There’s a lot to love about The Legend of Zelda, but one area I’ve always felt lacked was a blockbuster narrative.
That’s not to say there aren’t stories in Zelda titles. Many of the 3D titles have had plots and a narrative progression, but oftentimes, they lack depth.
The Legend of Zelda lives within a rich world of lore and hidden stories. We often get tidbits of information, indirect storytelling, or the start of many plot threads but not often a fully fleshed out narrative.
So should The Legend of Zelda embrace a more narrative-based approach?
I’m a particular fan of this topic because I enjoy a good story. One of the reasons why roleplaying games appeal to me is the expansive and layered plot threads. While The Legend of Zelda is an action-adventure, it still abides a similar space.
We’ve seen what a more narrative-driven Zelda game can be thanks to Skyward Sword. If it wasn’t for some wonky controls, I think this game would be one of the best in the franchise. It is for me.
Another game that leaned a bit into a narrative was Twilight Princess. It was definitely one of the more cinematic games as there were some amazing cutscenes. The story itself was fun albeit, in my opinion, generic.
A generic story isn’t a bad thing either. The Legend of Zelda thrives on its gameplay and that has long been its strong suit.
The franchise has found a lot of success focusing primarily on gameplay and it works. There are many who might say gameplay is more important than narrative for this franchise.
Breath of the Wild was notoriously light on its story, but the gameplay was phenomenal. I could play that game for hours and just run around a mountain range doing absolutely nothing but exploring. I even took several months off from the game and never felt like I missed out on the story.
What The Legend of Zelda is doing works well. I, personally, would love to see a more narrative-driven approach from time to time though I would never want the games to sacrifice gameplay for narrative.
I think there’s a lot of room to build out stories from the surprisingly deep lore. Majora’s Mask showed you can have a lot of small narrative threads that are emotional and impactful. I would love to see that more at a larger level.
What about you? Would you love to see The Legend of Zelda take a more narrative-based approach? Which narrative games in the franchise are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or by heading over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.
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Nintendo Pow Block is Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network’s Nintendo podcast. Each week, Edward, Corey, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk about the week in Nintendo, including news, rumors, new games, questions, and the fan-favorite Snacktendo segment. Check out Nintendo Pow Block Live on Twitch every Monday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern / 5:30 p.m. Pacific or on Podcast Services and YouTube Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. If you enjoy the show, consider leaving us a five star rating on iTunes and Spotify. Thanks for listening to Nintendo Pow Block!
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