First of all, Happy April Fool’s Day everybody. In accordance with the date, which happens to align with a down period in the election cycle news coverage, I’ve got an April Fool’s diary for you all today.
Long story short, about a month ago I saw a discussion in an open thread about redistricting Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings, and I thought it was the most hilarious thing. I started thinking about how redistricting could be applied to other fictional lands. Again, long story short, my favorite video game series is the Legend of Zelda. The kingdom in which most of the Zelda games take place, the Kingdom of Hyrule, is an absolute monarchy. But let’s say the following happened:
July 1, 1741 – Queen Zelda IV, upon her ascension to the Hyrulian throne following the defeat of the evil tyrant Ganondorf Dragmire, drafts a document called the Edict of Kakariko. The document is part of an effort to reconstruct the cities, towns, and farmlands of Hyrule from the destruction of Dragmire’s dictatorial terror. Within this document, which grants for the first time in hyrulian history the freedoms of religion, press, and the right for women to own property, a new governing body of hyrulian citizenry is also created. This body, known as the Council of Sages, is to contain popularly elected representatives which will carry out day to day legislative and governmental tasks, although carrying out the laws and power of judicial review will still henceforth be the domain of the monarch. For matters of national security, the Queen will invoke the power of the almighty Triforce itself, in conjunction with its opposite holder, the Hero of Time, Link.
According to the Edict of Kakariko, the Council of Sages is to have 25 representatives, elected by popular vote, from 25 districts of equal population throughout the Hyrulian countryside. The populations I’ve used for this diary are based largely on the people that exist within the game, multiplied out about 100x. The game I used for this diary is Ocarina of Time, because it has the biggest variety of races and people in the series…although if this diary is greatly received I might do other games down the road.
The inaugural parliamentary elections are expected to take place on December 24, the date of feast to Nayru, the Hyrulian goddess of Wisdom.
It is expected that once political parties form within the country, that the parties will be somewhat regionalized based on race. However, it is possible that political blocs might form on the basis of economic status, with the nobles and richest landowners forming a conservative party and the commoners, farmers, and laborers forming a more progressive party.
Want to see what the map looks like? Here ya go:
District 1 – This is the richest, most affluent district in the kingdom, and for good reason as Hyrule Castle itself falls within, along with some of Castle Town’s northern exurbs. It is majority hylian, and would likely elect a noble, perhaps one with strong connections to the royal family, which in this area would have approval ratings near 100%.
District 2 – This seat encompasses the northwestern part of Castle Town, the largest city in Hyrule. It is the site of some of Castle Town’s infamous back alleys, and the shooting gallery is located here as well. Thus, it would likely be a blue-collar, possibly impoverished section of the city, likely to elect a commoner or even a peasant to the Council.
District 3 – The third district is an interesting mix as you have more of the town’s back alleys, which are likely filled with lower-class laborers and artisans. On the same token, the major entertainment district of the city, including the Treasure Game and the Bombchu Bowling Alley is located here, so there are likely to be more loose citizens that have disposable income living here as well. If the split between the nobles and the commoners were to take place, this would be a definite swing seat between the two parties, but one that would definitely elect a hylian.
District 4 – This southeastern section of Castle Town is definitely the most affluent, as the commercial center of the city is here. Shopkeepers congregate here, selling weapons, shields, potions, and other wares. Hard to envision a commoner/peasant threading the needle here, as one of the rich merchants is likely to get in and consolidate support. Definitely another hylian.
District 5 – This district snakes from downtown Castle Town up to its northeastern reaches. This seat takes in the Temple of Time, which would likely make the race a lock for Rauru the sage of light were he to decide to run. The creepy shopkeeper from the Happy Mask Shop might decide to run though, which would be a race to watch.
