The Legend of Zelda Producer Asks, “Why Does It Have To Be Traditional?”

By Sato . October 2, 2013 . 2:05pm

In addition to the recently released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, series producer Eiji Aonuma has had his hands full working on two other games—The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and a new Zelda title for Wii U. During a lengthy interview with 4Gamer, he briefly talks about the new game and what makes The Legend of Zelda what it is.

 

4Gamer asks about the development of the new Legend of Zelda for Wii U, a game many fans have wondered about since Nintendo’s Zelda tech demo from E3 2012.

 

“It’s going well!” exclaims Aonuma. “We’re incorporating HD features we tried in the Wind Waker, and vice-versa, by applying HD features from it to the Wind Waker. Since it’s a remake, we’ve been limited regarding what we can do with the Wii U Gamepad; however, for the new title we’ll have various ways of using [the device].”

 

Since the two games seem to have been an influence to each other, 4Gamer asks if we’ll be seeing any sort of connection between the new Wii U Zelda title in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.

 

“I believe so,” answers Aonuma. “For example, traveling while having the map displayed on the Wii U GamePad made it really comfortable [to play], and I believe this can also be done for other areas besides the ocean. Parts that I felt were fun while playing [The Wind Waker HD] will assuredly have an influence on the next title, without a doubt.”

 

After joining the development team for the Zelda series, starting with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Eiji Aonuma went on to direct and produce several other Zelda titles through the span of four Nintendo console generations. Of all his accomplishments in the series, 4Gamer asks which one is his favorite.

 

“This is a question that I’m often asked, but to me, ‘the one I’m working on’ will always be my favorite,” responds Aonuma.

 

“When I start working on something, from the moment I wake up in the morning until I sleep at night, it’s all I think of. So this time, it would be The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.”

 

4Gamer then say they’ve had something in mind that they absolutely felt the need to ask Aonuma about himself, regarding the topic “Aonuma is tired of making Zelda games.”

 

While The Legend of Zelda producer was not aware of the word that has spread across the Internet, 4Gamer reiterates that during an interview with foreign press, Aonuma had stated, “If I’m getting tired of it, then I’m sure other people are getting tired of it,” which was misinterpreted by many as “Aonuma is tired of making Zelda games.”

 

“I see,” Aonuma replies with a laugh. “When I say I’m tired, I’m not talking about making Zelda, but rather, the same constituent that has been used to make Zelda up until now. While on the subject, in regard to how we’ve always done things the traditional way until now: ‘Why does it have to be traditional?’ That’s the question I’ve been asking myself.”

 

He continues, “If we don’t change that, we can’t make something new. We’re slightly approaching The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with that mindset, and also the next Zelda title, which we intend to continue changing. However, this brings us to the topic, ‘Exactly what is The Legend of Zelda about?”

 

The man who is in charge of all-things Zelda explains that this is a topic that is occasionally discussed with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto. For example, it is a requirement for there to be a Princess Zelda, but that’s not necessarily the main focus of the game. This leaves them with having to think of something that can bring a unique experience to the players. Having players experience something for the first time is what Eiji Aonuma considers to be the core of The Legend of Zelda series.

 

“Something that is ‘traditional’ is in a sense often something that copies previous works, so if you continue doing that, it gradually takes away from its uniqueness,” says Aonuma. “So we’re currently working on making those parts more and more unique.”

 

“So, by no means, am I tired of it,” Aonuma reiterates with a laugh. “Rather, the more we change it, the more I get fired up. Having someone think ‘Huh? Is this Zelda?!’ at first, then ‘Oh, it is Zelda,’ is what we’re going for. Something that wouldn’t make it matter whether Link or Princess Zelda appear in it or not. Something where it wouldn’t even matter if Zelda is actually a princess, or not.”

 

Photographs courtesy 4Gamer.



  • ChiffonCake

    That is a very good question. That Aonuma is approaching the next game with such a mindset makes me hopeful for what we’ll see next.

  • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

    Zelda could definitely use some changes, but it doesn’t have to be any too extreme. What I really want is deeper puzzles, tougher enemies more exploration, the ability to take on any dungeon in any set order, and last but not least a story that isn’t so… predictable.

    • FlyingPony

      Agree dude.

      Put more variety puzzle. Change the exploration place, instead of dungeon, explore a thick forest/desert/city ruin/sea floor. Put more deeper combat. Give more weapon with more moveset ala Darksouls. Put more unique monster as well. Put more detail in the environment and the characters. More smooth, realistic character movement.

      Compose new memorable music.

      Put some plot twist, or even cameo of the tri-godesses. Make Link die in the end for a cliff hanger, and as place set for the unavoidable sequel. Make Zelda being possessed by some evil spirit and set an epic combat between Link and evil Zelda.

      Ok, enough of brainstorming from my part.

      Keep what making a Legend of Zelda, a Legend of Zelda, and improve everything that make Zelda popular in the first place.

      • Suicunesol

        All of those things you listed are a given for the series. Every game in the series introduces a new land with new areas, new combat mechanics, new memorable music (as if to suggest the new music is not memorable?) And a battle between Link and evil Zelda–wasn’t that in Twilight Princess?

        There’s nothing wildly new or inventive in your suggestions, I’m sorry to say. They’re very predictable advances in the series that would probably appear in the next Zelda anyway. You know what I mean?

        …at the very least, I do agree that the new Zelda should incorporate the best features of every Zelda to date.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Plot devices arent elements that need to be re-used and abused._.

    • Serge

      I’ve always wanted something like this:

      Zelda – The hero of wisdom.
      Link – The bandit of courage.
      Ganon – The Prince of power.

      But i guess that it’s too extreme.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        You’re just making up story for the sake of making up story.

        You gotta find a theme and stick with it. Sometimes that theme comes from the game, like it did with in Windwaker

        • Serge

          It’s not actually a story, those are roles.
          The same roles that we always have in the game: The hero of courage, the princess of wisdom and the bandit of power. Just mixed up.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            How is role reversals going to make anything fresh? Is Aonuma’s team Rockstar now? They writing a satire ?

          • Serge

            Maybe because you can see the story from a different point of view. Maybe not a Good Vs Evil, but a clash of beliefs.

            Zelda could have an active role in the story, Link coud be a Anti-hero and perhaps we could see a Ganon that have a real reason to act the way he do.

            I don’t know, man. You can create a very interesting story from little changes.

            That is my opinion : )

          • chibidw

            I once read a western comic for Zelda from the 90s which had a storyline involving Link finding the Triforce of Power in a dungeon, and revolved around the Triforce itself slowly corrupting him with a desire for more and more power to the point where he attempted to kill Zelda – resulting in the Triforce of Courage abandoning him to protect Zelda.

            When he saw his own reflection he saw himself slowly turning into a new Ganon, leading him to throw away the Triforce of Power to save himself.

            There’s a synopsis here. http://zeldawiki.org/The_Legend_of_Zelda_%28Comic%29/Issue_3

            Why can’t there be something more of a personal struggle like that? Rather than “ohay Link gud Zelda rescue Ganonbadman” that it’s always been in the actual games? We need something original for the storyline just as much as gameplay.

          • Internet is Crash

            oooh I have the first 3 issues of this series. bought it cheap :D

          • Steven Higgins

            What if Link was a prince and Zelda was a peasant-girl? Just spitballin’

          • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

            I like this idea a lot! Seeing Zelda, Link, and Ganon break free from their traditional roles in terms of how they act is interesting.

      • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

        I’ve always thought it’d be cool to try playing as Ganondorf for once. His travels in OoT, for example, as he tries to take the sacred stones and ends up going to each temple to take control of the land of Hyrule. Simply OoT from another perspective, but I doubt it’d work anyway.

        • Guest

          I always imagined it would be cool to play from his perspective. Not necessarily OoT story but generally Ganondorfs life. The story can start with a young Ganon who was a good guy and shows him becoming evil gradually.

          • Niko Sandwich

            Corrupted by Power? Sounds like it could be an amazing story. I haven’t watched Breaking Bad, but the show’s Pride and Power theme being so successful shows that we could play as a good guy turned villain and still be successful/ acceptable.

    • AkuLord3

      Not sure how any story isn’t predictable…Link Hero, fights bad guy, wins and save the day…like most stuff : p but still i get what you mean just eh.

      • Ryozaku

        If you boil it down to that and generalize, then yea anything can sound repetitive.

        • Chris Cruz

          Ive said it once and I’ll say it again, what the franchise needs is more deeper insight in its character cast.

          • Nanashrew

            Wind Waker is, in my opinion, the very best at that. Ganon especially had a lot of depth to his character. He wasn’t just a villain, he was human.

          • Ryozaku

            What do you mean more character development or backstory

    • AndyLC

      >>and last but not least a story that isn’t so… predictable.

      Dude, you just described one of the most popular Zelda games that already came out over a decade ago.

      Is everyone having Collective Amnesia where they forgot that there WAS a Zelda game with a radically different story that ventures away from the courage/wisdom/power trinity to tell a completely different story with a unique gameplay mechanic?

      • Rasputing

        No. Link was Link, skull kid was Zelda, Majora was Gannondorf. While Majora’s Mask had amazing world building and gameplay mechanics, as well as a different tone, it’s core story wasn’t really all that different. Link is called to save the world, he acts and succeeds while protecting the innocent person involved. The presentation made it seem really different, but it wasn’t.

        • Niko Sandwich

          Majora’s Mask’s story was actually more focused on the people around you than the main players. If you want to find the depth of the story, look at the symbolism present as well as the tales that the 4 lands were crafted to teach concerning Healing for different ails like Xenophobia or Pride. If you want character depth look at the people you help. Kafei’ and Anju’s Quest, while optional, is supposed to be one of the deeper experiences in the game, both gameplay and stroy-wise.

