Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Legend of Zelda Fanfiction Recommendations

Does this post look familiar? If so, it's because two years ago, I did the exact same thing. And before that, I ALSO did the same thing in 2010, except I used a lot of stories from The Sacred Realm, which no longer exists, sadly. I listed off my favorite The Legend of Zelda fanfics to aid the rest of the world on their search for an excellent story.

However, key words there are "two years ago".

Not only have my tastes changed since then (I'd like to think I'm a bit better at telling a good story from a bad one now), but I've also discovered SEVERAL new stories. In all honesty, my love for fanfiction waned a bit toward the end of 2011, mostly with the release of Skyward Sword. But that doesn't mean I don't like it anymore -- it just means I'm not as active anymore. But I'm still finding new stories to read and writing stuff, so...

First off, for anyone who might not be familiar with this blog, my name on is TwilightWakerofTime, so if you're interested, go check out my own Zelda fics. I've got seven at the moment: five oneshots, two multi-chapters. I highly suggest Awakening... I love that story a lot. It gets better after chapter three. Promise. And, if you're not satisfied with the things I mention here, go ahead and check out my favorites list. It's terribly outdated -- I HATE removing things from it, and I rarely, rarely add things now, even stories I love, as I presently have extremely high standards -- but you can find some decent reads in there. A lot of what I'm going to mention will be in there, too.

Click here to read my recommendations of 2011, and here to read the list in 2010. Keep in mind, though, that I'm more experienced in the realm of fanfiction now, so these are probably the best Zelda fanfic recs you'll find from me.

These aren't going to be a ranked list like I did previously, but they will be slightly organized by my own personal enjoyment of them, with ones I like the most listed first. Also, I want to mention that I don't read slash fics often. I'm not really a huge fan of them, so I won't be including any yaoi or yuri or shonen/shojo ai or whatever the heck you call them stories here.

And with that, let's begin:

The Return and Reconciliation by Rose Zemlya - Ohhh, yes. Judging from my other lists, I'm sure you saw this coming. These two tales have been two of my favorite fanfictions for a long time now -- and for a good reason. The Return and its sequel, Reconciliation, are fantastic stories. They are some of the most-reviewed Zelda stories of all time, with The Return at 35 reviews per chapter, and Reconcilliation at an amazing 46. That's insane, considering that I would say most stories average at six or seven, perhaps ten or eleven if they're good. The Return is kind of average, honestly; I was worshipping it years ago when I first read it, but now that I'm more experienced, I'd still say I love it and I've reread it soooo many times, but the plot is actually pretty straightforward. However, what Rose excels in is really characterization. Her characters are FANTASTIC. I'm not a fan of OCs in Zelda. As a matter of fact, I generally hate them if they play major parts in the plot. But instead, Hunter, Neesha, and the many other original characters she includes are so incredibly well-written that I can't help but love them. Their personalities are clear, and the way they interact with each other and Link is just so much fun to read. The humor in this story really is something to mention, by the way. It's just so QUOTABLE! It's made me laugh out loud many times. And of course, all of this stems from her portrayal of Link. The story is in first person from Link's point of view, which isn't TERRIBLY common in the realm of Zelda fanfiction, with some third person "interludes" that tell the tale from other characters' points of view. But Link just MAKES the story! He's sarcastic, realistic, and absolutely everything a main character should be. He has flaws, but he's also very likable and has good qualities that stand out.

Reconciliation is definitely the best out of the two, though, I have to say. Like I said, The Return is just average; Reconciliation is where it gets REALLY good. It adds a touch of darkness to the plot that I really enjoy, being based in A Link to the Past. Unfortunately, she updates VERY slowly, but the chapters are usually really, really long, sooo...

