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Topic: Is Zelda an RPG?

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WolfRamHeart

21. Posted:

@Mickeymac: I'm confused by your statement here. In the comments section of the Muramasa: Demon Blade gameplay trailer you responded to one of Adam's comments by saying that "Zelda II was an RPG." After that I decided to respond by stating that "Zelda II is NOT an RPG." I believe that Zelda has always been and always will be an adventure game. You seem to reflect my feelings here but do you still consider Zelda II is an RPG?

Edited on by WolfRamHeart

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Pahvi

22. Posted:

I don't think Zelda is an RPG any more than Metroid is. Something I'd expect RPGs to have: character development in a more concrete sense and at least some player control in building your character's image/abilities (although J-RPGs often ignore this bullet). I don't think experience points are a necessary trait -- I'd classify even Alter Ego as an RPG.

(And turn-based fights are hardly required for a game to be a (J-)RPG... Morrowind, Arx Fatalis, Legend of Mana to name just three)
(Edit: The first two are not J-RPGs but PC games.)

Edited on by Pahvi

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CanisWolfred

23. Posted:

WolfRamHeart wrote:

@Mickeymac: I'm confused by your statement here. In the comments of the Muramasa: Demon Blade video you responded to one of Adam's comments by saying that Zelda II was an RPG. After that I decided to respond by stating that Zelda II is NOT an RPG. I believe that Zelda has always been and always will be an adventure game. You seem to reflect my feelings here but do you still consider Zelda II is an RPG?

O_O...

:sigh: Zelda II is a black sheep, practically a Gaiden(Like SMB2 to the Super Mario series, Zelda 2 was Zelda in name alone). I only said the Main series is NOT in any way RPGish. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link IS an RPG. In fact, it's arguably the reason why the rest of the tends to be labelled as RPGs.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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MuljoStpho

24. Posted:

Action-Adventure, and if you wanted to you could make a case for "light RPG elements".

A major core component of the Zelda formula is exploration and puzzle solving. This is the "adventure" part. Think point and click adventure games, minus the point and click part. That brings us to the "action" part. The presentation of the adventure element is pulled off in a way that allows for combat and other more dynamic types of interaction with your environment than is traditional for adventure games.

To call it an RPG in any form, you really have to stretch things a bit. Collecting heart containers and pieces of heart isn't quite the same as increasing your HP by leveling up. Collecting the one or two new swords or armors that might appear in the game isn't quite the same as leveling up your offense or defense modifiers. In Zelda it's all very discrete and compact. RPGs are better known for having a huge sliding scale for improvement and for having lots of similar options for certain types of equipment and abilities.

Kadunta wrote:

(And turn-based fights are hardly required for a game to be a (J-)RPG... Morrowind, Arx Fatalis, Legend of Mana to name just three)

True. These are called Action RPG. I'm not too familiar with the first two, but the Mana series is a good one to compare to Zelda and demonstrate the difference here. Compared to the 2D Zeldas, they look very similar. But they do a lot of things very different from each other.

Edited on by MuljoStpho

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Fuzzy

25. Posted:

Who cares. Call it whatever you want, as long as it's fun.

Edited on by Fuzzy

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WolfRamHeart

26. Posted:

Zelda II is indeed a black sheep, I'll agree with that. However if you label it an RPG then you must also label Castlevania II: Simon's Quest an RPG. Both of these games are action/adventures. If you start labeling Zelda II as an RPG, then that opens the door for other games such as Super Metroid to be considered an RPG and that is a really big stretch. There are some action/adventure games with light RPG elements to them such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Castle Crashers but I wouldn't consider them as straight up RPGs. My definition of a real RPG was shaped by games I played early on such as Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy on the NES and yes I have played all the Zelda games but I never considered any of them RPGs. Not all RPGs need to be turn based either but there is certain criteria I believe that needs to be met before one labels a game an RPG. Zelda II just has more in common with the action/adventure crowd. I guess the games that we play and experience early on in life tend to shape our definition of what we consider an RPG in the present day. I suppose we can only agree to disagree then.

EDIT: Just for the record, I totally agree with Adam's earlier post(#12).:)

Edited on by WolfRamHeart

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CanisWolfred

27. Posted:

WolfRamHeart wrote:

Zelda II is indeed a black sheep, I'll agree with that. However if you label it an RPG then you must also label Castlevania II: Simon's Quest an RPG. Both of these games are action/adventures. If you start labeling Zelda II as an RPG, then that opens the door for other games such as Super Metroid to be considered an RPG and that is a really big stretch. There are some action/adventure games with light RPG elements to them such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Castle Crashers but I wouldn't consider them as straight up RPGs. My definition of a real RPG was shaped by games I played early on such as Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy on the NES and yes I have played all the Zelda games but I never considered any of them RPGs. Not all RPGs need to be turn based either but there is certain criteria I believe that needs to be met before one labels a game an RPG. Zelda II just has more in common with the action/adventure crowd. I guess the games that we play and experience early on in life tend to shape our definition of what we consider an RPG in the present day. I suppose we can only agree to disagree then.

EDIT: Just for the record, I totally agree with Adam's earlier post(#12).:)

Castlevania II IS an RPG!>_< An Action-RPG, yes, but an RPG all the same. I was under the impression that this was common knowledge, the same with Zelda II.

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Adam

28. Posted:

Mickeymac, Zelda was labeled as an RPG by some since the original. Zelda II is not the reason, though it did somewhat strengthen the very loose connection.

In fact, I think the connection was strongest in the original, not Zelda II. The dungeons were compared to D&D frequently because that had just not been done before in video games.

