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Define "Semi-Canon"

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  • 02-09-2009 | 03:20 PM
  • Erimgard
  • This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. I'm pretty sure I didn't come up with it myself [I think I got it from someone else, but can't remember who] but various people have cited me as the one who coined the phrase here at ZU...but it seems everyone has a different meaning for it

    So, in order to avoid confusion, explain what you mean when you deem something to be "semi-canon". I'll go first.

    If there's a game or resource that is clearly not part of the primary evidence category, but still considered in my mind to be an appropriate source of proof, I deem it "semi-canon". It's not indisputably canon, such as the 14 main Zelda titles, but I can find nothing in it to be contradicted by the games. This term to me is virtually synonymous with "secondary evidence".

    Because it is not indisputably canon, nor to be considered a primary source of information, I do not base theories on semi-canon material. Any theory that uses semi-canon material must have its base in a primary source of canon information, and the semi-canon elements should only be used as supporting evidence.

    Another distinction between semi-canon and canon is that I don't expect others to necessarily agree with me on its relevance. While I'll generally ask someone to explain why they don't consider it valid, I don't hold it as undeniable.

    An example of this distinction would be that some people claim that the linked ending of the Oracles, and games like Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures are not canon. I believe these things to be fully canon, and see no reason why their validity should be disputed, and I won't hesitate to make that known to the person. However, in the case of a non-primary source of information, such as the spinoff "Freshly Picked: Tingle's Rosey Rupeeland", I don't expect others to believe its canonicity.

    That's my explanation, whats yours?
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:24 PM
  • Crab Helmet
  • I don't think there is "semi-canon". After all, there is no canon-er, or canon-est - you can't have levels of canonicity. Just doesn't work. Canon is like dead - you either are dead or you aren't. You either are canon, or you aren't.

    However, things like FPTRR are perfectly canon, they just aren't relevant - ie, they don't affect much. So, we can class them as canon, but irrelevant.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:25 PM
  • Erimgard
  • Actually, FPTRR has several strong timeline indicators, thus the reason I include it as "semi-canon". However, because it's a spinoff game starring Tingle, others don't believe it's canon at all.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:27 PM
  • Demo
  • Thanks for trying to keep the boards alive Erimgrad.

    As for the topic; I only believe there is canon and non-canon. If something is canon it has to be irrefutable and solid, if it's not......it's not.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:27 PM
  • Crab Helmet
  • But what I'm saying is, there is no "semi-canon". There's jut canon, and non-canon. If you pay any attention to a game, it is CANON. No semi about it.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:29 PM
  • Erimgard
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crab Helmet View Post
    But what I'm saying is, there is no "semi-canon". There's jut canon, and non-canon. If you pay any attention to a game, it is CANON. No semi about it.
    And what of the games where some "pay attention" and some do not?
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:33 PM
  • Crab Helmet
  • They're not "semi-canon". I just think they're canon, others don't. That's not "semi-canon", it is just where peoples' ideas of canon differ.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:54 PM
  • Tingle :)
  • When people can't make their minds up whether they think something is canon or not. They don't think it is it canon but their not totally sure. They don't want to completely disregard it as 'non-canon', they want to keep it there and file it under the category 'semi-canon'.

    For example, someone may not think AST is canon. Yet they are hesitant to completely disregard it as non-canon because they have that doubt that they may be wrong and it may be canon after all. So they call AST 'semi-canon' so they don't have to make the perhaps regretable decision of categorising it as 'non-canon' or make the rash decision of all of a sudden categorising it as 'canon'.

    Basically, categorising something as 'non-canon' is a way of getting around tricky decision making when you're unsure.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:56 PM
  • bitterlime
  • I don't like the semi-canon concept. But if it get's games like AST and TRR some attention then I wont complain. To me those are canon, afterall they are clearly developped to take place in the same univers and don't contradict the other games much.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:56 PM
  • Erimgard
  • @Tingle
    Is that what you personally believe semi-canon to be, or is that just your observation based on what you've seen? I agree that that's how a lot of people categorize it, but others do not. So what's your personal definition of it?

    Last edited by Erimgard; 02-09-2009 at 03:56 PM..
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:57 PM
  • Hombre de Mundo
  • Stop taking credit for my ideas, Erimtard I invented semi-canon!

    I think we first used it when discussing geography, but I can't remember. Basically, something you can use to back up your theories, but not necessarily something you can use to debunk another theory. For example, a cliff moved from location A to B. Now thise could be for gameplay purposes only, for all we know. But if it helps you support your theory, you could (and should) use it for evidence, but you can't say "oh this doesn't work because the cliff has moved from A to B).