District 6 – This is a majority-Goron seat that takes in the western half of Goron City. Darunia, the sage of fire, sees his house drawn in here and if he were to run it would be a lock, although if he declines his son Link (no, not the hero) might give it a go. Regardless, this seat would definitely elect a Goron representative. The nobles would probably have a small advantage here, but since most Gorons work in mining and other industries likely to be unionized in the future, economic populism probably plays well here.
District 7 – This is the eastern half of Goron City. Assuming neither Darunia or his son carpetbag over to this seat, this is likely to be a wide open race. Since again, Gorons are big into mining and demolition, its likely that this seat would elect a working-class Goron.
District 8 – This seat is large, and stretches from Death Mountain down the trail past Dodongo’s Cavern and down toward the border with Kakariko. This is a majority-goron seat but one that could have some hylian influence as well, one where a hylian could steal the seat if two or more gorons get into the race and split the vote. Biggoron, the great swordsmith, lives here, and if he were to get in he would be an extremely strong candidate for this working-class district.
District 9 – The 9th district encompasses roughly half of Kakariko Village, a hamlet lying at the base of Hyrule’s northern mountains. The western and northern halves of the village are the more commercial and financial portion of town, and the House of Skulltula is located here. Its possible that one of that family might run, but their association with the spider’s curse might be a detriment. This seat is majority hylian, and is probably somewhat conservative due to the big money interests in and around town. Despite that, the right of first refusal would go to Impa, the sage of shadow and sheikah ninja that founded the town.
District 10 – This is the other half of Kakariko, the eastern and southern half. Kakariko Graveyard is located here, as is the giant windmill at the east end. Two high profile residents of eastern Kakariko would be in the running here. One is Dampe the gravedigger, and the other is Anju, the cucco (chicken) keeper. Both are in blue-collar lines of work, which fits this district well. Alternatively, the head of the local carpenters union could get into the race. Definitely one of the more liberal districts by city standards.
District 11 – The 11th is one of the largest districts in the country as it is sparsely populated through much of its reach. It includes much of the upper Zora’s River valley and parts of Zora’s Domain, which makes this a zora majority seat, though with considerable hylian influence. Magic beans are grown in this area, and the bean grower (can’t remember his name) might decide to run in hopes that multiple zoras get in and split the vote. Most likely though you’d see a zora with a strong connection to the royal family and the nobles win this one.
District 12 – This seat includes Zora’s Fountain, Zora’s Waterfall, and the other half of Zora’s Domain including the royal family quarters. King Zora would likely half to stay home as opposed to commuting to Castle Town because…he’s so fat it takes him 5 minutes to move 2 feet. However, his daughter Princess Ruto, the sage of water, would almost certainly run. She’s so abrasive and nasty though, that a zora commoner or peasant might have a decent chance at upsetting her in the general election even though the district definitely leans conservative. King Zora’s support of Ruto would be difficult to overcome though.
District 13 – I couldn’t decide if Poes were eligible to vote. Since they are technically not living I left them out, otherwise this seat would’ve been 2 seats, with one being a Poe-majority seat centered on the Forest Temple. As it stands, this seat has an interesting mix of population consisting of Wolfos, Moblins, and Deku Scrubs, with some Kokiri influence as well. The forests of hyrule is the domain of the common man/animal, so you’d have Some Dudes going at it, unless Saria the sage of forest decided to jump in and run here instead of District 15.
District 14 – This is a Deku Scrub-majority seat centered on the Great Deku Tree, yet this would also be a seat of intrigue as the guardian fairies of the Kokiri generally call this place home as well. A Deku Scrub would be favored to win, but if multiple scrubs got in and split the vote, you could see a guardian fairy win instead. If Link’s guardian fairy, Navi, were to jump in, she would be a rather powerful candidate albeit with some baggage. (Anybody up for the “Hey, Look, Listen!” platform?)
