Zelda Lore Profile picture
Dec 15 27 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Spent some time to really delve deep and analyse the main quest progression of TOTK, looking at all the optional avenues, and it is, surprisingly, quite linear, to an extent. Let's take a deeper look, because its quite fascinating.

(I had to scale this image down a lot)

1/0 Image
The intro is VERY linear, having cinematic after cinematic, and unskippable events. As you go deeper, the game adds triggers at certain points that restricts your backtracking, forcing you to go deeper into the Imprisoning Chamber.

2/0 Image
This works amazingly well, because it allows the game to really set the tone, and tell everything it needs to tell. It is a purely narratively driven section.

We then get to the Great Sky Island, and it's still quite linear, while allowing freedom of exploration.

We see a lot of Progress Blocks that you MUST do to continue until you meet Rauru, then allowing you to tackle the three shrines in any order.

4/0 Image
This tutorial feels very classic Zelda in is progression, because it builds up the gameplay, abilites and objectives as you play, and having a set, defined final destination, and adds in big cinematic moments after key objectives to tell the narrative.

This felt perfect.

And then we have the main game, where they let go and give you full freedom to explore. But, while Mineru, the Deku Tree, the Master Sword and Ganon can be done at any point, there are a lot of things that actually have a set, linear progression in the story.

Let's start with Meeting Purah. You can either go straight to Hoz, who sends you to meet Purah, or first meet Purah, who sends you to meet Hoz. Regardless of the order, it leads to the same outcome: activating the towers, getting the paraglider, and getting the main quest.

7/0 Image
This then unlocks the quest with Robbie which unlocks the camera rune, which would later be needed to take a very specific photo in the main narrative, but we'll get to that.

8/0 Image
Three of the four regional quests are very linear, with Riju's quest giving a small branched option of meeting Buliara before Riju, whom just send you to Riju either way.

It's the Zora quest that is a bit more interesting.


It is still linear, but it is divided into four separate quests which don´t truly start until you clean the statue. Muzu sends you away, Jhiato sends you to Sidon and Sidon to Yona. The game guides you to the correct, linear path.

10/0 Image
It is from here that you can continue Yona's quest to get the Zora Armor (which is technically not needed thanks to Zonai Devices), or the other three, which sends you back and forth between characters to solve the Sky island riddle. After that, its linear to the end.

11/0 Image
It is after this where it gets good, because unlike BOTW where the dungeons were optional, there is an event which requires them (like the Final Trial in the DLC). We get a cinematic with purah, and then we head to Hyrule Castle, where we are confronted by Ganondorf.

12/0 Image
I accicentally hit send, so the numbering is strange, but let me continue on, pardon that slight error
While this then unlocks the Ring Ruins quest, which was previously undoable, this is rendered pointless, and it leads to Mineru, who can be reached from the start.

13/26 Image
The Mineru quest is also very linear, with her then sending you to talk to the Deku Tree in order to find the Master Sword.

All these quests are doable from the start, so that momentum the main quest had is rendered moot, it drops the ball hard.

14/26 Image
I would have had the thundercloud be impenetrable, forcing the Mineru questline to be last. The game was restricting events up to this point, so there was no reason why it couldn´t do it here too. Have the cloud zap you if you approach it or something.

I can understand, given the narrative they have (which is born from the progression they established) why the Master Sword can to be obtained at any point, as Zelda has been healing it for ages, there is no possible way to add a restriction there.

But Ganondorf being accessible from the start, given the linear narrative they were going for, is in my opinion a mistake, because it renders the entire narrative optional.

17/26 Image
Have the final chamber be blocked off by a barrier that all the sages must use their powers combined to break, like in ALTTP, or OOT (building the bridge). Hell, we have a barrier in the final game, which breaks on its own after the boss rush / enemy gauntlet.

18/26 Image
Having the final boss right at the end opens up a lot more possibilities in terms of narrative, as you could do so much more with the antagonist throughout the game, rather than have him locked up in a cave.

Besides that, in isolation the main quest is quite solid. The issue then comes with the memories. In isolation they are also fine, but when combined with the main quest they clash.

They clash because on the one hand you have a plot revolving around a mystery, and on the other a plot that explains the answer to the mystery. It spoils the main quest's plot, and ruins the surprises.

And despite Link learning the truth via the memories, he refuses to tell anyone about it when they constantly wonder where Zelda is. Well, except for Impa, who is directly tied to the memory quest.

If you find Mineru early, characters still realise that present Zelda is an impostor by the time you do the hyrule castle fight, and learn the truth of her draconification when you recruit Mineru.

They then also treat Ganondorf's location as a mistery too, when he ends up being in the same place you left him at the start of the game, right under Hyrule Castle. This would be effective if he moved location to someplace else.

So, the first half of the game has a very solid progression, its with the second half and the memories where they failed to deliver.

Hopefully this helps to illustrate the pros and cons of the story of TOTK. What I want is for the narrative to be linear while open in exploration, and have a clear and satifying end goal.

TOTK delived this partly, but it was a step in the right direction.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Zelda Lore

Zelda Lore Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!