Saturday, January 27, 2007

AJ Defeats Ganon to Conquer The Legend of Zelda!

Every day I thank God for my sons. They enrich my life beyond words. Sure, they also try me in manifold ways, but this day, my oldest son AJ has inspired me by his epic defeat of the mighty Ganon.

Over a year ago I bought a used and battered Nintendo 64 video game unit (circa 1996) and 10 games for $62 bucks. My boys are young (AJ is 7, Nico is 5, and Jordan is 4) so they wouldn't know how "old school" Nintendo 64 is. I bought the unit for them to play things like Mario, Space Invaders, sports games, and other kid-friendly games. One game that came with the unit was called "The Legend of Zelda". It turns out, it is considered one of the classic video game series of the last 20+ years. The version we had was the first of the 3-D generation graphics.

Very simply, for those of you who are ignorant of the video game world: The Legend of Zelda series features a boy named Link, as the central playable character and hero. Link is called upon to rescue Princess Zelda, after whom the series is named. The main bad guy in the series is a powerful creature known as Ganon, sometimes appearing as Ganondorf . The action occurs in the land of Hyrule and involves a fantasiacal relic known as the Triforce, a set of three magically bound golden triangles of great power. Sparing further details, you have to navigate all sorts of cool forests, giant animal stomachs, and castles, defeat various "bosses", and eventually, after months of play (as you advance through the various "levels" you can save your game and pick up where you left off at a later time), you reach the final epic battle with Ganondorf and Ganon. AJ got to that final battle a couple of weeks ago and just today called me at church, where I am working on my sermon and Sunday school lesson, to tell me, "Dad, I beat the game". That's very cool.

One might rightly wonder, "what's the big deal"? I just think it's cool the way he persevered and went after a goal that was difficult. Further, on the way to beating the game, it was neat how older teenagers and some college students (thanks Mallory !) cheered and mentored him on whenever he got to a spot he didn't think he could navigate or advance past. Each Sunday, several of the teens would ask him how he was doing. For a 7 year old boy, that feels awesome.

Sure, in the bigger scheme of things Zelda isn't all that important. What's important is how it provided an opportunity for him to strive after something, have fun, interact with others about his saga, entertain his brothers, and allow me to encourage him and brag about him when he got the job done. What a blessing our children are! Praise the Lord!


Frontier Forest said...

I remember this game, way back when!? Right before my divorce, I got my 14 year old son, Tate this very game. Unfortunately, after the divorce and moving to the KC area, I became so engrossed in my OWN world of self-made problems, I never took the time to find out how he did, nor do I know this day, if he ever conquered the evil Ganon? But we are blessed, knowing God is a God of 2nd, 3rd, ….(Notice I don’t say chances because I don’t use words like, chance or luck or fate or coincidence.) and therefore, the many opportunities lost, can be regained! The rust and decay we allow the evil one to destroy can restored, becoming a victorious witness for a changed life in Christ! Being a member of Redeemer, sitting under such anointed teaching and preaching, and seeing so many loving families, dedicate so many little ones unto the Lord, restores unto me, great encouragement! These families will for sure, get it right the first time! Putting their little ones and the important, small things accomplished above all worldly gains, ones sees a family with eternal perspectives! Accomplishments, that we adults seem to pride ourselves in, are lost and soon, will parish when placed above the God-given mandates of family.
Today, I will find out if Tate ever won the battle over his own Ganon! I am proud to say that he has conquered the pain and grief over my divorce! Tate is now serving the Lord as a family doctor in Lynchburg Virginia. And even more dedicated than the commitment to his practice, is his total devotion to his dear wife and family. I know he will not fail his 2 precious little gifts from God. “O Victory in Jesus, my Savior for ever, He brought me and bought me with HIS REDEEMING POWER!”

AJF said...

Great post Woody! Very edifying and encouraging. Let me know if Tate was able to beat Ganon!