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Zelda - RPG or adventure?

Discussion in 'General' started by Eticam_vbulletin3_import15992, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. I've been arguing with a friend of mine about wether the Zelda games are RPG's or Adventures.

    Personally I'd say it's an adventure, because:
    • The game is not turnbased (I know, not all rpg's are, but most are turnbased)
    • The game is linear (you don't have the freedom to do anything in the order you want to do it)
    • You have very limited freedom of equipping your character
    • You have only one character
    • You have very limited serious side quests
    • The game hardly depends on choises you make (the storyline doesn't have any forks in it)
    • Only one possible ending
    I know, each of these points never makes a game an RPG or Adventure on itself. But I'd say that a game has to have at least some of these points to qualify as an RPG.

    I thought I'd post it here since all of us here are both Zelda and RPG <-> Adventure experts :) Please post your thoughts on this matter!
  2. i'd call it an adventure game, or maybe an action RPG, because i dont like RPGs, but i like zelda :)
  3. Pyrite

    Pyrite New Member

    You and me both Supergrom I also don´t like like RPG´s but Zelda I do like, ALOT!! I´d say action RPG it has role play elements in there.
  4. Thanks for the opinions so far guys :) What I'd like to know of both of you: What RPG elements DO you find in the Zelda games next to the ones I mentioned the game is missing?

    The only RPGish element that I can find in the Zelda games is the medieval/magic setting it takes place in (although that would even make the Warcraft games RPGs if it were the only criterium - besides that, there are loads of futuristic RPGs as well)
  5. Pyrite

    Pyrite New Member

    You play another character :p And talk to people. You improve your skills and items, those are close enough to RPG.
  6. CrazyGoon

    CrazyGoon Member

    Zelda is definately not an RPG, but isn't a Adventure either. Of the two genres, it would be more similar to the Adventure genre.

    If you want some in-depth reading about RPG's and Genres, check out my posts in this thread. You will probably be scared away though.. ;)
  7. Crazygoon - I know about that thread :)
    I was the one that made you accept that not all RPG's are turn-based, remember? :p

    I mentioned a non turn-based RPG, namely Sword of Vermillion for the Mega Drive. I must say that apart from the turn based part I agree with you fully....just the other week I saw an auction for Goof Troop @ eBay and the seller called it an RPG -.-
  8. CrazyGoon

    CrazyGoon Member

    Hehe, oh.. It's you :) How are you Eticam B)

    Yes, I did accept Sword of Vermillion as an RPG back then, but recently am reconsidering it again, as I do still believe that "RPG elements" can't be used to determine the genre. You see, SoV still is a stupid thorn in my foot, because it really really looks like an RPG. But I did play it, as I said back then, and it doesn't feel/ play like any other RPG - due to the combat system. If I was to still classify SoV as an RPG, it would most probably be of a certain type of RPG, which only it would be apart of - since it's 'one of a kind'. But simply having a genre which encompassess only ONE game is (to me) ludicrous, since if every game had it's own genre, then what would be the use for genres? You know? So yeah, by the time I've finished defining all of the genres, I should have a definate answer for that game :)

    Did you read all of my posts about genres in that other thread btw? It's got some good stuff in there :) Of particular mention would be the the 6th paragraph of my first post.
  9. I've read most of the stuff you wrote - and like I said, I agree with most of it :) Indeed it's quite important that genres are defined and accepted. Most people don't see the necessity in that but I do. And that's why I think it's good to keep discussions like this alive.

    What I do think however is that it's not good to only place games that fully comply with a genre in that genre. eg if a game has clear RPG influences AND also has influences from other genres, I'd say that you would have to put it in both genres when putting the games in a database. For example, if I was to make a database of MD/Genny games, I'd put Road Rash in racing games above all, but also in fighting games. In my opinion genres must exist so that people looking for games in a certain genre can easily find those games. So if a game has influences of multiple genres, it would be good imho to categorise it in more genres :) This would make Zelda an adventure game with action influences I think btw....
  10. CrazyGoon

    CrazyGoon Member

    Well, in the case of creating a database where the user can find a game with a half-accurate genre search, then sure, by all means. Besides, if your too restrictive with your genres, then not everybody will find the game they are looking for (using the genre search). This was what you were refering too, right?

    On the other hand, If I was to incorporate a genre search, I would keep my genre definitions as accurate as possible. Now - to counter the problem of not finding the type of game you were looking for (in your example, searching for Road Rash under a 'Fighting' genre), I would add an extra search field for "theme" - where the theme is the overall feel/ or style of the game (got nothing to do with the gameplay). So you could find Road Rash by either searching for "combat"/ "fighting" for the theme, or searching "Racing" for the genre - or both to really nail down your search.

