Legend of Zelda Wii

June 9, 2010

So that´s it, fellow Zelda-fans.

For the course of almost four months, I updated this blog on a daily basis with new ideas/expectations/wishes for the new Zelda Wii. It is now only six days until we´ll finally find out about the real thing.

It was great fun to bring to paper all these ideas and I´m excited to find out how many of my blog entries are going to be true. Probably almost none, but that wouldn´t necessarily disappoint me. There´s so many options you have when developing a Zelda-game, so even if Nintendo decided to do something completely different, it could be a great game, too. That´s not to say that I´m really looking forward to compare reality with the fiction of this blog.

I hope you also had some fun in reading about what one Zelda-fan had in mind. But now let´s wait for the only thing that really matters: The Legend of Zelda Wii.

Thanks for reading,

sincerely yours,

MFauli

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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.

Emotions

June 8, 2010

Something many Zelda-games had, but never built upon it. Emotions.

Examples of emotions in past Zelda-games are Link´s departure from Kokiri village in Ocarina of Time, the Anju/Kafei-quest in Majora´s Mask or Link leaving his grandma in The Wind Waker. Also saying goodbye to Midna in Twilight Princess. However, all these emotions are too rare and too constructed. They are cutscenes showing you something that the game designers expect you to feel for. But what´s with real emotions that have been built up slowly over the course of the game?

The most simply way to create such emotions would be by having some companion that you really grow to like over time and then dies at some later point. There´s a myriad of different emotions, though. I´m imagining some desperate situation, where everything around you is showing you how futile any resistance is, yet the music and your own will to succeed keep building real emotions, created by the flow of the game instead of some passive cutscene. Or a scene where you observe a really good guy that sacrifices himself. Something like that. Just something…that makes the player care about the characters he meets. Again, Ocarina of Time is probably the best example of a Zelda-game creating real emotions, with Link´s Awaking on a close second place. This is where games can prove that they´re more than just movies when it comes to emotions.

Voice-Acting

June 7, 2010

No, there doesn´t have to be voice-acting, let´s get that out of the way. But…if done right, it also wouldn´t be bad.

Her glibberish was almost on par with real voice-acting

Link has to stay silent. I cannot imagine it any other way. A talking Link would most likely break any immersion that I´d have otherwise with the game. Link is the ingame-avatar of yourself, so there really shouldn´t be voice-acting for him. It´s different with all the other people. I think it´d be an enormous plus for the overall atmosphere if npcs were talking. Soldiers talking about their dull duty, a market place full of chattering, busy people, and so on. As for the language…if done really right, English could work. But there are two other options before that. First would be some glibberish-language, similar to what was used in Twilight Princess already. Just have it sound more elaborate and there you have it. There even was a scene in TP, where Shad said something in an attempt to open the door to the Ooccoo-cannon, and it really sounded like proper voice-acting. The other option would be to use…Latin language. Yeah, that sounds extremely weird, but I can´t think of a better language befitting a classic franchise like the Zelda-series. And it´d be cool to hear spoken Latin, haha.

Anyways, I think it´s wrong to hate on the idea of voice-acting for Zelda that much. It can be done right. But, of course, a lot can go wrong, too.

The High Grass Field

June 6, 2010

Of course, features like grass or hair are something that´ll probably become really usable with the next gen of video game systems. However, it´s still doable now. The High Grass Field.

Pretty good grass, but also a lot of plain, flat ground textures

I´m imagining a vast grassland area. Grass, as high as Link´s knee here, as high as his face at another spot. And while running or walking through that grassland, the single blades of grass bend to the side. There wouldn´t be only ordinary green grass, though, but also myriads of different colored flowers. And accompanying these flowers, there´d be butterflies and other animals. Basically, the High Grass Field would be a place of happiness, peace and beauty. Imagine walking inmidst of the grassland and looking up to a light blue sky and the sun shining. Birds flying around. If it was me, any ground that is supposed to be grassland would feature high grass, but, of course, that´d be very hardware-heavy, so just give me at least one specifically designated area where there´s beautiful grass growing everywhere, and not just flat ground textures.

The floating block(s)

June 6, 2010

Admittedly, many of my ideas for Zelda Wii relate to one aspect that´s really most important to me: freedom. It´s no different with the floating block.