          And Skull Kid doesn’t fit in Zelda’s archetype at all, as the only thing he gets saved from is being overwhelmed by power. The theme surrounding him is forgiveness.

    • KrazyBean

      You can take on dungeons in any order in A Link Between Worlds.

      • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

        I’m aware, speaking in terms of future console versions of Zelda.

    • jadedcorliss

      It’s tough. A comfortable, easily accessible experience can be ruined without much. They also have to make a game that both a hardcore, experienced fan can enjoy, and some kid picking up his first Zelda game can enjoy. Wii U discs are massive and they can read them fast, that could help.

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Aonuma is a boss

  • Wake

    That’s something a lot of game devs, especially from the old guard, eventually ask themselves. Finding the perfect balance between traditional and a modernization of a game is a delicate matter that can even create a divide in the fanbase.

    Kojima, for example, is going through this now. The changes he made have been somewhat controversial for MGS fans. The open world aspect is embraced, but the inclusion of a regenerating health has MGS fans divided.

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, regen health is arguably needed when your game is supposed to be very open world styled compared to any Metal Gear games before it. And it seems he is taking after a lot of amazing gameplay features in new stealth games and Splinter Cell.

  • Setsu Oh

    took them long enough

  • Rasputing

    Better combat. People say SS is easy, all the sword attacks in TP were basically “If your enemy does/is X, do this attack and it’ll be an auto-win.” Let’s not forget that the first three games were primarily action games.

    Also, more characters. If the world/country/whatever is at risk, there should be more than a few people concerned with it. It’d also be nice if a couple monster races were fleshed out, like maybe seeing Dark Nuts/Iron Knuckles having classical medieval castles/fortresses or those goblins being a tribe of raiding nomads who walk the earth. They don’t have to be ‘good’ (though, some should be because its poor storytelling otherwise), just fleshed out. Because I’m pretty sure brainless monsters can’t create armor and weapons.

    • Suicunesol

      Actually, I like how you don’t know where the Dark Nuts or Iron Knuckles came from, or how they live their lives. It contributes to part of the mystery of the place…

      Also, if “brainless” monsters have armor and weapons, they’re probably not “brainless”– just stupid. But even cavemen can make elementary clubs and shields.

      • Rasputing

        I suppose that is a valid opinion.

        Also, cavemen weren’t stupid. If they were, they wouldn’t have been able to survive, hunt, and eventually form civilization. The only difference between our brains and their brains are different experiences. Namely, we were taught language while they had to invent.

        The main point is that stupid creatures don’t get up on two legs, develope apposable thumbs, and create clubs and shields. They sharpen claws and fangs, learn to create some poison (I’ve never been clear how a creature evolves poison, admittedly), etc.

    • Zeik56

      Skyward Sword was easily the hardest Zelda since Majora’s Mask.

      • Suicunesol

        Which parts did you think were difficult, if I might ask?

        • Zeik56

          The very first boss gave me more trouble than any Zelda fight in years. I actually had to use my stock of healing items against the final boss, which has never happened.

          • Suicunesol

            Oh yes. Yeah, I can agree with you on that. Admittedly, I think the difficulty mainly stemmed from my unfamiliarity with the motion-controls and that there was no hint or “puzzle” to figure out other than experimenting to see what would happen.

            As for the last boss, I found it disappointingly easy… but only because (having expected a boss of extreme difficulty) I was well prepared with Guardian Potions and fairies. I never did figure out how to “properly” beat him, though. (the fact that the fight wasn’t multi-tiered was a downer, too)

          • Zeik56

            I went into the final boss completely blind, so I had no idea it would be difficult. For many years I kept fairy’s around just in-case, but after awhile I realized I never had to use them so I kind of just stopped trying to prepare that much.

        • http://gentlerobot.com/ Gentle Robot

          Ghirahim, the Imprisoned, and even the piranha plants. The first fight with Ghirahim made Demise look like a joke. The sacred realm bits weren’t a walk in the park, either.

          Mostly I had trouble with the swordplay. I had no trouble doing directional slashes in TP, but SS demanded too much precision. Maybe I was holding the remote wrong (which means calibration would help) but doing slashes in cardinal directions required too much skill for me.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Those people played SS with a GameFaq

    • KingRuff

      Well at least in OoT, the Dark Nuts/ Iron Knuckles are all Gerudo women. I seriously doubt they were placed in those suits on accident, and Gerudo live in fortresses so your wish was kinda granted before you even had it there.

  • Guest

    My immediate thoughts are that it is a “tradition” and not a “requirement” for link to look the way he does or even be called link. Imagine a new protagonist in the same universe with the same Zelda feel. That would be an interesting twist and expansion.

    • FlyingPony

      Changing protagonist wont do any better, but actually make it worst because it takes time and effort to like a new guy. If he/she failed to give a good impression, then the whole adventure is going down.

      Better to keep Link, maybe change his costume and everyone else at most, and improve and make versatility of the (puzzle/enemy/combat/graphic detail) and explore a new place like sea floor or in a thick jungle/ hot desert.

    • Arrei

      When it comes to characters and story, I don’t really see the point in changing Link’s name or superficial qualities like his clothes and looks. Most Links are silent protagonist types, and the ones that are actually given characterization tend to carry different qualities that already make them new protagonists even if they have a familiar look and garb. Take a different protagonist, we’ll call him Blink, give him a new suit, and thrust him into an adventure to save Princess Blelda from the clutches of the evil Blanon… but if Blink is still stuck in the same kind of setting, it’s no different than if it were just Link in the first place.

      What they can always use, however, are different *interpretations* of the familiar characters, and build the story around those. A Link that’s been pampered since childhood as the prophesied hero instead of a country bumpkin unaware of his destiny? A Zelda who takes a more active role against the forces of evil, be it a Spirit Tracks-style Zelda (just without the whole spirit thing) or as a tactical leader? A Ganondorf who fights on the side of good, who may or may not turn out to be a traitor in the end? A Kaepora Gaebora who DOESN’T spit out an essay every time you talk to him?

      Plus, you’ve seen how the internet reacts to mucking with established characters like with Devil May Cry’s reboot – change the setting if you want something fresh, but changing the characters at their core to such a radical degree never blows over well.

      • Guest

        good point. Im just thinking of Aonuma wanting people to ask ” Is this Zelda?” And then realize that it is. It would have to be unrecognizable at first, despite looking awesome at the same time. Then you can see that it is indeed zelda, only it has deviated from most of what ppl know.

        • http://gentlerobot.com/ Gentle Robot

          Isn’t this just Sheik? It seems like he’s already broken all the rules he mentioned.

          • SinnerUnderGrace

            Touche

    • KingRuff

      They can change the gameplay all they want, but I don’t want some non green tunic wearing Link. Link is the symbol of Zelda games, you don’t change him for the exact same reason you can’t just redesign Mario.

  • Charles

    I dont mind breaking tradition, just no more motion controls only and we’re good to go.

    • Zeik56

      Choose one or the other. You could never pull of Skyward Sword’s combat with an optional non-motion control mode. I’d like to see them expand upon what they did in SS personally, but if not then don’t bother doing it half-assed. Just make a solid normal control scheme.

      • EmoryM

        Swinging the GamePad around? Uhh…

  • GH56734

    Wish Aonuma wouldn’t forget about his work on the Japan-exclusive Marvelous series for the Super Famicom.
    Would love to see this revived somehow (it almost was, but got scaled down and changed to Navi Trackers)

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

    The next Zelda Title should be about Zelda, Link, and shockingly, Ganon, working together to stop a common foe. Something like the approach the Mario RPG titles seem to take sometimes. Other than that, so long as the game isn’t taking that concept and placing it in, say, a Racing Game, I’ll be fine with whatever they choose to deem a ‘logical’ step into change. /Thanks, Obama.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Sounds boring.

      • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

        How about Ganon being the Hero, Zelda being the Villain, and Link being the… guy in distress?

        • BlueTree

          How about a completely new and different series that’s not called “The Legend of Zelda?”

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Yeah, Nintendo should make a War game.

          • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

            Hylian Wars? Who would be the COs and their powers?

          • BlueTree

            Money Making Game Moblin and Mask Shop Owner. Together they would use Power of Rupee and Hylian Bonds.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            I’ll have to go ask the acquaintance of mine that came up with the setting and the gameplay

          • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

            But that would be missing the point here.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          How about you go on TV tropes?

          • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

            I’m trying to cut back on tropes, but thanks.

  • Suicunesol

    Well, I have a bunch of opinions. I’m not sure which one to voice: the one where I say that Nintendo should hang up Link’s hat in the closet for a while, or the one where Nintendo ups the ante even more. I just want to say that, in regards to trends, I find it funny that many people ask for change in the Zelda series when Nintendo has been adding new major mechanics to the Zelda series for over a decade. And the games with major changes are always the ones that are criticized the most.

    OoT comes out. People love it. They want more.
    Majora’s Mask comes out. Unique, 3-day “save the world” feature. People put off by it.
    Windwaker comes out. New art styyle, new method of travel. People hate it. Wants OoT-style back.
    Twilight Princess comes out. The Zelda game of fan dreams. Sells well. People like it, but want something new and exciting.
    Skyward Sword comes out. New style, new motion controls. Sells horribly.

    Aonuma and friends are just fighting an uphill battle here. It’s so sad and I don’t know what to say.

    Hang up the green coat in the cabinet for a while, Nintendo, and put on a new coat. See what happens.

    • Arrei

      And then they get people hounding them about why no Zelda games are coming out, a la Star Fox or Metroid.

