@Shadowlink Hell yeah. I was thinking about that too. Why don't we just make an adventure game club in a similar vein to the epic game club. Stache suggested it a while ago and I've been thinking of doing it ever since.
The Oracle games are the only handheld Zeldas I've ever played (aside from Four Swords GBA), but they're quite possibly my favorite games in the series, along with Majora's Mask. They are seriously incredible, and I can't wait for them to be rereleased. I still have my cartridges, but it'll be great to have them available for a new audience to discover.
@V_s I'm sure that's a great explanation (though I thought that the only ones who really get reincarnated were special people like Link, Ganon, Zelda, and even Impa?), but for the purpose of a game, it's more fun to have new characters that make me think of new experiences, rather than seeing Malon and Talon in Minish Cap going "Huh...that's pretty convenient."
Does AoL even have any characters outside of Link, Zelda, and Ganon that are reincarnated? Everyone basically only said about one line of text each. I didn't know the game said anything about people being reincarnated, looking exactly the same, and fulfilling the same role? I'm sure there's a canon explanation for that, but it's still kind of a copout to me.
@PogueSquadron - The games have never said anything about any of the characters being reincarnated (except for Ganondorf saying in TWW that he believes TWW Link is the Hero of Time reincarnated, Zelda in FSA saying that Ganondorf is an ancient demon reborn, and Impa/Zelda in SS implying that Zelda is Hylia reincarnated). That's always been one of those out-of-game confirmations that actually goes along with what's in the games sort of things. We know that Oracles Malon, Talon, and Ingo can't be the same people as OoT Malon, Talon, and Ingo, for example, so they must be reincarnations as well. Simple as that.
AoL doesn't have any character outside of Zelda being reincarnated. What I meant was that each of those games expanded on the role of reincarnation.
AoL established that Zelda reincarnates (or at least it was implied until it was confirmed out-of-game). ALttP established that both Link and Zelda reincarnate. The Oracles established that everyone reincarnates.
And the Zelda series has been operating under that notion ever since.
I understand your reasoning for preferring new characters, but I think that since we do have this mythos of reincarnation in the series, that it's a great way for the series to mix in nostalgia with originality without doing anything that is actually a copout. Of course I also believe that the amount of reincarnated characters we get should be fewer than the number of new characters we get, but I'm pretty sure that's always been the case anyway.
I guess my beef isn't exactly that Malon and Talon always have their roles as the ranch owners, but more that whenever there IS a ranch, it has to be run by Malon and Talon, if that makes sense. I think there's a time and place for nostalgia, but I'm not so sure that always having them as the ranch runners is the way to go. Like I said, I think there's a fine like between a "nod" and "we have to always have the same characters in the same roles."
@PogueSquadron - Well that's not entirely true either. There was a ranch in TP that wasn't run by Malon and Talon. (And if you want to get technical, the ranch in MM wasn't run by Malon and Talon either.) And there was no ranch in OoS or FSA in which Malon and Talon appeared.
The fact that Malon and Talon (and the plethora of other characters from the N64 Zelda games) appear in the Oracle games and not in Twilight Princess or Wind Waker is exactly my problem. Why are Malon and Talon, et al, reincarnated in Holodrum and Labrynna, but not in Hyrule? I realize they appear in Minish Cap, and it bothers me less there, but it's still kind of lazy. The fact that Nintendo's in-house Zelda games do this less frequently makes them feel like fan games, or at least a B-team effort. There's already a perception that handheld games are inferior to those on consoles, and reusing characters under a flimsy reincarnation excuse certainly doesn't help.
I don't disagree with you that reincarnation can be used to justify their existence. But it seems like it was just done to have some recognizable characters without having to put much thought into them, rather than to perpetuate the reincarnation themes we've seen before. "Those N64 games were popular... let's use some of those characters here!" Heck, when Linebeck's descendant appeared in Spirit Tracks, they specifically called him Linebeck III and establish him as a different character, not just the exact same role he played before, but mysteriously in a different country with no explanation.
I guess what it comes down to is this: I accept the justification that these characters are reincarnated just like Link, Zelda, and Ganon. I just think it's handled pretty poorly.