    This would go for the Tingle games, zelda G&W and so on... If you somehow can make your theory more credible by inserting zelda G&W in your timeline, great! But that doesn't mean everyone has to place the game in there because it's not necessarily canon. It's semi-canon.

    Those were just examples but that's how we first defined semi-canon as far as I recall.
  • 02-09-2009 | 03:59 PM
  • Erimgard
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hombre de Mundo View Post
    Stop taking credit for my ideas, Erimtard I invented semi-canon!
    Haha, I told you I was pretty sure I got it from somewhere else!


    I see where you're coming from now, but I wouldn't say we're totally on the same page. To me, that's a little more like picking and choosing when you'll be nitpicky or not
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:02 PM
  • Hombre de Mundo
  • ^ It's not picking and choosing. Picking and choosing would be to ignore one canon while endorsing another canon. semi-canon is when you can't tell if it's canon or not, so it would go below canon in the canon hierarchy (oh don't start on that, you know what I mean ) for sure.
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:08 PM
  • Pinecove
  • Semi Canon: A game or other such evidance that is not one of the main 14 Zelda games which can be used to back up a theory.

    The theory should not be BASED on something that is Semi Canon (Such as TRR or AST) however they can be used to back up a theory. For instance if I say that FSA takes place on an island, that isn't enough to debunk another theoy, but it sure as hell supports mine.
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:09 PM
  • Erimgard
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pinecove View Post
    Semi Canon: A game or other such evidance that is not one of the main 14 Zelda games which can be used to back up a theory.

    The theory should not be BASED on something that is Semi Canon (Such as TRR or AST) however they can be used to back up a theory. For instance if I say that FSA takes place on an island, that isn't enough to debunk another theoy, but it sure as hell supports mine.
    So does that mean you define geographical indications as semi-canon?
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:11 PM
  • Pinecove
  • Indeed I do. Personally I don't even believe that Semi Canon should be allowed to exist because that seems more like picking and chosing to me, however some things just can't be ignored...
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:13 PM
  • theunabletable
  • I always felt that the semi-canon games would be canon in everything in the game except when contradicted (for the most part) or there is newer evidence against it by one of the 14 "main" games.

    I'll give you an example using my LA placement. I say OoX retconned the LA placement. So the AST semi-canon quote is no longer valid.

    That is my definition of semi-canon.
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:13 PM
  • Crab Helmet
  • I'm with Pinecove in saying semi-canon should not exist. In any other continuity of any other series, say semi-canon, and people will laugh. Zelda theorists use it because Zelda theorists like to use evidence selectively. You can't do that. Evidence is evidence.
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:15 PM
  • Erimgard
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sign of Madness View Post
    I always felt that the semi-canon games would be canon in everything in the game except when contradicted (for the most part) or there is newer evidence against it by one of the 14 "main" games.

    I'll give you an example using my LA placement. I say OoX retconned the LA placement. So the AST semi-canon quote is no longer valid.

    That is my definition of semi-canon.
    See, that's the kind of "semi-canon" that I highly disagree with.
    I think if you disregard one part of a game [other than an obvious cameo] you shouldn't be able to then turn around and use another part of the game as proof.
  • 02-09-2009 | 04:22 PM
  • Hombre de Mundo
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crab Helmet View Post
    I'm with Pinecove in saying semi-canon should not exist. In any other continuity of any other series, say semi-canon, and people will laugh. Zelda theorists use it because Zelda theorists like to use evidence selectively. You can't do that. Evidence is evidence.
    Evidence isn't necessarily evidence. In many other series, story and continuity is very important to the developers. Zelda Team doesn't work like that. Gameplay always comes before story. Always. And Timeline comes behind story, even. This means that changes can be made, not because they intended to change the story, but because they intended to change the gameplay.

    Same thing goes with retcons. If the placement of the Temple of Time moved isn't necessairly because they wanted to change it's original location or because it's important to the story, just because it adds to the gameplay and that's all they care about.

    EDIT: Another example - the lost woods in OoT consists of a series of portals. Does this mean that lost woods is a small area where there are many portals? According to the descriptions, the Lost Woods reach all Hyrule. This leads me to believe there aren't any actual portals, it's just a gameplay mechanic to portray the woods. The cursor on the map and the actual portals are therefore not canon.

    Last edited by Hombre de Mundo; 02-09-2009 at 04:24 PM..
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