Nintendo President Explains Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’ Non-Linear Structure

By Ishaan . October 1, 2013 . 4:33pm

This morning, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained in a Nintendo Direct presentation how The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will allow players to tackle dungeons in an order of their choosing. Now, you can watch this segment of the video below, containing gameplay footage, courtesy of YouTube user Nintendaan:



The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be available on November 22nd in North America.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Link vs the 8 Dungeon Masters? Who does this remind me of…?

    • epndkempot


  • epy

    Change for the sake of change, huh? I’m still excited about it but don’t really see the appeal. Also, as unlikely as it may be, I hope microtransactions don’t play any part in any way,

    • Krisi92

      I’m actually excited to see some change. While I absolutely love the Zelda series, they can’t really make games forever using the same formula. It’s Nintendo, I’m sure the final product will be tons of fun. It reminds me a bit of Zelda 1, which was similarly non-linear… I guess we just have to wait and find out how this will exactly play.

    • Flandre Scarlet

      It’s less of a change for the sake of change and a change because sales numbers demanded it. Wind Waker nearly killed the series, Twilight Princess didn’t drum up the numbers they needed it to, and Skyward Sword was received lukewarmly at best.

      While you can argue that each game had their own individual flaws which resulted in their performances, it was quite clear that something needed to change within the Zelda series to retain consumer interest. Unlike Mario who can release the same game every year with a different power-up, LoZ…doesn’t have that power. You don’t spend years of effort making a game like Skyward Sword for the kind of return it had.

      In a sense, it’s going back to its roots. The original Zelda was fairly non-linear, at least less linear than other titles. Every game since Link to the Past has been built upon the same concept of “get item in dungeon, use item to defeat dungeon and move on”.

      I’m a huge Zelda fan and I’m very much in favor of this change, and eagerly await to see if it’s implemented in the future Wii U title.

      • No disrespect but where did you get those values to back up the claim since WW the series is having economical problems?
        If you talk about reception, Zelda hate cycle. But I think they are satisfied with the game’s sales.

        • Flandre Scarlet

          Right here, mainly.

          tl;dr Japan loves Child Link, so they made WW since the series was hurting in Japan (Americans LOVED Adult Link which is why OoT sold so damn well). It bombed in Japan, much below expected sales numbers, and if it would have had similar numbers in the West the Zelda series could very well be the next F-Zero or Star Fox right now.

          • Err that’s quite vague as proof, if you dont mind me saying.
            It’s a summarized interview of only one person’s opinion made by IGN through a translator in early 2007.
            Though, this is telling that Aonuma is indeed pressing forward to change the series. But without figures or second opinion I’d wager Nintendo is confident about such an iconic series.
            I mean, I know where you come from but I really doubt it could be the next Star Fox.
            Link is just nearly as popular as Mario. From what I gather from that article I believe they are trying to think of new ideas really hard which is the opposite of abandoning a series.

            Just to go back to the point: you said they are forced to change due to sales numbers. But Aonuma clearly points out its due to reception (which again is part of the Zelda hate cycle, which he’s very aware of in a recent interview) and put TP and PH in positive lights in the same interview.

            Again, I know where you come from and your worries (I dont want Zelda to go away. Loved SS and ALBW is looking great.) but it might be a bit of a hyperbole to take that article (which again doesnt post raw numbers) and conclude on a doom and gloom posture.
            Zelda will be okay :)

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        WindWaker is the closest 3D zelda to the original style.
        TP is the highest preforming game in the series.

        • Flandre Scarlet

          TP still hasn’t dethroned Ocarina and if you remove the GC sales as well, it still hasn’t dethroned the original NES games in sales figures.

          It came close, but they couldn’t repeat that success with Skyward Sword.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            You got those numbers wrong

      • KingRuff

        Those aren’t facts. Please don’t go around confusing people with vague assumptions, or else we will have tons of misinformed readers saying this same thing on every Zelda article. You could have at least put “my opinion” or “What I think happened”. The fact is and most likely will remain, that nobody knows why they decided to change back to the original formula. So unless you are a Nintendo employee with inside info the rest of us could not obtain, then could you please not announce your opinion as if it is official information?

        • Flandre Scarlet

          Wind Waker was terrible in Japan. It was only saved by NA and EU sales. If NA and EU hadn’t come to the game’s rescue, the series would be dead.

