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Discussion The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom is 1 year old

Probably of the games I've been most hyped for in my life. I remember taking a day off work just to play it, which I had never done before. I woke like 3am my time when it unlocked, and finally took the plunge I was so eager to. I knew while I was playing that would be one of those magical gaming memories I would always remember.

While I played, for a while I thought it was probably taking the throne as my favorite game of all time. Today, I think I would say it was my favorite game experience of all time, difference being, the real magic of the game is playing it for the first time. I don't really feel like replaying it anytime soon after spending 200h+ on it (by far my single longest single playthrough of all time) so it's hard to say it's my favorite game ever when I can think of several other games I'd rather play right now other than it, but yes, I think experimenting it for the first time was my favorite gaming experience of all time.
 
The Legend of Zelda - Caves and Cliffs

And menus during fights.

A great game that is deeply flawed and didn't do enough to improve from the previous game. I admit that I just didn't like the main gimmick, this game is basically what BK Nuts & Bolts promised to be back in the day. Just ended up not being worth waiting all those years for me.
 
The best game ever made.

Can someone tell me if there's somewhere to get a full poster sized print of that new art they released? That's my favorite moment in probably the whole franchise, I'd love to have a huge nice version of it.
 
Even after finishing the game, I sometimes look at the Hero's Path and see where I haven't visited yet. There's always a surprising amount of space not covered. Even if there isn't anything new to collect there, you might just find a nice spot to get a view of the world

PZFWyLP.jpeg
 
And menus during fights.

A great game that is deeply flawed and didn't do enough to improve from the previous game. I admit that I just didn't like the main gimmick, this game is basically what BK Nuts & Bolts promised to be back in the day. Just ended up not being worth waiting all those years for me.
The menus during combat thing in particular really bothers me. Between healing, switching weapons, crafting weapons, etc., it just makes the flow too choppy.

I'll be annoying and admit I think the Zelda series could learn a thing or two from Souls games, but specifically, I'd love if they'd limit the player's healing capacity so the game is more challenging during combat. Pausing to heal is obnoxious enough but it just saps the feeling of danger in combat. I like the system of enemies dropping hearts, so maybe there could also be a heart bottle that fills with extra hearts when you're full and can be used at any time without having to pause the game. They could keep cooking as a mechanic too but maybe either limit storage space or add a cooldown with foodstuffs.
 
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I haven't finished it, got too busy upgrading batteries to the max, got burned out, other games were catching my eye, and well, it's sitting inside my Switch lol

I'll probably wait to see whether they upgrade it for the next system, though it seems improbable.
 
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If there's one thing that I've dwelled on over this past year when it comes to TotK, it's how much I genuinely appreciated its story, and how little I always cared for the 'but nobody recognises Link!' style of complaints surrounding it.

Said complaints are somewhat weird to begin with. Whilst there are some weird exceptions (Hestu & Bolson most notably), numerous relevant NPCs do know who you are, for one. But even before that, I don't see why every random NPC needs to reference that they know who Link, specifically, is. The dude's a near-mute, highly-stoic soldier who is - for the most part - just Zelda's body-guard. For the majority of Hyrule's population, Link will have been that guy who showed up years back to do some random shit just before the Divine Beast/Calamity Ganon issue was fixed. Whilst those he interacted with most will, and do, acknowledge that, it's not like every random shopkeeper or townsperson is going to go "oh my god! Link!" at every meeting.

Most importantly is how, on a gameplay front, Link is still, well, Link. The ‘Link’ between player and world. Having Link be a major celebrity akin to Iron Man or Spider-Man would inherently break that connection, and for little actual thematic benefit. All whilst making those who are new to the franchise more confused than is really necessary. It’s always worth remembering that Nintendo makes these games for everyone, and for Nintendo ‘everyone’ includes all the kids who grew up into ‘playing their first Zelda game’ ages in the 6 year period between the two titles.

Though, really, I often find that the "what about the Sheikah tech?!" or "why don't people recognise Link!?" questions ignore so many of the ways in which the game does connect to its predecessor, or how said connections relate more to the game's artistic themes than simple lore explanations ever could.

Zelda, arguably the real main character of these games' stories, is shown to have grown significantly between the two titles and, fittingly, is far more well-known than her rando bodyguard. Pre-existing settlements have changed in ways that make thematic sense with what came before. Again, every major NPC has taken a new and/or improved role befitting of what happened to them in BotW. Even some of the most minor 'random side quest' characters from the first game are given some unique role in the second that shows natural growth between games. Like the sisters who move from wild mushroom hunting, to caving for even rarer mushrooms, the random band of amateur adventurers in the Gerudo Desert going on to helm the anti-Monster crews, or the traveller you find in Hateno village having settled down

Yes, the nitty-gritty details aren't always there... but, to me, TotK represented one of a very, very small number of sequels where the world it takes place in feels like it's genuinely progressed. There's so much growth and change within the game, and - even if they're simple stories - I find the near-constant positivity and optimism throughout to be genuinely refreshing. Where BotW has a world simply trying to survive in the ruins of a major disaster, TotK has a world that's doing its utmost best to create, and do, new things with itself. One that's so unique in a gameplay landscape where practically every world represents the worst of humanity far, far more often than the best of it.

