Eiji Aonuma, Altering the Traditional flow of Zelda


“We’re making efforts regarding the total flow of the Zelda game. So far, the basic flow of the Zelda games is you’re exploring a field, you go to a dungeon, you conquer it and return to the field. We’re looking at altering that traditional flow. That’s all I can share, and I can’t say more until E3 next year.”

– Eiji Aonuma

All I can say is… I like where this is going.

[Via Some Source]

20 Responses to Eiji Aonuma, Altering the Traditional flow of Zelda

  1. elmer says:

    So, what do we suspect?:

    New flow to the story?
    First/Second Person view?
    A new steampunk setting?
    A different structure to the playable character/s?
    More RPG Elements?
    Less RPG elements?
    Player generated content?
    Multiplayer? (perhaps I should strike this one off): Online Multiplayer?
    A big letdown?
    Something entirely different?

  2. Mark says:

    I’m worried about how horrible this could turn out, but I trust Miyamoto and Aonuma enough that I’m still excited. Really looking forward to seeing it as E3 next year. Not even going to try to guess what they mean though, since odds are we’re all going to be wrong anyway. =P

  3. Lance says:

    Well keep in mind Eiji’s first forray into the Zelda games was Majora’s Mask and that strayed abit from the traditional gameplay style in that players had that time limit.

    I really don’t care what the twist is, I just can’t wait to see this at next years E3. I just hope Nintendo will go all out at E3 this time instead of playing it safe… again.

  4. Drahken says:

    So it’s going to be “you’re exploring a dungeon, you go to a field, you conquer it and return to the dungeon”? 😉

    Where do people keep getting this steampunk idea?

  5. Will says:

    I would see it more like you go to a dungeon, conquer it and clear it. Then an event happens where you don’t return to a dungeon for a while… say you help people in a village or do something about a horde of monsters encroaching towards hyrule field… or something like that.

    Maybe dungeons will be only as important as the interaction with the people in Hyrule.

    @Drahken & elmer

    That’s actually what I want to know!

  6. Kale says:

    You people might be reading way too much into this. I think he’s simply referring to an increased linearity in the game play, i.e. less back tracking, greater sense of reward for natural progression. This will bode well for an increased emphasis on story telling and overall presentation, not to mention the accessibility of the game. Such an approach is perfectly in line with Nintendo’s Wii mantra of audience expansion and franchise relevance. A similar approach was taken with Metroid Prime 3. Ultimately, this could be a very good thing (it will create a more succinct and focused experienced instead of Twilight Princess’s convoluted pseudo-open world, quasi-sandbox world of arbitrary exploration); on the other hand, it could easily alienate a great many veteran fans of the franchise.

  7. elmer says:

    @ Drahken
    I reckon they were halfway there already. There are a few hints of technology here and there in the various villages, and advanced technology in the Oocca’s city. Certainly they have post industrial machining technology. OK, maybe not steampunk, or cyberpunk – as we said in an earlier thread, no one wants to see Link journey to Midgar – but some kind of use or re-discovery of ancient technology could be really cool – if handled cleverly. Alternatively, a local genius inventor in the village might work wonders with a portal device – ala chrono trigger / The Time Machine. I think setting it essentially in Miyazaki’s Laputa, or Anno’s Atlantis could be fitting if you catch my drift. It would be a nice departure from caves and castles, that doesn’t break the Zelda feel but gives us a bit more tech driven discovery.

  8. gojiguy says:

    Hopefully this means less “I have no f***ing clue what I am supposed to be doing right now. I am going to stop playing and look up a GameFAQ because this is ridiculous” moments.

    Never beat a Zelda game myself because of how retarded the game progression is. How the hell was I supposed to know that if I dig in that exact square in the ground I will find a passage to the next area???

