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Spinoff Or Mainline?

Joined
May 11, 2011
It's hard to tell without playing the game, but do you think this game will fall into "Spinoff" or "Mainline"?

I mean, what is even "Spinoff" or "Mainline" anyway? Because the lines seem to have been blurred. I guess it is down to how one defines Spinoff.

I have always thought that the mainline zelda games have been everything except for the Crossbow training, Hyrule warriors, Age of calamity, Cadence of Hyrule, and anything obvious like the Tingle games.

Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, and Triforce Heroes are more in the grey area for me. I tend to have them listed in mainline, but they stick out like a sore thumb really, and part of me thinks they should be classed as spinoffs - but they're too mainline to be Spinoffs lol.... I am getting the same impression with Echoes Of Wisdom, purely because you play as Zelda. I know the series is called "The Legend Of Zelda", but still, in the context of the series itself, Link has always been the main protagonist. Or to be more exact, an incarnation of Link as not all Links are the same person. So I guess by that logic, Echoes Of Wisdom could indeed be mainline - you may not play as Link, but Link is not the same Link in all games anyway. Confusing scenario. And who knows, maybe you do play as Link in some parts of this game. Even though Zelda is obviously the main player character this time around.

I just don't know whether to class this as mainline or not. Is there even an exact answer anymore? Or is it now down to the player's own head-canon?
 

A Link In Time

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To me mainline games are more about the structure of progressing through dungeons in an overworld until you eventually reach the end destination and fight the final boss.

I think Echoes of Wisdom will utilize this format so it's a mainline game to me.

I agree that the multiplayer games are a gray area, but I would classify them as spin-offs due to their level based structure.
 

twilitfalchion

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Gameplay-wise this looks to be about the same kind of formula as the other 2D entries, so I see no reason to look at this as anything but mainline as of now. Different protagonist means nothing when the gameplay itself defines mainline vs. spin-off.
 

A Link In Time

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ZD Legend
Wouldn’t that make Cadence of Hyrule mainline?

Heck, that would also make BotW and TotK spinoffs technically.
Honestly, I've barely played Cadence of Hyrule because the rhythm based gameplay was a huge turnoff for me so no comment on that game.

But BotW and TotK definitely use the dungeon structure even if it's in a different way than past entries with most dungeons being optional.
 
Joined
May 11, 2011
Wouldn’t that make Cadence of Hyrule mainline?

Heck, that would also make BotW and TotK spinoffs technically.
Dunno about BOTW and TOTK being spinoffs because they match the description of mainline that A Link In Time made?

Both have overworlds. Both have dungeons. You can skip dungeons if you want, if that's what you meant?

BOTW's dungeons are very different, as in the divine beasts, but they are still dungeons - just different ones.


Different protagonist means nothing when the gameplay itself defines mainline vs. spin-off.
Donkey Kong Country would agree with you.
 

thePlinko

What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
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But BotW and TotK definitely use the dungeon structure even if it's in a different way than past entries.
But those “dungeons” are 1.Not required in any capacity, and 2.Fundamentally different from any of the dungeons that came before them. The structure is different because there is no structure this time.
 

A Link In Time

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ZD Legend
But those “dungeons” are 1.Not required in any capacity, and 2.Fundamentally different from any of the dungeons that came before them. The structure is different because there is no structure this time.
The dungeons being optional doesn't mean they're still not a core component of the experience. BotW and TotK are fundamentally more similar to A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time than to Link's Crossbow Training or Tri Force Heroes. Yeah, you no longer have a key item, and instead you're just activating 5 of something, so their structure is different, but the essence of the experience remains with solving puzzles, opening chests, and fighting a dungeon boss.
 

thePlinko

What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
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The dungeons being optional doesn't mean they're still not a core component of the experience.
That’s exactly what it means. There’s significantly less emphasis placed on gating progression based on which dungeons have been completed and items obtained.

BotW and TotK are fundamentally more similar to A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time than to Link's Crossbow Training or Tri Force Heroes.
I’ll give you Link’s Crossbow Training, but Triforce Heroes is absolutely debatable if only because theres some actual semblance of item gating.

Yeah, you no longer have a key item, and instead you're just activating 5 of something, so their structure is different, but the essence of the experience remains with solving puzzles, opening chests, and fighting a dungeon boss.
Solving puzzles that are barely puzzles, opening chests that are always completely optional, and fighting a dungeon boss that’s at its core completely different from any of the bosses in the classic styled games. The only comparisons between the classic dungeons and the Nu-Zelda dungeons are completely superfluous.
 

Daku Rinku

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To me canon usually requires the triad: Link, Zelda, and Ganon. The story involves Link having to collect something form all dungeons to face Ganon at the end.
 

mαrkαsscoρ

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I know mechanically it'll play pretty differently but having an overworld and presumably dungeons(?) it seems mainline enough to me

plus this might be a bit trivial but title doesn't really suggest spin off, if they wanted to convey spin off then it probably would've been titled differently than "The Legend of Zelda: [subtitle]"
 

thePlinko

What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
ZD Legend
For me, it's a mainline game because Mr. Aonuma introduced as "the next entry in the Legend of Zelda series".
Yeah, and Miyamoto directly referred to Luigi’s Mansion as “the next in the Mario series” when they first announced it. Sometimes you gotta take what these guys have to say with a grain of salt.
 

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