YMMV / The Legend of Zelda

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Tropes across media

  • Americans Hate Tingle: The Trope Namer, thanks to Tingle's debut in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • Awesome Bosses: Has its own page. Some of the best boss battles in video game history come from this series.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page as well. The series has given some of the most iconic tunes in gaming for good reason.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Link is pretty heavily subject to this, as he's a Heroic Mime that the player is meant to be free to project their own personality onto, while at the same time he shows some broad, yet distinctive personality traits informed by his actions and the animation (both facial expressions and Body Language)note . Mix these two elements together and you have a recipe for having almost as many interpretations of Link as people who have played the series.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Possibly due to this trope, the "cartoonish" games in the series get lower sales and less attention outside of the core Zelda fanbase than the "realistic" games. (In quotes as they are referring only to art style.)
  • Author's Saving Throw: From Skyward Sword onwards there's the "Hero Mode". A higher-difficulty mode where enemies inflict double damage and there are no healing items such as hearts, meaning the player has no choice but to rely on healing potions only. This mode was obviously created for veteran fans and skilled players who considered the franchise had become way too easy since the N64 games, to the point where it was detrimental to the experience for them.
  • Broken Base: You don't get to become one of the biggest, most respected franchises in your medium without dividing people to some extent. Here are some of the most popular highlights.
    • One of the biggest, yet most subtle divides in the fandom comes from the idea of what makes a Zelda game... a Zelda game! The franchise has become more and more multi-faceted over the years, and thus different people may like it for completely different reasons. Because of this, the fans often find themselves in direct opposition to one another. Sometimes to the extreme that one element may be considered essential to the franchise by one group, but another may consider it even detrimental. The elements that are argued the most are the exploration component, the puzzle solving (especially in the dungeons), and the lore. But there are also plenty of people who will mention the ever changing art style, the story telling, the atmosphere, or even the combat system, especially the boss fights. There's even a fair share of fans who think the answer is "all of the above", and thus there is no point in trying to single out just one aspect and call it THE "Zelda secret".
    • Another one of the biggest, and this time, most visible ones is that every single entry of the series ever since Ocarina of Time (if not even earlier than that) has received accusations of It's the Same, Now It Sucks and They Changed It, Now It Sucks at the same time. One second you find a comment trashing the game for not changing the Zelda formula at all, demeaning its new features as "gimmicks", and the next second you find another one that trashes it because those "gimmicks" are new features that totally change (and ruin) the Zelda formula. Yahtzee even managed to do both in one review, bashing Skyward Sword for being formulaic, then for not holding to its own formulas.
    • The fans are also divided on whether Cel Shading or "realism" is better for the series.
    • Fans and critics frequently argue about which game in the series is the best, often escalating to arguments where (insert game X here) is dismissed as "absolute crap" while (insert game Y here) is objectively the greatest game of all time. This is despite the fact that almost all major Zelda games are loved by critics and well-received by the general public.
    • The four Zelda remakes released during the 3DS/Wii U era. Did they change too much or too little? Were they a good way to fill in the long gap between console Zelda games or were they partially responsible for that gap to begin with?
    • Since The Wind Waker, one of the most prominent debates, not only in the fan base, but also among critics, is whether the franchise should feature voice acting. Even after Breath of the Wild revealed that it was going to bring it to franchise at last, the debate was far from over. The two opposing forces are:
      • Those who think the franchise should not feature voice acting at all. They argue the franchise hasn't used them for so long, they would feel out of place at this point. They also think it's better to leave the characters' voices to the player's imagination. Plus, it would mean either giving Link a voice (which would destroy one of the key characteristics that makes him unique) or make all characters speak except him (which for them would be extremely weird). There's also the concern about localization, and what would it mean to dub the game to the different languages. But there are people who say the solution to this would be for Nintendo to create a fictional "Hyrulean" language, akin to the gibberish that characters like Midna or Fi have already displayed.
      • Those who think they should totally use them. They argue the lack of voices makes the games feel outdated, and it's detrimental to the immersion. Especially considering the modern entries in the franchise use cut-scenes prominently, where the lack of voices becomes especially jarring. As for the issue about Link, most people in this camp usually propose to keep him silent (which is the approach Breath of the Wild takes), arguing that it wouldn't be nearly as weird as people in the opposing side makes it out to be. Others claim that, even if they gave Link a voice, that wouldn't need to destroy his character, since there has been already a successful attempt of giving him a more fleshed out personality in the manga by Akira Himekawa, which has been embraced by most of the fan base.
