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?!