I'm going to spend the whole post talking about this if I go any further, so I suggest you check it out for yourself! XD

Forgotten Demons by Celeborn00 - This is new, hmm? It wasn't included on my previous lists. And I have to say I totally regret that I didn't read this soon enough to put it on them. This story is FANTASTIC. I almost read it a long time ago, interestingly enough -- meaning it was almost the second amazing fanfiction I read, the first being Hero of Wolves (which I'll talk about later). It was on the Hero of Wolves's author's favorites list, and I read the first chapter, but mistook Demon for an OC, and you know how I feel about OCs... XD

Actually, Demon is Link. The plot of this revolves around how Link has become corrupt and now fights in these gladiator-style arenas in a country named Aratia, before he teams up with Zelda and they... well, go on a quest, I guess. I don't want to spoil too much. ;) It's dark, it's violent, it's somewhat overdramatic (especially early on, though the author has grudgingly acknowledged that), but I love it to death. Best of all, compared to most of the stories I'm going to mention, it's updated pretty frequently. I just get SO excited when I see an update for this story in my inbox -- especially now, since a MAJOR plot twist happened earlier, and I'm waiting to see how that will resolve. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good darkfic like me. It's so good. Their writing is okay at the beginning, but it becomes astounding near the end. The plot is amazing and their OCs aren't annoying. If you don't mind something dark, please read it. This person deserves so much more praise than they are given for this masterpiece.

Insomnia by tikitikirevenge - I'm not sure why I put this one third. Even if these aren't officially "ranked," the above two stories are my favorites of all time, so this spot probably should be something at least as original and exciting. Yet I'm mentioning a novelization of Majora's Mask. How can that be interesting and new...?

Oh, I dare you to read this and you'll know.

Insomnia is basically the awesome version of Majora's Mask. Now every single time I play the game, I think of this story. It's unavoidable. They've managed to blend in their own realistic style into this very surreal game flawlessly by seamlessly adding in almost unnoticeable rules about complicated things like time travel. The description is fabulous, and both Link and Tatl, again, are SO amusing to read about in their interactions. Their personalities contrast so well that it provides for plenty of humor, and the constant references to Ocarina of Time make it even better. Tatl's always trying to learn about Link's mysterious past, and for some reason, that's very entertaining.

If you're looking for a long, serious-but-not-too-serious fic based on Majora's Mask, check this out. It's really worth it.

Hit List by zestycrouton - This was number three on my 2011 list. And I still love it. Like I said, I was kind of skeptical at first, as I'm sure any new reader would be. High school fics are among the biggest clichés in the realm of fanfiction, and Zelda ones can be notoriously awful, considering it's a fantasy world. But this blends Hyrule's lore perfectly with modern times. It's really impressive. You won't think much of it in the first few chapters, of course -- it'll seem pretty average. However, one thing you will notice is that every single character in it is based on a Zelda character. EVERY ONE. That means... no OCs, but still an incredible amount of originality, since their backgrounds are completely different to correspond with the setting. It's amazing, and I love seeing how my favorite characters act in different scenarios. It's also interesting how this doesn't only focus on Link, Zelda, or Ganondorf, but there are also several fascinating subplots going on at the same time. The biggest draw, though, is how all of the history of The Legend of Zelda series fits perfectly into a HIGH SCHOOL, of all things! I really can't get over how well the Triforce was implemented, how clever their references to the goddesses worked, how they managed to make a tribute to EVERY SINGLE ZELDA GAME by including at least one character from every one. Even if you hate high school fics or modern day fics, give this a chance. And make sure you read past the first few chapters!

Hero and Moving On by Karama9 - I talked about Hero for weeks at one point. Just constantly talking about how good it was and how much I loved it and how great the plot is and blah blah blah... And there's a reason for that! This actually is a good story. Moving On is Hero's sequel, but it's not very far in development at this point and it's on hiatus -- but fortunately its predecessor is enough enjoyment for me at the time. This story isn't very popular, and I don't see it show up very often. Honestly, I have no clue how I found it, but I'm immensely glad I did. This story is SO unique, in its portrayals of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, in its setting, its plot... everything. Ganondorf has taken over, and Link is afraid of absolutely everything, which is actually quite adorable even though it's probably not supposed to be, hahaha. It's a really great character choice, because it makes him far more relatable and less like the hero of legend that he's supposed to be. Oh -- and, also, it's rated M due to violent content, although it was actually rated T when I read it. There is some intense violence, to warn you. But I like it because Link and Zelda are so cute, which contrasts so well with their environment: they're put into a dismal plot, where Ganon is killing people constantly and they witness terrible horrors and monsters that are from their nightmares, but they're still bickering with one another childishly and becoming excited whenever they make progress, which leaves a sense of innocence in a foreboding world. It makes me overwhelmingly happy whenever they accomplish anything -- it's quite an impressive feat! And I really can't fathom why this doesn't have more reviews; it's baffling to me.

