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    Breath of the wild and story : thoughts ?
    • So I’m actually just interested in people’s thoughts on it . I actually haven’t played much of breath (don’t worry about spoiling it for me though ) and I won’t lie : I had trouble getting engaged into it .

      But that’s besides the pint though . One of few things I’ve heard criticize about this game is how it’s syory is handled . And I was wondering how many felt like it was and why .
    • BotW's explores plot far differently than any Zelda title before it, and I think this was a major turn-off for some people. Since OoT, or even ALttP, Zelda plots were these epic adventures that unfolded as you advanced in the game, and your actions directly influenced the world around you; backstory generally consisted of a "legend" that's laid out in its entirety in the prologue. BotW has one of the richest backstories in the series...but there is no prologue; you wake up, and although a lot has already happened, you have no knowledge of those events, and you, as the player, had no hand in them.

      I often favorably compare how BotW deals with story with how the Metroid Prime titles do so. Both BotW and the Prime games have rich, fleshed-out worlds that the player only really experiences after a lot of consequential events have already taken place, and you have to go looking in order to discover the details of what happened before you got there. In BotW, it is more direct—in the Prime games, particularly in the first two, a lot of the exposition comes from scanning objects and obtaining pieces of lore, whereas in BotW, there are several important retrospective cutscenes (memories) that you automatically view over the course of the game, assuming you don't skip to the final boss. That said, you have to go looking for roughly half of those memories, and you can get additional details about the pre-Calamity world by talking to NPCs and finding journals.

      BotW's biggest plotlines are entirely retrospective; they've already happened prior to the beginning of your adventure. And that is a huge departure from previous titles. Essentially, your main quest is to pick up the pieces from what happened a century earlier—namely the crushing defeat of all of the heroes, including Link—almost like an afterthought. And given that the series has always been big on putting players in the role of an epic hero whose heroics are the centerpiece of the adventure, many fans were absolutely shaken by this treatment.

      I loved the story of BotW. Even despite its fantasy roots, I found it more realistic and three-dimensional than that of any previous Zelda title; it's not afraid to portray heroes as fallible. I think it was brave and ingenious of the writers to drop us into an adventure after an adventure. And I like how it forces you to go off the beaten path to get a full picture of how and why you are on such a quest, the impact that you once had and the effects of that. I don't know if I want this to become the new norm for plot in the series, although if the writing is as good as it was here, then I'm sure they could pull it off. But as an experiment, I think it paid off big. Quite literally, in fact!
    • Yeah, the main criticism is that the story is short and mostly happens in the past. There aren't many super important developments that happen as a result of your actions as a player. Personally, I loved it. It dealt with themes of loss and responsibility that aren't often touched on in Zelda. It's not as deep as MM, obviously, but it was a very touching and engaging story. I do wish there had been a bit more in the way of story, but I also love that the game is really about creating your own adventure. Dungeons, shrines, Master Sword, korok seeds, armor upgrades, side quests, you can do any of it or none of it entirely at your own discretion and at your own pace. The game is a joy to experience and truly feels like an adventure you embark on. I think the hands-off approach to storytelling helped that.

      And honestly, it's not as bad as some people make it out to be. There are definitely still some awesome iconic moments. The Zora and Gerudo questlines are particularly good.
      A dark chase requires a silent hound, and deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    • I did enjoy the story, and the world of BotW is one of the most fun to explore of any Zelda game. My main criticism is with how little detail there is, and how Nintendo seemed to use the open-world gameplay as an excuse, when there was little reason for it to be that way.

      @EzloSpirit mentioned the Metroid Prime games as allowing you to learn about the world through scanning objects, something that meshed well with the open world adventuring, that was skippable for those who didn't care, but was there for players who wanted a little more substance. BotW had a similar mechanic in the Hyrule Compendium, but it was severely under-utilized, IMO. For example, it did not let you scan NPCs, when that could have been an amazing way to learn more about BotW's characters. It gave very vague information when you scanned different races' items, when instead it could have been a way to learn more about the Gerudo, Zora, Gorons and Rito (especially the Rito, about whom we know next to nothing). All this would have taken would have been a dedicated text writer on the Zelda team. No extra programming, nothing that would have "interfered" with the open-world experience, but would have fleshed out the world so much more. If Assassin's Creed can do it, and Nintendo itself in the Metroid Prime games, what was there excuse here? Friggin' Pokedexes put more effort into world building than the Hyrule Compendium did!

