The Lost Woods is a fictional place that resembles many different types of scenarios in life that we all go through : We all feel lost, sad, from within, but still experience a sense of wonder and awe, not to mention a thirst for adventure and a greater cause to be fulfilled in this life. And the Lost Woods, as a place most remembered in the Legend of Zelda video game series, physically embodies all of this. The Lost Woods is a place for the child and adult alike, even for animals….and anyone can get lost inside ---- but the question is this : “Can they ever find their way out again?” Few ever do…..and the path to true life, it seems, really is narrower than we could expect.
Link, the main character in the Zelda games, usually, has to go through the Lost Woods, more than once, and both as a child and as an adult. And he eventually comes to grips with the fact that his only way to freedom, and to save his own life, and his land, is to go through these woods and find his way through….should he fail, he will remain lost inside the woods, for what is possibly an eternity. Thus, he can not, must not, and will not (since he is the destined hero of time, and the one spoken of in ancient legends), fail. It is his destiny to succeed, finding a path through, even in the brokeness and difficulty of it all, making it through the many struggles that the Lost Woods can throw his way…..
In The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, the 1998 smash - hit title from Nintendo, the Lost Woods is first featured ; it is a place initially created for this game, but that has long after remained alive, in the hearts and minds of many avid gamers. I still remember this place, and sometimes I shudder, while at other times, I wish to enter these woods, once more, and become lost for a season in time….sometimes to get away from life’s worries, at other times to find a place all to myself, and to get away from the noise. It all depends. But the ‘Lost Woods’, truly, is needed, in all of our lives, at one point in time or another.
There is no escape from it --- just as there is none for Link. We have all to face up to our own ‘Lost Woods’ at some time. Hopefully, it can be sooner instead of later.
The Ocarina of Time version of the Lost Woods features a very catchy tune, the first of its kind ever introduced, which still long lives on past its time….it will never grow old. The tune goes on and on and on, literally speaking, at times becoming a little less loud (and altogether quiet) as you, playing as Link, actually find the right way out of these woods….and on to freedom. Is it a left turn? Maybe a right? Or, perhaps, to go straight forward?
Make a move and see where it takes you. The Lost Woods is epic, so epic, in fact, that games coming out after Ocarina of Time even began to feature it. The sequel game to Ocarina of Time, which showed a new world and a new storyline and villain, The Legend of Zelda : Majora’s Mask, featured a very similar concept to what was done in Ocarina of Time. This time, the Woods of Mystery was what it was called….but you basically hear the same tune, go through the same type of woods environment, face the risk of getting lost forever, and eventually end up following a white monkey, to your freedom.
And in this area, you end up running into a couple of old hags from your last game --- yes, Koume and Kotake, the two witches who are never up to any good. But this time, they’re the good guys? Can it be? And one of them is injured in the Woods of Mystery, needing your help to get out? Yes, Link to the rescue!
Bring her the potion that her witch twin has prepared for her, and she will immediately recover, fly on her broomstick, and escape the Woods of Mystery by air. She’ll thank you for saving her later. Nice, right?
Other Zelda series games, like A Link to the Past, Oracle of Seasons, The Minish Cap, Four Swords Adventures, Spirit Tracks, Breath of the Wild, and A Link Between Worlds, all have their own ‘Lost Woods’ as well. Each is slightly different, but they all tend to carry the same gist. In fact, actually, the first Zelda title ever made (The Legend of Zelda for NES), some argue, features these woods as well….though some back then may not have known it as the ‘Lost Woods’ until later……
Yet this very early version is not as memorable and classic, or even thorough, as the initial Ocarina of Time version. It is quite simple - looking. It is just a few dead trees put together into a cross - section. But I guess you still can get lost. So that counts for something.
The A Link to the Past Lost Woods seem to be more of a maze, and not exactly a puzzle. And these woods are easier to see, from overhead, as with a map. And, of course, another major difference attributing to all this is that they’re in 2D, respectively, just as the original NES game’s Lost Woods were (and not in 3D, as viewed in Ocarina of Time). And the musical tune is perhaps not as catchy.
In Spirit Tracks, one must also watch for the clues. Certain trees point to the exit. These Lost Woods, however, are as equally easy to get lost in --- if you fail to know this clue in the first place. All in all, regardless of the Zelda game, the point is this : DO NOT GET LOST IN THE LOST WOODS.