As seen in: The Battle of Olympus (NES)
Distinguishing feature: Imagine Link with sandals.
Strengths: Teaching Power Players about Greek mythology.
Weaknesses: That damned Lamia.


Profile by Tomm Hulett? | January 23, 2011


As a child, Orpheus played a lot of Zelda II. A LOT of it. We're talking a love of mythical proportions. When his friends moved on to Ninja Gaiden and Pavlos Bros. 3 (not a lot of games were localized into Ancient Greek), Orpheus’s parents didn’t have enough olives to buy any new games, and so he remained in Hyrule with the Octoroks, Tektites, and Leevers. His obsession reached such a point that when his mother forced him outside into the woods to play, he spent hours in a green toga learning to brandish his club and hold his homemade shield in poses that mirrored Link's sprite perfectly. He learned to jump like Link, crouch like Link, and even jump over doorways he didn't want to go into when bored, exactly like Link.

Needless to say, when Hades kidnapped his girlfriend, Orpheus was more than prepared to descend into the Netherworld and battle a shadow to get her back. He made short work of the Cyclops, thanks to Gooma, and those stupid ratmen meant Orpheus never fell victim to a Satyr attack. He sidestepped the normal learning curve associated with firing flames and beams from a sword, and knew exactly how to handle a reflective shield. Unfortunately, there were things that a childhood wasted on Zelda II did not prepare him for. Orpheus never did adjust to riding dolphins, and attempting to walk upside down on the ceiling was a hit-and-miss endeavor for the young man. Greek poets still sing of the hissy-fit Orpheus threw when he received an ocarina instead of a flute. How on Earth was he to banish a stone beast without a flute!?

He would later refer to his journey away from Zelda II as a “growing experience,” and in one telling interview remarked, “On the one hand, I found out up and down thrusts are physically impossible. But, on the other, I didn’t have to deal with MP or an archaic experience point system.” His relationship with Zelda II came to an epic conclusion when, while playing music in the woods one day, he encountered his hero, Link himself. Flustered, Orpheus stammered a few words and gave the only gift he had: an ocarina. And while Orpheus never looked back to that NES classic, he takes a fair bit of pride that the ocarina has remained an integral part of Link’s arsenal ever since.


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