Zelda Wii U: Non-Linearity is More Than Just Dungeon Order, Has to be the Heart and Soul of the Game

This is a staff response piece to this week’s “Weekend Wondering” community poll question: “Are You More Excited About Non-Linearity or Multiplayer for Zelda Wii U?” Feel free to share your own thoughts on the subject in the comments!

When Eiji Aonuma announced two of the central features that the Zelda team is preparing for Zelda Wii U, I was absolutely floored to hear that non-linear game progression made the cut. I started my journey through the series with Ocarina of Time, and one of the things that keeps me coming back to the game to this day is just how malleable the experience is in its second half – you can move straight from getting the Hookshot to the Fire Temple if you wish, instead of following the suggested path and returning to the Lost Woods.

After finally discovering the original NES games and A Link to the Past years later, I was able to discover the full value of that richer, more endlessly replayable open-ended and exploration-driven kind of experience. I may be almost 25 years late to the party, but I now understand that that feeling of open-ended adventure with unlimited player possibilities isn’t just about dungeon order: it’s part of the heart and soul of The Legend of Zelda.

Inevitably, of course, the end result of a non-linear experience is that you can complete its main levels out of order – that’s definitely true – but in order to actually achieve out-of-order dungeon completion in a game like Zelda that features items and weapons that have different effectiveness against certain enemies or in interacting with the environment to solve puzzles, the developers need to extend their non-linear thinking to more than just the dungeons. It has to be present in every obstacle players encounter as they explore the world and every enemy and boss they face both in dungeons and in the field.

loz-non-linearWhen describing the design theory behind the non-linear elements in the original Legend of Zelda, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto told Superplay that the team aimed to make Zelda the “total opposite” of the Super Mario Bros. series, where it’s typically clear which direction players need to go.

“We started to work with Legend of Zelda at the same time as Super Mario Bros, and since the same people did both games we tried to separate the different ideas,” he said. “Super Mario Bros should be linear, the next step in SMB should be obvious. Zelda should be Mario’s total opposite.”

Instead of another world where players are guided from level to level, with a few maze-like areas designed to test players’ mastery of the game later on, Hyrule itself wound up more like a maze, with only limited instructions about where to go. Player had to master that world to progress. In 1986, it was a bold step, but The Legend of Zelda went on to be a huge success and has spawned over 15 sequels in the years since.

When Mr. Aonuma said that Zelda was going to move away from the more recent convention that dungeons must be completed in a certain order, for most players, he probably evoked memories of the original Legend of Zelda. That means that, whether he intended it or not, Zelda Wii U is going to have to rise to meet the standard set by that game for what it means to offer an open-ended experience.


Setting the player free in a vast world

Originally, the concept for Hyrule was to create a “miniature garden” that players could play around in at their whimsy and put away when they were done. One of the ways the team managed to achieve this was by limiting the number of barriers between players and whatever areas they could see as they traveled the overworld.

From the moment the game gives you control, you can travel to virtually every corner of Hyrule. If a river blocks your path, there’s a way around; if a forest seems to be impassible, hunt for rumors of a solution to its maze-like pathways; if the enemies on the mountain keep you down, find a sharper sword and practice your fighting abilities until you’re ready to defeat them.

The items you find as you travel aren’t so much the keys to reaching new regions and areas, as they have been in some of the more recent games, but tools for helping you find hidden secrets and treasures and get around more efficiently. For most of the game, the only things keeping you from reaching new areas are overlooking untreaded pathways and falling prey to powerful enemies. It’s your increased familiarity with the world that leads you to recognize places you haven’t gone before, and your skill at vanquishing (or avoiding!) enemies that will help you survive as you venture into dangerous territory.

zelda-bombable-wallZelda today doesn’t do this. Instead, it’s gone the path of Mario, making it clear what the next step should be and offering little to no opportunity to meaningfully deviate from that path. Want to head to Zora’s River? You need Bombs to blast open the barricade. Want to travel to the desert? You can’t until you reach a certain point in the story and trigger the plot events that will lead you there. Sure, the game gives you some freedom to pursue the occasional sidequest and secret, but that’s not an adequate substitute for non-linear exploration.

Non-linearity is going to require that Zelda remove these restrictive elements – both the item-based obstacles that require certain tools before you can progress, and the obtrusive plot progression that forces players through a particular sequence of events.

