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  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Why Breath of the Wild does not return the series to its roots

User Info: Microelectrode

Microelectrode
1 week ago#1
One of the main claims of Breath of the Wild is that it returns the game to the roots of the series: you can go anywhere and do anything, just like the original Zelda. I don't think this is the case. In fact, I think Breath of the Wild takes the series farther in the new direction than it's ever been.

In the original NES Zelda, you had full access to the entire overworld, which was pretty barren except for minor secrets. The entire main quest was to find the entrances to the labyrinths. There were no people to help, nothing. One goal: find the labyrinths and beat them.

As the games advanced, the overworld became denser, and you could interact with the world in richer ways. Now there were more complex ways of entering the dungeons. You were encouraged to fully explore the overworld because there was little distinction between the optional and the mandatory. Any cave, any mysterious environmental clue, could hide either a minor secret or a major item. In A Link to the Past, for example, the dungeon entrances were clearly marked, but you needed the right overworld items to enter or complete them. As you explored, you often found heart pieces, and the game was tough enough to need them. But you didn't go out of your way for them. You found them because you were busy exploring for your main quest anyway. Even in Ocarina of Time, where your hand was held a little more, you still kept an eye out for things, like a strange rock on the way to Zelda (later revealed to be a Great Fairy Fountain with a mandatory item), or the mysterious plaque in Lake Hylia (for the Fire Arrows).

Majora's Mask was a turning point. In that game, and in most games going forward, there is a great distinction between the optional and the mandatory, and as a result, exploration of the overworld is not integral to the main quest. In Majora's Mask, just follow the instructions of the characters, solve the immediate puzzles, and reach the dungeon. The puzzle solving and exploration was restricted to your immediate area, rather than the world at large. If you explored the world, it was for side quests, such as helping people and dealing with the Bomber's Notebook. In the Wind Waker, there is a huge ocean to explore, yet the King of Red Lions tells you everything. Go to where he highlights, solve the puzzles in your immediate area, and finish the game with almost no heart pieces or treasure salvaged, and only a third of the ocean explored.

As the games went on, the world kept getting bigger, the side content increased, and the ways you interact with the world (transformation masks, sailing, wolf form, etc.) got richer. These are all positives. However, the main quest got small in comparison to the side content, and there became a clear distinction between what is optional and mandatory, often due to the guidance of characters and waypoints on the map. Breath of the Wild is the same. The grandest, most open and interactive overworld of any Zelda game, and yet I finished with 9% explored. Some of the handheld games (e.g. Oracles) retained the old formulas, but most went in the new direction.

While Breath of the Wild was certainly a fun game, it hasn't "returned" Zelda to its roots, as seems to be the claim. Zelda's roots were about exploring the overworld, yes - but so you could have the means to enter dungeons. Your main quest. Then, the formula changed to exploring the overworld for exploration's sake. Breath of the Wild, if anything, is cementing the new formula in place and taking Zelda further from its original design. An impressive world, but most of it optional, and clearly marked on your quest log as such.

User Info: Crudelitas

Crudelitas
1 week ago#2
That's certainly an interesting way to look at it. The divine beasts and the ways to reach them are quite telegraphed and straight forward. It would be cool if exploration and main quest where more intertwined.

Microelectrode posted...
Majora's Mask was a turning point. In that game, and in most games going forward, there is a great distinction between the optional and the mandatory, and as a result, exploration of the overworld is not integral to the main quest.

OoT does that too. Not sure why MM is supposed to be the turning point.
There is no path to git gud, for gitin' gud is the path.

User Info: Zeveria

Zeveria
1 week ago#3
Having replayed LoZ...there really isn't that much exploration. The first dungeons are close and require a little bit of it, but after that your hand is held and you're told where to go.
TP > OoT = MM > ST = SS = tWW > TFH > ALBW = PH > BOTW = MC > OoA > OoS > LA > FSA > FS > LoZ > AoL >>> aLttP

User Info: DiogenesKC

DiogenesKC
1 week ago#4
so the main goal of zelda 1 was to find the dungeons and beat them, and there's a bit of optional stuff in the overworld you can do to get stronger

and in botw the main goal is to get to the dungeons and beat them, and there's a lot of optional stuff in the overworld you can do to get stronger

i don't see how these are so different
Welcome to the world of idiots.

