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The MF'in Legend of goddamn Zelda

MarchToTheSea

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Is there any better game series?


Zelda is actually so good, even when the games have big, ugly scars, people, someone, somewhere will overlook those blemishes and may even hold it as their favorite in the game

why is it awesome?

1. a modern telling of high fantasy. Aside from GoT (gross) we do not have a classic Hero-saves-the-princess type of story. it's a great mono-myth tale

2. this can go for almost any nintendo franchise, but it captures a lot of child-like wonder in it's aesthetic and gameplay. while normies and casuals want games that are "realistic" and "Gritty" and all this, nintendo in general makes games what they (in my opinion) should be, which is helping us remember what it feels like to be care-free, get lost in imagination. I often think of them as a modern disney in that way (real disney, not the satanic mon-corporation we have today). Nintendo games ARE for kids, primarily, but I do not understand how this is a negative in the eyes of a lot of people. "mario is a kid's game"....yeah, well, you're 31 with a mortgage, don't you WANT to escape and have a care-free reaility and feel like a kid?

3. Aesthetics man. each zelda game has a vibe to it and that vibe is always A+. no matter what entry of the game you boot up, nothing is out of place. all the colors, the architecture, the clothing, it always looks right, the world building is amazing

when I was a wee lad, i was obsessed with the N64 zelda's. i wanted to be link, i played pretend i was saving hyrule, killing monsters and all that in my backyard. i bought a wooden sword and shield at a ren-fair even. its hard for someone to comprehend if you didn't grow up with it, but the world in Ocarina of Time feels so massive and real, at least as a kid.


WHY BREATH OF THE WILD SAVED THE FRANCHISE:

in general it is beautiful and from a game design aspect, it's PRETTY good. it's not perfect, but it's just good enough that (this happens many times with zelda) it is good enough to (most of the time) allowsyou to look pass the shortcomings


also, it has characters now: zelda has always been insanely ambitious and in a lot of cases, nintendo's vision cannot really fit inside of available hardware at the time. because of this, characters, events, environments have to be nerfed to fit on an N64 or SNES or Gameboy or whatever

But Breath of the Wild has cutscenes. voice acting! and it's good. for some reason a lot of people shit on the voice acting in breath of the wild. "oh the voice actors sound like they're trying too hard"....but like....it's a high fantasy, arthurian adventure. like....part of that style IS melodramatic acting. the characters are tropey stereotypes, but that's what (can) makes stories great. yes, most of these tropes we've seen 100 times in other forms of art. but does that make them NOT good, especially if done well? The story of BotW is kind of secondary, so your interactions with these characters is not constant, it's in small 3 minute cutscenes here and there. if we CONSTANTLY had to interact with these characters, I could see some of these being a bit grating. but because you don't see them a lot (actually you don't ever need to see them, depending on how you play the game), watching the cutscenes is quite entertaining. because he cutscenes are so short and sparse, the writers (??) really had to make sure personalities of the characters come across and that can lead to the tropey-ness being a little hamfisted for some.

i could go on and on about the pros and cons of botw and even considered making a video (isnpired by making a rebuttal to Arin "Egoraptor" Hanson on why Ocarina of Time sucks apparantly), but....time...you know? i might go deeper in, but not in this post

also as a side note: zelda is beautiful in this game. her outfits are also quite amazing in terms of color and design. where a lot of characters have somewhat simple clothes...Zelda is the princess, and her clothing in the game really reflects her regal role. her main outfit is kind of an adventurer outfit and it's cute. but there are cutscenes where she's wearing a regal dress/gown and...idk, it wouldn't surprise me if they hired a separate person or people just to get her clothes right. also, she is the center point of most cutscenes (duh, her name is the name of the game!) and her personality in the cutscenes is very cute. she's kind of a snotty brat a lot of the time, but seeing her interactions with other characters is great.

Piece of MTTS trivia: the text and body colors on my bandcamp page are ripped from zelda's outfits in breath of the wild. the lilac color on the background of the page is ALSO from zelda, but ill save that secret for another time. if anyone can guess, maybe ill give someone a prize lol

SUB-TOPIC: SAVING LINK

Link is a paradox. He is iconic to gaming history. he's not as mainstream as Mario or Mickey Mouse, but he's definitlyup there. its ironic because link doesn't really have a personality. he doesn't have a catchphrase or a voice. he's just a twink that dresses like peter pan. while botw has kept him silent, they made it part of his personality. the in-game explanation is that, as a warrior, he has some kind of ptsd-like thing that makes him stoic and silent.

there's a bit of a disconnect with link as a fighter in zelda games. in pretty much every game, he's just some rando from some village who gets chosen to draw the sword from the stone and beomce the hero. but WHY is he such a badass with it? how did this literal farmer (as he is in twilight princess) get good with a bow and a sword. and doing magic, etc?

well, botw does a remarkable job of telling this. see, in breath of the wild. link awakes 100 years in the future after falling in battle. right as he wakes up he is proficient with improvising weapons (the first weapons you get in the game are sticks and tree branches). the reason he is good at using weapons and improvised living off the land (cooking is how you restore health) is because in this game, like starts as a trained knight and guardian to the princess. this is a really cool explanation on how he can just wake up, pick up shit off the gound and fuck up monsters. he was trained to do exactly that. he's not a farmer, he's not some random kid. he's a hero and warrior doing hero and warrior shit. when he falls in battle int he events prior to the game, he picks up where he left off and makes use of the training he remembers. speaking of heroic shit, this brings me to my last point

The Best Part:

View: https://youtu.be/rzNek4MfK5M?t=3825



This scene made me tear up. why? well, its because ihave a soft spot for heroes doing heroic shit. while zelda is classically always been the story of "the hero beats the monster to save the princess", this scene consolidates all of it. all about what zelda is is in this scene. its hard to explain why i love this scene so much. it similar to certain things i love about Batman or Luke Skywalker (who have also made me tear up). i suppose its a mono-myth telling of the hero just being heroic. why is he saving the princess here? why does batman fight evil? because that's what they fucking do, they don't need a reason. that's just what they do. this scene is that idea, concentrated. no dialogue, you actually don't even SEE the action. but you know it happened because link is a badass and in this scene, he's doing what he was born to do. not because he was told to or for some superficial reason. he's just doing it because that's what he does. Most of these games just hav elink doing his quest, beating the villain and that's the end of the story. you dont know links life before or after. but in botw and the companion game, that IS his life. that's what he's born to do, is be a badass warrior

thanks for coming to my ted talk. if you think it was dumb, blame @Jessica3cho and @zalazalaza for convincing me to write this
I
 
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zalaz alaza

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Zelda is fr sure a legendary story.

Fr me the game that had the most impact was FF1(LOTR in the back yard for me tho). Not nearly as legendary as Zelda I will admit but that is what had the most impact in regards to games. I remember as a kid I made all these preparations to go to Garlands castle and save the princess and get the bridge rebuilt. It took me forever to feel like I was ready. I got there and did it, maybe not on my first try but it didn't take many more than that.

The next scene shattered me tho, and probably reshaped my view on what was "fun" forever. The game, as we all know, was not over. I hadn't completed the quest. Not only had I not succeeded in my goal, but there was far more to do than what was already done.
 
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JihyoParkXX

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I disagree with BOTW saving the franchise though, it was not very good as a traditional Zelda game (having a linear game design with intricate dungeons) and the franchise didn't need saving anyways, the last major release before it was A Link Between Worlds and that was a very fun game. I too, thought BOTW was a masterpiece for the first 10 hours or so but after the magic wears off the world becomes bland, and the weapons breaking + stamina draining mechanics get annoying. It's like MGS5 which everyone thinks has excellent gameplay but is so different that it doesn't quite belong to the franchise.

My favorite Zelda game is Majora's Mask 3D, heck it's my 4th favorite game ever. The atmosphere and vibe of the game, with how almost all the NPCs in Clock Town have their own sidequest about them coping with the moon falling gives the world of Termina a character of its own; no other Zelda game (except maybe OOT with how things change after time travel) comes close to having the world being this alive. Also, one thing BOTW lacks that makes older games more memorable is a great orchestral soundtrack.

But yeah you're right, Zelda is definitely one of the most consistently good video game franchise out there.
1. a modern telling of high fantasy. Aside from GoT (gross) we do not have a classic Hero-saves-the-princess type of story. it's a great mono-myth tale
Consider checking out Elden Ring. The story is pretty much this: you're an Elden guy, slay the Elden Gods, get the Elden Ring, become the Elden Lord.
 
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zalaz alaza

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I disagree with BOTW saving the franchise though, it was not very good as a traditional Zelda game (having a linear game design with intricate dungeons) and the franchise didn't need saving anyways, the last major release before it was A Link Between Worlds and that was a very fun game. I too, thought BOTW was a masterpiece for the first 10 hours or so but after the magic wears off the world becomes bland, and the weapons breaking + stamina draining mechanics get annoying. It's like MGS5 which everyone thinks has excellent gameplay but is so different that it doesn't quite belong to the franchise.

My favorite Zelda game is Majora's Mask 3D, heck it's my 4th favorite game ever. The atmosphere and vibe of the game, with how almost all the NPCs in Clock Town have their own sidequest about them coping with the moon falling gives the world of Termina a character of its own; no other Zelda game (except maybe OOT with how things change after time travel) comes close to having the world being this alive. Also, one thing BOTW lacks that makes older games more memorable is a great orchestral soundtrack.

But yeah you're right, Zelda is definitely one of the most consistently good video game franchise out there.

Consider checking out Elden Ring. The story is pretty much this: you're an Elden guy, slay the Elden Gods, get the Elden Ring, become the Elden Lord.
Hey, if its your 4th favorite game then what are your top 3? Or maybe top 5?
 
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JihyoParkXX

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Hey, if its your 4th favorite game then what are your top 3? Or maybe top 5?
Thanks for asking!

1. Metal Gear Solid 3
2. Persona 4
3. Yakuza 0
5. 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors

Yikes, just realized they're all Japanese games. Red Dead 2 is No.6 though!
 
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Great essay!

As you can tell by my username, I'm a huge fan of the series. I'm replaying a Link to the Past currently and thinking how great it would be to get a modern 3D Zelda that has more dungeons and lots of viable equipment used throughout the game. That combined with BotW's physics and movement mechanics would be insane.

Here's hoping Shigeru Miyamoto browses this site and reads this thread.
 
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Thanks for asking!

1. Metal Gear Solid 3
2. Persona 4
3. Yakuza 0
5. 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors

Yikes, just realized they're all Japanese games. Red Dead 2 is No.6 though!
Metal Gear Soild 3? Persona 4? Yakuza 0? HOLY SHIT DUDE, THOSE ARE IN MY FUCKING TOP 5 ASWELL, my friend, you gained the title of the kino tastes in agora road!
 
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MarchToTheSea

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I disagree with BOTW saving the franchise though, it was not very good as a traditional Zelda game (having a linear game design with intricate dungeons) and the franchise didn't need saving anyways,
i don't disagree. i too, am somewhat torn at it not following tge more "traditional" zelda formula. Ocarina of Time is my favorite 3d zelda, link's awakening is my favorite 2D one. so seeing a zelda kind of abandon these play styles didn't sit well with me at all at first. what i meant by saving the franchise: it's no secret that people were not so hot on zelda for a while. primarily the skyward sword debacle. i think it really turned a lot of people OFF of the series. skyward sword made a lot of mistakes. the motion controls, the game is very handholdy, it takes a long time to actually get to the game ("find my pet cat!").

BOTW saved the series in the sense of getting rid of everything people hated about that game, and getting people interested in the series again. it was the switch's killer app, people bought switches just for botw.

and besides, you could make the argument that this gets zelda back to it's core, which is exploring to find shit, beat obstacles, beat monsters. thats not MY argument, but, you know.

plus, all this aside, it's a pretty well designed game anyway
the last major release before it was A Link Between Worlds and that was a very fun game.
ehhh. to be honest, i never played it, for 3 reasons. i dont like handhelds. i cant stand them. second, i hated the way that game looked. the colors and art style just didn't do it for me. and last, it as marketed as a sequel to link to the past. i hate link to the past. my least favorite zelda game. cant stand it. so a sequel to it did not interest me much.

I too, thought BOTW was a masterpiece for the first 10 hours or so but after the magic wears off the world becomes bland, and the weapons breaking + stamina draining mechanics get annoying. It's like MGS5 which everyone thinks has excellent gameplay but is so different that it doesn't quite belong to the franchise.
im not a fan of the weapon breakage either. the game has some mechanics that were were not perfected. in away these are not broken though (unlike rain, which is broken and stupid AF). you just have to explore and kill stuff to remedy these issues. more weapons and more stamina take probably more time to gather than it should (perhaps too many things to explore, because you can get sidetracked), but the remedy to the problems you describe is based on what you do as a player. i think this is actually a realy cool (though somewhat sometimes frustrating) design philosophy

