop, even though you’re screaming at them from across the street, rivulets of perfectly reasonable saliva streaming down your chin and neck.
OK, just breathe deep. Be cool. Everything’s fine. Do finger guns at them to let them know you’re cool and everything’s fine. Smile through gritted teeth. Smile harder! Beam at them. This isn’t weird! It’s their fault for thinking it’s weird to despise someone from the bottom of your heart for owning a game console. What’s their problem?
Did you know that people just sell horses? How crazy is that? And I mean, you’re out and about anyway, so...
Now, some people might suspect that you’re doing this because you keep seeing people post gifs of their goddamn dancing Zelda horses and you think that, somehow, purchasing a flesh-and-blood transportation mammal will patch up the hole in your heart. That’s dumb. People buy horses all the time, and besides, the real reason you’re buying a horse is because everybody you care about is playing Zelda, and you need a friend. That’ll show ‘em! Now then, hop onto a horse that’ll bear your weight as well as your emotional burdens and continue having a perfectly normal and great day.
Can you believe that people just throw away swords sometimes? Now you can, seeing as you just found one while rooting around in somebody’s garbage. It pairs well with the tunic you fashioned out of trash bags and the broom you named Not Zelda Because For The Last Time, That’s Not What Any Of This Is About, Jeez.
Fact: cool people with cool horses and cool swords hang out in Target parking lots—sometimes for days. At this point, it would be patently ridiculous if you did anything else. In a pinch, GameStop or Best Buy will do. It’s your call, really. Just be chill and go with the flow, like you have been this whole time.
When was the last time you slept? Or drank water? The thoughts vanish from your mind almost as quickly as they enter, because moblins are attacking! You brandish your gleaming trash blade, hacking away and shouting until your throat feels like splinters. The moblins emit a sort of metallic shrieking noise before turning tail and fleeing. The battle felt like it only lasted seconds, but you realize hours have passed. The moon is out, and soon, the wolves will be too. You recede into a forest of shopping carts to recuperate and plot your next move.
It’s nearly sunrise, and you’re startled out of your meditative state by an otherworldly roar. It is Ganon, king of lies and pigs. You know what you must do. Tears in your eyes, you bid farewell to Not Zelda Because For The Last Time, That’s Not What Any Of This Is About, Jeez. It’s time for one last battle, one more triumphant ride atop the horse you just realized you never named, even though you immediately and unquestioningly named a broom.
You charge. Ganon counters with a blinding light, as though he turned on his high beams. Dazed, you lose your balance and tumble from your loyal steed, who immediately peaces the fuck out. It’s just you and Ganon now. Ganon slowly pulls forward, bringing his full immensity to bear. It’s now or never. You lunge, striking like a demon at his arms and legs and belly and tires and grill and trailer. You fall to one knee, blood and hope rapidly streaming from your wounds.
You realize, however, that your hand has come to rest atop something. You feel Not Zelda Because For The Last Time, That’s Not What Any Of This Is About, Jeez, and she plants an idea in your mind. You summon all your remaining strength to roll beneath Ganon and shove Not Zelda Because For The Last Time, That’s Not What Any Of This Is About, Jeez into his exposed undercarriage. Oil spills across your face and torso like hot rain.
Ganon halts, and you can’t believe your eyes. Nintendo Switches come pouring out of a hole in his backside, as does a man. “Congratu-fuckin-lations!” the man yells, equal parts furious and fearful with what you can only interpret as unbridled joy. “Please, take whatever you want. Just don’t hurt me.”
Shuddering with anticipation, you hoist your new Switch high above your head. Lights flash, and victorious music chimes. You begin to suspect that those things might be coming from the police car that’s pulled up behind you. “Sir,” says a voice addressing you as the honorable Hyrulian knight that you are, “you are under arrest for—seriously?—swinging a sword in the general direction of a bunch of cars and, uh, really freaking people out.”
There are plenty of healthy hobbies that can help take your mind off video games you may or may not have. For example, running. I recommend doing it now.