Movement-Macros

May 1, 2010

The Zelda-series is defined by two things: Exploration and freedom. While it can be argued how much of an exploration-focused game modern Zelda-games are, it certainly is true that freedom suffered big time.

When I talk about movement-macros, I mean the possibility to equip “your” Link with an individual set of moves. Imagine it like this: You start out with your normal Link. Forward+A is a jump-attack, left/right+A results in a rather plain evasive move, and backwards+A is a backwards-jump. Now imagine that there were moves that could be unlocked over the course of the game, be it by solving puzzles, beating challenges or simply finding them anywhere in the world. These moves wouldn´t be like Twilight Princess´ occult techniques, which were rather cumbersome to use. Instead, almost Pokemon-like, you equip whatever move you like to a certain basic button/stick-combination…and that´s it.

Now, what would that look like within the actual game? Well, for example, you could learn the crazy-awesome move of Dark Link in Ocarina of Time. Press backwards+A, and instead of jumping back, Link dodges the enemy sword and jumps on top of the opponent´s sword´s edge. Or you found a new offensive move, so instead of doing a normal jump-attack when pressing forward+A, Link ducks and then does a spiral-jump against the opponent´s body, with full force. There could also be simply better versions of your normal actions, like having sideways-jump that reaches farther. And last but not least, there could be style-moves – moves that aren´t any better in terms of actual gameplay, but give “your” Link a different breath of air, letting you play as a wild Link, an arrogant Link, or an overly confident Link.

All these moves would give the player a whole new, different level of individualizing their game, their adventure. It´s that kind of optionality and the resulting freedom that the last few Zelda-games lacked. Time to free the series.

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