      Damned if they do…

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I feel this kind of justification is oversimplifying the problem, and it’s the kind of excuse that Nintendo have used a couple of times themselves, when they’ve floundered with Zelda. The fact of the matter is that in every single one of the cases you mentioned, those games had some very real and very serious flaws that kept them from being what they should have.

      Let’s go down the list and we can see what people think of these:

      Majora’s Mask: Three-day system was unique, yes, and Majora’s Mask is certainly remembered more fondly now. That said, the three-day system is cumbersome and I can see how a time limit would put people off. MM is remembered more fondly now because Zelda has been absolutely horrible at telling stories that grown-ups could appreciate, and MM is one of the few times they got it right.

      Wind Waker: This one is entirely on them. They set expectations with that tech demo that they demoed with the more realistic approach. Artistic license is one thing, but setting expectations and then going in the exact opposite direction is a silly thing to do. Again, Wind Waker is looked back upon more fondly now, but it’s largely because people miss things from WW that future Zelda games failed to do, such as the exploration. (More on this in a separate comment that I’ll write in a bit.)

      Twilight Princess: Yes, the Zelda game of fan dreams. The one time they got really close to getting it right. It had a fantastic story with great characters, amazing style and it was just oozing with an atmosphere and dungeons that made it feel like absolutely nothing else out there. The only thing that people (rightfully) complained about was the lack of things to do in the overworld… which Nintendo said they would fix with Skyward Sword.

      Skyward Sword: …only, they didn’t fix the overworld. They took it out entirely. The sky, as tiny as it was, was bland and boring, with nothing to do. The ground sections were basically dungeons within dungeons. There was absolutely nothing to break the pace of the game up. It always felt like you were in a dungeon, no matter where you were. To top it off, Skyloft had the most boring and flat characterization, and SS’s story in general was underwhelming. You could sum it up as “Chase after the princess! Go!”

      And this isn’t even counting the portable games and all of the flaws they had. While I love both Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, both had some absolutely horrid design decisions holding them back. So, I will respectfully have to disagree that there is any sort of uphill battle being fought here.

      The truth of the matter is that Zelda doesn’t exist in a vacuum and the people that play Zelda play other games as well. Yes, Zelda is unique, but that doesn’t give it an excuse to ignore modern design conventions. There are many, many other third-person action-adventure games on the market now that share many things in common with Zelda and are appealing to those fans. Tomb Raider, God of War, Assassin’s Creed, Darksiders. Take your pick.

      All they have to do is understand what the crux of the issue is. Zelda needs three things to succeed:

      1. Exploration (what started the craze)
      2. A decent story (expected, after Ocarina and TP)
      3. Nintendo-style “aha!” moments (which they already have)

      I know that’s easier said than done, but other studios working on third-person games have been doing this for the last four years now, and putting out excellent games in the process. I don’t know why Aonuma and co. find it so difficult to do the same.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Arent games supposed to be more than their flaws?

        I’ll give you windwaker, hell I’ll give you TP’s bosses, but a game is game.

        If you’re looking for absolute perfection you aint getting it son. People like different shit.

        All the Zelda’s could have been better if they had more time with it and expanded on what made them great games.

        Which was CLEARLY a response to some of the mouthing off that came out after TP.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          What exactly is your point? Zelda isn’t what it used to be. People haven’t been happy (relatively speaking) with the games in years. Are you saying there isn’t a problem? Because even Nintendo recognizes the problem and have been very vocal about addressing it.

          Games are more than the sum of their flaws, yes, but when a game forgets what made it good in the first place, then the reason for it to exist disappears.

          • Shippoyasha

            I thought Wind Waker was great but yeah, the expectations that was set up was seriously misleading. I think they need to take bolder steps with the gameplay if they want to be bold with the art style as well. Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess overall didn’t do a good job of connecting dungeons with overworlds and it felt like being escorted from one dungeon to the next. That is an extremely crucial Zelda element entirely foregone.

          • LunarKnite

            Yup. Totally not happy. Zelda’s not what it used to be back in Link’s Awakening days. Oracle of Ages and Seasons were great follow ups and then they were discarded by the time the DS came around.

            Now they go back to the Link to the Past, that old relic? Give me Link’s Awakening 2. Give me my Windfish.

          • Zeik56

            I hope you’re being purposely ironic by dismissing Link to the Past and then clamoring for Link’s Awakening 2. >_>

          • LunarKnite

            I am. But I also played LA first and then the Oracle games. Wasn’t until the GBA days when I played LttP, so I would in fact not mind seeing a game closer to Link’s Awakening than LttP.

            Also, I would find it a little more fitting if Nintendo really did want to get away from tradition by not making a sequel to the game that started that tradition? Instead, why not make a sequel to the portable game that people think of a black sheep, one not focused on Hyrule or Princess Zelda. Hell, go return to Zelda 2. Would like to see a more modern version of what Nintendo could cook up in that regard.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Miyamoto thinks that’s his worse game. I dont think Aonuma or the other team wants to go there. Creative influence should bring forth something new…

          • LunarKnite

            New, old. That doesn’t mean good. Also, I just wanted to see what Miyamoto’s opinion on Zelda 2 were since you brought it up. He never said it was his worst game, he said that it was a game they could have done more with. Found it on a kotaku article when I googled.

            So really, if that’s not reason enough to return to it…

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Hell, go return to Zelda 2. Would like to see a more modern version of what Nintendo could cook up in that regard.

            Fun fact: That’s how Ocarina of Time started out. It stemmed from Zelda 2. :)

          • LunarKnite

            Really? I haven’t heard that before.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Read the Iwata Asks on Ocarina 3D. It’s all in there. :)

          • LunarKnite

            Well, that’s a whole bunch of Iwata Asks I need to read. i did see the part you mentioned though. Very interesting.

            Also I saw something in another Zelda Iwata Asks with Tezuka saying this: “That’s right. You mess up if you put in lots of effort to do better than before, but throw out some good things because they’re old and just indiscriminately add new things. Just because something is new, you can’t guarantee it’s good.”

            Along with Aonuma saying that the games need to be able to be played all kinds of gamers, I think that really shows the philosophy behind some of these design choices.

            As a side note, Link’s Awakening seemed to have been created with great freedom. I wonder if Nintendo would let a group of new developers try their hand at making a portable Zelda in the same way they did for NSMB2.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I dearly hope the next portable Zelda is more exciting than A Link Between Worlds. I think they made this game because 1. LttP is obviously popular, and 2. Because they’re trying to find their feet with Zelda again, and this gives them a strong starting point.

            Hopefully, the next 3DS Zelda will be a little more unique than a sequel. Having two throwbacks to old Zelda titles coming out within a month of each other is reason for anyone to raise an eyebrow.

          • Niko Sandwich

            Whoa, I think it might be a little early to judge ALBW. You’re right about it not having as much pre-hype behind it as it’s not completely new, and I as much as anyone want an entirely new world to explore, but I don’t believe we can judge how exciting playing the game can be based on trailers and screenshots.

            It was only this week that they revealed any semblance of plot and actual characters, their inclusion being a whole new dimension, and I think that when we actually play the game it will be a lot more exciting than the first couple trailers made it out to be. I’m excited about the story, since we have no idea what the plot is, and though the game has much more freedom than most games, it looks like they’ve found a way to implement a story. Perhaps it’s smaller stories told through the characters of the area, but I think context will make things more exciting than what we’ve seen.

            With all due respect to you thou, Ishaan, as this is only my opinion, and I understand your concerns.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            It’s not a question of plot and characters, in my opinion… more the philosophy behind it all. When they said they were going to take bold new steps with the next Zelda, you expect a game that breaks new ground. And yeah, they do have the item rental feature, but they’re doing it within the safe confines of a sequel to a 20-year-old game.

            Something about that just rubs me the wrong way, personally. It’s kind of the typical thing you would expect from the Zelda team—to make these really bold, rash claims and then the end result ends up being a lot more toned down than what they initially made it sound like.

            To be entirely honest—and I’m totally going to get called shallow for this—I don’t like the fact that we’re going back to the top-down Zeldas on portables either. 3DS has more than enough oomph in it to give us a full-fledged 3D game. The only reason we’re going to top-down is because they can’t break themselves away from the past and because they don’t want this game to overshadow Wind Waker HD.

          • LunarKnite

            While I wouldn’t mind seeing a made-from-the-ground-up-for-the-3DS 3D Zelda game, I would hope they don’t completely move away from top-down perspective forever. I think the two different kinds are able to offer completely separate and different experiences with just a switch in perspective.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I agree on that point. Both perspectives have their merits. I just feel like a top-down game restricts movement and exploration, whereas a 3D game more opportunity for freedom of movement.

            I actually thought Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks struck a nice balance between the two, because even though they were top-down, controlling Link with the stylus made him feel very agile and gave you this sense of movement that other top-down Zeldas never did.

            Of course, that isn’t possible with 3DS, since most of the action needs to take place on the top screen, so I hope that for their next Zelda title, they give us something that straddles the line better.

          • Niko Sandwich

            First, I wouldn’t call you shallow for wanting a 3D Zelda, as, while I deeply love the entire series, the 3D games have a level of atmosphere and fulfillment that 2D can’t cover in the same way. In 3D Zelda’s there is more of a feeling of actually being there in Hyrule, and that’s what Zelda was created to do and why we can name ourselves.

            Contrarily though, the 2D Zelda’s actually tend to have greater depth concerning puzzles and action. My hardest Zelda fights have been in the 2D worlds where the action gets more focused and dodging isn’t so simple as rolling around, and the harder puzzles exist because there are not the same limits as a 3D game. Certain puzzles can have greater impact in either 3D or 2D, and a lot of the 2D puzzles have effects that would be a hassle to try to make work in 3D. Don’t get me wrong, the converse is true, but that’s why I believe we should and could still have both.

