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The Great Desert is a fan fiction for The Legend of Zelda by Shadsie and Sailor_Lilithchan.
It is the tale of a new legendary adventure set in an original era. Hyrule has become a vast desert. Lands that are still green and watered are scattered and few. It is in this dusty future of Hyrule that a young rancher named Link must take up his destiny and restore the world to balance with the gun, the sword and the courage in his heart.
In other words, it is The Legend of Zelda done with a Wild West flavor plus a few science fiction elements thrown in for good measure. The story runs for sixteen chapters plus a bonus Timeline and notes. The story follows a game-style formula and contains many references to several different canon games.
The Legend of Zelda: The Great Desert contains examples of:
- Acceptable Breaks From Canon – The authors deliberately ignored Word of God on the Legend of Zelda Timeline to create their own linear-based Timeline for the story. This special Timeline is detailed in the bonus chapter.
- Alternate Universe Fic – Technically, the story’s setting is meant to be future Hyrule, however, given its unusual setting and its special Timeline, it may be considered straight AU.
- An Ice Person – Cecelia.
- Anachronism Stew – In traditional Legend of Zelda fashion, the setting has the flavor of an era with a few “out of place” elements. The overall Wild West setting has modern touches such as electricity and television, in addition to science fiction elements such as cryogenic freeze-chambers. Add to this the fairies and the other usual high magic elements of a typical Zelda game and it’s quite a mixed-up world.
- Animal Motifs – The Heroes of the Past first appear to Link in animal form – a wolf for the Hero of Twilight Princess, a hare for the Hero of A Link to the Past, etc.
- Author Avatar – The character Shadow Felix is loosely based on Shadsie. She began as an inside-joke among the authors about the cave hermits in the original Legend of Zelda. She shows up briefly in Chapter 5 to give Link a weapon and a task, then does not show up again. She was Dead All Along
- Baleful Polymorph – Link’s coyote form in the story is similar to the wolf form in Twilight Princess, but much smaller and comes with some added humiliation courtesy of Midna, who finds it amusing.
- Cattle Punk / Desert Punk
- Fantasy Gun Control – Averted. This is Hyrule after the invention of firearms. Swords are still in use by a few people, but they are considered archaic weapons.
- The Gunslinger – Link, but he also remains a swordsman.
- Hijacked by Ganon – Lampshaded and Subverted. Lampshaded by Navi in Chapter 7 when she explains to Link Ganondorf’s usual modus operendi in past (Zelda canon) eras. Subverted when Cecelia wrests the Triforce of Power from Ganondorf late on in the story after being in a power struggle with him since the beginning of the fic.
- Rapunzel Hair - Cecilia's hair is this trope.
- Shout-Out – When Zelda reads Link’s comics in Chapter 3, there is a line taken verbatim from Trigun Maximum. In addition, the “Turn to the Next” prompts at the end of the chapters references the phrase at the end of each of the Trigun Maximum manga books. The fanfiction in general was heavily influenced by Trigun.
- “Hawky,” the messenger hawk featured in Chapter 4 is a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Kokiri reproduction was inspired by the unusual birth method for people in The Twelve Kingdoms.
- While North Castle is a canon location in The Adventure of Link, use of this location also serves as a shout out to a venerated Legend of Zelda fansite
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens – The Goddesses. It is also implied that they originally came from Earth.
- The Magic Goes Away – Hyrule is in a skeptical age. Much of the old magic that made past eras great has vanished or is hidden, and as a result, is thought to have been legend and superstition. Even belief in the Goddesses is dwindling. The Magic Comes Back, mostly due to the actions of Link.
- Training From Hell – Impa Adelaide gives Link this.
- Visions of Another Self - Essentially what Link experiences when he meets Hyrule's past Heroes in visions. Each are the manifestations of who he used to be in his past lives.
- Wall of Weapons – Impa Adelaide has one in her home.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Impa Adelaide has purple hair. Briefly mentioned.