Idk; I just find that people tend hyperfocus too much on the areas in which the game's story and world 'falters' in the context of a sequel, instead of placing any real attention on the way those things succeed, or even giving them a chance to succeed. I mean, it's not like said hyperfocus has ever been Nintendo's own 'thing' to begin with. So many of the questions about "why doesn't 'x' happen in TotK?" can really just boil down to how Nintendo always does sequels: they want to create 'legends' that are more focused on thematic and gameplay-oriented cores, than detailed lore and narratives that make 100% perfect sense. Storybooks and fabled told by the campfire, instead of a gameplay version of the Silmarillion. After all it's pretty much always been the fans who have pestered them to make 'more lore' for the franchise. With Nintendo's attempts to appease such pestering leading to clearly half-assed efforts like the 'official Zelda timeline', which tried to piece together a canon made up of Legends into some concrete things. A mistake on Nintendo's part, tbqh.

So to conclude with a particularly spicy point... I found TotK's world to be more interesting and impactful overall than The Lands Between. I'd elaborate but, tbh, I don't want to lol.
 
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If there's one thing that I've dwelled on over this past year when it comes to TotK, it's how much I genuinely appreciated its story, and how little I always cared for the 'but nobody recognises Link!' style of complaints surrounding it.
I agree with everything in this post 100%. Nice write up.
 
If there's one thing that I've dwelled on over this past year when it comes to TotK, it's how much I genuinely appreciated its story, and how little I always cared for the 'but nobody recognises Link!' style of complaints surrounding it.

Said complaints are somewhat weird to begin with. Whilst there are some weird exceptions (Hestu & Bolson most notably), numerous relevant NPCs do know who you are, for one. But even before that, I don't see why every random NPC needs to reference that they know who Link, specifically, is. The dude's a near-mute, highly-stoic soldier who is - for the most part - just Zelda's body-guard. For the majority of Hyrule's population, Link will have been that guy who showed up years back to do some random shit just before the Divine Beast/Calamity Ganon issue was fixed. Whilst those he interacted with most will, and do, acknowledge that, it's not like every random shopkeeper or townsperson is going to go "oh my god! Link!" at every meeting.

Though, really, I often find that the "what about the Sheikah tech?!" or "why don't people recognise Link!?" questions ignore so many of the ways in which the game does connect to its predecessor, or how said connections relate more to the game's artistic themes than simple lore explanations ever could.

Zelda, arguably the real main character of these games' stories, is shown to have grown significantly between the two titles and, fittingly, is far more well-known than her rando bodyguard. Pre-existing settlements have changed in ways that make thematic sense with what came before. Again, every major NPC has taken a new and/or improved role befitting of what happened to them in BotW. Even some of the most minor 'random side quest' characters from the first game are given some unique role in the second that shows natural growth between games. Like the sisters who move from wild mushroom hunting, to caving for even rarer mushrooms, the random band of amateur adventurers in the Gerudo Desert going on to helm the anti-Monster crews, or the traveller you find in Hateno village having settled down

Yes, the nitty-gritty details aren't always there... but, to me, TotK represented one of a very, very small number of sequels where the world it takes place in feels like it's genuinely progressed. There's so much growth and change within the game, and - even if they're simple stories - I find the near-constant positivity and optimism throughout to be genuinely refreshing. Where BotW has a world simply trying to survive in the ruins of a major disaster, TotK has a world that's doing its utmost best to create, and do, new things with itself. One that's so unique in a gameplay landscape where practically every world represents the worst of humanity far, far more often than the best of it.

Idk; I just find that people tend hyperfocus too much on the areas in which the game's story and world 'falters' in the context of a sequel, instead of placing any real attention on the way those things succeed, or even giving them a chance to succeed. I mean, it's not like said hyperfocus has ever been Nintendo's own 'thing' to begin with. So many of the questions about "why doesn't 'x' happen in TotK?" can really just boil down to how Nintendo always does sequels: they want to create 'legends' that are more focused on thematic and gameplay-oriented cores, than detailed lore and narratives that make 100% perfect sense. Storybooks and fabled told by the campfire, instead of a gameplay version of the Silmarillion. After all it's pretty much always been the fans who have pestered them to make 'more lore' for the franchise. With Nintendo's attempts to appease such pestering leading to clearly half-assed efforts like the 'official Zelda timeline', which tried to piece together a canon made up of Legends into some concrete things. A mistake on Nintendo's part, tbqh.

