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Topic: Do you think Zelda is too restricted by its own lore?

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iKhan

1. Posted:

This was originally a post about how Zelda should borrow some elements from Pandora's Tower, but as I went on I realized a lot of the things that I'd like to see in Zelda haven't shown up in part because of series lore. The main weapon has never seen treasure-based customization because the lore dictates that it needs to be either the Master Sword or a Sword of story significance. The story is heavily bound to the Triforce, Zelda, Link, and the Master Sword, rarely straying outside of that. Link is always some chosen hero, and he's always fighting alone, and he's always the main character.

I can't help but think some of these things keep Anouma and Miyamoto's hands tied when building the series. What do you think?

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mamp

2. Posted:

SHUSH if you don't like absolutely everything about the Zelda series the fanboys will get you.

To answer your question yes it's restricted. Not only because of the story but because fans are just crazy, even the tiniest change can send them in a frenzy.

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Morphbug

3. Posted:

Not really.

While there are some predefined formulas or "rules", the developers can pretty much twist the lore as they wish as long as it doesn't stray too far from the core concept because then you'd have a completely different game.

A zelda game doesn't necesarily need to feature Link, Ganon and/or Zelda, either. However, these are usually called spinoffs.

Tl:dr- if you want a zelda game that isn't set in the same universe and doesn't feature any familiar elements, go play Mario or Star Fox. Or Darksouls. Or Bayonetta. Or...

Btw, the master sword is reforged twice in ALttP.

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iKhan

4. Posted:

Moorpheel wrote:

Not really.

While there are some predefined formulas or "rules", the developers can pretty much twist the lore as they wish as long as it doesn't stray too far from. The core concept, then you'd have a completely different game.

Btw, the master sword is reforged twice in ALttP.

I'm not saying it should become a completely different game. I agree it should take place in the same universe with similar game mechanics. However, I can't help but feel the series has stopped trying to take risks in regards to lore, at least with console Zeldas. Both Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess started as really unique ideas, but I can't help but feel they were twisted into the lore of the series. Skyward Sword didn't need to be about the Master Sword and didn't need to bring up Ganon. Twilight Princess probably would have been better without the Master Sword or Ganon.

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Morphbug

5. Posted:

But... Skyward Sword was all about the Master Sword.

I dunno, it could be that I have played the portable Zeldas more, but I don't really feel like Ganon and the MS have over taken the series that much.

On consoles, Nintendo tries to please the 'hardcore' zelda fans, and those really hate change. Anyway, they really can't do much about the story in these games anyway, the story is more like a excuse to play, like in all Nintendo games. It's just there for the player to get an objective.

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Action51

6. Posted:

mamp wrote:

SHUSH if you don't like absolutely everything about the Zelda series the fanboys will get you.

To answer your question yes it's restricted. Not only because of the story but because fans are just crazy, even the tiniest change can send them in a frenzy.

To be honest, you could say that about any long running and popular video game, TV series, books...whatever.

The thing is, Zelda games do change quite a bit, but it is a franchise and franchises have to remain true to the core concept to some degree. Take a game like Castlevania, it survived moving from a level to level arcade structure to the item based exploration, and even some misguided steps into 3D worlds.

Just remember, there are Zelda games where you visit a shadowy dark version of Hyrule, or turn into a wolf, or the land of Hyrule is flooded, or exist in a world before Ganondorf and Hyrule, or have a moon fall from the sky, or where your main items are masks, or where you control the game with physical sword swipes and pointer controls, or where you play a side scrolling platformer with level-ups and spells, or where you shrink down to miniature size, or travel back and forth in time as an adult or child, or...you get the idea.

If there is one series that always tries new art styles, new control methods, new story concepts...it's Zelda. Very few games break the mold as much as this series, so really I think it's not a very good question.

Has every new idea or art style worked and been a huge success? No.
Have many of them ended up being amazing games that challenge us and create long lasting memories? yes!

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Jollykarp

7. Posted:

I don't think being restricted by lore is a bad thing. If Nintendo don't want to make a game without the Triforce, or the Master Sword, or saving the world, they might as well make it without Link and call it something completely new. I remember that they said they were trying something different with the WiiU Zelda with regards to progression, and A Link Between Worlds was a little different too.

Also on another note, Pandora's Tower with Zelda combat instead of what they made originally would have been a 10/10 game.

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Morphbug

8. Posted:

There's also that little branch in the timeline where Hyrule is no more, the Triforce and Master Sword are lost forever under the sea and the game takes place in a more advanced New Hyrule, where the whole place is built on top of a giant prison.

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Action51

9. Posted:

Didn't "Link's Awakening" on Gameboy take place on an island that wasn't part of Hyrule, and was there a TriForce in that one?

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Morphbug

10. Posted:

Links Awakening basically takes place in the delirious mind of a dying Link. (That was ALttP Link's last confirmed adventure, make the math)

Portable Zeldas really tend to change things up much more than console Zeldas. They may play the same, but they're always pretty new.

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iKhan

11. Posted:

Jollykarp wrote:

I don't think being restricted by lore is a bad thing. If Nintendo don't want to make a game without the Triforce, or the Master Sword, or saving the world, they might as well make it without Link and call it something completely new. I remember that they said they were trying something different with the WiiU Zelda with regards to progression, and A Link Between Worlds was a little different too.

Also on another note, Pandora's Tower with Zelda combat instead of what they made originally would have been a 10/10 game.

The thing is that not every console Zelda is about the Triforce or Ganon, Majora's Mask bucks the trend.

I'd say it's the opposite. Skyward Sword or Wind Waker with Pandora's Tower combat would have made it a 9/10 or 10/10 game (though WW is already 9/10). I'd say PT's strongest point is it's combat and story, while Zelda's strongest point is its world and dungeons. That's why I think Zelda should borrow from PT so much, they are basically two different sides of the same coin, they go together.

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iKhan

12. Posted:

Action51 wrote:

mamp wrote:

SHUSH if you don't like absolutely everything about the Zelda series the fanboys will get you.

To answer your question yes it's restricted. Not only because of the story but because fans are just crazy, even the tiniest change can send them in a frenzy.

To be honest, you could say that about any long running and popular video game, TV series, books...whatever.

The thing is, Zelda games do change quite a bit, but it is a franchise and franchises have to remain true to the core concept to some degree. Take a game like Castlevania, it survived moving from a level to level arcade structure to the item based exploration, and even some misguided steps into 3D worlds.

Just remember, there are Zelda games where you visit a shadowy dark version of Hyrule, or turn into a wolf, or the land of Hyrule is flooded, or exist in a world before Ganondorf and Hyrule, or have a moon fall from the sky, or where your main items are masks, or where you control the game with physical sword swipes and pointer controls, or where you play a side scrolling platformer with level-ups and spells, or where you shrink down to miniature size, or travel back and forth in time as an adult or child, or...you get the idea.

If there is one series that always tries new art styles, new control methods, new story concepts...it's Zelda. Very few games break the mold as much as this series, so really I think it's not a very good question.

Has every new idea or art style worked and been a huge success? No.
Have many of them ended up being amazing games that challenge us and create long lasting memories? yes!

I agree. After of Kirby, Zelda is probably Nintendo's most experimental franchise out there. And that's why I specifically pointed out lore. Games like Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword are all incredibly novel as a whole, but their stories seem chained to some very restrictive lore established in ALttP and OoT.

And @Moorpheel the purpose of story is to motivate gameplay in nearly all games, not just Nintendo ones. And because of the type of game Zelda is (Action-Adventure), story must play a bigger role than it does in the likes of Mario and Kirby. If you ask me, Zelda needs to flirt more with the Action-RPG genre, as many areas in which it is lacking (Combat, Story, Collectables/customization), are found there.