Shadow Lord's Bane, Rebel Assassin, The Wondrous Adventures of the Righteous Maximus, and pretty much everything else by Split Infinitive - Assuming Split Infinitive is a guy... I love this guy. I LOVE THIS AUTHOR. His writing style is so unique and entertaining, his plots original and fun, his style dark, descriptive, and amusing at the same time. Honestly, there's very little that I could say against him. He's so good at what he does -- it's phenomenal. I've loved every one of his stories, except Storm Star and Legend Redux -- which aren't bad, but... well, I never actually finished Legend Redux (I don't really remember why -- I guess I just got bored or forgot about it or something?), and Storm Star... when I first started writing this list, I hadn't actually finished it: I'd stopped about, eh, chapter ten or so, for a very good reason that would spoil too much if I told you. Thinking of this list (because YOU, dear reader, are awesome), I FINALLY decided to return to it and finish it. And it was probably one of the STRANGEST stories I'd read. Not bad, but... so, so, so weird, and kind of depressing for a while, and then it gets better and stranger and... yeah.

The three I listed above are my favorites (along with War of the Fairies which I didn't include up the due to the fact that it's a sequel). The thing is -- his stories are all different! The Apprentice is pretty much your basic in-universe Ocarina of Time fic, with a Gerudo OC that the plot centers around (which is why I don't like this more). It's one of those good, basic, tried-and-true fics that doesn't do much to set itself apart, but it still enjoyable nevertheless. Rebel Assassin is darker, with a more mature storyline and interesting themes of overcoming the evil within. Shadow Lord's Bane is probably my number one favorite, because it's absolutely HILARIOUS -- I laughed SO much at this story. It's a fascinating combination of a serious, adventure-style plot with flat out ridiculous, almost absurdist humor, and it includes parody of many different aspects of literature or various clichés. Actually, the whole story is pretty much a parody of the darkfic genre, with Link supposedly being evil, when in reality everything is lighthearted and ridiculous. And its sequel is War of the Fairies, which is just as humorous and lighthearted with a serious plot as a flawless backdrop. The Wondrous Adventures of the Righteous Maximus is actually a sort of sci-fi Zelda fic -- a rarity to be sure. It's very interesting. The best part about these stories is that they're all very faintly linked together. Now that I've read almost all of his tales, as I'm rereading them I'm catching vague references to his other works in them. It's hard to explain unless you look it up for yourself. He's on my favorites authors list, which consists of six people (most of the rest of which I don't even read anymore) so he's worth a read.

Free As the Wind by S.R.H Fade - I'm finding it hard to say much about this one. It used to be one of my favorites, but as time passes with no updates to refresh my memory of the tale, I'm kind of forgetting it. But it's still really good. Like I said before (it was at number two in my 2011 list), it's about TP Link and OoT Link ending up in TWW Link's world. The plot's fabulous, and the personalities of the Links fit them SO WELL! And I've always loved irony above all else -- you'll see that featured prominently in both the stories I read and write -- and this is FILLED with it. WW Link talks about the Hero of Time, and the Hero of Time is standing right in front of him. That kind of thing. And it's funny, too. There's plenty of entertainment in the relationship TP Link and OoT Link have; they absolutely hate each other, so there's opportunity for both humor and serious characterization. I really hope they update soon.

