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Is BotW the "spiritual successor" to Zelda 1?

The Bread Pirate

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Is Breath of the Wild the "spiritual successor" to Zelda 1?

I am not sure where I first heard BotW referred to in this way, but I believe it was around the time of E3 2016 when Eiji Aonuma was giving out interviews all over the place.

But is this true? BotW and Zelda 1 have a lot of differences after all!

I made a video on my Youtube channel to cover the subject (and express my thoughts)...

But I'm really curious about what you guys think? (You guys usually have diverse opinions on BotW after all.)
 
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'Spiritual successor' can mean whatever you want it to mean nowadays and it isn't a term I really even like.

I've heard people argue for and against BotW and Zelda 1 in this way, as I have for many other Zelda games vs Zelda 1.

So sure, if you like, because it really can't be argued either way.

Much like TWW, Aonuma tried with BotW to replicate the same sense of discovery we felt in Zelda 1, so in that sense, sure.

For me though, every game in the series takes something from Zelda 1 and builds upon it, they can't not when Zelda 1 was the first game. But BotW is BotW, I don't need to see it as anything other than that, it wouldn't add to the game if I did to give it a vague label such as 'spiritual successor'.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

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I believe it's been said by Aonuma and other people involved with the game that they wanted to go back to the series' roots of explorative freedom with Breath of the Wild, obviously. So there was a lot that they drew from regarding The Legend of Zelda, but then again, every game was an evolution of that in some aspect – not just BotW.

So I don't really consider it a sucessor to Zelda 1, I just consider it the step forward the series needed to take.
 

The Bread Pirate

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So I don't really consider it a sucessor to Zelda 1, I just consider it the step forward the series needed to take.
I wouldn't use the word, "needed", but I did appreciate the change.

I guess it also depends on the type of changes we're talking about cause I didn't feel that the durability system was needed. :D
 

The Bread Pirate

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I was talking more about the open-world approach, I feel like it was long overdue.
Oh! Yah, I agree with that 100%.

But the way it was implemented was not necessarily the way that was needed.

BotW could have just as easily made an open world which still had "zones" like previous games, but expanded upon the number of zones so that it became an open world.

In other words, taking a map like "Twilight Princess" and expanding biome locations, adding more fields and villages, and not restricting the player based on plot progression.

BotW opted for a 100% unrestricted approach which was fun but caused a lot of awesome traditional Zelda elements to be lost. (For me at least.)
 
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Eh,You could consider it is,it's just why would Botw be a successor to Tloz 1,It could be any game.Why not Ocarina of time?
 

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Certainly. BOTW gets rid of most of the tropes that had been prevalent in the Zelda series ever since ALttP. I would say OoT is a spiritual successor to ALttP, and the other 3D games spiritual successors to this. BOTW went back to the explorative freedom of the first game (go anywhere except some dungeons from the start) and got rid of a lot of the things ALttP added. Whether this is good or bad, it’s apparent the developers intended for it to be a spiritual successor from the very beginning, based off of the “8-bit” concept demo they developed to test out ideas.
 

The Bread Pirate

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Certainly. BOTW gets rid of most of the tropes that had been prevalent in the Zelda series ever since ALttP. I would say OoT is a spiritual successor to ALttP, and the other 3D games spiritual successors to this. BOTW went back to the explorative freedom of the first game (go anywhere except some dungeons from the start) and got rid of a lot of the things ALttP added. Whether this is good or bad, it’s apparent the developers intended for it to be a spiritual successor from the very beginning, based off of the “8-bit” concept demo they developed to test out ideas.
I forgot about the Zelda 1-BotW demo! I hope they release that as a stand-alone game someday. :D


I like to think that BotW was the spiritual successor in some ways, but not in EVERY way.

(Ex. Item Progression, Dungeons, and Restrictive Overworld exploration are all different between the two games. So even though it brought back a lot, it also ditched a lot.)

I hope that the sequel can find a balance between traditional and BotW mechanics. It'll probably bring it closer to being the spiritual successor that way.
 
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It went back to the series roots certainly, but its still its own thing for good and bad. I am looking forward to more open world Zeldas, but it needs to bring back some of the things it carelessly tossed out, and ditch divisive elements.
 

thePlinko

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No. BotW quite possibly has the least in common with Zelda 1 out of any game in the series, save for the multiplayer games. Mechanically Zelda 1 is most comparable to AoL, with a tiny bit of LttP in there.

If we’re going by one of the series major aspects, being exploration, then the game that truly best replicates the spirit of the original is Windwaker, with Majoras Mask being a major deviation that goes even further than the original.
 

The Bread Pirate

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No. BotW quite possibly has the least in common with Zelda 1 out of any game in the series, save for the multiplayer games. Mechanically Zelda 1 is most comparable to AoL, with a tiny bit of LttP in there.

If we’re going by one of the series major aspects, being exploration, then the game that truly best replicates the spirit of the original is Windwaker, with Majoras Mask being a major deviation that goes even further than the original.
How come you say that BotW strays furthest from Zelda 1 in terms of exploration? (Or do you mean another gameplay mechanic?)
 

thePlinko

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How come you say that BotW strays furthest from Zelda 1 in terms of exploration? (Or do you mean another gameplay mechanic?)
Zelda 1 had structure to it. It had set objectives that were required to progress. Exploration was what the entire game was all about, and you were not only encouraged to explore, you were required to explore. There were major places that you couldn’t even reach without exploring around, and those areas were your reward for finding the correct item or ability.

BotW in contrast has no structure to it at all, and you are never required to explore anything, or are even really motivated to by the game. Everything is unlocked as soon as you finish the great plateau, and everything that isn’t unlocked is such a minuscule thing that they never have any bearing on how you play the game.

None of these are necessarily bad things in a video game. I’m not the biggest fan of how BotW handles it, but they can be done well in games. Still, to say that BotW is similar to Zelda 1 is, blatantly put, wrong. In the way the world and exploration are designed, BotW is more similar to Skyrim or even Minecraft than any Zelda game.
 

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