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Action51

13. Posted:

I think it's important to keep some elements in tact, like puzzle laden dungeons, and the importance of a sword that changes the destiny of the world when wielded by the hero. Changing some elements just won't work...like:

"Can we do a God of War where Kratos is maybe not so angry and out for revenge all the time?" - NO!

"How about a Grand Theft Auto with a streamlined linear story and you are actually an undercover cop?" - NO!

"How about a Metal Gear Solid game with a plot that actually makes sense and isn't filled with WTF moments?" -NO!...well...NO!

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Kaze_Memaryu

14. Posted:

Actually, I don't think there are too many restrictions. The only thing that will probably never change is that Link is wearing a green tunic and the hero chosen by the goddess(es?).

But other than that:

  • the weapon can be anything (Oracle of Seasons didn't even feature any mandatory swords, you could finish it with the wooden one, and Twilight Princess had the fishing rod as the last boss' greatest weakness)
  • the plot can revolve around anyone (look at the GB Zelda games)
  • the game can take place anywhere at any time
  • mechanics are freely interchangable, and new ones can be easily added
  • even the genre isn't restricted to action adventure anymore, we can thank Hyrule Warriors for that

The Legend of Zelda was never bound by many rules, and I think Nintendo is aware of that. That's why Hyrule Warriors exists - it's an experiment that doesn't alienate fans without a warning. And besides that, look at how far they stretched the whole "Ganon darkens the world" outline in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. They're well aware of the potential behind the Zelda series.

@Acton51 Link's Awakening took place on a distant island (forgot the name, sorry). It neither featured Ganon nor Zelda, and a triforce was also not present. Same goes for Oracle of Ages/Seasons, which took place in Labrynna/Holodrum respectively, and didn't have much to do with the Triforce, either.

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iKhan

15. Posted:

Action51 wrote:

I think it's important to keep some elements in tact, like puzzle laden dungeons, and the importance of a sword that changes the destiny of the world when wielded by the hero. Changing some elements just won't work...like:

"Can we do a God of War where Kratos is maybe not so angry and out for revenge all the time?" - NO!

"How about a Grand Theft Auto with a streamlined linear story and you are actually an undercover cop?" - NO!

"How about a Metal Gear Solid game with a plot that actually makes sense and isn't filled with WTF moments?" -NO!...well...NO!

Let me flip your rhetorical questions around.

Does X have to be about the Monado?
Does 3D Mario have to be about Mario collecting stars to save the Princess?

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Jollykarp

16. Posted:

typed out a long reply and realised there wasn't a point to it.

The gist of my idea is - people like Zelda because the challenging puzzles and action oriented combat make you feel like you're going on an adventure. RPG elements, especially customisation but also a more complex plot, will detract from the simplicity that is going into dungeons, finding treasure and saving the world.

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iKhan

17. Posted:

Jollykarp wrote:

RPG elements, especially customisation but also a more complex plot, will detract from the simplicity that is going into dungeons, finding treasure and saving the world.

Treasure is the major reason customization must exist in Zelda. Money becomes completely worthless early on in most Zelda games, as do most treasures when you complete their respective sidequests. SS came close to a good system, but the problem was that upgrades were either too few or too pointless, and treasures were too abundant.

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Usagi-san

18. Posted:

Rupees were pretty important in a link between worlds.

Edited on by Usagi-san

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Dreamz

19. Posted:

For Windwaker, they buried the entire setting under an ocean. I'm not sure how much more flexible you can get than that.

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RR529

20. Posted:

Yeah, I really haven't noticed Zelda being too stuck on the whole Ganon/Master Sword stuff.

Yes, most (though not all) home console entries focus on that aspect, none of the portable entries (barring ports of home console titles) even feature Ganon or the Master Sword (other than a linked OoA/OoS game, and ALBW), and are pretty experimental plot/lore wise.

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