Saturday, July 29, 2023

#70 Ziggy Marley (+ Zelda bonus)


Ziggy Marley is #70 in the 1991 MusiCards checklist. In contrast to the several Madonna cards of the previous post, this is Ziggy's only appearance in the set, though we saw his dad back at card #16 in the opening Legends subset. Ziggy's topless photo here rivals Jim Morrison and Paula Abdul for most skin / least clothes in the set so far.

"Tumblin' Down" (live)

I haven't listened to much Ziggy Marley over the years, but I've liked what I've heard. The Melody Makers didn't pop up on my radio often back in the day, but I was always happy to hear his singles when they came on. 

One time circa '91 I taped "Tomorrow People" off the radio and the DJ did a dumb little skatting thing over the end of the song, and I listened to that tape enough to the point where now whenever I hear that song, I kinda hear the DJ in my head.

"Look Who's Dancing" is another good one from Ziggy.

He still releases music and does occasional acting. I don't have much else to say about him, but he seems like a good dude who does a lot of charity work. There's a new Bob Marley biopic due out in 2024 called One Love co-produced by Ziggy. The trailer recently came out and it looks intriguing.


Sticking at the end of the alphabet for another prominent "Z" in pop culture, let's take a quick look at a classic video game series: Zelda.

A subset of popular video games would have likely been well received by kids of the day were Pro Set inclined to expand the scope of their MusiCards (and been able to work it out with Nintendo, et al).

Along with the original Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda was my introduction to Nintendo. Circa 1986, my neighbor friend Jeremy Small (Jeremy, are you out there? Let's reconnect! LOL) had me over one day when he was playing some Zelda. It kinda blew my mind and a Nintendo Entertainment System went straight to the top of my Christmas list.

I would go on to play a lot of NES, with Zelda and its sequel The Adventure of Link both getting a lot of time in the console. I didn't have a Super Nintendo back in the day (ended up with a Sega Genesis instead), but I eventually played through the great SNES Zelda game A Link to the Past via emulation years later. There's also a really good GameBoy Color Zelda game I've played with an owl always hooting at you about something. But I never played the N64, GameCube, or Wii games. (Well, I own Skyward Sword for Wii, but haven't been able to play it for longer than a few minutes without losing interest in trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do... but maybe I'll give it another shot someday.)

But now I've been playing a lot of Tears of the Kingdom, which is the new Zelda game for Switch. I had a gift certificate for the Nintendo store from a couple Christmases back that I had been meaning to use, so when I saw the new Zelda game out getting rave reviews, made sense to get it. 

I've since gotten a bit obsessed with TofK and have sunk many hours into it over the past couple months. I suck at video games, so I haven't even gotten very far, but it's a big open-world game with lots of side quests and stuff to do besides advancing to beat the game. Heck, sometimes it feels there's too much you can do, overwhelming me with so many options. For instance, you can combine a ton of stuff in the game to build things-- such as making cool weapons, but then they screw you by severely limiting how many weapons Link can carry, and sometimes they randomly break when you're using them. 

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with TotK and the game can make me furious, often spooking the dog out of the room with my ugly outbursts while playing. Sometimes it's cheap stuff like the camera angle changing at inopportune times that trips you up. But a lot of the time, it's my own damn fault since there are so many buttons and with my lousy memory I invariably push the wrong button nearly half the time. So like in a battle where you have to be quick with attacking and blocking and doing special moves, I get my ass kicked. But when I'm just bumbling around, searching for items and enjoying the beautiful digital scenery, it's a great game. And the scattered about "shrines" are sometimes fun brain teasers where you have to figure out how to get to the other side of the room using provided objects.

Anyways, thanks for letting me vent. Yeah, the new Zelda game is really something. Overall, though, I'm happy remaining a retro-gamer for the most part-- much easier to remember just A and B buttons, lol-- and I still play those first three Zelda games every so often. (Oh hey, if you happen to be into NES emulation, check out the hack I made of Zelda II twenty years ago called "Adventure of Error" that changes the graphics and text in silly, often crude ways. It might be a bit low-brow at times, but I spent a lot of time on it back then and I'm still proud of how it came out. Makes me laugh when I play it, at least. Yes, before I was making custom cards, I was customizing video games, ha. [Here's a .nes file download; you'll need a NES emulator to play it.)

Were any of you readers into Legend of Zelda back then? Anyone also playing Tears of the Kingdom these days? Please feel free to share your thoughts on Ziggy Marley in the comments as well. Thanks!