The Quest For The Wild Switch

The Quest For The Wild Switch
Courtesy Photo The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released March 3 on Nintendo Switch and Wii U systems. Nintendo Switches often sell out rapidly from retailers.

Courtesy Photo
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released March 3 on Nintendo Switch and Wii U systems. Nintendo Switches often sell out rapidly from retailers.

I awoke Monday with a gray cloud hanging over my head.

Dragging myself out of bed was a chore. Walking the dogs pained me. The prospect of breakfast made me feel ill. So I sat down at my computer and went through my daily routine of checking e-mail, Facebook, my bank balance… the usual. But this morning, something was amiss. Where my balance would usually read something pathetic, there glowed an amount I’d been striving for since the first of March – the amount of a Nintendo Switch.

The Gods of Hyrule smiled down on me and had bestowed me with enough money to finally purchase the elusive, fabled Nintendo Switch, the latest in a long line of near-indestructible game consoles. Yet, it was a game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that was my object of desire. A game I have dreamed about since its announcement, nay, since before then. You see, it’s a masterpiece of a game. A world full of magic and monsters, wonder, temples, and treasures, all mine to explore. But first, I had to obtain a mighty Switch.

So I clutched my earthly rupees to my chest after getting a map from Brent, a fellow Nintendo cohort, to many a possible location of the console itself, and I set out on my mighty steed, Epona the Honda Civic. My first stop was to be the Mart of Walls on the other side of town.

As I proudly walked in, rupees held firmly in my Overwatch wallet, I made haste to the electronics section. As I perused, my eyes were met with only games: No consoles. The first trial had defeated me, but hope was not yet lost. I rushed to the exit, nervously shuffling and making sure I looked like I didn’t steal anything — the way one does when they leave a store empty-handed. I climbed into Epona and started her up. Luckily, the Mart of Walls was extremely close to the next spot marked on my map: Gamestop.

I strolled into the small store and I went through the usual secret nerd codes with the staff to identify each other, pointing out exclusive details, displaying interest in ancient computer games that only the truly nerdy are familiar with, before I asked the associate about the console responsible for my quest. Instantly, the entire place fell silent.

“We’re sold out,” said the gent behind the counter. “No idea when we’ll get any more.”

Crushed, I forced a smile. I said my goodbyes, saluted them as only a true-born geek would, before making my way back to my steed. I had a sinking feeling as I climbed in and turned the key. The odd way the associates had shut me down struck me as suspicious. So rather than drive, I got out my cell phone, now putter along at a measly 25 percent.

I called every Best of Buys in the tri-state area, all were sold out. Every Mart of Walls. All the gaming markets. It was as if some nefarious person was hoarding the Nintendo Switches to themselves. (It was Easter. That was the reason. That damn bunny had stolen them all.)

Defeated, I climbed back into Epona and drove home. I took half of the rupees and put them in a jar, resolving to wait and save for just a couple of weeks, because they had to be back on shelves by then, right?

As I lay in my humble dwelling, I think back to why I even began this quest. I’ll never forget the Christmas I unwrapped my brand new Nintendo 64 and began playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the first time. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I spent weeks immersed in that world, becoming the Hero of Time. The excitement at seeing Hyrule fleshed out in such a way was indescribable. To this day, Ocarina of Time is commonly cited as the greatest game ever made.

It was that magic I wanted to recapture. That sense of escape and wonder. Breath of the Wild is very much a spiritual successor to Ocarina, except that that immersiveness is about one thousand times more than what it was. I wanted the freedom to explore a world of wonder and magic, one that was both totally familiar and altogether new. And I had failed.

My phone buzzed. A text from Brent, my cohort.


But it’s too late now. What I didn’t place in the jar, I used to make my dogs and cats, and by extension myself, happy after a night of defeat. I no longer had the money, and besides, the merchants can’t hold the Switch, nor are you allowed to pay one off slowly at Gamestop.

I swear unto thee, soon I will have one of my very own, and soon I will be soaring the Hyrulian Wilds. What a quest I have to come. What a quest indeed.

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