From YX to NX

The humble beginnings of a lifelong adventure


Astoundingly close to NX, the codename for the Switch.

YX was the file name chosen for A Link to the Past, the first Zelda game I was exposed to. My older brother got an SNES for one of his birthdays and asked a guy working at Target, “What are some good games to get?” To which he responded, A Link to the Past and Super Mario Allstars.

Years later, this anonymous target worker has drastically altered the course of my life. What if he had said suggested different games? Where would I be now and what would I be playing? Even stranger is the thought of having grown up with a Sega Genesis instead. Many important decisions were made before I had the voice to affect them.

YX, because my brother, being fairly young, didn’t grasp the concept of naming a file and simply pressed buttons until the game started. YX went on to collect three pendants of virtue across Hyrule, unsheath the Master Sword, and was then warped to a strange and abandoned world. I sat back and watched YX repel the ultimate evil and return peace to Hyrule.

Years later, I’m now hunkered deep in a chair with my mind hunkered even deeper into a tiny screen in my hands. This is the Switch, Nintendo’s latest attempt at revolutionizing video games. Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing console/handheld I’ve ever laid eyes upon.

YX has travelled from the second dimension to the third dimension, from SNES to Switch, and many other places in between. And although his quest remains mostly unchanged, there’s always feeling of wonder watching a new world unfold before your eyes. In this case in particular, the most expansive Zelda world yet.

Years later, I hope to share these adventures with the next generation, that they might also find themselves as YX, in a new and confusing world and on a journey that spans years and dimensions. I am beyond thankful for the people in my life who lead me to the Legend of Zelda.