Geek Wedding Photographer

The Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal: James & Natalie

Posted June 9, 2015 at 8:00 am in

Okay, so I have to include the key phrase “Legend of Zelda engagement proposal” in the first sentence of this blog post to get my google SEO points. 😛 And you know what the suck is? Every time I say Legend of Zelda engagement proposal in this post, it’s supposed to sound natural. Normally I can sneak it into alt tags but this post doesn’t have enough photos!

SPOILER ALERT: James proposed to me using the Legend of Zelda NES video game and I totally said yes. The Legend of Zelda is his favorite game of all time. It’s one of the first games he ever played as a 2 year old, with lots of help from his Mom. This led to a deep love of the franchise, and of course, he owns every single game, and all the original consoles, with their boxes…Basically, everything you can think of. Just check it out!

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

He also has a huge collection of Nintendo Power magazines – we went hunting for the Legend of Zelda issue, only to discover in the Nintendo Power index that Zelda was released TOO EARLY! That was a “mind blown” moment for us. In short, a Legend of Zelda engagement proposal was pretty much a no brainer for James once he hit upon the idea.

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

About 2 or 3 months ago, James started saying things like, “I’ve been thinking a lot about the original Zelda recently, maybe it’s time to play it again.” This was way upsetting to me, because we are in the middle of a “playing everything in order” and we’re on Majora’s Mask, so how DARE HE go backwards. He also knows that I hate change, and that I need time to soften up to new ideas, so he was starting in on me early. By about 1 month ago, I was ready to accept that this was an idea James had, and he was going to do this playthrough whether I was happy or not. So, we scheduled a day of Zelda for last Saturday. The protagonists gathered:

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

Yeah, I always make that face. Also I apologize! If I’d known these photos were a little more important than personal use, things would certainly be better lit or in focus.

In the weeks leading up to this, James came home from work everyday and would lock himself up in his office room and work, for hours! And then he was really vague about what he was working on. And he kept saying things while he was half asleep that would be like, “We have so much time together, Bunny” or “Our second quest is just beginning….zzzzz” So, that was all very suspicious, but as my daily journal that I write reminds me, I was suspicious, but also not TOO suspicious. I figured he would tell me what was going on in time. He also kept telling me all new facts about the Legend of Zelda that I never knew – for example, if you look at that green level below, those cat things (Pols Voices) are meant to be killed by whistling into a microphone, which was never included in the US version of the NES console.

It was also very suspicious on the day of that James went out and bought champagne, and that he wanted me to take a lot of photos of all of his Zelda things and his playthrough. And me as well! We definitely don’t normally take photos of ourselves playing video games. But I figured he was just really into the playthrough and just wanted to remember this, the first time he would be playing without his childhood save files…

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

Anyway, James laid the groundwork for this playthrough by, one day before, telling me that his NES cartridge battery finally died, and that he was VERY UPSET, and that it meant that all of his childhood save files were gone and that we would have to play the game through on Saturday without saving. And so, we played. It actually went pretty well – with all the maps and his previous knowledge, we breezed through the game in about 6 hours, which isn’t bad for a casual player and no speed run experience. Here he is making a map of the final dungeon so that he could make the most optimal path to Ganon and the silver arrows…

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

…when…. (still frames included just below in case you don’t want to watch the youtube video).

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

But… how did he do it??? As soon as I turned to him and said, “Of course I will marry you, stupid!” my next question was, “How??? Your cartridge?????”

So… I should say, first, that I have ruined 3-5 previous proposal attempts, including a recent attempt where he wanted to go to New York (where we met) and gather some of our closest friends, and … well, I kind of refused to go to New York because it didn’t make any sense to me that we go – I knew for a fact most of my friends weren’t there, why would I go! What I’m saying is that I have a history as a ruiner, and this is no exception.

James had ostentatiously put the original gold Zelda cartridge into his NES the day before, so that I would be fooled into thinking that the cartridge was in there. He’d planned to sneak out before I woke up and switch in what you see below, the EverDrive cartridge holding his romhack. However, due to a fight with my rabbit Blackjack (who wouldn’t go to bed!), I fell asleep on the couch instead of in bed. So… instead of having the freedom to switch it out with me peacefully sleeping in the bedroom…. James had to keep his fingers crossed that I would remain asleep on the couch as he carefully switched the two right in front of my closed eyes. Major props on his success!

A few highlights, Princess Zelda is actually wearing bunny ears in this hack, so as to represent me. As well, eagle-eyed viewers will note the map revealed in the video is an impossible map to Ganon – James really did play the game all the way through, we just did the emulator recording later. Aside from the proposal and the “you got the ring” text, he also managed to hack the game to play the “you got the thing” music during that moment, which is actually a long awkward silence in the original game. Obviously, Link is holding up a ring instead of the Triforce, too. 🙂

All this is made more impressive when you realize that he did not expand the memory to give himself more space to work with, and that he really only found a few bytes of space to work with. He had a lot of grand plans that got thrown out once he realized he couldn’t fit it in and that what he thought was a one day project had turned into two weeks. A lot of people will build an arts and crafts project, modify the “It’s Dangerous To Go Alone” screen, whatever, do simple video manipulations, I’ve seen TONS of those that are equally nerdy in their own right, but I’ve never actually seen someone modify the end screen of Zelda like this and it is completely my James!

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

Last, but definitely not least, here is the ring by the fabulous Takayas Custom Jewelry. I bow forever to this man for accommodating James’ rush order and trying to understand his crazy requests.

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

The ring is actually a standard Zelda collection that Takayas sells, which includes the Hyrulian crest and the Master Sword. However, James couldn’t stand that I would have anything that wasn’t completely unique, that it was possible some other man or woman out there was wearing this exact ring, so he asked Takayas to engrave their best effort at bunny ears on the sides.

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

So, that’s my story! Congratulations me and James! James hopes to do a reddit or imgur post sometime today, or by the time this posts, maybe last night…Maybe! I have to say that I’m so not looking forward to wedding planning. I already feel like the walls are closing in. Maybe it’s time to elope and hire a fantastic photographer! 😉

Legend of Zelda Engagement Proposal

P.S. Did I mention it’s a Legend of Zelda engagement proposal?

11 Responses

  1. Erin says:

    I love this story and your ring! So happy for you guys! (and, obviously, love the Legend of Zelda engagement proposal! 😉 )

  2. Myrna says:

    I’ve never been to a “Legend of Zelda” wedding. I wonder if this will be the first!

  3. Barton says:

    This is soooo incredible and perfect! I love it! 10/10 for effort. I hope Nelly doesn’t see this or I’m in trouble! haha. Congratulations you two!!

  4. MaddOps says:

    Here is the presentation box I gave to my fiancee.

    Congrats on your engagement! Takayas was an absolute pleasure to work with. These rings will hold up to some pretty rough handling.

  5. Natalie says:


Leave a comment