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Link couldn't decide whether to just close or slam the door behind him, his anger tempered by his fear and confusion.  How could Telma even think to tell him that he "shouldn't come back for a while?"  She owed him not just her life, but the lives of a lost girl and a dying Zora!  Had it not been for him the Bulblins would have burned them all to a crisp out in Hyrule Field, and now he wasn't so much as welcome in the bar?!  How could she weigh the piercing, bespectacled glare of Shad, a comment that there's no need for swordsmen in a time of peace, and the frightened stares of a handful of customers over the monumental deeds of the hero of all Hyrule?!

Gripping his forehead with his fingers over his eyes, the once solid rock that had never cracked or shifted in the quakes of his journey now felt that he finally was crumbling.  Had this been the first time something like this had happened, he would have stood up to his detractor and defended himself; a few controlled but stern words could have silenced anyone foolish enough to challenge the hero.  Yet this was but the clearest instance of someone implying that he now was not wanted, that his time had passed, that he should simply go back to unknown obscurity in his distant little village.

Truly that would not have bothered him much at all, had things turned out as they should have.  Link could have accepted his old, fairly quiet life in Ordon Village, tending to his humble flock, making up for the mistakes of his bumbling friend Fado, leaving occasionally only to visit and reminisce.  But trying to do that while being utterly unable to forget the crushing final event of his adventure left him only with a dark, gaping hole in his heart, the shards of that chasm being scattered irrevocably by the one who had formed that hole, and who was now the only one who could possibly fill it.

Link had already spent countless hours repeatedly riding down to Lake Hylia, having Fyer rocket him to the desert without explanation, trekking the entire way to the Arbiter's Grounds and then to the Mirror Chamber, holding desperately onto the hope that she would have realized that they needed to be together and that she had found out how Zant and Ganondorf had infiltrated the world of light.  If she could just be standing there, if she were just waiting to run into his arms promising that she would never do anything to separate them again, if he could finally be reunited with his precious, invaluable princess…  Who was always as gone as the day she had torn them apart.  All he could do then was to let himself land with the thud of a dead body as he fell flat on his face where the Mirror of Twilight should have been and pray unendingly to the goddesses that they would just bring the Midna he loved back to him.  He would cry out for her in the unyielding desert sun so long that he would nearly die of dehydration, and then lie silent as though he already were dead in the cold darkness of night.  Only when he would be revived by a fairy that he carried along with him would he come to his senses and act like the survivor that he was, and leave the Chamber knowing that he had utterly failed.  (Sometimes he also needed that fairy to heal the wounds on his head that came from banging his head on the metal frame that once held that cursed yet blessed Mirror.)

At other times, Link would try to relive his trials through traveling to the various places that once held meaning to him, yet this would always prove to be an empty practice.  Whether riding through Hyrule Field, whether swimming in the depths of the Lakebed Temple, or whether falling level after level in the Cave of Ordeals, it was always rather pointless; no longer were there any beasts living there to bring down with his sword.  Truthfully, even if there were enemies to fight, Link realized that attacking them should not bring him any kind of satisfaction.  He had had his fill long ago of bloodshed; the very fact that he had been looking for something to kill made him question what kind of hero he had been.  Was he really the great savior of Hyrule, who did everything for the good of the people, or had he been a lover of destruction, a man of blood?  He could not deny, even to himself, that he occasionally enjoyed slashing a Kargorok's wings off with his sword, shooting an arrow into the eyes of a Bulblin Archer, or taking bite after ruthless bite out of a Twilit Messenger as a wolf.

Still standing there in the cold, damp back alley outside of Telma's Bar, the thought of ever feeling elated by his wonton bloodshed made the hero shudder.  Becoming cognizant once more of where he was and what had just happened, Link thought back to the stark difference between the way that he had been treated soon after his final victory over Ganondorf and the way that he was looked at now…
This is the first chapter in The Hero's Dilemma, a continuation of the plot of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

In order to fully appreciate what Link is going through in my stories, it is best to try to imagine one's self as Link, rather than as a passive outsider. I would recommend reading these stories a bit slower than one normally might, as that seems to be the best way to enter Link's mind.

All characters and places property of Nintendo.

