A Special Little Guy Running Around: Collecting Compliments in Ocarina of Time
There are a number of latently-transmasculine reasons to replay Ocarina of Time, but none so straightforward as the narcissistic, preening pleasure as speedrunning through seven years’ worth of puberty before a Now Taking Compliments World Tour.
Almost every woman you exchange more than four words with eventually admits she’s got a massive crush on you but her devotion to her duty means you can never truly be together, which only makes you more handsomely intriguing, and then gives you a beautiful jewel (the Zora’s Sapphire, the Silver Gauntlets, the Forest Medallion, a spirited mare) to remember her by. It’s the Pretty Pretty Princess game for non-threatening boys. “Everyone wants to date me! But they can’t! Everyone is pining for me at a safe distance and offering expensive in-kind donations!”
For the particularly dramatic latent-transmasculine type, this is known as the sweet spot between conspicuous, extravagant faggotry and maximalist heterosexuality (see also glam rock, Restoration-era comedies, any Dangerous Liaisons rip-off), a gay fever dream about having five girlfriends who all live in another city and can’t ever visit you.
One of my girlfriends — who doesn’t live around here and can’t visit — is a glamorous cat burglar. She’s older than me, and she has her own place, no roommates even, and she thinks I’m the strongest man in the world.
“If only I knew you would become such a handsome man, I should have kept the promise I made back then...”
Link’s sworn enemy, Ganondorf, has a rival fox-in-the-henhouse grift going, and he’s savvy enough to realize there can be only one Archie in Riverdale. As Nabooru (your cool older girlfriend who goes to another school but really likes you better than anybody at her own school) explains it, “The Gerudo race consists only of women. Only one man is born every hundred years…Our laws say that lone male Gerudo must become King of the Gerudo,” which provides our terrible hero with the perfect opportunity to set himself up as a really chill alternative.
“Oh, wow! That’s really terrible, how you have to automatically treat this really special guy as your king…I would never do that to you if I were the really special guy you all made an exception for…if I were the really special guy you all paid attention to, I’d have a really relaxed attitude about it.”
Another of Nabooru’s countrywomen puts it this way, once you’ve successfully infiltrated their fortress complex (invading women’s spaces! you naughty fellow!!!): “I’ve seen your fine work. To get past the guards here, you must have good thieving skills. I used to think that all men, besides the great Ganondorf, were useless...but now that I’ve seen you, I don’t think so anymore!…Say, you must want to become one of us, eh? All right, then! You’re in from now on!”
If only Ganondorf realized you don’t have to try so hard…just casually show the Gerudo how good you are at hiding behind crates and barrel-rolling and they’ll make you their mascot anyways…it’s actually really easy and casual…It’s honestly not a big deal, it’s just a little certificate that explains the rules don’t apply to me and I’m really, really special and attractive…
One of my girlfriends — who doesn’t live around here and is kind of intense — is like really into me, and her family is loaded and she’s a little scared of her father and I’m a little scared of her and I think her father might be kind of into me too?
“You looked cool...cooler than I thought you would, anyway... Just a little!”
“Link... I would have expected no less from the man I chose to be my husband. Zora's Domain and its people will eventually return to their original state. [Inside the chamber of Sages] And now I grant my eternal love to you. Well, that’s what I want to say, but I don’t think I can offer that now. I can tell that nothing will stop you in your quest for justice and peace...You must take this Medallion... Take it respectfully!”
Yeah, she’s really in love with me, but she really respects my never-ending quest for justice and peace…she actually gave me her family engagement ring but with no strings attached, there’s no expectation that we’re actually going to get married, she just respects my ideals so much that she wanted to, I guess, be engaged to my ideals, but at a really respectful distance…but she’s always thinking about me…some people say the blue of the sapphire actually is a little less blue than my eyes, but I wouldn’t know anything about that….
I Just Naturally Attract Male Attention, I’m Not Seeking It Out
“You're an athletic guy, and you look like you might have a true killer instinct, too.”
If guys happen to notice that about me, you know, I don’t really have any feelings about it one way or another. I don’t have any hangups about it or anything. If an athletic guy who’s on the road a lot happens to compliment my physique I just take the moment as it comes, you know? A lot of guys like to travel and work out.
Oh, This Old Thing?
I guess not everybody likes me? There’s one guy who doesn’t like me, and who gets really mad every time I happen to pick up a new piece of equipment he can’t wield, or I guess sometimes the girls he’s interested in end up being interested in me instead? I’m not really sure, obviously, I don’t really know who he’s interested in, because I really don’t keep track of things like that.
“The Great Deku Tree actually summoned you? Whaaaaaaat?! Why would he summon you and not the Great Mido? I don't believe you! You aren’t even fully equipped yet. How do you think you're going to help the Great Deku Tree without both a sword and a shield ready?…What’s that? Oh. So you've got a Deku Shield... And what’s THAT? Is that the Kokiri Sword? GOOD GRIEF!!! Still, even with all that stuff, a wimp is still a wimp, huh? Shoot! How did you get to be the favorite of Saria and the Great Deku Tree? Huh?! Grumble Grumble...”
And I guess sometimes trees like me better too? I really don’t know, I just know that’s what he said, so I guess he’s really tuned into who likes who the ‘most.’ I don’t really think about relationships in that way, so I’m no expert.
She’s not my girlfriend — she’s super sweet and I’ve known her forever — she always remembers my birthday and she’s one of my favorite people, but I think she knows why nothing’s ever going to happen between us. I guess her wordless, unrequited devotion says something about the kind of effect I have on people without even trying, or without even realizing it, huh? I mean, I guess, since I really don’t even realize the effect I have on people, if I even do have an effect on people, I’m really not sure, I honestly never think about it.
“Oh, you’re leaving... I knew... that you would leave the forest... someday, Link... Because you are different from me and my friends.... But that’s OK, because we’ll be friends forever... won’t we?…I always believed you would come. Because I know you... No... You don't have to explain it to me... Because it is destiny that you and I can’t live in the same world. I will stay here as the Forest Sage and help you... Now, please take this Medallion...”
Ladies, please!! You can all give me jewels and medallions while you tell me how handsome I’ve become….just one at a time, please….I’m only one man (even if I am one man in a hundred, hah hah). I think Malon of Lon-Lon Ranch is also in love with me, even if she never says anything…it was really sweet, actually, she sent a cow to my house so I’d never have to cook for myself again, which was so nice of her…I’m really lucky to be able to rely on my friends for so much. I guess people just like giving me things, really. I’m just a really very special, very unique, very special kind of guy who’s very handsome and totally unforgettable. It was really nice talking to you, but I should probably get going. Did you have any jewelry or something you wanted to give me before I head out?