Beloved Monsters, Masked Dreams, and other stories by Spiritual Stone - Soooo... maybe it's cheating a bit, putting these two together. Masked Dreams and Beloved Monsters are linked in absolutely no way except they're written by the same person. But... eh... I love them both a lot, and I don't really want to make this post any longer than it's already going to be, sooo... we'll leave it here.

Beloved Monsters is my favorite for sure. It's her newest story, but I enjoyed it the most. It's an alternate version of Ocarina of Time, where Link works for Ganondorf and travels with Sheik undercover. And Sheik is separate from Zelda. Sheik is ALWAYS separate from Zelda in her stories. XD In Masked Dreams, Sheik is female, and it's a romance between her and Link, where they... travel around Termina, I guess? I dunno how to really explain it. Just read it and find out for yourself. It's excellent. And there's Fierce Deity! :D

Her plots are always really original and creative, and that's what I love. And her characterization of Link is just AWESOME. Interestingly, I rarely ever like Sheik as his/her own separate character, but I've actually really liked it in Spiritual Stone's stories. I've also read Once Upon a Fairytale and Blue Pearls from her, and they're also excellent. However, she said she probably wouldn't even finish Blue Pearls, which is still ongoing, so yeah. Once Upon a Fairytale was great, placed in an AU (alternate world) fairytale setting and based heavily on Twilight Princess. I reread it just the other day, partially for the sake of this list and partially because I wanted to remember why I favorited it, haha. And it's certainly worthy of my favorites list!

Legend of Zelda: WolfBane AU by Slade1987 - Not to be confused with Wolfsbane by Twilight Stallion, another story that I read that I think was also pretty good, but I don't remember the plot so I couldn't have liked it THAT much... XD Anyway, this is the only rated M story you'll find on this list. Oh, except for Hero. But that was rated T when I read it, so it doesn't count! -.- This used to be on my favorites, but I removed it because there is... er... minor "adult content" in it (so, uh, warning for that) but now I'm rereading it and I love the rest of it so much that I kind of want to add it again, but THEN I'd let the author know I removed it in the first place so I don't know what to do...! XD

But, yeah. WolfBane.

The plot centers around Link being a Wolfos, which, rather than being an enemy like in the games, is a race of shapeshifters that can turn from wolves to Hylians/humans. Link, Zelda, Malon, and Sheik go on an adventure to save Hyrule from Ganondorf, pretty much. The basic story is simple, but there's actually a surprising amount of depth to it. And then there's this god named Ordon that gets involved...  and I looove him. ^^ He tries to manipulate Link. It goes a lot into how different the races are from one another, and it's very interesting. Maybe a bit violent, but, eh. I can't sing praises about characterization for this one like I have for the last few, and in all honesty, the grammar and just writing in general are quite... lacking. Comma splices are extremely common here. But the plot is enjoyable and I really, really like Link's portrayal, which can really make or break a story for me. So I had to mention it anyway. It's worth a shot if you like those wolf-personality dominance stories... like Hero of Wolves, I guess, haha.

Regrets by Yucca - This, like Hero and Moving On, is an undiscovered gem. Again, it's kind of a darkfic. But these are the kinds of stories I like, hahaha. The plot is interesting. There are issues with it, though. MANY issues. It's short. It ends very abruptly, and some ends seem to kind of be left hanging without explanation -- I get the feeling that the author wanted to make it longer but didn't care enough to exert the extra effort. It's a MAJOR shame -- what is there is so amazing, and I've reread it many times. Additionally, I don't like its OCs. I really don't. They're boring and they don't get enough characterization time. And the first chapter is just ridiculous with the amount of detail it gives to things that are never important again. Like I said, it seems like a lot was planned for this, but nothing ever became of it. The whole story seemed kind of... haphazard.

But... I'm making it sound bad. Even with its flaws, it's still on my list, and I love it to death. I like it for its darkness. You'll see what I mean if you read it, haha. If you don't like the idea of Link being a semi-bad guy sort-of-but-not-really... then this might not be for you. (Which is exactly what I should say for Forgotten Demons above, to a FAR greater degree there... but whatever.)