            Second, I still push my point that we can’t gauge the impact of change in this game yet. What they were looking to do was mix up the formula, and we’ll see how that will really work in a couple months. The item gathering mechanics and the “mechanic-of-the-game” of becoming a drawing mix up things a little bit, but if they pull of the non-linear world appropriately, then it will really be a Zelda game that sets itself apart. If it goes “Final Fantasy VI 2nd World Non-linear” (which is what I mean by isolated, character based stories) then the gameplay will shift in greater ways than just “Here’s all the items in the game, now go have fun.” That’s my opinion, at least.

          • KingRuff

            Who are these people? The vocal minority I would assume. The weight of your argument is lost when you begin to rely on imaginary people to back you up. If “people” had a real problem with Zelda, they would have stopped making the games altogether. To use your own words against you, it would have lost its reason to exist. The very fact that not only has that not happened, but also that they are consistently developing new quality Zelda titles proves that you are wrong on that point.

            In regards to your short “reviews” of past Zelda titles, all of your responses are based off of your personal opinion. The very reasons you dislike a particular Zelda title could be why another person enjoyed them.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Who are these people? The vocal minority I would assume.

            When the creators of the series begin to acknowledge these people, they cease to be the “vocal minority”. One could argue that they were the vocal minority a few years ago, but Nintendo’s reaction indicates that they aren’t.

            More than any publisher, Nintendo are great at locking down on the “essence” of a game beyond sales figures and what people complaining on forums say. When they begin to acknowledge the complaints, it means there’s a very real issue.

      • Zeik56

        Uh, TP was in no way the game that got the closest to getting it right. It’s the game that gets the most backlash for trying to pander to the fanbase without trying to do much original or meaningful.

        I don’t fall as deeply into that camp as some, since I still think it’s a decent game, but it’s definitely the weakest of the 3D Zelda’s.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I don’t fall as deeply into that camp as some, since I still think it’s a decent game, but it’s definitely the weakest of the 3D Zelda’s.

          Honestly, I will always have a hard time believing this because TP is the best-selling Zelda in years. People vote with their wallet, and TP has continued to sell throughout the Wii’s tenure, so clearly a lot of people like it.

          • Zeik56

            There are so many factors that influence sales figures I can never use that as a statement of quality. (You can buy a game and still hate it after all.) But I’m mostly just speaking for myself. I can’t possibly know what every single person actually thinks.

            Even if that is the fanbase’s “dream Zelda” it’s not mine.

          • BlueTree

            Eh. People buying things is not an indication of quality, it’s an indication of sales with quality sometimes being a coincidental element. Appealing to that as an authority (the idea of sales) is shallow as hell.

            As far as “Getting it right”, that’s really inane and it’s precisely why Zelda is in the rut it’s in but I wouldn’t blame Nintendo. People do indeed vote with their dollars, and we’ll get the games we deserve.

            For Majora’s Mask, the idea behind the 3 day system WAS to be initially be cumbersome and stressful. It’s a game that mimics Groundhog Day but I don’t remember Bill Murray getting his mojo running for the first half of the film until after all the trial and error he faced. I think that game is much smarter than a lot of the audience that takes it in initially. Speaking of which…

            As far as telling stories that Grown-Ups can appreciate… any adult putting their nose up at Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening really don’t have any business making assessment about the quality of narrative relative to audience. Those games were pretty universally themed and artistic, if a person of any age can’t see that then that’s their problem, it doesn’t mean that those Zelda games suddenly weren’t tackling very adult themes, such as sadness and loss in very subtle and brilliant ways.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I agree completely with the fact that the portable Zeldas have traditionally told more interesting stories than their console counterparts. Just that this discussion is primarily about the console games, which is why I didn’t touch upon the portable side.

            Just as an example, even Spirit Tracks, which is the most recent new portable Zelda, had excellent characterization, despite whatever other flaws it may have had. Zelda was hilarious and constantly entertaining, and you would always look forward to watching her and Link interact.

            As for sales not being an indication of quality… again, I’ll respectfully have to disagree. At the end of the day, it is the only factor that really matters to any game publisher, professional or indie. You could argue that if a game is a one-off hit, and then sales drop off entirely, that it was a bad game, and people just bought it because they were enticed by the prospect of something that was never there to begin with.

            But when a game continues to sell over many, many years, that’s an indication that it’s doing something right.

          • BlueTree

            Uh yeah, but my example of Link to the Past was a console game, though. And really, narrative in video games is so poorly understood and poorly discussed, I’d just as soon lump in the fact I know grown adults who’ve played the NES Zelda with their now grown children that still have a fondness for those titles. But if we need indisputable Narrative, Link to the Past hands down. I don’t even need an aside, that game had a broad spectrum of powerful moments.

            And companies being shackled by sales as an indicator of quality is precisely why Indie Games have the kind of traction that they do. Contrast Mario with Zelda… when was the last time the complaint “Mario hasn’t been the same since Mario 3 and Super Mario World” carried much traction relevant to sales?

            When ONE game sells over time, yes, that individual game did SOMETHING right. But whether or not you can continue to distill and profit from that one game’s ideas without significant variation is something that has led to the downfall of many a series. Capcom knows this quite well.

            If people want to play Mega Man 2 or Link to the Past over and over, that’s their business, but it’s clearly taxing to developers, much like this producer, who want to do more.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            OK, then let’s put this another way: Zelda games with relatively lower production values tend to be better-rounded in terms of the things people want out of them. Or at least, that used to be the case, pre-Nintendo DS.

            With the 3D console games, they’re such large-scale productions that something is always sacrificed in favour of something else. And judging by the community and Nintendo’s reaction, the things that have been sacrificed in the last few games were perhaps more important than Nintendo thought.

            I agree that different is good, but one can be different while being well-rounded. This is the problem here is that the last few Zeldas haven’t been well-rounded.

            When you have a series like Assassin’s Creed that comes out every year, people are willing to forgive flaws and accept the fact that the games will get better with each iteration, as long as each game keeps them relatively happy. In the case of Zelda, however, expectations are higher because Zelda comes out every 3-5 years.

          • BlueTree

            As far as what people want from a Zelda game and its production values, I’m gonna bring up again, a point another poster made earlier:

            People like lots of different things, and a series like Zelda used to be able to offer experiences that were clearly different. We live in a world where people are all different, to give the challenge of trying to appeal to the market instead of making a great game is going to result in mediocrity, and someone’s toes are going to get stepped on regardless. And if you want to ask “What’s your point”, my point is that it’s a well known fact throughout history that when people try to create symmetry, and act like people or things are “the same” or need to reach some binary point of “good or bad”, situation/things/events tend to suffer a drop in, to be generous, quality.

            The point? Don’t do that. Don’t act like you can bottle lightning and then create some abstraction around that moment that you’d call “Right” or “The way.”

            To continue to create video games under the idea of “brand” is not sustainable for every series, and no creator should have to deal with being at knife point for making games in that style if they don’t want to and when it’s clearly not working. If you’re hot, you’re hot, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that things that aren’t necessarily at the apex of popularity or sales are suddenly lacking.

            Assassin’s Creed as an example is wholly dishonest at that, given that it has no legacy and damaged development cycle to create expectations, like other series/franchises currently do. Devil May Cry or Mega Man or Zelda or Sonic are not perceived the same as Assassin’s Creed in terms of on-going expectations. As Assassin’s Creed goes on, I imagine that may very well occur, but it hasn’t quite hit that purification/stagnation zone just yet.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            The point? Don’t do that. Don’t act like you can bottle lightning and then create some abstraction around that moment that you’d call “Right” or “The way.”

            Maybe I’m not illustrating my point properly, but I don’t disagree with you at all. I don’t think that Zelda needs a formula—in fact, it needs to break away from the formula if anything—but at the same time, it also needs to make people feel satisfied at the end of their 40-60 hour affair with the game.

            Take Metroid: Other M for instance. I’m one of those people that enjoyed every moment of that game, and will defend it to the very end. At the same time, though, I can certainly see why people had issues with it, because Metroid doesn’t exist in a vacuum and there are other experiences out there that can serve as worthy substitutes (or even replacements). Developers need to be wary of this when they make their games.

            So, in the case of Zelda, I would encourage Aonuma to be different. However, the problem is that in his quest to be different, he has by his own admission failed to deliver on some of the things he’s promised in the past, such as non-linearity and exploration. Again, sacrifices that were made in favour of other elements.

            In Aonuma’s own words, “Having players experience something for the first time” is the essence of Zelda. That said, they aren’t experiencing any of these things for the first time because a number of other games are also providing them now, with a lot of other features layered on top of that experience. That’s the problem here, in my opinion.

          • BlueTree

            I think Metroid: Other M’s issues had less to do with this dichotomy you’re presenting, and more to do with the fact that it’s just a very fragmented game. There’s no separating that game’s narrative from its gameplay, which is both commendable and, to its detriment, a fatal flaw. There were good aspects to it, but most of it was bad, the narrative, and so the REALLY strong elements of exploration, control, gameplay, boss battles, and overall feel… those are lost, because you also have to experience a really painful, poorly done story. It has great ideas, I love how Team Ninja used the game to tell the story at points, but that game definitely had the capacity to just push people away based on how unlikable its characters come across as being. And not unlikable in ways that I’d say are artistically merited.

            Now, as I mentioned earlier with Majora’s Mask, I don’t think that a game has to make the player enjoy every single mechanic. Movies or books aren’t required to make you like a character or enjoy a section in the book. Sometimes you’re going to invoke unpleasant feelings in video games, and sometimes that is an intentional thing.