Chapter 2 - [link]
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:iconzophirus:
You've told me that there's a revision of this to come and I'm looking forward to it. I'd like to offer my thoughts on the current version even though I know it's from your earlier writing days. Hopefully, there may be something of use in there. Much of it you probably already know ;)

One little niggly thing, sadly, to start with. It would be really helpful to briefly say in your author's comments that this is TP Link - that way, the reader knows from the offset which Link they're dealing with. I know you refer to Ordon Village and I'm sure your character references are from TP (I can't remember, haven't played it for years) but that author's comment would be a great thing to arm your reader with, I think :)

Now, onto the story itself. I love the concept here - it's an idea I've considered myself and I just love how you approach it. Can you picture Link settling down to a normal life after he's slain Ganon? No, he's going to get antsy and restless and of course, the people who so worshipped him in his moment of victory will tire of the Hero when they no longer need him. Great stuff. I also like how you reflect on people's misgivings rather than having a chain of events in the present, which can feel cheap. Because you have Link thinking back on those events, they could be spread out over days, weeks, months or even years. It just builds the setting in a much more believable way.

On the downside, there are moments where your sentences run a little too long, in my opinion. Long sentences aren't necessarily a bad thing but I've found that they need to be tempered with shorter sentences to make your writing accessible to the average reader. Then again, paragraph four opens with two sentences, each running at five lines. That's a bit on the heavy side ;) Also, your use of quotes in the opening paragraph feels a little bit wooden. I totally see why you've used them but the execution could do with a little work.

You describe things in great detail here and that's definitely a good thing; the reader is drawn into Link's mindset and can't help but feel what he feels. The only slight barrier to that, in my view, is the writing style. Shorter sentences can heighten the emotional impact of what you're saying, which would definitely bring home the sense of desperation and emptiness you're portraying.

I'm really looking forward to the new version of this and as I say, I'm sure those rather harsh words about the writing style were things you already knew but I feel obliged to mention them :) The important point to take away from this though is that I love the story and am really looking forward to reading the following chapters as well as your revisit of this one! ^_^
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:iconagentsuchiko:
AgentSuchiko Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautifully written. The way the words are written really makes one feel what Link is going through.
It's nicely paced as well. Looking forward to reading the next chapters. :heart:
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:icon5ilvara:
5ilvara Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm too lazy to make a crtique, but here you have:
+ for evenrything in: the theme; the writing (through Zophirus is right); the vocabulary; and the style.
- for Link's personalty - a bit too prone to self-apitoiement; for reffering through his point of view to events like him crying, on a mater-of-fact informative bland tone which discredit his masculine pride in the context.
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:iconskullcroos:
SkullCroos Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This story questions your self ... Are you a bad guy or a good guy ? Many will say good guy ... but only little thinks about it very deeply ...

This is an amazing story dude keep going
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I thank you sincerely. I'm not sure if I had even thought about that before, how The Hero's Dilemma (especially Chapter 1) could make one question whether one could truly be called a good guy, but knowing that it could lead the reader to seriously evaluate one's self is itself a humbling thought. I thank you in particular for telling me that that was a thought that the story evoked in you. :thanks:

I will certainly keep going on this story; I believe you will find the rest of the story rather thought-provoking as well.
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:iconskullcroos:
SkullCroos Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are many questions that dont have answers, but like church you only need "faith" and pass on ... We good lots of problem right now and i dont think that sitting down and let it be will change things.
Im atheist mate and i think in many diferents ways than an normal guy would. just think in this word... "What If..."
"What if you didnt kill im" (a villain, like bowser or ganon)
"What if we didnt jump 20 feet above the ground ?"(jumping from a building to a pool)
"What if ...
And the list goes on ... You can guess your route but never know what will comes next you only have to guess and have crossed your fingers that that guess will come true or wrong

Im very interested now in your story because it got my atencion in the way you made it, Many dont question them self if they did the right thing or the bad thing in there lives. Questions are the key of knowledge thats what i see in your story =D if you trigger one, it triggers many others.
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Hobbyist
I don't have words! Really... I think I'll love all your chapters. How many are you expecting to write?
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Hmm hmm hmm, thank you! :D I don't think I've revealed this to anyone before, but I guess there's no real harm in doing so; I'm planning on having nine chapters in all in my story.

By the way, before I forget, thank you for all the faves, too. :)
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist
Hi there!!! ^^
I've featured this here: [link]
T.T you didn't write the next oneeees!!!! T.T
You evil peeeerson! xD
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:fear: I'm the villain!!! :cries: XD
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist
Yes you are my friend!!! -.- I want to read this and I can't!!! :cry: EVIL!
But that's ok... take your time... even if there are people suffering becouse of that! xD NOW I'm the evil one! :evillaugh:
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011  Hobbyist
Thank you for revealing that to me! ^^
And you're welcome! You are an awesome writer.
I asked that to you because I was thinking if you would let me print this so it could be easier for me to read (sometimes I don't have net... -.-). And I only ask this when I really love the story. So, I wanted to know how many chapters would your story have because of that. Could I print it, please? I would put your name there, of course... and the book would be just for me.

