News on Zelda U is dry and barren, with Aonuma only dropping off certain tidbits of information that reveal next-to-nothing about the upcoming title, but rumors have surfaced online suggesting what the next main-title entry could hold for us. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's view the provided information as a "what if" instead of a "it might happen" scenario because the following information reeks of fake. But it's always fun to wonder what could happen.
The information comes from 2ch, reposted on Gamefaqs and Blogocio, and, to make matters worse, the thread was deleted within an hour of being posted -- so what's listed is either completely fake, or holds some truth. Some of the suggested items are what many would expect to see and sound like something Aonuma would do, but remember, this is the internet.
- The game is using the E3 2011 Tech Demo graphics. The Tech Demo was actually footage from a pre-Alpha version.
- The game is a direct sequel to Twilight Princess.
- The game will be Open World. The player will be able to explore a vast and seamless Hyrule. Around 70% of the development team are solely working on content to fill this Open World. The aim is to make it full of content and have more side-quests, sub-dungeons, and collectibles than any past 3D Zelda.
- Motion controls have been dropped. The game will use the Wii U Game Pad and build off the controls of the GameCube version of Twilight Princess. There will be heavy use of the Game Pad screen in a variety of unique ways.
- There are 10 dungeons. You can play the first five in any order, and when all are complete, you can play the later five in any order. The game now features a term Aonuma calls "Parallel Dungeons". You will have to multi-task between all 5 dungeons to complete them. Solving puzzles in one dungeon will open doors and change the layout of another. Aonuma states that playing through all 5 dungeons simultaneously will feel like one giant Water Temple (from Ocarina of Time).
- Princess Zelda will have a deep involvement in the story. Princess Zelda didn't get much development in Twilight Princess, but many fans have said they loved her detailed costume design. Aonuma wants to rectify this issue by making her character as complex as her elaborate clothes.
- The game began development in Q1 2010, almost two years before Skyward Sword was released. It was being made by a different team than the one that developed Skyward Sword. However, the staff of Skyward Sword have now joined the development head count on Zelda Wii U.
- The game will be the directorial debut of Satoru Takizawa. He previously served as Art Director of Twilight Princess. Aonuma personally feels that, due to Takizawa's experience being in charge of the visuals of Twilight Princess, he's the most qualified staff member to direct a realistic Zelda. Takizawa has worked on every 3D Zelda game since OoT. He designed Ganondorf and all the bosses in OoT, all the bosses in MM, Ganondorf and the Moblin in TWW, and didn't do much on SS as he was moved off the project midway to direct the next realistic Zelda.
- Online co-op that functions like a 3D version of Four Swords is being included as a separate multiplayer feature. The mode will have paid DLC content. This will be in the form of dungeons, powerful enemies, new items, and unique tunics.
- Regarding the scale of the Open World, Aonuma is aiming for it to be on par with Skyrim.
- All the NPCs will be voiced. They will speak in a fictional language that will represent Hylian.
- Aonuma states that the game will definitely be announced in 2014. E3 is the most likely venue, not a Nintendo Direct.
I know we get a lot of flack for these rumors; I'm not a fan of them myself and hate posting them, but they always make us wonder "what if?" So be sure to tell us what you're most hoping to see in Zelda U and just what you're hoping to not see return! Is it the lack of Ganon and the Master Sword or is it Link traveling between dimensions for a glass of orange juice? Be sure to tell us in the comments!