So to conclude with a particularly spicy point... I found TotK's world to be more interesting and impactful overall than The Lands Between. I'd elaborate but, tbh, I don't want to lol.
I don't know, I think Link's feat would have been made known all across Hyrule, probably at Zelda's behest. Although, yeah, it's not super important, but it does stand out when a handful of certain NPCs don't recognize Link.

That being said, Nintendo can always claim that, in the "canon", Link went straight for Ganon after waking up, like in the speedruns lol In turn, he didn't end up meeting a lot of people, including Hestu.
 
If there's one thing that I've dwelled on over this past year when it comes to TotK, it's how much I genuinely appreciated its story, and how little I always cared for the 'but nobody recognises Link!' style of complaints surrounding it.

Said complaints are somewhat weird to begin with. Whilst there are some weird exceptions (Hestu & Bolson most notably), numerous relevant NPCs do know who you are, for one. But even before that, I don't see why every random NPC needs to reference that they know who Link, specifically, is. The dude's a near-mute, highly-stoic soldier who is - for the most part - just Zelda's body-guard. For the majority of Hyrule's population, Link will have been that guy who showed up years back to do some random shit just before the Divine Beast/Calamity Ganon issue was fixed. Whilst those he interacted with most will, and do, acknowledge that, it's not like every random shopkeeper or townsperson is going to go "oh my god! Link!" at every meeting.

Though, really, I often find that the "what about the Sheikah tech?!" or "why don't people recognise Link!?" questions ignore so many of the ways in which the game does connect to its predecessor, or how said connections relate more to the game's artistic themes than simple lore explanations ever could.

Zelda, arguably the real main character of these games' stories, is shown to have grown significantly between the two titles and, fittingly, is far more well-known than her rando bodyguard. Pre-existing settlements have changed in ways that make thematic sense with what came before. Again, every major NPC has taken a new and/or improved role befitting of what happened to them in BotW. Even some of the most minor 'random side quest' characters from the first game are given some unique role in the second that shows natural growth between games. Like the sisters who move from wild mushroom hunting, to caving for even rarer mushrooms, the random band of amateur adventurers in the Gerudo Desert going on to helm the anti-Monster crews, or the traveller you find in Hateno village having settled down

Yes, the nitty-gritty details aren't always there... but, to me, TotK represented one of a very, very small number of sequels where the world it takes place in feels like it's genuinely progressed. There's so much growth and change within the game, and - even if they're simple stories - I find the near-constant positivity and optimism throughout to be genuinely refreshing. Where BotW has a world simply trying to survive in the ruins of a major disaster, TotK has a world that's doing its utmost best to create, and do, new things with itself. One that's so unique in a gameplay landscape where practically every world represents the worst of humanity far, far more often than the best of it.

Idk; I just find that people tend hyperfocus too much on the areas in which the game's story and world 'falters' in the context of a sequel, instead of placing any real attention on the way those things succeed, or even giving them a chance to succeed. I mean, it's not like said hyperfocus has ever been Nintendo's own 'thing' to begin with. So many of the questions about "why doesn't 'x' happen in TotK?" can really just boil down to how Nintendo always does sequels: they want to create 'legends' that are more focused on thematic and gameplay-oriented cores, than detailed lore and narratives that make 100% perfect sense. Storybooks and fabled told by the campfire, instead of a gameplay version of the Silmarillion. After all it's pretty much always been the fans who have pestered them to make 'more lore' for the franchise. With Nintendo's attempts to appease such pestering leading to clearly half-assed efforts like the 'official Zelda timeline', which tried to piece together a canon made up of Legends into some concrete things. A mistake on Nintendo's part, tbqh.

So to conclude with a particularly spicy point... I found TotK's world to be more interesting and impactful overall than The Lands Between. I'd elaborate but, tbh, I don't want to lol.
Like you said, Bolson and hetsu kinds of threw me off but the main thing was tarry town. The npcs of that quests don't remember Link. The one who helped them go to that very town. And hateno, Zelda and him probably shared a house but nobody remembers Link there. Other than that I don't want other npcs to remember Link
 
It's a bit of a running joke that Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, isn't initially recognized by people because of his otherwise non-descript and dimunitive apperance. It's probably common knowledge that a 'swordsman' defeated the Calamity, but how likely is it that people can identify Link as that specific warrior when he's just a little elf boy. Even when you have the Master Sword in BotW, some NPCs refuse to recognize that you have it and laugh if off. The only real issue I think, is when people who have met Link before (and spoken to him more than once), don't recognize him. But I don't remember what the dialogue was - if they genuinely don't remember him, or if they just don't address him by name. I guess we don't know what's 'canon' here - the Tarrey Town quest was canon, so is the main quest hence the Sidon + Link statue, but maybe Link doing every single little sidequest in all the villages wasn't.
 
