Pragmatic 91: Zelda

25 February, 2019


John Siracusa returns to Pragmatic to discuss everything Zelda related, with a focus on Breath of the Wild and how so many established Zelda gameplay rules were thrown out the window with resounding success.

Transcript available
I'm going to feel rather odd reading out this introduction because the introduction talks about the practical application of technology, which is a real stretch. Games are a practical application of technology. Well, yeah, actually, you know what? You're right. They are. Fine. I don't feel bad about it anymore. That's good. Your intro is sufficiently vague to cover almost anything. Good job. Excellent. Thank you. Welcome to Pragmatic. Pragmatic is a discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology. By exploring the real-world trade-offs, we look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives. Nothing is as simple as it seems. This episode is brought to you by Clubhouse, the first project management platform for and software development that brings everyone on every team together to build better products. Visit this URL clubhouse or one the word for more information. We'll talk more about them during the show. Pragmatic is part of the Engineered Network to support our shows, including this one. Head over to our Patreon page and for other great shows, visit today. I'm your host, John Gigi, and today I'm joined by John Siracusa. How's it going, John? - Pretty good. - I just want to say thank you so much for agreeing to come on to talk about a subject that is very dear to my heart. I'm not a big gamer, but one of the games that I have loved for as far as long as I can remember, the first time I ever played it, is Zelda. My love affair with Zelda really started with Ocarina of Time, and I do realize that there were games before that. It's one of those ones that I realize, and I think we were just saying this before we started recording, it feels strange to me if this is an application of technology, but I suppose it is technically, so I'm okay with that as a discussion point for the show. I think. - Any time is a good time to talk about Zelda, on any podcast. - Absolutely. So, first of all, I guess the thing with Zelda is that it's, I suppose you consider it a role-playing game, really. I mean, I'm just thinking about, it's not really a first-person shooter. It's, although it has, oh dear, I'm just trying to characterize the game, but ultimately it just draws a lot from role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons is the basis of it with like hit points, armor class, magic class, but not quite the same level. Some of it sort of watered down a little bit, but I sort of wonder if it was really the first, the first really popular game that was derived from that. I mean, I played Bard's Tale back on the PC back in the day, and that was far more Dungeons and Dragons like, and whereas Zelda was a lot more, I don't know, user-friendly, it's hard to know where to start talking about it. - Yeah, I wouldn't characterize it as an RPG. I think I think sometimes people apply that label to it because it appears to have like high fantasy elves wizards magic bows and arrows swords and shields type stuff in it But I think all those you know the games that you were talking about like a Bard's Tale or even the text adventures or the Ultima series and I don't know the exact timelines But I'm sure there were tons and tons of much more closely related to Dungeons and Dragons and role-playing game games out on the PC long before this but Given the limits of the NES where the first Zelda appeared you just you couldn't have a game like that There was a reason they were on PC. It was not enough memory not enough storage and not enough computing power not enough almost anything to do a giant stat filled RPG With tons of inventory and enemies and graphics and like, you know, the sort of modern RPG So I think Zelda is I mean if you know You just want to characterize a third person game where you see your character, and it isn't a kind of a high fantasy setting and it takes a few things from that that realm inventory. You mentioned you know, the hearts for hit points, and the trappings of swords and shields and wizards and magic and elves. But it basically makes a and I used to call them adventure. It's not really an adventure game because people think point and click adventures, but like a an action adventure, like real time moment to moment sort of like top down Mario with the sword and a little bit of inventory out of it. And that's what you characterize as being user-friendly in that sort of that more reactive style gameplay where there are systems and there is inventory, but for the most part, you will not be min-maxing, you will not be rolling your characters, you won't be overwhelmed, you'll mostly just be in there having fun. Yeah, exactly right. And one of the things that I also found about the, I guess, okay, so maybe we should talk a little bit about the early Zelda games. I really do want to talk about Breath of the Wild the most, but I think it's probably a good idea just to quickly cover some of that history of where it started initially. And I didn't play, as I said, anything prior to Ocarina of Time. And a part of me feels bad about that, but I'm going to work on that because some of that stuff's now you can get on the Wii U and some of it's coming to the Switch, which we'll talk about later. But some of the 2D stuff is, it never really gripped me as much. Maybe that's why I didn't play it. So just looking back through a little bit of the history, that's like a top down view with side scrolling a little bit. So I think it was, so I go back to, let's talk about like the 2D ones. So we've got Link's Awakening, I think that was on the Game Boy, there was a DX version for it for the color and that was in '98, I think. And 2001 Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages on the Game Boy Color. 2004, the Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance and 2013, that was a link between worlds and the 3DS, which I very nearly got, and then my son broke his 3DS, and then I didn't. So, hmm. But I never actually had a Game Boy Color or an original Game Boy. Did you ever play any of those ones? - So I think we're kind of on the same page about Zelda in that my love of, well, I'm not gonna say my love of the game started with the 3D games, but the 3D games are what I think about and care about. I didn't have any systems that could play the 2D Zeldas when they came out, but I was alive then and my friends had them. And that's where I started to get obsessed with the game is seeing that they had it because they had, you know, an NES and they had Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt and all the other stuff, which I played and loved. But they also had this other game, eventually, Zelda, which was very different from all of them. Not just because it was top down, but just because you could tell it came with a big map that you could fold out, and there was inventory, and there were puzzles, and even though there was combat and everything, you could pretty much go wherever you wanted, and there was an air of mystery about the game. So I definitely sort of got obsessed with the game back in that era, but because I didn't own it, I never played that game from start to finish. I played many different segments of that game, and I was in the room when other people were playing the game, but I didn't play it. And practically speaking, from a modern perspective, once the 3D Zeldas came out, that's how I want to experience this world. I want to be in it in a more visceral way than any 2D game can provide. And the second thing I'm going to say, which is probably even less popular than me dumping on the 2D Zeldas, is that I consider all the portable Zeldas second tier. I know there are great games in that series, and I bet a lot of them are better than the original 2D Zeldas on NES and SNES and everything, but I always say, "Okay, there's the real Zelda games which go on the TV-connected consoles," and obviously the Switch throws a monkey wrench into this, but we'll get to that eventually. And then there are a bunch of other Zeldas on Game Boy and other portable things, and some of them are really good, but they tended to be still 2D, and it's just not my cup of tea. Yeah, it's interesting. I wholeheartedly agree with that, and I'm not sure I'd be so brutal to say they're second tier, but they certainly aren't of any interest, the 2D ones, to me. just don't seem to jump out at me. I have sort of fiddled with them a bit, but you know, it's a similar situation to yourself on other people's devices, not my own. And I guess if we sort of like take that discussion then off the table and say, well, okay, well, yes, they're a thing, they happened and you know, that's great, but we'll stay focused on the 3D stuff. I think that's probably the right way to go. Although before we move on from that, we should at least recognize that like before the 3D games could exist before that technology existed, the 2D games were as good as it got. And you know, so it's things like Link to the Past, like, is an important, it's a great game and it's an important game. And there was no option for 3D. So it's not like I say the 2D games are bad, like they're, they're where I started to get into the series, even though I couldn't actually play them, you know, in my own house, because it didn't have the systems. That's, you know, everything that's great about them is what drew me in. And some of those games were really, really good. But as soon as you can do a 3D version, I feel like it suits the game franchise better than 2D. And a lot of people have nostalgia for the 2D, or maybe people like the control of the 2D, and there are reasons to prefer the 2D to the 3D. But as far as I'm concerned, they made the best games they could possibly make with technology available. And as soon as 3D technology is available, I'm no longer interested in 2D Zeldas. Not because they're not good games, they're just because 3D, and maybe even maybe even an open world, but again, when we talk about Breath of Wild, we'll talk about that, is the way I feel like this franchise is best served. Yeah, another thing that I was thinking along those lines is that part of my enjoyment of games like Mario, because I'm a bit of a Super Mario fan back in the day, because those were the games that I was playing on a console, and the original Super Mario Brothers, and 2 and 3, and Super Mario World. And when they went 3D, I actually lost interest. I found it was less suitable to what I was expecting or what I enjoyed about the continuous side scrolling, the mechanics of Mario. The funny thing is with Zelda, it's the other way around, is that I felt that the 3D were in fact the way it is best represented and best enjoyed that suits the format. I don't know, part of me feels like the Mario side of me would say that I'm an old fogey and I'm going with what I used to and get off my lawn. other side of me saying I'm embracing 3D in the future with Zelda. So, hmm, I don't know, maybe, hmm, it's interesting, isn't it? It's interesting because I, you know, so I see where you're coming from there and I think I mostly agree. It's just that, I think when Mario moved from 2D to 3D, it transformed in a more fundamental way than Zelda did. Because Zelda was trying to do as best it could all the things that are better done in 3D whereas Mario had done what it had set out to do in 2D very well and when you went to 3D you couldn't you couldn't and shouldn't and they didn't reproduce like try to do what they were doing in 2D and 3D because like the constraints were so part of the experience of Mario just like the jumping the air control the way you are constrained to two dimensions the the going in front of and back of things Like Mario was transformed as a franchise into a new thing. Now I happen to like 3D Mario's better than the 2D, but I think they are much different games in spirit than the 2D ones. So if you really love the 2D Mario games, I can see how the 3D ones feel like, that's a different, it's almost like a different franchise. - Yeah, that's it exactly. It is a very different feel to the games. And the part of me that I guess this is in support of people that love the 2D Zelda's is that, you know, maybe I just learned to love Mario back when it was in that form and I just prefer it that way. And the new ones may be Mario in name, but perhaps not in the same, certainly not in the same gameplay style and perhaps not necessarily the same spirit. But in the end, I think the world's a better place that there is 3D Mario, but it just, for whatever reason, never really, never really attracted me. But anyway, interesting, interesting discussion. I think in terms of keeping us on Zelda though, get back on track regarding that, I think I just want to also acknowledge that yes, there are games that have Zelda as a character, but I'm not particularly interested in talking about those either. So I know that Zelda is a character, I'm pretty sure in Super Smash Brothers. Then there's Hyrule Warriors, which is another one. Triforce Heroes, I think is another one. And of course there's a Mario Kart, he has a character on Mario Kart. - So Four Sword Adventures, there's a million, like all the Nintendo franchise characters are all over their things, but you know, it's a Mario place tennis too. So we're not talking about those games, talk about Mario games, right? - Yeah, that is very true, yes. So yes, and Zelda's okay in Mario Kart, I don't know. But nevermind. So, all right, so focusing on the console stuff, I guess then just a quick chronology. The Famicom Disk System was the first one. Now, I've never played on that. That was in '86, but apparently it's only ever sold in Japan. They sold about four million units of it, so that would have been all right. but ultimately on NES is the first, and 1988 was the first that came to the NES. So I actually had an NES, but I didn't have Zelda at that point. '87 was Zelda II, Adventure of Link, and that was on the NES in '88 as well. And I think the Link to the Past actually wasn't Super Nintendo. The funny thing is it also came to the Game Boy Advance a few years later, actually, I think. So you said you played, did you play that on the NES or just on the friends Game Boy? - I didn't, I don't think I played Link to the Past I think I only watch other people play it because they were refused to put the controller down Like with Legend of Zelda, I remember my friends being kind of thwarted by it They'd be like I got this game and unlike every other game. I've gotten so far from NES When I tried to play it I'm not quite sure how to make headway because it's it's not There are no levels and it doesn't like guide you from left to right So what do you do and as I've got this map and the latest version of Nintendo power said this but they weren't they didn't know how to go through it. By the time Link to the Past came out, everybody had figured out, "Oh, this is what a Zelda game is like," and they were like, "This is the greatest Zelda game ever," and they just played it. Zelda II less so, that was the side-scrolly one. I'm not sure if I even knew any friends who had that, but a Link to the Past, I only watched other people play. Fair enough. So, the first, now getting to the big one, which is, of course, Ocarina of Time. So, that was in 1998, and that was released first on the Nintendo 64, which I and then later I think it was released in the GameCube in 2002. So, the thing about it that blew me away, I guess, was that it is completely unlike anything I'd ever played before. And it felt like the gameplay of being in a 3D world where Link could go wherever he wanted, well, within reason. And just the storytelling and the music, it was such a beautiful game to play. It was so much fun and it, I don't know, it just blew me away as an experience. And Axon have got me hooked and I've played that and I've replayed that and I've replayed that I forget how many times over the years. When I eventually, well, funny story, I left home and went out on my own and my mother kept the Nintendo 64 for herself, which is interesting, but never mind. So I was emulating it after that, but I was still playing it. So yes, that was the first one. And the first 3D game in the game space and well, of course, Link has a horse, Epona, which is lovely. And I think actually it's the highest ranked game title, according to Metacritic anyway, with 99 out of 100, which I think is actually the highest rating of any game, I believe. That's pretty weird. I think about Ocarina of Time, the challenge they had before them, they were saying that 3D is suited to what Zelda franchise trying to do because it's a game about exploration and adventure and meeting new creatures and finding new places and exploring secrets. And like it was always the game was always about exploring the space, exploring the landscape and the creatures that are there. It was always so much less about the specific mechanics of combat, whether they be side scrolling or top down or whatever. You're always going somewhere and finding a thing and, you know, visiting different places and talking to people and getting finding items and stuff like that. And so it's natural to expand that to to 3D because it's it's it's you get more of a sense of place being in these places and exploration feels more like it does to you know we hairless apes like just going over a hill and seeing what's over the next rise and seeing what's around this corner and going down into a cave and in a more visceral way than a graphic representation. But getting back to this game's amazingly high Metacritic ranking, this Ocarina of Time is an incredibly technically compromised game. And the reason it's so highly rated is because Zelda was a beloved franchise, and everyone's like, "How are you going to change 3D?" Not because 3D doesn't fit the franchise, but because you do have to actually address the minutiae of the mechanics. Alright, so we said the Zelda series is not about the specifics of the combat, but you do have to have combat. do you make that work in 3d? Remember this time, we they just figured out how to make platforming work in 3d, which I think was a fundamental change that franchise, but at least they made a fun good game that people like Mario 3d, you know, they figured out how to make it fun, but you don't like hit things with swords or shoot them in 3d. And it's not a first person shooter, which was the other main 3d sort of genre that had been established that it's like we know how to do that that works in 3d how do you have a third person adventure exploration combat game in 3d in a way that it remains accessible and fun to play and it was and and then you know how to fit this kind of how do you fit a 3d world the size that is appropriate for Zelda onto a cartridge because Nintendo was still stuck on cartridges then like how do you get that to work so So the combat system with the Z locking and the giant I mean people don't remember this is in your mind you don't think about it but like the four gigantic yellow triangles rotating around the thing you were Z locked onto because that was such a core part of the gameplay of like we're not going to make you face your character towards the thing you're trying to to hit because that's too hard to do in 3d at the same time as swinging your little sword we're going to have the Z lock system it's going to be incredibly obnoxiously in your face and prominent on the screen because it's entirely new mechanic that you probably have never seen before. And it is essential to this auto jump versus jumping manually. I remember that was very controversial when it came out. It's like, oh, he jumps automatically. I don't even get to jump in 3d. What the heck is this? Right. And what we learned playing the game was this was all in service of getting out of your way and letting you experience the adventure. It is not a fighting game. It is not a, you know, battle tech or whatever, you know, one of those mech games or whatever. It's not, you're not controlling this incredibly complicated system. It just needs to disappear. So you just feel like you're on an adventure. And they figured out how to do that. But they still had to face technical challenges of not having enough memory on a cartridge to have a big game world. So whole sections of it were these crazy, quick time VR 2d stretched out panorama low res fuzzy Vaseline smear things, you know, all the all the towns and cities that you'd walk through, because they just didn't have time or memory to do the like to do a full three things. So like, if Ocarina of Time, what did not solve all those problems, and wasn't so amazing, other aspects. If you look at it just as it is, it's not a 10 out of 10 game. Like how can you have a 10 out of 10 game that's so incredibly compromised graphically, the you know, the MIDI audio instead of like, the Redbook CD audio coming off PlayStation One discs, sections of it are in 2d, like it just seems like such a mess. But the experience of it was so transcendent, that everyone just gave a 10 out of 10. And like, forgave all of these flaws. Whereas today of a game like, Well, there were minor frame rate dips in the final boss battle 9.5 out of 10. Like how come at the time is so much garbage wrong with it. But everyone was just able to either see past that or just be entirely blinded by what was good about the game and just say 10 out of 10 greatest game ever. I didn't think they could possibly make a Zelda game in 3d. How could they even do it but playing the game, the controls fell away. The experience was like everything I dreamed it's like it's what was in my head when I was playing Link to the Past or whatever. Like it's it's my vision come to life. That's why everybody loves it. But, you know, objectively, I feel like in today's much more harsh and critical and demanding gaming market, no one would give this game 10 out of 10, despite truly being one of the greatest games of all time. And I absolutely agree with all of that. And I think that if you were to bring that game forward into the present and have people judge it today, it would not get 99 out of 100. That is for sure. But a lot's changed, I guess. And the constraints The constraints of the console obviously were a big problem and it also had to... It also... well, maybe we'll talk a little bit more about this later. I just want to keep moving, but the fact is that Ocarina of Time for me still remains my, perhaps nostalgically, my favorite Zelda, but the truth is that Breath of the Wild is so much better in so many dimensions that, you know, it's kind of probably... I need to be more honest with myself as to which is actually the better game, which is probably Breath of the Wild. When you played that originally, was it on the Nintendo 64 or GameCube? Nintendo 64. It actually also came out for one of the portable systems as well. They redid it, but they redid all the character models and everything. Oh, okay. It was for DS, I think. It wasn't just a port. The GameCube was just an emulated port or whatever. Right. And then they redid the graphics for whatever the portable system was. But no, I played it on the N64, the original. So, a few years later, they did the sort of thing that you would do when you spent all that time and money developing that kind of an environmental game engine that they were using to create it and they did Majora's Mask. With Majora's Mask, personally, I think I made it to the Woodfall Temple and then I was emulating it at that point 'cause I didn't have my Nintendo 64 physically and I lost my save games and I never came back to it. So, Majora's Mask was an interesting game. It was, I liked the idea of the hours and days counting backwards and you had to play the song jump back in time again to keep going which was an interesting dynamic but uh yeah so. Nobody would have made it, nobody would make a game like Majora's Mask today again like it's kind of like when you have a franchise film and they make a sequel to it and what if they told you okay the sequel to Captain America the second movie is going to be a romantic comedy. You'd be like what are you talking about it's Captain it's Captain America you have to make another Captain America movie you can't make a romantic comedy it's not it's the same character is a kind of the kind of the same setting but it'll be romantic comedy. Never get funded. So the follow up to like this 10 out of 10, everybody loves the greatest game of all time, Ocarina of Time is a game that is so incredibly unlike Ocarina of Time other than reusing assets and the engine, like totally, totally different gameplay, totally different setting, like, but it was amazing. It was like a remix fever dream. It's worth actually playing through. I tried to get my son to play through it again in emulation, but it kept freezing at a certain point and we couldn't get through it. You It's kind of a shame that there's never been a good part of that. And the second thing that wouldn't make it in the modern day is you can't ask modern gamers to deal with Majora's Mask three-day system or whatever it was. That cycle is too punishing for modern gamers. They'd be like, "This is annoying and hard, and I can't seem to make any progress." But for the time, we were willing to deal with those things. It was incredibly clever when you figure it all out. This was kind of the dawning of game facts. You could find Usenet ASCII art posts telling you about things that are hidden in the game, but it wasn't at the point where you can just get all the secrets. So it was very mysterious, hard to crack. Very weird. It had better graphics on a career of time because it required the memory expansion. So there were better graphs and textures, and it was super creepy and so had some very moody, interesting graphical moments that I still remember to this day. It was punching way above its weight graphically and game pay wise. It was very unique. So I definitely have the soft spot in my heart. And I think a lot of people I think it's esteem has risen over the years, mostly by people who haven't gone back to play it to realize how strange and punishing it is, but it was a great game. Yeah, I do need to get back to it and have another crack at it. I sort of feel like I gave up a little bit too soon on that, but a lot of the stuff that I did at the time, it was just, you know, I was emulating it as well, and I think perhaps that the emulators had trouble dealing with it potentially, I'm not sure, but in the end, I probably will get back to that at some point, but I've got a couple others on the list first. So, speaking of the next one, which is Wind Waker, and that was 2002. And I didn't actually play much of that game. I played on a friend's console who had it at the time. And when I got my Wii U, I snagged a copy of it, of the HD version of it. And it's sitting there on the stack ready to play next. But I just remember that it was very cartoony and it was obviously more polished than Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask from that perspective, but it felt a bit more cartoony. I don't know if that makes sense, but in any case. Yeah, there was a big controversy about the game because of the cel shading and having it look like toons. These are people who had grown up with the other Zeldas, like, "Zelda is supposed to be a serious, dark fantasy game. How can you make everything cartoony?" Which is ridiculous. Wind Waker is one of the best-looking Zelda games ever. It had a clear art style and it was so thoroughly and well implemented. This is an interesting case by the way, speaking of the HD one, I played through this or the original on the GameCube multiple times. And then I also played through the HD one, I think also multiple times myself and my son. This is a weird case where the HD one looks great and is a good game. But I think the non HD one not looks better because obviously it's got giant chunky pixels and you know like it's graphically worse objectively in terms of technical prowess but they actually are different art styles like in the HD one they had they made decisions about adding shading and lighting effects and stuff that were just absolutely not there in the original one if you had made a true HD-ified version of the original one it would just up the resolution but it wouldn't add all that other stuff so i think they probably made the right choice to give a new look to an old game to make people who had played the original want to play it because it looks different enough and you know, I played it and I enjoyed it. But I think the original had the better, better art direction, that it was more pure and just fitting with that cel shading style. And it when it's very high on my ranking of all time, as well, as it has its limits and problems. But I loved it from the first moment I played it. It was it was such a a breath of fresh air. And it was it was almost almost nothing I dislike about it and tons that I like about it. So I think you're gonna have a lot of fun with that game, especially since I think in the the Wii U version they trimmed some of the fetch quests towards the like the 3/4 of the way through kind of like they did in Twilight Princess where they take some of the parts that were a little bit Burdensome and make it a little bit nicer for you, which is nice when they go back and revise games like that But even even in the original I you know, I thoroughly enjoyed it cool Well, like I say it's sitting on the pile and it's on the pile because I'm currently working my way through the one from 2006, which I also got the HD version of because I feel bad because when I was aware of all this happening, but I was around about the time that I got married and had young kids and I was aware that these games were coming out, but I could not easily justify, well, let's just say I think my well-being may have been challenged had I chosen the time and games rather than time with with the kids when they were really little. So it's a difficult balance, but in any case, I'm revisiting that now. So I got the HD version of Twilight Princess and I've been playing through that now for, well, to be honest, a couple of months now that I've been, I've had a little bit, well, I started on Christmas holidays anyhow, but whenever I get a chance, I play with it. But way back when, in the mid 2000s, when that did come out originally, I did play with it on my sister's console, but I was only there for a little while. I made it to Farron Forest and I think I cleared that as Warflink and then that was that. And now I've come back to it when I picked up my secondhand Wii U, which was, I thought, a good investment. I've made it, I've got all but one piece left of the Twilight Mirror and I don't have the magic armor yet, but I'm working on it. So, and it's been fantastic. But the thing is, it's also reminded me, considering the most recent game of Zelda I played being Breath of the Wild, just reminded me of some of the limitations that were very similar to Ocarina of Time in some of the game mechanics, but I'm still thoroughly enjoying it, to be honest. - Yeah, Twilight Princess was a fairly obvious reaction to the fan reaction to Wind Waker. Wind Waker, you know, oh, it's cartoonish, cel-shaded or whatever. We want dark, serious, you know, more mature, whatever, Link, which I, you know, that's, I'm parroting what people said, not what I actually believe, because I think there's nothing immature about Wind Waker. Like it's more playful than Twilight Princess and it's happier, but their choices anyway. Twilight Princess, I've always, in my mind, I always consider Ocarina of Time turbo because it is so similar to Ocarina of Time in terms of like sketching out the game, but take everything that's in Ocarina of Time and add an A and B variant and make them bigger and more complicated Add more of them and add a slightly different twist of a different overall story So it's it's got you know more dungeons more characters a more complicated story more items more combat But it essentially it is the Ocarina of Time formula Go dungeon get item defeat person in the dungeon with the item story beat next dungeon item You know, but just expanded so and I love Ocarina of Time. So I love Ocarina of Time turbo for a long time Twilight but well, maybe we'll get to rankings later. Twilight Princess is very often in contention for my favorite Zelda game of all time, but you're right, there are definitely comparisons with Breath of the Wild that are important, and that's kind of how, what's fighting in my head right now. - So after that, there was, I think, well, to my mind anyway, the most controversial, and for me personally, the one that I also did have a crack at when I had a Wii was Skyward Sword in 2011. And I really never quite got the hang of the Wiimote waving around. And I actually put it down in frustration, sort of like, at the time, I think I was a bit less open-minded to them changing some of the aspects of the gameplay. And as a result, I sort of put it down and I haven't gone back to it, but I will go back to it at some point. But I distinctly remember the time putting the Wiimote down and going back to play "Ocarina of Time." But yeah, so Skyward Sword, I never really got that far into it and it just felt very strange. I don't know. - I don't think it was the most controversial 'cause I think Wind Waker was still the most controversial just because it was, you know, such a shock from what it came before and it was so much outcry. In the demos of Skyward Sword, they're like, "Okay, there's a new Zelda game "and I guess it's got the sword thing "and this is the era of the Wii, "so we're all on board with, "potentially this will be good, this will be bad." I think it had worse reviews than Wind Waker because it's not a good game, as good a game as Wind Waker. But just on its face, it's like, oh, we're going to have a Zelda game. Are you swing the sword? People were pretty much OK with that. The art style was a nice compromise between the cartoony style of Wind Waker and the more realistic style of Twilight Princess. It wasn't as dark as Twilight Princess. You know, the character models were, you know, not as svelte and human like as Twilight Princess, but they weren't giant head bobblehead things like Wind Waker. The thing about Skyward Sword is some of the best moments and gameplay elements in the entire Zelda series are in that game, but overall it is not a great game. There's not enough there to make a game. The sword stuff is, I feel like once you get on board with it, it works surprisingly well. The engine is forgiving of the limitations of the control and it can be kind of fun and And it's an interesting new thing to master. It is not as good a combat system as Twilight Princess or Wind Waker even. It's not a good fit for the series. I'm glad they left it behind. But as a curiosity, like, that's why I feel bad when people say, Oh, I haven't played Skyward Sword. I'm never going to. I feel like if you're a Zelda fan, you have to play Skyward Sword, you have to go through the boring, tedious parts, just because there are some really good, interesting parts in there. And there are some moments that you can't have with the other games, because no other game do you wave around the controller like that. So I feel like it's essential despite being not the greatest game in the series. Yeah, and I absolutely am going to go back and give it another chance. So currently my replaying list is I'm going to finish Twilight Princess, then we'll go back to Wind Waker, and then after that I'll have a crack at Skyward Sword. I'm probably not, I don't think they'll ever, I don't know, maybe they will, maybe they won't, because I mean I guess you could use the Joy-Con in the same fashion and re-release that at some point in the future. But I don't think they should re-release that just because like, if you were to sketch out what does Skyward Sword entail, how many settings, how many dungeons, how many, because it is in the old world formula very similar, you would see this just not, like, I don't think there's enough there. It's not, it doesn't, it didn't feel like a whole Zelda game. It felt unnecessarily padded, too much repeated visits to the same settings, and the settings they had were good and everything, like, this is also the game where they really heavily experimented with extremely lengthy JRPG style cutscenes. - Right. - But like when you start, I mean, you've started playing it. Like you can't even get into the game until you've endured like 30 minutes of cutscenes, which is fine, but maybe not at the beginning of the game. And it has some fun mechanics with the running and the bombs. Like it is, there's some really good ideas in Skyward Sword. Some of it's actually making it into Breath of the Wild. Like it was an important game in the development of the Zelda series. we wouldn't have Breath of the Wild without Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, and obviously Ocarina, like all those games, you can see how they all contribute to Breath of the Wild. And if you take Skyward Sword out, you miss out a lot of things about, you know, in particular, the running versus sprinting and the throwing of items and all the physics-based gameplay that, you know, was just taken to the next level in Breath of the Wild. - Fair enough. I am definitely gonna go back to Skyward Sword. And that's one of the things I also do love about Zelda that they do continue. Every single one that they release has plenty of commonality with the previous ones, whether it's reusing locations or techniques or the targeting, for example, still thing, going back to Ocarina of Time, that method of Zed targeting. The same mechanic exists. And Twilight Princess, and anyway. 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Thank you once again to Clubhouse for sponsoring the Engineered Network. So, Breath of the Wild. So, I was quite surprised when I actually did a bit of research on this. I've only got five pages of notes. But anyway, 300 developers apparently, according to, and I'm going to mangle their name, maybe you can pronounce it better than me, but it's Iyayi Anuma. I don't no, I'm sorry, the Breath of the Wild producer said that 300 developers took about four years to develop Breath of the Wild. And they started in 2011. It was originally supposed to go on the Wii U alone, and they decided to hold it off for when the Switch was going to be ready. So in terms of the scale of Breath of the Wild, that's far over and above any of the other previous developments that they did on any of the other games. The map itself, just the map of places to explore is 12 times the size of Twilight Princess, of which Twilight Princess was five times the size roughly of Ocarina of Time. It's also made more complicated by the fact that in those there's limited ability to go in the Z plane, well, that's to say climb up and swim down, which you can do so much more in Breath of the Wild. you have this in huge volume that you get the just I can see why it took so many people so long to flesh it out and the amount of detail in there is off the charts. There's it literally has so many things in it. It's it's yeah and the Metacritic score for the game was 97 out of 100 which to be honest yeah based everything that we just talked about I I feel like that's that's almost being a bit harsh but anyhow. Yeah, it's definitely a rougher critical world. Are they gonna nitpick at everything? Yeah, I think I think Breath of the Wild like we went Through this whole timeline, right? And if you look at the inflection points, obviously The the 2d to 3d is the biggest inflection point in the entire series the second biggest is Breath of the Wild because there's so many changes in gameplay and setting and everything of all those different games from Ocarina of Time on and you know, even before in the 2d you had top-down you had side-scrolling you had all the different You know going up and down in the in the Z plane You know it in well in the in the 2d games they were they would simulate that But you're like well, what's that? What's the big deal? This is just another 3d Zelda It is a it's a different kind of game it is it is taken thrown out the formula that began with Ocarina Well it began with the original game But was sort of cemented with Ocarina of Time and said we're not gonna do that formula anymore where you Have dungeons and you get an item that helps you defeat the thing in the dungeon and you get more powerful And you go to the next dungeon, and you know like they just they got rid of that that's not how you play the game anymore. It is no longer a linear series of power advancement through encounters that are laid out before you like set pieces in movies. And so how do you make a Zelda game that's not like that and still have it feel like Zelda? That was their challenge, and that's what they did with Breath of the Wild. And we all assume that given this inflection point, there will be another series of games that build on Breath of the Wild. I really think there should be, because it's a great thing to build on. And I feel like like we were saying before, it is a natural expansion of Zelda, which is all about exploration. Technically speaking, you couldn't do exploration in something like Twilight Princess, which was like the biggest Ocarina formula game out there. You mentioned the size of the map. If you traced on those maps, what are the areas that Link can actually stand on in the Twilight Princess map? That's the key thing. Like, all right, so yeah, the map is this big, but where can you, the player character actually stand? and it's this narrow little, you know, these narrow little rivulets and tunnels because they're guiding you through the game, right? Whereas in Breath of the Wild, where can Link stand? Anywhere, pretty much anywhere in the entire map. So it's a massive map and you can go everywhere. So you mentioned the 300 developers. There's no, like no one sees this game and says, "What did all those 300 developers do?" Nope, you can see what they did. You may think it might be even more hell, like you would think they would have to need more developers just to place the Korok seeds alone. - Yeah. is a major achievement and a major inflection point in the series. So one of the things that you sort of touched on there I want to sort of circle back to is there's a little bit of debate I think about open world versus closed world and I read through the definitions of what they consider to be, what's generally considered to be an open world but I suppose depending upon how you want to look at it, you could argue that Ocarina of Time was in many respects still technically an open world. just not as open or perhaps it's a more modern open world is more about the sequence that you have to do certain tasks. And the difference for me, or my take on it for Breath of the Wild is that, and you touched on this, is that there's the progression from dungeon to dungeon to getting more hearts and more stammer and so on. It's extremely prescriptive in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, for example, because you'll finish one and then like Midna will tell you, helpfully. You got to go on these other mirror shards. Didn't I say something about going up into the sky or something? It'll guide you pretty much any time that you would care to pause for a second and hint very, very strongly where you should go next. Whereas with Breath in the Wild, there really isn't necessarily that because there's so many quests and shrine quests and side quests. It's almost like it's not as pushy. That's Very freeing I think the main distinction is that there is no artificial barrier to Going anywhere so like in all the other Zelda things you physically the game will not let you physically enter Any of the dungeons except for the one that you can do next because you can't get to the areas because you don't have the Items it's not even an option. It doesn't matter how good and determined you are you can't you're not thwarted to go from going someplace by the danger. It's like you just can't go there. Like you can't get to the water temple. This trip there, you know, unless you find a glitch or a bug in the game where you can clip through a wall and get there. There's no going to the water temple until you've done the other ones first. Period. Right. And the gating factors are very often artificial. You haven't talked to this character yet and done this cut scene where someone opens a door for you or it's up on a cliff and you can't get up on the cliff without the grappling hook or whatever. Right. An open world game. doesn't stop you from going anywhere with artificial gameplay. It may stop you because you'll burn up because you don't have some armor or whatever, but it's like you can run as far in as you can until you catch on fire or the enemies are too hard. Well, you could get pretty far by dodging everything. Probably you won't be able to defeat them, but if you're very clever, maybe, but you're not stopped from going there because there's a door and you don't have the key for it yet or anything like that. And that secondarily, that the entire map is open to you and not there are no artificial barriers of like, this fog hasn't lifted so you can't go to this area or like you automatically get turned back or there's an invisible wall or a guard who won't let you through a door. It's like, just walk around them, climb over the wall, you know, like the entire world's over. So it's, I would definitely not argue any of the Zelda games are open world because they, in those games, if you think from the game designers perspective, at any given point, they know so much more about you. If they are here, they definitely have these items and they've definitely done these things. Therefore, we can present them with cutscenes that assume they've seen those cutscenes, challenges that assume they have these items because they couldn't even be here if they didn't have them. Whereas in an open world game, you can't make those assumptions. So everything in them has to be built to work with whatever the character has. The closest that Breath of the Wild comes is the Great Plateau, where they basically give you all the abilities and all the basic things you'll need to play the whole rest of the game. It's like the little linear tutorial area. And they dispense with that. And then the other mechanic from a game design perspective that makes it an open world game is open world games have to scale to work with whatever the player happens to have at that moment. So if you're designing a game and you just say, OK, well, when we come to this area, these enemies all have 10 hit points. It's not an open world game because what if the person wanders into there and you're expecting them to be able to make progress, but they can't kill anything with 10 hit points, right? You have to have parts of the world that scale to whatever the character is up to. And in Breath of the Wild, probably people play the game don't even realize this. Breath of the Wild does have areas and aspects of the game that scale based on how well you've been doing, how many hearts you have, what items you have. If it didn't do that, it would either become incredibly boring or be too hard at point. There are things that don't scale, like the guardians, for example, that I don't think they get any harder as you get higher and they don't get any easier as you get lower. So if you try to go to the castle first thing in the game, you'll get blown up by a guardian probably and they'll want to kill you or whatever. So it feels like, "Oh, this game doesn't scale at all," but it totally does. The random characters in the world do scale so they don't become boring and so they don't kill you with one arrow instantly if you wander into the wrong area of the map. So I feel like that may be a very technical, detailed definition of what distinguishes open the world from not open world, but the contrast in the Zelda series couldn't be more sharp I think. Absolutely. And I guess the other thing that occurs to me is that there are still aspects of certain challenges and only certain challenges I think or quests. The one that comes to mind mostly is building Tarrytown and there's a very long progression of so many people, so many suns to find and all the wood you've got to bring in. It's like there's a strict progression of things that you have to keep satisfying because every time you go back to the guy and say, "Hey, here's what you asked for," he's like, "Yeah, well, I need more in order to get there." That whole progression and that particular side quest, for example, I don't think you actually need to build Tarrytown in order to actually finish Breath of the Wild. No, definitely not. No. I guess that's the difference, isn't it? It's okay to have like one quest has a series of you have to do this in a certain progression, but that's completely separate from every other quest and therefore it's independent. So you can choose to do it when and how you want to, which I guess that's the fundamental difference. I love when people talk about Breath of the Wild. I love hearing what they decide to refer to as side quests. Because in an open world game, everything is a side quest. Like I know they usually have like a main story that you're completing in other open world series or whatever. And there is a main story in Breath of the Wild that you're completing. you got to you got to beat again and because it's a Zelda game. But you don't need to do anything in the rest of the game. You don't need to do any shrines. You don't need to free any magic beasts like you can watch on YouTube the people who like run immediately and destroy again. And right after the Great Plateau, it's like the Great Plateau is forced linear. Like you can't get off the area until you do all the things right. Yeah, that's that sort of traditional thing. And once that's done, it's open war. Run right again. Beat him. Nothing is stopping you. Didn't do any of the beasts. Didn't do any of the memories. Didn't do Tarrytown. didn't like everything is a side quest there is it is the most open of an open world game. Most other world games say yeah, there is a main story that you can work through and there's a bunch of side quests but you can go anywhere, but you're never going to get to the big bad until you've met this person and seen this cutscene free these people and seeing that cutscene and like they force you to do a couple of major events before you can even fight the boss and breath the wild says nope, you don't need to do any of that. Like the big decision is making the great beasts optional because they could have said "Okay, well you can never beat Ganon until you do all the beasts because they need to fire their lasers at him and you can't beat him." But that's not true. You can beat him without any of the red lasers. They just help you significantly, but you can beat it without it. And so that shows their incredible commitment to open world to say, "We are not going to require any major story beats, even on the main storyline, to show how open we want to make it." Yeah, I mean, get off the Great Plateau, grab a mob, and go and beat Ganon with a mob. Yep. Is it actually possible to beat Ganon with a mob? I mean you need a lot of mobs. Go watch YouTube. I think pretty much everyone has beaten Ganon. I mean they'll do anything. I feel like Breath of the Wild was made in a time when they know the world of gaming that's out there that's gonna attack the game. Like they understand, you know, we've all seen... I think everyone underestimated exactly how determined and clever gamers were when and we weren't in direct communication with each other all the time. But when, have you seen the half A press Mario 64 level completion? No, I haven't actually. So it's a sub, I mean, Mario 64, like all Mario games, is people have been speed running it and doing all sorts of glitches or whatever. And one sub genre is beating Mario levels with the smallest number of inputs basically to the controller. Okay. Right. And so this one level that you can beat with a half A press, meaning you press the A button down and don't release it. Okay, I'll get to send you the video after blow your mind. So that's that's how clever people on right. So I there was another speaking of Breath of the Wild, someone did a Breath of the Wild videos hilarious where they wanted to beat Breath of the Wild without without climbing, I believe that climbing. Okay, yeah, without ever without either without ever climbing or without ever jumping or both. I forget one one thing that is so fundamental. You're like, Wow, how can you beat the game without doing that. So I'm pretty sure you'll have no problem finding someone beating Ganon with a mop. Well, my son came to me and said, "Hey, look, this guy's beating Ganon with a mop." And I'm like, "Come on, that's got to be doctored. Surely that can't be real." They can beat Mario 64 levels with a half A press and play Breath of the Wild to completion without either jumping or climbing or both. That's brilliant. It's no problem. That's brilliant. I love it. And so if you're making a game like this, it would feel artificial and bad if they made you do the Divine Beast or whatever. It would mess up speed runners and it would say, "Why?" If someone has the skill to beat Ganon with a mop, let them beat Ganon with a mop. Yeah, that's true. That is a beautiful thing. I love that flexibility that you can do it if you want to. So I guess I want to run through some of the interesting differences between Breath of the Wild and some of the the previous games. We touched on some of them, but one of the interesting things is I think the perspective of Link. And it's a subtle thing, but it kind of struck me when I was going back playing Twilight Princess. When you play Ocarina of Majora's Mask, and I'm pretty sure Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, you name yourself. So it says, "Hi, who are you?" And you say, "Well, I'm John." Of course, the savvy amongst us would say, "No, my name's Link." And then you know you're Link and they're talking to Link, they're talking to Link. anyhow. So, during the game you're always addressed as, you know, like whatever name you enter. So, "Hi, John." "Hi, whatever." And whereas in Breath of the Wild, you're always just Link. So, they don't try to reuse your name, even though it's attached to your profile and they probably could, but they chose not to, which I thought was an interesting change. Yeah. I mean, there's two classes of people in the world. People who played Zelda games and always called their character Link, and people who never called their character Link. So what class are you? When you were asked to type in the name for your character in the games, in the Zelda games they asked you to do that, do you type Link or do you type something that is not Link? - Can I be honest? I actually, I typed something that was not Link, and that was mainly because I forgot. And once I'd started, I couldn't change it. - I mean, 'cause they used to ask you in tons of the games, I think. Does Ocarina ask you? Ocarina does, Majora does. Like, in all those games, you always type something that wasn't Link? - Not all of them, no. When I went back to replay Ocarina for the sake of fun, I did actually type Link in. So it's the sort of thing that when I started out, I chose not to, but as I learned more about the game, the franchise and everything, I started calling myself Link when I remembered. And I was just, yeah, I forgot and slipped up. So now I'm John in "Twilight Princess." - Some people like the fun of calling themselves like butthead or something and seeing all the text dialogue say butthead or whatever, or my butt, whatever. - Surely not. - But I always call the character Link because when I'm playing the game, I'm taking it very seriously and I want to be referred to by the names. Like that's Link on the screen. So every interaction I have with other people better say Link. So I always call myself Link. And so I'm perfectly fine not entering the name. - Cool. I thought it was an interesting thing 'cause I was thinking about why they chose to do that. And all of the spoken audio in Breath of the Wild refers to Link. So it's like, you know, so when Zelda's speaking to us, like Link, Link, wake up and all that, it's like, well, well obviously, otherwise I'd have to have something like, you know, Siri trying to terribly pronounce, you know, whatever, you know, your name, if it was in fact, butthead or I would say potentially spoil the moment, but nevermind. - Oh, that's one of the big things over at the wow, is the first game with voice acting in it, first Zelda game with voice acting in it, even though it's not pervasive, it's only in the cut scenes and a few other places. And then there's tons of traditional, you know, Zelda text everywhere else. But that could have been a very jarring choice, but I think it worked out fine because we are in a world where there's tons of games that have, you know, acting and dialogue in the cutscenes, but not in the rest of the game because it's just not economical to have it for the entire game. So it worked out fine. Yeah, I thought it was really beautiful. I thought it added a touch of authenticity to it that previously it was all just, you know, you imagining them in your head because there There were a few, I'm trying to remember, there were a handful of spoken audio clips in the previous games, but it was hardly any. And certainly Breath of the Wild, even though it was during cut scenes, there were a lot more cut scenes with that acting. And it was, I thought it was, yeah, it was very, very nice touch, I thought. So that worked out well. Alrighty. So there's that. Right. Weapons. Got to talk about weapons and the fact that they keep breaking. And that's... So I thought about it in the previous games and if you had the wooden sword or wooden shield, sure enough, yes, they would burn if you went into Goron City or Death Mountain or wherever else that it got rather warm. And as is the case in Twilight Princess or Greener of Time, whereas in... and in Breath of the Wild, that's the case as well. But beyond that, if you use a sword, you know, if you pick up a broadsword, not a rusty one, a decent one or you get the rusty broadsword fixed and blah, blah, blah. You're only going to be able to whack the grass about a dozen times or two dozen times and it's going to fall apart and you're going to be like, "Oh, it broke. Great. Now I've got to go find another one," which is a completely different situation to all the previous games as far as I know. Yeah. I didn't read. I do kind of not full media blackout, but I try to avoid spoilers for new Zelda games for the most part. I'll watch the official trailers, but I don't read every little thing about them because I don't want to know. Right, but if I, so you had told me beforehand the new Zelda game is going to have destructible weapons and showed me roughly how long they're going to last, I would have said, "Oh no, this is going to be terrible." And when I started playing the game, I was like, "Is this going to be annoying?" But it didn't take me long to A, get used to it, and then B, eventually realize the brilliance of it, which I would never have predicted. I would have been like, "Well, maybe this is a thing that I'll tolerate and they'll learn from this terrible mistake." But it's a brilliant gameplay choice, because what happens in traditional Zelda games, there's such a linear power progression where you get items that have a specific utility, and of course you get the Master Sword eventually, and maybe there's some empowering of the Master Sword, and you never go back to the weaker weapons unless they're, you know, if you didn't have a good weapon, you use the lesser weapon. But once you have the good weapon, you don't use the lesser one unless it has some specific utility for it to solve a puzzle or something, right? Or there's some enemy that is particularly vulnerable to it or whatever. But in a in an open world game, that would make it pretty boring because you would just pursue better weapons and eventually you'd get the best weapons of each type. And then you would not be interested in loot anymore, essentially, like you, you would be done with that whole aspect of the game. And that's a big part of the game. You can't have that in an open world game, stuff you find always has to have has to be interesting and have some utility. And also in a game that you might play for a very long time because it's very open and casual and just you can go at your own pace, you would get bored swinging the same sword over and over again, even if it's the master sword. So in order to make you play with different weapons that you might not otherwise play with and always find value in things that, in drops basically, in loot that you get, make everything temporary. Like, yes, you have items and they may be good and you may be excited to have them, but they will wear out if you use them. If you don't use them, it's pointless for you to have them. And if you do use them, they'll wear out. So you're always on the lookout for another item. Even if it's a duplicate of an item you have, you will drop the damaged one and pick up the shiny new one and feel, ha ha, I feel that I have a, I value this item because it's a fresh item of whatever type, right? And it just, I would not have used the variety of weapons that I use. And I also would not have discovered like enemies particular vulnerability to shock weapons or just to cold weapons or whatever like this, I probably wouldn't have used those unless I was having particular trouble with them. But I use them because they're in the rotation and there is a little bit of min maxing and looking at the stats and the various you know, attributes that the weapons have that make you mix it up a little bit. But the fact that every weapon with the exception of the master sword, plus minus some caveats there is temporary is such a brilliant move. And I think it was obviously you can't have the master sword be temporary because I wouldn't make any sense the way that master sword like is empowered and lose its power and you have to use another item is a great way to let you have you take any two with the master sword because it's a big achievement to get the master sword. It's also a big achievement in the DLC to power it up to max power, which I did. And it feels good to do that. But you can't use the master sword the entire game, because it wears out and because it's not the best weapon for all situations. But you do feel lucky to have the master sword, which you know, will never break, but does have to take breaks. I give that system a big thumbs up and it was brilliant and brave for them to do it. And I think for the most part, everybody who played the game probably went in with reservations and was initially annoyed with the system, but was won over by it. And just, I didn't see anyone saying, "I played Breath of the Wild all the way through and from beginning to end, I hated destructible items." I think most people have either say they're neutral on it or they came around to appreciate it. Yeah, I'm in that latter camp. I initially, and I guess it's what you're used to. And you're used to the fact that you get a sword and you can use it a bazillion times, cut the grass a bazillion times, and magically your sword never gets dull or never breaks. I mean, this is actually far more realistic and authentic, I guess. And I like that point you made about it forces you to try different weapons. And you realize that the master sword is lovely. If you don't charge it up, I think it's 30 hit points or whatever and then you charge up, it's double that. When you're around guardians, it's double that. And there are plenty of other weapons that are far more powerful than that. And I honestly, yeah, I started out not liking it at all. And then within only a few hours of playing, I actually appreciated that choice because you have all these extra spots to hold all these different kinds of weapons so you can actually develop your own favorites. And speaking of, I do love me a good Savage Lynel Crusher. I realize that you can't use your shield at the same time, but when you can clobber someone for like 104 or 106 damage, yeah, that's kind of nice. I like that. Yeah, it's like if you go for the items have lots of variety, like the two-handed items that you can slowly spin, right? You don't have the shield with it, but you can grab it with two hands and spin, spin, spin. And you know, like that's an entirely different technique of attacking than the quick stabby jab type things. Breath of the Wild has obviously the best weapon arsenal of any Zelda game. The combat system itself is, I feel like, not as sophisticated or as good as Twilight Princess, but I still think has the best combat engine. But Twilight Princess honestly was probably an overcomplicated engine. I mean, I liked it because I played so many Zelda games and I'm ready to step up to that level of having all these special moves and all these items or whatever. But Breath of the Wild, I think, has more variety. And because of the physics gameplay, more like ways to kill things with things that are strictly not actually weapons. That Breath of the Wild is probably more fun combat system. Twilight Princess's combat system, especially if you level it up all the way, is more technical. But honestly, you don't actually need all of those combat techniques in Twilight Princess to beat any enemies. It's just fun to do, like fun to show off hitting them with different things. Like the flurry rush and all those kind of quick time events is an attempt to add some flair to the Breath of the Wild combat system. But similarly, you don't need those flourishes to beat any enemies. You can you could do it the old fashioned boring way. It's just fun to learn. Even Lynels, you don't you don't need to flare rush and Lionel, you just need to learn a few dodges and a few. By the time you've leveled up Lionel's, you know, going Lionel hunting, it's still a challenge, but there are techniques with other items that you have that can make it far less technically challenging than it was in the beginning, which is good. I like that. Like this is the delicate balance of an open world game of, I want, I don't want to feel like I'm unfairly being destroyed by things that are over level for me, but I, you know, but I also don't want every enemy in the game to become so easy that it's boring. But I do want to feel like as I progress, I do get more powerful. I love the idea like I spent you know, towards the back half of the game. I remember going Lionel hunting and guardian hunting once I realized I had like, no longer to have to flee and fear every single time I saw a guardian, I was getting to the point where I could face one. And so all these areas of the map that had been afraid to even go near I'm like, I'm just I'm going into before I even went into Hyrule Castle. I'm like, I'm storming Hyrule Castle, and I'm going to take out some guardians and I'm going to harvest their juicy little bits, which I needed for, you know, items and everything like that. And it was just such a great adventure. I'd waited the entire game to be to be powerful enough to do that. And it wasn't easy. It was still hard. It was just on that edge. And even now that I'm like, max level, max everything, Guardians still face some danger and some challenge. And I still feel good beating up on them after so much of the game of them beating up on me. And that's a very delicate balance to get because you don't want to make them too easy. But you don't want to be too hard either. You want to you want to reward the player, but keep it rewarding the whole way. Yeah, I yeah, I absolutely. I feel where you're coming from with the guardians. The walking guardians in particular, once I sort of – I didn't rip the technique off of anybody else, but the technique that I sort of use is I'll run up to them and I'll just chop their legs off one by one. At the end of it, it's very satisfying because you see that and you say, "Yeah, come on. You're going to walk after me now? You can't? Well, you don't have any legs. Oh, that's okay. Well, that's a shame." But anyhow, yes, revenge on guardians. Yes, they are annoying. The Flying Guardians too really are annoying. And so far as the Lynels go, it depends on if I... 