    You see, I believe lots of people base their genres upon 'themes' (and amongst other things) these days, so it would be vital to include the 'theme' search. And whilst many people would probably use it over the 'genre' search (since it's easier to understand), those who take the time to learn up about genres will be able browse by genre, and know near-precisely how each game will play.

    In effect, I've taken the half-accurate genre search, and split it up into two different fields/ fliters - "genre" and "theme". This keeps the genres accurate, the un-needed genre hybrids to a minimum, and at the same time, allows the user to find a game using either of the searches - in which no matter whether you searched under "genres" or "themes", you will find the sort of game you were looking for... well, at least I hope so :p

    And in case your wondering, I do allow for genre hybrids - as long as the gameplay of the two genres is apparent in the game.
  11. Your idea about 'genres' and 'themes' isn't bad at all :) I think it's a great way to make it easier for people to find games. Although there's still one thing that kinda bothers me in setting up a database structure to categorise games (not that I intent to do such a thing): For example take the Beat em up genre. This would include Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter 2 type of games, but also Streets of Rage/Final Fight. But also games like Virtual On, even Mechwarrior possibly, and of course Tekken/Toshinden, etc.

    Now it is indeed possible to narrow down the genres, to create 4 beat em up related genres for the examples I gave. But wouldn't that create too much genres to start with? You could easily have 5 beat em up genres, 5 adventure genres, huge loads of sports genres, etc etc. And the difference between games like Streets of Rage and Mortal Kombat isn't really a case of difference in themes. So obviously, you either get huge amounts of genres, or a lesser amount of genres that each contain huge loads of games that still differ from each other like day and night.

    What's your point of view on this?
  12. CrazyGoon

    CrazyGoon Member

    Well, I'm quite surprised you are still intrigued by my answers :p And the point you make is very clear. Allow me to make my answer clear B) --

    To solve the problem, you will need to look at the gameplay for each of the games thoroughly - which is what I already have done :p (just touching up on a few things/ resolving any left-over conflicts). When it comes down to analysing the gameplay, you can always rely on asking "What do I have to do to progress through the game?". With all 8 of the games you listed, if you ask this question and answer it in thorough detail, you will discover (I hope) that the progression for some of the games you listed differs between the progression of others.

    I quickly analysed the gameplay for each of the games listed (thankfully, I've played each one of them, so it wasn't too hard ;)), and broke them down into 3 individual genres: Fighting, Beat-em-up, and Action. Now, if you are already associating other games which are entirely different (gameplay specific) to the genres listed, please ignore that for now. After all, the names of the genres at this stage aren't even important to what I'm trying to say ;). Now, these three genres all differ from each other (in terms of the gameplay) in significant ways, thus verifying their individuality.
    I won't go into describing each of he genres' individuality as of yet, just to keep this post relatively short (if that's even possible :lol:) and too the point. Just understand that these three differ ;)

    Ok. Now, the Fighting genre was broken down into further categories (sub-categories) - 2D gameplay, and 3D gameplay. This break-down was necessary for distinguishing the genre, as it was dealing with the gameplay - and we all know that 2D gameplay is much different to 3D gameplay. The Fighting genre with sub-category: 2D gameplay had (listed against it) an un-genre-related option indicating graphic style. This graphic style was either 2D or 3D. Confused? :lol: To summarise this bit - the Fighting genre was broken down into two sub-categories: 2D gameplay, and 3D gameplay. Then, the 2D gameplay type (of the Fighting genre) had an option that indicated the graphic style: either 2D or 3D. The reason why the graphics style is 'un-genre-related' is because it's not refering to the gameplay in anyway - just the visuals. It's an option (meaning optional) since when it comes to specifying genres, you only need to worry about the gameplay (the reason for which is covered in great detail in this thread. The option is listed primarily to indicate what the fighting games graphic style is.

    Now without further adieu, I will perform the ancient art of genrenisation upon the 8 games you listed:

    --->2D: Mortal Kombat (2D graphic style), Street Fighter II (2D graphic style),
    Tekken (3D graphic style), Toshinden (3D graphic style).
    --->3D: Virtual On

    Streets of Rage, Final Fight


    Quite nice genre categorization, if I do say so myself. Like I said, I wasn't going to go into the nitty-gritty of the make-up of each of those 3 genres (their individualism, as I have said before ;)), but this should make things a bit clearer, regarding certain genres ;)

    Now, like you have said about being able to narrow down the genres, I have indeed broken the genres into sub-categories - I use this word (opposed to sub-genre), because 'sub-genre' sounds like "a genre within a genre", which is not what it's meant to be perceived as ;). The difference between the progression of a genre and it's sub-category is non-existent, since it's roots (including the way you progress) is derived from it's parent. Case in point - a 2D Fighting game and a 3D Fighting games' type of gameplay (the "core" of the gameplay) still lays in the Fighting genre, though on a sub-class level, their gameplay (between each other) is slightly different - due to the fact that one is 2D oriented, and the other in 3D oriented.

