Posted on May 01 2013 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The Legend of Zelda will forever be remembered as the launch
pad for a now legendary series. It was this free and open world with lots of
live action to the point that many had never experienced anything like it
before. It was difficult, but not so difficult it was impassable. It had hidden
items, hidden rooms, upgrades… it was really a game perfectly suited for the
Zelda U is coming, and it’s coming at some point in the next…
three years? I think that’s a rather safe time table, and as such it’s time to
see what aspects it should simply inherit from the very first game released in its
Starting Out Without a Home
One thing I will always remember is how the game thrust you
into the world the moment you started it. Unlike practically every Zelda game
after, this is the one that truly stands out with a sense of loneliness. You
are thrust into the world, not knowing what is going on, and openly unaware of
where you came from.
Traditionally, Link literally “wakes up” in his house that
is based in a hometown world full of life. It’s definitely a tried and true
method, but what if Link instead woke up in the middle of events that are
already happening. What if he was lying on the ground in the middle of the lost
woods, dreaming, and a Kokiri or some other character finds him, wakes him up,
and you’re stuck trying to piece together what exactly transpired?
How neat would it be to be thrust into the world of Hyrule
without actually grasping what is going on? Your memory is unclear from being
knocked unconscious. You don’t appear to have anything on you but the clothes
on your back. You don’t know where you are from.
This to me opens a whole new world in not only storytelling,
but it’s a beautiful nod to the original game, where you found yourself in a
somewhat similar predicament.
Hidden Things to Find That Are Actually… Hidden
While it was slightly due to system limitations at the time,
one of the things many gamers grew to appreciate in The Legend of Zelda was the
fact that any tree, any rock, and any bush could lead to some hidden secret. It
wasn’t so obvious something was breakable… bombable… or able to be cut down
with your sword. Often times when things are hidden… they are actually hidden.
Not made blissfully aware to any on looker that “something is off”.
I would love to see this return. There are plenty of ways
they could offer hints as to wear to drop that bomb (such as “three steps east
of the yellow flower with 5 pedals in x area”) without giving away, just based
upon appearances, where things are. It would also really add to the exploration
factor, as we return to “there just might be something anywhere we can reach in
Speaking of exploration…
Allow Us to Go Anywhere We Please
You could go anywhere you wanted in the first game, whether
you were ready or had the proper items. It didn’t matter. Do the dungeons out
of order; go explore all corners of the map. Go anywhere. You won’t always be
able to progress without first obtaining certain items, but at least you could
explore the area if you wanted.
Too often, games these days restrict what, where, and when
you can explore an area. Why not just let us go anywhere and just have a story
line sort of guide us back on the right path if we happen to forget what were
supposed to be doing in the midst of exploring? In many ways this suggests a
truly open world, but at least I should be able to go to any corner of the map
right out the gate. What better way to encourage exploration?
A Second Quest
You can argue that we got this in the release of Ocarina of
Time 3D with Master Quest and in Skyward Sword with Hero Mode, but wouldn’t it
be something if after beating the game, there is actually an entirely second
game we can play in the same world? That
would just be masterful, especially if you can tie in some different storyline
elements or possibly expand the world. I know it’s a two games in one package
concept, but what’s wrong with that?
The Old Man
He needs to return. Not just because he’s practically iconic
these days, but because there was so much mystery surrounding him we never
really did see how he played out. Who is he? Is it some mystical Wizard? Why
does he know so much?
I would love to see a story that built him out as a true
guiding spirit and a nice side character with a lot of personality.
Are there any other aspects of the first Zelda title you
want to see brought over to Zelda U?