Why You Should Never Travel with Foreigners by LittleBlueNayru - Just... yeah. Read it. All you need to know is it's Twilight Princess, it's based on Midna's nonsense language that she speaks, and it is the funniest thing I have ever read in my life. And I'm actually quite serious about that. I just die with laughter every time I read this. In fact, this could probably be higher as far as personal enjoyment goes, but I decided to put the plot stories first. This is more of something that will make you laugh so hard that people will think you're insane if you read it in public. So yeah.

The Hero of Wolves and Shadow Kingdom by The Wolfess - Considering how high I rated these before, you might be wondering why on earth I didn't mention them right away. To be honest, I've completely lost interest with this series. They're masterfully written, but... I don't like the plot, really. I love the wolf-like mannerisms of Link -- that's what drew me to the story in the first place. But I don't like Dark Link, and he's featured later in these stories (was that a spoiler?). Annnnnd... ugh. The plot of the second story is just killing me, and not in a good way. I don't like it. I can't say why without revealing everything, but... WOLVES ARE SPEAKING GERUDO LANGUAGE. HOW CAN WOLVES SPEAK GERUDO? HOW CAN THEY SPEAK ANY HUMAN LANGUAGE? IT DOESN'T WORK!

And I still hate Dark Link. This story just isn't a good match for me.

However, that doesn't mean I shouldn't mention it. Even if I'm not fond of the sequel, Hero of Wolves is still a great read. And plenty of people love it. The plot is extremely creative, even if it's not my cup of tea. I still suggest that you look into it -- maybe you'll like it more than me.

Ascension by Damien - I'm not sure what to say about this. It's marvelously well-written and very unique, and it takes place after Majora's Mask. It's updated SO slowly though. Fortunately, the chapters are long. It's... different, to say the least. There are a LOT of OCs -- I didn't really hate them, but I can't say they were wonderful, either. But it's interesting in the sense that you can't really tell who the good guys are. The author changed and added a lot of lore that I find interesting, and that I'd suggest anyone to check out.

The Golden Power by DBAinsw - This is a pretty good story about the nature of the Triforce. It's a post-TP tale that follows Link's adventures in two original countries that apparently border Hyrule. It's certainly not a short story, but the OCs are likable and the new countries very believable, so I enjoyed it. It's also one of those stories that make Link and Zelda all-powerful due to their Triforces, and I've always really been drawn to the idea. I like the thought that having the power of the gods in a mortal body can make really interesting conflicts, so it was enjoyable to read.

Also, this person pretty much predicted Fi before Skyward Sword was even announced with their OC Arrika, which I thought was pretty funny at the time...

Fate Favors the Fearless by Freyjadour - Fate Favors the Fearless is a TP-inspired AU ZeLink fic. They changed Ordon to be a warrior village, pretty much, and a separate race on its own, kind of like WolfBane did with the Wolfos. I... think I mentioned this before? Maybe? A lot of the story, at least at this point, is centered around a tournament that Link enters. He faces a lot of racism from the Hylians, though. I really liked it. I've reread it, at least. ('Course, I think I've reread EVERYTHING on this list. XD)

Seven Swords Saga, its sequel, its triquel (or whatever you call it), and various oneshots by Royazali - DID YOU SEE THIS COMING? I mentioned it last time. I also mentioned that this author was nice and helped me beat The Legend of Zelda when I was working on it, so I kind of HAD to mention them out of respect. ...But, of course, I would have mentioned them even without that, because I love these stories so much. XD

Just think of this: every Link ever from every Zelda game ever (except the CD-i because they suck) ends up somehow in the same universe as each other. Except there's one Zelda. And every villain ever ends up kidnapping her all the time. Absolute hilarity.