    • Do the Zelda franchise and Link himself truly deserve to be Nintendo's biggest Sacred Cows among their series and characters respectively? There are those who agree, hence their popularity in the first place, and then there are those who view them with Hype Backlash and Hype Aversion (especially given how frequently Zelda games and characters win in fan rankings and popularity polls); in the series' case, many acclaimed Zelda games suffer from Seinfeld Is Unfunny down the line, while in Link's case, he's occasionally criticized for being a Vanilla Protagonist (particularly among those who don't effectively see him as an Escapist Character).
    • The "Should Link be allowed to be a girl?" debate. The idea had been around for a while in the early 2010's, but it was only proposed by a small and quite minority. Things changed with the E3 2014 reveal trailer of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which showed a Link that looked more androgynous than usual, to the point that it created a massive Viewer Gender Confusion. After that, and the confirmation that this Link was indeed a male, the debate jumped to the forefront of the fandom, with all different kinds of opinions on the matter.
    • To a lesser degree, the Hero Mode. Supporters welcome the addition and consider the difficulty boost the franchise needed and forces the player to be more careful during combat and plan ahead better their healing resources. Detractors think it's just cheap Fake Difficulty, since only damage is increased while enemy AI and layout remain unchanged, and thus consider the mode meaningless.
    • The games in the series released from 2006 to 2015 (Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, Skyward Sword, Spirit Tracks, and TriForce Heroes) are noted for being particularly and consistently divisive among fans, and generally for the same reasons among all of them (even though all of them received high marks from reviewers as well as sales). Detractors of the era cite issues like arbitrary padding, tired storytelling, low difficulty, poor item usage, and poor art design choices. Fans of the era defend these games by citing highlights like the greater focus on story, conveying richer characters and lore, creative ideas for items, and interesting mechanics stemming from the unique features of the Wii and DS/3DS. There's little middle ground for this period of the series.
  • Complete Monster: Zant and Yuga. See those pages for more details.
  • Contested Sequel: ANY of the console games that follow up on Ocarina of Time, there's no arguing against it. Skyward Sword even became this before it was even released!
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • According to critics, the series has stayed very strong throughout its entire lifespan. You wouldn't know this from all the fan complaints about new titles in the series, especially Skyward Sword.
    • Hyrule Warriors has gotten middling reviews akin to a Licensed Game, and nowhere near the stellar reviews of the rest of the series. Zelda fans, however, adore it.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Getting killed by Cuccos in games where attacking them summons an endless aggressive flock of them. The Hero of Time, slain by a bunch of chickens.
  • Die for Our Ship: Anything that threatens the possibility of a Link/Zelda pairing is violently purged. Zelda herself can suffer this when other choices are available (Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess).
  • Dork Age: The CD-i games. Their sting wasn't numbed at all by the fact that Nintendo took its sweet time developing Ocarina of Time, so there were five years between 1993 and 1998 when no Zelda games except for those were being released.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Many have cropped up over the years, to the point of getting their own page. The short version is any character who a) has a major secret in their backstory that changes the player's perception of them and/or b) experiences Character Development.
  • Epileptic Trees: Oh, boy, is this franchise famous for this! Both because of the narrative style used in the games and the way the developers explain themselves about it (sometimes in contradictory ways), fans just can't get enough of speculating about the mythos and continuity. To be more specific:
    • The timeline alone is a big piece of fanon madness. Before Hyrule Historia came out to explain it in 2011, it was impossible to find a web site or forums of the series (either fan or otherwise) that did NOT have at least one big article and/or open thread discussing this issue at large, with big, crazy theories to boot. And after Hyrule Historia came out, it didn't die. It just evolved into discussing the points that were left ambiguous, debating about the contradictions between the artbook, the interviews to Miyamoto and Aonuma and the games themselves, tiding up the remaining loose ends, or trying to give alternate interpretations to the explanations that were deemed unsatisfactory. Especially crazy because Nintendo put an explicit MST3K Mantra disclaimer in the very same official timeline, explaining that the development team, for the most part, thinks about gameplay first and story later. But fans still treat this topic as Serious Business.