            The Japanese version of Einhander had ships that shifted through gunpods very slowly, while the Astraea Mk2 shifted through gunpods instantaneously… because it was, narrative-wise, the most advanced fighter in the group. When the game was brought to the US, they made all fighters shift gunpods at the same instantaneous speed as the Astraea… while this was pleasant for players, it also destroyed the in-game narrative being communicated, which was that the Astraea Mk2 is the best freaking ship you can use.

            Now I raise this issue because I read through your list of console Zelda games relative to Nintendo’s approach… and I just have to say that I don’t think Majora’s Mask upset anyone on the basis of, or didn’t meet any notions of quality solely based on, being cumbersome to some people. If someone didn’t like it, they need to figure it out if others have or they need to accept it wasn’t for them. It’s not suddenly marred with flaws. It’s clear that trial and error were a huge part of that game thematically, and I can’t think of anything gamebreaking that prevents it from accomplishing that task.

            Now, I can agree with you that games don’t exist in a vacuum, but what is YOUR point with that? I think “satisfying” is a very difficult design goal. I’d more say that Zelda needs to have a point again, it needs to have a direction. Which is maybe a step away from what you’re also implying, but I’m going to make it clear I’m thinking something close but different.

            I don’t agree with Aonuma’s thoughts on what the essence of Zelda is… but it’s also clear to me that Nintendo doesn’t really have anyone with much vision for the franchise at the moment. And I’m not implying they need to “get their guts up” so much as, maybe just take a break.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Admittedly, with Majora’s Mask, I was making an educated guess as to why people may not have liked it at the time. Perhaps it was that the time limit felt too stressful, or perhaps it was just that the N64 was so dead by then, that no one really played the game, and the only people who voiced their opinions were the vocal minority.

            I agree games don’t need to pleasant all throughout in order to be enjoyable. They’re more than the sum of their parts—they’re memories. If a game hits that sweet spot with you, your brain will compensate for any unpleasant bits and make it part of an overall good experience.

            However, in order for this to happen, I think you need to create a mood or an atmosphere of sorts, where the player’s brain can take over. Where you can leave certain things up to the imagination and let players fill in the gaps, or where you can create that one single “WOW” moment that dictates the rest of the experience.

            In the case of Zelda, mood hasn’t been something that they’ve been very good at creating, IMO. The reason I keep pointing to Twilight Princess is precisely because I feel that game was more than the sum of its parts, thanks to its worldview and characters. People complained about motion controls, people complained about the lack of things to do in the overworld, people complained about how long it took for you to be able to leave the village at the start of the game. Ultimately, though, the overall experience helps make up for all of that because TP made you want to be in that world—or at least, it did for me.

            I don’t agree with Aonuma’s thoughts on what the essence of Zelda is… but it’s also clear to me that Nintendo doesn’t really have anyone with much vision for the franchise at the moment.

            This is something we can both agree on completely. They don’t seem to have a vision for Zelda any more, and if you asked me what the essence of Zelda is to me, I wouldn’t be able to tell you either.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Look Ishaan, the next Zelda that does what it needs to do, that has the same effect that Ocarina of Time had, isnt within your scope. We dont know what will happen. But Aonuma is a very creative person.Underestimate that creativity at your own leisure

          • BlueTree

            I can’t say I felt that way about Twilight Princess. I really thought combat was amazing in that game, but then there were really agonizing moments… like the bug minigame, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what that had added. BUT, I say this just to show, look how varied opinions are about games that are following a similar formula just based on theme! It’s clear that they’re going to hit diminishing returns if their current audience wants “The same, but better.” I’m sure you realize this, and I don’t want to belabor that any further, soooo

            I think the fact that Zelda games are expected to be these long arcing narratives/epics have sort of run its course. I think the series, personally, could probably do for some scaling back and some more subtlety. Twilight Princess certainly isn’t the worst Zelda in this regard, considering what Skyward Sword was willing to beat players over the head with via various uses of series icons as symbolic/metaphor in the most shallow/cheap ways.

            I’m gonna preface this next part with TEXT INCOMING:

            When I say things are unpleasant in video games, I don’t just mean that they’re flaws… I mean they’re actually things that add depth and meaning to the game. Being entertained by art is one thing, but it’s also important to ask why we’re doing things or why those things upset us, especially in the game. The most poignant of movies or books feature moments that upset the audience or reader, that make them have to ask themselves why they didn’t enjoy something.

            While I don’t think you’re wrong in that the whole of a game can overcome unpleasantness, and that I think the end result is exactly what you say, that we look back on what we experienced with fondness… I do think it’s also important that we don’t also view those unpleasant moments as necessarily being flaws. This is hard to do, but at the very least it shouldn’t wholly drive our perspective.

            For a while, I thought that the Kingdom of Zeal section in Chrono Trigger was the weakest area in the game. I thought it was tedious, but years later I had a lot of time to consider just why that was in relation to what was happening in the game itself. I still don’t find it the most pleasant section to get through, but I also think it’s not out of line with what it’s doing and that it’s supposed to be unpleasant. Helplessness/powerlessness are two very big themes going on there. It’s not necessarily “bad.” It invokes a lot of negative emotions to, ultimately, allow for the possibility of getting more out of the overall quality of the game. The good is good because there is bad, or something.

            This is a lot more complex than it sounds. Do I think the final boss of Skyward Sword upsets me because it is thoughtfully designed and intended to do so? No, I think it’s pandering and a waste lol. It’s not something you can make up and easily quantify, and I think creators have a very difficult job because they cannot be thinking about these things out the gate. They need to have vision, vision that we can both agree isn’t there for Zelda.

            What we’re doing is just what anyone should be doing with games/books/movies, we’re just thinking critically, but if we’re at this point where it feels like we can see the man behind the curtain, it doesn’t necessarily raise a lot of confidence, but I am at least happy that Aonuma can at least voice some of his dissatisfaction. Making a Zelda game at Nintendo is no enviable task, at least from my perspective.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Agreed. The moment you begin pandering or having to explain yourself, you’ve lost the magic. Perhaps you’ve worded what I loved most about Ocarina and Twilight Princess—that there was subtlety in those games, and that was part of why they were appreciated. Because the developers trusted the players to pick up on the subtleties and that created the magic that we all want.

            I think this comes back to another comment I made above, in reply to @Suicunesol:disqus. Nintendo need to figure out who the audience for Zelda is. Judging by Skyward Sword, they seem to think it’s either really young (or underdeveloped) kids or first-time gamers.

            Personally, I don’t think it’s either of those. Zelda has a “hardcore” audience, for lack of a better term, just like Metroid. The funny thing is, Nintendo seem to recognize this in certain aspects of their design but not others. Zelda puzzles, for instance, are always very masterfully created and you need to rely on gamer instinct to solve them. On the flip side, things like basic controls are explained time and again, like you didn’t understand the first ten times they explained it to you. It’s a very odd situation.

            The same goes for storytelling. If people can instinctively pick up on the subtlety of puzzle solutions, then they can pick up on story subtleties as well. Are we to take away from this that the Zelda team simply sucks at telling stories? I’m not sure I’m ready to believe that because certain Zeldas do have very strong stories.

            It’s a frustrating problem to try and figure out. Although, if it isn’t too much to ask, I’d also like your opinion on my comment regarding Aonuma as producer vs. director (scroll to the top of the comments). That might be part of the issue.

          • BlueTree

            I don’t think games and their stories are necessarily separate entities. Those two elements exist as one, and I think there is more narrative in what we do in games than people realize. I don’t think Zelda sucks at telling stories, as a whole in any case… but I also think people are aware of satisfactory ways to convey the narrative by using the mechanics of the video game they’re playing and, more to the point, how to interpret that narrative if it isn’t explicitly stated or expressed in conventional ways. I think it’s unbroken ground.

            There are decades worth of video games that can be looked back on and appreciated even more greatly than they are right now. I don’t think Zelda as a series has erred in telling stories, I think we as players need to do a better job on deeper readings if we wish to see ourselves as critics or as meaningfully critical. What does that mean? Well, again, I’m not really willing to go further with my ideas because I’m writing an academic paper lol.

            As far as Producer vs Director goes, just got done reading what you had to say… I’ll just say, I don’t think I have much insight to add to this:

            The idea of Aonuma as Producer vs Aonuma as Director is very interesting. Part of me thinks of Keiji Inafune at Capcom. It also makes me think of Shinji Mikami, and how amazing he was at both positions. This situation kind of makes me think back on those recent issues/stories, but I don’t know enough about Aonuma due to a sort of lack of transparency as to what exactly is going on.

            Keiji Inafune was able to at least outwardly say “I was asked to do something I really didn’t enjoy doing”, granted I don’t think that was a producer/director role, but this is moreso that it was clear enough I could infer something about the situation… in this case, I have no answers, there’s definitely a reason these guys develop games and I don’t!

            I think it’d be interesting to ask Aonuma if he would prefer being the director. I can at least say I suspect that’s the case? I actually really like Wind Waker, but I also wasn’t especially fond of Twilight Princess. That not really being the crux of this… I want to know where Aonuma stands on his own work. I don’t particularly feel very insightful on this point, as it simply makes me think back to how I think Nintendo doesn’t necessarily have the people in place that can really make Zelda a flexible/versatile series, such as Mario. I’m not even sure it’s a possibility, but those are my thoughts on Director/Producer Aonuma at the very least.