Of course, now it's not really unusual. And in retrospect, the only similarity was the theme, which isn't even a defining characteristic of the RPG. It was just that the first video adventure game of this scope happened to evoke a feeling similar to the most popular RPGs. There's still no role, no characterization, no plot beyond a short backstory (well, later games have some, but never too much) , and no RPG game mechanics like experience points, etc.

Zelda II has experience points, but that's it. It takes more than that to be an RPG. If you have one small characteristic from one genre, and every other characteristic of the game is from another genre, that's really not enough. At its heart, it is a good Castlevania-inspired action game with a Zelda theme and the lightest possible touch of an RPG flare sprinkled in.

I mean, if that little tiny addition is enough for you to call it an RPG, that's fine. What you call a game is unimportant, and I certainly don't care one way or the other. But it's not enough to say definitively or to claim it's common knowledge.

Edited on by Adam

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warioswoods

29. Posted:

weirdadam wrote:

Zelda II has experience points, but that's it [...] At its heart, it is a good Castlevania-inspired action game with a Zelda theme and the lightest possible touch of an RPG flare sprinkled in.

How dare you! Zelda II was originally released (JP) six months before Castlevania II. Your causality is backwards!

Unless you are saying that it draws from material in the first Castlevania, but I don't really see that at all; to me it only bears a strong resemblance to Simon's Quest (or Simon's Quest does to it), with the similarly odd towns and cryptic sayings, leveling up, hidden rooms in houses, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, however, for I haven't played the first Castlevania in quite some time.

On a related note, when the Castlevania series made its next truly big change and inaugurated, with SOTN, the style of play dubbed "metroid-vania," Konami was again taking a great deal of inspiration from Nintendo. Not that I mind that, for they certainly created a fantastic game with a very original spin on some of those defining elements from games like Super Metroid.

EDIT: Also, Zelda II came out only about 3 months after the first Castlevania, so it's hard to imagine that any of its core ideas could have drawn from that title.

Edited on by warioswoods

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Adam

30. Posted:

I meant the core game play, not the game design. I.e. the action, not the open-world-ed-ness.

Of course, you're probably right that they weren't inspired by each other due to the close release dates, which I wasn't aware of. Then again, Twilight Princess and Okami both have similar game play starring a wolf and came out close together. I find that too much of a coincidence, so no telling how this works.

But my point was just that it's a Castlevania-ish game. I just assumed Castlevania was first. I guess I should have played it safe and just said, "It's an Action-Platformer with light RPG elements." At the very least, it could be called an Action-Platformer-RPG, but the platforming and action elements outweigh the RPG elements.

And I agree with your related note, I like when developers take inspiration from Nintendo. They're a good company to take inspiration from. I only first played SotN a year ago, but I've since completed it twice and think it outdoes Super Metroid in every way, which is something I never imagined myself saying.

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warioswoods

31. Posted:

Yeah, I just felt like playing a jerk about the Castlevania release dates, but otherwise I agree.

Then again, I'm not a fan of Zelda II anyway; worth playing, but not one of my favorite entries in the series. Part of that may be that I skipped it in the NES days, having once watched a little of it on a friend's console and immediately hating the look of it, wishing they'd instead released a true sequel with the trademark overhead view of the first game. Wikipedia says that Zelda II was developed by a different team missing many of the key names for the franchise (like Tezuka, who directed or co-directed all the classic top-down Zeldas except this one, ie. the original, LttP, and Link's Awakening), so I'll point to that and feel vindicated in my young "that's not Zelda!" reaction all those years ago.

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Adam

32. Posted:

It was my first Zelda, but despite playing the heck out of it I never got past death mountain until I was in college. So I can't really blame nostalgia for my love of the game because I never saw over half of the game in my childhood, and I saw even less of the original.

But I agree, Zelda II ain't Zelda. Zelda-themed, but not Zelda.

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Bassman_Q

33. Posted:

It's an action RPG.
So yes it is an RPG

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SupermarketZombies

34. Posted:

Your character levels up by getting more items and more powers like in a traditional RPG and you take the role of Link so I think that Zelda is an RPG.

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Adam

35. Posted:

Link isn't a role. He's an empty character with no personality and no character development. You have no plot options, nothing, nada, zilch. He's just a set of pixels. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, that's just what he is. You take the boldface role of Link no more than you take the role of Ms. Pac-Man.

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Edwin

36. Posted:

SupermarketZombies wrote:

Your character levels up by getting more items and more powers like in a traditional RPG and you take the role of Link so I think that Zelda is an RPG.

Your character does get more items and more powers, but your character does NOT level up. In Super Mario Bros. you take the role of Mario, so does that make that game an RPG?

Edwin

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gameaddict247

37. Posted:

[quote=Adam]
Furthermore, Miyamoto went on record once saying that he hates RPGs and associates them with people who lock themselves in a dark basement to play games alone. [quote]

Legend, lol

Im thinking Miyamoto has the same ideas to myself to what makes a good game - that would be cool.

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SupermarketZombies

38. Posted:

There's plenty of RPGs with main characters with less personality than Link.

Scared of the future, but bored with the past.

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ATRUEZELDAFAN

39. Posted:

I always considered Zelda an FPS.....

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Adam

40. Posted:

How does that matter, Zombies? We just gave you two examples, Ms. Pac-Man and Mario, that fit your argument just as well. There is no "role."

Or if you need another example, take God of War. You take the "role" of Kratos and there is even a story to it (something most Zeldas barely have). But it ain't an RPG. It's hack n slash.

On consoles, RPGs are defined by their game mechanics which were originally inspired / stolen from Dungeons and Dragons. Zelda shares none of that, except just barely in Zelda II.

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