Non-linear progression

April 30, 2010

Typically, you´re confronted with a certain obstacle and you have to clear that one to proceed your adventure. There´s a spot you could shoot with an arrow, but you don´t have a bow? Get the bow. That´s how exploration in Zelda worked so far.

I´d like exploration to become more natural, more unpredictable. More free. If we take the above example: So you need a bow for shooting that certain spot, but you don´t have one. Instead of desperately looking for a bow now, you keep watching your environments. Eventually, you´ll see spot for using the hook shot. Or/and you might also find an unobtrusive small hole in some wall that you can enter. And/or there´s a spot that look like a bomb could do wonders.

Basically, you´re exploring the game as an adventurer, not as a puzzle-solver. You might not be able to walk the same path that you could have walked, if you had a bow, but you can proceed a different path. That different path might lead through completely different environments, completely different follow-up puzzles, completely different enemies and bits of story. But it´ll feel good. Because you felt like you had actually explored your environments, instead of simply being challenged of obtaining a certain item.

A weather-chart

April 29, 2010

Assuming that there´d be some kind of continuous days, like one week that´s fleshed out, featuring citizens that do all kinds of different things at different times, Link should have a weather-chart.

Wether said chart would be an item to carry around or some guy in the town that can tell you what kind of weather awaits you, doesn´t really matter. Supposing that Zelda Wii still takes place in medieval times, the latter would make more sense, though. Of what importance such a chart would be? Well, if we think of realistic weather-behavior that inflicts the ground as well as animals´ and enemies´ behavior, it´d allow for some planning. For example, trying to cross a river on a stormy day would most likely result in Link getting swapt away. Entering the desert at the hottest day in the week also doesn´t sound smart. Meanwhile, enemies might pay less attention when the weather is bad, thus allowing for some easier intrusion into their base. Paths and behavios could be greatly effected by the weather, but it only becomes a feature when you have the chance to know which weather-scene you´re going to face.

Some kind of rival

April 28, 2010

I´m not exactly sure about what I want here. I have some character in mind that tries to do the same thing that Link does, but wants to do it by himself.

Think of it like Mario-Luigi, Naruto-Sasuke, or Son-Goku-Vegeta, Sora-Riku. Some character that fights for the good, but is too proud of himself to take the help of his rival “Link”. What such a rival would be great for is building up a person that the player can feel for, and not in terms of love, but …. a person, fullstop. Of course, all awesome things could result from this rivalry. Tragic happenings, great coop-fights or just intersting/funny encounters over the course of the whole game. Past Zelda-games were lacking characters you felt for. This would be a start to get back to former glory in that department.

Traps

April 27, 2010

Of course, the concept of laying out traps on the ground needs more natural enemy behavior in general, but hey, that´s exactly what the Zelda-series needs.

Trap it!

Fighting enemies fair and square is awesome and honest. But sometimes it results in very silly, “gamey” design-choices, where an enemy, even though he could kill you just by stepping on you, won´t do so because of how the game is designed. Take a hint from Monster Hunter 3, Zelda Wii. A trap would be wasted on a small fodder-enemy, but on bigger knights as well as giant dragon-type enemies, it´d work wonders. And give the gameplay a whole different, deeper layer of actions. Though, do not forget: This has to stay optional. The moment you´re forced to use a trap on an enemy to defeat him, it stops being a feature, and starts being a gimmick.

When I reached the Zora-place in Twilight Princess, it wasn´t anything but a joke. There was a lake, a throne room, and that´s it. That´s the living place of the high race of the Zora?

Zelda managed to do this better in the past, see Ocarina of Time or Majora´s Mask. The Wind Waker wasn´t bad, either. But Twilight Princess just put some races into a certain place and called it a day. So, just have there be convincing environment for all species.

The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess introduced special moves to the Zelda-series. Do the correct button-combination and Link will perform an otherwise unavailable move. I don´t want that.

To me, the Zelda-series always had the best combat-system of all video games. No fancy special moves, nothing over the top. Just you, your sword and your shield. Slash horizontally, vertically, stab, and a desperate spin attack. Adding the jump-attack, and you have the wonderful combat of the Zelda-series. Now, with MotionPlus added, any kind of special moves would be even worse – on one hand, you can control the sword 1:1, move it like you want, on the other hand, there´s preset special moves that work like short cutscenes, moves, that you cannot actively control. Link was always an ordinary boy, never a war-hero. Reflect that with an appropriate combat style.

Zelda Wii – E³ 2010

April 24, 2010

Here is a little present to all Zelda- and video game-fans out there. Thanks to my own obsession regarding the Zelda-series, I can hereby show you a video, made for the purpose of getting into the mood for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010, that´s going to take place from June 15th to 17th. Without any further explanations, here´s the link. Have fun!

Zelda Wii E³ 2010 – Video

Think of this as an upgrade to Majora´s Mask. Or as a bit of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion in Zelda.

Basically, have every NPC do something that…makes sense. No stupidly running around persons that are there just to fill the environment. Have there be a schedule that every character lives after. Make it not only 3 days, but maybe a whole week of different actions and happenings. There´s so much that could be done with that. Not to mention that it´d make the world feel that much more alive.

Spy Toys

April 22, 2010

Spy Toys would be items that let the player control small animal-like looking machines that Link would used for gaining intel about a room he´d rather not enter by brute force or for checking out closed off rooms.

You have to imagine that to work like the sea gulls in The Wind Waker. Only with less trouble. You´d basically be able to buy a small robot-chicken, put one out of your spy toy-bag, and as soon as you let go of it, you´ll be in control of the robot-chicken. You´d be able to run around, make chicken-sounds and hover for short distances. There could be upgrades for functions like a remote bomb, so the spy toy would also be a substitute for the Bombchu. Now think of unlocking several different kinds of robot-animals, and you have an idea of how much fun these new items would be.

Ohoho, do not be afraid, fellow Zelda-fans! I am NOT talking about any kind of coop-mode for a Zelda-game, no multiplayer-function regarding the singleplayer-experience (even if that was somehow already done in TWW via GBA-connectivity).

When I played Wii Sports Resort, I was blasted away by how awesome the sword-duels were. The 1:1 controls felt great, the mood, even though it was just a minigame-collection, was great. What I´m imagining is a simple bonus-mode that you can enter through the main menu. Menu would be like “New Game – Continue – VS.-Mode – Options”. There have been multiplayer-modes in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, so again, it´s not that unfamiliar to the franchise. Without any further importance, you´d start the VS.-mode, and the 2-player-battle starts. Maybe it could be a bit fleshed out by letting you play as your Zelda-fied Miis. Or, if Zelda Wii somehow features a bit of a customization for Link, players could transfer their Links to the wiimote-memory and play as there individual Links. On a pure gameplay-basis, this would be a simple texture-swap of the WSR-duel mode. But fighting with (comparatively) realistic looking characters, all taking place in a cool, medieval setting, would be leagues better than the simple, clean look of WSR.