    • After Hyrule Historia was finally accepted as the biggest (albeit not 100% undisputed) authority discussing the timeline up to Skyward Sword, the fanbase then started to focus on in which place of the official timeline would fall the games that were released afterwards. Although at first it was straight-forward enough (A Link Between Worlds being a distant, yet direct sequel to A Link to the Past), with Breath of the Wild, timeline theorists came back with the old energy from the pre-Skyward Sword days back in full force. They analyzed the trailers and demo footage practically frame by frame looking for clues that would answer the mystery, Zapruder Film style. Things got Up to Eleven after the game came out, since the game has clues that can be interpreted in so many different ways, the Zelda fan base has gone in a total frenzy. Namely, the game has references to all three timelines, even though some of them are ridiculously hidden (to the point that some of them were only found after comparing the dubs for all languages). So it's not clear if it belongs to one of the individual timelines, if it means all timelines were converged off-screen, or even if the game is a stealth reboot altogether.
    • Even leaving new games aside, there are still tons of theories around the web discussing points in the already established timeline that weren't addressed by Hyrule Historia, like the full history of each race (the Sheikah and Gerudo are particularly prone to it), or the fate of secondary characters. Mostly minor stuff, but still strong enough to sustain entire YouTube channels dedicated to this topic alone.
  • Escapist Character: Part of Link's popularity as a character stems from this and how players can, in addition to wishing they were him, largely project their own personality (or an otherwise desired, idealized personality) onto him as he's a Heroic Mime.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ganon(dorf) is one of Nintendo's coolest and most well-loved villains in all his forms, and is fondly remembered by fans for his overwhelming power, Machiavellian evil schemes, and excellent boss fights.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: As explained in Hyrule Historia, there is a third timeline that also split from Ocarina of Time. What causes it? The hero failing, something that fans didn't expect at all due to obviously not thinking Game Overs to be 'canon' in any way. Plus, since the timeline was an endless fountain of Epileptic Trees for over a decade, many fans disliked those explanations which invalidated their own theories.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • This trope was originally named after the Big Bad Ganondorf, aka Ganon, from The Legend of Zelda, who is commonly believed to have gotten an additional "N" in his name in the original game. This also isn't an artifact of the Japanese version as explained on gannon-banned.com. The proper Japanese is, in fact, "Ganon"; the only location where this mistake was made is on the title screen. It is Ganon in the Japanese and English manuals as well, notably.
    • Claiming that there is only one Link, that the games were released in chronological order, etc., is liable to get you laughed out of any timeline forum. The timeline given in Hyrule Historia is, for the most part, canon.
      • It doesn't help that Nintendo itself (at least the American branch) treats Link as if there was only one Link out of simplicity (the site is run by some of Nintendo's marketing staff, so they skew a lot of facts to make the games more desirable to outsiders; using the site as any sort of authority is actually a good way to get edit blocked on the Zelda Wikis).
      • Don't diss Ocarina of Time on the Internet!
      • Also, saying that Super Smash Bros. or Soulcalibur II is canon to the Zelda timeline can sometimes evoke serious hatred.
    • The "Tetraforce" theory, the theory that there are four pieces to the Triforce, receives quite a bit of hate. That it has been officially Jossed should say something of the matter.
    • The "Link is Dead in Majora's Mask" theory stirs up a lot of hate, especially after the popular Game Theory (Web Show) popularized it and many casual fans and observers took it at face value, despite the fact that, that episode came out years after Hyrule Historia, which completely josses it right off the bat.
    • Call Link "Zelda" around any LoZ fan and prepare to get yelled at. While it used to be fairly common among non-fans and casual fans, nowadays it's a fairly obvious Troll.
    • For your own safety, don't call the Zelda games (except maybe The Adventure of Link) RPGs.
    • After being Vindicated by History, it has become a serious crime to refer to The Wind Waker as "kiddy" or "childish" in certain fan groups. Link stabbing Ganondorf through the head, and the fact that the game takes place in what turns out to be a post-apocalyptic world may be a big contribution to this.