          TP sold 5.8 mil on the Wii at launch and another 1 mil on the GC. It didn’t beat out Ocarina and if you remove the GC sales, it didn’t beat out the original game, either.

          For the sake of sales numbers, Nintendo has failed to capture a wider audience than an N64 game and an NES game multiple times.

          Please do some fact research yourself before calling others out.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Let’s please be careful about using one six year old article as the be all and end all. It doesn’t even deal with raw numbers. That article says nothing about the game being ‘saved’ by NA sales and then contradicts itself when it talks about WW not reaching the teen audience, but being reasonably well received in the West. The reasons stated for Japanese issues have nothing to do with a style of Zelda or Nintendo in general.

          • Flandre Scarlet

            It’s from Aonuma himself. How old it is does not matter, given the context.

            You want raw numbers? Look up Nintendo’s annual reports. They’re freely available on the internet.

      • Nanashrew

        Twilight Princess is actually one of their most successful, rivaling Ocarina of Time. TP sold 7 million copies Wii, while Ocarina of Time sold 7.6 million copies on the N64 alone.

        Wind Waker did pretty good numbers back in the GC days as well, reaching 4 mil sold. But if you want to talk their lowest then that’s their handheld side reaching about 1-to-3 mill. Console’s lowest point was Majora’s Mask and Skyward Sword at at 3.3 mil and 3.5 mil respectively.

        Majora’s Mask and Skyward Sword were also both very different than you’re common Zelda games.

        The Zelda franchise as a whole still has strong staying power and I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Now THIS is a direction I want Zelda games to take!

  • Happy Gamer

    So you rent the items so you have to return them or you pay late fee?

    • Either that, or get your name changed to THIEF.

  • Guest

    Nice cinematics!

    • InfectedAI

      Was shocked and I agree. Being in such an old school style brought me back to that era mentally and I didn’t even consider them telling the story through cinematics. Looking forward to this.

  • davidvinc

    This is actually pretty cool, and will be the first Zelda game I buy and seriously attempt to beat in a very long time. I haven’t been able to play the modern Zelda’s since they became 3D, it’s just too frustratingly hard.

    • Shane Guidaboni


    • Fion


      • davidvinc

        Yeah, all the Z-targeting and timing jumps in 3D is just too much. Don’t get me started on getting the Megaton Hammer in Ocarina of Time. I spent over an hour trying to get that thing only to quit in absolute frustration after falling down 6 floors for like the 10th time. Zelda should always be in 2D, 3D ruined the series for me.

        • Fion


          • davidvinc

            Your highly articulate and influential arguments of “Hard?”, “What?”, and “Wow. No.” are so well thought out and convincing that upon further reflection, I must be wrong. It took me well over an hour to do the timed jumping puzzle in the first ship in Wind Waker and I ended up giving up when trying to rescue my sister at the prison island – There was a jump there that when you missed you fell down a floor and then got attacked by rats, so when you try to run away from the rats you get caught by a guard, only to have to start the whole thing over. But then again, you have convinced me that it’s an easy game with your irrefutable argument of “No.”.

  • KingRuff

    I always thought that the Link design in the Oracle games was the best one, so it’s nice to see them re-using it in a 3D game.

    • Rogerrmark

      Both Oracles are pretty nice. I always felt they were kinda underrated,in comparison with other games on the series :/

  • Sergio Briceño

    I want Ravio to be secretly evil so badly…

  • Göran Isacson

    November 22nd. I will be there, dude.

    Though the gameplay sounds like it will be a bit more about planning dungeon raids, rather than heading into the dungeon and then try to figure out what it’s all about. Like a dungeon crawler, more than the adventure/puzzle game that the series has turned into lately. I do wonder what new challenges this change will bring… also I look at that Ravio, and all I can think is the guy in the bunny suit from Spirit Tracks. That man… was not right.

  • Tg

    Renting items. Ah-hah. I can finally use a boomerang on Moldrom instead of having to wait for it to come close to me. Thank you, Iwata-san! ….. I hope we can do multiple rentals, elongated rentals, or “be able to buy item” period? I can probably picture myself sighing a little on having
    to constantly back track to that store just to re-rent something. I can understand the challenge aspect (i.e. planning for dungeon), but, I can also see it to be a little tedious. Which then reminds me a bit of Majora’s Mask…..

  • Despite everything shown, I didn’t have a nerd-gasm until 3:00 in. Dampe returns, a new Princess Zelda, new and familiar characters and mostly the cinematics. I want it now!!!

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos