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Defining Spoilers Using Ocarina of Time [roundtable]
A common issue when an anticipated game draws near is the risk of having your enjoyment spoiled by knowing too much. What is too much though differs from person to person and of course talking about it risks spoiling more. Thus the idea for this roundtable:

Let's use a game we are all familiar with to establish what we can agree is a bonafide spoiler and what is just a detail about the game. I'm very curious as to where everyone will draw the line.

I think we can all agree that plot spoilers are an easy point. Someone saying Shiek is Zelda is like kind of a Snape kills Dumbledore kind of thing. It's deliberate and we'd all agree that no one would want to know that before playing.

Personally, I would also say that location and item details are spoilers. I can guess that Link will get a bow and arrow but some you don't expect the biggoron sword. Similarly that Jabu Jabu's belly is the third dungeon.

Features I am less likely to call spoilers. You ride a horse in this game isn't something I would call a spoiler.

What about you? What from Ocarina of Time would you consider a spoiler?

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03/17/17, 22:34
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Telling me that Zelda Ocarina of Time has fiveish-sixish dungeons and six "temples" before I play the game is a spoiler to me.
03/18/17, 00:46   Edit:  03/18/17, 00:48
Plot twists like Sheik being Zelda are definitely spoilers to me. But plot points that tie into the main gameplay element seem less spoiler-y to me.

For example, I could definitely understand someone thinking that the knowledge that Link pulls out the Master Sword and ends up 7 years in the future is a spoiler. But since that's a big element that was used to sell the game as it was kind of OoT's main gimmick, apart from this being the first 3D Zelda, I could also see someone not considering it a spoiler.

If it wasn't used so heavily to show what the game is about, I think I would consider that a spoiler because it does tie into the story and would be a fun surprise for anyone who didn't know about it in advance.

I normally would not think that place names, character names, and item names are spoilers, but in a series that utilizes Easter eggs and references so frequently and ties many of them to the games' stories and lore, it's always a nice little surprise seeing these callbacks, and I tend to want to know as little as possible in advance about the existence of these things.

That said, I would definitely consider the whereabouts of these things to be a spoiler since Zelda is, at its core, an exploration game. Same goes for puzzle solutions. If it exists for the player to figure out for themselves, it's a spoiler if it comes from someone else, IMO.

So basically if it ties to surprise or some sort of revelation, then I consider it a spoiler (albeit I believe some spoilers are more major than others). If knowing it wouldn't rob someone of some sense of surprise and revelation, then it's not a spoiler. However, it's a bit subjective as to whether a person will feel robbed depending on the subject matter in question, so I'm not sure where the hard line is, if it's even possible to lay one down. Some things need to be on a case-by-case basis.
03/18/17, 01:24
Sephiroth kills Aerith.
03/18/17, 01:38
Literally everything is a spoiler. Anything that you tell me about a game, book, movie, TV show, play, comedy act, or football game is taking away from the surprise of finding it out for myself.

Of course, the only way I can escape everything that I consider a spoiler is to live under a rock, because I can't expect people to not say anything about the things they're enjoying, but there are some things that should be obvious that apparently aren't to most people.

"You'll have to play through the game twice to get the true ending. " is a spoiler.
"Don't worry, no one dies in this episode. " is a spoiler.
"I'm not gonna spoil anything, but let's just say... don't drink a glass of wine that your enemy pours for you. " is a spoiler.

Basically anything that you have to qualify with a winky face is an obvious spoiler. Anything that you'd be excited to tell someone about is a spoiler. "Holy shit, you can ride eels in this game!?" is a spoiler.

Tell me the title, the release date, the elevator pitch, and how good it is. That is almost all I ever want to know about anything.
03/19/17, 07:31
Ganondorf's big ass nose? That's a spoiler.
03/21/17, 04:05
I'm a terrible barometer for this because I don't care about spoilers at all. The journey is more important than the destination to me. If I knew Sheik was Zelda before I started, I'd be able to appreciate looking for clues or threads as much as I'd appreciate the "surprise" of the reveal.

