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Zelda Games Need Guilt

Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
I can't help but feel that Zelda games could be improved with the weight of consequence and failure. if you think back on the games that have been made so far, they all seem to be able to pul their punches when it comes to delivering on something like this. Even when you see the results of a cataclysmic decision (for instance, accidentally allowing Ganondorf access to the Sacred Realm in Ocarina of Time), everything ends up turning out just fine. We're told that the world has been ravaged by Ganondorf and his forces for the better part of a decade, and at first it certainly seems that way. You emerge from the temple of time to see the raging corona around Death Mountain, and the previously lively Castle Town Market lies in ruin, inhabited only by shuffling corpses and an uncaring wind. Oh wait but then no, it just turns out everyone made it to Kakariko Village, Hyrule Castle's neighboring village… which sits mysteriously unmolested despite practically being in Ganondorf's backyard.

But what if that wasn't the case? What if, say for instance in the new Zelda game coming out, there were consequences? Let's just say that maybe there are a bunch of small frontier towns and villages. And let's posit that some great bellowing Boss monster escapes the dungeon where you faced it, only to race towards the nearest evidence of civilization in order to realize its ancient purpose of bringing war and death to the Hylian race. What happens if you aren't able to stop such a lumbering monstrosity as it bears down on the unsuspecting villagers? What happens when it brings its weapons to bear on hapless folks? Blazing breath, gargantuan fists, deadly rays of frost… all the while with you racing up behind, cursing yourself under your breath for not being fast enough or clever enough to prevent this. What if that area is forever destroyed? Scorched earth and empty husks where verdant fields and quaint cottages once stood, forever a scar on both the landscape and your conscience? And what then, even if a few villagers manage to escape with their lives and whatever they could cram into hastily procured packs as they fled? Do they trudge over to the neighboring village? Would you see them on the streets and in the alleys, begging for whatever scraps people will spare to feed them, huddling under eves when the rains come?

And all the while, there you are, hero. You wouldn't need the story to tell you how to feel, you wouldn't need a cutscene to inform you what your heart already knows. You'd be in it. That was your failure. These people's suffering is your fault. Now that's what i call immersion!
 
I'd like it if things were a little more grey.

Shadow of the Colossus did it well; you're on a noble missio to kill 16 giant creatures to lift the spell that has put your woman into a deep sleep. You'd think slaying the monsters would make you feel good about yourself and happy that you're on your way to freeing your woman from slumber. BUT, in the game whenever you tak out a Colossi, the game gives you this sad melancholic music and slows the speed down as you watch the monster you've just brutally murdered fll lifelessly to the floor. Upon seeing such scenes you begin to wonder if you;re doing the right thing...

I'd like something like that in Zelda. We kind of got it in LA where, to escape the Wind Fish's dream Link had to essentially destroy Koholint Island and everyone on it... but the game didnt make you feel guilty about it.
 

ILU

i luv u
Joined
Dec 17, 2011
I dunno. Personally, I've always felt a guilt. Maybe it's because I really focus on the tiniest details? I dunno.

I felt awful that I left Zelda in the sanctuary in ALttP. Not only did she get captured, but the priest was murdered. Of course, there wasn't any say in the matter, but was it even necessary? When she screamed as I lifted the Master Sword from its pedestal, chills ran down my spine and I frantically Pegasus-Booted my way back to her, only to have failed in keeping her safe. That hit me hard. :/

Or when Zelda saved Midna by giving her own life... I felt pathetic. I couldn't save either of them myself in that situation. Zelda was the savior, and I'm glad she was given a chance to shine in that role, but because of my inability to protect Midna, I lost my queen.

Or even little Marin in Link's Awakening. As I became more aware of the fact that it's a dream that I *had* to end in order to actually live, I started to realize that all these people would be erased. What made it worse is that MARIN was aware of that, and she even got upset and said she'd never forgive me if I forgot her. I loved that character, and I had to basically kill her. Thank Din for that special ending, I really felt bad- terribly bad- for beating the game until I saw her again.

I think there are many scenarios like those that instill a sense of guilt. I can understand the desire for negative consequences due to player'ss decision because they have proven to be excellent storyline (and even gameplay) tools..... but I'm not so sure Zelda would benefit from them if they can already make me feel guilt without options.

Again, that's just me, and I'm overly-sensitive snd detail-oriented, so I'm sure many would probably just laugh at the way I personally experience the games. ^_^;
 

Dan

Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Gender
V2 White Male
Or when Zelda saved Midna by giving her own life... I felt pathetic. I couldn't save either of them myself in that situation. Zelda was the savior, and I'm glad she was given a chance to shine in that role, but because of my inability to protect Midna, I lost my queen.
That whole scene was ruined by Wolf Links incredibly derpy face. Midna's facial expressions were full of sadness and canon verification of a Star trek series, and Link just panted there behind her both idiotically and happily like he had no idea what was going on; I couldn't stop laughing as it was clear that Nintendo wanted us to feel sad for the sacrifice but damn it Wolf link!
 

