Different vision

June 1, 2010

I´m a big fan of changing vision, meaning, whenever your character´s vision changes, the on-screen visuals change as well.

Examples for that would be the Metroid Prime-games and items like the thermal visor or echo visor. Or for an in-series example, the wolf-vision from Twilight Princess or the Lense of Truth from Ocarina of Time. I´d like to see more stuff like that, preferably for optional use. These different visions could be the result of wearing a mask, a certain armor or maybe magic rings, to introduce a new kind of equipment. There could be all kinds of crazy visions, like “animal vision”, letting you talk to animals, while making it impossible for you to understand Hylian citizens anymore. Maybe animals´ appearance would change, too, looking more like real characters, while suddenly human beings all look kind of similar and creepy. And there could be typical vision-changing stuff like night vision. Play with the player´s mind, that´s what I want.

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Stealth-gameplay

May 30, 2010

I already mentioned having the Invisibility Cloak from A link to the past, but that´s just a 100%-way of hiding yourself. Stealth should be part of the normal gameplay, too.

What I´m talking about is that enemies don´t automatically spot you once you´re close enough, even when they weren´t facing you. I want to sneak by them or do surprise attacks. But have some complexity to it: I also want to be able to hide again AFTER I have been spotted. So, let´s assume an enemy saw me, so I jump into high grass and crouch. Now I slowly walk within the grass, while crouching, away from where the enemy saw me last. And he will not automatically spot me or keep track of me. Think of the game Mini Ninjas. As I wrote in that other article, stealth-elements allow for a great deal of more gameplay-options and creating freedom. And they´re fun.

Deactivating the HUD

May 21, 2010

Having a HUD was normal for past games. It´s this console generation where more and more games either minimize on-screen information or allow the player to deactivate it completely.

Horrible

That´s something that absolutely needs to find its way into Zelda Wii. Not only do I want to enjoy the pure fantasy-world without any immersion-breaking signs and bars. But looking back, Twilight Princess for GameCube really was the worst offender in terms of HUDs…compared to any video game, even outside the Zelda-franchise. And if Nintendo would use a stamina bar, instead of heart containers, that only pops up at the top of the screen when Link engages into whatever action, there´d never be a problem of not knowing if you´re close to death or not.

Stamina

May 20, 2010

I admit that it looks like another Monster Hunter-inspired feature, but it is actually something I thought of a long time ago. Stamina in Zelda Wii wouldn´t be a permanent status to look after. It´d be used for certain, important situations.

Stamina #1: The best example I can give is Shadow of the Colossus. The climbing would have been a lot less exciting if you could hold your grip infinitely. By adding a stamina-bar, climbing became an exciting gamble of taking the risk of when to let go and when to hold onto a surface. But not only for climbing, also for battles, stamina could become a complete game changer…in favor of the gameplay. Current Zelda-games definitely suffer from “too easy enemies, and too many of them”. Fighting in Zelda has turned into filler-content that´s not even a challenge anymore. By adding stamina, that starts running down once a fight starts, even smaller minions could pose a certain danger. If you take the stamina-feature even further and apply a stamina-bar to enemies, too, fighting truly becomes an event.

Stamina #2: My original idea for a stamina-system in a Zelda-game, though, was something completely different. There I imagined replacing the health-bar (heart containers) by a stamina-bar, completely. You have to think of it like that: One hit of a sword and you´re dead. That´s realistic. The stamina-bar would work like a health-bar, but it´d renew the term of what you´re trying to preserver, what you try to attack. It´s, with all due respect, a revolutionary change, and all that just with a name-change. What are we fighting when we´re hitting enemies in video games in general now? We´re hitting their bodies, and try to bring down their health. But what is that “health”? Why does it take ten sword-slashes to kill someone? Why 100 shots? I´d like to introduce stamina as a replacement for health, because it´s a lot more satisfying when you know “hah, I´m fighting this guy, he´s losing stamina….I just have to keep going and then…I´ll be able to land the deciding blow!”, instead of “uh, I have to hit this guy ten times.” If that could be tied to animations (making the enemy character-model evade your hits until the finishing blow), it´d be perfect.

Boss-arena

May 15, 2010

If there´s one thing that I really hated about Twilight Princess, it was the fact that you couldn´t fight boss-enemies again after beating them. I even created three saves, one before the Stallord-fight, one before the sky temple-fight, and one before the final fight against Ganondorf.

Arena quests in Monter Hunter Tri - Not necessarily 2-player for Zelda, though

There are two ideas I´ve got for this feature. The simple one is that you could simply return to the boss´ room and there he is, again. The other idea is that there´d be a special coliseum somewhere that´d also work like a special mission-mode. There you could fight the bosses again, but you could also choose special difficulties, like different environments, smaller enemies accompanying a boss, or two boss-enemies at the same time. And many more options. It´d be like the challenge-cave from Twilight Princess, but it wouldn´t be a one-time thing, but something you´d start many times just because it´s fun.

Gallery-Mode

May 6, 2010

Imagine this like the trophy-mode from Smash Bros. or the way you can examine items in Resident Evil.

This mode would have two purposes. For one, you could take a closer look at all the nicely designed items you find within your adventure. For second, certain items could give hints to later parts of the game, or even be part of an actual puzzle. Like zooming in on a coin (there are no coins in Hyrule, I KNOW) and finding a tiny little, short text. Something like that. It definitely would be more of a round-up feature than something the game focuses on, though.

In most Zelda-games, except for Majora´s Mask, characters were always standing in the same spot. If you needed something from a certain character, you had to travel all the were to it. With the Meet Up-mail system, you can change that.

I´m imagining a dynamic mail-system, where the player can write a letter at any time in the game, then give it to some character/helpful animal that delivers the letter; and finally, gets it to the character you wanted it to give. There could be several possibilities for what such a letter does. My initial thought was that you could ask a character to meet up with you at certain spots in the game world. But that could be enhance to various things, like “please send me *item*” or “Here´s 500 rupees, please put it into my bank account”. Think of it as a mobile Animal Crossing-letter system.

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.

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.

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.