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Does anyone else have a complicated relationship with the Zelda franchise?

april6e

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May 19, 2020
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I greatly dislike puzzles so I have this thing with Zelda games despite it being my favorite franchise where I get into a dungeon and my hearts sinks because I know I'll be stuck during 2 hours of pure puzzles. I think this is why I enjoyed BOTW so much. You spend most of your time in that game in the world, the game has the shortest dungeons in the series (only 4 "real" ones) and the shrine puzzles are short and simple to the point where they don't feel entirely tedious when they only last 5 minutes.

I agree with your point with the older games being too linear. At every waking moment, the games overly hold your hands and force you to hunt down a specific item to progress and you can't do anything else besides do that. Nor can you explore because you are gated by having late game dungeons items that allow you to safely transverse certain areas or unlock an area.
 
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IKSTUGA

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Jan 9, 2019
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I've started to appreciate the series more as I've grown older. Most adventure games these days are either walking sims or ubisoft style open worlds. Zelda really stands out with its thought inducing level/world design and unique artstyle.
 
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Georges Chiellins

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Jul 13, 2021
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Don't care for the franchise anymore, waste of my time.

Went from spending a large chunk of my hard earned student money into the franchise, lot of my time too. Lost interest with Twilight. Only game I played since was Breath of the wild, which even though I wasn't expecting much was a disappointment.
 

SCB3

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Nov 24, 2014
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Kind of, I love the series a lot but for me its the lack of direction that hurts it, I don't mean in terms of gameplay but rather story, its overly complicated adn too open for interpretation to the point where its really easy to get lost

For example, (And I know I'm gonna miss stuff here)

  • we have Zelda and 2, both the same Link, Zelda and Ganon - Fine, not an issue there,
  • then LTTP comes out and not only is it a different Link, but his hair is Pink for some reason, between those we have Links Awakening, which is all a dream! (Its the same Link as the first 2 games though)
  • the next game in the console series is OoT - a New Link, switches between Kid and then an Adult due to time travelling, ok thats fine LTTP did similar
  • MM is next, a Sequel to OoT, cool no issue
Ok so we're establishing a pattern here of Link, Zelda and Ganon (Though I think he is always the same Ganon?) being different characters through time.

This is where the timeline splits, so in OoT Link dies as a child and Adult link still exists, this leads to this screenshot released before BotW (it was less clear before this btw) Read from Bottom Up



Ok, so the obvious question now is where does BotW fit in? Well we don't know fully, the theory I see most is its a Remake of Zelda 1, or thats its a storyline reboot that also features Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (A game I've yet to play)

And people say Kingdom Hearts is convoluted....
 
Mar 16, 2021
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I started really getting into games with the GameCube, so the first Zelda games I was exposed to were Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. I saw my friend play Wind Waker to completion before, and saw him play OoT and MM on N64.

The first Zelda game I think I finished was Twilight Princess. To me (a teenager at the time) it looked a lot cooler than WW and I was so hyped for it I bought the Wii version despite not being able to actually find a Wii, while also buying the GC version so I wouldn’t have to wait to play it. I ended up beating it like 4 times on GC then 4 more when I got a Wii.

I then finally finished Wind Waker, as before I would always get bored and quit during the Triforce hunt section. Then I found out there was a GC version of OoT so I got that. I couldn’t play MM until it was on the Wii Virtual Console but I’ve never finished that because I honestly really hate overarching time limits in games.

Overall I think OoT and TP are the better games than WW and MM. The latter games have interesting concepts but end up skimping out on Dungeons and have more tedious side quests IMO. I’m sure many would disagree but most 3D Zelda games follow a certain formula with slight tweaks, so they’re all solid and the differences will be enjoyed by different people subjectively. SS is in a tough spot because it has great Dungeons and a good amount of them too, but everything in between is fucking terrible. If it didn’t have so many mandatory collectathons (light seeds, melody notes, etc.) I’d probably like it as much as OoT and TP.

BotW is curious because the best parts of it have the least to do with the Zelda formula. The open world and way physics work and ways it lets you approach things is great, but the mini dungeon shrines are too segmented and made easy in order to be tackled in any order. The 4 main Dungeons also feel lackluster and short, except for one (I think either the Zora or Gerudo one, I forget which I played it once at launch), which was a real head scratcher and felt worthwhile.

I personally prefer the older formula before BotW, and think they should’ve just cut down on the in-between-dungeon-bullshit, but I think they kinda needed to reinvent the series to keep it relevant sales-wise; and it worked.
 
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AJUMP23

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Sep 29, 2020
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I don't have any complicated relationships with any games. I play them as long as I like them, and stop playing when I don't.

I do enjoy the Zelda series, and started with Zelda 1, was confused by Zelda 2 but still enjoyed it. Played OOT and loved it, played Skyward sword and hated it, BoTW is incredible in every way. I still think Link to the Past is my favorite.
 
