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Prequel Problems: The Legend of Zelda

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Moderator
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
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So what's the Japanese fanbase reaction to it? would be the follow-up question.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Glorious.

The confident canon ending up in Historia feels like that recurring thing, official media looking at fansites (I remember some Sonic fans joking they should make stuff up to ensure this happened, I wish I'd faked a whole fifth Martin Adam's book from Virgin with Knuckles in that was "cancelled")
 

Will Lucky

Well-known member
Good read.

I remember being being so confident in the two timeline theory from OOT. Got all the prequels in the right place and then it was like lol no, third failure timeline.

Well, that did not seem anticipated at all.
 

Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
What really annoys me is that it's never "here's a fan theory", it's "this is self-evidently what it is". Like "here's a big fish skeleton in Breath of the Wild, that's the Windfish from Link's Awakening, and here's a video explaining it". Never mind there's three of the things in the game or that none of their claimed 'evidence' exists. It's a big fish and a game I played as a kid had a big fish in it = that's enough evidence for me, lads.

Very reminiscent of archaeologists who've already got a narrative in mind and cut off all the parts that don't fit it.
 

Geordie

SEA LIONS ON MY SHIRT
Published by SLP
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Much like in your collected Mario reviews, one of the biggest takeaways is that Nintendo is incredibly Doylist in its approach to well-loved franchises.

As such, trying to view the games as Watson would will always be fraught with difficulty.

And, as with all such things, there'll be cherry-picking, flaming and arguments between all those who try to make sense of things.
 

Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
Much like in your collected Mario reviews, one of the biggest takeaways is that Nintendo is incredibly Doylist in its approach to well-loved franchises.

As such, trying to view the games as Watson would will always be fraught with difficulty.
Absolutely - the weird part is how they manage to hold on to the undying loyalty of such fans despite neither side really understanding the other, and rarely even trying to appeal to those fans.
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
I'm a Zelda (Very) casual, having only played Link's Awakening back when it released for the GameBoy nearly three decades ago now, and a bit of the SNES game much later, and I'm surprised that Thande's view isn't universal because it's what I've always taken as an implicit understanding.

Link, Zelda etc are clearly stock characters like Sonic and Mario are, so why would you expect a detailed and consistent chronology and world-building? I imagine this is terribly offensive to the fandom but it's the reality.

The Zelda series is basically what Final Fantasy would be if the Warrior of Light, Princess Sarah and Garland had been the main characters in practically every game since 1987 and the series had never advanced beyond them and the 1987 setting.

People should enjoy what they enjoy, but with recognition of the level it's on.
 

Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
I'm a Zelda (Very) casual, having only played Link's Awakening back when it released for the GameBoy nearly three decades ago now, and a bit of the SNES game much later, and I'm surprised that Thande's view isn't universal because it's what I've always taken as an implicit understanding.

Link, Zelda etc are clearly stock characters like Sonic and Mario are, so why would you expect a detailed and consistent chronology and world-building? I imagine this is terribly offensive to the fandom but it's the reality.

The Zelda series is basically what Final Fantasy would be if the Warrior of Light, Princess Sarah and Garland had been the main characters in practically every game since 1987 and the series had never advanced beyond them and the 1987 setting.

People should enjoy what they enjoy, but with recognition of the level it's on.
Exactly so. Nobody* expects every Final Fantasy to all be part of some intricately linked overarching setting, so why here?

One thing I discovered while researching this is that even in RPGs, a lot of Japanese games tend to make a bigger deal of the mechanics than the story as a selling point (which is not to dismiss their stories in the context of the individual games, to be clear). For example, I got very confused about hearing about a game called Bravely Default in passing, assuming it was a badly translated title. It turns out that the whole gimmick of the game is that characters can either attack in a 'brave' or 'default' way, and this is so fundamental a selling point that they make it the title. And, predictably, there's now a Bravely Default 2 that has nothing to do with the original in characters or setting, the only connection being it has this same game mechanic. But I'm sure some western fan with red string and a pinboard is even now trying to explain how, actually...

*Though never say never with the internet...
 

KeyPuncher

New member
Location
USA
I'm a Zelda (Very) casual, having only played Link's Awakening back when it released for the GameBoy nearly three decades ago now, and a bit of the SNES game much later, and I'm surprised that Thande's view isn't universal because it's what I've always taken as an implicit understanding.
Exactly so. Nobody* expects every Final Fantasy to all be part of some intricately linked overarching setting, so why here?

I'm a pretty big Zelda fan, I mean I wasn't alive in the 80s but I've played every official game more than once. Obviously I only have my own experience to pull from but it is also my sentiment that the games are not necessarily connected.

Nintendo's gameplay first philosophy is pretty well known. We expected the story to be tacked on. The first mention of chronological placement I can recall is when Wind Waker was coming out. It was said that it takes place 100 years after Ocarina of Time, which was called the first story. That sort of started some rumblings but even with that the games were still viewed as standalones. Then after Twilight Princess arrived and during Skyward Sword's development it was revealed that there was an internal timeline. This blew some minds and fans went theory wild.

When Skyward Sword arrived it was said to be at the front of the timeline. Then the first "official" (though likely influenced by the fans) timeline was published. Then it was later revised with a mistake rectifies and republished. Though there are still oddities and that should be expected since it is an afterthought. This far it seems to not have affectted Nintendo's approach to making Zelda games. Each game can still be enjoyed separately, even the direct sequels.

The theories around chronology and connections are just fans having fun. Most don't believe this are hints into what the minds at Nintendo are hiding from us but just fun tidbits that allow for them to make such connections. The only way I can see fans taking THE TIMELINE in at face value fact are perhaps newer fans Entering around or after its conception.
 

Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
I'm a pretty big Zelda fan, I mean I wasn't alive in the 80s but I've played every official game more than once. Obviously I only have my own experience to pull from but it is also my sentiment that the games are not necessarily connected.

Nintendo's gameplay first philosophy is pretty well known. We expected the story to be tacked on. The first mention of chronological placement I can recall is when Wind Waker was coming out. It was said that it takes place 100 years after Ocarina of Time, which was called the first story. That sort of started some rumblings but even with that the games were still viewed as standalones. Then after Twilight Princess arrived and during Skyward Sword's development it was revealed that there was an internal timeline. This blew some minds and fans went theory wild.

When Skyward Sword arrived it was said to be at the front of the timeline. Then the first "official" (though likely influenced by the fans) timeline was published. Then it was later revised with a mistake rectifies and republished. Though there are still oddities and that should be expected since it is an afterthought. This far it seems to not have affectted Nintendo's approach to making Zelda games. Each game can still be enjoyed separately, even the direct sequels.

The theories around chronology and connections are just fans having fun. Most don't believe this are hints into what the minds at Nintendo are hiding from us but just fun tidbits that allow for them to make such connections. The only way I can see fans taking THE TIMELINE in at face value fact are perhaps newer fans Entering around or after its conception.
Thanks for reading! I certainly hope what you say is correct, but I did get the impression that people were seriously obsessing over this quite early on (possibly as early as Ocarina of Time, from what I read).
 
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