^^
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my, I'm glad I found this request again! ^^; And yes, if you still want to you may print them out. Thank you for asking. :)
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist
YES!!! I want!! Of course!! :hug: thank you! ^^
I'll be waiting for the chapters that remain. So, I'll stop reading for a while. Then, I'll come back! MUAH AH AH!! xP
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Lol, okay. :aww: Have you read Chapters 5 and 6 yet, or are you saving them for later?
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:iconthejoanapadj:
TheJoanaPADJ Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist
Saving them for later!!! :la:
And I'll read since the beggining! :la:
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:iconfinalsage:
FinalSage Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
well I can't deny that your writing has skill, and the story has interest, it does seem to be out of character for link, and not in his nature, to ever or have ever in all his incarnation acted this way, he just dosen't seem to type to lament, he's more the type to silently mourn the losses of his loved ones as he leaves the land that hold nothing more for him, link has always been one to head off into the sunset when his time is done, when the land has no need of hero's and those most precious to him have so long since left it.
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I apologize for not responding to this comment for so long; I'm not quite sure why I didn't say anything earlier, as I've already known what I wanted to say. I do wish to thank you, first of all, for complimenting my writing and considering the story to be interesting so far.

Concerning Link and his character (at least that of Twilight Princess Link), I think I look at him in a different way than you had been. I view Link as having held back his emotions throughout his adventure, trying not to let them show because the hero needed to be the strong one; if he had let himself show his pent-up emotions from fighting and exerting himself constantly, even if no one else were around, Midna would still be right there, and Link would fear (greatly, I think) that she would lose respect for him if he did so. Once his mission was complete, having lost both the one he loved and the very strong sense of purpose, he was finally able to let down his guard, at least in private. As far as how he came to show his emotions when others could see him, one must read on in the story to find out. (I'm assuming you had read only the first chapter when you wrote your comment.)

Concerning leaving Hyrule, I don't think that's something TP Link could stand to do. Hyrule was Link's home; everything he did was for Hyrule. Growing up, he was never looked down upon or treated as an outsider in the way other Links often were; rather, he grew up with everyone in Ordon Village liking him and clearly being looked up to by the children, and the same was true during his adventure. He even partnered with others from Hyrule (i.e., the Resistance) in his attempts to save it, and I believe formed a rather strong camaraderie with them for a time. He thus had a very strong connection with Hyrule; leaving it would mean not only leaving everyone he knew and cared about, it would essentially mean leaving behind his very identity. Hyrule simply needed to have more for Link, no matter what it was. He could handle going without love or without really being needed by his people, but not without both; if going to the Twilight Realm to return to Midna wasn't an option, he would do whatever he could to find meaning in the land he loved.
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:icondarkinuyasha7:
DarkInuyasha7 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Student Artist
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Ho ho, I have to love a simple display of enthusiasm like that from time to time. :D Thank you very much for watching me, too! :thanks: I hope you'll continue to enjoy the story. :)
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:icondarkinuyasha7:
DarkInuyasha7 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2011  Student Artist
YESH I WILL!!!
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:iconlovestories4:
lovestories4 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I remember as I played the game I just wanted to kill something, but I didn't want to defeat Ganon just yet. (Very vilent of me, heh...) I never realy liked Shad.
Also it lookes to me that it will turn out to be a good story. (I had to look up the meaning of some words =D)
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I can relate to that feeling well, though that may be needless to say. I think for me it was something of a feeling of imbalance, like I was just too powerful somehow. I'm not sure if I felt that way the first time I played through the game, but I did in the latter part of the game in subsequent times. The last time I played it I even went through the Cave of Ordeals countless times with self-imposed restrictions, like using no potions, Chu Jellies, the Magic Armor, etc., using the Ordon Sword instead of the Master Sword, or wearing the Zora Armor to make me weak to fire and ice, and it still just wasn't enough of a challenge. :hmm:

Well anyway, thank you for enjoying Chapter 1, and thank you for continuing to read further (and commenting and faving along the way). :)
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:iconhikarimichi:
HikariMichi Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2010  Student General Artist
I think this was very good and that you created an interesting character out of the Link we see in the game. I'll read more when I remember to. It felt quite realistic and it fits with the game, so, great work with this!
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much, both for your compliments and for the favorite! I'm glad you think my continuation of Twilight Princess's plot and my characterization of Link are fitting. I hope you continue to enjoy my story!
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:iconhikarimichi:
HikariMichi Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Student General Artist
yes, you're very welcome! :)
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:iconone-red-butterfly:
one-red-butterfly Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
yeah. what happens after the hero saves the day, really?

i say he should find someone else to save. once a hero, always a hero.
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
As you've seen, that's exactly what Link deeply wishes to do. Kind of incredible how hard that can end up being, even for him.

