Web Video / The Legend of Neil

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"The last thing that Neil remembers, he was drunk, playing a game of Zelda..."

The Legend of Neil is an Affectionate Parody of the original 8-bit The Legend of Zelda game for the NES, taking the "sucked into a video game" concept of quite a few kids TV shows and turning it on its head by introducing a grown man (in this case also a loser), and throwing him into the often nonsensical world of Hyrule. Hilarity Ensues, of course. Written by Sandeep Parikh and Tony Janning, it stars the latter as Neil, while the former sings the theme song accompanied by a mandolin. An ensemble cast (including Felicia Day, of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and The Guild fame) and a variety of special effects ranging from So Bad, It's Good to surprisingly not bad add to not only a pretty funny show, but a great deconstruction of Zelda and the action-adventure video game genre as a whole.

Each episode is around seven or eight minutes long and begins with a cold opening, followed by the theme song, followed in turn by a sung description of what happened previously on the show, which grows longer and longer as each season progresses. The first season serves mainly to set up the plot and deals with Neil's efforts to beat Level 1, while the second season opens with a flashback of Neil's life before getting sucked into the game, and his continuing impatience and reluctance with his quest; the third and final season shows Neil accepting his role as Link, the hero of Hyrule, and overcoming various trials to finally defeat Ganon.

