Game Theory: Why the Official Zelda Timeline is Wrong

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Why the Official Zelda Timeline is Wrong

All video games share one universe. But not all video game universes are the same. The official Zelda timeline released by Nintendo proves it. But when is a Zelda timeline NOT a Zelda timeline? When it justifies every other bizarre video game easter egg and cameo the gaming industry has developed.

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Nice episode, thanks! :)

I'm surprised that you did an entire episode about the Many Worlds Theory and didn't mention The World Ends With You.

The analogy of the multi worlds theory regarding WW2 I think is weak.
Since no one consciously decided they'd win or lose the war. Both sides chose to win.
It was the decisions of people during the war that dictated the outcome. It wasn't a black and white "Nazis win/Allies Win".

The cereal analogy was more accurate.

This is based on the definition and explanation you gave.

This video took half its runtime to get to the actual point of the video. Edit that stuff a bit.

Only now noticed that Game Theory is on Escapist now too! Awesome, welcome ^__^. Love all your videos.

You know this also helps explain Bioshock Infinite

This video said nothing about the timeline being wrong, aside from terminology. And takes forever to get to its point.

yeah not his best game theory. It gets to the part where he says they are in the same universe, then says they are not in the next sentence. because apparently he doesn't know multiverse, if its in a different time line its in a different universe.

by like definition. he sounds sort of like he knows what he's talking about with emphasis on what he's saying in the proper place, but he comes across as an intellectual idiot here.

but its an old video and I already commented on the youtube one.

I don't mean to be pedantic, but it really bothers me how Mat calls it the "Many Worlds Theory" near the end. It is most certainly not a theory, but an interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. And not the most common one either.

Anyhow, this is definitely a misstep in the otherwise excellent Game Theory. He labours the point while still seeming somehow unfocused. If anyone was put off by this (as it seems a few Escapists are new to Game Theory), I'd recommend you watch at least a couple of other episodes on Youtube before writing it off completely.

The timeline in the video is from the book; THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA. It makes a really great gift for any fan of the series, let me tell you!

I've heard this argument before and frankly, it's silly. It's what happens when you mix up gameplay and story. In any game, GTA, CoD, Halo, Super Mario, Zelda, Half-Life it doesn't affect the story if you die. The story is written, predetermined. Regardless of how you play, regardless of moral choices, the player is powerless when it comes to changing the ending. So the analysis of this time travel paradox is flawed because it doesn't differentiate story and gameplay. It's kinda like playing the Harry Potter games and saying Ron couldn't have learned the levitation spell because he never collected the spell books to master it in the challenge room.

Let me blow your mind like an NES cartridge here for a second.

My theory as to why the Official Zelda Timeline is wrong? It's called the "Legend" of Zelda for a reason, as everyone only hears about Link and his adventures from one person to the next, one campfire at a time, almost like an urban myth. Everyone tells the same story about Link in their own way (different art styles) and sometimes even adds their own spice to the basic story (Link gets Mastersword, saves Princess and Kingdom), resulting in a new experience with each new game.

That is why there is no definitive storyline. It is, at its core, a Legend.

The Legend, of Zelda.

Game Theory is on the Escapist now!? When did this happen?

It's good to see them branching out to other sites, I love their content. Are we going to be getting Gaijin Goomba as well?

W-wait, WHAT, HANG ON! When did GG and the other Game Theory peeps get here?

Cool.

Yopaz:
I've heard this argument before and frankly, it's silly. It's what happens when you mix up gameplay and story. In any game, GTA, CoD, Halo, Super Mario, Zelda, Half-Life it doesn't affect the story if you die. The story is written, predetermined. Regardless of how you play, regardless of moral choices, the player is powerless when it comes to changing the ending. So the analysis of this time travel paradox is flawed because it doesn't differentiate story and gameplay. It's kinda like playing the Harry Potter games and saying Ron couldn't have learned the levitation spell because he never collected the spell books to master it in the challenge room.

except ...

It's not an 'argument' or 'fan theory' it's the official time line as given by Nintendo.

So in this case, yes, dieing in OoT DOES cause a change in the story of this games universe.

I was never quite sure of what to think of Youtube's (now Escapist's?) Game Theory. I wonder what being on this website will do for it, assuming this is more than a cameo. And why was this the first episode chosen to appear here, assuming there's more? It's not very new; certainly old enough to have gotten some of the above-mentioned kinks worked out of it's premier episode here. And the anti-LGBT one was at least more polerizing (who knew 'Gender Fuck' was a thing?) Assuming this is a new and somewhat permenent fixture, will anything change?