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Like you said, Bolson and hetsu kinds of threw me off but the main thing was tarry town. The npcs of that quests don't remember Link. The one who helped them go to that very town. And hateno, Zelda and him probably shared a house but nobody remembers Link there. Other than that I don't want other npcs to remember Link
Link never visited Hateno, and instead Zelda bought the house later on by herself.

Let's pretend.
 
Quoted by: Ab
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So to conclude with a particularly spicy point... I found TotK's world to be more interesting and impactful overall than The Lands Between. I'd elaborate but, tbh, I don't want to lol.

100%. From's games have some poignant stories even in their item descriptions at times, but some of the critiques I see have such a narrow idea of writing a setting/world-building that it seems like the only things worthy of praise are the mechanics of some metaphysical lore. Zelda in general and BotW/TotK in particular do a great job at making the world actually feel like a place where everyone's got their own life and goals and interests, and they're not always connected to some grand quest or end with them turning into a monster or whatever.
 
Canon between sequels, where you're the playable character in the first game, is always a fun little game of imagination.

Like trying to figure out what Red did in the events of Pokemon RBY, prior to GSC - his team composition seems to indicate Pokemon Yellow is canon and he has Pikachu and all the gift Pokemon, we know he defeated Team Rocket, but Mewtwo is still in Cerulean Cave so he either never caught it, or caught him and released him.

Similarly, we know Link did the main quest of BotW and it makes sense that he got all the memories, but considering the character of 'Link' as someone with a sense of duty even with his memories gone, would it make sense for him to go off and do a bunch of side activities. Maybe he didn't even do the Tarrey Town quest before saving Zelda in canon, and maybe he didn't buy the house in Hateno at all. Was doing all the BotW shrines canon? He doesn't seem to own his Tunic of the Wild, but he has all of his hearts at the start of TotK.

Just a fun bit of speculation.
 
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100%. From's games have some poignant stories even in their item descriptions at times, but some of the critiques I see have such a narrow idea of writing a setting/world-building that it seems like the only things worthy of praise are the mechanics of some metaphysical lore. Zelda in general and BotW/TotK in particular do a great job at making the world actually feel like a place where everyone's got their own life and goals and interests, and they're not always connected to some grand quest or end with them turning into a monster or whatever.
Interestingly enough, Dark Souls’ world is one of my favourite world in gaming. Very few have reached its heights for me (Revachol from Disco Elysium, Bloodborne’s Yarnham, and the world of ‘Umurangi Generation’ being three of said few examples.) Not because of item descriptions or whatever, but because it - like TotK - focuses so hard on a thematic core above concerns regarding lore and ‘canon.’ All to the point where Lordran itself is practically a metaphor for the inevitability of decay and the importance of keeping one’s humanity, by way of dark fantasy. Add in all the characters and stories told within said world, and it’s just such a rich tapestry that fits totally within what I care for.

For me, I’ll always, always value thematic relevance and emotional value far more than lore, canon, logical consistency. It’s why I was even able to look past some of TotK’s genuinely poor writing (“Secret Stones.” Seriously?) and still appreciate what it had to offer.

But I digress. Said I wouldn’t elaborate and here I am, elaborating lol.
 
I don't think he did much in Hateno in BotW that would be memorable several years later anyway. But technically Bolson never acts like he doesn't know Link, he just doesn't act like they're close, which is different. And Hudson and Rhondson's lives were truly changed by Link, the other guys were just recruited for jobs by him.
 
Near-perfect video game experience. It launched, I played the hell out of it, was entirely satisfied at the end, laughed along with all the memes and creative stuff people did, and still have fond memories of it. It was a good time.
 
Most disappointed I've probably ever been in regards to a Zelda or Nintendo game. In every possible way they could improve or build on the concepts of BOTW, they picked the worst options, with Fuse and Ultrahand probably being the only actual good improvements. The combat is still a boring ragdoll-fest, and the dungeons are half better and half worse than the Divine Beasts, but still fully underwhelming in comparison to any other 3D Zelda. Meanwhile the exploration was expanded the most but not in any satisfying way as the world was littered with repetitive caves most of which houses either useless Bubblgems or outfit pieces lifted from BOTW, and a whole sky and underworld were added but they forgot to actually put anything in either of them, except again outfits from BOTW. Finally the story, sweet Hylia the story, so many interesting plot ideas fumbled in a catastrophically phenomenal manner. They were so proud of their stupid memory system they couldn't pull their heads out of their ass long enough to realize how fundamentally incompatible it was with the story they wanted to write, but instead of trying to find a solution to have a coherent story within a nonlinear world they said "fuck it who cares" and just allowed the only actually interesting element of the game to be fully spoiled by the game itself, and then as if that wasn't enough they pulled a never-before-seen level of laziness by copy-pasting near identical cutscenes across each dungeon regurgitated out by sages without faces or names to be in a monotone and utterly unenthusiastic manner, with the lines of course being spoken by the same voice actors from BOTWs champions because why bother actually trying to give these characters anything new when they're not even characters just plot devices? All of this not to mention the absolute nightmare it is to any basic form of continuity even in regards to the game it's supposed be a sequel to. Its lore was so abysmally bad and upsetting it nuked the entire theorizing community off of YouTube and everywhere else. With the entire crux of all of its problems, NotGanondorf, only existing because they couldn't be bothered to create a new character. There was no desire to build off of existing Ganondorf lore or to expand on Calamity Ganon, it was purely driven by just wanting to include Ganondorf because "Ganondorf." It's an absolute disgrace to the concept of the entire Zelda lore and continuity, and its lore only harms anything it's connected to. It's quirky gimmicks made to appeal to Minecraft zoomers don't function as a substitute to actual new content or proper dungeons or even just the bare minimum of new weapons, towns, races, and outfits I expected from the game by virtue of it being a sequel to BOTW. It's a perpetually frustrating failure of a Zelda game.

It's not all entirely bad however, as despite all of it's flaws it's still incredibly fun, and the character designers knocked it out of the park once again. However I truly, truly hope Zelda improves and changes. I never want a Zelda game that feels this lackluster and reliant on another previous Zelda game, ever again. Like please no more shrines, no more not-dungeons, and no more stupid memory systems.
 
Most disappointed I've probably ever been in regards to a Zelda or Nintendo game. In every possible way they could improve or build on the concepts of BOTW, they picked the worst options, with Fuse and Ultrahand probably being the only actual good improvements. The combat is still a boring ragdoll-fest, and the dungeons are half better and half worse than the Divine Beasts, but still fully underwhelming in comparison to any other 3D Zelda. Meanwhile the exploration was expanded the most but not in any satisfying way as the world was littered with repetitive caves most of which houses either useless Bubblgems or outfit pieces lifted from BOTW, and a whole sky and underworld were added but they forgot to actually put anything in either of them, except again outfits from BOTW. Finally the story, sweet Hylia the story, so many interesting plot ideas fumbled in a catastrophically phenomenal manner. They were so proud of their stupid memory system they couldn't pull their heads out of their ass long enough to realize how fundamentally incompatible it was with the story they wanted to write, but instead of trying to find a solution to have a coherent story within a nonlinear world they said "fuck it who cares" and just allowed the only actually interesting element of the game to be fully spoiled by the game itself, and then as if that wasn't enough they pulled a never-before-seen level of laziness by copy-pasting near identical cutscenes across each dungeon regurgitated out by sages without faces or names to be in a monotone and utterly unenthusiastic manner, with the lines of course being spoken by the same voice actors from BOTWs champions because why bother actually trying to give these characters anything new when they're not even characters just plot devices? All of this not to mention the absolute nightmare it is to any basic form of continuity even in regards to the game it's supposed be a sequel to. Its lore was so abysmally bad and upsetting it nuked the entire theorizing community off of YouTube and everywhere else. With the entire crux of all of its problems, NotGanondorf, only existing because they couldn't be bothered to create a new character. There was no desire to build off of existing Ganondorf lore or to expand on Calamity Ganon, it was purely driven by just wanting to include Ganondorf because "Ganondorf." It's an absolute disgrace to the concept of the entire Zelda lore and continuity, and its lore only harms anything it's connected to. It's quirky gimmicks made to appeal to Minecraft zoomers don't function as a substitute to actual new content or proper dungeons or even just the bare minimum of new weapons, towns, races, and outfits I expected from the game by virtue of it being a sequel to BOTW. It's a perpetually frustrating failure of a Zelda game.

It's not all entirely bad however, as despite all of it's flaws it's still incredibly fun, and the character designers knocked it out of the park once again. However I truly, truly hope Zelda improves and changes. I never want a Zelda game that feels this lackluster and reliant on another previous Zelda game, ever again. Like please no more shrines, no more not-dungeons, and no more stupid memory systems.

I disageee with a lot here but I do want to chime in that it was kinda disappointing how they sort of de-mystified the Zonai and made up this sort of timid rabbit-goat people who made balloons and rockets instead, seemingly completely disconnected from the Zonai we knew from BotW. It felt jarring to me. Like, was all the Faron stuff just a red herring?

I think the game would’ve been better off if it was an entirely new race.
 
Happy birthday, Tears of the Kingdom. Also unrelated, happy belated 70th birthday to Jerry Seinfeld.
I thought this was another $70 bit, but no, Jerry Seinfeld really did turn 70 last month.
 