User Info: Microelectrode

Microelectrode
1 week ago#5
Yup OoT does do the waypoint handholding thing, but there is more mandatory and less optional content. OoT has 8+ dungeons and they are scattered all over the world. MM has only 4 dungeons and it is segmented in 4 cardinal directions from Termina Field. Also, MM has way more content in terms of heart pieces, masks, and side quests. It’s just that it’s optional. OoT might be regarded as the “transition,” and MM the full turning point.

To DiogenesKC, the difference is that about 90% of the original Zelda is mandatory, and 90% of Breath of the Wild is optional. The goal of all Zeldas is to ultimately find and beat the dungeons, but later games got focused on the side content more than the main quest.

User Info: CarbonButtflap

CarbonButtflap
1 week ago#6
Ok

I disagree tho
MGM Studios isn't Spielberg. Fox isn't George RR Martin. Square Enix isn't Hironobu Sakaguchi. Great game creators are who make great games, not companies

User Info: CarbonButtflap

CarbonButtflap
1 week ago#7
Zeveria posted...
Having replayed LoZ...there really isn't that much exploration. The first dungeons are close and require a little bit of it, but after that your hand is held and you're told where to go.

Wheres death mountain? Does the game tell you its on spectacle rock?
MGM Studios isn't Spielberg. Fox isn't George RR Martin. Square Enix isn't Hironobu Sakaguchi. Great game creators are who make great games, not companies

User Info: wiggum

wiggum
1 week ago#8
If you want to get caught up in the minutia to decide if BotW takes us back to the roots of the series, then I don't know if you can get there. There's too much difference/nuance between the two if you try to compare detail to detail.

That said, this question can and will have different legit answers depending on what each person uses to define the original game vs. BotW. If you define the first game by "find dungeons and defeat them", and at the same time you consider the Divine Beasts to not be dungeons ... then your answer is that they are NOT related to each other.

However, if you define the original as a huge overworld with secret stuff to find, with very little guidance, and the necessary use of an item or two here and there to unlock/open up some areas on the map ... then sure, they are quite similar with the large open worlds to just run around and see what you find.

TLDR: The answer to the OP's question is 100% based on what each person feels are the defining features of each game. Thus, there is no right/wrong answer.
(edited 1 week ago)

User Info: Zeveria

Zeveria
1 week ago#9
CarbonButtflap posted...
Zeveria posted...
Having replayed LoZ...there really isn't that much exploration. The first dungeons are close and require a little bit of it, but after that your hand is held and you're told where to go.

Wheres death mountain? Does the game tell you its on spectacle rock?


Yes. Forget if it was level 7 or 8...
TP > OoT = MM > ST = SS = tWW > TFH > ALBW = PH > BOTW = MC > OoA > OoS > LA > FSA > FS > LoZ > AoL >>> aLttP
(edited 1 week ago)

User Info: Microelectrode

Microelectrode
1 week ago#10
Zeveria posted...
CarbonButtflap posted...
Zeveria posted...
Having replayed LoZ...there really isn't that much exploration. The first dungeons are close and require a little bit of it, but after that your hand is held and you're told where to go.

Wheres death mountain? Does the game tell you its on spectacle rock?


Yes. Forget if it was level 7 or 8...


An old man in a labyrinth says, “Spectacle Rock is the entrance to death.” You need to 1) know that refers to Death Mountain, 2) look for a structure on the mountain that resembles spectacles, helped a bit by a mysterious arrow nearby, and 3) blow up a wall (no cracks etc.)

Zelda games don’t do that anymore. Now, Zelda games do two things differently. One, they hold your hand through most of the main quest. This started particularly with Ocarina of Time. And two, the main quest is small compared to the side content. That, I think, started with Majora’s Mask.

Ocarina of Time was handholding, but at least most of the game consisted of finding and beating dungeons. If the games want to continue handholding the main quest, they should increase the number of dungeons. Less filler, more main content. But to return to the series “roots,” they would also return to the independent discovery of the dungeon entrances and required items themselves.
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