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General Zelda Should Zelda Be More Fantastical?

We all think of Zelda as an actio/adventure series now but back in the day there was a time when it was more like fantasy. I've been on a bit of a fantasy kick recently with playing, watching and reading anything that screams fantasy to me, and shockingly while on this kick i havent felt the need to play Zelda...

So the question is this- should Zelda become a bit more fantastical?
We have had Ss and WW, two games which kept true to having mythical creatures direct from fairy-tails like Dragons and friendly gods and fairies, and MM and MC ha their own degree of whimsy straight out of the fantasy genre, but were they enough? Is Zelda the stage to push the fantasy genre in gaming since no other game with any great gamer respect other than Zelda can really say that it is within the fantasy genre.

So, for example, would you like to see a Zelda game a little more like these while retaining its action/adventure mechanics?

Mirror Mask Trailer HD - YouTube

Labyrinth - As The World Falls Down (David Bowie) - YouTube


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
It seems to me that Zelda is trying ever more to blend with the real world, while also maintaining thta the series is a bunch of games. This causes a ripple effect which in turn causes the games to take on a "level set" design. All it ends up doing is confirming that we're playing a game.

If the series did drive back to the fantasy roots, I believe that would be for the best. That way, it'd feel like we're going on "our own backyard adventures"; as if we were stuck in our own little world...


Twilit wildcat: Aerofelis
I think it counts as fantasy well enough. To back myself up, I looked up "fantasy".

Wikipedia said:
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common.
Imaginary World? Check. Hyrule/Termina/etc do not exist on Earth.

Magic? Check. The twilis in TP were a magical race, MM references a dark magic using tribe, Link gets magic spells in a few of the games. Impa uses magic in SS, so does Ghirahim. Vaati is a magician, Ganondorf sometimes uses magic.

Supernatural Phenomena? Check. This probably has a bigger meaning, but I think zombies, undead, and monsters when I hear it. Plenty of that. Redeads anyone? And many of the enemies can be considered monsters: giant lizards, goblin-like things, big blobs that eat you...etc.

So really, I don't see why you don't see the fantasy.
Nov 25, 2012
Monkey Island
You mean Zelda should focus on creating more breathtaking, quirky, imaginative environments/characters? Yeah, sure. I think the creativity level might've dropped a bit. None of the environments in SS struck me as being really different and out-of-the-box. I think a good example of a fantastical environment was the Twilight Realm in TP.
palace of twilight.jpg
Not the best picture, but I think it was a really unique, as you said fantastical world design. I'd like more stuff like that.


Sage of Tales
I've always seen it as very Fantasy, even the latest installments (though I will agree that Wind Waker *really* felt like a fairy tale book to me - like a children's book come to life). Almost all of what I like to read is Fantasy stories and favorites of mine actually have had a lot of "realism" as it were. The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia both have war and the hard decisions thereof. The Last Unicorn featured the Unicorn not being readily percieved by a world that had stopped believing in magical things and a wizard that couldn't quite connect with magic except in desperate situations, so depite the story being travels with a unicorn, a lot of the journey was mundane (like characters killing and eating stray town-dogs to survive if I recall correctly). The Twelve Kingdoms is full of gods, monsters, kirins and babies that grow on trees, but the kingdoms had thier own internal logic and very complicated politics as well as racism/discrimination and people living in poverty vs. those that live in splendor.

My favorite worlds are other-worlds with fantastic elements, but they always seem to come back to dealing with real issues and having a bit of groundedness to them.

That said, I really would like to see a return of practical magic in the Zelda games. What I mean is... I miss the level of spellcasting seen in Adventure of Link. (Link could turn into a fairy to squeeze through keyholes and stuff)! I miss the spells from Ocarina of Time. The potions are implied to be magical and the healing fairies definitely are, but maybe there needs to be more of this?

And maybe magical transports instead of mechanical? Spirit Tracks did that partially - steam-trains that used "force" along the Spirit Tracks. Maybe something more along that line... either a highly magical animal (more "magical" than Loftwings) or some kind of transport that requires spellcasting or something akin to alchemy.

I don't know. I like a lot of the faux realism in Zelda, but I also adore the whimsy. May we always be able to violate the laws of phyics by gliding with cuccoos!

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
I'm with Shadsie on this one. I much prefer fantasy settings that still somewhat relate back to the real world and in which the main struggles are still grounded in reality for the most part.

When a game, book, movie, etc. starts going too far into the fantasical elements and that ends up being all it focuses on (look at FF13 for a perfect example) I lose track of why I'm supposed to care. You start throwing out all these weird terms and magics and whatever, and everything is based off of that, with no regard to how it's supposed to relate back to the audience.

On the other hand, fantasy settings that use these magical and fantasical elements to emphasize the real-world & relatable struggles of the characters are much more effective. Take a look at FF6, in opposition to its far inferior successor 13. Whereas the main struggle of the characters in 13 was to... um... stop themselves from turning into rock crystal monsters.. or something... (I could not for the life of me keep up with what they were doing), in 6 the struggle is to fight against an oppressive regime and, later on, another tyrannical ruler. Whereas the former has no basis in reality, thus making me not care at all what happens, the latter is entirely relatable, and I care about their plights.

Also, in 6, there's a plethora of other real-world struggles that are enhanced by the magical properties of the world: Terra is struggling to come to terms with her mixed origins, being half-Esper, half-human (a nod to people having mixed ethnic backgrounds); Cyan is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his family; Shadow is running away from his past; Locke cannot let go of his former lover until she comes back as a result of the Phoenix magicite to tell him to move on; Celes learns to open up to others after having been an elite Magitech general for so long; Edgar and Sabin have issues regarding the succession of the throne; Gau has been abandoned by his father and must survive on his own out in the wilderness of the Veldt; Kefka, rather than being some vague personification of chaos or destruction or nothingness or some other crap, is just a bat**** insane wacko who needs to be stopped at all costs.

I find this latter form of fantasy in most Zelda games I play; rarely does it go off on a tangent to something completely unrelatable. Oh, for certain, I want even more fantastical settings, characters, and whatnot. But I like the main struggles and character development to be something I can relate to and care about.


Keep it strong
Mar 17, 2012
Liverpool, England
In general yes I do. I love it when Zelda presents me wth a location or a situation which is so imaginative I have to just stop and think "... wow".

I got this when I was first drawn into the Dark World by Agahnim in A Link to the Past, everytime I freed a Giant in Majora's Mask, when I first went into Hyrule in The Wind Waker, when The Minish Cap managed to make a regular Green Chu Chu a boss fight, almost anytime I went anywhere during Twilight Princess and when I sailed across a desert in Skyward Sword.

Zelda has always had moments that have been so fantastical that I've genuinely just stopped for a moment to appreciate them. The more of these we see in future the better, I say. It doesn't just have to be more mystical or magical kinds of locations or powers for villains, it can just be things like TP's grand architecture or MM's engaging story. Whatever form it takes, I would appreciate seeing more of it in future Zelda games (but the current level is still fine by me too).

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