How would you classify Zelda?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Joey R., Dec 14, 2008.

?

The Legend of Zelda is...

  1. an RPG.

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  2. an Action/Adventure game.

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  3. both.

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  4. an RPG with Action/Adventure elements

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  5. an Action/Adventure game with RPG elements.

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  6. nothing of the above/other. (Please, explain what.)

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Multiple votes are allowed.
Dec 14, 2008

How would you classify Zelda? by Joey R. at 7:53 PM (2,810 Views / 0 Likes) 31 replies

  1. Joey R.
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    Banned Joey R. Banned

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    Given the vivid discussion stirred by the lack of agreement in this thread regarding Zelda's genre as a videogame (I mean, Zelda is a girl, of course XD), I decided to create this thread. Besides, I don't want to drive that thread off-topic with this discussion.

    So, when you think of Zelda, do you think of an RPG? Or do you think it's an Action/Adventure game? Or something completely different? Or something in-between? This is the reply I intended to post in that other thread before opting to create this one:

    I'm sorry, but that's just to loose to be a clear definiton of RPG. Yes, in an RPG you play the role of a character. That's what "RPG" means, nothing to discuss there. But that would imply that every single game in which you play the role of a character is an RPG. At all. If so, every (or almost every) single game would be an RPG. Tetris would be an RPG, as you play the role of the tetrominoes or, at most, the role of the one who controls the tetrominoes. Super Mario Bros. would be an RPG, as you play the role of Mario. I think that hardly anyone would consider Pong to be an RPG, wouldn't they? No, playing the role of a character is not enough to define what an RPG is. It is just too loose as a definition, and that makes it unnecessary. We don't need another word to say "videogame" when we have "videogame". And erase that "emotion" out of your definition. Half-Life 2 has a deep, involving story and you just gotta love (or hate) Alyx... but it's not an RPG by any standars.

    The thing is, there are some key aspects of a game that makes it an RPG. You mention a party system and turn-based combat. As you bring up that point, well then, let's discuss it. The party system is not something mandatory for a game to be an RPG. Most JRPGs (like FF or DQ) have a party system, but many Western RPGs don't. See Fable, for example. I don't think many people would argue that it is an RPG (and a pretty classic one in terms of character development, too), but it doesn't have a party system like Dungeons & Dragons-based games. As for the turn-based combat... there's no much to discuss. FF is the archetype of RPGs, and the latest installments have real-time combat. And that doesn't make them less RPG. As you can see, these two factors don't make an RPG by their own.

    What *I* consider to be the most important feature of an RPG, that what makes an RPG an RPG, is a level system, or, at least, a character progression system based on a level system. Take, for example, Golden Sun. Each character has a level, which they increase as they kill monsters. The game is based around these levels: as the player advances in the story, the enemies become more and more difficult to beat, forcing him to level his characters up in order to keep up with the increasingly harder foes. Items, like weapons or armour, magic spells and even, in some cases, specific areas of the map, need a certain level to be accessed. Of course, there are some games that don't feature a explicit level system, but they are based on some kind of ranking or progression akin to a level system. In Zelda, which is the game in question, one can potentially kill every single boss with only 3 hearts, even the final boss. The same goes for Castlevania. Proof of this is the Hard mode in the most recent titles, in which the character's level is capped at 1.

    Castlevania (read: Metroidvanias), Zelda (with the exception of Zelda II), Metroid... they are all action/adventure titles, but they blend several features of other genres in their gameplay. Zelda has a strong item collecting-system, while Metroid has it too PLUS a great deal of exploration, which applies to Metroidvanias too. Calling them straightforwardly "RPGs" would be as accurate as calling them "RTSes".

    The characteristics of an RPG have been blurred over the years. Nowadays, many genres blend some (or many) RPGs characteristics to their own. But still, they are not pivotal. They are just *part* of the game, not *the* game. For it to be an RPG, those RPGish elements need to be central to the game.

    PS: You may say that some people have a "narrow-minded conception on what an RPG is". Well, then, you have a too-loose conception of what an RPG is... and that would be as valid as what you've said.
     


  2. Priss

    Member Priss GBAtemp Regular

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    Link's quest in all of the Zelda titles are Adventure RPG oriented games.
    It lacks the ARPG aspect to even consider it one.
    ARPG are action intensive such as Hack N Slash and Dungeon Crawlers.

    I didn't read your novel Joey but...
    this is hardly a debate [​IMG]
     
  3. Joey R.
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    Banned Joey R. Banned

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    Well, it's not my novel, at all.. I've seen people debating about Zelda being or not an RPG for quite a long time and, trust, there is much to debate. Many, many people would actually not agree with you, in fact. The purpose of this topic is to allow those of us who were discussing the matter in that other topic to keep on discussing, while not disrupting the original thread. And, of course, if someone want to cast his opinion, he is free to do so. If you don't see a reason to post, well... don't post [​IMG]
     
  4. Ace Gunman

    Former Staff Ace Gunman ~••Lucky҉Shot••~

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    Zelda is generally defined as an Action/Adventure RPG, much like Fable, Kingdom Hearts, Fallout 3, etc. But unlike those games it has no stat or leveling system, so I'd say it's more accurately an Action/Adventure game with RPG elements.
     
  5. Banger

    Member Banger Me > | | < You ..Wanna Line dance?

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    I voted all options.


    But Action/Adventure game with RPG elements.
     
  6. Jax

    Member Jax Pip Pip Cheerioink!

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    Exactly!

    No leveling up + no stats = No RPG
     
  7. Banger

    Member Banger Me > | | < You ..Wanna Line dance?

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    So role playing game means stats & leveling up? So GTA: SA is now a RPG now?!?!
     
  8. Priss

    Member Priss GBAtemp Regular

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    I beg to differ... Simply because there are no #'s for us to see doesn't mean the character doesn't evolve...

    Zelda covers every aspect of an RPG.
    -You increase your health with heart containers.
    -Each weapon added to your arsenal makes you "stronger" in the sense of giving you the ability to progress further.
    .Each dungeon provides a weapon to do.. just that.
    -Some of these weapons are even upgradable.
    -You interact with the villagers to gain knowledge and insights that you wouldn't be able to accomplish by "simply searching".

    Yes you level up. and yes you have stats. [​IMG]
     
  9. SkankyYankee

    Member SkankyYankee GBAtemp Advanced Skank

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    Action/Adventure

    you could even make the jump to call it a metroidvania.
     
  10. Louisiana

    Member Louisiana GBAtemp Regular

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    There's no question that Zelda is not in the same genre as Final Fantasy. It doesn't really matter what we call genres, as long as they are clearly defined. For example, we could say that Chrono Trigger and Earthbound and Riviera: The Promised Land belong to Genre 1, and Half-Life and Halo and Doom belong to Genre 2. So we could call Zelda an "Action RPG", but that'd be silly.

    "Role-playing game" in videogame terms has come to mean "supersimple strategy game". When Dungeons & Dragons players talk about role-playing, they mean choosing a path.

    Again, linking to articles which are required reading for almost anybody hoping to entirely understand this all.

    http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_role-playing_games/

    http://insomnia.ac/commentary/the_rpg_conundrum/

    http://insomnia.ac/reviews/pc/deusex/

    (also, I consider metroidvania to be a way of structuring a game, not a genre)
     
  11. Jiyik

    Newcomer Jiyik Member

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    Zelda an action adventure game? That's strange for me but when thinking about it I realized I couldn't see it as an adventure game because it was very focused on fights. on computers that is quite rare for Adventure games... but why not.

    The point I don't see is that someone explain why Zelda isn't a RPG instead of just stating it with no arguments.

    Louisania: About the articles I read them, interesting.
    About the first article well I know many people think that CRPG have role playing elements but also quite many know that CRPG have no role playing elements, the author of this article seems not realize that.
    I played a few p&p RPG and well the role playing elements is quite questionable. Most people will just play their own role mixed with a few cliché ie most people won't role play at all.
    Myself perhaps I didn't play enough sessions but I saw it more like a social activity than any role playing.

    For computer games it will be even worse. Role play alone will mean few and this will happen when computers will be able to simulate a human RPG Master, I doubt we will see that until a long time.
    So ok that's his dream, not mine. Have choices is another matter but that's not related to role playing. One point a bit embarrassing about this article is how aggressive is the author and for quite few, not cool. [​IMG]
     
  12. Joey R.
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    Banned Joey R. Banned

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    Well, I beg to differ with you, too:

    - But those hearts only make things easier for you, and you can potentially skip them and still beat the game. How tough the enemies doesn't depend on your level or the point of the game you are playing -- it's something fixed. In most RPGs, when you progress in the game, the enemies become harder and you NEED to increase your health (through items, levels and such) to be able to resist their attacks. Super Mario Bros. 2 features an upgradable HP system, in fact, with hearts, and not many people would call it an RPG...

    - They don't make you stronger: they allow you to continue in your adventure. If you don't have the grappling hook, then you can't access certain vital areas. In most RPGs, using this or that weapon is "optional". You don't need to have all the weapons in the game in order to beat the last boss.

    . That's called linearity. To reach B, you must pass through B. That's hardly something that would make Zelda an RPG.

    - Again, they are upgradable... but just to be able to beat dungeon X. The only case that proves to be optional -- up to a certain point, of course -- is your sword. But one item cannot make a game.

    - At all. Most of, if not all, the game can be beaten without interacting with any villager at all. In fact, most of them will only tell you one-liners that don't contribute to the plot at all.

    Again, by these standars, Half-Life/2 would be considered an RPG:

    -You have a base 100 "HP" wich can be upgraded via the HEV HP and recharced at certain points of the game and with certain items.
    - When you start the game, you get a crowbar. Near the end of the game, you have an RPG and can command Ant Lions at will. During the course of the game, you get pistols, an SMG, a shotgun, a crossbow, mines, hand grenades...
    . Each level has new weapons as you progress in the game.
    - One weapon, the Gravity Gun, is upgradable.
    - You interact with refugees, rebels and vortigaunts (or cientists and security guards in HL1), as well as key characters, and gain information about the plot.

    Oh, and... you don't have Stats. Link doesn't have a STR stat, for example. You only have HP and a magic meter. Those are not Stats. Almost every game has some sort of healt meter, and many have some sort of magic meter that depletes to prevent spamming. Call it cooldown, mana or whatever.
     
  13. Priss

    Member Priss GBAtemp Regular

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    Let me use one example of many to kill your ideology...
    You can walk through FFXIII at lvl 1...
    *tosses a cream pie at your face*

    BTW... quite a hand full of "shooter" games are considered ARPG's

    PS I didn't read pass that line... I really didn't see the point [​IMG]
     
  14. Jiyik

    Newcomer Jiyik Member

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    You have this nasty habits to answer post you don't read!!! You fall on your head when you was a baby? [​IMG]
     