'Cause I do sometimes struggle to do the Flurry Rush. I have pulled it off from time to time, but if I'm feeling really lazy with a Lynel, then I'll just stock up on Bomb Arrows and Revali's Gale and then just basically blow it to smithereens, which is an odd kind of satisfying, but still, it's less technically challenging, I suppose. That's another great combat system. It's not really combat systems, it's like gameplay systems that they made sure that for every enemy that's difficult to defeat, like you have many options and you can trade like if you are very good with reaction time and you know, good at memorizing move sets or whatever, you can beat a Lynel with just your combat skill and some meager weapons. But if that's not your cup of tea, the game gives you other avenues. You can scrimp and save and go buy guardian arrows and you can shoot a Lynel with that and they just die instantly and disappear. They're very expensive, those arrows, and I think you don't get loot drops 'cause they like disappear instead of dropping all their stuff. But if your problem is that an area is being guarded by a Lynel or guarded by a Guardian, same thing, you don't have to be super good at combat and you don't even need to be leveled enough to beat them. You just need, if you decide, I'm going to grind out this thing and save up enough little parts and pieces to get some Guardian arrows, and then I can just one-shot Guardians, right? So you have so many different techniques. If you are, if hand-eye coordination in combat is not your thing, other avenues are open to you. It doesn't force you, like everyone who plays this game has to become an expert at beating lionels with just their wits. It's not true. - Yeah, it's a good point actually, because I'm thinking back to "Ocarina of Time" for example, when Ganon's coming at you, jumping in and out of the mirrors and so on, he throws a bolt of energy at you. The only way you can actually defeat him is to actually swing the sword, the master sword at the right moment deflect that back at Ganon. That's the only way of doing it, which is not the case in, like you just pointed out, in Breath of the Wild, which is really good. Yeah, or even like the Ocarina of Time's final boss battle, which is great, the different phases, but you just need to be good enough to do it. Again, it's like adding good boss battles to building on techniques you've done elsewhere. So, the Forest Temple, you learned about batting things back. You will be batting things back again and in the final battle as well. Then he'll turn into a big monster and you'll be shooting arrows. But there's no, there's no alternate way to do that. You can say, well, if you had spent more time grinding out this thing, you could have got this special item that you can shoot him and skip that phase. Nope, no skipping it. You just got to do the exact thing they wanted you to do there. And that's mostly true of the boss, but like the final again in battle here, although you have other options about how to accomplish it, but in the open world, they don't, they can't assume you have any particular item and they also can't assume that you have any particular fighting skill, but there's so many different ways to kill things so many different options you know you mentioned bomb arrows you could roll a big cart down to hell on them with a bomb inside it you could like smash them into a rock you can get other enemies to fight each other like the options people still making videos of like novel ways to kill things and and even just to beat shrines and everything like that it's just it's a phenomenal use of the open world to make the gameplay more accessible than how you decide you want to play yeah it's like how would you like to kill this thing today, which is really, yeah, refreshing. I also just, I also love the fact you can throw things too. So if you've got a weapon that is nearly about to break, sometimes you'll do more damage if you actually throw it at the enemy. Yeah, I think it's like two or three X actually. It's not easy to aim, but you, if you get rewarded like this, the beautiful thing about Breath of the Wild, it's so good at knowing what things you might do that you should be rewarded for. So beating difficult enemies drops tons of loot. Lynels drop tons of stuff. It's not just like slightly more rewarding than beating a low level enemy, it is hugely more rewarding, way out of proportion to how much harder it is than to do it, especially as you get higher. Throwing an item, it's hard to do that accurately. So it doesn't just do the same damage it would do if you hit it, it does like two or three times the damage because if you pull it off, you feel cool, you should be rewarded with damage that is all out of proportion to like, why does the sword when you throw it do two or three more times damage doesn't make any sense. It makes sense because it's cooler. Like, you know, that's, and it's reflected in the gameplay design of like, hiding the the Co-Rocks and finding an interesting place. If you see someplace that looks like it might be cool to get to, and you go up there and get there, you'll be rewarded for getting there because they knew you would see that place and think it would be a cool place to get to. So there'll be a Co-Rock or a little, you know, some other rupee or treasure chest or some other cool thing or just a cool view you can have or something. It's just those 300 people, every single one of them every night must have been thinking, where might someone want to go because they think it's cool? And how can I reward them for getting there? Exactly. detail that they put into that it's not all it's not every single mountain top but practically every mountain top like the hard to get to ones or there's something there like you say and it's yeah I just the attention to detail still blows me away yeah I was I was doing that like yeah halfway through the game after through the number of hours of play the game I was still doing things purely to do them. Not because I thought there would be a reward there. Like it never like flips around of like, oh, I can tell that they're going to put a reward there. Therefore, let me do this thing. Like a great example is probably almost towards the end of the game when I was a, I could have gone and began, but I'm like, let me just get level up a little bit more. So like I was, I was at the level where I was contemplating my run again. And cause I'm like, I'm ready to beat this game. I've done all the beasts. I've done all the shrines I think I want to do. I've done all the memories. And it was on like my penultimate exploratory run of the castle. And I climbed to the very top of the castle 'cause I thought it was a cool thing to do. And I'm like, duh, of course there's a Co-Rock up there. But it totally not occurred to me until I was on top of it. There's the Co-Rock on top. I was climbing to the top of the castle because it seemed like a cool thing to do. And that's practically the end of the main story of the game where I'd done almost everything. It was like a hundred and something hours into the game. I was still doing things just because it seemed really cool to be able to get to the top of the castle. And then when I get up there like, "Ugh, dummy." Of course it's the Korok. I wasn't in Korok hunting mode. It's just like, it was so great. And the thing is, the main reward for me being up there was getting to look around at the top of the castle. It wasn't even the Korok. That's it. And a similar story at the top of Zora's Domain as well. If you go right to the very top of that, this fan head sort of statue, top of the statue. Same kind of thing. It's just, I love it. So a few more things to talk about though. The weapons breaking we talked about, but shields also break. And the thing that I found interesting is that even the Hylian shield will break, unlike the Master Sword that won't. It'll just say, "Nope, so I got to recharge for 10 minutes," or whatever it is. But yeah, the shields will break. And I thought initially that was a bit strange. And then when I started to get more into shield surfing, which is a rather neat trick. So that's a really good way to go through shields in a hurry. Yeah. If I had to tweak any of the destructibility, I would either put in a non-destructible but rechargey type shield or, and I know they made the good shield, like the Zelda shield. I know it has huge durability, but I did find myself not using that shield because I wanted to preserve it because I always wanted to have a set of the official like link equipment, Master Sword, Hylian Shield, like the Ocarina of Time set. And it's because I didn't want to wear out the Hylian Shield because they're hard to get. I didn't have that many of them. And so I find myself not using it that much. And I think it's worth having either an indestructible shield that just recharges or one that has 100 times the durability of even this one that like that you wouldn't have to worry about it that you'd need to get maybe two or three of these shields the whole game and you'd be set. Because I feel like a shield is not, like using different kinds of shields doesn't have as big a gameplay difference, at least the shields they provided in the game. Their shield is a shield for the most part. They didn't have the, even the mirror shield only adds a little bit of variety. For the most part, it's just a shield and it's not an offensive weapon and there's not going to be that many big differences between them. So don't make me rotate shields. Just let me, you know, use one or two or three different kinds of shields and maybe have of them have different variety, like shields that are better against certain other things. But yeah, the shield breaking, particularly the "good shield" is the one part of the destruction system that niggled with me even to the end. Yeah. Yeah, I do find that I tend to never swap shield or very rarely swap shields. The only exception is if I'm going into a shrine where there are the Guardian Scouts and you can swap to a Guardian shield that then reflects their energy pulse back at them again, which is the, I don't know, lazy way, smart way, whatever, of defeating them I suppose. I like the shields exploding in combat because that's an exciting moment, like when you're fighting with something and your weapon or your shield gets destroyed and you're either defenseless or you don't have a weapon anymore. That's always a fun moment. Yeah, well the funny moments when you're in a battle, it breaks and then you go and press the thing to go and swipe at them and you just get the, uh-huh, uh-huh, oh, that's right, I don't have a weapon. Oops, hang on. I love that little sound effect too. For some reason it makes me smile, but anyhow. All right, cool. So, we'll talk a little bit about the... One of the other interesting things is the Sheikah Slate, which is an interesting part of it. It's sort of a... Geez, it's almost like a smartphone kind of an idea, which I thought was because it's a camera, it's got... I'm trying to think. There's really not... - It's a Nintendo Switch in the game. - Yeah. - That's what it is. - I hadn't thought of it like that. That's a good point, it is too. So, 'cause it's, you've got Magnesis and, jeez, what are they? So, you've got Magnesis, Cryonis, Stasis, which is the time, freezing, the camera. There's an Amiibo one, if you've got the Amiibos, and the two remote bombs, rolling and non-rolling. Actually, the bombs is an interesting one, because I was, having played all the previous, well, all the bombs I've previously played, You have to go and get the right bomb bag. It's got a limit of how many bombs you can have in it. And once you've used them, you've used them. And sometimes the only way is to go and buy more or go and pick a live bomb flower, I guess. But whereas these, it's like, I was stoked. As soon as they got activated, I'm like, oh, all I gotta do is wait for it to recharge and I've got infinite bombs. I can blow up whenever I want, whenever I want, never run out. That's fantastic. - Yeah, having played all the previous games, that being used to having bomb scarcity and then suddenly having infinite bombs is probably mostly significant to people who played the earlier games. And I'm one of those people. So once I got that, and talking about different ways of killing things, in the beginning, almost any time I was faced with a difficult enemy, I'd be like, I have infinite bombs. That was the crutch I went to. I don't have enough items to defeat you, and I don't have enough hearts, but I do have infinite bombs. And they do incredible amounts of damage. And obviously, you have to be careful, because you blow yourself up. But it was like, I have weapons that break that don't do a lot of damage, and I don't have many of them, but bombs come forever, and they do huge amounts of damage. So I spent so long, A, blowing myself up, and B, figuring out how to carefully trail bombs behind me and destroy tons and tons of enemies with bombs, which is a weird combat technique that someone who isn't used to bomb scarcity would probably never do. And it's probably not the best technique. Like I probably should have learned to use weapons better or whatever, 'cause you blow yourself up less often. But it's what I did very early in the game. I was bombing everything. - Yeah. Oh, totally. Same here. And I, it's also great when you come across an area where there's a group of usually bokoblins or something and there's some dynamite barrels down there and you're like, oh, I can just throw a bomb in that. And then there they all go. - And make sure you're not too close when you do it. Yes, it's all, it's a delicate balance. - That too. But yeah, it is very much, I was very giddy when I could realize that I could just, I would never run out of bombs, so that was fantastic. But anyway, so yeah, that Sheikah Slate sort of becomes the pivotal go-to thing in the game because you can take photos of everything and then you can use that to track them on the map. And so you take a photo of this if you're going to go farming for, I don't know, hightail lizards or whatever, then that's fantastic. And I thought about why they almost had to do something like that is because there are so much variety of so many different creatures and some of them are restricted to different parts of the map. going to try and find them. If you didn't have some kind of functionality like that, you might even give up in frustration because it's, I mean, it makes it achievable, I think, rather than frustrating. Yeah, we also have the magic of YouTube and the internet to help you find things too. But yeah, there's like, they give you lots of aids to make sure that the game is accessible to someone who doesn't obsessively watch YouTube videos about how to do things or whatever. There are things in the game that will guide you towards not just completion of the main quest but completion of side quests. Even just the tracking of all your side quests in a giant menu, right? Like that's a system that I don't recall in any earlier Zelda game that lets you know, here are all the things that are in flight and here is the instructions that were about them and you can sort of go through the, you know, I didn't pay much attention to that system until I'd essentially finished the game and wanted to see what I had left to do. I was like, oh look, it's all nice and organized for me in a big menu here. - So I thought that was brilliant. And I think that that was also partly, well, my supposition is that that was driven by the fact that the Switch is far more designed to be, you know, pick up, put down, pick up, put down, short bursts of gameplay. And I mean, I say that sort of, sort of rolling my eyes at myself there because I'm trying to think just how often I actually did do that. 'Cause generally if I'm gonna sit down and play Zelda. - Short bursts of three hours. - Yeah, three hour short bursts today. Yeah, it's exactly, it's like that. But I thought that was great because there are so many side quests and so many, okay, everything's a side quest, but still. The reality is that there's so much to keep track of, then if you are in and out of the game for whatever reason, then that becomes absolutely invaluable. And I thought that was brilliant. So I'm really glad they did that. So one of the other things that's interesting is the, we talked a little bit about the, not the guardians, because I guess in the storyline, the guardians were originally controlled by, you know, a hundred years ago, they were trying to fight Calamity Ganon, and Ganon basically sort of, you know, took over all the divine beasts and all the guardians and turn them against everybody. And the poor champions, well, they didn't make it. So the four champions and the four divine beasts, I really enjoyed doing the divine beasts because it was kind of like, it was a far more involved, more complicated. Well, it was like a dungeon essentially, but it was not like a shrine. Like a shrine, it's one of those interesting things, isn't it? 'Cause the shrines can just be a blessing. You get through a whole bunch of challenges to get to the shrine and you just walk in and say, yep, nothing to do, grab your loot and you're a token at the end and you're all good. Whereas other ones were almost as long, not quite, but more involved to the point which is almost like one of the divine beasts. So it's like the divine beasts were kind of like the dungeons of Breath of the Wild to an extent, I suppose. - Yeah, this is the one aspect of Breath of the Wild that keeps it from being my clear number one and the reason it's battling with Twilight Princess in my mind, and even Ocarina a little bit, is that like, Breath of the Wild did so many great things. We've talked about them. The open world is a great expansion, an obvious follow on in the face of new technology of a game where you want to explore and everything. But, and you know, there's so many aspects of the traditional Zelda that left behind like the linear progression, the item-based progression, that, you know, the story that knows exactly what you're gonna have at each point and stuff like that. And, you know, it set those aside and replace them with things that we think are either just as good or better. You know, the fun open world gameplay and the, you know, the flexibility of different kinds of combat and all, you know, we just talked about them, but there's one aspect of the old Zelda series that they didn't bring forward. And they also didn't, I feel like replaced with something that was equal or better. And that is the idea of a Zelda dungeon, a proper Zelda dungeon, like big complicated setting with a multi-step puzzle that you work your way through with unique enemies and challenges. Right, Twilight Princess has a ton of these. You know, they all do. Wind Waker has a bunch, like it's Zelda Dungeon. And Breath of the Wild simply does not have any Zelda Dungeons. Shrines are definitely not Dungeons. They are a cool thing, which is new. You know, this sort of bite-sized, fun little thing where you can have all sorts of different adventures and gameplay things. But generally, aesthetically and enemy-wise, and theme-wise, they're very samey, right? A shrine is a shrine is a shrine. There are varieties within them and different kind of enemies, but they're all kind of shrine themed. And the beasts, while they are interesting, all the beasts are basically, they're all beasts, right? So theme wise, sort of aesthetically, and what you can expect from them, you're climbing around inside and outside beasts. So there is a sameness to all of them, and none of them are as complicated as any major dungeon in any 3D Zelda game, right? They're just not, they're not as big, they don't have as much things to do, they're not as complicated, the puzzles aren't as hard. there are no proper dungeons, except for maybe Hyrule Castle, but I wouldn't even count that in Breath of the Wild. And there is no reason that there couldn't be dungeons like that in Breath of the Wild, except for time and budget. So I don't fault the game for it, because I feel like if you have to choose between putting in a bunch of Twilight Princess-sized dungeons or making the masterful open-world game as big as you have, do the open-world thing, because it is a thing that has not been seen before. But what I sincerely hope for follow-up games is they keep everything that's good about "Breath of the Wild," but instead of "Divine Beasts," have three or four very different from each other proper dungeons. Because it's not like they don't fit. It's not like they couldn't do it with the gameplay scaling or whatever. They'd be exactly like "Divine Beasts" in terms of you can go to them whenever you want, and they don't have to be in any particular order, and you have all the items, all that stuff. but make them big, unique, interesting settings with complicated puzzles and enemies and bosses and mini bosses. Hell, put in keys, like, you know, do the whole nine yards. Like, because there are so many places in Twilight Princess that just evoke so many memories and feelings of being in that place and figuring out what's going on and conquering it, whether it's like the rainy Hyrule Castle with all the people, the archers shooting at me, or the snowy mountaintop with the weird snow people and the scary lady like there's just the monkeys in the trees and everything like there is no equivalent of that in Breath of the Wild like the whole the whole world of it is as you know there are so many things about the world that aren't in the other game right but if Breath of the Wild had Twilight Princess caliber dungeons instead of the very samey beasts and shrines it would be my number one Zelda game of all time easily as it stands it's like there is no number one because Twilight Princess is the best of the the Ocarina style games and this is the first and best of a new style game. And I honestly, I wouldn't want to go back to a Twilight Princess style game after this, but I miss the dungeons. I don't know if you do feel that way as well. - I think it's interesting the way you characterize it. I feel like what I missed in the Divine Beasts that was present in Twilight Princess in particular is that when you go and do a dungeon in Twilight Princess, most of the dungeons, you'll pick up something along the way that helps you to finish the dungeon. and it's a new and very useful item that you can use somewhere else. Things like the spinner, for example, that's one example. Then the Dominion Rod for taking over control of the statues, for example, which is also, which I thought was really, really cool. I think it was Temple of Time. That doesn't happen in the Divine Beast. The Divine Beast, you go through the Divine Beast and at the end, then you'll get one of the powers of the champions, whatever that power might be and that power will recharge. That's handy to have but you get that as a reward at the end. It's not something that you're given to help you get through the dungeon. So the thing that I think was appealing about the dungeon style particularly in Twilight Princess was the fact that you would pick up something new and different in most of the dungeons that you could not only use to help you finish that dungeon or needed to use to finish the dungeon but you could then use it later in the game and it was generally something very, very cool and very, very useful. And that doesn't happen as far as like, I'm just trying to think if that ever happens in Breath of the Wild. And I can't think of a time when it does. Yeah, it doesn't really fit with the open world thing, but I think the spinners are a good example. You can do, like the things that make a dungeon fun to do, a proper Zelda dungeon fun to do, doesn't require you to be able to take those items out with you. spinners for example it could be it could have been the spinners were just like only existed in that dungeon and were just a feature of the dungeon like you can add gameplay mechanics that you learn as part of doing a dungeon like they could be part of the setting because if the setting is some future place or some place with gears or like whatever like you can you can incorporate new gameplay mechanics into the setting and you don't have to build the whole game around them and make it linear because like oh once they have this power like they need you you need to have done this dungeon before that dungeon or it will make this part of the game boring. You can keep that stuff in the dungeon. I think Skyward Sword, in some respects, put gameplay mechanics in the dungeons that were just about the dungeon so it feels like you are mastering a setting and mastering a set of enemies and eventually beating mini bosses and a boss in such a way that it doesn't break the outside open world of the game. Like that it's not, it still makes you feel like you are, you're experiencing a new thing and don't make it feel like, "Oh, I got this cool sword but now I can't take it out of dungeon like you have to find a way to make it feel like the thing you're doing is integral to the setting so it doesn't feel like you are being constrained from taking away a reward but it does feel like you've done a new thing and maybe learned a new technique so that next time you see that mechanic you will know how to do it and I suppose you can also add items that you can't get elsewhere or it could just be like the typical leveling system where if you do a harder if you beat a harder enemy if you beat a line all you get better drops right and so if you were able to beat the boss you get good drops from that or whatever like I feel like there is nothing about a proper Zelda dungeon that is incompatible with the open world like everything else would just have to be tweaked to work with it I think it's mainly about making making them big and complicated with cool puzzles and making each of them distinct I think like Breath of the Wild the fact that the beasts are the closest you get to dungeon and they're all beasts yeah this is just not the variety you get of the even just in the simple game on n64 like Ocarina of Time, the Water Temple is so different from the Fire Temple, the Shadow Temple. They're so distinct in my mind, or fighting the witches, or sneaking into the desert stronghold. So distinct with so little graphics and so little size, whereas the beasts just all blend into one thing. Even the bosses and the beasts, they just mostly blend. That is the one biggest weakness of Breath of the Wild, as far as I'm concerned. - Yeah, no, I think it's a valid point. And they are very samey. They've got that same kind of layouts, structure and everything. And it is a bit samey in the end. And one of the things in Twilight Princess, and I guess Ocarina, I love the whole time travel thing too, which is really cool. So, you know, in Twilight Princess, when you essentially go through that doorway and then you go back in time into the Temple of Time, back at when it was actually, you know, not a ruin, to finish that dungeon, a completely different feel, like you say, to something like the Water Temple. And yeah, the Divine Beasts do look very similar, and they do have similar mechanics. And in any case, yeah, I think that in future, hopefully in future, they do something a little bit more complicated, either more and varied Divine Beasts or something like it, or just bring back the dungeons like they were to an extent. Yeah, I mean, again, they may be asking for like, "Oh, well, this took 300 people. Why don't you use 900 people?" at a certain point, I think they made the right tradeoffs. This is the right tradeoff to make for your first open world game. Put it all into the open world and just get as much of the dungeon stuff as you can. And Hyrule Castle was obviously, I think, the best quote unquote dungeon because it doesn't feel like the shrines and the beasts. It doesn't feel like you have left the game world and enter a constrained problem space. The constrained problem, you literally go down an elevator for the shrines. It's like, forget about the world, now you're in a shrine. It is just like a doorway, a portal, like old style, like leave that world behind and go into a new place. And the beasts, there is an approach to the beasts and getting on them, but basically once you're on the beast it's like, well, there is background and there's the beast. Very constrained. Whereas Hyrule Castle is a setting, a natural setting, that is basically like an open world dungeon. Because it is a place and you're exploring it and you may have a goal of a place you're trying to get to and different places you can go, you know. It's not a proper Zelda dungeon where there are like puzzles and blocks moving and bouncing light off things. I don't find that anachronistic. I find that fun. I want to do that. I want to figure out a place and progress through it with those type of artificial constraints. And I think Hyrule Castle doesn't have those kind of puzzles, but it is the closest to feeling like a dungeon because it feels like a big actual place. It just doesn't have any of the puzzle aspects to it. It just has enemies. So I think it's totally possible to have an open world game like Breath of the Wild with more things like Hyrule Castle and to replace all the shrines and the divine beasts with like three or four traditional Zelda dungeons that have all the traditional aspects of them. Yeah, absolutely. And I guess hopefully we'll probably find out in the next, hopefully not too much longer, maybe another year or so until they bring out the sequel to it. But so fingers crossed. There are a couple of little things I want to mention that I thought was interesting is cooking food, for example. I don't recall any other Zelda games where you could cook food. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that. Because I thought that was- There's probably some 2D game where you could do some kind of cooking thing, but I didn't play most of those, so I couldn't tell you. But this is obviously the first game where that was such a major mechanic. Yeah. I loved it. Initially, I started out, interestingly, I started out not cooking the I just go and walk around, see a mushroom, grab that, see an apple, grab that. That was it. But as I realized when you cook food, you increase how much recovery it can give you and obviously not including things like baking the monster cake and that side quest and so on. Apart from those, ultimately I learned that when I'm going into a battle with a boss like a Lionel or a mini boss like a Lionel. I'll always go and stock up on that beforehand just to make sure. I didn't really do too much in the way of recipes. I just say, "Well, lots of meat, lots of Endura, whatever, or lots of hearty items." It's a fun part of the food system that I feel like – because food is a thing we're all familiar with. People bring their own – I don't know if it's a match for what they do in the real world, but it's like some people, when they cook for themselves at home, like find two or three things they like and just keep making those. And other people are very adventurous and always want to find like a new recipe. And I see that in in this game and Breath of the Wild as well, because like some people will find one or two recipes to give them what they want. I found one that gives me lots of hearts and this one gives me stamina and like I'll just keep making those two things because it's got abundant ingredients. I could find them. I know where to find them. I'll just keep making those those same meals. And other people are just like, I got to read every little blurry poster on a wall to find out some new recipe just because it's fun to cook new interesting things, even if they're not like, even if I've already found basically the best meal in terms of effort to get the ingredients, the ratio of that to the power that you get, people still just want to find new recipes. So it's kind of an interesting Rorschach test for people's attitude towards food. Yeah, that's true. The interesting thing is I guess if I were to say that I made the same thing over and over again, it was really just grab a bunch of meat, enduro or old hearty stuff and just throw it in and it's all good basically. it was giving you what you wanted out of it gameplay wise. Like I said, it might not be the same thing in real life because in real life you might be bored eating the same thing, but in the game you just want to, you know, to find something that gets the job done. Like this is the other aspect of, you know, another major aspect they left behind. In every other Zelda game, you know, from Ocarina on, you had hearts, you got hit, you lost hearts. And if you want to get hearts back every time you defeated an enemy, for the most part, they dropped hearts and you can just even just smash pots and cut grass and get hearts. That does not happen in Breath of the Wild. You cannot cut grass and get hearts, you can not kill enemies and get hearts. If you lose hearts, nobody gives them back to you. The only way to get them back is to make yourself food. So it's, you know, it can be considered, oh, not a side quest, but like a mechanic that you don't have to engage in. But if you're good enough, you don't have to, but it is an entirely different way to, you know, that like, it doesn't force you, but it strongly encourages you to engage with the food system because that's how you get your health back. And that's how you power yourself up for battles. And it works, you know, in terms of like, want to have a good meal to make yourself big and strong. It's like it's part of the preparation when you're going into your lino battle, get all get make sure you have full hearts, make sure you have the extended hearts and whatever extended stamina if you're going to climb up a you know, a big cliff or something like that. It brilliantly just throws away decades of mechanics for an entirely different mechanic that might seem like it's super annoying, but serves all the purposes they want for the