Jirohnagi

Braava Braava
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Location
Soul Sanctum
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Geosexual
That whole scene was ruined by Wolf Links incredibly derpy face. Midna's facial expressions were full of sadness and canon verification of a Star trek series, and Link just panted there behind her both idiotically and happily like he had no idea what was going on; I couldn't stop laughing as it was clear that Nintendo wanted us to feel sad for the sacrifice but damn it Wolf link!

Don't you mean Moon Moon? That moment where Zant almost kills her but deliberately leaves her with an inch of life left fills me with guilt, he is literally tormenting Link on his helplessness to aid her.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
I dunno. Personally, I've always felt a guilt. Maybe it's because I really focus on the tiniest details? I dunno.

I felt awful that I left Zelda in the sanctuary in ALttP. Not only did she get captured, but the priest was murdered. Of course, there wasn't any say in the matter, but was it even necessary? When she screamed as I lifted the Master Sword from its pedestal, chills ran down my spine and I frantically Pegasus-Booted my way back to her, only to have failed in keeping her safe. That hit me hard. :/

Or when Zelda saved Midna by giving her own life... I felt pathetic. I couldn't save either of them myself in that situation. Zelda was the savior, and I'm glad she was given a chance to shine in that role, but because of my inability to protect Midna, I lost my queen.

Or even little Marin in Link's Awakening. As I became more aware of the fact that it's a dream that I *had* to end in order to actually live, I started to realize that all these people would be erased. What made it worse is that MARIN was aware of that, and she even got upset and said she'd never forgive me if I forgot her. I loved that character, and I had to basically kill her. Thank Din for that special ending, I really felt bad- terribly bad- for beating the game until I saw her again.

I think there are many scenarios like those that instill a sense of guilt. I can understand the desire for negative consequences due to player'ss decision because they have proven to be excellent storyline (and even gameplay) tools..... but I'm not so sure Zelda would benefit from them if they can already make me feel guilt without options.

Again, that's just me, and I'm overly-sensitive snd detail-oriented, so I'm sure many would probably just laugh at the way I personally experience the games. ^_^;
I would never laugh at a person for getting Zelda-related feels. But, though you did make small mention, I'd like to reiterate that those are all passive story elements. You don't actually take any part in any of them. They happen because the story needs them to happen. The reason I said what I said earlier, but didn't elaborate on above, was that if something like that happens, how do you think you'll react the next time such a dangerous situation erupts? The game would have already established the "throw down the gauntlet" attitude. You already know by now that a second monster reaching another village won't be a do over, it won't be a game over, so sorry, try again, it will be just more ruined lives and bodies lain at your feet. And you can be damn sure you'll do everything in your power to stop it. Just try to immerse yourself in that sort of gameplay experience, imagine a game that could emotionally involve you that much. This sort of experience sits at the opposed side of the Moral Choice System so popular today, nothing more than equally unfulfilling but divergent paths to artificially lengthen gameplay and evoke a pale shadow of investment. This is the bravery in storytelling that more games need to strive for. And why not break that ground in a Zelda game? Majora's Mask has two distinctions in the series: It's got the darkest, most adult themes and storyline in the series, and it's also hailed as having the most strongly crafted story and mood in the series. That is not an unrelated correlation.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Location
Washington
I can't help but feel that Zelda games could be improved with the weight of consequence and failure. if you think back on the games that have been made so far, they all seem to be able to pul their punches when it comes to delivering on something like this. Even when you see the results of a cataclysmic decision (for instance, accidentally allowing Ganondorf access to the Sacred Realm in Ocarina of Time), everything ends up turning out just fine. We're told that the world has been ravaged by Ganondorf and his forces for the better part of a decade, and at first it certainly seems that way. You emerge from the temple of time to see the raging corona around Death Mountain, and the previously lively Castle Town Market lies in ruin, inhabited only by shuffling corpses and an uncaring wind. Oh wait but then no, it just turns out everyone made it to Kakariko Village, Hyrule Castle's neighboring village… which sits mysteriously unmolested despite practically being in Ganondorf's backyard.

But what if that wasn't the case? What if, say for instance in the new Zelda game coming out, there were consequences? Let's just say that maybe there are a bunch of small frontier towns and villages. And let's posit that some great bellowing Boss monster escapes the dungeon where you faced it, only to race towards the nearest evidence of civilization in order to realize its ancient purpose of bringing war and death to the Hylian race. What happens if you aren't able to stop such a lumbering monstrosity as it bears down on the unsuspecting villagers? What happens when it brings its weapons to bear on hapless folks? Blazing breath, gargantuan fists, deadly rays of frost… all the while with you racing up behind, cursing yourself under your breath for not being fast enough or clever enough to prevent this. What if that area is forever destroyed? Scorched earth and empty husks where verdant fields and quaint cottages once stood, forever a scar on both the landscape and your conscience? And what then, even if a few villagers manage to escape with their lives and whatever they could cram into hastily procured packs as they fled? Do they trudge over to the neighboring village? Would you see them on the streets and in the alleys, begging for whatever scraps people will spare to feed them, huddling under eves when the rains come?

