Levine – Zelda cost me my first “super-serious girlfriend”

Monday, 13th July 2009 14:06 GMT By Johnny Cullen


BioShock creator Ken Levine has spoken out on the four games that made him what he is today, blaming Adventure, Castle Wolfenstein, Ultima Underworld and The Legend of Zelda, which he cites as the cause of the break-up with his first “super-serious” girlfriend.

“After I graduated from college, I moved to an apartment in San Francisco with the first super-serious girlfriend. She was a couple of years younger than me, so at the end of the summer, she was set to go back to school,” said Levine.

“On our last day together in San Fran, I for some reason picked up The Legend of Zelda. As she stood by waiting for some romantic gesture to happen on our last day living together, she was instead treated to watching me obsessively plow through Hyrule for around 15 hours. By the time the cab showed up to take her to the airport, I realized if I had any hope of keeping her as my girlfriend, it was time to shut off the NES.”

More at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.



  1. Psychotext


    #1 6 years ago
  2. Blerk

    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis almost made me fail my degree.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. No_PUDding

    Liking games = Failing at life.

    Makes me so eager for the future.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. No_PUDding

    Johnny Cullen is writing this story!?

    Get back to GOONLINE…. I am so disappointed in you by that site dude.

    Anyway, I really hate Ken Levine, so many more deserving people of ‘luminaridom’ than this jerkoff.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Hunam

    He made System Shock 2, he is more than worthy of it. Also SWAT 4 was his work and he worked on Thief. He clearly knows his shit.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Tonka

    I blame Snood for all my failures. ALL. OF. THEM.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. No_PUDding

    SWAT 4 was the shittest SWAT. SWAT 3 was awesome.

    He worked on Thief? well Thief 2 was better.

    And System Shock 2, I have never played it and I didn’t know he worked on that. But since I ahven’t played it, it could be shit. xD

    #7 6 years ago
  8. anasui

    RTCW made me turn down some dates. I could give shit, at that time

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    FFX for me, good for me I upgraded to a gamer girl who is now my wife and mother of my child ^_^

    #9 6 years ago
  10. blackdreamhunk

    yea if your in love with a girl drop the gaming. The woman you love is more important. Your not the only guy to lose that perfect girl, it happens to the best of us.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. MasterChiefFenix

    good thing he gave the bitch up. u can get sex without a gf, and anything else from her would be a waste of time.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Hunam

    SWAT 4 was the best one. I remember barging into some old ladies house, shouting at her for about 20 seconds then shooting her in the face with a bean bag shotgun.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Dr.Haggard

    Pud, what the hell? Someone got out the wrong side of bed this morning.

    Consider yourself grounded until you’ve played System Shock 2.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. No_PUDding

    Hahahah Hunam, that’s pure magic.

    @Dr Haggard, I was just being sarcastic, but I am dead inside, so I don’t really feel what sarcasm is. I honestly thought he was all reverred PURELY for Bioshock, which is why i didn’t like him.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Hunam

    Bioshock is ok, but not great. It went down well with a lot of people obviously, but Levine was always held in high regards in parts of the industry. You’ve got to give him props though from getting Bioshock as popular as it is though, he handled the press amazingly well on that project. Considering they were a low key PC dev and then over night became the super stars of the console age is testament to him really.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. No_PUDding

    It’s testament to how much a good game needed to be touted as arty this generation.

    The ‘journalists’ latched onto those high production values like whelks when the tide go down. But that was all it was.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Hunam

    The art design is the best thing about the game though, there aren’t many games latley that got the feeling just right, from the way people talk, the music you hear, the adverts and decor, it’s all pretty fantastic. Just the gameplay is a tad shallow and the story finishes 2 hours before the game does.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Psychotext

    Confirmed, Pud hates virtually everything. :D

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Hunam

    Teenage angst and all that :P

    #19 6 years ago

    We’re not back on this ‘Bioshock is art’ thing again are we??

    #20 6 years ago
  21. No_PUDding

    Yeah, and I don’t rate a game purely becuase of aesthetic. And by aesthetic i mean superficial design elements, including music.

    I like to think of ymself as quite a self aware angsty teen xD

    Whatever, at least I have an excuse, most of you act my age.

    #21 6 years ago
  22. Hunam

    “superficial design elements, including music”


    /wants to get into sound design for games

    #22 6 years ago
  23. No_PUDding

    And I would love to get into concept art, but ultimately they are superficial elements. Embellishment that a good game like Bioshock are apparently able to rely on, to be received so positively by critics.

    I am not belittling the work. I am just saying, it substituted any unique game design. And I don’t like that.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. Hunam

    But a game is more than the sum of it’s parts. Atmosphere goes a long way and can turn a bad game right round. Take a look at Silent Hill 2. The gameplay was old hat even then, but all the atmosphere in the story, art and sound made it one of the most compelling and down right amazing games around.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. No_PUDding

    Yeah, I agree, and I am by no means saying Bioshock is bad.

    And I completely agree also, that atmosphere is so important in this medium where you can traverse 3D space.

    I just (being the angsty contrarian teen I am) don’t like the way it was received, and how (as I ignorantly believed) Ken Levine was elevated to such heights purely becuase of it.

    #25 6 years ago
  26. Hunam

    I suppose it was a bit of a poster boy with overly eager 10/10′s thrown at it. Whilst I don’t feel the same about Levine as you do, I do about the actual game, but was never sure if it was just me not ‘getting’ it.

    I’m a fan of the RPGShooter genre and have been since it’s existed, but something about Bioshock just doesn’t feel right, but then you have 100 reputable forum folks saying they’ve completed it and loved every damn second of it.

    Oddly enough, I still play Bioshock in search of what everyone else sees in it. I’ve seen flashes of it, but yet have not been awash with amazement.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. No_PUDding

    Exactly the reponse I had. I don’t get where all the hyperbole came from.

    But opinions, opinions…. That’s all it is.

    And I was just being flippant when it coems to what you’ve told me about Levine. Clearly he is more than I had thought. But I thought he only did Bioshock.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. Psychotext

    “But opinions, opinions…. That’s all it is.”

    Yet you still go on and on about it. :D

    #28 6 years ago
  29. No_PUDding

    Well yeah. My opinions are extremely important to everyone.


    Point taken by the way, I will completely shut up. I wish you coudl strike writing on this forum.

    EDIT 2:

    Crazy, you can!

    #29 6 years ago
  30. blackdreamhunk

    love is like the best high in the world and it can also feel like the worse thing ever.

    #30 6 years ago
  31. wz

    You know what is more fail than losing a girl over a game? Losing a girl over comment posting.

    #31 6 years ago

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