Making story less obstructive and more constructive

This doesn’t mean doing away with the plot altogether, of course. Story can be a powerful tool for engaging players in the game world – but it needs to be used to that end, not as an excuse to keep players from accessing content they might have been curious enough to find on their own otherwise. I think an ideal expression of how story can be used to enhance a game rather than restricting it exists in the adult half of Ocarina of Time.

Once you awaken from your seven year sleep in a Hyrule ruled by Ganondorf, Sheik suggests that you travel to Kakariko Village and from there to the Lost Woods, but you don’t have to listen right away. The game gives you complete freedom to explore the transformed Hyrule as you wish and see what troubles Ganondorf has wrought across the land. You can even walk right to Ganon’s doorstep!

oot-frozen-zoras-domainThe story’s still there, of course. Each of the various regions you explored as a child has its own tragedy to tell: the monster infestation problem plaguing Kokiri Forest, the recent mass abductions at Goron City, and the deep freeze at Zora’s Domain which has trapped most of the resident Zoras beneath the ice. The difference is that the story’s not nearly as in-your-face, and not nearly as hand-holding or restrictive, as it has been in more recent games.

It also doesn’t force a lot of lengthy dialogue on players who might not be as interested. There’s a lot of depth to be found through close examination of these affected regions, and through the emotional impact that seeing them so dramatically transformed can have on players who’d grown attached to them, but there’s no need to force that depth and those emotions on players through copious cutscene interactions.

Let players embrace the story and the environment as much or as little as they’d like. It’s a strategy that clearly worked wonders for Ocarina of Time, which even now is still renowned as one of the best games with one of the most revolutionary game stories of all time. Give it another try with some next-gen tune-ups like dialogue trees, decision-driven story branches, and other enhancements in Zelda Wii U, and I think it’ll achieve similar results.

Items should be mostly useful, rarely forced

Items in Zelda started off as helpful implements that would occasionally be used to solve puzzles or defeat enemies with specific weaknesses. You have a Bow whose only “required” uses were to take out Gohma and deliver the killing blow to Ganon with the Silver Arrows – but apart from that, its main purpose was to kill things from a distance to reduce the risk of a close encounter. Today, the Bow’s still pretty useful in terms of picking off enemies from afar, but its real purpose is to shoot at anything that resembles an eyeball.

This kind of “lock-and-key” syndrome now plagues pretty much every item to appear in the modern Zelda. You need those dungeon items to progress through the game, because the game is designed so that you can’t make it past a wide variety of obstacles without them. Wouldn’t people be much more astounded if the designers came up with ways to make items useful against certain enemies and obstacles, but not the only solution for overcoming them?

The original Legend of Zelda delivered on this approach with nearly every in-game tool. Sure, you need Bombs to blow up Dodongo or open up the road to Death Mountain, but they start to show their real worth when you put them to use against large groups of enemies, against certain bosses, or in hunting the world for secrets. In the later games, the secrets are still there, but they’re hardly “secret” – bombable walls are pretty universally obvious.

zelda-overworld-riverAt the foot of Death Mountain in the original Legend of Zelda, if players approach from the eastern half of Hyrule, players will run into a river that apparently blocks their progress. But the truth of the matter is that crossing the river with the Ladder isn’t the only way to reach the other side. If you go around from the south, venturing through the Lost Woods and past the graveyard, you can come around the long way, too.

This kind of open-ended exploration just isn’t possible under the “lock-and-key” approach to world design seen in modern Zelda games. I think it’d be okay to have those item-based obstacles to encourage players to investigate areas they might have passed by earlier on again with their new tools later, but offer alternative routes to the areas beyond those obstacles.

And that goes for both the overworld and the dungeons, by the way. There was a time when Bombs allowed you to bypass entire portions of a level if you could find the right shortcuts. It made for not only a way for less skilled players to make it through the game without having to tone down the overall difficulty, but a fun element for speed-runners to exploit for faster playthroughs. It’s definitely a critical piece in achieving the kind of non-linearity that fans have been begging for.

The best obstacles are those that can be overcome by skill, not by progress

Just because I think much of the overworld should be accessible right from the start doesn’t mean I think the entire game should be populated by easy enemies and obstacles so that players can just go wherever they want willy-nilly. While I think it’s important not to place arbitrary restrictions on players’ exploration, I think it’s just as important to stagger the difficulty so that “later” areas are still more difficult to overcome, even if players discover them at the beginning of the game.