game like they want it to feel like it's new. They want you to feel like you're in danger, like they want it to be an exciting to explore like you die more in Breath of the Wild than so many other games. Other games have like a sad music dramatic death scene and they would send you back to a distant checkpoint. Yeah, Breath of the Wild knows you're gonna die like crazy because you don't you don't regen hearts. That's another popular thing in modern era you regen health by just hiding somewhere like first person shooters. They don't flow out of pots and grass you can't do there's no reason to mindlessly destroy the vegetation. There's no reason to destroy all the pots in someone's house, all staples of the Zelda series that don't happen in this game. It just it works together so brilliantly. Like, if you had given me the game design brief or Breath of the Wild said, Here's all the stuff we're going to throw away from Zelda and be like, Do you want to throw it all that in the same game? Like, maybe just pick one or two things and throw them away because it's gonna be really hard to develop new systems that work as well as these tried and true ones. And like, Nope, we're throwing out all these systems at once. And we're going to bring all new systems. And trust me, it will be fun. And it's just, it's a phenomenal, amazing feel like game design, like this should be entire PhD dissertations on the breath of the wild alone to show how you can make a new game in a franchise by discarding so much that was old before and replacing it with all new systems and all work together and have basically everybody like it like It's not like all my minor complaints. I haven't seen a bad review of this game. Everyone has some minor complaint here or there, but mostly it's just like, and brilliantly, like it basically just works. You play the game and it's fun. And I've seen some good, you know, analysis of figuring out why it's fun. But for the most part, you don't have to know everything about the intricacies of the design and the scaling, all the stuff that's going on behind the scenes. People just know it's fun to play. I feel like I'm in the world. I feel like I get into a groove and it all works. And that's the best achievement of this game that it wins over its harshest critics very quickly and everybody just accepts this is a fun game to play. - Absolutely. And so far as the whole hearts thing that you brought up in the whole chopping the grass, when I did actually start playing Breath of the Wild, I was actually quite disappointed. I was getting nothing from this grass. - Yeah, you're just used to it. You've been trained by decades to destroy grass and pots. - That's it. And so no more thoughtless wrecking of pots in people's households, which always felt a bit odd, but a bit unfair. Well, they incorporated it into the games where you get scolded about it and teased that you're just a homewrecker. Yeah, that's it. They did keep one other things though. If you go to some of the, with heart recovery, so if you go to the more of Death Mountain and some of the... The Hot Springs? - Yes, the hot springs, thank you. You were recover hearts there. And that's something that they also had in, if I remember correctly, in Twilight Princess. - Yep. - Yeah. So, they didn't get rid of all of it. I don't think, I'm trying to remember, think back to Twilight Princess, if they had inns that you could sleep in. I don't think they did, but in Breath of the Wild, that would say, if you go to sleep there and you get the choice of a soft bed and a not soft bed or something. And yeah, that. But anyway, so that'll recover a bunch of hearts as well and give you an extra if you pay extra for it, I guess. So, there's a couple of other little things there, but it's, yeah, it was so completely different and they took a lot of risks, but it looks like they paid off. And I guess one of the other things that I just, I do want to talk about before we, before we think about wrapping it up is the outfits. And it's like, I was thinking back about all the different clothes and clothes outfits that you can have in Breath of the Wild and then contrast that with what you used to be able to get with Twilight, Princess and Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask. And in Twilight, I think as far as I can remember, there's three, there's the Zora armor, the magic armor, and the hero's armor, and that's it. You get three spots and that's what you got. And Ocarina, there's the Kokiri, then there's the Zora tunic and the Goron tunic. - Which are just color-coded versions of each other, like we didn't really have the graphics to make totally new sets. - Oh, sure, absolutely. And each of them will give you slightly different properties, like you can breathe underwater with the Zora one, and you can withstand-- - And you have the iron boots and stuff like that, like they're other accessories. - True, oh sure, yeah, that's true. Yeah, you're right, that's true. I think we had hover boots at some point as well, which are cool. Yeah, but the reality is they didn't just step that up. They went, they knocked that out of the park and they just had so many. I actually thought it might be fun just to do a quick list. So in Breath of the Wild we have the climbing gear, soldier's armor, Hylian outfit, snow quill outfit, desert Voe outfit, the Gerudo girl outfit, rubber armor, flame breaker, Barbarian Armor, Radiant Outfit, Ancient Armor, Stealth Outfit, Dark Outfit, Outfit of the Wild which obviously you get when you do all the 120 shrines. And then the special stuff like the Champion's Tunic, then you've got the Thunder Helm, Sand Boots, Snow Boots. I'm not going to count all the monster masks that you can get from Kipton, whatever his name is, not Kipton, you know, scary monster guy, anyway, that comes out at night anyway. And then on the DLC of course you get that, you get a whole bunch of other ones like Salvage's outfit, you get the four divine helms if you've got each of those amiibos, Midna's helmet which I thought was a nice touch, the Nintendo Switch shirt which is a bit ridiculous but hey, it's meant to be, Tingle's outfit, Phantom Armor, Royal Guard outfit, Zant's helmet and Phantom Ganon armor. Unbelievable. I mean... Yeah, it's scalable with the rest of the items because if you were to list all the swords and all the shields and all the axes, there's tons of them too in different variants and the thing is, and it's a credit to the game, I think I have almost all of those things And almost all of them I have almost all the way powered up, which is a pain because of the resources you have to gather and how many times you have to go back to fairies. But towards the end of my playing of the game, I was like, what's left to do? I want to get all the armor and I want to power it off to the maximum level. Like that's a hell of a grind. But yeah, it's fun because they give you different qualities and they have different appearances. And plus, they have that whole shirt dying shop where you can change the color of things, which adds even more twists on top of this. Yeah, it's great. Like and and the it's I love that they're not just cosmetic. Like I will go through the trouble of putting on the climbing gear to climb faster. Yeah. Just because it's worth it. Gameplay wise. Right. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So much faster. And you keep the stamina so you don't don't drain your stamina anywhere near as quickly. Yeah, we didn't talk about the stamina. That's another fun thing of like you have to put some kind of, you know, you have this open world where you can climb basically everywhere. Yeah. You have to put some kind of gating mechanic behind that. Otherwise it gets too open too quickly. So it adds drama to exploration. Like, can I hold on to this cliff? I see a place and I want to get to it. There should be a challenge to getting there. The challenge shouldn't be how how bored do you get while holding one direction on your joystick for a long time with the stamina meter? It becomes a challenge. You have to plan your climb. And again, they balance that very well. And the the tradeoff between do you want hearts or do you want stamina of different gameplay styles? That just adds so much constant tension and progression. and you know, sort of the feeling of leveling like it's just like Breath of the Wild. We talked about early on about the RPG elements, probably the most RPG ish of any Zelda game just because every every aspect of gameplay, there is a system and a progression behind even just the simple system of running and climbing, which such a core mechanic. There is a progression behind that there are stats, you know, it's not it's not a bunch of numbers thrown in your face, although there are numbers on all the weapons and everything, but just seeing the meters and the number of hearts as a sort of simplified friendly version of min-maxing stats that have a real world reflection in the gameplay. - So since you brought that up, yes. If you were playing the game from the start, which would you do first? Would you do hearts or would you do stamina? - The decision I made when I first played through the game, I've only done one play through, but like one very long play through, I would make the same decision again. I was fairly evenly splitting between stamina and hearts. Because I feel like a-- I know some people are big about the full stamina build. And this is a decision I made before I knew there was a statute that lets you change your trade-offs, right? Like that statute lets you do all that. I didn't discover that until much, much later in the game. I was happy with a fairly even split, because I did die a lot when I didn't have a lot of hearts. And the stamina thing, I can plan around mediocre stamina, I can plan around mediocre hearts, but I find it very difficult to plan around barely any stamina and I find it very difficult to stay alive with barely any heart. So I'm the middle road of a fairly even split alternating between stamina and hearts. Okay. So I... And you fill the stamina meter before you fill the heart. So once you fill the stamina meter, then it's just all heart after that. Yeah, that's true. And you got three wheels, stamina wheels, and I think each time you trade four pieces of shrine orbs, I think they're called orbs, you get I think it's a fifth of the stamina wheel or something like that? It's something like that. But yeah, if you do that even split, you will run out of green wheel to add way before you run out of hearts. Yeah, that's true. So I guess my rationale when I started was I drove for hearts ahead of stamina. And the rationale was that if I come up against a really powerful enemy that was going to basically kill me in one or two strikes before I had a chance to shove something in my mouth, then it was probably better to have more hearts to survive longer. And I did more battles and fighting than I did anything that required stamina like climbing. And if I did do climbing, I could easily pause the climb whenever I wanted to or if I was paragliding, I could pause anytime I wanted to and have something that was a stamina food to replenish my stamina wheel. So that was sort of my rationale. So I sort of, once I was comfortable with how many hearts I had, then I pushed hard on the stamina and then I went back to hearts again. - Yeah, I was big on exploring. So I always wanted to, I was in a hurry. I wanted to just go up the big cliff. I didn't want to go around it. So that's why I needed that even split. And it's nice that they give you, on both sides of that, they give you a workaround. So my workaround for not having enough hearts was finding the food formulas that give you the yellow bonus hearts. So just like you were taking a stamina potion to extend a paraglide thing, if I was going into a particularly hard battle I needed a little extra, I'd made sure that I had the whatever, the thing that gave you the most extended yellow hearts and I would just eat that before I went into the battle as the quick boost. So, the system is there for you to decide what tradeoffs you want but still not to feel handicapped by them. It's like, "Oh, didn't get enough hearts and made a bad tradeoff?" You have options. You can figure out some recipes and have some food and stockpile it so that when you need that extra, you can get it and same deal with the potions. Yeah. Fair enough. I like the fact that the two different strategies work either way. It's interesting the choices that people have made. I just want to ask a couple of little questions and that is in terms of amiibos. Which breath of the wild amiibos do you have? I wanted to get a whole bunch of amiibos for breath of the wild. I could not find anyone who would sell them to me. Maybe I waited too long to buy them or maybe they didn't have US stock or whatever. I just could not buy them. I had money in my hand ready to give Nintendo for Amiibos and I could not find them to buy. So what I ended up doing was I bought the one or two that I could get. I think I have like, I think Wolf Link came with, did he come with a game? I've got Wolf Link. - Wolf Link came with Twilight Princess HD, I think, yeah. - Yeah, all right, so I've got Wolf Link and maybe one other one, maybe I have one of the Zeldas. And then for the rest, I bought little tiny NFC things off eBay. You know, like little piece of paper with the NFC thing on it, which it's not because I wanted to save money, it's annoying to use eBay. I would have bought those Amiibos, I just literally could not find anyone who would take my money and give me a stupid Amiibo. So I think I have most of the Amiibos that you need to have in tiny paper form, which is totally boring and I wish I had the plastic ones, but I don't. - Well, that's okay. I have not quite the same kind of a story, but I certainly also waited too long. So when I got the game, when I got the Switch, I actually got the Switch as a surprise birthday present from my wife, which is quite an amazing present. And thank you for that too, by the way, darling, if you're listening. But point is that that was enough of an expenditure just with that. Zelda plus the Switch was enough. So I didn't get any amiibos initially and I kept on saying, "I'll just, I'll grab them. I'll grab them them later because I actually got that about six months or so thereabouts anyway, I think after the Switch came out. So, I didn't get it when it first was released. And I thought, "I'll just get them later. I'll just get them later." And as I'd go to the shops, I'd notice that they were disappearing or there were less and less of them. And I'm like, "I really should get in and buy those." So, one day, I actually, I got the Guardian, you know, Walking Guardian, and I also got Daruk. And I got Daruk because my youngest son, who was seven at the time, was really into playing as well. So we actually started to have to have a sharing agreement with the Switch. And so he, in quotes, "he" got Daruk as a present. So I was able to benefit from that as well, which worked out nicely. They got me about six months or something like that. I think it was around Christmas or early next year, they gave me – my family got me an Archer link as well and I said, "Oh, I want the – I really wanted the champions. I really want the champions." And then, I went looking and I couldn't find them. And they were all gone. And so, I scoured eBay and Gumtree and over a series of about three or four months, I gradually acquired the others. So, I now actually have Revali. I have Mipha but I got Mipha cheap on Gumtree sent up from Melbourne and Mipha doesn't have a spear anymore, a trident anymore, so that's been broken off but you know, that's okay. So anyway, so I end up with all of them and so, because I just wanted to get all the divine helms and that is so, I don't know, okay I'm a sucker but never mind. Yeah, I would have bought them if they were available but yeah, I think I just waited too long. Like, and I didn't wait, I got the game on launch, it's not like I waited, I feel like maybe I didn't even think I was going to care about the amiibo until too late and maybe it was like two weeks later or maybe they were never available, it just seemed to me that maybe I saw the amiibo once in a store before I was interested in buying them and then just never again. I've literally never seen them in person after that. Yeah. Now, the champion ones, they don't make them anymore and the other ones, you'll find them in a used bin somewhere. Maybe some of these game stores will have trading programs and so on. There's always lots of Skylander amiibos, but anyway. Yeah, I don't know who wants them, but anyway. Okay. So, you mentioned before that you powered up Master Sword to maximum which would suggest that you finish the Master Sword trial, I'm assuming? Yes, okay. I'll put my hand up and say I think I'm at level 17 and couldn't get any further and I really need to get back to that at some point. It's on the to-do list. That's one of the most challenging combat things in any Zelda ever, just because it's so unforgiving, particularly that you have to learn how to do the shield parry consistently and it's really hard. The timing is very punishing and you just have to do it and you have to do it consistently multiple times in a row in an extended session. Otherwise, you just don't make it. Yeah, exactly. And the times that I've tried to put that effort in to do it in a sitting, I just have... Yes, I kind of lost it at the end when I was doing level 17 and I was, "Oh, God, here we go again." - It's so worth it though to have 60, 60 all the time. So worth it. - Yes, I'm gonna have another crack at that. And I'm definitely gonna do that. Okay, so you've got both the DLCs, I'm assuming. Yes, yep, same here. So I finished the game in normal mode and I actually logged in and checked after I switched to master mode. And I hadn't actually played in normal mode since the 7th of January 2018 at 8.55pm. That was the last save game I had. All the rest of the time since January last year, so that's 14 months ago at time of recording, I've been playing in master mode. And I've chosen not to take on Ganon because I want to basically do everything else first, being a bit of a completionist. So in normal mode, I went a bit psycho with the Korok seeds. I actually collected 444 of them. And so that was enough, I think, to unlock all of the squares for extra swords, extra shields, and extra bows. And I haven't got that far in master mode. I've only got about 123. And I have almost upgraded all of the outfits to full, almost, but I'm still struggling with the two, I said, almost said Twilight. You know, the illusory realm, when you go to redo the divine beasts after you do the champions trials. So I haven't been able to finish two of the divine beasts to get my faster recharge times and hence I haven't got my master cycle zero, but I did in the normal mode. So total play time for me is kind of scary when I actually looked at it and I'm not sure I should have, but I did 520 hours. So yikes. - Those numbers aren't so scary compared to my destiny numbers, so you're fine. Okay. So, um, so from how about you, you said, you know, you'd played through it once. Have you, um, yeah, I don't tend to, I tend not to go back to the, like the master harder modes because I don't want the combat to be more difficult. It's, it's well balanced for my, my abilities. Um, and on breath of the wild in particular, I, I haven't done all the things that you've done. Like I, I think I have like maybe 200 core oxides, right. Um, but I have, like, I've, I've done so many of the side quests and collected so many things, right. That I don't want to give that up. I can't even imagine starting over. Like, despite the fact that I've played so much more than other games, like I've played Ocarina maybe three times and I a hundred percent at Ocarina. Like I did everything you can do in that game period. Um, I haven't done that with many Zelda. Oh, let me see. A hundred percent did Twilight Princess. I didn't a hundred percent Skyward Sword because of this boss challenge mode that was driving me nuts. So I tend to but like, I, those linear games, it doesn't feel as bad to me to go back to the beginning and start over. But for some reason, in Breath of the Wild, I don't want to give up, like my stuff. I don't want to I don't want to like, maybe it's because I built that house, which is not that complicated. It's a very small side quest of like, you know, again, everything's a side quest. I have my little house, I have my stuff, I have the things that I did. And just, I don't feel the urge to start over again and start fresh. I think it's partly because I feel like there's still more to do. Because I haven't charged up every item because I don't have all the amiibo stuff yet. I did get the motorcycle did all the DLC I do have the sword charged up, but I still feel like there's more stuff to do. And there's always more Korok seeds. So maybe if I ever got to the point where 100% in breath of the wild, which who knows if that will ever happen, like I haven't even done all the shrines, I've got like 110 shrines or something like that. Like there are a few, you know, the stragglers out there, right? I don't feel the urge to start over. I think I only have 200 hours into it, maybe. One of my favorite features of the game is I think it came out in the DLC or whatever, it shows you the paths where you've walked on the map. - Yes. - Which is brilliant. I only wish that it did that infinitely instead of eventually erasing your trail. I think after 200 hours it starts erasing. But once it showed me that, it was like, you just see how much the landscape guides where you go. Because there's whole swaths where you've never been. you've seen them from every possible angle, but you've never actually been there. So then it became like the new sub game for me was go to the places you haven't been before. Like not for any reason or to get anything, just go to them. And that became a fun mini game for me. So I haven't played the game in a long time 'cause I've been back doing Destiny or whatever, but I still feel like I am still playing the game, that I have not finished the game. Obviously I began in a long ago and everything like that, but that's another minor complaint. Like I've heard a lot of people talk about this. I wish you could beat Ganon and continue to play the game after that in a world where you have beat Ganon. And I know that's not the Zelda way. The Zelda way is always your last save is right before you challenge Ganon. But I like the idea of disinfecting Hyrule Castle. You can leave the guardians around there, have them still running around or whatever, but just like, I would love to restore Hyrule Castle slowly, like a massive version of Tarrytown. Right? Having a post end game where you could just keep playing it. all of us do just keep playing the game, but it's kind of annoys me that Ganon is like out there in my game world undefeated. Yeah, that's true. And it's kind of funny that when I finished the game and my wife came in and said, "You're still playing it?" I'm like, "Well, yeah." Yeah, like I'm not done with the game. I've completed the main story, but there's way... And I'd got the good ending and everything. Like I did enough of the game to get the complete ending, you know? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I did end up finishing all the shrines, and I've done the same in master mode as well. But I don't know, I guess I, to be perfectly honest, the whole Breath of the Wild thing, I've just put it on pause so I can go back and play Twilight Princess. So there you go. Training one for another. But- I feel like you've wrung out Breath of the Wild. You've got most of what you're going to get from it. And the amount of hours you put in, it's not approaching Destiny levels, but Destiny is the type of game, because it involves other people so much and because it's a more steady trickle of new content that comes out that you can just keep playing it forever and ever and you'll never feel like you finish it until the developer stops releasing new content for it. Breath of the Wild is not like that. It's got two DLCs or whatever it has. That's all there's ever going to be. And it's a huge amount of content, but you can't actually get through it. I think you're right. And the other, so far as my playing Breath of the Wild goes, is that I feel like I've missed out on a few things along the way in the Zelda timeline that I want to go back and make sure that I'm not missing out. And just playing Twilight Princess, getting so much further than I did the very first time I played it over a decade ago. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it. And I love doing the Temple of Time. I love being able to walk through that portal and go back into the past. And yeah, I don't know. It's fun. It's playful. It's really, really so much fun. And I'm glad that I did invest in it even if it was a little bit after the fact. But that doesn't diminish how good the game is. Yeah, Twilight Princess and Wind Waker both also have. We didn't talk about the music in Breath of the Wild, but Twilight Princess in particular has some of the best Zelda music ever, like fitting with the Zelda theme. Breath of the Wild wisely, I think, has an entirely different music style that takes a backseat to the environment, which is the right thing to do for this game. But it is another aspect of the game that like, I didn't miss it because I think Breath of the Wild's music is perfect for the game that it's in. But I love the sort of bombast and sort of symphonic nature of the Twilight Princess music and Wind Waker has some great tunes too. So I would love to see a return to those even if they, you know, I don't know, like I, in a post Breath of the Wild world, I don't want the big orchestral music messing with my experience of the wild. Like Breath of the Wild is such a perfect title for that game because I really do, when I think about that game, I think about being outdoors and like connecting with nature, which is such a weird thing to say about like just a game with a bunch of, you know, pixels and polygons. But yeah, I just, you know, Twilight Princess, I think has my favorite Zelda music that has ever been in a Zelda game, especially if you get like the soundtrack that comes with it to hear the symphonic versions of all that stuff. And Breath of the Wild's music is very different from that, but I love them both. Yeah, it's a good point, actually. I was going to say in Hyrule Field, but pick a spot in Breath of the Wild. If you're up in the cold in the mountains, then you'll hear that sort of like that wistful cold wind blowing. If it's a clear night, then you just hear this sort of like very, very faint sort of wind blowing sound and it adapts to your environment, but there's no real backing musical score. Whereas if you go back to Ocarina, you go for a run into Gerudo Valley and it starts playing the Gerudo music. And you know, I personally, I love that music. I actually had that as my ringtone for about two years. That was before I got up on ringtones and went to Apple Watch and haptics and all that, but never mind. But I really enjoyed that and that you're right, Breath of the Wild is a very different feel for the backing score. And there's not a single tune, I guess, in Breath of the Wild that really jumps out to me as being, yeah, I don't know, as striking or as amazing, but all the other aspects of the game are so good that I think it is kind of fitting for what it's trying to do. And it makes the game feel more authentic and more real, and maybe that's the attraction in the end. There is more music than you think there is. It's mostly just tinkling pianos, but there are actual tunes. just spread, they're so sort of distributed and stretched out over the back of sort of environmental sounds. Like if you get the Breath of the Wild soundtrack and play a track, you will feel like you're back in that place and you'll realize, "Oh, I really did get a sense of place from this song," but it is very laid back, almost entirely piano and other tingling things. Very subtle. Okay. Well, I might give that a shot actually. I haven't listened to the soundtrack. I have the soundtrack for Ocarina of Time, but anyhow. Well, I say soundtrack. I think someone recreated it or something. I don't think it was official, but in any case. So talking a little bit about the future then, and I'm sure probably thinking about wrapping this up, could probably talk for hours, but we probably shouldn't. I just saw an announcement on the Switch as I was checking my play hours actually, before we recorded that they've announced Link's Awakening is coming to the Switch, which should, the little promo looked interesting. And so that's happening this year. and I believe that the next Zelda is under development, but it may be out either later this year, but far more likely it's probably gonna be next year. But I think it's pretty much a given that there won't be a Wii U version, and hopefully that leads to better. - Link's Awakening is a portable game, it's a 2D game, and they're giving it sort of the Link Between Worlds treatment, which is one of the rare portable Zelda games that I did buy 'cause it was sort of like, it's 2D but made with 3D geometry because we're in this modern era. But "Linked Awakening" is like a total remake. Same map, same idea, but it's all new, because it was an actual 2D game and it's no longer actual 2D. I don't think I'll end up buying or playing that just because it's a port of an old game and because I'm not that into 2D Zelda games, and I'll just patiently wait for the next quote unquote real Zelda game. - Fair enough. All right, cool. Well, I'm just thinking if there's anything else to mention at this point, we should, I feel like there's probably still more to say because it's such a huge game, but to be honest, maybe we should draw it there. I think it's been nearly two hours. Yeah, I'll put these, I mentioned the two videos, YouTube videos, the No Climbing But Breath of the Wild and the Mario 64 Half A Press. I highly recommend people check out these videos. They are very entertaining and informative. The Mario 64 one will blow your mind and the Breath of the Wild one will just be a laugh riot. So if you have show notes, Hopefully these links will be in them. They will be in the show notes. Fantastic. All right, well, if you want to talk more about this, you can reach me on theFediverse@[email protected] or you can follow @engineered_net on Twitter to see show-specific announcements. And we've recently started a YouTube channel if you're interested in that. If you're enjoying Pragmatic and you want to support the show, you can via Patreon at or one word, with a thank you to all of our patrons and a special thank you to our silver producers, Carsten Hansen and John Whitlow, and an extra special thank you to our gold producer, known only as R.I.P. Thank you. And we'll see you next time. Bye. and we've recently started a YouTube channel if you're interested in that. If you're enjoying Pragmatic and you want to support the show, you can via Patreon at or one word, with a thank you to all of our patrons and a special thank you to our silver producers Carsten Hansen and John Whitlow, and an extra special thank you to our gold producer known only as R. Patron rewards include a named thank you on the website, a named thank you at the end of episodes, access to raw detailed show notes, as well as ad-free high-quality releases of every episode, with patron audio now also available via individual audio feeds on Breaker. So if you'd like to contribute something, anything at all, there's lots of great rewards and beyond that, it's all really, really appreciated. Beyond that, there's lots of other ways to help, like leaving a rating or review on iTunes, favoriting the episode in your podcast player app or sharing the episode or show with your friends or via social. All those things will help others to discover the show and can make a huge difference too. I personally like to thank Clubhouse for sponsoring the Engineer Network. If you're looking for an easy to use software development project management solution that everyone can use. Remember to specifically visit this URL, clubhouse or one the word to check it out and give it a try. It'll surprise you just how easy it can be. Pragmatic's part of the Engineer Network and you can find it at along with other great shows like Causality, which is a solo podcast that I do that looks at the cause and effect of major events and disasters in history, including Deepwater Horizon, the Columbia Space Shuttle, Concorde, and lots more. Causality is on track to overtake Pragmatic in popularity so if you haven't heard it yet make sure you give it a listen. If you'd like to get in touch with John, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you, mate? My last name on Twitter, Syracusa, you can find me there. I do read my timeline and I tweet every once in a while and I do have a website that I almost never update but yet it continues to exist at Fantastic, it's a good one. Check it out. All the stuff on there is still very relevant so I'm glad that that is still alive. Oh, and I do have a podcast or two. I mean, you can find them linked from, but the main one is Accidental Test Podcast. I'm on that podcast every week. Fantastic. Look forward to it every week, too. So, that's awesome. So, thank you, everybody, for listening. Thank you, special thank you to the patrons, and thank you for coming on. Again, John, it's been fantastic. Yeah, let's meet back here in five more years when hopefully the next Zelda game is out. Oh, darn. It's a date. (upbeat music) [MUSIC] (upbeat music) (electronic music) (dramatic music) ♪ ♪ [MUSIC] [MUSIC PLAYING]
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Episode Gold Producer: 'r'.
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John Siracusa

John Siracusa

John writes widely acclaimed OS X reviews for Ars Technica, blogs at his site Hypercritical and has a podcast with friends called the Accidental Tech Podcast each week.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.