    Where I'm going with this is that you may search for a game under the "Fighting" genre, and be thrown fighting games of all gameplay (and visual) types. From your second last line, I would say this would return a result that contains a 'lesser amount of genres that each contain huge loads of games', except these games don't differ from each other like day and night, since each one of their gameplays' can be traced back to a single genre: Fighting. You could further pin-point the gameplay type (the sub-category) by listing it along with the genre they are searching for. And if you want to be really picky (and everyone should have the choice of being picky!! :lol: :lol: ), then they could also specify the graphic style before the search! Cool stuff, eh? Now, I know you might be saying "But what about the themes?", because I haven't even talked about them yet. Well, the truth is didn't need to explain anything about 'themes' to solve this problem. Like you said, the difference between games like Streets of Rage and Mortal Kombat (presumably refering to the gameplay), wasn't a case of different themes, but rather a difference in genres!

    That should have covered most of it, but feel free to question more, if you see a possible flaw with this, or if you want me to re-phrase a part that you didn't fully comprehend. I think the main part of your misconception was due to not distinguishing the two genres of Beat-em-up, and Fighting. If it wasn't, then foooorgive me :), and steer me in the right direction ;)
  13. I'm gonna start commenting on your last alinea:

    I comprehend everything you say (and agree with it almost completely), and there is no misconception from my part - I know the difference between SoR type of games and MK/SF2 type of games. I generalized to see how you would solve the problem :)

    I've been thinking about making a site together with other peeps to categorize every single game ever made, together with all the new ones coming out. This would be a huge database with tens of thousands of games, and obviously the need of narrowing down genres would be bigger there than anywhere else. That's why I would like to see other people's views on categorizing games :) Note that I haven't been thinking very seriously about making such a site and that I will probably never begin making it :p

    I fully concur with your system of creating genres/categories. I mostly agree with your way of defining a game's genre as well - although I think you focus a bit too much on how you advance in the game. Personally I let the atmosphere of the game weigh in as well when defining the genre. Just because the atmosphere of a game is very important to me. Maybe advancing is more important to you. I think the way one looks into games generally is reflected in the away one would define genres. That's why I would still define Sword of Vermillion as an RPG :p

    I think that for this reason (personal perception as a guideline for personal definition of genres) it's nearly impossible to make a general definition of genres. I guess the best solution would be to see where a person like you, a person like me, a soundtrack lover, a battle system connaisseur, a character designer, etc etc all define their personal borders between genres, and then take the average of those borders. So if I would ever create a site like explained above, be prepared to state your views ;)
  14. CrazyGoon

    CrazyGoon Member

    Oh, you already knew that? Sorry then :lol: If I knew you were generalizing on purpose, I may have wrote as little as the last two paragraphs of that long post.

    About determining genres - I not saying it's as black and white as asking "how do I progress", but that was a good example - as in most cases, different genres have different means in progressing.

    And like you said, it's good to get feedback from other people - but if their responses aren't "bulletproof", prepare for people like me, who simply want nothing but the best answer possible, to come along and question things here and there, and point other things out here and there aswell - much like I did in that other thread ;).

    I myself, would prefer one agreed answer - then everyone would know where people are coming from when they say a game is of x genre. But I wouldn't agree on anything less than perfect. And when I say perfect, it's mainly refering to having absolutely no genre clashes from any single genre definition.

    As for it being near impossible to have one agreed answer - I believe that some answers are better than others - in this case, answers which are less prone to errors/ genre clashes. Although you may think it's near impossible to have one agreed answer, it's not for me when I break every answer down to how "bulletproof" it is. But even if you have one agreed answer, it should always be open towards any opinions regarding improvement - someone may be able to "break" your perceived "bulletproof" genre definitions, so they must at least be able to try ;)

    Anyways, I've vented enough responses to a thread like this. I'm not going to give you the genre I've deducted for Zelda, as I would need to explain it in full detail, and that would require too much explaining for a simple thread. But if you want to know games which also fall into the same genre as Zelda, then here's a few:

    Wonderboy in Monster World,
    Blaster Master.

    Whatever genre you decide to call Zelda as, don't forget to bring these games along for the ride ;) If you figure out why, then you may have just made your own genre definition! Thanks for the chat, I'll leave the rest of the thread for someone else now B)

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