This show provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The Store, which is actually just a criminal front for Money Making Game, has ridiculous prices, which the clerk is oddly willing to haggle down... with himself. Averted with most of the other items, as following game mechanics, Neil either collects them in dungeons or is just given them for free.
  • Affably Evil: The Moblins at the bar are friendly, boisterous and eager to have a good drunken time. Too bad they want to kill Link, and they soon accidentally find out their new friend "Neilock Neilock" is really him.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the original The Legend of Zelda on the NES, as well as the "sucked into a video game" concept of kid's TV shows like Captain N: The Game Master
  • Autoerotic Asphyxiation: Apparently it can get you sucked into a Video Game:
    He whipped out his member / and he masturbated to the fairy in the game because she was kinda hot / then he asphyxiated himself with the Nintendo game controller / and that somehow transported him into the game!
  • Call Back:
    • You finally learn what "Dragon Style" is in "Restart of the King."
    • By season 3, the Old Man has perfected his ability to go *poof* and disappear.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The fairy is very... insistent on her claim to Neil.
  • Curse Cut Short: Played straight in the first episode, subverted in two second season episodes where one ends on a cliffhanger like this and the other opens with the completion of said curse.
  • Distressed Damsel: Princess Zelda, true to the game's plot, is held captive by Ganon. Link's primary, and initially flimsy, motivation is to rescue her.
  • Drunken Montage: "Gettin' High in Hyrule"
  • Expy: Pippi is an obvious, seemingly intentional expy of Beast from X-Men.
  • Evil Laugh: Ganon. Often. Lampshaded in the final episode:
    "I never knew evil was so hilarious! AHAHAHAHA!"
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: What does the Graveyard of Living Nightmares contain? Living nightmares. Not cups. You would find those at the Den of Cups.
  • Fairy in a Bottle: The moblins keep bottled fairies so they can snort fairy dust.
  • Fog of Doom: Lampshaded in Map Questing. Revealed to actually be useful in the finale.
  • Genius Bruiser: Pippi, an intelligent and studious Moblin who's as physically strong and instinctively violent as his brethren.
  • Genre Blindness: Ganon, to the point where may not just be blind but completely idiotic, as he believes that leaving items for Link/Neil to pick up scattered around the dungeons will somehow help evil prevail. His reason for leaving the Map lying around was particularly stupid: he left it there so that his minions, the ones who constructed and inhabit the damn place, wouldn't get lost while they were inside.
  • Gilligan Cut: Old Man says that the three day training course is hard, and you can't just montage your way through it. The scene immediately cuts to them montaging their way through it.
  • Here We Go Again: The closing scene of the series has Neil reunite with his brother in Super Grimsley Bros. "Coming Never"
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Old Man's brother, Old Man, suffers from this.
  • I Have a Family: The Octorok in Episode 2 of Season 1. Since he's kind of like an insect or octopus or something, it's "I have a family of MILLIONS!" This is referenced later on a 'Missing' poster in the pub.
  • Indy Hat Roll: In season 3. Musically lampshaded by playing a Suspiciously Similar Song to the Indiana Jones theme as he does it.
  • In the Blood: Pippi the intelligent Moblin, who despite trying to aid Neil on his quest with helpful advice and polite conversation, spends half the time trying to resist the urge to rape, kill, and devour him like the other Moblins want to do. And he warns Link to leave quickly once their business is concluded, so that Link can leave with his limbs intact. This is after Pippi saved Neil's life and nursed him back to health, mind you.
  • In the Style of...: Episode four of Season 2 has this during the "party montage!" in the style of 80's rock'n'roll, specifically Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry". Except the lyrics are more about getting completely wasted.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Call me Old Man!"
  • Look Behind You: "I'm distracting you!"
  • Medium Awareness: In the musical episode, the Fairy, when asked to sing with him by another fairy, replies that she's not fond of online musicals.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: While she isn't Neil's girl (despite what she make think to the contrary), the fairy is most definitely a slut.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Pippi looks down on the violent and animalistic tendencies of his fellow Moblins and prefers to study other species for the sake of knowledge. Unfortunately he has trouble resisting the whole murder thing himself.
  • Motor Mouth: Co-creator Sandeep Parikh's intro and Previously On summations are the fastest (but not briefest) series breakdown you'll ever hear.
  • Musical Episode Episode 3 of Season 2, as lampshaded from the beginning by Fairy:
    "I don't know- I'm not really into online musicals." *Proceeds to sing*
  • N-Word Privileges: All the classic clichés about the differences between whites and blacks are reversed in Hyrule. Tod objects to being called a "Welver"; Tyrelda and Constance point out that "you people" are always using that word in your songs.
  • Only Sane Man: Wizrobe. He seems to have read at least some of the Evil Overlord's Handbook.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The Season 2 finale has Neil seemingly returning home after being killed, except he still has hearts on his arm.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Fairies have litters, apparently. And eat their young within the first day if not stopped.
  • Refusal of the Call: For most, if not all of season's 1 and 2, Neil really doesn't care about the quest and just wants to get home. Princess Zelda being hot is a bit of an incentive, however.
  • Sequence Breaking: Neil attempts this. It does not end well for him.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Both Old Men.
    Old Man: "Grow a dick, Link."
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Invoked, Wizrobe is Genre Savvy enough to wonder why he lured Neil to level 1, when he could have lured him to level 7 instead and had him face the much tougher evil minions that live there.
  • Stunt Double: Invoked and lampshaded in the final episode, during the hand-to-hand fight with Ganon:
    Fairy: He looks... a little bit asian.
  • The Game Come to Life: Deconstructed. All the usual aspects are there, with Neil taking the role of the hero character, and the quest being generally the same (Get Triforce! Defeat "GANNON"! Save Princess). However, Neil isn't as entranced by this notion as much as a kid would be, and often reacts to the general weirdness around him the way any normal person would: as a Deadpan Snarker. Also, the seedier underbelly of Hyrule, not explicitly referred to in the game, is emphasized by places like the "Money Making Game!" bar and Mirth's Pub. In addition, most of the characters are given much more characterization beyond what the capabilities of the NES could express. The Old Man with the sword is a jerk, the Moblins are a bunch of drunk fratboys, Ganon is a "mental invalid", etc.
  • Token White: Tod, he even calls himself one.
  • Tough Love: Definitely Old Man, who spends half of his time giving Neil helpful items and half of his time floating in a little bubble above Neil's head tormenting him, comparing him to a girl scout and advising him to go buy a training bra. It gets to the point where the one time he was genuinely trying to be helpful in a non-sarcastic way, Neil blows him off by saying that he just wants to get a drink, not be lectured to about "queefing in the wind, or whatever."
  • Trapped in TV Land: A drunk loser gets pulled into the original Legend of Zelda.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Neil generally reacts to the events around him with mild irritation at best, getting most annoyed with his mentor Old Man.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Subverted and played for laughs from day one over Neil's killing of anything. Lampshaded by the Old Man:
    "Eat the heart cookie, it's delicious. You deserve it after committing murder."

Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Neil

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