I didn’t really mean to finish the game at all, which is the weird thing. I was just looking to get more drops from the monsters that live in and near the castle, and while I was at it I wanted to find one of the collectables in the castle as well. But I made a turn into a big room and suddenly it’s cutscene central and I’m in the big final boss fight. And I won.
And sat there. It was 2:30 am. I beat the game at half past two in the morning. When I was done it gave me a save game file that was saved right before fighting the boss, but now it had a star next to the location on the save file. That was it.
And I found I didn’t want the game to be over. I had grown fond of Hyrule, more fond of it than I had of any other video game world. This is not my first Zelda game either. As much as I loved playing A Link Between Worlds, when I finished that game I didn’t instantly go back and wander around the environment some more. I found a new game to play. And I could do that now. Except I don’t want to play a different game.
Some years ago, when Myst was new, one of my friends finished the game in a night and then spent a couple of weeks playing the game by just wandering around its environments. At the time I didn’t understand that, not really. But now, as I load up my star-studded save game and go back to Hyrule and find upgrades for armor sets that are ostensibly for a fight I’ve already won, now I get it.