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TheInfamousKira

I'll see you on reseterror!
Jul 13, 2020
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I don't really have a complex relationship. Ocarina of Time was my first videogame. Went back and played the rest that were out at the time, caught up when Wind Waker was first coming out and proceeded to play it, FSA, Minish Cap, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Haven't touched any the DS games, or anything starting with ALBW and on, not out of malice, but just because I haven't owned Nintendo products since then.
 

Sub Boss

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Mar 6, 2013
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No i love all of Zelda. There are games less epic than others but i rarely felt it was not worth playing a Zelda game
 

tr1p1ex

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Feb 18, 2014
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you can grumble about any game franchise. none are perfect.

people play Zelda because of the polish and art and design.
 
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synchronicity

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Dec 16, 2011
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Kind of, I love the series a lot but for me its the lack of direction that hurts it, I don't mean in terms of gameplay but rather story, its overly complicated adn too open for interpretation to the point where its really easy to get lost

For example, (And I know I'm gonna miss stuff here)

  • we have Zelda and 2, both the same Link, Zelda and Ganon - Fine, not an issue there,
  • then LTTP comes out and not only is it a different Link, but his hair is Pink for some reason, between those we have Links Awakening, which is all a dream! (Its the same Link as the first 2 games though)
  • the next game in the console series is OoT - a New Link, switches between Kid and then an Adult due to time travelling, ok thats fine LTTP did similar
  • MM is next, a Sequel to OoT, cool no issue
Ok so we're establishing a pattern here of Link, Zelda and Ganon (Though I think he is always the same Ganon?) being different characters through time.

This is where the timeline splits, so in OoT Link dies as a child and Adult link still exists, this leads to this screenshot released before BotW (it was less clear before this btw) Read from Bottom Up



Ok, so the obvious question now is where does BotW fit in? Well we don't know fully, the theory I see most is its a Remake of Zelda 1, or thats its a storyline reboot that also features Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (A game I've yet to play)

And people say Kingdom Hearts is convoluted....
I bought that book (forgot the name of it and it's in storage right now) that outlined everything, but I've never even read it. I remember hearing that the connections of everything seemed pretty forced and retro-fitted.
 

SCB3

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Nov 24, 2014
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I bought that book (forgot the name of it and it's in storage right now) that outlined everything, but I've never even read it. I remember hearing that the connections of everything seemed pretty forced and retro-fitted.
I have all 3, its where this image comes from,
 
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eventualdecline

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Sep 18, 2020
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Full disclaimer. These are the Zelda's I've played:

The original
Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
The Minish Cap
Wind Waker
Majora's Mask
Breath of the Wild

You haven’t even played some of the best games in the series yet. Maybe that’s why you find the series so annoying. Play Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, then get back to us. Not sure why you skipped Ocarina for Majora’s Mask. Also, Twilight Princess is arguably much better than Wind Waker. It‘s probably better than Majora’s Mask also, but I acknowledge that opinion is a bit more controversial. You should check out Link to the Past’s sequel on 3DS also, A Link Between World’s. It’s one of the best top down perspective, old school Zelda games in the series.
 

synchronicity

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You haven’t even played some of the best games in the series yet. Maybe that’s why you find the series so annoying. Play Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, then get back to us. Not sure why you skipped Ocarina for Majora’s Mask. Also, Twilight Princess is arguably much better than Wind Waker. It‘s probably better than Majora’s Mask also, but I acknowledge that opinion is a bit more controversial. You should check out Link to the Past’s sequel on 3DS also, A Link Between World’s. It’s one of the best top down perspective, old school Zelda games in the series.
I didn't play Majora's Mask until a few years ago. (I was PS1 only at the time.) And I was just drawn to its strangeness, I suppose.

And I don't always find the series annoying, it just seems to be very hit or miss with me. (Although there do seem to be elements that are annoying within all the ones I've played, even the better ones that I really enjoy.)
 

supernova8

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Jun 2, 2020
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I enjoyed Wind Waker and BoTW. Cannot get into any of the others, probably mostly because of the dodgy control scheme.

I was around when OoT/MM came out on N64 but I guess I just wasn't interested. I had far more fun with Donkey Kong at at the time.
 

TheMan

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Jul 31, 2006
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Yes. As a kid I never owned the nes zeldas but I played them at friends’ houses. Those games always held this mysterious aura with their secrets. Fast forward and I’ve played the snes and n64 games and liked them. Twilight Princess was the first one where I kinda just said fuck it and never got very far. I’ve not really played much of BOTW and I’m not excited for the second one.
 

ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Jun 10, 2008
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Big fan of the timeline and concept of the Zelda games in general.....if only Nintendo did something interesting with it the games themselves are a complete borefest
 
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DadEggs

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Theyre okay action adventure games.

favorite overall is probably The Adventure of Link
favorite 3d zelda is Ocarina of Time

really want to play oracles of ages/seasons - hope nintendo does a remake of that akin to links awakening
 

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Jan 30, 2018
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Kind of, I love the series a lot but for me its the lack of direction that hurts it, I don't mean in terms of gameplay but rather story, its overly complicated adn too open for interpretation to the point where its really easy to get lost

For example, (And I know I'm gonna miss stuff here)

  • we have Zelda and 2, both the same Link, Zelda and Ganon - Fine, not an issue there,
  • then LTTP comes out and not only is it a different Link, but his hair is Pink for some reason, between those we have Links Awakening, which is all a dream! (Its the same Link as the first 2 games though)
  • the next game in the console series is OoT - a New Link, switches between Kid and then an Adult due to time travelling, ok thats fine LTTP did similar
  • MM is next, a Sequel to OoT, cool no issue
Ok so we're establishing a pattern here of Link, Zelda and Ganon (Though I think he is always the same Ganon?) being different characters through time.

This is where the timeline splits, so in OoT Link dies as a child and Adult link still exists, this leads to this screenshot released before BotW (it was less clear before this btw) Read from Bottom Up



Ok, so the obvious question now is where does BotW fit in? Well we don't know fully, the theory I see most is its a Remake of Zelda 1, or thats its a storyline reboot that also features Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (A game I've yet to play)

And people say Kingdom Hearts is convoluted....

Except none of this is important for enjoying the games. They are almost entirely standalone entries that doesn't require any previous knowledge (outside of a handful of examples). Kingdom Hearts requires you to know the story as its a story-driven game franchise.

You are comparing apples to orangutans. They have nothing in common.
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Sep 24, 2005
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Got to the last boss in both 3ds and n64 Zelda 64 games but never finished them. Barely touched any of the other ones.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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Dec 8, 2019
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Not really, I always enjoyed Zelda games. Been there since the NES games, the original is one of my most replayed games ever and the GB version of Link’s Awakening is in my top 5 video games ever. Even so, being a Zelda fan became complicated when The Wind Waker dropped the series’s gameplay quality with a big splash after the two incredible N64 games. Since then Nintendo found themselves forced to milk Zelda a little more than before because they started lacking significant software, so the quality was watered down and we got the cutesy, burlesque portable episodes (still good, except the literal trainwreck that is Spirit Tracks) while the console games became too formulaic and gimmick-reliant. TP is good, Skyward Sword did some very interesting things, but after WW I found myself focusing more on the issues of each game than on their strong points. But then BOTW came and took my life by storm for a few weeks, so I have always reason to hope that the next Zelda game will be one for the ages.
 

Zannegan

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Feb 20, 2018
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Not too complicated.

I like all of the 3D entries to a greater or lesser degree. Ocarina blew my mind. TP felt like a retread. WWHD was fantastic. SS alternately awed and frustrated me. Never beat MM, but had some funbwith it. BotW was fantastic thanks to all the little interacting systems and the huge, varied overworld.

For the 2D ones, I've beaten a few, but they're not my favorites.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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i have tried to play every zelda game since the nes. i dont like a single one.
please don't try BOTW2 then... who am kiddin?. i mean, surely after a few games in you'd have thought "nah this ain't for me" and that's it. moved on. but hey maybe you just "tried" them so you can shit talk about them. it's ok if you don't like a single game. it ain't for everyone.
 

22:22

Doesnt need recognition
Nov 19, 2020
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I do...

It's a signature of flawed masterpieces


It's awesome but what if....

...It could be like...

And so forth.
 
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Georome

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May 14, 2014
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There is this navigational tediousness where you're blocked off at what feels like every turn sometimes, and you find yourself searching for that one single element - item/location/character interaction/hoop-to-jump-through - in order to progress.

OP, that is very interesting. I know exactly the feeling you are describing, but I never felt that way about any Zelda game. In fact, the opposite. Looking back, I feel like the steady unlocking of content (unbarring the path to new areas) and introduction of new gameplay mechanics (getting the boomerang, getting the gauntlet, getting the speed shoes) was perfectly paced. I feel that if I had been able to explore those areas or use those mechanics from the beginning, the games would have become a clusterfuck and I as a player would have felt aimless.

Anyway, interesting post.
 