Maybe he'll be made to stop using Wikipedia... heheh. Very curious... curious indeed.

*Edit: Whoops. Yep, just noticed their weekly-scheduled spot on the homepage. Permenent they are. Congrats. ^^

Oh yay, Game Theory is on Escapist now... Because the Smosh thing went so well before, didn't it?

I don't really care for the poor quality of research and the occasional omission of information that may or may not contribute to the 'point of discussion' in the video.

Both this and Game/Show have that air of seeming like they put in a lot of work and effort, but either have a bias (Which in a open discussion type video can never work) or a poor quality and quantity of research done.

So you started out by telling us why the timeline was wrong...

Then you went on to explain the situations in which it actually works?

That and the rest of this episode just seemed a bit obnoxious to tell the truth

Well this is just misleading. Nothing in this says the timeline is wrong, it just stats a multi-world or multi-dimenson theory, which many have already concluded to. I don't get why this even needs an episode. All it says that the Zelda timeline is in several dimensions. Honestly, I was expecting something beyond that.

Yopaz:
I've heard this argument before and frankly, it's silly. It's what happens when you mix up gameplay and story. In any game, GTA, CoD, Halo, Super Mario, Zelda, Half-Life it doesn't affect the story if you die. The story is written, predetermined. Regardless of how you play, regardless of moral choices, the player is powerless when it comes to changing the ending. So the analysis of this time travel paradox is flawed because it doesn't differentiate story and gameplay. It's kinda like playing the Harry Potter games and saying Ron couldn't have learned the levitation spell because he never collected the spell books to master it in the challenge room.

Obviously Game Theory doesn't play by your rules. If he's willing to count Link's appearance in Smash Bros as canon, he'll certainly count things that can occur in the actual Zelda games. And in his defense, it's not like in Assassin's Creed where when you die a message pops up saying "desynchronized" or whatever. When you die in Zelda there's an actual death sequence that somebody had to animate showing Link die.

It may be a little morbid to think that for every Link who saves Zelda there's dozens of alternate universe Links who died somewhere along the journey, but it makes sense.

Now of course if we're going to take these game absolutely seriously we have lots of other things that we need to consider, like how Link gets heavier when he puts on his steel boots, and why he's so polygonal looking.

i dont trust people who arent talking about mathematical decision making when they say game theory :T
just a personal pet peeve of mine

This reminds me of James Rolf's continuity confused Zelda video.

Or MAYBE the official Zelda timeline is a marketing concoction that Nintendo bullshitted when the fans wouldn't shut up about which order the games were in because, when taken as a series, they're a jumbled mess.

I have seen a few of these videos on youtube and it seemed like just general silliness and more of a, how can we abuse facts and ideas to get silly outcomes. Not something that ever interested me much.

Lunar Templar:

Yopaz:
I've heard this argument before and frankly, it's silly. It's what happens when you mix up gameplay and story. In any game, GTA, CoD, Halo, Super Mario, Zelda, Half-Life it doesn't affect the story if you die. The story is written, predetermined. Regardless of how you play, regardless of moral choices, the player is powerless when it comes to changing the ending. So the analysis of this time travel paradox is flawed because it doesn't differentiate story and gameplay. It's kinda like playing the Harry Potter games and saying Ron couldn't have learned the levitation spell because he never collected the spell books to master it in the challenge room.

except ...

It's not an 'argument' or 'fan theory' it's the official time line as given by Nintendo.

So in this case, yes, dieing in OoT DOES cause a change in the story of this games universe.

I know. If I made it sound like I was unaware of this, I do apologize. What I am saying here is that the story can go 3 different paths based on what happens in Ocarina of Time, but the gameplay and story isn't the same thing.

Olas:

And in his defense, it's not like in Assassin's Creed where when you die a message pops up saying "desynchronized" or whatever. When you die in Zelda there's an actual death sequence that somebody had to animate showing Link die.