            I know a good Producer can really put the right pieces into place, and perhaps Aonuma isn’t the guy to do that… but I also don’t know how to factor in a guy like Miyamoto, who can make a seemingly harmless suggestion that dramatically shifts entire development plans and puts Fox McCloud on planets inhabited by Dinosaurs.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Inafune is a really good example of someone who’s good in a producer role. Then again, perhaps the reason Inafune is like that is because he was raised in a different environment. Capcom is a very different company from Nintendo. While they have their unique franchises, they also compete with other traditional game publishers in several genres, so they have to be aware of their competition.

            In comparison, certain teams at Nintendo (like the Zelda team) seem to think they exist in a vacuum, and maybe this is part of the reason Aonuma hasn’t been able to juggle his responsibilities or be as forward-thinking as Inafune has. Inafune never had Miyamoto for a mentor.

            Like you said, Miyamoto’s word is like the word of god, and a single line from him (for better or worse) can change an entire development pipeline. Sometimes, I appreciate what he brings to the table. Other times, I feel like Zelda is in the rut it is because he failed to raise a competent team of developers.

            For comparison, look at the 3D Mario team. Those directors are much more rebellious than Aonuma ever was, and that has led to consistently great 3D Mario titles over the last five years. There’s a famous Iwata Asks about Mario Galaxy 2, where they talk about the producer of that game disagreeing with Miyamoto, and them arguing it out until they were both happy.

            Aonuma just doesn’t seem like the type who would do that. He’s said it himself… his goal is to make Miyamoto happy and gain his admiration. That’s no way to go about a vision. You’re making these games for your fans, not for Miyamoto.

          • BlueTree

            I think Aonuma has some obviously good games under his belt as a director, and he seems to be at least presenting some idea of a new direction not just for the games but a new way of thinking.

            I’m not sure how he’ll approach it exactly, but I can say that it gives me more confidence than a lot of other producer/developer interviews I’ve read. Just trying to please Miyamoto has definitely led to disaster at times, I know Hideki Kamiya talked about how going with the flow caused him to mess up Resident Evil… but I’m also willing to give this guy a chance based on the interview. It’s just also clear to me that, as we’ve been saying, there needs to be a vision and perhaps they’re not quite willing to reveal anything yet.

            At the very least, the interview acknowledges that there are things that they haven’t been happy with and perhaps it notes a shift. The main thing I feel is that this man directed Majora’s Mask, and that game was made after telling Miyamoto that the team didn’t want to make an expansion to Ocarina of Time, they wanted to do something new.

            I think the potential is there with this person, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of the game.

          • Zeik56

            Is it? It’s not like people buy the same game more than once. (Well maybe some did in TP’s case, since it was on GC and Wii, but they have to be a minority.) New people buying continually buying the game isn’t the same thing as every one of them loving it.

            Sales figures definitely matter to the business end of things, but we’re basically talking about satisfaction with the product, and I honestly don’t see how you could possibly know that simply based on sales data.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            but we’re basically talking about satisfaction with the product, and I honestly don’t see how you could possibly know that simply based on sales data.

            That’s a question publishers ask themselves every single day, and the conclusion they’ve arrived at over a period of several years is that ultimately sales are the most fail-safe method to evaluate satisfaction.

            Of course, there are other ways for Nintendo to gauge satisfaction (Club Nintendo surveys being one of them), but sales will always be the biggest indicator, simply because they’re something concrete.

          • KingRuff

            That’s the problem when you spend every single day looking at sales numbers. You have lost the sense of what quality actually is. You base your opinion of a game on the marketing strategy. The truth behind marketing is that you can get anyone to buy anything with the right incentive, good or not. You know those people who go out and buy every version of the IPhone even though barely anything changed? Marketing did that. The entire COD series selling the numbers it does? Marketing again. GTAV. Do I even need to say it?

            You’ve been in the business side of gaming too long. You can’t base the quality of a game off of sales. Sales =/= Enjoyment and there have been tons of games that sold well yet were widely disliked among gamers. The fact is you don’t speak for gamers anymore Ishaan, you speak for the businessmen. Your opinion on a game’s quality is not the same as ours, and quite frankly is shallow and empty.

          • VenerableSage

            I have to disagree here. Twilight Princess was such a high-seller because fans wanted a new Zelda, one that had been shown for years and kept getting pushed back.

            Recall that the game came out as a launch title for the system, one that didn’t necessarily have any other “killer apps” outside of the pack-in of Wii Sports (which wasn’t going to cut it for the more “hardcore” Nintendo players). When it’s the only really decent game out there at launch for the new system, that’s going to drive sales figures up. And, as others mentioned as replies, just because it sold doesn’t mean that it’s enjoyable.

            (For the record, I bought Twilight Princess on launch day and couldn’t bear to slog my way through the game. Now, I’m not necessarily a fan of the 3D Zelda games as I grew up on A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons, but the game did not offer me anything of value to keep me interested. Honestly, it just felt like an alternate universe retelling of Ocarina of Time.*)

            *Of course, the retelling thing isn’t necessarily exclusive to Twilight Princess…

          • Nana

            Something selling well doesn’t make it great. It’s definitely by far the weakest Zelda game done by Nintendo.

      • Suicunesol

        Hi Ishaan! Thanks for giving me such a thorough response! I really appreciate it.

        I see now that you are absolutely right. Some of your opinions I don’t fully agree with, such as Twilight Princess having a great story, but I do recognize now that I was just looking at the overall picture in regards to the pattern of reactions, and failed to notice that it was really a pattern stemming from the developers’ own pattern of errors. I guess we can say it’s Nintendo’s fault for being unable to break the cycle.

        I take it that you mean that a lot of games have adopted Zelda’s style and developed it in their own ways over the past ten years, and Zelda continues to experiment with all sorts of things with each iteration in an effort to do something different each time, but it also takes a step back each time. It’s afraid to stray too far from the shade of its own tree, so to speak. Afraid to become something that it isn’t, yah?

        As for me, aside from what I think would make a good Zelda game, I think Nintendo above all needs to ensure that people other than gamers know about the new Zelda games. Marketing. Real marketing. Otherwise, whatever Zelda game they’re making for Wii U will inevitably fail.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I take it that you mean that a lot of games have adopted Zelda’s style and developed it in their own ways over the past ten years, and Zelda continues to experiment with all sorts of things with each iteration in an effort to do something different each time, but it also takes a step back each time. It’s afraid to stray too far from the shade of its own tree, so to speak. Afraid to become something that it isn’t, yah?

          That’s exactly what I mean. They’re so scared of betraying this supposed “essence of Zelda” that they go out of their way not to do anything too crazy or surprising. Any “surprises” that are felt are simply in the moment, and not representative of the overall experience, IMO.

          I think Nintendo above all needs to ensure that people other than gamers know about the new Zelda games. Marketing. Real marketing.

          This is a really interesting point and is the other problem with Zelda, IMO. Who does Nintendo think plays Zelda? Judging by Skyward Sword, they think it’s people who can’t tell left from right, which is why they have tutorials constantly popping up. Either that, or they think it’s extremely young kids whose brains aren’t developed enough to be able to follow through. Alternatively, they feel it’s non-gamers playing a videogame for the first time.

          Frankly, I don’t agree with any of those three scenarios. Seasoned gamers play Zelda and Nintendo need to acknowledge that before they can take a step forward. You’re never going to bring in the Wii Fit moms and the people that have no interest in gaming whatsoever with a game like Zelda. It just isn’t going to happen. They need to understand who their target audience is, and until they can do that, both design and marketing will continue to suffer. :(

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Fine they should retire Zelda and just buy Okami.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Okami should be left as it is. It was one game, one story. It doesn’t need to be any more than that. :)

            (Okamiden had the same problems Zelda has. Trying to unsuccessfully ape a past success.)

          • Ferrick

            poor okamiden is forgotten ;_;

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Not in Kamiya’s head it doesnt.

  • Aisha Lee

    Personally I always wanted to see a Zelda game that focused on the Fiecre Deity. Like if Link was the reincranation of the Fiecre Deity (like Hylia is to Zelda) and its shows why he how he was more destructive then Majora’s Mask.

  • Warboss Aohd

    ya could try a spin off wit’ a different genre, like say……Strategy where Link has ta gather an’ army ta fight Ganon (made up of Hylians, Dekus, Gorons, etc.) or a Turn Based RPG (or even Strategy RPG).

    would be a fun twist.

  • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

    As long as Link or some hero continues to wield a sword and various items and can delve into dungeons or the like full of puzzles to solve, I don’t care what they do to the series.

  • Shady Shariest

    A different kinda Zelda-game?
    Please.Continue.

  • Guest

    ”For example, it is a requirement for there to be a Princess Zelda”

    Link’s Awakening and Majora’s Mask say otherwise.

    For example, it is a requirement for there to be a Princess Zelda
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2013/10/02/legend-zelda-producer-asks-traditional/#wOu4MqX8ZrEyJfa2.99
    For example, it is a requirement for there to be a Princess Zelda
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2013/10/02/legend-zelda-producer-asks-traditional/#wOu4MqX8ZrEyJfa2.99
    For example, it is a requirement for there to be a Princess Zelda
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2013/10/02/legend-zelda-producer-asks-traditional/#wOu4MqX8ZrEyJfa2.99

  • Heisst

    ”For example, it is a requirement for there be to be a Princess Zelda”

    Link’s Awakening and Majora’s Mask say otherwise.

    • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

      But there was a Princess Zelda in Majora’s Mask.

      • Heisst

        If by that you mean a 5-second OoT flashback and absolutely nothing else in the entire game I guess.

        • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

          More like 5 minutes. And that is more than enough time to establish that she had an important role in the game.

          • Heisst

            5 minutes? What? You do know she only appears for 5 seconds in a flashback in the part where you remember to play the song of time and then nothing else?