Thank you for all the favorites, by the way. :thanks: I'm glad you've enjoyed so much of my writing. :)
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:icondesert-poppy:
Desert-Poppy Featured By Owner May 5, 2010
Hey, just found your site today, really enjoy it! This is the first chapter I've read so far, but this line really stood out to me, made me kinda sad; "Yet this was but the clearest instance of someone implying that he now was not wanted, that his time had passed, that he should simply go back to unknown obscurity in his distant little village." Aww... needless to say, if I'm feeling those feelings, you're doing a great job! I can't wait to go read more of it! :D Just had to comment!
Oh! I'm also writing a continuation of TP, but it's very different from yours. I'm planning on posting it on fanfiction.net, but it would honor me very much if you would read/edit just the first chapter as to not bore you with the rest. I'll post it later this afternoon. Thank you so much! :thanks:
Meanwhile, onward to reading! (guess who! :D)
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner May 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! It's great that you can feel what Link feels in this chapter. :)

Oh, but I will need the name of that chapter and/or your name on fanfiction.net if you want me to read it. Or just a link to it directly from here; that would be the best thing. Does one need to be a member of the site to comment on it, though? I'm not a member of fanfiction.net.

Anyway, I'll read it when I can. :aww:
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:icondesert-poppy:
Desert-Poppy Featured By Owner May 6, 2010
The story is now posted in my scraps. Sorry it took so long, I've never uploaded literature to DA. >< Thank you again for wanting to read it! I feel so honored!
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:icondesert-poppy:
Desert-Poppy Featured By Owner May 5, 2010
You're welcome! Yes, I can, because you're a great writer!

It's not posted up anywhere yet. On fanfiction, I go by the same name here, and I think you do need to be a member to comment on ff.net, though I've never not logged in and tried! :D I'll try to post it here on DA first in my gallery. It will have to be later around 4:30, because I'm at work now. Hee hee! :D

Thank you so much for your time! :tighthug:
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:icontears-of-the-rose:
tears-of-the-rose Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010  Student Writer
Beautiful, really beautiful.

I love your writing style and your use of adjectives. I have been looking for a good story with the implement of MidnaxLink and have finally found one :)

Keep writing!!!
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much indeed! That you like my writing style so much means a lot to me; I wish to see how well I can write overall and am currently working on some new things to help me see what I can do, but your comment on my first story is still quite encouraging to me. :) I am also grateful that you commended my use of adjectives; as I am still developing a writing style, just being reminded of what helped make my previous writing good can help me think of ways to improve what I am working on now, even when it's something as basic as the way I had used adjectives previously.

I must thank you also for watching my account; I hope that you will continue to enjoy my writing. :thanks:
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:icontears-of-the-rose:
tears-of-the-rose Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010  Student Writer
I'm sure whatever you write will be brilliant whether has anything to do with Zelda or not. :)
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I am quite grateful for your confidence in me. :aww:
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:iconlinkxmidnaxlove:
linkxmidnaxlove Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010
love it!!
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :thanks:
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:iconlinkxmidnaxlove:
linkxmidnaxlove Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010
its ok
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:iconpeacethroughpower:
PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010
So very true indeed, I love it! ^^
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! :thanks: I'm glad you've enjoyed my story so far. :)
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:iconpeacethroughpower:
PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010
You're very welcome! ^-^ I have. :D
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:iconblueangel10:
Blueangel10 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010  Student General Artist
Cool style... Love your way with words...
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you indeed! I'm glad you like my style so much. :)
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:iconblueangel10:
Blueangel10 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Student General Artist
^____^
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:iconephriokko:
Ephriokko Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2010  Student
Man. Oh, man... Wow.

Maybe it's just the way I read things, maybe it's the way you wrote this, but I only had to read through it the first time to feel like it was me there instead of Link.

The emotions are really powerful here, which IMO is a sign of great writing. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of your gallery. =)
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I think it's fantastic that you were able to put yourself into Link's place that easily and that well; it's a goal of mine to help the reader to do just that, but in the end I think the reader has to choose to some extent to enter the main character's mind. I am very glad you enjoyed this chapter so much, and that you kept reading throughout my story (and my poems). :)
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:iconephriokko:
Ephriokko Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2010  Student
It's no trouble at all! =) I'm always happy to read through quality works.
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:iconnitrinoxus:
Nitrinoxus Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This is brilliant! I really hope that something allows Midna to reenter the World of Light.

Actually, I'm writing a LoZ fanfic myself, which revolves around the Twilight Realm. If you have the time, check it out and give me your take on it.
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:iconangstofzant:
AngstOfZant Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! :thanks: And yes, I think I can take a look at your story pretty soon. :)
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:iconnitrinoxus:
Nitrinoxus Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Cool.
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