I don't see how this matters. There is a death animation for Link, sure. However Link is also regarded a hero despite robbing most of Hyrule blind by walking into people's houses, crushing their possessions in search for dough then leaving. Oh and some people kill chickens, some people shoot people with arrows, some people spend more time doing sidequests than actually trying to save the world. If we don't differentiate story and gameplay then we end up with questions like "Why isn't Link arrested at the end of Ocarina of Time?" He may even be arrested before it ends and that could be the reason why Gannon wins 97% of the time. Or starting a new game. That erases the existence of all Zelda games that exists, right? Because that makes sense? Because gameplay and story are 10000000000% connected and everything we do when playing the game changes the story in mysterious ways as seen with the ending of very game ever made in the history of gaming (with the exception of Ms. Pacman). So if you're going to defend this line of reasoning you also have to explain why no-one has ever pointed out Link's homicidal tendencies, his kleptomania or the fact that he spends most of his time dicking around as the end of the world gets near.

These guys are nuts. I'd suggest they call themselves the "Game Overthinkers" except MovieBob already claimed that name.
Really? Loss of a life = another Universe? Really? That's crazy. Video game logic and real world logic don't mix.

How curious. This is why I liked Bioshock Infinite and I still like it, even if I heard most of what it's detractors has to say about it.

Also, when I was a kid, I thought exactly the same about Ocarina of Time, thanks to Back To The Future, when I finished Ocarina, I was like "what!?, I return as a kid?... then... nothing that I did as an adult mattered?", my dad liked to watch me play Zelda, I even told him about this and he was like "yeah, even if what you did as an adult is neglected, you still have the knowdelage about how to defeat Ganon" and I was like "ooohhhh... you're right!".

Great episode, I'm glad I can watch it from the comfort of my favorite gaming site ^.^

Yopaz:

Olas:

And in his defense, it's not like in Assassin's Creed where when you die a message pops up saying "desynchronized" or whatever. When you die in Zelda there's an actual death sequence that somebody had to animate showing Link die.

I don't see how this matters. There is a death animation for Link, sure. However Link is also regarded a hero despite robbing most of Hyrule blind by walking into people's houses, crushing their possessions in search for dough then leaving.

I don't really think petty theft cancels out saving the world, especially if the money was used to buy bombs and arrows and things that were needed for it. Also, it's a different game, but in Windwaker there's a house on Windfall Island where if you break the pots the owner will chastise you and make you pay 10 rupees for each pot. So clearly this is something the programmers felt was worth acknowledging.

Yopaz:
Oh and some people kill chickens

Impossible, if you attack a chicken (cucco) long enough he'll call his friends and they'll group up to murder you, but you can't kill them.

Yopaz:
some people shoot people with arrows

True, but you never seem them get hurt or die, somehow they're just immune to arrows(and other attacks). Not true of Link.

Yopaz:
some people spend more time doing sidequests than actually trying to save the world.

So? In most Zelda games you aren't on the clock. Ganondorf is already the dark king or whatever and he's not going anywhere. Ya, maybe it's a little rude to Zelda to let her stay kidnapped for longer, but oh well, it's not like she knows what you've been doing.

Yopaz:
If we don't differentiate story and gameplay then we end up with questions like "Why isn't Link arrested at the end of Ocarina of Time?"

Who would he arrested by? You'll notice there are no guards or soldiers in the adult timeline, being either killed or relieved of service by Ganondorf.[/quote]

Yopaz:
He may even be arrested before it ends and that could be the reason why Gannon wins 97% of the time.

Wut? That doesn't happen during the gameplay OR the cutscenes. We've just entered fanfic territory.

Yopaz:
Or starting a new game.That erases the existence of all Zelda games that exists, right? Because that makes sense?

What? No such thing is implied by this theory, in fact nothing is "erased" ever, every new playthrough would be another alternate universe, the old ones still existing.

One interesting question is what happens if someone stops playing the game mid playthrough and never continues, or even erases the save file so they never CAN complete it. Did that universe just collapse? Or does it still exist frozen in time forever?

Yopaz:
Because gameplay and story are 10000000000% connected

No, just 100%

Yopaz:
and everything we do when playing the game changes the story in mysterious ways as seen with the ending of very game ever made in the history of gaming (with the exception of Ms. Pacman). So if you're going to defend this line of reasoning you also have to explain why no-one has ever pointed out Link's homicidal tendencies, his kleptomania or the fact that he spends most of his time dicking around as the end of the world gets near.

