Give Link a break: Celebrating the legends of people other than Zelda – The A.V. Club

Whose legend is it? The titular Alundra, an elven-ish “Dreamwalker” who has the ability to enter the sleeping minds of others—which, for some reason, inevitably takes the form of dungeons filled to the brim with Zelda-esque puzzles and bosses.

What’s the legend about? After a sudden shipwreck, Alundra washes ashore in the village of Inoa, whose residents—conveniently enough—find themselves plagued with an increasingly lethal series of nightmares that only their newest resident can unravel. Working with local scientist Septimus and fellow Dreamwalker Meia, Alundra investigates both the village, and its residents’ subconsciouses, in an effort to get to the bottom of the plague.

How Zelda is it? ❤️❤️❤️

Quite a bit, at least at first. The top-down perspective is immediately obvious, alongside the split between overworld exploration and more elaborate dungeon delving. (Also, block-pushing, sliding ice puzzles, and other stock Zelda tropes are wildly abundant.) But where Alundra gets really interesting is in where it diverges from the Nintendo model by being, well, well-written. Heavy topics abound, and rather than a series of static quest-givers, Inoa’s residents evolve and change throughout the game—not always for the better, as the rising death count, despite Alundra’s best efforts, leads to increasingly harried outbreaks of xenophobia and despair.

Hookshot y/n? No, but Alundra does get a wide assortment of wands, boots, capes, and more to upgrade his arsenal and movement abilities. Fun fact: Many of these new items are developed by local blacksmith Jess after being inspired by the death of someone in the village! Alundra’s just that kind of game.