An Acclaimed Novelist Accidentally Set His Book In The 'Zelda' Universe

It's every modern writer's worst nightmare: You're trying to come up with examples of, say, disastrous tech operations, but it's three a.m. and you're on a deadline, so you don't notice that you're on the Black Mirror wiki. Every editor who subsequently handles your work neglects to fact check it, so now, you're the guy who thought "murderous drone bees" was a real thing.

That's apparently what happened to John Boyne of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas fame when he was writing his latest novel, A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, a whimsy-free work of historical fiction. At one point, a character concocts a poison from the ingredients they use to dye clothes red, which include "Octorok eyeball" and "the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms." When readers noticed that those are species from the Legend of Zelda game Breath of the Wild, it was immediately clear to writer Dana Schwartz, and then to Boyne and everyone else, what happened: He Googled red dyes and didn't look too closely at the source of what he found.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Boyne quickly confirmed it was a mistake, noting that he's never played a video game, which might be the most startling revelation in this whole scenario. He took it in stride, though, refusing to change it and promising to give Zelda a shout out in the acknowledgments of future editions. Keep that in mind next time anyone gives you grief for your Animal Crossing addiction. Just throw around words like "research" and "context."

Top image: Nintendo

To turn on reply notifications, click here

23 Comments

Load Comments