I don't think nearly as highly of it as others. This game has like 10 different currencies to collect, elegance is foreign to it and bloat is endemic. But it's good. Maybe even one of the best Zelda games. If you're going to be making an inherently messy thing like a giant open world with RPG mechanics, I'd rather maximalism than minimalism. I think it will age a lot better than BotW due to necessarily being less reliant on (rather thin) novelty and having more substance, even though I agree with a lot of what @JazzPotatoes said and would actually be harsher on the sky islands. Hell, I kind of agree with a lot of what @Mango said!

I was just so relieved there was some degree of variety again, even if most of what you were doing still wasn't exactly amazing content. Usually the best you could hope for in BotW was an interesting shrine quest, because exploration was painfully one note otherwise. What's in this chest? Never anything special. What's over here? Probably another shrine that looks identical to the other 100+, with one optional chest inside and a spirit orb at the end. I will never get over how much the utter predictability of Breath of the Wild hurt its whole premise. TotK doesn't totally shake that, you still have shrines and koroks basically the same as they ever were, every cave has a frog in it, etc. But every cave could also have something else in it now too, and that does so much for the game.

Also Fuse was the best ability, fixed the entire weapon system.
 
Incredible game. My biggest disappointment, though, was that Zelda stole my adorable cottage in Hateno Village and forced me to live in a shipping crate outside of Tarrey Town.
 
I disageee with a lot here but I do want to chime in that it was kinda disappointing how they sort of de-mystified the Zonai and made up this sort of timid rabbit-goat people who made balloons and rockets instead, seemingly completely disconnected from the Zonai we knew from BotW. It felt jarring to me. Like, was all the Faron stuff just a red herring?

I think the game would’ve been better off if it was an entirely new race.
They made some attempts to fix that issue by implying the BOTW "Zonai" were just Hylians building stuff in honor of Rauru, but it doesn't really explain who or what the Barbarian armor belongs to and the nature of Lomei Labyrinths are now even more bizarre and hard to understand. I can appreciate the attempt to find a solution tho.

What I can't appreciate is the attempts to retcon Calamity Ganon into being TotK Ganondorf or the implications it's not even the same kingdom from the rest of the games. Those two ideas not only harm the entire series lore and theorizing potential of these two games, but they actively harm the lore and setting of BOTW. Essentially what made BOTW so captivating was that it was a far flung future sequel to OOT, and that the antagonist from 25 IRL years ago had clung to the world of Hyrule through sheer hatred of Link and Zelda long enough to become a malice fueled ghost/force of nature. Supplementing a new Ganondorf into that just doesn't work because said dorf isn't dead so he can't be a ghost and he doesn't know Link and Zelda so he can't have that hatred, which really he's the entire problem with all of the lore. The game would've been substantially improved if it just didn't have Ganondorf. If they had just made a new villain and thrown them bellow the castle nearly all of the lore issues, at least the critical ones, vanish. But when they talk about why they even added him in the first place, it just kinda underscores a major problem with Nintendo's mindset where they come up with concepts but then instead of creating something new to fill that concept they just look for something that's already existing, and in this case it unfortunately happened to be Ganondorf. It's hard to imagine a potential Zelda game in the future now with a new villain when they've proven they'll just shove dorf in even if it doesn't make sense, which is just upsetting.
I agree with pretty much everything here, more or less, but I still had loads of fun with it anyway.
I mean it's still a really fun game, and I've put tons of hours into it, but it just feels like it didn't live up to the hype like at all. There was so much potential for a sequel to BOTW set in the same world and what we got was well TotK. Like I enjoy it on its own merits alone but when I compare it to what it could've been or just what I wanted it's just so disappointing.
 
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It feels like just yesterday I went into a fugue state and added dozens of hours onto my playthrough for the sake of true artistry

 
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Incredible game. My biggest disappointment, though, was that Zelda stole my adorable cottage in Hateno Village and forced me to live in a shipping crate outside of Tarrey Town.
This needs to be mentioned more often. Link liked that house! He paid for it!
 
OMFG finally


The-Legend-of-Zelda-Tears-of-the-Kingdom-limited-edition-mockup_974x.jpg

Is that a shop offering the japanese limited OST edition, or a western release/announcement? The Coverart shows the japanese TotK logo, though.
 
