The Legend of Zelda Wii U: My Thoughts

There had been murmurings for a while that the latest The Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U would be making an appearance at this E3 2014. Eiji Aonuma briefly touched up a new Zelda title being in development during E3 2013’s Nintendo Direct stream, but not a lot has been said since.

What was said in 2013 was interesting for many reasons, but the declaration that the theme of the new title would be “revisiting the conventions of Zelda” is what stood out the most, citing the possibility of a more open world Hyrule, and even multiplayer options.

It’s safe to assume, then, that the multiplayer theme is what spawned the idea for Tecmo Koei’s Hyrule Warriors, which is fine by me. As much as I enjoyed the Four Swords titles, I do feel multiplayer is more a novelty for the Legend of Zelda series, as the main focus of the narrative is about the heroes journey, and not that of a group or party. From the looks of the trailer shown at E3 2014, however, the open world idea has been very much expanded upon.


During the conference, Aonuma spoke about the old titles in the series, and how they allowed players to “explore a wide area, scrolling up, down, left, and right”, and how when the games made the transition to 3D, it became much harder to create the feeling of “being in a vast world”.

That feeling of vastness is certainly there in what little we have seen of the new Zelda title, with the trailer showing the world as a truly massive version of what we can only assume is Hyrule field. The view is absolutely breath-taking, looking like a painting come to life with the help of a visual style reminiscent of Skyward Sword, now in glorious HD. The scene is filled with long grass, rocky vistas, and huge mountains way off in the distance.

Aonuma’s emphasis on “cutting through the boundaries” of the world, and explaining “you could even reach those mountains in the distance if you walk far enough” certainly gives the impression that open world is here in a big way.


With him going on to later say, “As soon as those boundaries are removed, it means you can enter any area from any direction. So the puzzle solving in this game begins the moment the player starts to think about where they want to go, how they will get there, and what they will do when they arrive.” it’s easy to get the impression that the world is there to fully explore from the beginning, like in the 1986 original, where it was possible to find and explore the game’s nine dungeons in any order.

With a more open structure to gameplay, it’s safe to imagine an even deeper emphasis on secrets and exploration, giving the game a feel more akin to that of Skyrim than Skyward Sword, and it’s this prospect that gets me the most excited.

Gamers have dreamed for a very long time about a completely open Hyrule, with the only barriers to progress being our own imaginations, as opposed to not having the correct item in our inventory. An open Hyrule also brings with the prospect of a more personal tale for the player. Even though games such as the Elder Scrolls series have a narrative with a beginning and an end, the freedom allowed to the player gives them the opportunity to craft their own tale within the games focussed narrative; something that is missing from the Legend of Zelda series.


On the other hand, Nintendo could go in completely the opposite direction and steer away from a world populated with quest bearing NPC’s, and instead focus an empty, lonely, Hyrule, giving the game more in common with Shadow of the Colossus than any of the above mention games. Whichever direction they choose to go in, I get the impression this is going to be a much more personal tale than anything we’ve experienced in a Zelda title before.

Of course, this is all just speculation on my part. Ideas generated in my mind from nothing but a short trailer. But that’s what make being a gamer so much fun, we’re allowed to let our minds run wild with ideas of the things we’d like to see in our favourite games, and in the spirit of E3 I thought I’d share with you some of mine. I can’t wait to see what else we can learn about this game in the coming months, and if anything I’ve speculated does in fact some true, I’m going to be one very happy Hylian.


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