The trick is to add enemies and traps that aren’t defeated simply by having the right equipment for the job, but that players can vanquish even without the “correct” or the “better” weapons. The original Legend of Zelda did this well: the early areas of the game were populated by basic Octoroks and Moblins, but the later areas had more dangerous enemies like Lynels and Armos. There’s still a sense that players might not be “ready” for a particular area, but there’s nothing technically preventing them from going there if they’re driven enough.

master-using-itOne of the ways that the original Legend of Zelda leverages this approach is by including hidden item upgrades, such as healing potions, better swords and armor, better shields, and upgraded or sometimes totally optional items, so players with “less skill” can still make it through those tough areas by simply becoming more powerful. It’s sort of like how players can overcome their struggles to master a particular boss in RPGs by just grinding, except instead of repetitive enemy-smashing, you’re tracking down desirable and often well-hidden new weapons. With the proper emphasis on exploration, this design strategy can make for an intensely satisfying game.

More recent games, on the other hand, have largely discarded this approach: you’ll get better items at a pre-determined point in the story, at which point the enemies are scaled specifically for that item. The result is that, by the time you run into those supposedly higher-level enemies, they’re usually just as “tough” as the enemies you fought previously. Skyward Sword attempted to break from the convention shift through its recipe-based upgrade system, but the game difficulty just wasn’t balanced enough for it to reach its full potential, and Link’s sword still followed a mandatory upgrade path.

I think for Zelda Wii U to make better use of staggered difficulty in a non-linear world, it’s going to need a lot more options in terms of equipment. Certainly I don’t expect large-scale RPG levels of customization, but enough options to let the kinds of equipment players choose to bring on the journey significantly impact the combat difficulty would be enough to achieve the same kind of effect that shone through in the original Legend of Zelda.

True non-linearity requires that the developers consider everything

Non-linearity isn’t just something that can be achieved by letting players complete dungeons in a certain order. It has to run through the entire design process, from the overworld to the dungeons, and from the enemies to the items. If Zelda Wii U is to make good on the potential offered by non-linearity and surpass the pedigree of its predecessors, it’s going to need to fully embrace everything that it takes to make a successful open-ended game.

It’s going to be a challenge for the development team, but it’s a challenge that I hope they’re willing to rise up and meet. The world is waiting to see what Nintendo has in store, and with the next-gen leap it’s going to be more important than ever that they deliver a universally impressive experience. While I’m excited for the possibilities, I’ll have to see the future before I believe it.

More GenGAME Articles on Zelda Wii U

Check out Zelda for Wii U at Zelda Dungeon:

  • Erimgard

    THIS. This is what I want from a non-linear Zelda.

    • Julian Delarosa

      thing is, non-linear zelda may be in which order you visit them in, but the dungeons were still scaled for you to go in a set order with difficulty, something link between worlds forgot about, as most if not all dark wold dungeons are about the same difficulty

      • lizalfos

        Which I didn’t like. Made the game too easy overall.

  • hyliansword

    i agree completely

  • gamer

    I’ve had issues with the past few Zeldas starrting with WW on. The wii u zelda is nintendo’s last shot to keep me from leaving. So far, it sounds like they are doing everything right. Let’s just hope they keep the story in the next game away from the “teen soap opera”that SS was, and go back to more of a mature feel.

    • Zach

      Aaaand he only thinks that because of the graphics.

      • Alex Plant

        Nah, the beginning of the game was definitely full of not-adventurey stuff that I could see people being put off by.

        • Skyward Schlong

          I think there was plenty of adventure in the opening, but it was bogged down by text. Oh, to be an editor at Nintendo.

  • ifNintendoReadsThis=Profit

    I love Alex Plant.

  • Lukis24

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Great article, this reminds me why I love OOT, especially the part about how you can really explore anywhere in Hyrule you want, even if it may be closed off/too hard for you right now. As a kid, those hours of wandering around Hyrule when I didn’t remember or know where to go, and figuring it out on my own were actually really fun.

    • Gaseous Snake

      This also reminds me of how in MM there were several different ways to defeat the bosses. Sometimes you needed the dungeon item, sometimes you didn’t. However, usually by using something other than your sword the fights weren’t as hard.

      • Lukis24

        Yeah, that was good. Ahh

  • Gabriel Gomez

    I never thought of linearity this way. Wow, Nintendo seriously needs to do a lot of the stuff mentioned in this article.

  • WindMageMaster

    Ehhh… I don’t like the idea of being able to “walk right up to Ganon’s doorstep” whenever. Because then, by the time the final battle comes, you’re just like: “Oh, I’ve been here before”… whereas if it were more linear, you would be like: “Whoa… I’ve finally made it to the last stage of the game” and it’s a bit more climatic.
    In terms of progressing through the game though, I believe Wind Waker pulled it off the best. Not too linear, but not too non-linear either. Just the way I like and prefer it.