The humor in this is akin to Why You Should Never Travel with Foreigners -- sarcastic, witty, hilarious, and... awesome. Personally, Seven Swords Summer Vacation is my favorite oneshot -- at the end they all see Skyward Sword unveiled and it's just great. And they play each others' games. And then Seven Swords Saga: CHI, which is a collection of BRILLIANT oneshots, each and every one of which are SO funny. (My favorite is the St. Patrick's Day one!) If you're a real Zelda fan, you'll appreciate the references and jokes that, really, only a Zelda fan would understand. When I first read it, I didn't get everything, because I hadn't played all the games. Now rereading it is that much better because I'm catching so much more than I did before, especially where LoZ/AoL Link is concerned. Of course, to understand most of the oneshots, you actually have to read Seven Swords Saga first, so... go for it! The grammar's not perfect BUT IT'S FUNNY, DANGIT! And the plots actually aren't terrible. The first one's simple, but the sequel and so far the unfinished triquel (or whatever) were decently interesting.


A Wolf in Goat's Clothing by Elphaba-Rose - Now, I'm hesitant to put this on my list, for the same reason I'm hesitant to favorite it: this story is at only six chapters. My new general rule is to not favorite anything under ten chapters, aside from obvious exceptions for intentionally short stories. After all, last recommendation list, I absolutely loved Bright as Night when it was still early in development, yet I ended up losing interest halfway through that one. However... I had to mention this. HAD to. The length is really the ONLY thing keeping me from favoriting it.

It's a Twilight Princess story. Link goes to join the army, but he's suffering from the loss of Midna and the presence of the wolf within him. You know. Typical Twilight Princess stuff. But it's still good! Lots of OCs, though. I should probably hate it more. But I don't. It's a wolf-dominance fic... and people underestimate Link, which is another one of my favorite clichés... so yeah! When I reviewed in November 2012, they said that they'd update in a few weeks, if all went well... and clearly all did NOT go well, since it has not been updated since February of 2012, which is disappointing... but, even so, if you need a quick little beginning story, try this!

Into the Woods by Lyxie - I think the only reason this is low on the list is because I don't really remember it. But I know I liked it. I KNOW I did. There's supposed to be a sequel coming at some point, too, and I'm looking forward to that. This person goes a lot into magic -- Zelda is a sorceress, so they have a really detailed magic system for their world. Link himself is a really awesome character, too. I can't reveal too much, but this is a really good fantasy "fairytale"-type story if you're interested in that.

My Ghost Shouldn't Cry by Spirit the Fire Dragon - Am I putting this on my list? Really? I have mixed feelings about this one, but... okay!

Alternate ending to Skyward Sword. Link dies. Ghirahim is haunted by Link's ghost. That's the basic plot. But, wow, the emotion in this is fantastic. I can admit to crying more than once. I hate the whole "Link dies" plot, usually, but this one, somehow, really entertained me. It's all from Ghirahim's point of view.

Zelda: A Fairytale and The Mystical Ocarina by Sakurelle - I'm almost unsure if I actually do want this on my list here -- at least in the main section and not under "honorable mentions". But I guess I will, heheh.

Both stories are original AU fics based on classic fairytales. The Mystical Ocarina is a parody of Aladdin, whereas Zelda: A Fairytale combines a lot of different tales. They're very cute and keep of the spirit of the genre they're imitating quite well. Zelda: A Fairytale, at least, is extremely entertaining. It was one of the first stories I read, if I recall correctly. Man, I can still remember describing it to my friends back when fanfiction was new to all of us... now we all have accounts and various fandoms we go to...

But, uh, yeah! It's like a fairytale! So... read it if you want! XD

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Mostly stories I've forgotten the plots of and don't know if they're actually any good anymore.)
Sacred Reliquary by Sharper Than the Sword
Fortitude by Ingie
I Just Want a Vacation by -funkmasterjo
Westward! by Shadsie
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Reward by TennisWriter456


I think... that's it for now! If I discover any other marvelous Zelda fics, I believe I will edit this and add them here. Perhaps in another year if there are a LOT of changes, I'll make a new post. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for reading! I apologize to the terribly off-topic post for my regular readers (if there are any) -- I really didn't quite know what to write today as my monthly post, and I'd been working on this list for a while, soo... here you go! This SHOULD be about ALBW and WWHD, but... eh. I'm not inspired to write about them, for some reason. *shrug*

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, everyone!