Why Vaati?

Child Era

It all started when I was 7 or 8. My sibling introduced me to The Legend of Zelda series with The Minish Cap. I didn't mind much at first, back then I barely could make it past the first boss. When I was getting stuck in the game, I would restart a new game, on and on. It was not about Vaati so far. For now he was just the "random" villain I would have to defeat. I just really enjoyed the universe, the music, that ancient and legendary time feeling. The introduction of the game only was giving me goosebumps everytime. I remember trying to draw the stained glasses from that introduction because of how obsessed I was with its music and its visuals.

Since I was a poor gamer back then, I watched my sibling play through all the game instead. I was so fascinated by all the adventures that laid beyond my skill. The game looked so pretty. Also I was obsessed with the concept of the four elements at that time because of another media, and specifically with the wind element. My great passions were tornadoes and cyclones. I drew these all the time, and all my school presentations were about this. I never really had an idea why tornadoes and cyclones specifically, except that I probably deemed them as the most powerful force of nature and that they looked both scary yet beautiful and fascinating.

Back to the main story: then came the time of the final confrontation with the main villain, as my sibling called him. As usual, I was watching the screen as they played. Things started shattering for me when Vaati entered his Vaati Reborn form. I thought that he looked so cool like that, and I might have been blushing already. But the one thing I was sure was that I didn't like feeling these things. In my manichean child mind it was wrong: I couldn't find a villain cool or anything more. Especially, in my translation of the game, he is referred to as a title a child would only associate with romantic endings of fairytales, but with a twist to it.

The final nail in the coffin was the very end of the game, in the end credits. All the artworks of the characters and of certain scenes were fading in and out. I felt like struck by lightning when I saw the artwork depicting Vaati. What was once a "random" villain made of a bunch of pixels was now depicted in his full canon appearance and... he looked beautiful and intimidating. My mind hated these thoughts at the time, it made no sense, how could I crush on a villain? I let the picture on the screen fade as I remain viusally silent, and after letting the next one pass I pretended I was tired and went to my bedroom to hide under the covers and try to forget about what just happened, and what I felt. I started imagining scenarios where Vaati would come out of the fictional world and would kidnap me and force me to marry him. Please note that I didn't know anything about Four Swords at the time, and even less about its plot.

And so I tried to forget him for many years. Obviously in vain as his name and the slowly fading memory of his image were still haunting me nonetheless. Anything afterwards could make me have some kind of trauma flashback like reactions, be it in games or in real life. I refused to touch a Zelda game afterwards, fearing he would be there waiting for me. The only exception I made was Phantom Hourglass once my sibling played it and I saw no sign of Vaati in it. A funny fact though: the thing scaring me in that game were the cyclones happening in the Great Sea.

Teen Era

So what led me up to this? What led me to making a full site as a love declaration to a video game villain that traumatized me as a child?

Well, as many teens, I struggled but I especially went through a deep depression, caused by bullying in middle school and an overall lack of sense in life. One day, I heard again about the Zelda series via a Youtube video. His name, although never truly gone, appeared once more in my mind. Going through depression and teenage angst I couldn't care more and decided to... type his name in my browser. Not without some cold sweats. Once images appeared before me, I wasn't panicking like I was as a child but my heart sure was. I recognized to myself almost mockingly that I didn't have bad tastes back then, because he was indeed very pretty. But such a superficial statement of course wouldn't suffice to what would come next. I right away decided to learn more about him, first from the wikis, then whichever doubtly reliable sources about his canon were out there. One of the first things I learnt, and that shocked me, was that he was a "wind mage". He never was refered to as such in Minish Cap, else I would have remembered for sure (and he indeed isn't), he only was in Four Swords. I was shocked because let's be real, a child with an obsession for tornadoes, cyclones and wind sure isn't a common occurence. And I had struggled so much in my childhood with finding cool characters associated with this element, but *this* guy right here was associated with it all along?? What were the odds. Then came the plot of Four Swords: he snatches women and once wanted to make Princess Zelda his bride. Just like this scenario I imagined right after seeing him for the first time. It felt just as if I had read through him and his "intentions" back then.

What followed after was me watching an entire playthrough of Minish Cap, to get to learn all about his canon there. I had missed some parts when I was a kid. What touched me was his backstory as a Minish. It was clearly implied that he never felt good enough as the apprentice of the sage Ezlo, along with falling into fascination with the darkness in the hearts of men. His color scheme didn't leave much imagination to how ostracized he could have been from the other Minishs. Bullying clearly had took a toll on my already almost non existent self esteem, I was depressed only seeing darkness everywhere, and something within me definitely was different. He was me. A once brilliant, "gifted" student fallen into disgrace.

From this day on where I had typed his name in the searchbar for the first time I got... addicted to looking at pictures of him. There wasn't a day goinf by when I wasn't doing this after school. It felt as if he was with me in a way. He was giving me strength. At first I only saved his official art for "old time's sake". Then a funny comic, then the main popular pictures on Google Images. Then it turned into a full hunt for every good fanart existing of him. At first I thought I was only admiring him, because he came from a similar background as I did and he didn't let anyone come between him and his ambitions. In truth, I was little by little falling in love.