    • Alex Plant

      What about if it were really, really hard to get to Ganon’s doorstep, but you could do it early if you pushed yourself?

      • WindMageMaster

        I dunno… it might work, though it depends. We did get that once with Zelda II’s Great Palace I suppose. The point is that I believe there needs to be a balance in the game. Not completely one or the other.

    • Vink

      You got a point there about ‘Ganon’s doorstep’ but the game could restrict you from entering or even seeing Ganon’s lair until you’ve completed all dungeons and then Ganon’s Tower rises out of the ground would make it really climatic. Honestly though, I haven’t walked right up to Ganon’s doorstep in the first LOZ yet.

    • lizalfos

      It’s not like you can go into the castle right away though. In OoT the effect is more “yes! I can finally go into this place!” Especially with regard to Gerudo Fortress, being able to get as far the valley as a kid, making it over once you’ve got Epona was so satisfying. But if you just couldn’t get to the desert at all till you were supposed to ala SS then it’s not as satisfying

  • midna25

    DIdn’t you write an article much like this, but longer, after you played Demon’s Souls
    Or was that perhaps someone else

    • Alex Plant

      I haven’t played Demon’s Souls! I just got Dark Souls on 360, but haven’t really had time to really give it a try yet.

      • marc

        For me Dark Souls is the best Zelda style game since Ocarina, seriously play it, it’s excellent.

        • Spenfen

          Ehh… Darksiders was pretty good, too. Not really non-linear until halfway through the game, though.

          • marc

            Darksiders 1 yeah but not the second game, it was probably rushed out of the door because of THQ’s financial woes but damn that was an unfinished and shoddy disappointment.

            • Spenfen

              I disagree. Darksiders II was, for the most part, a very good game. I actually personally prefer it to Darksiders I, although they’re both extremely good games. The main problems I have with 2 are the glitches and the last quarter of the game (in general). So yeah, that part felt pretty rushed, but most of it was pretty good IMHO.

              As far as linearity goes, I think the two games are the opposite. 1 is linear in its first half, and 2 is linear in its second half. I hope that if we ever get a 3 that it’s nonlinear throughout the entire thing.

              Oh, and I also thought 1 was more Zelda-ish then 2, do you agree?

              • marc

                I agree with some of what you said, 1 was more Zelda-ish and for me had a better story/puzzles/combat and a better flow, like you said the last 1/4 (I felt everything after the first world went downhill very fast) was very rushed and incomplete. I loved the first game so I was very disappointed by it’s sequel. If the game kept up the standards of the first world it would have been an amazing game, it didn’t though.

                • Spenfen

                  I finally finished the game, and now I agree more with you. The last quarter wasn’t just rushed, it was flat-out sloppy. The pacing is off, it’s linear as heck, and it’s not enjoyable in the slightest. The 2nd world was good for pacing and linearity, but it felt so bland, overstretched, and repetitive. It was epic at the beginning, but it got old REALLY fast. And the final boss is pathetic and it felt forced. You finish off the second-to-last boss, and then… you go straight to the final boss. No dungeon, no lead-up, nothing.

                  This is why Zelda is inherently better than Darksiders: Nintendo doesn’t do this kind of stuff. They finish a game to the end before they release it, and they make sure that it feels diverse throughout the entire thing. I’m quite certain that Zelda Wii U will not fall into the same hole that Darksiders II did.

                  • Muadiib

                    Yeah it looks like THQ’S financial woes really screwed the game and whole series over, it really had potential too :( I’m always excited by a new Zelda mind.

  • BreanaMelvin

    This sounds a lot like the approach I’ve been taking with a game I’ve been designing in my spare time. Then again that game idea evolved from personal annoyances with the Zelda franchise’s development

  • Stealth

    more nonsense

  • Eric Flegal

    Well, I think that there should be SOME sort of linearly–to have it be completely absent like it was in the orignal zelda would just prove a nuisance by todays standards, Personally, I was never able to finish the first zelda because of the fact that it quite literally gave you no help at all, I believe a balance is necessary.

    • Anonymous

      When this site was linked to Zelda Dungeon, I posted 2 ideas for how to have a mix of linearity and non.

      The Branch Idea is my less favored one. The idea is that obtaining an item, or doing a quest, can unlock 2 possible paths for you to take. The branches may or may not meet at their ends, but a side branch can either have multiple dungeons or a single dungeon with a helpful item.

      I prefer the Block Idea. Basically, each portion of the game is divided into blocks. Dungeons within the same block can rely on items obtained in previous blocks, but won’t need items from the same block to clear them. This way allows people to choose what they do first, and can make subtle changes to the plotline. For example, lets suppose the Twilight Princess barriers returned in another game, but we can tackle 3 at one time (those three areas/dungeons are 1 block). The third barrier could only be reached by going through one of the other two (we don’t have to do one of those two dungeons). If the third barrier’s village was under attack, we could escort survivors to one of the two other villages, depending on whether or not it was opened up. If we escort to one village, a survivor can find a family member there or learn he’s trapped in the dungeon. Hidden in these stories could be a love story, or have results that hand you one of two rewards, with the other reward waiting for you in a hidden area. For example of rewards, one village has a pro wrestler with the Iron Boots, and the other a Zora mother with the Zora Tunic (sound familiar)? If you escort to the Wrestler’s home, he’ll find his lost child and give you the Boots, but you’ll need to do another quest to get the Tunic. If you escort to the Zoras, you get the Tunic, but must wrestle for the Boots.

      • Eric Flegal

        I was thinking of something similar. I also thought of dividing the game into blocks, although with not as much plot variations as you have purposed. For the main quest, I was thinking that the plot would only progress after you had completed a certain amount of dungeons, the order in which you completed them being unimportant. Then you’d move on to the next block, and be able to complete the next batch of dungeons in any way you wish. That way, you’d have the freedom to do the dudgeons in those said blocks in any order you choose, without loosing a cohesive story-line.

        Also, concerning side-quests, I like the idea of the side-quests available to you as being the direct result of your actions on how you interact with NPCs. This allows for a lot of variation in regards to that aspect of the game, and gives the player a lot of freedom in that area of a game, with lots of choices.

        The world itself should be open, and I think that you should have ACCESS to all the areas of the game, but not the means to complete them. What I mean to say is, you would be able to access say, the dessert area, but lack the equipment necessary to traverse through it, and need to return later. The game should include some sort of way to give the player an idea of were to go next, but give them the option to explore.

        I think the balance between total non-linearly and completely strict linearly must be achieved–doing one of the two extremes won’t work.

        • Anonymous

          Plot variations are simply a fun idea. They don’t have to be done for/during the main quest, but can be done for various side quests. If variations are in the plot, they shouldn’t be drastic enough to completely change the final cutscenes/battles.

          There are 2 kinds of inhibiting barriers in Zelda. One barrier, lets say it’s against open exploration, is a blockade until a plot point or dungeon is complete. The other, against open world, is an item barrier, where you have to have an item to get across. While there may be an all-open exploration, if too many item restrictions are in place, it will feel exactly the same. The hard part is striking a balance between plot barriers and item barriers.

          And we completely agree. Linearity or a labyrinth of openness are not the answers, but a delicate balance between the two.

          • Eric Flegal

            Exactly. If nintendo can strike that delicate balance, then they will have done something fantastic.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, that example with TP barriers is actually a Branch idea within a Block.

    • Jonathan Rail

      Don’t worry, Aonuma never finished the original Zelda, either. :)

      • Eric Flegal

        So I heard. I’m glad I’m not alone. lol

  • Frank Narvaez IV

    Let the Nintendo/Zelda developer team play The Elder Scrolls games, Mass Effect trilogy and learn how non-linear gameplay with great story telling and multiple/open-endedness can really do for a big game. I’d absolutely love to play a Zelda game as vast and massive and open-ended/open-world as The Elder Scrolls series, and with as much replay value that Mass Effect brought to RPG’s/RPG Storytelling. That is what I’m really hoping to see. Only time will tell. Until then, we’ve got Wind Waker, which I’m really excited about. :D

    • zdog

      Sigh, I wish deep down inside I didn’t agree with this…but I do.

  • Skyward Schlong

    After Skyward Sword, I want whimsical characters and plot points that matter. It makes sense to meet the villain at set points throughout the adventure, but I should be able to choose–having played the game before–not to be ambushed by traveling the main road but instead to surprise my enemy on the cliffs overlooking it. If I know I’ll need a bow to overcome a future obstacle but don’t feel like completing the dungeons in the same order as before, I should be delighted to discover a thief in the Lost Woods who’s been looting treasure chests and happens to have the bow I need. In other words, the end state of the game remains (more or less) unchanged, but the sequence in which items and locations are unlocked, and the relationships and interactions with NPCs, differs every time.