to me, after numerous playthroughs, the magic is still retained by playing in different ways. how fast can i do this? what if i only used wooden weapons, what if i didnt use warp points, etc. you can play anyway you want and that keeps it fresh (to me).
My favorite Zelda game is Majora's Mask 3D, heck it's my 4th favorite game ever. The atmosphere and vibe of the game, with how almost all the NPCs in Clock Town have their own sidequest about them coping with the moon falling gives the world of Termina a character of its own; no other Zelda game (except maybe OOT with how things change after time travel) comes close to having the world being this alive.
Majora's mask is cool, i really really liked it as a kid, but as time goes on and i think about it more, i like it less and less. well, i don't dislike it, i just discover/realize things i dislike about it. i hate how locked down it is. like, you have to do specific things, in a straight line, and it takes forever to get to the next thing. progression gating is not unique to majora's mask but like, how much time do you have to spend as a deku scrub? you gotta find the fairy pieces you gotta get the title deed for the deku, you gotta wait, you fight skull kid....then you gotta make your way to the forest, do the make, take the boat tour, free the monkey, etc.

lke i said, all zelda games do this to some degree, but ocarina of time...crawl through a hole, get a sword, scavenge for some rupees, and boom, you can go to the first dungeon.
Also, one thing BOTW lacks that makes older games more memorable is a great orchestral soundtrack.
we're in total agreement here. i LOVE zelda music. LOVE is an understatement even. an d i was very disappointed in the lack of iconic music for this game. when i played for the first time and i heard about gerudos' i thought for sure, we would hear an awesome EPIC rendition of the iconic gerudo valley theme from ocarina, but no. there is some iconic music returning. but i think having the music play such a minor role in the game/aestheitc was not a great choice. the champion motifs and stuff are actually great, but you never get to hear them but once or twice. they're so minor, i actually forgot all about these themes/melodies on my first playthrough and the didn't burrow into my brain until like, the 2nd or 3rd.

worth noting that this is the first zelda game where Koji Kondo was not in charge of the music.. i think he was in a strictly supervisory role, and did not diectly compose or arrange anything. does this have anything to do with the new game's lack of iconic music? maybe. maybe not. but its a funny coincidence.
 
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MarchToTheSea

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Great essay!

As you can tell by my username, I'm a huge fan of the series. I'm replaying a Link to the Past currently and thinking how great it would be to get a modern 3D Zelda that has more dungeons and lots of viable equipment used throughout the game. That combined with BotW's physics and movement mechanics would be insane.

Yes, great name! to be honest, i never got the hate for water temple. it isn't the BEST dungeon in my eyes, but it gets a lot of undeserved flak. personlly the dungeon i hate the most is the fire temple. worst part of the game.

i think the dream would be OCarina of Time in BOTW's engine, right? i know that would never happen, but man, could you imagine?

i think botw 2 will be a bit more refined. while BOTW was a totally new, ground zero style for the series, I think with BOTW 2, they will be able to see what worked, what didn't and trim the fat, so to speak, to make something even better.

sadly it looks like time travel is gonna be involved, and im not a huge fan of that as a storytelling device. but with Age of Calamity, it looks like that might be how it goes.
Here's hoping Shigeru Miyamoto browses this site and reads this thread.
i dont think he speaks english well enough lol
 
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to be honest, i never got the hate for water temple. it isn't the BEST dungeon in my eyes, but it gets a lot of undeserved flak.
I get that. I think most people, including me on my first go at it, had a hard time finding all the keys. That and having to equip the iron boots so often while also changing the water levels makes it tedious. I can't say it's my favorite, but I love the music and art style. Very vapowavey imo
i think the dream would be OCarina of Time in BOTW's engine, right? i know that would never happen, but man, could you imagine
I can only dream Nintendo wakes up to the fact that the bulk of their Zelda fans would love an OoT-like game with BotW mechanics. I know BotW is the series highest selling game, and I hope it's sequel does just as good, but I can't be the only one that wants to go back to classic dungeons and versatile equipment.
 
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MarchToTheSea

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I get that. I think most people, including me on my first go at it, had a hard time finding all the keys. That and having to equip the iron boots so often while also changing the water levels makes it tedious. I can't say it's my favorite, but I love the music and art style. Very vapowavey imo

I can only dream Nintendo wakes up to the fact that the bulk of their Zelda fans would love an OoT-like game with BotW mechanics. I know BotW is the series highest selling game, and I hope it's sequel does just as good, but I can't be the only one that wants to go back to classic dungeons and versatile equipment.
It's interesting

Up to now we've had 2 styles and they've gone on their paths and there's been enough room for both.

but is there room for 3 types of Zelda's? Surely they can't be done with the OOT style forever
 
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