Link's "homicidal tendencies" only affect enemies, you can never kill NPCs in any of the games to my knowledge. Of course it would be more realistic if you could. It's just a sacrifice you have to make in order to have a game built around a structured narrative. You can always invent in-game reasons for this stuff, maybe the Master Sword is enchanted to not hurt innocent people or something, but it doesn't really change the underlying reason for it. However, this limitation doesn't change the fact that gameplay is clearly intended to be part of the story. For most games the gameplay is the only place where story elements are explained, if we didn't count the fight between Link and Ganon as canon you wouldn't have an explanation for how Ganon gets defeated.

There actually is a major problem I have with the Zelda timeline, and that is the inclusion of the Oracles games and Link's awakening in the "hero is defeated" timeline. You see, this does not make sense based on what happens in the Oracle games. After playing through both titles and getting the final ending, you find out that everything that occurred was the machinations of Twinrova in an effort to release Ganondorf from his seal. Right away we can eliminate this being in the adult era timeline because in that one Twinrova was killed in the Spirit temple. And though I suppose you can kind of force it into the defeated timeline (since they claim that Zelda and the Sages shove Ganondorf into the Sacred realm as a last ditch effort to protect Hyrule) it makes more sense for it to be part of the child era timeline, where Ganondorf is stopped and "executed" (they shove a sword into his stomach but he still manages to kill a sage before they force him into the Twilight realm's seal) before he can ever defile the temple of time. You see, in the Child timeline Link never went to the spirit temple and therefore never killed Tinrova, so she'd be alive free to try and free Ganondorf from his seal at a later date, hell they probably even waited until Link's next resurrection to do so, they were like 400 years old already what's another century or two? Also since Link goes off on a boat at the end of the Oracles games it's implied that they're a prequel to Link's Awakening but that's not as important a connection.

Actually whether the Oracle games fit in the child or defeated timeline depends on WHEN/IF Link is killed. It's possible that Link never even made it out of the Deku Tree, in which case the Oracle games can easily be in the defeat time. But if Link managed to make it at least as far as beating the Spirit temple then the Oracles games CAN'T be in that timeline because whatever happens after Twinrova would be dead and therefore unable to set forth the plan to break Ganondorf out of his seal. I THINK it's meant to be implied that Link actually gets as far as the final confrontation with Ganondorf, only to be killed by Ganon in the final boss fight in the defeated timeline because in the Hyrule Historia they say that Zelda and the Sages desperately seal him away in the sacred realm, but since the sage's power doesn't awaken until AFTER Link clears the dungeon that they are trapped in that means Link MUST have gotten through the entire game, therefore killing Twinrova, before Ganondorf cuts him down.

Olas:

Yopaz:

Olas:

And in his defense, it's not like in Assassin's Creed where when you die a message pops up saying "desynchronized" or whatever. When you die in Zelda there's an actual death sequence that somebody had to animate showing Link die.

I don't see how this matters. There is a death animation for Link, sure. However Link is also regarded a hero despite robbing most of Hyrule blind by walking into people's houses, crushing their possessions in search for dough then leaving.

I don't really think petty theft cancels out saving the world, especially if the money was used to buy bombs and arrows and things that were needed for it. Also, it's a different game, but in Windwaker there's a house on Windfall Island where if you break the pots the owner will chastise you and make you pay 10 rupees for each pot. So clearly this is something the programmers felt was worth acknowledging.

As a gameplay element in one game. Hardly relevant.

Impossible, if you attack a chicken (cucco) long enough he'll call his friends and they'll group up to murder you, but you can't kill them.

Fair enough I guess, I exaggerated that one. It doesn't matter though. why does no-one point out that he's attacking their livestock? Because gameplay and story isn't connected like that. Stop nitpicking and try to understand the point I am making. You hid behind gameplay mechanics when you pointed out this one. Indicating that you're aware of the fact that gameplay isn't the same as story. Need I go on?

True, but you never seem them get hurt or die, somehow they're just immune to arrows(and other attacks). Not true of Link.

Again gameplay mechanic that doesn't stay in touch with how it would have happened due to story. Need I go on?

So? In most Zelda games you aren't on the clock. Ganondorf is already the dark king or whatever and he's not going anywhere. Ya, maybe it's a little rude to Zelda to let her stay kidnapped for longer, but oh well, it's not like she knows what you've been doing.

