Zelda's future

Everybody knows by now that I’m a huge Zelda fan. I’ve owned and beaten all of them excluding the CDi games, Phil claims that feat. There’s a lot of speculation floating around of what the next Zelda game should be, look like, sound like, taste like. Here’s what  I’d like to see Nintendo do with the Zelda series.

The Zelda blueprint has been followed a little too closely over the years by Nintendo, rarely trying anything too drastically different. There’s nothing wrong with the formula, it’s worked for years and the bulk of it should continue to be used. I also understand the conservative thinking of it all, Nintendo is making a lot of money off the Zelda franchise and each game has played exceptionally well. But, it’s been awhile since a Zelda game has given me the feeling that Ocarina of Time did; Nintendo owes it to their fans to give us something new.

Windwaker made a bold move with their graphic style and sailing system, I applaud them for that, but I’m calling for even more deviation .They need to stray from some elements and experiment a bit while still making the game feel like Zelda. The best example of this is the prime series. From just looking at the game’s first person view you wouldn’t know its Metroid immediately. Once you dive into the game though, you feel the solidarity of the original and Super Metroid. Retro Studios successfully made a free roaming first person adventure that felt like Metroid.  It’s rumored that Nintendo at a conference had members of the gaming media test out Twilight Princess from a first person perspective…interesting. The prospect of a first person Zelda excites me. Getting to experience Hyrule through the hero of time’s eyes sounds great, more importantly, different. When Nintendo introduced the Wii the first idea that popped into my head was 1:1 swordplay in Zelda. It’s a natural fit.

Introducing several new items into the series can also help freshen things up. There has been new items always introduced in each game, but the applications for these items are recycled too often.  Finding new innovative ways to solve puzzles are important to the series. With the Wii mote and Wii motion plus there’s really no excuses.

What we know so far about the upcoming Zelda:

(Figure 1)

423px-Wiiart

-It’s exclusive to the Wii and is being developed exclusively for the Wii, unlike Twilight Princess. This should mean the most impressive looking Zelda yet.

-Shigeru Miyamoto has made several hints at one-to-one sword play. During a private meeting at E3 2007 he said he’d like to see an entirely new control scheme and referenced the first person sword combat. At last years E3 2009, he said he wanted people to envision them self playing Zelda game when playing the Wii Sports Resort Swordplay mini game.

-Also revealed by Miyamoto was concept art of a sword less right handed Link and a female figure standing back to back with him (figure 1). Miyamoto emphasized that Link had know sword, leading me and many other to believe that the girl will in fact act as the sword. The girl strongly resembles that of the Fairy Queen (figure 2) and even the Master Sword (figure 3).

(Figure 2)                          (Figure 3)
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From what we know so far, I get the impression that Nintendo is heading in the right direction with the newest Zelda.

10 thoughts on “Zelda's future”

  1. Now that I think about it, the whole first person Zelda thing might be why Nintendo had Retro Studios doing some work on the Zelda series since their the only developer at Nintendo with real first person experience.

    Since then Nintendo has given the reigns of the Zelda series back to Zelda team, who knows if anything will come from Retro working on it in the past. I’m just crossing my fingers for more change because as amazing as Twilight Princess was, there was no hook to it.

  2. I’m really interested to see what’s in store for this game. One to one swordplay sounds awesome! I don’t know if I’d really like a first person game, though. I personally prefer Metroid’s 2D trio (Super, Fusion, and Zero Mission) to the Prime games (they’re still great, though).

  3. I’ll wait till Red Steel 2 to see if 1:1 sword fighting can REALLY work.

    I’m not really sure what to think of this. I wasn’t really the biggest fan of Twilight princess or Ocarina of time however if this is a direct sequel they could be taking the Majoras Mask route of a much darker an interesting story.

    I’m going to have to wait until more info’s released so I can make my mind up. All I want now are train battles and i’ll be happy.

  4. I’m not as interested in it because not that much has been revealed about it, but I think that as information is released, I’ll start looking into it more. I agree with Britt’s theory that the girl is the sword, but I don’t like the idea. It sounds alot like the relationship Link had with Midna, or the one that Link had with Navi. Annoying.

    I also think I’m one of the only ones that really enjoyed Twilight Princess. It was one of the only Zeldas that I got everything (in addition to Ocarina of Time and Links Awakening), and I don’t think that it was that bad.

    Back on topic, I think the first person perspective idea is really stupid. Zelda isn’t the type of game to look like a first person shooter, let alone a first person swordsplay game. What they did with Metroid Prime worked, but that was with guns/arm blasters, not swords. I just don’t think that Zelda should go into first person. It doesn’t sound like Zelda, and it probably wouldn’t play like Zelda either.

    So, I’m not as interested in this as Spirit Tracks, for example, but it looks like as time goes on it’ll prove to be a good game.

  5. A first person Zelda would be very interesting to me. But maybe they could come up with an MMO of Zelda, now that would be completely different for the Zelda series.

    1. The Zelda series is about achieving a sense of exploration, though. Shigeru Miyamoto has often said that it was based on hikes that he would take into the woods, exploring various caves and the wilderness.

      As such, I don’t think any sort of multiplayer really fits the Zelda franchise. Four Swords (Adventures or no) weren’t about exploration either; they were about rivalry and camaraderie and eventually stumbling upon the correct method of completion.

      The impact of that feeling of exploration is deep and lasting in the Zelda franchise, making it too important to lose for an MMO where instead of exploring you are likely leading or being lead to places already discovered.
      I -still- remember the first time I woke up on Koholint Island and discovered by some stroke of luck how to get all the way through the first dungeon, and the first time I played Link’s Awakening was over 13 years ago. Compare that to my playing through Twilight Princess, where I was impressed by my nostalgia but thoroughly disappointed by the lack of exploration.
      Just putting me on a horse and making me travel farther isn’t exploration. It’s monotony.
      -That- is how steeped this franchise is in exploration and why I would hate to have that killed by it being just another MMO. In my honest opinion, I’m pretty sure first-person is the only way it could be ‘completely different’ and still be a Zelda game.

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