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    I don't get why OoT's overworld is good to this day
    • The fields in Twilight Princess are uninviting. The entire game is built to be extremely linear. When you just follow the story, you have little reason to spend any time at all in the fields.

      From the very beginning, you are teleported around the world. You start in Ordon, then teleport to the Castle, and then teleport back to Ordon. When you finally reach the first field after multiple hours of gameplay, there is almost nothing for you to do in it. There's plenty of content in those fields, but even after hours of playing you're not equipped to complete any of it.

      The most rewarding path of progression is to simply walk to the next area and continue the story (in this case, the Kakariko Twilight portion).

      The wolf sniffing mechanic makes the prospects of exploring even more dim...literally. When you have the wolf senses activated, the entire world around you goes black and you see a narrow viewpoint and focus on whatever it is you're tracking. I had played the game several times before I stopped and asked myself "what area of the overworld am I actually running through?"

      Twilight Princess simply does not reward exploration. The game world doesn't truly open up to you until you have completed four dungeons; roughly half way through the game. The only time I have ever stopped and told myself "maybe I should explore around here more" is when I'm completing the Sky Book just before the City in the Sky, near the very end of the game. That is the only time in the game when you really travel around to the different fields for any particular reason.

      Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time is the better designed overworld. Not because it has more content than Twilight Princess (Twilight Princess definitely has more content), but because the overworld invites you to explore the entire world almost immediately.

      You have to meet some requirements before certain areas are open to you (like needing bombs to open Zora's River), but once an area is opened to you, it's never closed to you again. If you just want to open up the overworld and be free to explore everything the (Young Link) world has to offer, you need to invest less than 2 hours of gameplay to the main story (2 dungeons). The reward for that 2 hours of gameplay is incredible. Even after just 1 hour of gameplay, tons of optional content is available to you. The more you progress through the story in small bits, the more optional content you can find. The progression in Ocarina of Time is simply brilliant.

      Hyrule Field has a handful of secrets to find without visiting the attached areas, but it's primary purpose is to get you to those areas. The field is big enough to make you feel like a part of a large world, but small enough to make traveling between areas simple.

      Sure, Hyrule Field by itself, removed from all the zones it connects with, has less content than all of the larger field areas in Twilight Princess. But Hyrule Field was never designed to be what the fields in Twilight Princess are supposed to be. Hyrule Field is a hub that connects to all the more meaningful content. The difference is that you are quickly given access to all of it.

      Twilight Princess puts you in a large world and then railroads you the entire time. To make matter's worse, the overworld just feels empty despite there being content hidden away. The fields in Twilight Princess feel like a hub (like Hyrule Field), but that isn't their intended purpose. It just so happens this hub is huge and takes too long to get around. Screw it, Midna, just teleport me where I need to go.

      Twilight Princess does not reward exploration the same way that Ocarina of Time rewards exploration. The design of the overworld fields plays a significant role in that.

      TL;DR: Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time and the multiple fields in Twilight Princess were designed to serve different purposes. Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time is designed to be a hub that quickly gets you to more important areas while still making you feel like you are part of a huge world. The multiple fields of Twilight Princess are designed to be explored thoroughly to unlock secrets. Twilight Princess has no hub; it only has areas full of optional content.

      Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time succeeds in being the hub it was designed to be. The multiple fields of Twilight Princess feel like hubs even though that was not the intent.

      Ocarina of Time has the better designed overworld field.
      Joshua, Zelda Universe Content Director

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    • Joshua wrote:

      Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time is the better designed overworld. Not because it has more content than Twilight Princess (Twilight Princess definitely has more content), but because the overworld invites you to explore the entire world almost immediately.

      not a bad way to put it. though the difference with OoT and TP's world is hardly anything major. exploring, what are you really exploring after being introduced to the field?

      cannot do anything:
      Lake Hylia
      Gerudo Valley

      CAN do something:
      Lon Ranch
      Fishing place

      Story plot points, not quite exploring:
      Market
      Village

      okay so some skulltulas and fishing and some sightseeing. In the end Hyrules world just falls short of Termina.
    • Lake Hylia IS where the fishing place is. Aside from that, beautiful lake. Lakeside laboratory has a recurring reward based on your progress too.
      Can do something also applies to Kakariko village, which is jampacked with content despite not having to go there yet for any plot related reason (Death Mountain opens after meeting with Zelda), and the Lost Woods, which houses several item upgrades and a new song which is available long before you have access to Death Mountain.

      While there's nothing you can do in Gerudo Valley, the river is made to transport you to Lake Hylia in a cool and fast way; glad to see they brought that back in Twilight Princess, even though I do dislike how stupidly big the lake is; if you fall, it's a loooong swim back.

      Termina does not have the Skulltula-esque rewards for exploring the overworld. Three out of four cardinal directions, and Milk Road, are shut entirely, with not even a little bit of exploration possible. Basically, what you got is Clock Town, which is fantastic, even with half of its content being inaccessible for a time, but outside of Clock Town there's not an awful lot of exploration going on.
    • Termina like a hub, and far better than Hyrule field. the distance of the 4 cardinal directions from clocktown just about the same as Market to Lon Ranch. Far more things to do in Termina Field AND shorter distance between main areas of interest. why do standards suddenly change when talking about TP/OoT and then MM? the fact that OoT blocks you from a huge chunk of content until you obtain some items didn't matter in OoT but now those roadblocks suddenly is a game changer in MM? very well lets return to exploration in OoT:

      blocked:

      Gerudo Valley
      Gerudo Fortress
      Haunted Wasteland (or whatever it is called, that place you need the Lens)
      Desert Colossus
      Zora's River
      Zora's Domain
      Zora's Fountain
      Death Mountain Trail
      Death Mountain Crater
      Goron City

      can access, but is also mostly sightseeing:

      Lake Hylia
      Fishing place
      Lon Ranch

      plot points, you are SUPPOSED to head there:

      Market
      Village

      this is you Ocarina exploration up there ^
    • yes but when the same thing is in Termina it got criticized as restrictive for exploration?? just look at previous replies ^
      sounds exactly like a double standard. literally 3/4 of Termina is open after the 2nd dungeon. either you are going to talk about your exploration after the 2nd dungeon or you stick with exploration after accessing the world map for the first time.
    • Majora's Mask has a terrible overworld.

      (Lots of images in the spoilers - all ye who enter be warned)

      Display Spoiler
      If you're going to lambast any game, might as well start there. Termina Field utterly fails to even come close to evoking the sense of a vast, open world that you are free to run around in, which was what Ocarina of Time pulled off really well with your first introduction to Hyrule Field.

      Step out into Termina Field and what's the one thing that you see more than anything else? Walls.



      The field is literally just the area that's between the walls you came from and the walls you're headed to. Look;



      That's the width of the whole thing. Dense? Sure. But you'd be a fool to judge an overworld by its density. That's not what a world actually looks like.

      Here, look, let me show you why Majora's Mask has the second-worst world of any 3D Zelda game. Here the whole thing is in its entirety:


      Now see, that's a hub (Termina Field) surrounded by four branching paths that go off in their own separate directions and pretty much end at their respective dungeons. Each path has its share of puzzles and tasks you need to complete in order to proceed. Where else have we seen this sort of world design?



      That's right, Skyward Sword! And who here doesn't agree that Skyward Sword had the right idea when it comes to world design?

      No, fuck that. Majora's Mask's world design sucks for the same reason that Skyward Sword's world design sucks - they aren't building worlds at all. They're merely paths filled with obstacles, and smack dab in the middle is a bland, uninteresting space surrounding a hub. Termina Field is almost exactly as bad as the sky was in Skyward Sword. It barely wins out by having slightly more to it at first glance.

      Before you can woo me with exploration, you first have to show me a world I can actually believe in. If not, I have no drive whatsoever to explore. This is why Ocarina of Time gets a big pass, despite having little to its field once you actually get right down to it. Because it look and feels like an actual field, it achieves much more for the player than Termina Field could ever hope to do. If I can't believe it, don't even bother showing it to me. I'm not interested.
    • Abyss Master wrote:

      Majora's Mask has a terrible overworld.

      (Lots of images in the spoilers - all ye who enter be warned)

      Display Spoiler
      If you're going to lambast any game, might as well start there. Termina Field utterly fails to even come close to evoking the sense of a vast, open world that you are free to run around in, which was what Ocarina of Time pulled off really well with your first introduction to Hyrule Field.

      Step out into Termina Field and what's the one thing that you see more than anything else? Walls.



      The field is literally just the area that's between the walls you came from and the walls you're headed to. Look;



      That's the width of the whole thing. Dense? Sure. But you'd be a fool to judge an overworld by its density. That's not what a world actually looks like.

      Here, look, let me show you why Majora's Mask has the second-worst world of any 3D Zelda game. Here the whole thing is in its entirety:


      Now see, that's a hub (Termina Field) surrounded by four branching paths that go off in their own separate directions and pretty much end at their respective dungeons. Each path has its share of puzzles and tasks you need to complete in order to proceed. Where else have we seen this sort of world design?



      That's right, Skyward Sword! And who here doesn't agree that Skyward Sword had the right idea when it comes to world design?

      No, fuck that. Majora's Mask's world design sucks for the same reason that Skyward Sword's world design sucks - they aren't building worlds at all. They're merely paths filled with obstacles, and smack dab in the middle is a bland, uninteresting space surrounding a hub. Termina Field is almost exactly as bad as the sky was in Skyward Sword. It barely wins out by having slightly more to it at first glance.

      Before you can woo me with exploration, you first have to show me a world I can actually believe in. If not, I have no drive whatsoever to explore. This is why Ocarina of Time gets a big pass, despite having little to its field once you actually get right down to it. Because it look and feels like an actual field, it achieves much more for the player than Termina Field could ever hope to do. If I can't believe it, don't even bother showing it to me. I'm not interested.

