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Can the Story Be More Important Than the Game?


and Tonic
Nov 29, 2010
The Flying Mobile Opression fortress
I have heard many complaints about Spirit Tracks, Wind Waker, Adventure of Link, and Four Swords Adventures. How their controls were bad, hated the train, hated playing with the stylus, never liked the ocean, etc. But players continues playing until they finished these games. And I have wondered just what keeps people playing these. Well people are fans of the series and wish to play a Zelda game anyway is the standard explanation. But why is that? What came to my mind is the deep story that has interested many people.

So to a lot of the fans is the storyline of Zelda more important? So much that they are willing to look past gameplay and flaws just to see another adventure with Link triumphing over evil again?

Is it the concept of another adventure in Hyrule that brings players back regardless of the bad reviews or incredible change in setting. The story itself going all the way back to the original LoZ on NES and the presence of theory boards, article writers, and the many different mangas based on the games shows that there are a lot of people very interested in the storytelling aspects of the Zelda series outside of simply playing a fun game. So how great an influence is the story over the gameplay in your opinion?


I don't like you either
Dec 31, 2010
There are always a group of players that happen to find something to troll about in a game. "These graphics suck!" "The ocean is boring!" "I hate the controls!" When the story may be amazing, displaying multiple emotions that a real player may vicariously experiance.

To me Zelda has never lacked in the story department (not counting LoZ). Even if a basic summary is; bad guy strong, good guy underdog. Gets girl. Kicks butt. The end. There are many other aspects throughout. Majoras Mask in my opinion had the best story. It was beyond Link being a mere world saving underdog because it had charactization with all the NPCs and a looming dread. Even if Zelda was a novel series, and never a video game series I would still love it for its unique characters and story.

Now to me graphic and all that merely build up the story, which is what most modern games are built on. NES games were basically get points and get goal, without much story. But nowadays we have systems advanced enough to tell stories in their games. I myself usually over look controls and graphics for they are merely bonus while the story and the music make me love a game.


~Dancer in the Dark~
Jan 30, 2010
Interesting. I think the story is a big part of the game and an important one at that. That is one of the things that makes me remember a Zelda game. The story has an emotional side to it sometimes and can affect people in that way. Also the story helps the timeline theories. The overall judging of the game is based on mainly the gameplay, bosses, dungeons, characters etc but the story can either ruin or improve a game for me. Like in Phantom Hourglass; the stylus control and sailing was annoying, but it had quite a good story along with it, with good cut-scenes as well.

I think the story ties in with other aspects of the games, like the races, characters, side-quests, dungeons, bosses (etc) used in the game. Like the Picori in The Minish Cap - they play a part in the game as a good race and obviously as the race that can help forge the sword. But they have a whole story behind them, which adds to the greatness of the game. So, yes I think the story has a big impact on the game, but I don't think it is more important than the actual game itself...otherwise it might has well be a movie.


Mrs. Austin
Dec 6, 2009
Story, to me, is my favorite aspect of the Zelda series. The Legend of Zelda is an action-adventure game, action implying that it has a great deal of fighting, for which the controls and gameplay are key, and adventure emphasizing its puzzle and narrative aspects, for which story is key.

I'm not really what people call a real "gamer"; I am one of those gamers who plays for the story rather than the game, and thus I am also one of those people who were never really able to get into some of the earlier 2D titles, such as the first 2 games, due to lack of an engaging storyline. I also tend to put MM near the top of my favorites list despite having never finished the game simply because the story of Termina appealed to me so much more than the dungeons. Granted even with a brilliant storyline a game just can't be good if its controls and gameplay are terrible; at that point it may as well just become a movie. Of course a story doesn't make or break a game either, as there are tons of people that just like being able to pick up a controller and fight, but as an action adventure title LoZ should have a story as good as its game.

The LoZ series obviously has an engaging storyline, and I find that a pretty defining characteristic actually. After all, just look at the flourishing theory fanbase, look at all the effort that has been directed into the timeline. The entire theory portion of the fanbase is devoted to unraveling the story, and that's a pretty big chunk of the fanbase, if not a defining factor. I personally place story and gameplay at the same level of importance so far as LoZ is concerned.


I am a Person of Interest
Jul 12, 2010
Ganon's Tower
In my opinion, I think that the story or plot of a Zelda game is the most important characteristic. It is really what defines a Zelda game, and tells them apart from each other. It is also a very unique characteristic to the series, as off the top of my head, I cannot think of a game or game series that has a stronger plot than any Zelda game (keep in mind, I am thinking about games that are not based off movies). Take the Mario series for example, what is there that distinguishes the games from each other? The name of the game? Perhaps. The plot or story is almost identical in each game, and each game just seems like a continuation of levels from the previous game. This is not so with Zelda. There are plenty of legends, back-stories, and bits and pieces that unfold during the sequence of the game that make it feel like there is more of a purpose to playing it, than for instance, a Mario game. Personally, I think Twilight Princess has the most complex story, hence factoring in to why it is my favorite game.

Controls and the gameplay is pretty important, but not as important as the story in my opinion. Really, there are only two types of gameplay for (main) Zelda: the overhead perspective, and the 3D view (I am not counting the side-scrolling from AoL seeing that it was never reused). For the most part, controls and gameplay were pretty smooth in the Zelda titles, and there have never been times where I was particularly unhappy with the gameplay, nor do I know anyone who quit playing a Zelda game due to its gameplay.

So all in all, I would say that story is a very important factor when it comes to Zelda, and I don't think I'm alone when I say that story is probably the most important characteristic in a Zelda game.
Mar 8, 2010
I think that the story is much more important than the game. Bad story=PO'd player evertime. Great controls=dunno, depends on the story. For an adventure game like Zelda.

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