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I guess this version of Ganondorf complicates things a little bit, but I generally still disagree with the criticisms of Ganondorf and the Zonai. Ganondorf is definitely not just some arbitrary villain in Ganondorf's clothing, he has tons of references to everything we know about Ganondorf and Ganon throughout the series even down to the Twinrova and the conflict in which the Sages sealed him being known as the Imprisoning War, and he has a very similar personality to previous versions of the character. It's no different than Link, Zelda, Impa, Beedle, etc. all having variations throughout the different games who retain the same essence while technically being separate characters. The previous versions of Ganon/dorf almost never had a continuous sense that they had met Link a bunch of times anyway, they were either mindless demons or on different timelines that rendered them ignorant to the events of other games in the series. Even in The Wind Waker, that version of Ganondorf who is defined by a sense of resignation at seeing his plans foiled before only mentions the Hero of Time in passing, he's much more focused on the fact that he actually almost conquered Hyrule and an act of divine intervention sealed the entire kingdom away. Whether this Ganondorf is the first one ever or Rauru's Hyrule is a refounded one after the previous kingdom fell and this is a new incarnation of the old Ganon, there's a clear sense of connection between this Ganondorf and the others that I think is downplayed at times because people wanted this Ganondorf to be specifically referencing Ocarina of Time or The Wind Waker.

As for the Zonai, we really didn't know much about them in BotW but I think the idea that they contradicted what we did know is more a matter of expectations and theories than anything else. We still don't know how the Barbarian set factors into everything, but the Knights of Hyrule of Rauru and Sonia's era and the Dragon Ritual and Zonaite sets bear enough of a resemblance to it that it's still quite possible there's a connection. They also clearly do have a special connection to Faron even in TotK, many of the caves in that region are old Zonai ruins, Dragonhead Island, the Construct Factory, and the Spirit Temple are all within that area, etc. There are several possibilities, but I won't get into all the theories because this is a more general post.

But as for the rest of the stuff, I think they threaded the needle pretty well in regards to expanding on the Zonai while still keeping them mysterious. Inherently, once you know what the Zonai look and talk like they become less mysterious than a culture defined entirely by old buildings, but their technology still seems otherworldly and magical, between being able to infinitely produce water and fire to anti-gravity and lifting things into the air for thousands of years. Things like the Secret Stones clearly don't work by any mechanical engineering, either. I guess people wanted them to not even have magical objects or any mechanical aspect at all to differentiate them from the Sheikah even further, but until modern times magic and alchemy were seen as science and technology like anything else that required intelligence and ingenuity, and there's obviously going to be some overlap in how different societies develop their technology. There's actually a stronger sense of lore and continuity to acknowledge that technology and ritual practice do not happen in a vacuum and some similarities will be evident, especially in the same region. If anything, I think TotK presents some interesting possibilities about how all the "advanced magical tech" across the series relates to one another, from the various temples in Ocarina of Time to the Tower of the Gods in The Wind Waker and all the Ooca tech in Twilight Princess. But there's also plenty of unanswered questions about the Zonai, like why Rauru and Mineru are the only ones to be found in the era of Hyrule's founding, how the Lomei Labyrinths and the "rulers of boars, owls, and dragons" came to seal away the pieces of Phantom Ganon's armor from Ocarina of Time, and how the Hero from the previous Great Calamity relates to them, with his Zonai-ish features and clothes, the object which contains his soul being in the Temple of Time on the Great Sky Island, etc.
 
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Happy birthday, Tears of the Kingdom. Also unrelated, happy belated 70th birthday to Jerry Seinfeld.
Speaking of, Jerry Seinfeld had a really funny story about his 17th birthday. For more information, Google “Jerry Seinfeld 17”
 
I disageee with a lot here but I do want to chime in that it was kinda disappointing how they sort of de-mystified the Zonai and made up this sort of timid rabbit-goat people who made balloons and rockets instead, seemingly completely disconnected from the Zonai we knew from BotW. It felt jarring to me. Like, was all the Faron stuff just a red herring?
I would think not, considering how important Faron ruins were in reaching Thunderhead Island. And the shared iconography.

A simple explanation is just that there are many eras of Zonai, just as real world ancient cultures that span thousands of years have different epochs of their civilization that differ slightly in cultural expression but maintain a shared thread e.g. Egypt was already ancient when Cleopatra ruled. Rauru and Mineru are the last Zonai and the Faron Zonai predated them by years, and with the strong hint that the three dragons were once people that swallowed Secret Stones, it is likely they were Zonai as well and have existed for a long time.

Demystification is inevitable when a subject of speculation finally materializes. This already happened to the Shiekah in BotW. It doesn't mean there aren't still mysteries to be had.
 
Played 250 hours of BotW on Wii U, but only ever did two beasts

Started a replay of BotW on Switch when TotK came out and got to 90 hours with one beast done

Still haven't booted up TotK, I'll get to it when I beat BotW
 
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I do think people have taken the Timeline too far in terms of enjoyment given how many of them seem to seethe at this gannondorf.

Like, does anything REALLY change with this Gannondorf? Like really? Yes I know certain folk love the idea of gannondorf being this constant presence but that really was only the case for like two gaming generations.
 
I would think not, considering how important Faron ruins were in reaching Thunderhead Island. And the shared iconography.