        • Fion

          5 seconds to teach you the single most important song you’ll be playing 500 times throughout the entire game yup.
          Not an integral person at all. Still though that is Aonuma’s misconception.

          • Heisst

            Teach? No, it was just a flashback. She isn’t actually in the game.

            Might as well say Mario made an appearance in OoT because of the hidden poster.

    • Armane

      Link’s Awakening has Link dreaming about Zelda in the beginning, it’s also likely that Link influenced the Windfish’s dream, hence why Malon looks a bit like Zelda, and why Ganon is a form that Nightmare takes.

      • Heisst

        Zelda never appears in that game, and how does Malon look like Zelda?

        • Armane

          Link mentions her. Link mistakes Malon for LttP’s Zelda initially.

          Anyway, my point is that while she doesn’t appear, she does have an influence on the game.

          • Heisst

            Then why did you mention LA at all if it’s not an appearance?

            Might as well count the word ”Zelda” in the title of the game as evidence.

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Here’s something that’s worth discussing, in my opinion. Aonuma is currently the producer of the Zelda series. What a producer does is, he oversees the project, the budget, the schedule, and tries to ensure that it stays true to the audience’s expectations. In essence, a producer is the guy that tells the devteam, “That’s taking it too far. Don’t do that.” He’s burdened with catering to expectations, both in terms of satisfaction and sales.

    Meanwhile, a director dictates the moment-to-moment experience. He has creative freedom and doesn’t have to be as concerned about betraying any kind of expectations or experimenting with unpopular features. He has the safety net of a good producer telling him when to scale it back.

    Now, here’s the interesting part. In addition to being overall series producer, Aonuma has also directed three Zelda games:

    Majora’s Mask
    The Wind Waker
    Twilight Princess

    Essentially, the three modern Zelda games with the most vocal fans who will defend them to the very end. You could also argue that they’re the three most interesting 3D Zelda games in terms of worldview and/or story and overall “experience”.

    What I take away from this is that, when Aonuma directs—ie; when Miyamoto is the producer and Aonuma doesn’t have to constantly think about the “essence” of Zelda and how far is too far—he comes up with fascinating games and ideas. Unfortunately, when he’s placed into the producer role, the burden of expectations makes him play it a little too safe, and the games end up suffering as a result.

    Maybe the solution to this is simply that Aonuma take over as director once more. The question, then, is who would take on the producer role? Miyamoto is busy training younger Nintendo employees. Would he have the time to commit to a gargantuan project like Zelda as a full-time producer?

    This brings us to another question, too: In his coaching of Aonuma as Zelda’s producer, did Miyamoto perhaps restrain him a little too tightly? Raise him the wrong way, in terms of being able to balance risk and tradition?

    • Zenthos

      Maybe he can put all the strengths of those three into one. And rather than taking something out and then building something else (ex. the over world being completely gutted from skyward sword), you can simply craft more content with what you already have.

    • LunarKnite

      I don’t want to go into how much Miyamoto affected Aonuma as we can never really know. But on your other questions, I think Aonuma needs to be the director of the console, 3D Zelda games. But Aonuma also needs to distance himself from too many Zelda titles.

      The portable ones should keep him on as an advisor or something in that role, but give someone else a chance at the big role of producing. Have the director be Hidemaro Fujibayashi since he has the experience. Seeing as portable Zeldas are far more likely to be experimental and thus accepted as such, having a producer be someone else should allow for fresh-feeling games and ideas.

      Miyamoto would have to produce another Zelda. With his eventual retirement, I think he’d want the chance. It’ll probably be the Zelda after the Wii U one, since that’ll give him enough time to have mentored the new generation.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        I’m lukewarm on Fujibayashi. While he did co-direct Phantom Hourglass, which I love, he was fulltime director on Skyward Sword, which I think we can all agree has some pretty glaring issues, with regard to promises they’ve made in the past (overworld, non-linearity etc. etc.).

        But yeah, I like the idea of Fujibayashi and even Daiki Iwamoto, who directed Spirit Tracks, staying on as the caretakers of the portable Zeldas. I like what the two of them did with PH and ST, and yeah,, those games did take a few great risks that I admire them for.

        On the console side, yeah… that’s a more complex question. Aonuma is best-suited to being director, but there are so many things that would need to fall into place for that to happen, and I don’t realistically see them happening any time soon.

        • LunarKnite

          Well, I actually can’t talk about the 3D Zelda games much, if at all. I haven’t been able to get through a single one of them, though not for lack of not trying. I do however adore the portable ones.

          Perhaps Skyward Sword was just too large a project for Fujibayashi as I think the Oracle twins and Minish Cap were great games with interesting ideas. He may just be more suited for the portable 2D Zelda experience.

    • Rinslowe

      “This brings us to another question, too: In his coaching of Aonuma as Zelda’s producer, did Miyamoto perhaps restrain him a little too tightly? Raise him the wrong way, in terms of being able to balance risk and tradition?”

      Based on the projects he has produced, (WW, LoZ CE, Four Swords, LCT, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, SS) I would say “restrained him a little too tightly” would be impossible to say, either way.
      Unless Anouma in fact mentioned this to you or one of the team, off record.

    • RazeXI

      That would explain why those three happen to be my favorite titles in the franchise. Was there any word if he was director of the other Zelda title coming for wiiu?

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        No word yet on who is directing Zelda U or A Link Between Worlds.

        • Jacob Mahoney

          Yes there is. We’ve known it was Aonuma for ages.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Aonuma isn’t going to be directing two games and producing them, plus a third game, all at once. He’s producer on Link Between Worlds and Wind Waker HD. We don’t know who LBW’s director is. And we don’t know who is directing Zelda U either.

    • Fion

      And 90% of all interviews state otherwise, but of course you’re a mod so there will be hundreds of upvotes and applause from the gallery all the while discussing things based on this false information alone, good show to all.

      But please, continue to mislead people based on blatantly false information you could easily have rectified by looking at a majority of interviews from the past where it’s mentioned over and over that Aonuma is the one who comes up with the gameplay ideas and the directors are simply the ones to execute it, not to mention ones with Miyamoto among other producers that prove you directly wrong without even a moments hesitation but hey- you’re a mod. You MUST know what you’re talking about which is clearly why you said he directed TWW when he was the producer, right? Mods on random journalist sites #1 source of reliable information.

      Ignorants always tend to be the ones spouting inane drivel as though it’s fact and passing judgement without knowing any details. I think I’ll take a breather from comments and forums. I simply can’t take it anymore. Can’t wait to come back to some half baked logical fallacy, it had better be here or I’ll be sorely disappointed in you.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        You MUST know what you’re talking about which is clearly why you said he directed TWW when he was the producer, right?

        “I worked as director on the original game.” – Eiji Aonuma, Iwata Asks on Wind Waker HD.

        http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wiiu/wind-waker/0/0

        I suggest you do your research the next time.

      • Robgoro

        My goodness. Food for thought my friend, not fuel for rage!

    • Robgoro

      I don’t think that Aonuma is a great director. His ideas are unique but his ability to realize them is less than respectable. The three games cited above were rushed into completion, all had content omitted from them because of that, and are all easily the most fracturing games in the series (despite Majora’s Mask being one of my favorites) not because they go against tradition so much as they all felt like they were missing something.

  • http://altsune.com/ Ovada Bey

    How about a game where it’s a legend about.. Zelda. It may as well be named “The Adventures of Link” otherwise.

    • CirnoLakes

      Either a game starring Aryll or Zelda would be great.

      There was a game out there starring Zelda, but it was a horrible CD-i game.

      • http://altsune.com/ Ovada Bey

        Aaah, Aryll is too adorable!

  • Ixbran

    A game staring Zelda her self would be lovely! its something I’ve been wanting for a long time now, and I hope its something they consider doing in the future.

    having Link and Zelda teaming up to go on an adventure together would be wonderful.

  • Lester Paredes

    But a traditional Zelda game is all that the fans clamor for! Honestly, The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword are the only LoZ games I’ve played to any extent, but I have to say that it was what was different about them that I enjoyed. Sure, Skyward Sword wasn’t as appreciated as Wind Waker (which wasn’t appreciated until it was released and people played it instead of just complaining about the ‘toon’ art style), but if every game were exactly the same, it’d get boring. And then only the die hard fans would get it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

    Reading the almost universal negativity about Skyward Sword here in Siliconera as “shallow pandering” or “seemingly intended for people who cant tell left and right” makes me incredibly sad personally. :(
    I’m confident once SS isnt seen as a “new” title anymore people will start to appreciate it more (like every Zelda title ever) but it’s so disconnecting how I feel about the game and how a very vocal part of the gaming community just seemingly places it as a pointless or shallow title.

    Oh well, it’s not a huge deciding factor in my enjoyment of games what the popular opinion is but it does feel quite odd and sad either way.

    • Armane

      Skyward Sword is a good game, it’s just marred by Fi literally telling you what to do. When she doesn’t appear it’s a great experience; and while there are some obvious low points to the game, it’s no worse on that front than other games in the series.

      It’s like, some people don’t like the sky being “so empty”. Personally I didn’t like Hyrule Field/Termina Field/The Great Sea being so empty either, but like Termina Field it never becomes much of a chore because travelling through it takes next to no time at all.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

        I’m glad you mentioned Majora’s Mask ;)
        I actually felt SS took a lot from MM. One condensed hub, one big town with every shop easily accesible, a mega-sidequest spanning several sidequests (Bomber’sNotebook and the Gratitude Crystals), field areas that actually matter with lots of secret things and NPCs with interesting subplots (though not NEARLY as interesting, may I add).