      Basically, BotW gives you a beautiful world to explore, but it feels so empty. The same 5 enemies over and over, very little info given through the mechanic which is supposed to provide information to the player, next to nothing learned about one of the major races. The whole "your actions mean nothing in the present" doesn't help either. At the end of OoT, we got to see all the NPCs dancing at Lon Lon Ranch, genuinely happy that their world had been saved. With the small exception of helping build Tarry Town, we don't get the sense that anyone in BotW outside the main questlines really cared about your actions. Even with the Calamity defeated, Hyrule is still destroyed. It's unsatisfying, and no amount of Korok seeds is going to make up for that.


      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Tunic, by my husband, DarkSilver.

      "Breath of the Wild: "Zelda's Redemption" Chapter 3 now up!

      After Calamity Ganon's defeat, a devastated Zelda must come to terms with her ruined kingdom, dead friends, and the resentment of the Hero who had saved her, but lost his fiancee. When all hope seems lost, she comes across a legend of a holy relic that can set things right, if she can find the ancient keys to access it. With the help of new friends, and without Link, can Zelda finally become a legend, on her own terms?
    • Violetlight wrote:

      I did enjoy the story, and the world of BotW is one of the most fun to explore of any Zelda game. My main criticism is with how little detail there is, and how Nintendo seemed to use the open-world gameplay as an excuse, when there was little reason for it to be that way.

      @EzloSpirit mentioned the Metroid Prime games as allowing you to learn about the world through scanning objects, something that meshed well with the open world adventuring, that was skippable for those who didn't care, but was there for players who wanted a little more substance. BotW had a similar mechanic in the Hyrule Compendium, but it was severely under-utilized, IMO. For example, it did not let you scan NPCs, when that could have been an amazing way to learn more about BotW's characters. It gave very vague information when you scanned different races' items, when instead it could have been a way to learn more about the Gerudo, Zora, Gorons and Rito (especially the Rito, about whom we know next to nothing). All this would have taken would have been a dedicated text writer on the Zelda team. No extra programming, nothing that would have "interfered" with the open-world experience, but would have fleshed out the world so much more. If Assassin's Creed can do it, and Nintendo itself in the Metroid Prime games, what was there excuse here? Friggin' Pokedexes put more effort into world building than the Hyrule Compendium did!

      Basically, BotW gives you a beautiful world to explore, but it feels so empty. The same 5 enemies over and over, very little info given through the mechanic which is supposed to provide information to the player, next to nothing learned about one of the major races. The whole "your actions mean nothing in the present" doesn't help either. At the end of OoT, we got to see all the NPCs dancing at Lon Lon Ranch, genuinely happy that their world had been saved. With the small exception of helping build Tarry Town, we don't get the sense that anyone in BotW outside the main questlines really cared about your actions. Even with the Calamity defeated, Hyrule is still destroyed. It's unsatisfying, and no amount of Korok seeds is going to make up for that.
      Your take is totally cool, and I get how it comes across that way to a lot of people, but I do have a few minor disagreements. As far as the game lacking details and your frustration that the Hyrule Compendium didn't go far enough in exploring the world, well, I know don't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't want that. The difference between Zelda and Assassin's Creed, Metroid, and even Pokemon is that Zelda has always been essentially a fairy tale. Right down to the title, even, the legend of Zelda. Fairytales and legends thrive on mystery and imagination. I like that so much BotW and the rest of the series is clouded in contradictions and vagueness. I like that imagination plays such a big role in this series, I actually think that's much more engaging than having a ton of explicit lore. Especially nowadays that my time is so limited - Mass Effect, for example, is one series that I've always been interested in, and still am, but I struggle to get invested in the story because from the very beginning of game 1 there is a complicated, huge amount of backstory tied into the events of the game. Like, you start a new file and you can immediately read a huge amount of material about the science, history, and culture of this civilization and how current events are shaped by those things. That's a pretty high cost of entry for me just to begin playing the game. I know I don't have to read all that info and I know that's not necessarily what you're talking about with what BotW could have done, but still. BotW has a touching, melancholy story that's immediately relatable and has so much room for your imagination to fill in the gaps, that it's almost another gameplay feature for me. I get that not everyone feels that way, but I just wanted to speak up and say that it's not necessarily frustrating or unsatisfying for everybody.

