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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Mimesis | Time: The Conscious Loss of Linearity

Mimesis is a biweekly blog that analyzes media through a philosophical and narrative lens.
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Nicholas Cassano | Staff Illustrator

Memory is the cruelest condition for humanity. It is both fleeting and everlasting, intoxicating in its depiction of the past. Your body carries the burden of its own exercise. Remembrance of an event aches with nostalgia for a moment long passed. It is a timeless reminder that your lifetime is a piece of thread, both straight and knotted — curling in on itself, swallowing its own tail.

There are theories of physics suggesting that you exist in the past, present and future all at once — that every moment you have and will experience is occurring simultaneously. Time itself is a concept, and our place in such a system is an enigma. You have lived through every day you will ever experience — born and dead again. You have met, loved and fallen out with every person you will ever know. 

Even if the theory is a flop, is the result not still the same? Your today is forever, your tomorrow is an impossibility… and your yesterday is a corporate job in your hometown. 

It was over before it started, a summer gig at the office of a Fortune-500 company, AKA cognitive purgatory — the beginning of a vicious monotony. The misery of it was laced with excitement upon the discovery that my coworkers were “Legend of Zelda” fans. A tooth-puller of an icebreaking activity revealed our mutual soft spot for many titles in the series, particularly the groundbreaking “Breath of the Wild” and its upcoming sequel.

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” dropped during our training period. At lunch, I discussed my latest accolades with anticipation for my next session. I would commute home and engorge myself on the adventures the game offered. The days meshed together, an ebbing and flowing of energy.

“Tears of the Kingdom” is an expansion of the revolutionary visual and mechanical strides made by “Breath of the Wild” in 2016. Hyrule underwent changes since I last encountered it, but remains true to its preceding iteration. 

In its opening moves, protagonists Link and Zelda discover the corpse of Ganondorf — the villain of the series — and a glowing arm restraining his body. Chaos ensues when Ganondorf awakens and breaks free from his mysterious prison. Link and Zelda are separated, and our journey begins. 

Playing as Link, we are tasked with finding Zelda, containing Ganondorf and saving Hyrule from the hijinx that are certain to follow. It is a tried-and-true “Legend of Zelda” formula, a reenactment of a story told and retold so many times before.

The hours to follow are reliant on the player. Do you explore the world and its secret dungeons? Or perhaps envelop yourself in the politics of Hyrule’s villages? Maybe you delve right into the story, ardent in your duty to save the princess. 

The approach to storytelling is new for the series and for Nintendo. The events of the game are entirely nonlinear — the choice is always yours.

Zelda’s point of view is tied to the discovery of glyphs across the land. There is an intended order in which to view her perspective, but the narrative can be uncovered independently of the suggested sequence. I learned this the hard way — my first glyph contained the major plot twist and pinnacle of the game’s story. 

Zelda accidentally traveled back in time. In her own adventure, she meets the original king and queen of Hyrule. She realizes there is no hope of returning to her own era unless desperate measures are taken.

In my accidental choice to watch the final glyph, it is revealed that Zelda transformed herself into a dragon — living in her altered state for thousands of years in hopes that Link would uncover the truth. She has seen every mountain peak, every river and valley, every tragedy that unfolds beneath her. She watched and waited like a helpless god, a spectator in her own story. Hers are the tears that fall upon the kingdom; her suffering the namesake of our journey before we hit “start.”

I haven’t finished the game — not even close. There are shrines still to uncover, enemies waiting to be slain, time left to pass. I know how the story ends, I’ve traversed the countryside with a fine-toothed comb in hand. And in my Hyrule, Zelda is still floating above the cloud, trapped in a crying body. The iteration of Link I control will never free his princess from her selfless effort. My Link will never be a hero. 

The “Legend of Zelda” timeline is complex. Each game intertwines with the rest of the series to form a tree of outcomes and stories. “Tears of the Kingdom” is nestled in this timeline like any other title, but it is widely understood as a prequel to the events of even the games placed earliest in the history.

I don’t know if I will revisit my old save file, or if I will wipe the slate clean and try again. I am both stuck in my summer office and watching November bloom and disappear. There’s a thunderstorm boiling overheard when I run to my car, and I almost see snowflakes landing like ash on my windshield. Even in winter, I’m living through heat lightning and changing colors.

I’ve already saved Zelda at some insignificant point in the timeline of my life. Like her, I bide my time and take the seasons as they come. I have touched every moment that will reveal itself to me, the future glinting in the reflection of my sunglasses as I drive home on a Thursday in July. The present is a blanket-covered evening in the city. “Now” was once a shimmering uncertainty — always the future, always the present, always the past.

My memory preserves the seconds like dried flowers. Growing, dying and living forever. But in my mind live the pressed petals of my life, still vibrant and sweet-smelling. Reuniting the princess and her knight will be a special flower to pick as my own when the time comes. For now, I’m satisfied to know that such a moment is stretching upwards and unfurling itself for the sun. Biding its time, unwilting while it waits.

About the Contributor
Chloe Woodruff, Staff Writer
Chloe is an English Writing and Philosophy major with a love-hate relationship with reading. Ironically, she primarily blogs about literature and narratives across mediums.  Write to her at  or check out her Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/chlobees