A simple explanation is just that there are many eras of Zonai, just as real world ancient cultures that span thousands of years have different epochs of their civilization that differ slightly in cultural expression but maintain a shared thread e.g. Egypt was already ancient when Cleopatra ruled. Rauru and Mineru are the last Zonai and the Faron Zonai predated them by years, and with the strong hint that the three dragons were once people that swallowed Secret Stones, it is likely they were Zonai as well and have existed for a long time.

Demystification is inevitable when a subject of speculation finally materializes. This already happened to the Shiekah in BotW. It doesn't mean there aren't still mysteries to be had.
Honestly, it's hillarious how ToTK actually treats history as it relates to real life, but because we're so used to history being 100% accurate to the point where everything revealed we know now matter how much time has past, people call it "bad". Ironically, ToTK and BoTW is one of the few who actually feels like a "LEGEND" rather than "a complete history with zero mistakes because history is always accurate" 99% of games tend to do.
 
I do think people have taken the Timeline too far in terms of enjoyment given how many of them seem to seethe at this gannondorf.
I think the Zelda chronology is fairly straightforward when you are aware of the timeline split from OoT, and much of the discussion around BotW/TotK is figuring out what 'branch' it's in.

Thing is, it's been years since the last OoT release. With MM, WW and TP, devs could bank on players knowing the ending of that game and establishing settings in one or the other branch. Not so much the case anymore.

That, and the split is somewhat limiting. Certain characters and events only happen in one or the other. The followup to Wind Waker takes place in a very non-traditional steampunk era New Hyrule, while Twilight Princess is more like classic Hyrule but the events of Ocarina of TIme never happened except in the memories of OoT Link.

So the new timeline is basically:

SS (the first game in the series, before any branching, still plenty of references in the latest games)
---> OoT (the flagship beloved Zelda title, gets explicit references in BotW with the Zora tablets)
--- [millennia later] --> BotW --> TotK

Basically treating the other games as somewhere 'in-between' or 'lost-to-legend' while keeping SS and OoT as the lynchpins of Hyrule's History.

As for Ganondorf, I just interpret him as Ganondorf the First. Koume and Kotake use his Malice leaking from beneath Hyrule Castle to birth Ganondorf the Second, the one in Ocarina. Yes, I place TotK's past before OoT - it's not a popular take, but I enjoy it. :)

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Also the writing on Ganondorf's weapons is the Hero of Time era Hylian from Wind Waker, spelling 'Kotake Koume'. Cool reference, it's like him getting a 'Mom' tattoo lmao
 
1 year later and I find it harder to not say this is my GOAT. It was such an amazing experience that I still think about, which is crazy because it's reusing mostly the same world. But I was enjoying it like I did in BoTW and then some simply because of the new toys the devs gave us. The world truly felt like a sandbox in all of the best ways. And that ending sequence was so thrilling.
 
To say that I was hyped for this game's release is probably an understatement. Up until March 2017 my favorite game was Ocarina of Time, and then Breath of the Wild unseated it. Within the first ten hours of Tears of the Kingdom, I was beginning to realize that I had yet again found a new favorite. I genuinely think this is the best that the series has ever been.

In my view, Tears of the Kingdom represents a marriage of the innovations found in Breath of the Wild with the traditional elements of Zelda. From the former, the incredible freedom to explore and choose your own path. From the latter, a renewed focus on legends and myths that evoke a sense of discovering ancient history. Once again we're delving into dungeons that have been hidden from view for many millennia. Once again we are discovering ancient powers and awakening sages. Once again we are travelling between the land of Hyrule and its dark counterpart. Once again we are doing battle against a man who, in pursuit of ultimate power and dominion, made himself a demon king. This is as Zelda as it gets.

Mind you, there are flaws. Most of them are minor so I won't really go into them here, but one thing I hope they improve upon in the future is the writing. It's never been a particular strength in the series, but this time around it was getting rather distracting to have figured things out wayyyy ahead of all the NPCs in the game and just waiting for all of them to catch up.

All that said, let's get back to what Tears of the Kingdom does so well. In terms of creating a compelling gameplay loop, there's never been anything this well put together in the series. Even if you're someone like me who doesn't really have any interest in building all these contraptions just to see how they work out, there's still plenty of fun to be had. I've played this game for nearly 400 hours at this point and I've never built a robot or a car or any sort of death machine at any point. That's the beauty of all the choices you're given. You can put all that building stuff aside and still enjoy yourself with everything else.

Do I wish that we got some DLC at the end? Of course I do. I wanted to see Kass again. I wanted a new version of the Master Sword trial. I wanted new shrines and a new dungeon. Not sure I really wanted a Master Mode but hell, I'd take it. But all of these things are stuff I want just because I love this game that damn much, and while I yearned for even more, I can respect the developers' wishes to finally move on from this era of the series and make steps towards whatever comes next.
 
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