      Similarly, I had no problems with the fact the Hyrule is still broken and defeated at the end of the game. I don't think every Zelda game needs to have the dancing around the bonfire victory celebration to have a satisfying ending. @Cajbaj on another thread wrote a beautiful post about how BotW is a story about loss - for Link, for Zelda, for Ganon, basically for everyone. It's a story about dealing with a post-war society and figuring out to rebuild after your life gets dramatically changed. I think the ending of BotW was tragic but hopeful and certainly cathartic in a way. A huge, grateful response from the whole world hailing Link as the hero would have subverted a lot of the theme of loss, legacy, and redemption I think. Link and Zelda were defeated and mostly forgotten by the world. It would have been weird and felt out of place to have everyone suddenly super jazzed about Calamity Ganon being gone. I thought the quiet ending with just the two of them figuring out what to do now was perfect.
      A dark chase requires a silent hound, and deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    • I agree that the people of Hyrule don't have to be celebrating all happily since CG has been sealed in the castle for a century and a great deal of history has been lost, but did someone really not see CG floating around the castle as we did in the beginning of the game? Or heard some old stories about it, especially with it being so intertwined with Hyrule's history? You'd also think the DBs taking aim at it and its final form would've caught someone's attention. So even just some sort of logical reaction from some of the people of Hyrule could've worked for me in the end, along with some comments about it from some NPCs during your playthrough.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ich Will ().

    • ich Will wrote:

      I agree that the people of Hyrule don't have to be celebrating all happily since CG has been sealed in the castle for a century and a great deal of history has been lost, but did someone really not see CG floating around the castle as we did in the beginning of the game? Or heard some old stories about it - especially with it being so intertwined with Hyrule's history? You'd also think the DBs taking aim at it and its final form would've caught someone's attention. So even just some sort of logical reaction from some of the people of Hyrule could've worked for me, along with some comments about it from some NPCs during your playthrough.
      Sure, absolutely. I'm not saying it's a perfect game or couldn't have done a bit more, especially with NPC interactions. I'm just saying thematically I like the quiet, subdued nature of the ending. And the story in general. I'm glad it didn't resolve everything and that there's lasting consequences to what happened.
      A dark chase requires a silent hound, and deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    • Wall of text incoming, read at your own peril:

      Display Spoiler
      I've gotten extremely invested in The Elder Scrolls in the past year or so (though I've yet to actually fully play through any of them besides Skyrim), and seeing how incredibly fleshed out the lore and mythos of that series is (with a remarkable level of consistency, all things considered, even if it's not 100%) and how unafraid it is to make use of and reference its own lore, BotW becomes an even more bitter pill to swallow. The game is absolutely coated in easter eggs and references, but that's ultimately all they are, and while we know the Zelda team doesn't care about the timeline and how the games interconnect, the way they did it here implies that they're actively afraid to put it anywhere or even attempt to connect it to the rest of the series. (That 10,000-year gap will probably always be the biggest offender- there's a time gap, and then there's going absurdly overboard.) For someone whose main draw to the series has always been the lore and story elements and who really enjoyed the solidified interconnectivity the timeline brought, this just sours the experience way too much.