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Jan 3, 2021
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i never played any old zelda games (tried the original first one in nes, actually enjoyed it and added to my backlog. another disclaimer, i tried the first zelda game after i finished botw. i just tried it because i got curious)

so, only finished the latest installment, breath of the wild

this alone is probably.. complicated? i only played it bcoz of praisals. i mean, it literally won GOTY. most people praise it like its the second coming of games (ok a bit exaggeration). but u get my point. so i had to play. i had to try it

even more complicated stuff starts at that point: i didn't like the game one bit at first. i hated it. the breaking weapon mechanic, not being able to teleport horse to whereever you are, all kinds of oddities, not a transparent presentation of game mechanics (like being able to craft stuff with cooking pot. yes, old man tells about it, but its not clear enough. i saw people cooking stuff before in gameplays, thats how i learned it instead). endless climbs to traverse around...

but after enduring the oddities after 15-20 hours, game became more fun for me. in the end of the journey, i really thought it deserved goty and all the praise it gets... i eventually embraced its difficulties in terms of gameplay, it led me more to explore stuff.
 
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Javthusiast

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Mar 20, 2017
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I do have a complicated relationship with Zelda...

there's a lot of lewd art of zelda I like, more so than I ever liked actually playing any Zelda game. Even some hot twink link art.

bonk GIF
 

Trogdor1123

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I don't think any relationship with video games should ever be described as complicated... They are video games.
 

moerser

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please don't try BOTW2 then... who am kiddin?. i mean, surely after a few games in you'd have thought "nah this ain't for me" and that's it. moved on. but hey maybe you just "tried" them so you can shit talk about them. it's ok if you don't like a single game. it ain't for everyone.
i did never shit talk any zelda game.
i will not try botw 2.
thank you for being understanding and telling me that it is ok if i dont like a game, internet stranger.
 

Marty-McFly

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Jul 2, 2021
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Not complicated at all.

We parted ways after Windwaker because things got dry and hooked back up for some of that sweet BOTW lovin.

 

Shut0wen

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Oct 29, 2020
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Zelda for me is the most curious of franchises. I'm deeply drawn to them on a certain level. There's a wonderful sense of (child like) adventure and innocence, an epic tone and atmosphere, iconic music, interesting puzzles and just a love and attention to detail that permeates those creations. And they are gameplay-first type of games, where the focal point is more on controller-in-hand than eyes-on-flashy-cut-scene. Great stuff.

On the other hand, I often find myself frustrated and annoyed with the games - even the ones I really love. There is something about Zelda that often puts me off. There is this navigational tediousness where you're blocked off at what feels like every turn sometimes, and you find yourself searching for that one single element - item/location/character interaction/hoop-to-jump-through - in order to progress. And this needle in a haystack could be anywhere in this large world, and so you find yourself wandering aimlessly at times. Let me make it clear that I'm no proponent of hand-holding. I generally love it when games leave you to your own devices. In some games I'll wander endlessly until I figure something out. But something about Zelda - at least for some entries - doesn't grab me in the right way, and I end up frustrated and missing the fun I want to feel. Granted, it's always satisfying to discover what blocked your way or solve that puzzle that leads you forward. But in the Zeldas I've played, the reward for progress often doesn't outweigh the frustration or tedium at points, and I find myself not wanting the hassle. It's, "Yay, I've unlocked this mystery. What's my great reward? Oh, a quarter of a heart container or Oh, some rupees." There's often a sense of deflation *attached* to your progression, and that leaves me a bit hollow in its anti-climax. I know there are benefits to these little things in the bigger picture, but I just struggle to get jazzed up about them, as they are so pervasive throughout the adventure(s). There are other elements that are very frustrating and fun-draining as well, like the item switching in Link's Awakening. (I didn't want to go into all the little annoyances I often find in this series.)

Even in the entries I love the most, there are incredibly tedious elements, like the Elegy of Emptiness usage in Majora's Mask. I guess the essence of my rambling is that I often love Zelda more in concept and presentation than in execution.

Full disclaimer. These are the Zelda's I've played:

The original
Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
The Minish Cap
Wind Waker
Majora's Mask
Breath of the Wild

I felt both Majora's Mask and Breath of the Wild were classics - albeit for different reasons. But the rest didn't reach that level for me. (even the original, as transformative as it felt, was more frustrating than fun imho.)

So yeah.



:p
For me zelda is one of my all time favourite franchises, probably because of nostalgia but OP you do raise some good points, ive been going backwards and forqards on botw (been playing for almost 4 years trying to do everything before i beat calamity ganon) but the one thing i cant stand about the game is the combat, yeah its pretty repetitive but its complete bullshit at the same time, id also recommend OOT, alsk the 3ds zelda game would be something you'd enjoy since you liked minish cap but wvwrything else you mentioned i guess thats what makes zelda zelda and the reason why they havnt changed anything since
 
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DGrayson

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Except none of this is important for enjoying the games. They are almost entirely standalone entries that doesn't require any previous knowledge (outside of a handful of examples). Kingdom Hearts requires you to know the story as its a story-driven game franchise.

You are comparing apples to orangutans. They have nothing in common.


This. Everytime I see one of these insane timelines and complex twisting to fit all these games together I just start laughing.

Dont try to make a central narrative and its a lot more enjoyable.