And this makes sense to you? "Hi guys, Ima take over the world now. Oh, you're collecting chickens? Is cool, I can wait, I don't need to take control today. The important thing is that you gather the strength to fight me." Another point in favour of story not making sense when compared to gameplay. Need I go on?

Who would he arrested by? You'll notice there are no guards or soldiers in the adult timeline, being either killed or relieved of service by Ganondorf.

There are soldiers in Kakariko village actually. And he could just as well have been arrested when he was a kid. Breaking into the capital, breaking vases, going places he weren't supposed to go. Need I go on?

Wut? That doesn't happen during the gameplay OR the cutscenes. We've just entered fanfic territory.

Did I say this happen? No, this was a part of my last liune of argument and you quoted this out of context which makes me suspect you don't really have a probper response to it (like most of your points so far). I didn't say this happened, I presented this as a possible outcome. Do you understand the difference?

What? No such thing is implied by this theory, in fact nothing is "erased" ever, every new playthrough would be another alternate universe, the old ones still existing.

This theory states that what we do in gameplay matters. What the story says is ALL based on what we do, so yes, it does kinda imply this. If a death is to be counted as canon, then starting a new game is also canon. Shooting a chixken is canon. Taking pictures through someone's window is canon. Shooting someone with an arrow is canon.

One interesting question is what happens if someone stops playing the game mid playthrough and never continues, or even erases the save file so they never CAN complete it. Did that universe just collapse? Or does it still exist frozen in time forever?

According to this theory, yes. According to my point that story trumps what the player does, no.

No, just 100%

Don't just say that. Explain exactly how you can say that. Why isn't EVERY gameplay element represented in the way the story concludes and unfolds? Why isn't ever choice I choose to make represented?

Link's "homicidal tendencies" only affect enemies, you can never kill NPCs in any of the games to my knowledge. Of course it would be more realistic if you could. It's just a sacrifice you have to make in order to have a game built around a structured narrative. You can always invent in-game reasons for this stuff, maybe the Master Sword is enchanted to not hurt innocent people or something, but it doesn't really change the underlying reason for it. However, this limitation doesn't change the fact that gameplay is clearly intended to be part of the story. For most games the gameplay is the only place where story elements are explained, if we didn't count the fight between Link and Ganon as canon you wouldn't have an explanation for how Ganon gets defeated.

Tendencies don't always present results. But if Link is often trying to kill people on the street that can be described as homicidal tendencies. If he actually did go through with it that would make him a murderer. You see, there's a difference here. However you are nitpicking again trying desperately to refuse to answer my question. If story and gameplay is 100% connected (as stated by you) then why does no-one point out the fact that Link tries to shoot people, bomb people, slash people, hit them with the megaton hammer? Why does Link get heavy when he puts on the iron boots, but not while he's carrying them in his backpack? How can he even fit the Big Goron sword in his backpack while also carrying hundreds of pounds of items already. Also, if he can carry so many things at once. How come he can only hold 99 Rupees when his bag is almost empty? If you want to maintain the claim that gameplay and story is 100% connected then you have to explain all these points to satisfaction. You could simply admit that it's not, but admitting fault? On the INTERNET? What are we? Civilized adults not afraid of backing down? Can't have THAT! I am curious to how you're going to explain this.

RPG heroes looting houses is an aspect thats been the subject of much comedy. I assume its allowed because in hyrule the princess is missing which in absence of government you the hero have right to raise special taxes, and collect them in this manner.

its not theft. its levying a special emergency tax to restore order. Not holding true in more recent games like skyward sword where despite the comming apocalypse and disappearance of the princess order is still highly maintained.

Pretty sure in early games the nobility is gone and the army has been killed or turned into monsters. You could make the case in any game where the princess is missing that he has special dispensation to raise funds by any means nessesary to get the job done. its just a weaker case. and the guard (or tax collectors supported by the guard) really should be the ones doing it, so long as they haven't been put out of action by enemy activity.

that said Link is a guard in training in skyward sword and I suppose the guard is generally occupied with other tasks so We could make a special emergency tax argument here and still have a reasonable chance of success.

Terranigma for instance starts out with a don't touch my chests, but then everything goes to hell and the bad things happen and now its OK to loot his chests because of the situation.

its not THEFT.

I'm confused- doesn't the official timeline basically embrace the 'many worlds' theory? Don't mean to be rude but this video seems redundant. Also there's nothing wrong with the timeline, I mean, even in the video it was explained why it isn't wrong.