      But even beyond that, the story of BotW itself contains a lot of hypothetically really good elements, but the way they were relayed to the audience was too clumsy and scattershot for me to really get invested. I've never been much of a fan of "you need to keep track of and piece this story together as you go, it'll all make sense later" approaches, precisely because it hurts the narrative flow and impact by a lot- events you have no context for often don't land as strongly by virtue of lacking context, details that might otherwise offer a lot of punch can get spoiled early on and thus lose their effectiveness, and it creates an extra layer of work for the audience that can again dampen what might have been impactful moments. In BotW specifically, like others have said, the fact that Link has amnesia and these are memories of what happened 100 years ago then adds still another layer of detachment by making it feel like everything of consequence happened already, which is not helped by Ganon being difficult but hypothetically beatable right out of the gates.

      And the story contained in the memories is just not that great. I get what they were going for here- Rhoam was supposed to love his daughter but be so driven to protect his kingdom that he had to be harsh with her, and Zelda was supposed to be intelligent and capable but wracked with insecurities because the one skill she needs is the one she can't get to grips with. On paper, really good, especially for this series. In practice, Rhoam ends up looking like an abusive idiot (apparently letting his child spend all day in freezing water and other life-threatening situation while berating her for trying to look into other options, while also enforcing an arbitrary age limit preventing her from accessing one of the springs), Zelda completely kills a lot of really intense atmospheric moments by vocalizing all of her inner turmoil even when it's plainly obvious and ultimately letting herself be a doormat for Rhoam, and we don't even get to see the supposedly traumatic moment of the Champions and Rhoam being consumed.

      The present day also fumbles with a very basic plot- it sets things up at first to make it look like we'll be helping a group of successors who will take over for the Champions and pilot the Divine Beasts, a la the Earth and Wind Sages in WW, but then completely and arbitrarily backs away from that premise and just has these four "successors" get us into the Beasts, before having the Champion ghosts take over. How do you manage to screw up a plotline this basic and obviously telegraphed while somehow squeezing the least amount of investment possible out of it?

      I could go on, but I've rambled enough as it is. I just think BotW's story is awful, even if it was made with some hypothetically good ingredients.
    • @'GregariousTree'

      You could still have your "fairy tale" with the Hyrule Compendium giving more information. Like I said, that element could have been totally skippable for those who didn't care, but be there for those who did. There was nothing preventing Nintendo from implementing a more detailed version of the compendium than their own narrative laziness.

      Besides, how many fairy tales have tablet computers as a main feature anyway?

      And maybe a bonfire happy party might not have been an appropriate ending for BotW, but any kind of in-game acknowledgement for your actions would have been better than what we got.


      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Tunic, by my husband, DarkSilver.

      "Breath of the Wild: "Zelda's Redemption" Chapter 3 now up!

      After Calamity Ganon's defeat, a devastated Zelda must come to terms with her ruined kingdom, dead friends, and the resentment of the Hero who had saved her, but lost his fiancee. When all hope seems lost, she comes across a legend of a holy relic that can set things right, if she can find the ancient keys to access it. With the help of new friends, and without Link, can Zelda finally become a legend, on her own terms?

      Post by Setras ().

      This post was deleted by Evran_Speer: Off-topic ().

      Post by Setras ().

      This post was deleted by Evran_Speer: Off-topic ().
      • The story itself is fine. Comparable to other Zelda stories.
      • The way of telling the story is... weird. Because the player discovers pieces of story in random order, Nintendo went with a flashback story. Because the important things take place 100 years ago, there is some distance between the story and the player. It made me wish I could live 100 years ago, a time that was a lot more exciting.
      • If we look at sidequests, they are very spread out. With such a huge world, you'd need a lot more stories if you want it to get to Zelda standards. In BotW there's not enough to care about. Some quests are nice, but most of them are just "another stranger asking me to do something unimportant."
      All in all I think storytelling had to take a backseat in this game. Along with the lack of dungeons, it's probably the biggest fault of Breath of the Wild.
      100% | Finished | Now playing:
      TLoZ | 2nd Q | TAoL | ALttP | LA | LA DX | OoT | OoT MQ | MM | OoA | OoS | ALttP (GBA) | FS | TWW | FSA | TMC | TP | LCT | PH | ST | OoT 3D | FS AE | SS | ALBW | MM 3D | TFH | TP HD | BotW
    • I don't have really much to input since I don't have much of an opinion about this sort of thing, but here goes:

      I think BotW's story is more extravagant than previous Zelda games, I'm not really talking about the voice acting as much as I am all the backstory, lore, and the work put into the cutscenes. But even so it didn't affect the gameplay. And I like that. I thought it was interesting, and had a cool legend/backstory. Some of my favourite story parts in the game are:

      1) The Yiga. Everything involving them. That shrine quest where you gotta sneak and follow the former Yiga man to the shrine, the Yiga in the desert, and of course the fact that they're everywhere disguised as travellers. The coolest part about them is the whole Sheikah defector status. And then we find out why, it happened when they were banished by the king at the time. It makes sense that Kohga was weakminded and sluggish even though he is skilled at the arts. The very fact that the Yiga are defectors means they split off from the Sheikah because the banishment bothered them far more than it did the rest of the Sheikah; the Yiga overall seem like the less disciplined of the Sheikah. Their leader was weak and fat, they are easily swayed by simple things (bananas) so they're not strong minded, and of course they're driven by their grudge against the king and his family. The Sheikah stayed loyal despite all that happened because they were strong mentally, and could focus their energy into forgiving the royal family for what happened. The Yiga split off because they were not and could not understand the Sheikah's point of view.

      2) The King's story about what happened 100 yrs ago toward the beginning of the game. I actually like that he spilled the beans so soon. Besides, we already know Hyrule had been taken down anyway. Hyrule going to ruin is not a new story element in the series, but it hasn't been used in some time. It was also done in a unique way. And that's cool.

      It doesn't have to be something given in cutscenes or exposition either. There are lots of cool storylines that we had to piece together ourselves.

      3) Satori. His temple sits near the foot of the mountain, and it seems like - at some point - he left to commune with nature up on the mountain. There is a camp site near the top, and there are several places thriving with wildlife and exotic (don't belong in that region) vegetation; as well as an apple orchard complete with farming tools and other gear nearby. He reincarnated into the lord of the mountain and lives with nature itself.

      4) The Zonai. The Zonai had a close relationship with at least the Sheikah, if not the royal family. They were a more primitive people than the Hylians at the time but were industrious and capable of building huge, complex structures. They built trials for the Sheikah to hold for the future hero. They worshipped the goddesses through 3 different idol statues representing 3 virtues. At some point they were cursed: thunder plateau, typhlo ruins, and the fog around the spring of courage. They left their home in the Faron jungle in favour of living a life on the shores; leading peaceful lives making fishing their livelyhood.

      All in all I'd say BotW's story was fun to think about during my experience with the game, and yet it didn't detract from the meat of the game much at all. Most annoying it got was getting interrupted by Sidon several times while heading for Zora's Domain.
    • I think in terms of the past story, the biggest problem is it's not what your doing and it's already happened, yet it's treated as the main story for the game. The champions ballad futher proves this, they say it has a brand new story, it's five new memories. I understand why they included them, for context, and seeing how what we actually play through doesn't have much sence of progression, I do understand why they made it the bulk of the story, but it shouldn't be. For progression all they needed to do was add some events inbetween each divine beast, no matter which order they're done in. I also think they should've made more memories with the champions and Roham, their diaries have plenty of ideas to use, and one about why link doesn't talk would've been better than a diary entry.
    • I thought the story was ok but I didn't like Zelda. She was such a whiny crybaby, she should be more stoic like Link, Link went through the same things and he doesn't cry like a 13 ye--

      Anyways.

      My biggest complaint for BotW, and the one most issues stem from, is that the content does not match the scale.
      Large parts of Hyrule feel empty.
      Quests become less and less worth your while.
      The story is spread so leaf thin you can barely taste it.
      Combat is really intense and varied but soon stops challenging or surprising you.

      Post by ich Will ().

      This post was deleted by the author themselves ().