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Are Companions Makeing Zelda Games Easier?

Jul 7, 2012
Im currently playing links awakening DX on my 3DS, and so far im enjoying it and it's so far seems abit more fun and a tad bit challenging then the previous Zelda games ive played, and im wondering is it because Link in this game has no companions to tell him were to go or what to do? and to be honest i am actually likeing it better because of that, i can explore were ever i go, unless i need an item and the game vaugely tells me were to go or how to get their, for me the companions have been killing the exploration, and giving simple hints does to me feel like its dumbing down the game. so imagine if OOT, MM,TP and SS didnt have companions that told you what to do or were to go at times ( im talking to you navi) would those games be more challenging? so what do you think, do you think companions are making Zelda games alot easier?
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Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
I wouldn't say that companions are the sole reason why modern Zelda is just easier than classic Zelda ('cept Fi but whatever), but they do play a part in the gradual easiness that envelops the series.

Removing Navi from OoT wouldn't do anything to its difficulty...except maybe having to endure less "HEY LOOK LISTEN". MM's Tatl did literally nothing for the player, even attacked us for asking for her help with certain enemies! TP's Midna didn't do much at all except warp us around, the feature was practically vital anyway. And SS? Fi told you what to do, where to go...even rang the phone when your hearts were low! Removing Fi would make SS just a snippet harder.

So I repeat, companions aren't the sole reason for modern Zelda ease. But they play a tiny part. ;)


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
I would actually say Link's Awakening is one of the easier Zeldas. :/

Anyway, I don't think they're making Zelda any easier. Not even Fi. Unless it was in a cutscene or when visiting an area for the first time, she generally told us stuff we already knew, which isn't hand-holding, just annoying design. At most, helper characters just point us in the right direction and let us handle it from there (again, even Fi (to a degree)). In other words, they, well... help. Doesn't automatically make the games any easier, though. You still have to figure out stuff for yourself.
I don't think its the companions at all. The companions merely reiterated anything that was said by other characters beforehand. Navi would remind you to go to Kakraiko village or talk to Saria and you could ignore her if you wanted. Tatl was much of the same and Midna, to me, wasn't a hindrance, Fi was but again i dont think she made the game easier she just immediately reiterated what you had been told as if she thought you were paying attention. Without the companions i think the games would have retained the difficulty levels they already had. Since OoT the companions have been more for narrative and plot than gameplay, i think its the game design of certain Zelda games that makes them difficult. Imagine having a companion in AoL... we'd still die religiously becuase its so hard, i can't see how a companion operating in the same way previous ones have would help you survive in any way.
Aug 8, 2012
I would have to agree with everyone here. It is actually how they developed the game. I think talking to the NPCs are a neccesity because, quite frankly, I get really discouraged if I have no clue where to go. I was stumped forever on the flippers in ALTTP. I had no clue I needed them or where to get them so I almost gave up until I looked a guide. As for AoL, they made that game for the hardcore platformer gamers so it was ment to be a challenge.

I think the difficulty really lies in HOW the stuff is hidden (an NPC can tell you where to go but what you need to do should be hidden well so you still have to figure it out), and the computer AIs aggression level since fighting is just as integral to the series as the puzzles. Now there has not been a good balence of this in the later games, and I can agree, but i will also reiterate that it is not the companions fault for it.

Random Person

Just Some Random Person
Feb 6, 2010
The purpose, gameplay wise, of Navi, Tatl, Midna and Fi, was to make the game easier. Note, not to make the game easy, but easier. These characters are all giving hints, just like the rest of the Zelda game. Where the line needs to be drawn is how easy their hints are to decipher. Navi saying, "I wonder what Saria would say if we told her" isn't always interpreted by everyone to mean "go talk to Saria to learn her song" especially when you take into account OoT was the first 3D game. I think Navi and Tatl had a good deal of how to go about saying information, even though Navi's hints get annoying after the first playthrough. Midna is where things start to get a bit foggy. The very few hints that Midna gives you are pretty easy to decipher, especially when added that this is TP where the clues are rather similar to other 3D Zelda games. And then there is Fi who crosses the line, stomps on it, and then erases it altogether. Most of Fi's "hints" no longer require you to decipher, but rather read. Note how she likes to say "A report Master" showing that she's giving more of facts than guesses. Fi's analyses work well with her character as she's meant to know what's going on and to inform Link. But since we're talking about gameplay, in this perspective she takes it too far, taking the experience of figuring out the strategy away from the player.

Thus, yes I think sidekicks make the game easier, just like all the other things in Zelda games that give clues. However, the easier the sidekick's clues are to understand, the closer they are to crossing the line, especially now where many are used to the types of clues they are giving.
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Jan 11, 2013
I feel like some of the games might be working on their child-friendliness. I don't mind the guides at all though. The nice part about Fi was that you could at least turn the dowsing off.

Midna and Navi weren't so bad because all they really did was suggest that you go places. What annoys me is when I pick up an item that I've already picked up before and I get the text explaining the item and what to do with it.

I don't personally feel like the guides make the game easier, but perhaps they do. I feel like without Fi, I would have been pretty lost for my first playthrough of SS. I just got it this November, along with my first Wii, so I was overwhelmed with the controls and everything. Next playthrough I might feel differently though


Oct 24, 2012
Crisis? What Crisis?
Pan-decepticon-transdeliberate-selfidentifying-sodiumbased-extraexistential-temporal anomaly
No they don't make the games easier just more annoying. The games are easier because the puzzle designs are obvious, the enemies are largely hack n' slash and the Zelda series has rehashed itself into a rut of familiarity that series regulars have come to find utterly predictable. The companion characters are utterly beside the point and useless, except for Midna who actually had a major place in the story and was actually helpful beyond stating the obvious and constant incessant interruptions.

I hardly ever use the hint systems on enemies, even when I do they don't provide any info beyond what would be completely obvious a few seconds later. The companions rarely assist with working out puzzles which is where whatever little challenge the series has is to be found (usually by being vague and nondescript). It's never difficult to know where to go and what to do next unless you're paying as little attention to the chatter as possible. Yet the games increasingly cram more and more unwanted explanations down our throats again and again whether we want it or not.

It's not like we need the help anyway...


If I was a wizard this wouldn't be happening to me
May 20, 2012
Sub-Orbital Trajectory
I doubt it has much to do with the companions. SS was already laughably easy in a lot of places an Navi, Midna and Fi all just stated the obvious and really didn't help.


That God of Yellow Foxes
Oct 28, 2012
Twilight Palace
Eh, it depends. Some of them help you with enemy databases, while others just tell you pointless facts. I'm basically neutral with this.


~ It's me, Dio!~
Jul 6, 2011
Absolute unit
Companions generally point out the obvious, not making the games they are in any easier than if they were absent.

Igos du Ikana

Oct 13, 2012
Not really, I think it's the games themselves that are getting easier. I personally found Legend of Zelda 1 to be easier then Majora's Mask. I just think the companions are there to ease new players into the game without making it any harder/easier.

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