And all the while, there you are, hero. You wouldn't need the story to tell you how to feel, you wouldn't need a cutscene to inform you what your heart already knows. You'd be in it. That was your failure. These people's suffering is your fault. Now that's what i call immersion!
I WAS LITERALLY JUST GOING TO POST ABOUT THIS BUT YOU BEAT ME TO IT!
The trailer sparked my idea for this. Like, say Link stole that arrow tip from some ancient ruins or something and accidentally awoke the Beamos, who comes after Link in an attempt to get the arrow tip back. As you can see, it was following Link and disturbed the farmers in the trailer. What if Link has a family or a hometown, and the player's escapades across Hyrule have an effect on them. Say Link grabs some goodies from an underground dungeon, and monsters chase you until you defeat them? Just food for thought.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
I WAS LITERALLY JUST GOING TO POST ABOUT THIS BUT YOU BEAT ME TO IT!
The trailer sparked my idea for this. Like, say Link stole that arrow tip from some ancient ruins or something and accidentally awoke the Beamos, who comes after Link in an attempt to get the arrow tip back. As you can see, it was following Link and disturbed the farmers in the trailer. What if Link has a family or a hometown, and the player's escapades across Hyrule have an effect on them. Say Link grabs some goodies from an underground dungeon, and monsters chase you until you defeat them? Just food for thought.
See, I've actually got this idea for a Zelda thing where some of the dungeons have an associated Titan thing with them, that activates after beating the dungeon. They're ancient holdovers from Demise's campaign against Hylia and her chosen people, and that's the only purpose they have. So naturally, the moment they awaken they just make a beeline for the closest people.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Location
Washington
See, I've actually got this idea for a Zelda thing where some of the dungeons have an associated Titan thing with them, that activates after beating the dungeon. They're ancient holdovers from Demise's campaign against Hylia and her chosen people, and that's the only purpose they have. So naturally, the moment they awaken they just make a beeline for the closest people.
That sounds scary! :( From a gameplay standpoint, would you try to defeat them as quickly and with as little casualties as possible?
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
That sounds scary! :( From a gameplay standpoint, would you try to defeat them as quickly and with as little casualties as possible?
Well I'm thinking they would have two phases, halt and destroy. First, you have to either damage them so they can't keep going, or make them feel that the danger you pose to them overrides their directive. In essence, they have to realize you're a threat and that you have to be dealt with before they can continue. I also figure that they'd get more expedient as the game goes on. The first one might be slow and lumbering, but then later there'd be ones with four legs, or eight, or wings, or possibly a Gemini-type that divides itself just when you think you've got it cornered. There would also be more than one method to stop each one, not some prescripted thing where you have to figure out exactly what the designers intended. But they'd be so massive and powerful, reaching a village would pretty much be synonymous with destroying one: it would only take them a few moments.
 

Mercedes

つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
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In bed
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Female
I suppose in some ways, I agree. It would make the story a lot more powerful than everything always being okay. I think every game story I've really enjoyed has had those sort of strong moments which show you what you, through your character, have wrought upon people. If anyone's ever played the game Spec Ops: The Line, that did it absolutely brilliantly and you'll know exactly the bit where you're hit with the consequences of one of your decisions, with absolutely nothing pulled back, and it's pretty damn strong.

I don't think it should ever get too dark like that, but it would be a nice addition. Actual consequences for the things you do. :)
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
I think every game story I've really enjoyed has had those sort of strong moments which show you what you, through your character, have wrought upon people.
Right, exactly. I think one problem is that too many games nowadays are aiming for audience, like a movie that could have been awesome but corporate bobbleheads made the filmmaker pull back just so they could get the PG 13 rating. No one wants their AAA title to go too far in one direction or another, lest some small group of people become butthurt over some minor detail.
 

Kyru

WOAHHHH!
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
How about something like this for one of the games. Since the timeline splits in three directions breaking off from that. The beginning ACTUALLY showing link get defeated by Gannon and short little clips of him ravaging villages and towns around Hyrule. So now you play as the hero who seals Gannon away after the sealing war before ALttP. However.... In trying to seal him great destruction happens and he continues to destroy and ravage Hyrule in a quest to have complete control. It would also be interesting to see something like in a ALttP where the villagers view the HERO as a VILLAIN and try to turn him into Gannon's forces. However, unlike movies where there are people trying to help NONE DO. They view him as a force that will bring destruction to their town/village that moment rather than save it, and their correct for the most part! BOOM! There is your guilt.
 

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