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Topic: What are the Essential characteristics of a Zelda game?

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Magician

Location progression gated by item acquisition, puzzle-solving through the use of those items, and the Zelda iconography. The Zelda series has more in common with the adventure genre than is does action, although the combat is usually good as well. Some like to label the Zelda series as action/rpg games, but I associate the rpg genre with stat increases through level and gear progression. And although the Zelda games have gear progression, it takes a backseat to exploration, you're not spending a whole lot of time within menus when playing a Zelda game.

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damien33ad

@jump I'll grant the puzzles had SOME variety. But there's we're almost 30 tests of strength. Then, every shrine looked exactly the see with the exact same music and the exact same cut scenes. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times 120 times. See, that was me repeating myself just 6 times. Now if I had done that 120 times it makes for a miserable gaming experience, for some people.

damien33ad

Dezzy

Krull wrote:

Do Zelda games have a good story, though? They progress from start to finish, but I generally think they are typical Nintendo titles, in that the gameplay comes first and the story is an afterthought.

They typically have quite simple stories, but they're often told quite well.

Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, are the 3 that really stand out for me on the story-telling front.

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Maaryotyme

damien33ad wrote:

@jump I'll grant the puzzles had SOME variety. But there's we're almost 30 tests of strength. Then, every shrine looked exactly the see with the exact same music and the exact same cut scenes. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times. 120 times 120 times. See, that was me repeating myself just 6 times. Now if I had done that 120 times it makes for a miserable gaming experience, for some people.

@damien33ad did you want less shrines. You don’t need to go through 120 shrines. I finished it with 60 shrines and enjoyed the game.
It’s like Mario 64 had 120 stars. 120 stars. 120 stars. Did I want less stars in it. NO WAY

Maaryotyme

bpapa2020

bpapa2020 wrote:

Adventure and exploration, puzzle solving, and an accessible yet rewarding system for combat.

Every single Zelda game has that.

After reading some of the other posts in this thread, I would consider adding “aided by acquiring an inventory of weapons, items, and abilities” to my “adventure and exploration” part. It’s a nod to the “item in every dungeon” you got in traditional Zelda games while still including the atypical system in BOTW.

bpapa2020

damien33ad

@Creature ya I want to focus on what is key ingredients for Zelda and not on dissing BOTW so I will concede the point. Like I said for starters my main points are dungeons, story, items and bosses.

damien33ad

Zuljaras

1. Sense of exploration and wonder.
2. Unique (and many) bosses.

Zuljaras

damien33ad

@bpapa2020 I do love the feeling you get when you acquire a new item and you automatically know all the places you will be able to unlock with it. It's exciting

Edited on by damien33ad

damien33ad

Octane

@LetsaGO Quality over quantity. A bunch of them were just combat shrines. A bunch of them were just the reward itself. A little over half were actual shrines. A couple were motion control based. A bunch of them were incredibly simply. I think the amount of actual good shrines were only a handful to a dozen. I rather have 20-ish bigger dungeon-like shrines over the shrines in BOTW.

Each with a unique boss fight at the end, and with a unique theme would go a long way.

Octane

Maaryotyme

@Octane I agree and would prefer 20 great shrines with bosses but then you didn’t really need to get 120 shrines to complete the game. They were just optional extra to give the game more hours to play. Getting 120 of them means the game gets more easy with more hearts. I don’t think I would ever attempt to 100% the game.

Maaryotyme

WoomyNNYes

The Quest Log!!!!👌👍

I failed to finish Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time because I took a break from the games, and forgot what I was supposed to be doing. And thus, never finished the games.

Botw's quest log was amazing!!! You can see all opened quests, and completed quests. And each quest had a good summary to refresh your memory, and pointed to a spot on the map to show you where that quest was given, or your intended destination. Every zelda should have a quest log like this!