District 15 – Now here’s where the map really gets interesting. The mapmakers elect to divide Kokiri Forest north-south, along the main highway and adjacent to kokiri creek. The result is that, Link, the hero of Hyrule, and Saria, the sage of forest, are drawn into the same seat. Either one would be a shoo-in to win, and since they are good friends there’s no way they would run against one another. Link might not decide to run, in which Saria would take it, but if he did step in, Saria could run in district 13 given her connections to the Forest Temple. But she would have another option as well.
District 16 – This is that other option, as this seat takes in the northern half of Kokiri Forest. The intellectual and commercial district of town is located here, as is the home of the self-proclaimed boss of the kokiri people, Mido. He would surely run, the question of course is whether he would run unopposed, or if his nemesis Saria would carpetbag over to the 16th to face him. A face-off between those two would be an ugly confrontation with lots of dirty laundry.
District 17 – The 17th district is kind of a smorgasboard, taking in several outlying forest areas as well as the Lost Woods. No race of people has a majority here, it is part kokiri, part deku scrub, and part skull kid. The skull kids are a very little known hyrulian race, and they would definitely have their one and only shot to get representation in this seat.
District 18 – Now we move into Hyrule Field, the vast, mostly empty agricultural midsection of the country. The majority of the population here is actually near the edges, in the outskirts of Castle Town, Kakariko, and Kokiri Forest. It is majority hylian, and would be a huge bastion of nobleman support since most of the rural country in Hyrule is probably feudal in nature, with the majority of the land being held by the richest landowners.
District 19 – This is basically a vote sink surrounding Lon Lon Ranch, which would represent pretty much all of Hyrule’s dairy and horse-breeding industries. Talon, the owner of Lon Lon, would likely not run due to his general laziness, but his primary farmhand, Ingo, would almost certainly get in. That would put him on a crash course with Talon’s daughter Malon, who is the brains behind the operation and hates Ingo’s guts. Were this to set up as an Ingo-Malon battle, this would be very ugly, probably the one race most likely to go nuclear.
District 20 – This seat is very similar to District 18, a rural, agricultural seat for the most part but one that reaches down to the shores of Lake Hylia. The Lakeside Laboratory and the Fishing Pond are located here, so you have some marine interests as well. An almost-entirely hylian seat, you’d likely see a geographical battle between a candidate from the lakebed region and one from Hyrule Field. Definitely another conservative nobleman’s seat though.
District 21 – With Ganondorf deposed, Hyrule’s most notable villain left is Dark Link. He would likely take a shot at running for a Council seat, but unfortunately for him his home inside the Water Temple got dumped into a zora-majority vote sink that includes most of Lake Hylia and the lower Zora’s River valley. This seat will almost certainly elect a zora representative, so Dark Link would have better luck carpetbagging to either the 20th or the 22nd, where his connections with the gerudo might be of help.
District 22 – The 22nd district is a mixed bag. It is a gerudo-majority seat, but one that also has a decent population of zoras as well living in the river basin. I have no idea who would run here, chances are you’d have a commoner gerudo matched up against a commoner zora in the general election, with the odds on the gerudo to win.
District 23 – This gerudo-majority seat takes in the southern half of Gerudo Fortress, and includes the Gerudo Training Ground and the Horseback Archery Range. Nabooru, the sage of spirit and leader of the gerudos, lives here and would almost certainly run. Much like the forest, the desert is the domain of the common man, or in this case the common woman, since all gerudos save one are female. (You can just see the battles over women’s reproduction going nuclear given this information)
District 24 – This seat comprises the northern half of the fortress, and includes the prison. Its uncertain who would run here but somebody high up in the gerudo leadership would likely give it a go. This seat could become a catfight quite literally if it was highly contested, especially since it would be another commoner-heavy seat.
District 25 – The final district at the western end of the Hyrulian kingdom stretches from the edges of the Haunted Wasteland desert across to the colossus and the Spirit Temple. The two most prominent citizens living here are Koume and Kotake, the surrogate mothers of Ganondorf. I can only imagine the cat fud that would come out of a head-to-head contest between those two.
