Aonuma: “Recent Zelda games have been rather linear”



The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS has been praised for not only its call back to A Link to the Past but its departure from the usual norms of the popular franchise (item renting and choosing dungeon order, to be exact). However, aside from a few drastic changes, longtime Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma hopes to change more for the series’ betterment.

In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine about the making of A Link Between Worlds, Aonuma states that “recent Zelda games have been rather linear.” Aonuma’s mission it seems for the the next console Zelda title is to make a return to the “sense of wonder that existed in the original Legend of Zelda.”

Now, as many fans know, the stream of 3D console-based Zelda titles have taken risks on mostly visual design and tweaks to dungeon design and combat. What appears to be Aonuma’s mission is to make the The Legend of Zelda feel more fresh and less relying on traditional norms.

You can read Aonuma’s interview with ONM here.

How would you like to see the Zelda series changed in terms on non-linearity? Tell us in the comments below.


Harrison Milfeld is a writer, editor, and freelance journalist from Missouri. Ever since he could walk, Harrison has been an avid fan of the world of Nintendo. For years, he has purchased every one of the company's subsequent products (yes, including the Virtual Boy and eReader). It wasn't until he was a young teen when he bought a PS2 that he began to embrace cross-console relations, a decision he doesn't regret. When he's not gaming, Harrison is looking to break into the magazine journalism industry and realize his dream of becoming a features reporter.


  1. I do prefer things to be a little more open-ended. It can be frustrating when you’re lost and not sure what the next steps are, but then it’s more rewarding when you finally figure it out. I liked the idea of constantly revisiting worlds in Skyward Sword and having them slowly expand, but it wasn’t too tough to figure out what to do next. Ultimately not a very rewarding experience.

    Going back to the original, it was just so awesome when it was basically like, “here’s a sword… good luck”. SS had what felt like an hour of introductory gameplay. It might have been more than an hour, all I know is that it was quite painful. ALBW was much better in that respect, though I’d say SS was a much longer campaign.

  2. My two failed attempts at liking a Zelda game were Ocarina and Twilight. Both times I ended up wandering around wondering what the hell do I do next and then quitting. Other than the freebie multiplayer LoZ on the 3DS that the name escapes me right now, which I did enjoy btw, I haven’t had much fun with the series, that I haven’t bothered to try any more.

    I love Nintendo so much, that I feel like a trailer not liking the most cherished of franchises. But I am obviously not alone when games featuring Mario constantly outsell LoZ games.

    Basically, I don’t think Nintendo can turn their franchise into something I would like without a lot of fundamental changes. That’s fine by me, I’m ok with that. I’ve been dealing with it forever. But becoming less linear, which would mean even more walking/riding/sailing about endlessly doesnt sound good to me. That’s just me though.

  3. @Adza – if you didn’t care for OOT, then this isn’t the franchise for you. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In games I love wandering around, looking for hidden stuff and clues, yet I’m not a big Metroid fan. You’d think it would be a perfect fit, but it’s not.

    It’s funny because I also feel like a traitor for loving Nintendo, but not that core franchise. Oh well.

  4. I’m not sure about an open world Zelda, open world games usually have a very long development time. Nintendo needs more titles for the Wii U sooner rather than later and extending the already long development time of a Zelda title is not very appealing for consumers holding out on Wii U until the latest entry is released.

    Hopefully Nintendo will pull something out the bag for E3, right now they are not making a very good case for buying the console.

  5. I loved the openness of ALBW. The last two dungeons I completed up to the boss fight then fought both bosses. I did this after I found the red tunic.

    Another feature I loved was the arena battle. This reminded me so much of the arena battles in Ratchet & Clank and I played this part for a few hours.

    ALBW was the only Zelda title I played where I hesitated on the last fight because I did not want the game to end. when I figured out that the end would not force a save I went back and played the last bit over a few times. If the player does not want to finish it because that would mean and end to playing then the development was a success.

  6. @Lou – Thanks for admitting that. I’m glad I am not the only one that feels that way. As an addendum to my Zelda non affections, I do have a place in my heart for Link and some if the characters in the LoZ universe, mainly due to the Smash Bros franchise, but the games themselves just aren’t for me. I for one wouldn’t mind Link busting out into other types of games, and am quite looking forward to the Hyrule Warriors game.

  7. At this point I think it’s legitimate to question if they’ll ever release a Zelda title for the Wii U. They might, but it appears they’re moving on to QOL.

    Link’s crossbow training was another attempt to branch out. I picked it up for $20 so I thought that was fair. Not much to the game, but fun for $20. Did any other game use that gun accessory? Once you get the hang of it, it’s kind of fun.

    I’m not sure they need to change the franchise as much as they just need more titles. I think they’d be better of skipping some of these Mario titles and focusing on key entries to core franchises. I think a new Star Fox would have sold better than some of these Mario sports games.