Main No Side Paths No Exploration No Freedom Discussion

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12:38:03 AM Mar 19th 2010
If anyone can find it, there is a picture that would be a perfect example for this trope. It's from the Knights of the Dinner Table magazine and features a map B.A. drew for his campaign in order to keep his group from engaging in their normal Off the Rails gameplay. It features the castle they're in, the bad guy's castle they have to get to, and a single road connecting them. On one side of the road there is a forest (labeled unpassable) and on the other a mountain range (also labeled unpassable).
11:56:31 PM Jun 14th 2016
edited by MyFinalEdits
I have pulled this example from the page:

  • The game itself was the most linear game in the series when it came out, with the number of sidequests having been greatly lowered from previous games, the game's areas being explored in a set order, and the travel between Hyrule and the Twilight Realm being imposed and set by the story, in contrast with the more free way the dual world mechanic was handled by previous games.

And heavily rewritten the following one:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was probably the most linear game in the series, a common complaint. This was pretty much a result of the removal of an overworld connecting all areas, the number of towns being reduced to one, and the outside areas being turned into dungeons of sorts (whereas they were more open fields in previous games), greatly reducing exploration. Possibly as a response to complaints about it, Nintendo did a 180 after it, with the far more open A Link Between Worlds and the open world game Breath of the Wild. both cases because the trope is being misused (and were rife with Word Cruft and misindentation). The concept of this trope is not just about "linearity" alone. When a game is linear purely because of the progression's order, it's a case of Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness at level 1 or 2. It's about linearity due to the architecture and layout of the levels preventing the player from taking detours. Linear as Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword are (and yes, we all know they are linear, there's no use in ignoring the Elephant in the Living Room), they only display this trope in the areas and dungeons whose layout and geography are literally devoid of alternate paths to prevent the player from taking detours (either to reach the intended goal in a different way, or simply do something optional) or doing the mandatory objectives in any order. Case in point, dungeons like the Temple of Time, Skyview Temple or the surface mainlands in Skyward Sword (the forest, the volcano and the desert).

Also, when adding examples, please remember to not boast whether the games mentioned are "probably the most linear" of their series or genre, because it's both a violation of Examples Are Not Arguable and an abuse of weasel words. Just state what parts of the games are linear and why.
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