    At the Academy in Skyloft, you can’t make Cawlin happy, but deciding just how I’ll ruin his life is one of the most rewarding parts of that game.

  • Vink

    Great Article, I’m currently playing the first Legend of Zelda on my Wii and I agree, Zelda Wii U needs to bring back the genuine non-linear gameplay.

  • avos

    I don’t really agree to this. I like Zelda how it is today and it shouldnt be changed. I also don’t get why you should “like” the freedom of dungeon order in OoT, I mean the order “doesn’t matter” :D

  • Jem

    You can never satisfy everyone. do this and people will be all like “It’s too HAARRRDDDD :(“

    • TheZeldaScrollsV

      The people who complain it’s too hard are probably the ones that spend hours screaming at a microphone, yelling profanities to people they don’t even know, who think killing is the ultimate goal. What I mean by that is the average CoD/BF fanboy, who I hardly think would buy a Zelda game. The true Zelda fans will try and make it until the end, just so we can save that character we love.

  • npatoray24

    very well written article, and i couldnt agree more

  • sfdfsd

    This is a spot on article, i heartily agree and i hope this is what Nintendo has in mind. I’m cynical of this whole claim as to just precisely how non-linear this game may be and as to whether there will be a large amount of hand holding or not. If there is the same level of handholding in this game as the previous two(3d) titles then non-linearity as something which allows/helps you to explore and experience the world might be in trouble.

  • Kory Pelletier

    Too bad for you that game designers make things they enjoy and don’t cater to individual’s whims.

    • Alex Plant

      Too bad for them, maybe, when their product continues to decline in profitability.

      • Kory Pelletier

        But that’s not because of the quality of games, if you haven’t noticed. It’s partially because the games are coming slowly and the idiot masses trust anything gamespot says.

        • Alex Plant

          I don’t think it’s as simple as that. People liked Twilight Princess’s style, and then Nintendo took it away, so people held on to their money and bought from companies who were more willing to do things that they liked.

  • Some guy

    I found every Zelda game to be a master piece.I don’t know why everyone complains.Really complaining that Skyward Sword has to many restrictions or any other zelda games.I never cared If I had to use my weapons to slove a puzzle to go to another area. Thats the least thing I would care about in Zelda.This is just like those people who complain when link is right handed WHO CARES?Right now skyward Sword is my 2nd favorite Zelda game next to ocarina of time.I also hate when people say I’M ONLY BUYING THE WII U ONLY FOR THIS GAME.350$ wasted.The wii u is an amazing console and Im predicting the next Zelda will be as good as ocarina of time.

  • harmonicheaven

    I really dig the non-linearity concept, but would like the non-linearity to focus on making the overworld more exciting than the occasional, and almost always dodge-able monsters (like in Twilight Princess). When I travel through the overworld, it would be nice to be surprised and want to travel through it rather than teleport to each dungeon.

    However, I also really want more Gerudo and Sheikah back-story in the next Zelda. I understand that new races are fun to conceive, but it would be nice if we could know more about the already existing races in the Zelda Universe.

  • darminified

    The game you’ve described is the best thing zelda could do.

  • TheZeldaScrollsV

    I think by making items “useful” and not “necessary”, we’ll end up with an inventory full of Gust Bellows…

    • Alex Plant

      Have you ever played the original Legend of Zelda? Trust me, it’s nothing like that.

  • MusubiKazesaru

    Great article, I hope the game resembles something similar to what’s outlined here

  • lizalfos

    Hit the nail on the head. Well done.

  • Ayoub Ouazzani

    I think one of the biggest problems that the developers will find is the difficulty level in the different areas. To give players the liberty to explore Hyrule the way they want, the concept of “not forced, but useful items” is important but I’m afraid that the the difficulty level will be stagnant. In ALBW, the scenario divided the game into two parts, with two different difficulty levels (even if it was really easy -_- ), you can’t do the second one before the first, but you can explore the dungeons, in each part, following the order you want. That’s maybe a good trick, but I wonder what Nintendo is planning. I’m really excited! ^^

  • lizalfos

    This article is right on the money. Zelda I never gets credit for how amazing it is. I don’t think any other game quite had it’s feel of being dropped in a world and the game saying “alright, off you go”
    It could’ve used some towns, a bit if story, etc. but for the overall feeling of free exploration without any real guidance, just forcing you to learn the world, it was soectacular.