Expected Racial Breakdown of Seats:
Hylian - 9-10 (district 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 18, 19, 20. District 11 is toss up)
Gerudo – 3-4 (district 23, 24, 25. District 22 is toss up)
Goron – 3 (district 6, 7, 8)
Zora – 2-4 (district 12, 21. Districts 11 & 22 are toss up)
Kokiri – 2-3 (district 15, 16. District 17 is toss up)
Sheikahs – 1 (district 9)
Deku Scrubs – 0-3 (districts 14, 13, and 17 are toss up)
Skull Kids – 0-1 (district 17 is toss up)
Moblins – 0-1 (district 13 is toss up)
Fairies – 0-1 (district 14 is toss up)
If the regionalized parties scenario plays out, it would give the hylians an almost-vice grip on control of the council as they would have about 9 or 10 seats, when 13 would give them an outright majority. Still though, you’d have to build a coalition with somebody in order to get things done, and its uncertain who that might be. The Zoras, due to their close ties with the royal family in protecting Hyrule’s waterways, might be the most likely partner, but if they don’t perform well in the elections in December a Hylian-Zora coalition might not even yield the needed 13 seats. In that case, the Hylians might look the Kokiris direction, given Link’s close association with them as he grew up in the forest and is friends with almost all of them outside of Mido. The two races are very different however in the way they live, and going from Castle Town to Kokiri Village is like hopping into a time machine and going back about 200 years, from marble stone houses to tree houses quite literally. You’d have a lot of cultural and social difficulties to get past in a Hylian-Kokiri merger.
Other alliances aren’t likely to play well. The Gorons are very independent, and have not exactly been thrilled with the royal family in the past, especially with their inability to stop the blockade of Dodongo’s Cavern seven years ago. Obviously an alliance with the Gerudos is a non-starter even though they wouldn’t necessarily be hostile under new management.
If on the other hand, a more national breakdown of political parties were to develop on the basis of economic and social status, across all races…let’s call these parties the Nobleman’s Party (aka Republican) and the Popular Party (aka Democratic), here’s what I estimate the PVIs at:
District 1 – R+28
District 2 – D+18
District 3 – D+3
District 4 – R+11
District 5 – R+1
District 6 – R+5
District 7 – D+6
District 8 – D+4
District 9 – R+6
District 10 – D+3
District 11 – Even
District 12 – R+7
District 13 – D+15
District 14 – D+14
District 15 – D+4
District 16 – Even
District 17 – D+13
District 18 – R+17
District 19 – R+3
District 20 – R+15
District 21 – D+2
District 22 – D+6
District 23 – D+9
District 24 – D+11
District 25 – R+13
Safe Nobleman’s – 5 (District 1, 4, 18, 20, 26)
Likely Nobleman’s – 3 (District 6, 9, 12)
Lean Nobleman’s – 1 (District 19)
Toss Up – 4 (District 5, 11, 16, 21)
Lean Popular’s – 2 (District 3, 10)
Likely Popular’s – 4 (District 7, 8, 15, 22)
Safe Popular’s – 6 (District 2, 13, 14, 17, 23, 24
To any folks on the commoner side of the ledger suspicious of the royal family and their intentions with regard to creating the Council of Sages, they can be rest assured that Queen Zelda’s mapmakers have drawn them a fairly favorable map. In a perfectly even election nationally, one would expect Hyrule’s districts to end up 9N, 12P, 4S, with the nobles needing all four of the swing seats to gain a majority. It isn’t an unfair setup for the nobles, but they are more concentrated in certain parts of the country, whereas the commoners are spread a bit more evenly.
Well, if you’re still reading at this point…either you’re completely bored with yourself or you’re just as big a geek as I am, to which I raise a glass of Lon Lon Milk to you! Certainly I want to hear any feedback you might have, or even how you might draw the map differently. Maybe there’s a “screw the gerudos” gerrymander that could be made…I’m sure it can be done.