    • Also, don't call Link an "elf" in front of a Zelda fan unless you want to be slapped upside your face for being a complete n00b. You'll also probably get a huge speech about how Link is NOT an elf but rather a Hylian, the main race in the games. According to every non-human entity in those games, Hylians are humans. Presumably the ears are just long compared to other, normal-eared human races in the games (such as the ones inhabiting the countries used for the settings of the Oracle games, who have round ears) as Hylians don't have, for example, extended lifespans or other traits associated with elves. It doesn't help that some early materials did say hylians had greater magical ability then most people at one time. The A Link to the Past guide saying the ancient hylians, unlike the modern day Hyruleans (most of whom also had Pointy Ears) of Hyrule, had access to advanced magic. It seems the only difference Hylians and humans, apart from the pointy ears, is that Hylians are the descendants of the Goddess Hylia (in Zelda's form), while humans, we can assume, don't have the blood of Hylia. Aside from Link and Zelda always being Hylians, this doesn't seem to affect anything. The best way of putting it would be that Hylians are human, but humans aren't Hylian. Hylians can therefore be compared to a race, within the species. A common Fanon is Hylians have magic abilities round eared humans don't, but this is contradicted by many Hylian characters expressing skepticism at magic, while many round eared human characters are shown as skilled magic users. Still, don't refer to Hylians as elves.
    • Majora's Mask is not "Zelda 2," no matter how much Sequel Displacement Ocarina of Time created.
    • A Link Between Worlds is not a remake of A Link to the Past, but a sequel taking place in the same version of Hyrule. Certainly not helped by Shigeru Miyamoto originally considering remaking it before Eiji Aonuma convinced him to make an original game.
    • In regard to Hyrule Warriors, Linkle is her own character, and not a gender-swapped incarnation of Link.
    • With the exception of the Dark Link fight, never say anything positive about Ocarina of Time's Water Temple. Same goes for Majora's Mask's Great Bay Temple and Twilight Princess's Lakebed Temple to a lesser extent.
    • Denying anything written in Hyrule Historia as being "unofficial" is likely to get what you say disregarded. Being that it was written by the series's production team and overseen by Miyamoto and Aonuma, it should be regarded as canonical as the games themselves. It being the source that Jossed the aforementioned fan theories, while canonizing others, is only one reason most fans say it shouldn't be doubted.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • In general, with games that imitate elements from the Zelda franchise to a certain extend. The most popular examples are ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Ōkami and, to a lesser extend, Darksiders.
    • Related to Shadow of the Colossus, there's also a fierce rivalry between the games' respective horses, Epona and Agro. To their fans, they compete for the position of "most iconic video game horse ever".
    • During the The Fifth Generation of Console Video Games, there was also another one with the Final Fantasy series, especially Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII (and also by extension, Link Vs. Cloud). Both franchises were probably the most iconic ones of their respective consoles, and people used to compare them out of their fantasy settings (despite the fact that they were for the most part very different). So it was a natural extension of that generation Console Wars. Just like with the previous console war's Mario vs. Sonic rivalry, an official Link vs. Cloud fight was finally made possible when Cloud was added to the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
    • Later on, The Elder Scrolls (particularly Skyrim, since it and Skyward Sword were Dueling Works) and Dark Souls, albeit to a lesser degree. Mostly because both franchises focus on elements that are considered part of the core of the earlier Zelda titles. Some Zelda fans moved on to these two franchises since they consider they expanded on those elements better than Zelda itself.
  • Fanon: The series is one of the most prolific sources of inspiration for fan related works: fan fiction, fan arts, fan remixes and covers, web sites, etc. It has its own sub-page
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Technically the vast majority of them, especially Link/Zelda, though there's been an exception or two over the years.
  • Fan Wank: The endless, endless confusion over "the timeline," something officially confirmed, but NEVER officially explained. Even after Hyrule Historia explained it all, it's still going, even if discussing different points (See Epileptic Trees above).
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With Metroid, due to both franchises being Nintendo's most famous "serious" series with games considered among Nintendo's best; there are a ton of fan theories about Samus being descended from Link himself. That said, sometimes the fandoms get into arguments over whether Link or Samus is a better protagonist, as well as the relative quality of both series.
    • The series have a friendly relationship with the Super Mario Bros. fandom since they're both Nintendo flagship franchises and highly revered. They may some times butt heads over who have the 'better games' or who would win in a fight (Mario vs. Link, Peach vs. Zelda, Bowser vs. Ganon), but it's usually in good fun.
    • A significant number of fans of Metal Gear are also fond of the Zelda series, and the similarities between the Snakes and Links are often brought up. It certainly helps that Snake and Link have met each other during Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and that Otacon lampshaded their Not So Different method of saving the world in a bonus CODEC call on the Shadow Moses arena.
