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Topic: What is it about the Zelda series that inspires such enthusiasm?

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Magitek_Knight

I'm kind of an outsider looking in. I didn't really grow up with Nintendo- I had Sega Genesis and Sony Playstation in my early years and my first and only Nintendo console during the system's original run was the Gamecube (and the only first party games I had were Metroid Prime and F-Zero GX). I don't have much nostalgia for Nintendo or its characters/games but was always interested in the Zelda series.. I recognize the Zelda series' historical importance but don't understand the appeal, I guess.

I've tried the games from the first NES Zelda to OOT on their original consoles (also tried Link's Awakening DS on GBC, Phantom Hourglass and the Ocarina Port on DS). I got through most of LttP (stopped at, IIRC, a turtle boss that fired diffferent magic types). Ocarina was a struggle, even in 2004 when I first played it I thought it had aged a lot (Going from Kingdom Hearts or RE4 to Ocarina on the N64 controller is painful, and the game was kind of a dull slog to me, though I got to Ganon's Castle). The 3DS port doesn't really improve much from what I saw (quit at Death Mountain on that version).

With early 3D I guess you had to be there for it- I can go back to Tomb Raider or FF7 or MGS on PS1 and still have fun but can see where others might not have the nostalgia and just see the hardware limitations.

I know the Zelda fandom is enthusiastic and defensive of the series but for whatever reason I don't get it. I like similar games like Secret of Mana and Ys. I like the theme and atmosphere. I like other games with similar blends of action and exploration and puzzle solving elements like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. But every time I pick up a Zelda game I tend to lose interest before I can finish it.

So what i want to ask is, what makes the fans love it so much? I'd really love to be able to love it too but for whatever reason I've struggled to get into it. What do other people see that I'm missing?

(I also posted this on Reddit, but wanted to cast a wide net to get more opinions to hopefully help solve this mystery.)

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

Blooper987

@Magitek_Knight I’m personally not a huge fan of the older game. I just don’t understand all of the love for Ocarina Of Time.

I do on the other hand have an absolute blast playing Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess. They have such a great story and (mostly) flow well.

The characters are another amazing part. Link is boring but his partners and the villains are really well designed. ( I especially love Midna )

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Magitek_Knight

@Blooper987 Yeah, the ones I've played except for Link's Awakening and Phantom Hourglass didn't seem to have much going on story-wise. I mean Ocarina and LttP have a small amoubt but it's not enough to really get me involved in the world.

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

WoomyNNYes

@Magitek_Knight I think enthusiasm builds from a succession of well made games. "Well made" is opinion, but they have consistently sold well. Zelda is essentially a fairy tale: magic, a sword, evil, a villain, save the world, a princess. Playing zelda while you're young, and growing up with them adds a deeper emotional attachment. Nintendo nurtures the Zelda brand. Nintendo consoles and their first party games tend to have a magic to them. That, and the internet is where empassioned egos go blab While people that are indifferent, or agreeable weed themselves out by not joining forums haha

That's my theory.

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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Magitek_Knight

@WoomyNNYes I feel like I've never been lucky enough to see more than one or two games in a sequence before one of them disappoints. If the Zelda games don't drop the ball every 2nd or 3rd game like others do, then that is impressive.

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

Magitek_Knight

@Slowdive It's interesting that you say backtracking most times when I hear that in a game it has negative connotations.

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

BruceCM

Yeah, it can become a nuisance but there are ways to do it better, at least ....

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Wargoose

@Magitek_Knight I'd say it's the combination of puzzle solving, with story telling and entertaining boss fights. The sense of exploration, and the fantastic soundtrack. It's just great really.

My favourites in the series are

Skyward Sword = Best dungeons in the series, and really like the characters and sword combat in this.

Windwaker = a timeless art style, seeing Hyrule frozen in place beneath the waves is so sad.

OoT = Really enjoy the woods in this game, love the atmosphere. The time travel mechanics are great, seeing how the world changes.

Majoras Mask = Best game ever made in a year probably. The 3 day cycle with all the side quests is a great idea.

A Link to the Past = First game I played with a story, from the 6 page prologue in the instruction manual I was hooked. Love the dark world concept, I think lost boy in the woods was the first time a game made me feel sad.

Breath of the Wild = Best atmosphere and exploration in the series.

Wargoose

Magitek_Knight

@Slowdive It wasn't bad in Resident Evil. Ironically the RE game with the least backtracking (RE3) is probably the worst by far of the PS trilogy.

But speaking of Zelda and backtracking, the only strong memory I have of Ocarina of Time is crossing that stupid field in the middle of the world what seems like hundreds of times. I think when I figured out the 3DS port didn't add a save anywhere or fast travel feature was my "I'm out" moment.

@Wargoose Of those I've only played Ocarina and A Link to the Past. I've never had the manuals for any of them so I was left with the story in-game, which probably would have made more sense and been more interesting with the manual.

I did think about picking up Windwaker this year but it was around $80 on ebay. It's not a rare game, it was a Player's Choice title...

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

Shadowthrone

Magitek_Knight wrote:

It's interesting that you say backtracking most times when I hear that in a game it has negative connotations.

There's an entire subgenre based around backtrack exploring....

Otherwise, sounds like you gave the series a fair shake and it just didn't click with you. Not everything is for everyone. Trying to force yourself to get into and like something just because a bunch of other people do seems like wasted energy. I couldn't even tell you how many fan-acclaimed series or games that I just don't get or enjoy.

Shadowthrone

Wargoose

@Magitek_Knight try googling a link to the past instruction manual, the first result is a pdf on the nintendo jp website. It's worth a glance, just for the surprising amount of detail. The art is also quite nice. The thing with games of that era, is the manuals showed what the artists were going for. It allowed kids to fill in the blanks, left by the hardware limitations.

Wow I didn't realise Windwaker had gone up in price so much.

Wargoose

Magitek_Knight

@Cotillion I should reorganize my thoughts a bit. I don't think I outright disliked any games I tried (Link's Awakening is one of the only GBC games I had, LttP I remember enjoying when I had a SNES but never finished). The only one I have more negative to say about than positive is Ocarina, which I feel is a victim of too much hype and being an early 3D title that aged rapidly and could use a remake with some quality of life improvements like a better save and travel system. I feel like I want to give the series another chance at some point. At the very least finish A Link to the Past (and I may need to read the manual before I play).

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

Krull

Part of the reason why Zelda is so revered is that very often the titles are among the best games of their generation. LttP, Link’s Awakening, OoT - I personally think they all still stand up as good games today. But by the standards of their time, they were absolutely outstanding. Hard to let go of that, for any player who has grown up with them.

I’ve played LttP and the Link’s Awakening remake both for the first time within the past year, and liked both a lot. Ocarina of Time, however, I played when it came out and it blew my socks off. Tomb Raider didn’t have puzzles based on two timelines, hook shots, hidden spiders (or whatever they were)...

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Magitek_Knight

@Wargoose Yeah I've seen art from the manuals and the look of that was really cool. I like the 80s-early 90s anine aesthetic. What got me interested in the series in the first place was an EGM issue released ahead of Ocarina of atime's release that outlined the series history and featured some of the artwork from the manuals.

Edited on by Magitek_Knight

Sorry if I got your thread locked.

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