That said, "the official Zelda timeline" is merely an afterthought by nintendo to sell to fans (such as myself). I'm of the opinion that
a) the timeline is nothing more than Nintendo's fanfiction. Perhaps fun to think about but I won't call it canon. It's a retcon that serves no real purpose.
b) Also, I believe that over thinking the simplistic themes of the Zelda games defeats their purpose and ruins their charm.

Yopaz:

Olas:

Yopaz:

I don't see how this matters. There is a death animation for Link, sure. However Link is also regarded a hero despite robbing most of Hyrule blind by walking into people's houses, crushing their possessions in search for dough then leaving.

I don't really think petty theft cancels out saving the world, especially if the money was used to buy bombs and arrows and things that were needed for it. Also, it's a different game, but in Windwaker there's a house on Windfall Island where if you break the pots the owner will chastise you and make you pay 10 rupees for each pot. So clearly this is something the programmers felt was worth acknowledging.

As a gameplay element in one game. Hardly relevant.

Fine, then it's a weird quirk of the game. Sometimes games have weird quirks, like the fact that in Half-Life 2 you can't see Gordon Freeman's hands when he's holding an object (that isn't a weapon) or when steering a vehicle. It doesn't prove anything about the relationship between gameplay and story.

True, but you never seem them get hurt or die, somehow they're just immune to arrows(and other attacks). Not true of Link.

Again gameplay mechanic that doesn't stay in touch with how it would have happened due to story. Need I go on?

No, it's a gameplay mechanic that doesn't stay in touch with what would have happened in REALITY.

It's a limitation put on the gameplay to keep it from breaking from the story. If Link became a homicidal maniac it would contradict everyone calling him a hero, which would actually diverge from the story. It's because they want the gameplay to make sense with the story that they don't allow you to kill NPCs and thus they're forced to sacrifice realism to some extent. Probably a better system would be to have Link's weapons disabled in the presence of NPCs, which I'm pretty sure is actually the case indoors some of the time. Chalk it up to a flaw in the game that you're actually able to aim a bow and arrow at Anju and let her rip.

So? In most Zelda games you aren't on the clock. Ganondorf is already the dark king or whatever and he's not going anywhere. Ya, maybe it's a little rude to Zelda to let her stay kidnapped for longer, but oh well, it's not like she knows what you've been doing.

And this makes sense to you? "Hi guys, Ima take over the world now. Oh, you're collecting chickens? Is cool, I can wait, I don't need to take control today. The important thing is that you gather the strength to fight me." Another point in favour of story not making sense when compared to gameplay. Need I go on?

Actually, it's just a case of the story not making sense period. Although you can make the case that Ganondorf simply isn't aware of Link, or maybe he doesn't consider Link to be a real threat, or whatever. Regardless it's something that affects both gameplay and cutscenes so it doesn't really prove anything relating to your point.

Also, you don't need to end every paragraph with "Need I go on?"

Who would he arrested by? You'll notice there are no guards or soldiers in the adult timeline, being either killed or relieved of service by Ganondorf.

There are soldiers in Kakariko village actually.

Not after Ganondorf takes over. If there are any soldiers in Hyrule after the fall, they're an easter egg that I've never found or heard of. Of course even if the soldiers in Kakariko villagers were still there when Link is an adult it seems unlikely that they'd be able to track him down and arrest him anyway.

And he could just as well have been arrested when he was a kid. Breaking into the capital, breaking vases, going places he weren't supposed to go. Need I go on?

If the guards in Hyrule Castle capture you while trying to break in they grab you and toss you out in front of the entrance. They don't arrest you because you're a child, and children trespassing isn't usually considered a serious offence worthy of legal action, or at least it clearly isn't in Hyrule.

Of course they COULD have arrested you and thrown you into some sort of prison cell, like the Gerudo guards do to you as an adult if they capture you trying to sneak into their fortress. Or like the pigmen do in the Forsaken Fortress in Windwaker. The fact that they don't is a matter of Hyrulian policy, not anything to do with mechanics.

As for breaking pots, we've already discussed that.

What? No such thing is implied by this theory, in fact nothing is "erased" ever, every new playthrough would be another alternate universe, the old ones still existing.

This theory states that what we do in gameplay matters. What the story says is ALL based on what we do, so yes, it does kinda imply this. If a death is to be counted as canon, then starting a new game is also canon. Shooting a chixken is canon. Taking pictures through someone's window is canon. Shooting someone with an arrow is canon.

Yes, it's all canon, at the very least according to this theory. I'm glad we can agree on this. It sounded for a minute like you were implying that somehow the universe ended or something.

No, just 100%

Don't just say that. Explain exactly how you can say that. Why isn't EVERY gameplay element represented in the way the story concludes and unfolds? Why isn't ever choice I choose to make represented?

Because that would be technologically unfeasible? And because the creators of the game had an idea of how they wanted the story of the game to unfold and didn't want you to be able to derail it? You act like somehow having the gameplay be part of the story means that you have to have free reigns to do whatever you want during gameplay, and that the story has to be totally realistic. I see no reason for either of these to be true. In fact, as I've previously stated, it's only because they want your gameplay actions to fit with the story that they don't let you murder people. If gameplay truly didn't matter to the story and wasn't canon then there would be no reason you couldn't cut down Saria like a blade of grass, but she's a crucial character to the story, so you can't.

Link's "homicidal tendencies" only affect enemies, you can never kill NPCs in any of the games to my knowledge. Of course it would be more realistic if you could. It's just a sacrifice you have to make in order to have a game built around a structured narrative. You can always invent in-game reasons for this stuff, maybe the Master Sword is enchanted to not hurt innocent people or something, but it doesn't really change the underlying reason for it. However, this limitation doesn't change the fact that gameplay is clearly intended to be part of the story. For most games the gameplay is the only place where story elements are explained, if we didn't count the fight between Link and Ganon as canon you wouldn't have an explanation for how Ganon gets defeated.

Tendencies don't always present results. But if Link is often trying to kill people on the street that can be described as homicidal tendencies. If he actually did go through with it that would make him a murderer. You see, there's a difference here. However you are nitpicking again trying desperately to refuse to answer my question. If story and gameplay is 100% connected (as stated by you) then why does no-one point out the fact that Link tries to shoot people, bomb people, slash people, hit them with the megaton hammer?

The makers of the game simply weren't capable of having the NPCs react to every thing you could feasibly do around them realistically, it's a technological limitation that affects almost all games. The only games that even come close to having NPCs realistically respond to you are ones like GTA, but Link isn't supposed to be a character from GTA. The makers of the game probably weren't even expecting many people to try and murder NPCs and that's why they didn't do a better job controlling your ability to use weapons against them.

You complain that I'm nitpicking, but you're the one coming up with individual issues with the game mechanics believing that they somehow prove something about the nature of gameplay and story. I'm simply trying to explain them to you. Some of these are flaws, some of them are deliberate compromises made to keep you from defying the intended story, and some of them are just you not remembering the game correctly, but none of them mean that the gameplay isn't intended to be canon.

Why does Link get heavy when he puts on the iron boots, but not while he's carrying them in his backpack?

The same Reason Tom doesn't die a horrible death when Jerry drops an anvil on his head. And that isn't even a videogame.

How can he even fit the Big Goron sword in his backpack while also carrying hundreds of pounds of items already. Also, if he can carry so many things at once. How come he can only hold 99 Rupees when his bag is almost empty? If you want to maintain the claim that gameplay and story is 100% connected then you have to explain all these points to satisfaction.

They all have the same basic explanation, Zelda is a videogame, and sometimes it follows videogame logic. None of them are too closely connected to the actual plot so it's not that big a deal.

Sometimes the cutscenes follow videogame logic too. All of the dialogue is in subtitles rather than actual voice acting, otherwise Link would be able to tell Sheik is a girl by her voice. When you free the carpenters from their prison cells they happily run off without you, despite the fact that they're still in the Gerudo fortress and would almost certainly be recaptured by guards on the way out. When Ganondorf's castle comes crashing down it leaves almost no rubble or debree. When Link acquires a new item he holds it up in the air and it hovers while spinning slowly. All these things happen in cutscenes, not gameplay. Why don't you try explaining these if everything has to make so much sense all the time?

You could simply admit that it's not, but admitting fault? On the INTERNET? What are we? Civilized adults not afraid of backing down? Can't have THAT! I am curious to how you're going to explain this.

I'm not sure how I'm at fault. What are you accusing me of doing?

However, I won't admit to being wrong unless I actually feel that I am, and I don't any more than I imagine you probably do.

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