        In fact, SS took a lot of things from previous games and presented them in a different way (bug collection like TP, sacred cubes being practically the treasure charts from WW, materials being like more important WW’s spoils, the ship section being awfully similar to WW’s, dig claws like MC’s, silent realm sections being timed and with guardians like the Temple of Ocean King from PH, etc, etc).
        In a lot of ways it feels so appropiate for it to be an anniversary title.

  • http://www.isfuturebright.com/ Silvio Carréra

    Yeah I’m kinda sick of the town-item-dungeon cycle that’s been used since forever. I really want to see them push the series to new things.

  • CirnoLakes

    I’ve got the perfect thing for just what ails Aonuma.

    New Legend of Zelda game starring Aryll.

    It’s new! It’s different! It’s not traditional!

  • Göran Isacson

    man this post turned into something really interesting. All I personally have to add is that I’d like to know how the puzzles of the new game are supposed to be laid out. They say you rent items now to create your own personal load-out of tools, I’m cool with that. They say you can tackle dungeons in any order you’d like, I’m cool with that too. But will the dungeons still require a certain item to be functional?

    All trailers of the Mudoras Tower temple have shown Link using the hammer to create trampolines to different levels. All trailers have so far shown that the Forest Temple requires you to shoot crystals to solve puzzles. Is the hammer and bow/hookshot REQUIRED in those temples, or could you solve them in other ways? That is to say; will there ever be an item that’s a must-have to proceed, or can you always, indifferent of item load-out, conquer the temples in one way or another? That’s what I’m interested in. Because if you require an item you didn’t pick up, and only find out about it when you’ve gone halfway through the dungeon? That’s just frustrating, not interesting.

    • Armane

      I imagine you’ll never be stuck in a dungeon, rather you’ll be stuck in terms of what items you can take. As in, let’s say you take the bow, hammer, and hookshot. The dungeon you then do, will require those items, you’ll either be forced to that dungeon by the overworld, or the dungeon you take on will change to match your selection. After finishing the dungeon you’ll take back your rented items, however, not all of them will be available for rent once more. So you’ll rent a new set of items and so on.

      This way you’ll never be stuck, and once you reach the end you’ll probably be able to take all of the items, and go back and explore areas you missed due to the imposed limitation.

      • Göran Isacson

        Oooh, the dungeon changing depending on the loadout is a neat idea. Not sure if it is doable or if it would require too much work, but the concept is pretty darn intriguing.

        • VenerableSage

          As a computer programmer, I can already say that it would be too much work under the assumption that the entire dungeon would need changed based on possible loadouts.

          Even if it’s just a few chunks of a dungeon, it’s still probably too much work once you consider how many items and/or combinations of items you have to factor in, but it does become more manageable.

          You have to factor in asset creation, placement, and collision detection too, along with creating replacement puzzles for the different items and strategizing for the entire dungeon’s layout, traversal, and order of puzzle completion. It would most likely be a logistical nightmare to do this process for 8+ dungeons and for every item and combination.

          It would be interesting, yes, and people might be receptive of the dedication, but it’s not much of a stretch to figure that the outcome doesn’t really justify the effort in that instance, especially for an actual business. (An indie developer making something in their free time with no real “costs” associated with it? Maybe they might do it just to have a cool feature. But since development time is strict and budgets are a thing, it’s definitely not in Nintendo’s best interests.)

          • Armane

            Nintendo have already done random generation with Four Swords. It just pulled in complete puzzles and placed them into dungeons. They probably already have a tile based system in place for LBW, so the art assets should be a non-issue. So applying the Four Swords method to complete puzzle rooms, it could be pretty easily done, especially if they limit which items are for rent (i.e. each item would only need one set of puzzle rooms, and 3-4 chunks for chests/doors).

            They could also pad out each dungeon with rooms where you don’t need anything other than Link’s base skills (2D tranformation, block pushing, sword play), as well as the usual environmental puzzles.

            You’re right that it might not be worth Nintendo’s time/money though. Especially considering the greater need for play testing.

  • Virevolte

    My first concern is to get a real breather between two dungeons.

    In second, I hope to experience boss battles that are not “puzzles”.

    I always remembered the battle with Ganon in Wind Waker, where you can go all out and fight to your heart content.

    But I feel like the bosses of Twilight Princess or Skyward need too much useless steps. The one of Skyward really made me sad. You’re forced to swing your sword exactly as they want.

    • 하세요

      Agreed. In any game, the one thing I look forward to the final boss is being able to just give it all I’ve got. Use any techniques / moves I learned from previous fights to overcome one huge challenge. No weaknesses, no resistances; just a classic beat down.

      • WaInut

        Well, you could do that with the final boss in Skyward Sword. You didn’t have to use the special trick to beating him, you could just parry his attacks and slash away, it just took a lot longer.

        • 하세요

          I learned that the hard way. Hell, I didn’t even know you could absorb the electricity to strike nor did I have a shield (he broke it pretty quickly). I had to take him out with sheer evasion and basic slashes. I’m in no way bragging as I NEVER wanted to do that again.

          • WaInut

            Hahaha, first time I fought him I did it that way too. (Although I did the boss rush to get the Goddess’ Shield or whatever the Hylian Shield was called in the game) I didn’t know about the lightning strikes either. It felt way more epic when you learned you could absorb lightning into the sword.

  • omoiukabu

    So far, seems they’ve completely misunderstood what changes people desire. A Zelda that isn’t a princess? Key items being purchasable as opposed to being found in temples? Those are irrelevant… in fact, they’re parts of the tradition that don’t hurt the game. Doesn’t seem like the series is being given much careful consideration…

  • Areuto

    I think its about time we get rid of the “Save the princess Plot” in mario and zelda games in general.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

      For Zelda, I agree! (though for Mario I’d rather they kept plots as simple as possible) Link’s Awakening, Majora’s Mask and the parts of other Zelda games that dont involve rescuing Zelda or Zelda-lookalikes prove that it won’t completely ruin the experience; in fact they can be incredibly refreshing and allow us to focus on the subtle new details.

      Sadly, it’d be far too different for many which would create backlash. Nintendo is in a position where they need (and want) change but their franchises are so well stablished deviations could be incredibly dangerous, dividing their fanbase. It’s what happened to Metroid with Prime and later Other M. Or Mega Man… or Sonic… or…many franchises, actually.
      They know all to well how volatile fanbases can be and sadly they can only take baby steps and even then they get hell over them. The funny thing is if they dont change other vocal people will complain how Nintendo never does anything new.

      tl;dr: It’s the dilemma that happens to everything well-stablished and made iconic. Change or don’t change: you’ll find dissatisfaction by many either way .

  • Soma Schicksal

    What I was thinking is having a Zelda game that explored the origins of the Triforce and the goddesses that are based on each piece: Nayru, Din, and Farore.

  • http://www.mrtiredmedia.com/ NickyD

    Groundbreaking idea:

    Players take on the role of Navi in a new Online Mode, badgering other players how they need to do every little thing and how much they “suck at Zelda’ing.”

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

      —And they called it voice chat!

      • JustThisOne

        Backseat Gamer: The Game

  • VenerableSage

    Now, I’m kinda “that guy” in that, as I’ve been gaming for almost 20 years, I’ve gotten absolutely tired of the whole “rehash” trend that’s been eclipsing the entire entertainment industry for like the past decade. (Though, the movie industry is more an annoyance with the plentiful number of remakes and reboots – the gaming industry is tuned to sequelitis and lack of meaningful changes.)

    Pokémon’s gotten boring to me from a story standpoint due to the fact that Game Freak refuses to change the structure of the main games, Zelda and Mario have largely been a rinse and reuse formula over the years (not mechanically, but that’s not always enough to warrant a new purchase), etc. (I would try and think of something decidedly not Nintendo as another example, but it’s been a long day for me.)

    As an older gamer who doesn’t have 15 hours or more a week to play games (but does have some discretionary spending to, you know, actually buy games on my own), I need a mixture of innovation (or at least what can be passed off as innovation) and new ideas/fresh ways to tell them to keep me interested.

    When I’m at work, I often end up with gaming on my mind and those thoughts often turn to what an enjoyable new experience based in an existing franchise would be. Often, I end up disappointed, as the parties on the content delivery end of the pipeline fail to produce anything remotely along the level that I feel that they’re capable of.

    In theory, Aonuma’s question lends me hope, but in practice, it won’t be enough. If you’re going to change things, *CHANGE* things. This is honestly one of my biggest pet peeves of the industry: creators who are too afraid of public perception and outcry that they inhibit themselves from making anything beyond what amounts to minor updates and changes. It seems that they constantly only focus on the short term.

    Take Wind Waker as an example (though not necessarily the best). People *loathed* the game when it was first revealed because it was, to them, such a departure. Two console generations later, the amount of dissent is almost non-existent to the point that a vocal group of fans (unsure of whether they constitute a majority or not) absolutely loves the game.

    While I’m not “demanding” that creators remodel the whole house to present something different, you can still move the furniture around, add a bar, and paint the walls to change part of the house.

    tl;dr My take on what I might potentially find interesting, provided that it was different enough from the Zeldas of the past, but still retained the feeling that Miyamoto was capturing from his childhood of exploring caves near his home (i.e. exploration, discovery, wonder, excitement – less cookie-cutter town->field->dungeon->key item->boss gameplay, basically, with a refocused story): http://pastebin.com/Qs9aQdMp

  • Time Sage

    I actully saw a really interesting fan peice where it was “Prince Link” (though not of Hyrule) and Zelda was the heroine who was adopted by the Sheikah after the fall of hyrule. It looked really interesting and I wish Nintendo would be adventureous and go that route

  • Jonathan Tse

    Legend of Ganondorf. he had 7 years at one point in the timeline at least. do it. or make something up, idk.

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