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    Favorite Zelda Gameplay Elements
    • Funny thing I have always said Dungeons and in most Zelda games I am always thinking I wonder how long before I get to another Dungeon and don't really care for exploring. BOTW its like the opisit though. The dungeons where not that good but exploring was great and even after 95 hours there is still a lot of arears I have not found and things I have not found and the exploring is just so fun.
    • The inclusion of a musical instrument; particularly the implementation of music as a utilitarian device. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask would be hollow shells of themselves without those melodies associated with each location, character, and certain events.

      Sure, those melodies would probably still be present in the soundtrack anyway, but people often let leitmotif go over their heads for a while before they start noticing it. Forcing the player to learn and play them cements those ideas immediately and forms a much stronger bond between the game and the player.

      I think the ocarina item is nothing short of genius.
      If you're undecided and unsure, stay that way, and follow through with your indecision.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Cid: Saying "non-musicians" was a bit exclusive, snobbish, and not even necessarily true. Not sure why I typed that! Oops! ().

    • I'd say all three elements are what makes Zelda great and unique. But if I had to pick one, its overwhelmingly exploration! Seeing what's around the next corner, what hidden treasure chests are lying around, if there's a dungeon or cave behind some bushes or underneath some cliffs!

      I do have to mention I love Lynel battles BoTW! Love timing my dodges and attacks, and the need for quick reactions!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Pizza! ().

    • I really love the music/atmosphere/graphics.

      I think one of the biggest reasons I keep coming back to these games is how immersive they are. Just being in this breathtaking world and being able to interact within it. I love all of the different graphic styles used, and how they set the stage for the type of Zelda game you will be playing. They really tailored unique experiences from one game to another. I appreciate their level of detail throughout (which is why I am ok with waiting a long time in between games.)

      The soundtracks, even to older ones, still hold up (helped by some remakes).
      It just makes me happy to simply be in these worlds, listening, watching, and exploring.


      "Defense against the dark farts, am I right?" -Pennington
      | This spot reserved for Dark Link Reigns |

    • Pizza! wrote:

      I'd say all three elements are what makes Zelda great and unique. But if I had to pick one, its overwhelmingly exploration! Seeing what's around the next corner, what hidden treasure chests are lying around, if there's a dungeon or cave behind some bushes or underneath some cliffs!
      Personally, I think this is why games like TP & SS lost appeal to the series. Because they had taken this aspect away. Once you explored the entire map before you get halfway through the game you just backtrack through places you'd already been. And there were little or no enemies in the overworld, so it was just a hub to get from one dungeon to the next.
    • For me it is first and foremost the exploration. Exploring Hyrule for the first time in Breath of the Wild was one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had. Especially since I turned the HUD onto Pro and turned off all quest markers. I fully immersed myself in the world and had to pay attention to the environment to tell time of day, sneak around, and wear the right clothes.

      After that I would say the combat. I have always loved epic boss battles and fights against seemingly endless monsters. While the Trial of the Sword on Master Mode was infuriating at times due to the health regen, I adore every version of the Cave of Ordeals throughout the series and I love doing Three Heart Challenges for that extra difficulty.
    • I wholeheartedly agree about the music. It's probably my biggest issue with BotW and is probably the only thing keeping it from being my favorite Zelda. I wish each area of the map had a playlist of different songs to play while you are exploring. It doesn't necessarily have to be as bombastic as the Hyrule Field theme usually is, but at least something beyond just total silence would be nice.
    • In it's essence, The Legend of Zelda comes down to puzzles, no contest, as that is true gameplay whether it's (a) deep story-puzzles about exploring chain-reaction relationships and NPC investigations, (b) full-reign exploritory puzzles about epically adventuring out and unlocking events in different regions through using creative items and clues, or (c) mechanical puzzles in the open world or dungeons about traversing different challenges, paths, and enemies. I have to admit that I feel sorry for those who haven't grasped deeply enough what a puzzle actually is on a large scale, who don't recognize what the Legend of Zelda is about, as I truly believe at its root. Puzzles are the future of great gaming as they grow more and more tied to meaningful story, sophisticatedly involved in magical deep lore-progression and open exploration, always tied to mystical or breathtaking story atmosphere.

      This is key to a great Zelda game, and the difference between cutscenes and true story-tied gameplay: Atmospheric open puzzles of cleverness, NPC magic, story, and exploration. Only here could the pure essence of a Zelda game return, and in so many inspirational ways that leave us with surprising nostalgia, broken hearts, and imaginative wonder.

      My hope is for Nintendo to have a discussion and realize the ways gaming has actually changed peoples' lives through clever story/gameplay-mechanic/atmosphere synthesis, or marriage, of these 3 elements into 1 holistic experience. That is the Legend of Zelda, the world of Hyrule, where story, good gameplay, and exploration are always one, and never separated at any moment. It's why we have atmospheric dungeons we stumble upon with strange clue-givers and inscriptions, magical far-off quests to head out and find, and curious and heartwarming investigative NPC puzzles. The key is to keep Zelda's mystical story always tied to ingenious gameplay. If there is no magical story achieved through solving ingenious epic puzzles and encounters using your mind and heart, there is no legend of Zelda. Take that sentence in, and I think you will understand what you're missing. It's not story, it's brilliantly crafted puzzles on a wider scale about exploring the world's story and atmosphere. A good puzzle is just a giant relationship of interconnections to solve, but a good Zelda puzzle you explore out in the world and it always connects to telling story.



      I will always fight for this, as those who are opposed to primarily taking N64/GC Zelda to a wider open-world scale, who instead want BoTW, I believe are ruining the influence of true Zelda. I believe they, as well as Nintendo, have lost touch with the childhood magic that makes this series the best series: An alliance to deep ingrained meaning at every moment of exploration.

      What is a Zelda game? My take on it.

      The post was edited 100 times, last by Aeluras CVII ().

    • Exploration has to be my favorite because there's also something emotional about it. There's something magical and exciting about exploring Hyrule as young Link especially. The Hyrule Field music is key to the magic as well. It's also very rewarding when you find hidden areas or find heart pieces where you weren't expecting them to be. Combat is second, depending on the game obviously. Riding Epona on combat was a great breakthrough with Zelda games in Ocarina of Time, but even better in Twilight Princess.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by NayrusLove ().

    • Exploration, which is why BotW is my favorite Zelda, and linear games with little exploration and side content like TP, SS or TMC bore me. I find the gameplay infinitely more rewarding when I find the dungeons and story objectives by myself, rather than being railroaded into them. I also like the freedom of being able to take a break from the story and explore around whenever I please. Linear, overly scripted games where most of the content is mandated by the story and there's little else to do like SS feel really restrictive and repetitive to me, they're basically saying "Keep advancing the story or bust. What, you're bored of it? Tough break, go play some other game".

      I prefer my puzzles in small doses, separated by exploration ala the shrines and Korok puzzles in BotW, as opposed to overlong dungeons that constantly throw puzzles at you (TP). The Zelda gameplay should be a good blend of exploration, puzzles and action in my book, rather than being almost all puzzles ala most Zelda games released after TWW and before ALBW.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Maku Scrub ().

    • What I've always liked about Zelda is that it's something of a "middle ground" between more linear games and big open-world games (even BotW isn't as open as say, Skyrim, even though it's technically bigger). Zelda isn't an RPG, but it's not not an RPG either, if that makes sense. I've always liked that. It fits well with the setting and the story, I think.
    • Are you talking about all of MM's/TWW's story exploration puzzles everywhere you go? Or the tough item puzzles in the overworld? or just dungeon puzzles? I'm confused by your statement :arch: My experience of the games must have been a lot different from yours.

      What I got from BoTW was, the majority of gameplay is the same slashing and conserving technique in what you have to do, and collect tons of garbag... sorry, 'items' (that word has a different meaning in MM/TWW.) Everywhere is this 'item' collection and repetitive tasks, not for great story puzzles or anything cleverly tied to the 'Legend' in Zelda's world, but mostly so that you can make more story-unrelated junk for fighting and conserving, like a big battle simulator. Great if you're into doing that for 100 hours. Then finally on occasions you find some interesting NPC puzzle and schedules and deep story-solving, but side-point, it has a totally different feel from Zelda because it wasn't something that makes up the magical 'atmosphere' everywhere, that deep world-building everywhere you turn. BoTW was a totally different game for sure, but more on that..

      Most of MM/TWW's explorable material on the other hand was a perfect and exciting blend of story-puzzle marriage everywhere; almost everywhere, at base, was thematic in plot world-building, and most story puzzles were always different to figure out where you figure out what cool item or new piece of information to use, and NPCs everywhere gave off tons of atmosphere + context hints. It didn't have the same repetitive base gameplay everywhere, by any means. That's of paramount importance to my original point: BoTW also then had the shrines and a few good puzzles that you finally find, but those weren't 'Legend' of Zelda puzzles, those were just mechanical. They totally forgot the legend/narrative in puzzle exploration that was always there in Zelda's world, esp. MM/TWW, was one big imaginative story-puzzle, or a series of interesting story puzzles that feel like you're always immersed in playing a story without cutscenes but rather through exploration.

      That was the whole point behind those games, exploring, story and puzzles were all 1 thing! And it was the point of my post above if you didn't read it, but it was written very clearly so I don't quite get the confusion? This wasn't BoTW because BoTW was per hour, running, slashing, collecting, repeat tasks, more copy-pasta. But of course don't forget MM and TWW also had the bones of a classic Zelda game too which should always be there: great thematic dungeons, enemies, and mechanical puzzles.

      What is a Zelda game? My take on it.

      The post was edited 41 times, last by Aeluras CVII ().

    • Also I've heard some people argue before that most of the puzzles in MM and TWW aren't puzzles but classified as 'quests' or something :arch: What. You simply don't know what you're talking about and need to play more old Adventure games, since that is what the overworld and region content in MM and TWW were based off of. Everything in Adventure games are, at base, complex explorative puzzles about story, even if it's a puzzle that hints just at some lore or easter egg, it's a puzzle and that is when Zelda started getting really deep and really good--Along with keeping its classic thematic dungeons, combat, and mechanical puzzles. But the fact that it stuck to a pure legend atmosphere in its puzzles, that depth of NPCs where each puzzle you didn't know if some random NPC in some region could be the link! or something strange you find out in the world. That is very Zelda-ish! It's always adding to your arsenal of "ideas," about the people and places in the world.

      What a quest is, is something to adventure out about the story itself, but it doesn't necessarily have any puzzle element to it. Also, if it's just adventuring out doing activities it's not technically a quest: Go to the roots, MMOs and RPGs, those are 'quests' and mostly about fighting and some stupid repetitive things like opening key doors, to progress a story dialogue. With Zelda it's always much more about critical investigation of NPCs or environment, detective work and using really neat items to solve things around the world. (sorry, the great Zelda games I mean.)

      Also for fun, google translated this all to Japanese, and what I just wrote has a totally different meaning than in the English.

      What is a Zelda game? My take on it.

      The post was edited 23 times, last by Aeluras CVII ().