A Journey

June 9, 2010

When all has been said, there´s just one thing that I really hope for: Zelda Wii being an epic, long, beautiful journey.

A journey with lots of stops and reasons for revisiting. That means that the game should not end at, say, 30 hours and that´s it then. Zelda Wii should really feel like you´re stepping farther inside an unknown, mysterious fantasy-world, having you explore its secrets. You grow to learn about all the places you visit, what´s special about them. And even after you´ve defeated whatever final boss, there should remain challenge. Not challenge as in some mini-games that you can play, but stuff to explore and meaningful stuff to do. That can be optional dungeon, optional stories or simply ongoing mission-requests to kill certain dangerous monsters.

I want Zelda Wii to be the true adventure.

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The choosing-process

May 13, 2010

I already mentioned that I´d like to see the whole story about the Triforce and why Zelda and Ganon always return.

What I´m even more interested in, however, is what the process of choosing the brave boy works like. Except for a few Zelda-games, we always play a different Link. It´s simply a brave boy being chosen by the Triforce. So, what criteria are used to determine this chosen boy? It´s a bit hard to believe that the one we play as Link is the single one brave, innocent boy on the whole planet, so what is happening behind the curtain? Or even more importantly: The Triforce is made by godesses. What´s with these godesses? What are they doing when no busy creating the world? Maybe they´re choosing the new boy every time? Who knows. But I´d like to.

Just to be clear, I am not proposing Zelda Wii to be like Mass Effect. Even though that would be cool to have such a diverse communication model. What I´m talking about now are only minimal changes to the story. Depending on the order of missions.

This is something that I loved in several Zelda-games. In Link´s Awakening, I did couldn´t beat the eagle-boss of the 7th dungeon, so I just proceeded to the 8th dungeon. There, I got the fire rod, returned to the eagle-boss and absolutely pwned him into oblivion. Or in Ocarina of Time, where I could choose if I wanted to do the spirit temple or the shadow temple first. It´s this kind of freedom that greatly enhances the experience. Not to mention the original Zelda for NES. Now, I´d like to take that freedom a bit further and integrate it into actual story-bits.

Ideally,you could do ANY mission/dungeon in whatever order you wanted to. Now, what´s important is that depending on that order, there´d be small changes in how the following story pans out. No, good characters would stay good, evil characters would stay evil, but…just small things. An additional sentence, an additional funny/interesting scene. A hint that you normal wouldn´t have gotten. Of course, there could be made bigger changes, too, but I don´t believe that the Zelda-series is ripe for that. Anyway, inflicting changes to the story by yourself, by your own decisions, would be great and make the game more individual to each and every player.

Sidequests should be more important in terms of what information they offer, I already wrote about that. To make things even more interesting, I´d like many of the existing sidequests to be connected to each other in a non-linear way.

By non-linear, I mean that the solving of a sidequest does not automatically result in a new mission objective for the next relating sidequest. Rather, there should be slightly different reactions depending on the order you do sidequests in. For example, if you just walk to a NPC and do something, he´ll thank you and that´s it. But if you happen to have done some other sidequest beforehand that somehow is connected to your present mission, the same NPC says something like “Oh, thank you, Link. After I heard from X that a young boy helped him, I hoped to see you. And you didnt let me down.” Additionally, have the actual content of sidequest missions vary depending on the order, i.e. if you rescued a bear on some prior sidequest, that bear might help you in a later one. And so on. Non-linearity by connecting sidequests would be great.

The Sheikah

March 30, 2010

Ever since Ocarina of Time, we know of this mysterious race. In OoT, we met Impah, the last survivor of the Sheikah-clan. Said race was mentioned as the royal family´s elite guard. Their signature sign is that very special eye-mark that could also be soon on princess Zelda´s clothing in Twilight Princess (which led to a lot of speculation).

Of course, that is a rather specific matter, but there are many ways to give the player some insight into the clan of the Sheikah. Have there be unknown survivors, or just have there by ancient writings on walls deep down in some ruins that tell you something about them. I remember when I got to the forsaken village in Twilight Princess and thought “wow, now I´ll see the Sheikah!”, and it turned out to be a silly western town. Oh well.

A major problem with your usual sidequests is that they exist on their very own. Help someone do that, rescue someone from this, or collect x of something. That will result in someone telling you “thank you!” and giving you some more or less random item. Of course, this type of sidequests has to be there, too, but it´s the lack of another kind that´s bothering.

Majora´s Mask is full of these great sidequests, where most of them are directly related to the effects of Skullkid and the approaching moon. Ocarina of Time didn´t have a lot of these, though one certainly was memorable. It´s the rescue of Epona. While approaching the guy from Lon Lon farm, he´ll tell you how “this horse” is supposed to become Ganondorf´s. A direct connection to the main plot is made here. And a rather important one, considering that wasn´t it for you, Epona would have to be ridden by evil Ganondorf.

This kind of sidequests have to become much, much more frequent. Basically, filling out more or less interesting tidbits that in one way or another reveal more details about the main quest, while still being able to exist on their own. This way, a lot of little stories could be packed into the game, without being pushed in the player´s face.