  • Genius Bonus: Link's steed Epona is named after the Gaulish goddess of horses.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • While wildly popular elsewhere, the Zelda franchise isn't quite as popular in its native Japan (but still popular).
    • In many Western gaming communities, Link is Nintendo's most popular character, even surpassing company mascot Mario. This even has some effect outside of said gaming communities; Link's amiibo has consistently been the best-selling amiibo figure in Western regions.
  • Goddamned Bats: An early example, though Keese and Fire Keese are hardly the only ones.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Due to the series' and its characters' widespread Sacred Cow treatment, some people are quick to label popular Zelda games and characters as "overrated". On many sites, most infamously GameFAQs and Dorkly, Zelda games and characters frequently dominate gaming- or Nintendo-related popularity polls and consequently bring up this trope. Even one-shot characters such as Midna or Skull Kid, or games that aren't near-universally praised such as The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, can end up outperforming more famous/iconic characters and more lauded games, respectively. Zelda Informer even has an article on the alleged "overratedness" of the franchise, acknowledging that the excessive hype is unhealthy for the franchise and that it is "simply praised for its name's sake".
    • This seems to be a driving factor behind the fan-defined "Zelda Cycle", where a game that was once universally acclaimed and considered the best game in the series suddenly falls out of favor and is deemed "overrated", while a game that was once criticized and deemed as "underrated" takes its place and is Vindicated by History.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The main character is Link. The girl is Zelda. Daring to say otherwise will get you a lot of ire on forums.
  • Iron Woobie: Link. Even when he earns his happy ending, the nature of the cycle he's trapped in means he'll be back for another round with the forces of Evil.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks: A common complaint about entries after the N64 era among veteran fans, especially those who grew up with the first four games.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: As noted under Broken Base, the franchise's problem is it has too many Godzillas. Some players want to explore the vast worlds, some players want to do dungeon-delving, some players love combat against monsters, some prefer the puzzles, and some players just want to immerse themselves in the epic lore. Each game in the series has tried to put different amounts of focus into each of these aspects, so good luck getting these fans to agree which game is the "best".
  • LGBT Fanbase: In addition to causing Stupid Sexy Flanders moments in straight fans, a gay magazine voted Link as the hottest video game character of all time. As an older Hunk, Ganondorf also has a following in the Bara community.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Though Link's canonical love interest for many fans is Zelda herself, he's also shipped with many of the girls in any game he's in, Ocarina of Time perhaps being the most prominent. Go to ff.net and see how many ship fics you can find that don't involve Link.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Ganondorf is apparently Killed Off for Real once or twice a decade. By this stage, we know better.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Ganondorf has gotten very skilled at making his enemies do all his work for him over his career.
    • Yuga managed to hijack Ganon.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser: Tingle is a 35 year-old man who dresses in a green onesie and wishes to become a fairy. He's meant to be a Manchild and is loved by the Japanese fanbase... but the Western fanbase loves to loathe him. When you have a trope called "Americans Hate Tingle" named after you, you know you're a memetic loser.
  • Memetic Molester:
  • Memetic Mutation: Too many to list here... so that's why it has its own page.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Ocarina of Time tends to be used as a measuring stick, by both the fandom and professional critics, to judge the sequels that followed. This led to each game getting some form of It's the Same / It Changed, Now It Sucks criticism. This even extended to its own remake, where most of the negative criticism was due to the lack of new features rather than the nature of the game itself.
  • Older Than They Think: The completed Triforce is actually the emblem of the Japanese Hojo clan, which has been around in various forms since at least the 12th century.
  • One True Pairing: Link and Zelda. This pairing has been since the very beginning and is still on top. The only other pairing that comes even close would be Link/Midna, but has the disadvantage of appearing in only one game that feels more like an exception, rather than a norm. Plus, in recent years Nintendo seems to be playing up the romance angle in their relationship, going as far as heavily inferring a Reincarnation Romance (downright confirming it in Hyrule Warriors. Even if this game is not canon, there are heavy hints in the main series as well, so it fits the meta-narrative).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Goes hand in hand with the situation described in the previous point. In Western countries, the Link / Zelda ship is known as "ZeLink", while in Japan it would be "LinZel" (Or more accurately, リンゼル "RinZeru")
  • Protagonist Title Fallacy: Poor Link is one of, if not THE best known example of this trope in the entire video game medium, to the point of Memetic Mutation ("What if Zelda was a girl?"). Ever since the first game in the franchise, newcomers tend to think "Zelda" is the name of the green-clothed hero.