A floating block - though, proportions are off in that example, looking at the the tiny princess

This item is kind of inspired by Cloud Mario from Super Mario Galaxy 2. If you don´t know, let me explain: When you transform into Cloud Mario, you have three small clouds following you. You can now active a cloud inmidst of the air to create a whole new platform to stand on. That´s kind of what I want from the floating blocks here.

But this is Zelda, so the whole feature would feel more solid. Here, the floating block would be an item that you can throw around freely, using your own movement thanks to MotionPlus. Let´s assume the floating block would be a small block made of hard rock. So, you pick it, throw it up, and when you think it is in the right spot, you press a button and the block stops falling…and starts floating. Now, there´s two ways to interact with the floating block. You could either put it up in the air right in front of yourself to simply climb on it. You could, however, also throw it high in the sky and…use the hookshot to pull yourself upwards. That way you could basically reach higher areas inmidst of a field with nothing else in it. And just to make this one of the most awesome items ever, you could upgrade it to dual blocks later in the game, allowing for aerial free-climbing. Simply throw up one block, pull yourself upwards, then from your raised position throw up the other block, pull yourself upwards again. Now let go of the first block and throw that one up again, and so on. There would be no more vertical limits. Exploration in perfection. And all that thanks to simple blocks.

Elite Villains

June 5, 2010

I guess I´ll have to apologize right now for such a profane idea, but it is something I had in mind for a very long time. That is, a Zelda-game featuring a group of elite villains.

When talking about elite villains, I mean a group of enemies that isn´t your typical dungeon-boss. Rather, they´d be a real danger to Link. Think of them as a group of slightly less powerful Ganons. I always loved the idea of there being such a group of maybe seven elite villains that hold meetings at some secret place from time to time, getting new orders from their mastermind Ganon. And every single one of these enemies would have a greatly developed character, not just some shallow “I´m evil, I fight that Link-guy!”-attitude. In a perfect world, those seven enemies would be of completely different nature. One silent, but competent sword-fighter, one a cheery girl, another one an energetic loud-mouth, then another girl that´s rather shy. Also, one crazy, mad guy that uses weird magic attacks. Then there´d be one reasonable, charming guy, and, of course, the monster-like guy that is most powerful and gruesome. Yeah, super-cliché, but I like the idea of watching their meetings in cutscenes, how they work together with Ganon, and how the enemies you fight are more than just brainless, unknown, shallow monsters.

I normally wouldn´t talk about something that´s mostly related to visuals only, if it wasn´t for another Wii-game that was released this year in Europe. I´m talking about Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

If anyone has not played that game yet, I highly recommend it. Believe me, if I could finish that game, it´s not too scary for anyone (even though it IS scary :D). Anyways, this game proved of what gorgeous lighting effects the Wii-hardware is capable of. And this is not simply about good looks, it´s about creating a rich, moody atmosphere. The way objects project their shadows in this game was perfect, and the way the light of your flashlight brought light to your surroundings felt incredibly realistic and lively.

Past Zelda-games attempted to create moody scenes as well, but never to the extent of what Shattered Memories did. And be it the Dark Caves mentioned below on this blog, or some old haunted house, or some ruins, or, or, or – making use of such great lighting would put Zelda Wii on a whole new level of immersion and atmosphere.

Rings

June 4, 2010

Rings or not, that´s actually not that important. What is important is that I think there should be more ways to equip Link. I already had one update where I wrote about instead of finding heart pieces, you´d find new armor-parts. That´s something completely else, though.

Invisibility? Maybe

Rings would be specialized items with certain unique characteristics. These rings would enable you with mostly passive skills. Look at the update below, the Dark Caves. Using the lantern would empty its oil rather quickly. Instead, you could have a ring that emits a weak, glowing, white light from Link´s finger. Not enough to lighten a room, but to grant him a few meters of sight. Now, don´t think this would turn Zelda into a WRPG-heavy game. Think of the rings more like the masks from Majora´s Mask. There wouldn´t be any “+2 power” or “+5 speed” rings. Every ring would feature a unique, passive ability.

And because Link has more than one finger, let´s say he could equip two rings at the same time, one on each hand. Not only does that allow for even more individualizing, it could also result in certain positive, or negative, combination skills.

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.