On the other side of the coin, I remember back in the day on IGN that people lost their shit at someone (Paladin69, I think) for "spoiling" that Zelda was in Wind Waker.

I assume the general sweet spot is somewhere between my perspective and it being a spoiler that a character is in a game that's named after them.

As always, I stand by my position that someone who cares a lot about spoilers just needs to stay off the internet. One person's spoiler is another person's hype. It's bizarre to me that people who are sensitive to spoilers (which is a position that I understand even if I am not wired the same way) are able to dictate the terms of a conversation about a game, movie, topic, etc., because they want to talk about something, but not about ALL ASPECTS of something, knowing that people in the same conversation will have different notions of what's out of bounds. It's weird.

EDIT - Here's some more context with OoT.

The back of the box:

This tells you you'll move through time, that you age as you do, that you'll see the Master Sword in a pedestal a la LttP, and a boss that you'll fight. Are those spoilers?

The instruction manual shows Ganondorf, most of the characters you meet as young Link, and shows a mostly complete inventory screen including bottles, magic. It references the Mirror Shiled and the Giant's Knife. Are those spoilers?
03/21/17, 17:27   Edit:  03/21/17, 18:28
Kal-El814 said:
This tells you you'll move through time, that you age as you do, that you'll see the Master Sword in a pedestal a la LttP, and a boss that you'll fight. Are those spoilers?

The instruction manual shows Ganondorf, most of the characters you meet as young Link, and shows a mostly complete inventory screen including bottles, magic. It references the Mirror Shiled and the Giant's Knife. Are those spoilers?


I'm curious: if you're watching a movie with a scene where a main character might die, don't you get way more tense watching it when you don't know the outcome? A spoiler isn't just ruining one reveal, it's taking away the long-running mystery and tension that you feel throughout the whole experience.

That's not to say knowing what's going to happen automatically makes a story worse. Shakespeare though Romeo and Juliet would be better if you know the ending going into it, and certain twisty movies can be fun watching a second time to see what clues you missed. I think you need to respect the creator's intention, though, just because that's probably going to lead to the most people having the best experience possible if the creator knows what they're doing... and most storytellers definitely wouldn't want their audience to know key moments of their story going into it. That's why not spoiling things should be the default.

Obviously it's not a huge deal knowing that you can play as Yoshi in the new Mario Kart game. But in Zelda, a series about discovery, telling someone about some cool gameplay thing you did in Breath of the Wild is taking away that eureka moment for them.
03/21/17, 19:31
I think story spoilers are probably the main thing people can agree on, because those are spoilers in other forms of media such as movies and books. But I actually don't care much about that for most games, such as the Zelda series. Showing me gameplay of Ganon's castle would bother me much more than showing me Sheik revealed as Zelda, which is probably not true of most people.

I like to know as little as possible going into a game, so even little things can be spoilers to me. But I don't expect anyone to conform to that, so I don't get angry at people for revealing anything and don't ask them to refrain, though I do hope people won't spoil things as part of a thread title. It's up to me to avoid what I don't want to know. This is, of course, far easier to do with sequels, because then I don't need to see much of the game to decide if it'll be good. My history with a series will help decide that.
03/21/17, 19:54

Interestingly enough I bought my copy of OoT second hand, and it had no box. And having not played a Zelda game before, Finding the Master Sword was totally an 'Oh cool, what is this?' moment for me. And yeah the box would have totally spoiled that .
03/22/17, 01:11
I'm very much in line with ST's definitions, and I'd be more apt to sit with him in anticipation of a game with you other guys, because I know he won't 'ruin' something for me, and he knows I won't 'ruin' something for him. I really don't want to know anything about a game.

"I want to see it with my own eyes," I say, and no, that doesn't include pictures that someone else took.
03/23/17, 00:39
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