      Well, that was kind of harsh. I'm getting really tired of Zelda fans (and FF fans, for that matter) treating one game like it's garbage to elevate the status of another game. I get that this is a response to Caliber70 criticizing OoT's overworld while praising MM's, but it comes across like you're trying to rile people up. People haven't even been that harsh on OoT's overworld in this thread.
      [pitch meeting] Okay so it's a ton of dogs. Dalmatians. 100 of 'em. I call it "100 Dalmatians." [idea man pipes in] Let's think bigger

      - Ristolable
    • funny thing though, the same reason you said OoT is better than MM is the same reason TP is better than OoT. MM runs on the same system as OoT, what excuse is there for it to be empty when you leave town? Hyrule is either a hub, or a moving living world. as a hub it only leads you to the exit, you have nothing to do, and for that living world you are supposed to be distracted from point A to point B forget why you were going there, be caught in the sights or exploration..... and OoT does not do living world better than the other 2 titles, MM and TP, and OoT definitely does not do hub better than MM when you travel less distance to the corners in Termina. pulling an immersive atmosphere is something subjective, I can easily remember LA and WW is the one that did immersion the best for me. what are you really doing other than trying to paint OoT as something untouchable??
    • Caliber70 wrote:

      what are you really doing other than trying to paint OoT as something untouchable??
      lol brah no need to get so defensive. Abyss Master basically said two things:

      1. he doesn't like to see the boundaries of the overworld as soon as he enters the overworld, it makes the overworld feel small and/or cramped

      2. he doesn't like overworlds designed as branching linear obstacle courses


      #1 is a legitimate point, though it's related as much to the size of the hub-world as it is to the draw distance. OoT seems to have had shorter draw distance than MM, and ironically OoT may have benefited from it.

      #2 is also a legitimate point for someone who values a believable world. What's more, I bet he would agree with you that LA and WW were stronger than MM and SS in this regard.
    • Well I think it comes down to activities one can do when you get to said area outside of Hyrule Field from the get-go.

      - Lake Hylia has the first part of the Scarecrow's Song sidequest, a couple of Skulltulas, and the Fishing Pond, all of these can be played with when you get there.

      - Gerudo Valley has two Heart Pieces the player has immediate access to, even though it will require two trips (one behind the waterfall and one with the Cucco), exploration is rewarded highly in this instance.

      - Zora's River is completely blocked until you get Bombs.

      - Kakariko Village has a host of things to do. If Night you can hunt for the five easily available Skulltula, if day you can get your first bottle, along with a Heart Piece with some clever thinking.

      - The Graveyard is where I think Kakariko really shines. Exploration is extremely well rewarded here with a free Hylian Shield in one of the graves (and if you have Zelda's Lullaby you can get the Sun's Song, and another Heart Piece, but this is about from the get-go, so... can't include that, but it's not very long all the same, since you are meant to pass through Kakariko once you have Zelda's Lullaby) and a little game similar to the digging mini-game in ALttP in concept (far from execution).

      - That leaves only the Market where you can get a Bullet Bag Upgrade in the day at the Shooting Gallery and a Heart Piece at night by bringing the dog back (I don't count the random chance Treasure game, as that is meant to be done with the Lens of Truth.

      Aside from Zora's River every place that can be branched off of has something for the player to do, this may be what makes OoT's Hyrule Field feel stronger that it's not so much the field itself, but what it connects to which is full of activities straight from the start.

      Even though I think MM's Overworld is much better, you are meant to be locked to progressing upon it until you've completed each area's problems, hence the feeling of openness is immediately quashed.

      Twilight Princess had this problem to a smaller extent, I found. You could start Bug Collecting very early on and get a couple of Heart Pieces here and there, but yes, you couldn't do all that much through your first visits to a lot of these places both in Hyrule Field and beyond it.
    • for those that justify OoT field being empty, if you want a hub that shortens travel time, nothing will beat MM, and it still managed to pack in some wildlife in Termina field on the same console.
      if you want content in your exploration, look at TP, it only feels empty due to size, not lack of content.
      if you want the large world immersion, nothing will not beat WW (soon to be replaced in 2017).

      a lot of the flaws that stick on those titles are just as present there in OoT, I don't get why anyone is bringing up that exploration is limited until clearing the 2nd dungeon in TP when the same is happening in OoT.... or that MM had visible walls, when OoT has those same sandbox walls. OoT's overworld flaws have been brought up plenty of times but new double-standards show up.

      there are few things less depressing for a game than a empty world, OoT's Field literally feels like the sky to me:



      adding respawning lizalfos in the field would just fix OoT's world for me, and add in respawning dinofos and stalfos at night time would be great too. they showed they can add NPCs during child link's time, if 7 years later is supposed to be a destroyed Hyrule, why make the field SAFER without the lizalfos to populate the field? with those double standards continuing to ignore OoT's flaws i feel it is time to unsubscribe to this thread.