  15. Jiyik

    Newcomer Jiyik Member

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    My answers:
    • Point 1: That's not true, there's 45 hearts in Zelda Twilight Princess, go on take none, I bet you'll never finish the game. That it's optional isn't a valid argument, there's many CRPG where you don't gain a single level if you don't do something from your own like prey/concentrate somewhere, buy training and so on.
    • Point 2: Exactly like in Zelda Twilight Princess, I think you played some Zelda but not Zelda Twilight Princess all the confusion is probably coming from this.
    • Point 3: That's most probably not a valid argument, I bet that Super Mario Bros won't qualify because of many other RPG features it doesn't have. I can't discuss in deep about that game as I haven't played it.
    • Point 4: You say the word, "in most RPG" so not all. Having required elements from weapon to any object in order to go somewhere or do something has been seen in many CRPG. In Divine Divinity there's many room to open only if you use the right object, not to mention that some are required to continue the adventure.
    • Point 5: Exactly like in Zelda Twilight Princess, it has some stuff you can optionally upgrade, weapon, armor, quiver or wallet for example.
    • Point 6: Wrong see point 5.
    • Point 7: What? I strongly doubt this is true, again I think the confusion is coming because you haven't played Zelda Twilight Princess.
    • Point 8: Yes many modern Shooters pickup CRPG elements and that doesn't make them CRPG because they don't have some crucial elements that has Zelda Twilight Princess. That said that point is quite controversial and can lead to quite complex debate about some shooter or sneaking game like System Shock or Deus Ex. But that's a totally different debate than for Zelda Twilight Princess. I agree that many basics CRPG elements are more simple than usual CRPG but they still are here and this game has much more other elements that make it a CRPG, elements that games like many modern shooter and probably Super Mario Bros won't have.
     
  16. Joey R.
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    Banned Joey R. Banned

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    Jiyik, most of your points to counter my arguments come from the fact that I haven't played TP... which I haven't played yet, to be honest [​IMG] But still, as I said before, we're talking about Zelda as a series. That's why I mentioned that Zelda II is an exception to the rule. Maybe TP is another exception, but the vast majority of installments in the series follow the same pattern. You can't classify the WHOLE series by just one game, which also happens to be the latest one.

    Moreover, we can't generalise when we're talking about RPGs, so that's why I say "most of them" and the like. For point 3, I used SMB2 as an example to prove that having a certain RPG element doesn't make the game an RPG. Many people think that because Zelda features an upgradable life meter, it's automatically an RPG, and that's not true. For point 4, well, I didn't say that RPGs can't feature plot-central items needed to advance in the story. That would be plain silly. What I've said is that, in Zelda, all the accesories given in the dungeons are needed to progress in the game. There's a difference between needing an item and having the option to use it. In most RPGs (again, there are some exceptions, of course), you can beat the game with your starting dagger and tattered clothes. Using the ultra-powerful sword obtained after a long dungeon only makes your life easier, but it's not mandatory.

    PS: Priss, you need to get off your high horse if you want to be taken seriously. First of all, you are not cooler or more intelligent if you don't read my post, answer whatever you want and expect everyone to blindly accept it. In fact, it makes you look plainly dumb, cocky and disrespectful, not to mention that it seems that you didn't have the means to counter my arguments and decided to end the discussion cowardly by saying "I win, you lose". Who the hell do you think you are? If you don't want to have a civilised discussion, then STFU and GTFO the thread.
    Besides, your point is not valid at all. At least, not to "kill" my argumentation. What does FFXIII have to do with Zelda's heart system? I haven't played that game, but, please, read three words more and you'll find something quite curious about my statement: "In most RPGs". Bingo! In most, not in every single one! So, how that does kill my argument again? Shhhh.
     
  17. Jiyik

    Newcomer Jiyik Member

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    Damit so we are all agree! [​IMG]

    Quote the original debate was about Zelda Twilight Princess that I added in my list of RPG and someone said it wasn't RPG.
    Ok I don't know the whole Zelda series so from this point of view I cannot say.
    I also agree that Zelda Twilight Princess is borderline CRPG. But it is CRPG anyway, unlike many modern shooters I played a little.
     
  18. UltraMagnus

    Member UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    its action adventure.

    I don't see why anyone would call it an RPG, it seems everyone calls any game with a storyline an RPG these days.

    I think the defining element has to be its combat system. RPGs do not require skill or quick reactions, whereas action adventure games tend to have combat systems that require skill to aim blows, dodge, time attacks, etc. so final fantasy and chrono trigger would be RPGs, and kingdom hearts and zelda would be action adventure.
     
  19. Jiyik

    Newcomer Jiyik Member

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  20. Rod

    Member Rod GBAtemp Fan

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    Action-Adventure. I thought about voting "Action-Adventure with RPG elements"... but I couldn't remember what those RPG elements were. D:
     

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