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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echoplex

Story in Zelda games, bar a few exceptions, is always more an excuse for adventure than actual plot. In ALL mainline episodes (except maybe the NES ones), you'll get some sort of introduction, but at some point you'll ALWAYS be asked to visit [insert number] dungeons to retrieve [insert number] [insert type of artefact] in order to save the world. What makes a Zelda game is to me :

Gameplay :

  • A wholesome map with different biomes, always including — but not restricted to : a forest, a mountain and a body of water.
  • Landmarks on the map such as at least one village, a temple/church, a cemetery. Hidden caves.
  • Enemies whose characteristics are representative of the biome they usually spawn in. Also applies to non-hostile NPCs since OoT.
  • Boss fights with a logical, but not obvious strategy to beat them, usually relying on a newly acquired item.
  • The usual weapons/shields with occasional enhancements (multi-homing boomerang, mirror shield...).
  • One unique weapon/accessory around which the whole gameplay/plot/puzzles of any given episode or dungeon evolves (ocarina, conductor's baton, hourglass...).
  • Recovery items and maximum-HP/stamina extending items scattered around the map.
  • Merchants.
  • Fire/Ice mechanics.

Story :

  • Spatial/Time/Dimension discontinuity in the plot.
  • The game opens on ancient lore featuring a fallen/mysterious/unknown hero(ine), inspired by/originating from the Triforce (the latter being named or just hinted at).
  • The introduction serves as a tutorial, or has only one way forward and introduces some of the game's mechanics and then the player is given more freedom to roam across a seemingly open map until a certain item (or lack thereof) prevents them from going further

Themes :

  • Stolen/orphaned childhood
  • Growing up too fast after facing loss/mourning
  • Uprooting, forced displacement
  • Being an outcast
  • Greediness for power
  • Helplessness and lost causes
  • ...

echoplex

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damien33ad

@LetsaGO each star was attached to something in the world however. The shrines were seperate and uninteresting for me. And due all your respect, Mario 64 didn't have 120 stars that you got from underground caves with identical design, identical music, 30 repeats test of strength, 20 freebie shrines with no puzzle at all, and the rest, whatever. Kind of a little difference.

damien33ad

damien33ad

@LetsaGO but I think we are in full agreement anyway because I think we both want to have dungeons, big ones, real ones, instead of all these shrines as filler. I don't think shrines are an essential feature of Zelda. I think we can and should get rid of them. Having true dungeons is a must for the Zelda franchise

damien33ad

bpapa2020

@damien33ad the shrines aren't the feature that are essential to Zelda - just like dungeons aren't. What's essential is the puzzle solving and occasional combat elements. Those are present in both Shrines and Dungeons.

bpapa2020

gcunit

How many Zelda games do you have to have played to get a say in this? I've only beaten 3 and am part way through another 3 or 4 currently.

To me, a Zelda game needs:

  • Link and Zelda, and a touching bond between them, portrayed with a minimalist style
  • Sound design consistency (consistent sound design is almost as important in Zelda games as it is in Star Wars)
  • 'Folk' culture, mythology and themes - woodland, water, music
  • Sense of adventure
  • Puzzles

And yes, @WoomyNNYes, a quest log should be retrofitted to all existing Zelda games that don't have one.

What I don't think the games need (necessarily):

  • mini games - I really don't care for them in Zelda games and rarely put any time into them.

Edited on by gcunit

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WoomyNNYes

@gcunit Yeah, I'd really love to jump back into Ocarina of Time 3DS, but I've never play through the game before, and forgot what my objectives are.

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Mountain_Man

Essential characteristics of a Zelda game? Well, it has to have Link in it, and of course Zelda, and a world for Link to explore and... well, that's pretty much it for the essentials.

The Mountain Man

damien33ad

@gcunit anyone can have a say. You should have played more than one though I'd say. I think so far everyone has come up with some good stuff. I like the "folk" thing you brought up too. I think it's first time I heard someone say that and I agree is essential

damien33ad

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