  9. deepthought says:

    i’d like to see them improve the narrative and pacing and storytelling. it fell very flat for me in TP

  10. Kale says:

    @ gojiguy:

    That’s exactly what Aonuma-san is addressing. This will also address the issue of “adding content for content’s sake”. Parts of Twilight Princess were over inflated with unimportant “polish” that went nowhere and did nothing, ultimately either boring or confusing the player. This is what they’re focusing on changing. Windwaker is closer to what they actually want in a Zelda game and I think Twilight Princess helped prove that. I’ve personally always held Windwaker above TP; it was a much more refined and focused game.

    @ deepthought:

    Believe it or not, the story telling in TP was fantastic and the game won multiple industry awards for its story telling. The pacing was indeed an issue, though, and that is definitely something that falls under what Aonuma-san is talking about.

  11. bobdotexe says:

    maybe will retain the “special” ability from Legend of Zelda 2;

    …. Jumping On Demand!!!, although you could only do in in the monster battle area, or caves…

  12. rdaneel72 says:

    I am glad to hear that Nintendo realizes the Zelda formula is growing stale. sometimes they can be so obstinate.

    They can keep the awesome gameplay, but perhaps tinker with the structure like they did in Majora’s Mask (and MM was so much better for it). How about a REAL quest. Link starts in his small villiage, and must go on a long journey towards some distant goal, leaving his homeland (never to return) and moving from one kingdom to the next, on a path towards some ultimate destination. Instead of running back and forth across Hyrule field collecting bugs.

    I was thinking of Frodo and Sam’s quest in Lord of the Rings, moving from thier familar Shire, through Rivendell, Moria, Lothlorian, Gondor and finally Mordor, never turning back to deliver some trinket to some NPC waiting in the first town. One huge quest rather than a handful of errands. No backtracking; I guess you could warp between previously visited areas, but you wouldn’t have to. I like the sense of progress, moving along a map, in a straight line, towards an ultimate goal.

  13. Jack says:

    The best Zelda titles had very little story. In fact one of the best Zelda titles had its story explained in the instruction manual.

    I hope this comment means he’s streamlining Zelda and removing much of the silly, pace-slowing dialog and cut scenes that hindered the latest addition to the series.

    I doubt it though. Unfortunately.

  14. elmer says:


    I’d agree with Deepthought. I thought the story elements in Twilight Princess were great (the kidnapping of the children, the spread of twilight, the twilight realm, the wolf transformation, the ‘death’ of Zelda etc.), but told almost in a reverse order for a strong narrative. Rather than a sense of peril and foreboding building to a climactic finish, the world gets lighter and happier towards a sedate world, making you wonder why you should bother defeating Gannon at the end. I felt like the first third of the game was the greatest game I’d ever played, and then it was a bit deflated afterwards.

    Also, all the extra off the path stuff is what made previous Zelda games feel so rich and living. I personally felt the various optional and secret chambers in Twilight princess fell flat because the only collectibles for completing each was more money (I blame a loss of emphasis on magical powers). The money ironically ends up mostly worthless. On your point though, while TP had a large number of NPCs versus previous games, they had less recognizable personalities. Better focus on making them all nuts again would help.

    In my dreams, Nintendo releases a ‘director’s cut’ of TP (obviously it already is a ‘director’s cut’)- that reorganizes the narrative to build tension, reorganizes the puzzles to better integrate items, and throws us some discoverables bones. It’s literally in the editing.

  15. Lord Toker says:

    i just want to use a weapon or item more than once in the game rather than just in the dungeon you find it in.

  16. XCWarrior says:

    It’s a day one purchase no matter what they do. Never played a bad Zelda, pretty sure I never will – unless somehow Activision got ahold of it.

  17. sharkfighter says:

    This is exciting talk.

    XCWarrior, Activision is a good company.

  18. Legend says:

    hahaa nintendo wouldn’t let us down 🙂
    they never have

  19. B-Dogg says:

    “We’re looking at altering that traditional flow.”

    Cutscenes, nothing but cutscenes. In HD. And Link’s outfit is customizable. And let’s have him shoot at aliens while we’re at it.

  20. gojiguy says:


    Link Gear Solid 4: Bows of the Hylians?

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