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“To meson game the show that examines some of gaming s most iconic cutscenes in in the months. I spent trying to want her to present the legend of zelda of the wild. I often got sidetracked from my quest for completion as i m sure many players have by the scale of the game world. This incarnation of hyrule is so expansive and so immersive that getting lost in it was half the fun.
But when i was sticking to my mission to save princess zelda and the gargantuan kingdom of hyrule i found that the cinematic storytelling methods a breath of the wild felt a little suffocated. I ve spent a while trying to figure out what exactly it is about breath of the wild cinematic narrative. That turns me off part of me wanted to do an episode about how the nonlinear progression model of the game means that the story suffers from having to be delivered in broad strokes resulting in less creative choices in cinematography another issue i considered was the cutscenes lack of any cohesive visual motifs to give a semblance of connectivity even when told out of oyer for example character poses. Prince sidon has a trademark pose.
But others don t why why can t everybody have a unifying gimmick that gives the cutscenes a sense of repeated familiarity. I don t know i even came close to making a full blown sequel to my xenoblade chronicles show don t tell episode based off the number of cutscenes that waste prime opportunities for character growth. With lazy offhand dialogue. Instead of visual storytelling be sure to take the time to soothe your mind.
That s the only way your advice was quite helpful. Thank you oh link told you that that s great. Why didn t we see it and then i found a key culprit responsible for the damage to breath of the wild cinematic narrative. A design choice that backtracks on progress made across several reasons elda titles and ultimately creates a huge disconnect between the audience and the narrative.
A choice that has kept me up at night. Asking one question. What s wrong with link s face. The human face is the cornerstone of communication.
Facial expressions are the key to reading people. Getting a sense of their mood. Their temperament and even their frame of mind. A smartly deployed close up can sell an audience on feelings such as surprise determination or murderous intent.
An expression in short can often speak louder than words since the transition from 2d to 3d. The legend of zelda has done a good job of delivering story progression through cutscenes with each game that followed ocarina time nintendo seemed to learn how to fight we were in more creative ways to engage the audience while also deploying effective and compelling story beats part of that has come down to one factor. The way they kept link. A silent protagonist.
An active participant in the game s narrative. By being as expressive as possible links of ability to speak has never hindered the storytelling of any 3d zelda game. Because nintendo has always taken care to animate link in a way that lets the audience see how he feels about any given moment. His range of expressions were rather simple in ocarina.
But as the games progressed link became more and more expressive by skyward sword link was gaming s equivalent of charlie chaplin s classic character at the little tramp. A silent protagonist who could convey an appealing and convincing personality through something as simple as a friendly smile. However from the beginning of breath of the wild. I felt that things seemed different link is very much a blank slate and not just in that he s trying to recover his memories.
Whether it s in the amnesia riddled present. Or in the game s flashbacks. Linc. Only has three facial expressions in any given scene throughout this game.
Stone faced. Surprised and concerned link s ability to express himself has been significantly scaled back for reasons. I think i understand. But which ultimately hurt the visual storytelling of the game.
Especially in comparison to link s co star princess zelda in recovering links stolen memories breath of the wild flushes out a bond between our hero and princess zelda their relationship grows from a slightly hostile pairing of co workers to a partnership fueled by respect and understanding of each other s personal issues at least that s what we re told the memories as we see and hear them paint a clear and strong portrait of princess. Zelda as a woman who wants to buck long held traditions and tackle her responsibilities in new and exciting ways a not so subtle metaphor for the game itself her desires are complicated by the presence of link because while zelda struggles to fulfill her traditional roles link is already and apparently very easily gotten the master sword and sealed his title as the chosen one zelda struggles under expectations while being forced to watch linc exceed his the cutscenes of the game show us this conflict from their very first meeting with zelda looking hesitantly at linc almost disgusted at the sight of him later. She s angry at the fact that link is her appointed barty guard. Then shocked when link saves her life bashful and revealing some of her deepest fears to him and devastated when accepting that her failures led to the deaths of her friends.
Zelda is a wide tapestry of emotion. And her character arc is driven by how strongly her face is framed and animated every crucial moment. Even if the dialog is clunky. And it often is i the person in question and fine regardless of the king s orders.
We get a true sense of what zelda desires meanwhile each of these key story moments is complemented by link looking on with dead flat stares. He s so unexpressive he makes plank from edit. And eddie look like daniel day lewis in comparison gone are the pain glances of winwaker link the fearful reactions of twilight princess. Link or the friendly sincerity of skyward sword link breath of the wild links.
It s through moment after moment of key plot. Development and gives us nothing sure he ll look shocked upon discovering a memory or furrow. His brow and something seems fishy. But otherwise.
There s no life behind those. Blue eyes. Recollections of childhood whimsy. Blank stare.
Having your integrity. Challenged by high rules. Biggest. Douche.
Off. Camera reaction. Comforting your friend as they break down in your arms. Blank stare.
Hell. He even makes dying look boring. This lack of even the simplest facial expressions cripples. The cutscenes ruining.
Which should be a two way character piece by preventing one of the participants from being able to emote zelda discovers her true potential through her friendship with link. But link seems like he s a zombie. How can we buy that he s been this powerful method of emotional support to zelda if we never see it now part of me assumes that this like many other choices in developing breadth of the wilds narrative comes down to a core trade off a bigger more expansive hyrule that you can explore. However you want means link has to fit any possible definition of any possible gameplay experience link isn t given the chance to be a dynamic fleshed out character because the design of breath of the wild requires link to get back to living up to his namesake link needs to be a link to the player a tool that molds the player s whims and desires onto the gameplay so that exploring every nook and cranny of hyrule.
Feels like a unique personal experience when discussing the narrative with game informer breadth of the worlds. Own developers refer to the story as optional is it possible for players to not see those story moments can they just cruise past them dimas now sort of attended animal prey on authentic numbers man could utica ever miss it so much so. The cutscenes are like a dungeon you can stumble into if you like mm hmm solidifying that the objective of breadth of the wod was always gameplay overstory this mirrors. Other recent gameplay over narrative choices enforced by miyamoto such as within the super mario galaxy series as story takes a backseat to gameplay.
There will be sacrifices in a nutshell. A protagonist that must mean anything to any player can not have any defined individual meaning for himself the legend of zelda breath of the wild expands the size and possibilities of its in game world while scaling back and hindering its in game narrative. These are just facts we have to face instead of building off the natural ernest bond. We see between lincoln zelda and skyward sword.
We get the deepest zelda yet written and the dullest link. Yet dropped the desire to let players be their own hero means. One of nintendo s greatest champions becomes a cipher in his own narrative. But given the creator s stated intent this sacrifice.
Gave players one of the most refreshing zelda experiences to date. It s a trade off. I m not entirely satisfied with but as the zelda franchise rides a new wave of momentum maybe one day nintendo will breathe more life into a future link. ” .
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