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.

The Dark Caves

June 4, 2010

This idea actually stems from one of my more lively dreams at night. The Dark Caves, an eerie place.

The idea behind these dark caves is that the surroundings are supposed to be pitch black. You won´t see a single thing if you don´t have some item. Be that a lantern, a glowing ring, or whatever. Also part of these caves is that they´re supposed to be extremely vast and populated by enemies. But not just any enemies, but ones that you cannot fight against. Or rather, you can, but you can hardly defend yourself against them, much less succeed in killing them.

This place is supposed to be a nightmare-like experience. It´s a mixture of aimlessly running-around in the dark and stealth-elements, hiding whenever you hear or see a glimpse of “something” approaching. The enemies you´ll find down there are like sub-bosses, and they´re all of different, nightmare-worthy design. Think of some of the more creepy designs from the Ghostbusters cartoon-show. Giant centipedes with human heads, gargantuan monster-warriors and so on.

Your ultimate goal while inside the dark caves is to survive. It probably would have to be connected to the story somehow, but you´re not really supposed to find a certain, defined spot. The aimless wandering is part of the experience. But it´s not a randomly generated labyrinth. If at some point in the game you´re confident and well-equipped enough, you could try to find out what that area looks like. Finding vast cave lakes, waterfalls, skeletons of former adventurers and so on. The Dark Caves definitely are not an area you want to visit, but not because of bad game design, but out of pure fear.

An ancient ruin

April 3, 2010

Another rather specific piece of content for Zelda Wii. As some of you may know, I´m against the traditional dungeons. You know, these fire-, forest-, water-, etc.- dungeons. Maybe it´s just me, but those are too “gamey” for truly immersing experience that the ideal Zelda-game would be.

Now, what I imagine under the term “ancient ruin”, is something akin to a run-down looking castle, maybe just one big castle-tower. It´s all broken, barely standing anymore. What would be special about it would be that it´s full of interesting information about stuff of the past. Actually, that´s what I want every so-called dungeon to feature, ancient information. So, perhaps you call look at the ancient ruin I´m talking about now as a central dungeon, maybe, yeah, similar to the Tower of Gods in The Wind Waker. But a lot more run-down looking and a lot less gamey, meaning less typical puzzles and enemies everywhere.

Meaningful Dungeons

March 22, 2010

What´s so frustrating about recent Zelda-games is how random the dungeons are included into the game world. At some point, you get the object to retrieve three whatever, therefore you have to enter the x-dungeon, the y-dungeon and the z-dungeon. X, y and z being replacements for fire, water and so on. However, WHY do these dungeons exist? I mean, for some reason there are these dungeons, filled with enemies, filled with puzzles and a boss-enemy. Why?

Twilight Princess finally attempted to give these places more meaning, though it wasn´t nearly enough. You have the temple of time, which was a well-known place. You had the Arbiter´s Ground, which was explained to be a prison. You had the fire temple aka Goron mines, which, obviously, also had a natural purpose. Still, why were these places taken over by enemies? No or not much explanation, even less about all the puzzles being in there.

What I am thinking of is somthing like “For hundreds of years, the ancient inhabitants of this area sacrificed one woman per year to the god of the deep well. Ever since then, many years passed. It is unknown if there is still something of meaning down there…or something evil.” Or something like “Ganon plans to attack Hyrule, so he took over that castle to gather his troops there.” Or maybe “Have you heard of that swamp behind the dark forest? It seems Ganon sent a lot of troops there to guard something until he arrives.”

All the examples would put meaning and reason into their dungeons. And not just be big excuses to collect some arbitrary item.