How would you change the Zelda Franchise?


In Last week’s Nintendo Direct, Eiji Aonuma discussed that one of the driving forces for the new Zelda on Wii U is to rethink the conventions of the Zelda franchise. To me, Zelda is the best gaming franchise pound for pound, but I would certainly like to see Zelda Wii U change in a few areas.

How would you change the Zelda Franchise? My thoughts are below.

A less guided adventure.

‘It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.’ That was about the only help players received in The Legend of Zelda for the NES. Half of the experience of playing the game was figuring out the game for yourself. There was no Navi or Fi to guide you, and that was fine by me.

Given the fact that Nintendo continues to feel the need to implement a ‘guide character’ into Zelda games since The Ocarina of Time was released in 1998, I imagine Zelda Wii U will continue that trend, which is perfectly fine. All I ask is that the player be given the choice as to how invasive the guide character is during the adventure.

In The Ocarina of Time Navi could, for the most part, be ignored if the player chose not to press C-Up. Fast forward to Skyward Sword, and the ability to talk to Fi by pressing down on the D-pad was still there, but the game also forced many more hints on you through the guide character, Fi.

We should be given an option to play the game in an expert mode, with minimal guidance. There would be no need to remove the guide character entirely, just give the gamer the option as to whether or not they wish to view the hints.

Mix up the traditional Zelda story progression

Story progression in most Zelda games usually go as follows: Enter dungeon. Find key. Collect new item. Defeat boss. Use item to enter new dungeon.

While items have always certainly been a huge part of what makes Zelda what it is, I would like to see the developers find new ways to advance the story forward. Perhaps to open up new areas in the game world, he must first map out the area on his map using the Gamepad touch screen, to gain a tactical advantage over his opponents. Maybe more of an emphasis could be placed on dialogue choices a la The Walking Dead, and depending on the player’s option, new areas are introduced.

I’m no game designer, but I have faith that the fine folks over at Nintendo could find a way to make this happen.

Ditch text and finally give the series full voice acting

Look, I’m not saying Link has to talk. In fact, I want just the opposite. Give every other character a voice and let them talk at Link much how they already do currently. In my opinion, this is something the series has been long overdue, and having a full cast of voice actors will be a welcome addition.

Of course adding voice work is only as viable as the talent of the voice actor, so Nintendo has to make sure that the talent matches the direction and theme of the game world. If the recent Kid Icarus: Uprising is any indication, Nintendo has the ability to and know how to make this happen.

Change how we view traditional co-op multiplayer

With the Wii U, Nintendo has a fantastic opportunity to take the Zelda series in a direction that simply was not possible previously. Imagine what was possible by linking a GBA to a Gamecube in The Wind Waker and the Tingle Tuner but on a much larger scale.

What if your guide character had the ability to become a player character on the Gamepad, doing something completely different than what Link has going on the television? How about a Dark Souls esque ability to leave messages for other players, which takes advantage of the unique features of the Miiverse?

Eiji Aonuma did say that they wish to rethink the thought that a Zelda game must be played by yourself, so it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles idea.

Those are my thoughts on how Nintendo could change Zelda for the better, what are yours?!

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.


  1. I think the series strives for perfection with every new release. I would turn it on its head and go for imbalance. It would be unfair, confusing, you get lost, you don’t know what to do, they give you bad advice, the items don’t work properly, the enemies are too strong or too weak, The dungeons too strange and have dead ends. All the stuff it tries to avoid, I would keep it. And make a game out of it.

  2. I’d make it much more combat-heavy and not have the puzzle focus that they’ve been making Zelda games have for awhile now. Many different challenging enemies and bosses, with dungeons that are pretty much gauntlets, a big overworld that’s actually dangerous and easy to get lost in, and dungeons that can be done in any order would be great.

  3. I agree with all the points above.

    Skyward was great, amaxing in fact. BUT, there was no sense of exploration at all. You were only given one choise of where to go. In Link to past, after finishing the first dungeon in the dark world, you can basically choose between 5 or 6 dungeons, as long as you finish them at one point. Bring it back.

    Smaller and less important dungeons/caves. The ice cave in Ocarina of Time is great. You dont have to book 3 hours of your day when you enter it. I would love to have a lot more caves the same size. It could contain a heart piece, a plate to your armor, an expansion to your magica, or some interily different.

    New invironments. Forest, desert, vulcanic mounutains. The magic is gone, because you know when it’ll come and what it’s going to look like. Make something fresh. A crystal mine. A different village setting, a village on pillars (Venice like). Flowery fields. Needle tree forests.

    Dont use Ganon. Invent a new villain. That’s part of the reason fans love Makora’s Mask and Minish Cap so much.

  4. Perhaps puzzles, temples, and bosses that actually challenge us to figure out to beat ourselves again?

  5. If I could make one change I would take Zelda back to it’s roots by using Link to the Past style graphics, making the overworld huge, and including a ton of dungeons/mini dungeons. But that’s probably my retro gamer self speaking :).

  6. Guyz, guys, hai guys…
    what if Zelda was the GIRL this time around?


  7. I really liked in Skyward how you revisited the same area in a completely different way: volcano but stripped of your equipment and having to sneak around, forest but flooded and having to swim around. More of that, please!

  8. I would make it a two player game (Link and Zelda) and I wouldn’t include Ganon or the terrible Tingle. I don’t have any more ideas right now.

  9. I would love it if you could jump!

    Also, I’d like to take everything it that awesome about skyrim… Open world, exploration, tons of small dungeons, multiple big quests… But with the play style of zelda, that would be amazing.

  10. Would like to mention that having tons of dungeons of various sizes would be very welcome! Being able to play just for a little bit and do a little something would be nice since it’s sometimes really hard to commit a lot of time to a game. 🙂

  11. I agree with Kaherka, the discovery element that Skyrim has captured is something that has been missing from Zelda games for many years. I would like to see less hand holding so that each discovery feels like your own.

  12. Try making a Zelda game, with Zelda as main character.
    Just like the crappy game on CD-i, only this time : better

  13. I would like some new environments and races, it gets a bit stale seeing the same old stuff in each new game. Also dungeons of varying sizes and maybe more open world, can do some of the dungeons in whatever order you like maybe. Also less help on where to go, more exploration!

  14. remove fetch-quests, back-tracking, and lack of conveyance regarding direction. Make the puzzles more logic-based, make the game world more exciting to explore, make action and combat more of a focus.

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