  • Sacred Cow:
    • The series, as well as its protagonist Link, are unanimously praised and loved by the gaming community in the west — even more than Super Mario Bros., Nintendo's own flagship series and one that's sold many more games than Zelda and other franchises by a huge margin.
    • While the core fanbase is split as to the overall quality of each game, three in particular — A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask — are treated as this and adamantly defended from any sort of criticism, although this raises accusations of Seinfeld Is Unfunny and Hype Backlash. The Wind Waker gets this treatment to a somewhat lesser extent.
  • Scapegoat Creator: For a time, roughly between Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, a lot of fans used to blame Eiji Aonuma, the current main producer of the series, of every single thing that was supposedly wrong with the series. Of course, when something did go right for them, then they praise Miyamoto for it. However, since Miyamoto's own creative prowess started to seemingly wane during the 2010's, fans have started to see Aonuma in a better light, and now is largely considered a worthy heir of the series.
  • Sequel Displacement: Most of the series' current fans came in after Ocarina of Time and it was surprisingly common to see Majora's Mask referred to as "Zelda 2," even though the real Zelda II was made ten years before Ocarina.
  • Shipping: A rabbit hole that runs too deep to get into detail here. Long story short, many fans really like to argue about Link's perfect mate, both in the series as a whole and on a game-to-game basisnote . Ironically enough, even people who don't like the idea of shipping in the series tend to be just as passionate about Link not being paired up with anyone as people who do want to see him paired up.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Each game is bound to have at least one sidequest or minigame that completely distracts from the main story. In fact, some games make the story seem like a minor annoyance than a matter of importance in the game.
  • Super Couple: Again, Link and Zelda. They're Nintendo's best-known romance, apart from Mario/Peach, to the point where even non-fans know about Link/Zelda. The series never stops handling out Ship Teases like candy, and Skyward Sword had their evolved relationship as one of its main draws.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Some fans feel this way about the series, particularly the Toon Link and Classic Link games, believing that it needs to be mature and gritty to be any good, though the actual content is a different matter entirely. Twilight Princess was a conscious effort to avert this trope after said Toon Link games.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Inexperienced players have been known to mistake Link for a girl. This became Hilarious in Hindsight after Linkle was announced.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Actually a recurring element, to the point where the process has been nicknamed the "Zelda Cycle". Since Majora's Mask, every time a new console game is released, it's immediately panned by what seems to be most fans, while the previous title (which also was mercilessly panned when it came out) is suddenly praised as a master piece.note 
    • The narrative of the games as a whole. Despite the fact that Nintendo is very upfront about the fact that they think about gameplay first and narrative second (or maybe even third), there is a growing sincere appreciation for the stories and characters told in the games as time goes on. Overall, they are deemed simple, but really engaging nonetheless, hitting a good mix of High Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy, with a healthy dose of Fairy Tale for good measure. This is specially true for the 3D entries: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and even Twilight Princess to a smaller, but still significant degree, have narratives that weren't particularly praised when they first came out, but nowadays a growing number of fans state them as one of the key components for their enjoyment of the games. The narrative of Skyward Sword was even largely praised practically from day one, to the point that it's considered the game's saving grace among some of its detractors. And that's BEFORE we get into the Fan Wank shenanigans of the lore and continuity, AKA the timeline. The fact that the deliberate lack of story focus of Breath of the Wild was heavily criticized by this demographic, specially when in comparison to the aforementioned entries, only cements this development further.
  • Writer Cop Out:
    • The addition of the "Link is Defeated" timeline is seen this way by many, since it turns that part of the timeline into a "What If?" scenario instead of having a stronger explanation involving legitimate and certain events that lead up to the defeat. And it opens up the question of why there aren't other timelines created by "Game Overs" in games of the series other than Ocarina of Time, or why did the split happened specifically at the Final Battle, for that matter, rather than at any other point in the story.
    • Some people consider the creation of Linkle in Hyrule Warriors to be this. For said people, Nintendo basically took the easy way out in the whole "Should Link be allowed to be a girl?" debate, and deem it not even close to good enough.

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