GenGAME: Raise the Difficulty in Zelda Games

DaveyDecember 9th, 2012 by Davey

One thing the Zelda series has become over the last 26 years is less difficult, especially with fighting enemies. Some fans would consider the easier enemies a terrible thing to have befallen the Zelda series, and there’s no doubt Alex at GenGAME is one of those people. Whilst taking a look at Skyward Sword’s enemy hoard at the end of the game, the GenGAME article evaluates the Zelda franchise’s overall difficulty, and calls for more challenging adventures in the future. Hit the jump for more!

The article primarily references Skyward Sword’s final dungeon, which has massive amount of enemies that the player has to defeat to beat the game. It’s akin to the original NES title, The Legend of Zelda in that the gameplay is exhausting, but the feeling of accomplishment is that much sweeter.

He also mentions Twilight Princess’ Cave of Ordeals, but states that this kind of combat difficulty should not be only in an optional dungeon and it should be mixed with the intricate puzzles the 3D Zelda games offer. If you’re interested, check out the original article on GenGAME for a more in-depth analysis.

Firstly, I need to say that I don’t entirely agree with everything Alex said. Yes, the older Zelda games were more difficult and that does bring with it some sense of achievement, but I don’t think that difficulty is entirely necessary. Perhaps some games were a bit too easy, and for a developer there’s always a balance of challenge and frustration for a player, but Zelda doesn’t need to be hard to be fun.

Though the exhausting last dungeon in Skyward Sword was a reflection of Zelda’s roots, I cannot imagine what the game would be like if the enemies were like that throughout the entire game. I also think that many would accuse Nintendo of adding “filler time” to gameplay, and large amounts of enemies might be considered an easy and not creative way to lengthen the play time.

Further, I think fewer people would enjoy the Legend of Zelda. I certainly don’t believe I’m missing out on a great experience because Skyward Sword was “easier” than The Legend of Zelda or Zelda II, but I might be in the minority. Maybe we should see a more difficult Zelda game in the future, where the standards are rethought and a fresh experience is reborn.

What do you think Zelda’s difficulty should be like? Tell us in the comments below?

Source: GenGAME

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  • Anonymous

    In Kingdom Hearts RE: Coded, you always had the option to change the difficulty. However, you got different items/points/records depending on which difficulty you’re on, and what was the lowest you were on for the world. Can the Legend of Zelda have the Difficulty changer as well? Make it so that each difficulty would bring more/different/new enemies, new moves on old enemies, more damage/enemy life, different puzzles, different prize chests, etc.

    However, this would be difficult to do, since you could potentially change the room when you change the difficulty.

    What if there were special save stations that only appear around the overworld that let you change the difficulty? That way, you have to challenge each cave/dungeon at a single level. The game would remember what prize chests you got at each room for which difficulties, so you can’t reset the difficulties to get the same chest on the same difficulty. Also, require that we beat the beginner level of every dungeon first, then we can repeat the dungeon with better/new mini and final bosses to receive a new/better item (upgrade) at the end. For example, in Skyward Sword, you could get the beetle in Beginner mode. Upon completing Normal Mode for that dungeon, you get a Speedy Beetle upgrade and a Piece of Heart, and a Durable Beetle upgrade and Piece of Heart upon completing the Master Mode for the same dungeon.

    • Anonymous

      To make it extra challenging, they can make it so that we need an item from a future dungeon or a previous, higher difficulty, dungeon to complete a current, higher difficulty, dungeon. For example: The first dungeon Hero Mode can require Hookshots from the third dungeon’s Beginner Mode, the fourth dungeon Normal Mode can require double-Hookshots from the third dungeon’s Normal Mode, and the fifth dungeon’s Hero Mode will require double-Longshots from the fourth dungeon Normal Mode.

      • well-damn

        or perhaps if we used all of that, cuz those are some good ideas, with the director thing from l4d2. how it changes the game based on how you play it. you’ve got a difficulty setting, but it also makes it harder, and changes the route you can take, depending on the route you take, cuz theres multiple. THAT i think would be amazing. you could go this way and beat the dungeon, or go this way, whole different shit. something along those lines anyway.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe they don’t have to make difficulty levels, per say. They can, instead, have unreachable areas that can be gone to with a certain item. That closed-off area will be the higher difficulty.
          This method can be seen in a game that has more open exploration. A few dungeon will require “base” items. Any item you get within one of those dungeons will be critical to advancing. However, in the other dungeons of the set, it’s an optional item that unlocks new areas with a semi-boss (harder than a mini-boss) and treasure.

      • Dark Majora

        thats complicated :(

        • Anonymous

          Possibly. But it can insure you have enough experience to fight in a higher difficulty.

      • zombie_eat_flesh

        Like Master Quest, without the whole Hookshot/Longshot thing?

        • Anonymous

          Not really. Master Quest was un-connected with Normal Quest. This is saying that you’d have to progress through the dungeons in a different order in order to ascend the difficulty levels. For instance, suppose that, in Skyward Sword, there was a double-hookshot path instead of a path you can open during your first time through. While you can go through it the normal way a second time, the double-hookshot will access new areas, new chests, new enemies, etc.
          Similar to how they could have done this, Twilight Princess could have hidden another section of a dungeon in the Forest Dungeon, in the Bosses pool.
          The difficulty settings would be similar. Different items/upgrades would be given in each dungeon and difficulty. While they will all make the main storyline easier, they can also be required in another dungeon on a higher difficulty.

        • Anonymous

          Look at it this way: In Kid Icarus Uprising, you can choose the level of a Mission before you get into the dungeon, but can lower it by dying. With Zelda, you won’t be able to lower it in the middle of the dungeon. If you die, you’re given the option to return to the beginning of the dungeon, where you can exit to lower the level. You can change the level in the overworld at special save stations. When you change the level, the new level is applied everywhere but inside new dungeons (explained below).

          In my idea, for every dungeon, there are 3 levels, or difficulties, each with different/stronger puzzles, chest items/locations, enemies, and bosses. At the end of each lvl 2+ dungeon is either the dungeon upgrade (hookshots to longshots) or a piece of heart (if we have too many dungeons, we won’t have many PoHs in the field/side quests). Every dungeon will have an upgrade, but it may appear either as the prize or as the “dungeon item”, necessary to continue in said dungeon.

          Before you can challenge lvl 2 or 3 for a dungeon, you must first challenge lvl 1. When it’s over, the other 2 are unlocked on the spot. However, jumping straight from lvl 1 to lvl 3 might be too difficult for any player. So, in order to maintain a smooth difficulty curve, some puzzles/paths can only be solved with an item or upgrade from another dungeon of equal or lower difficulty (a lvl 2 dungeon doesn’t need a lvl 3 upgrade/item from another dungeon). The lvl 2 and 3 dungeons are NOT necessary for the main storyline (lvl 1), but can be used to make the storyline easier. For example, if you’re traveling via hookshot, the longshot can let you skip targets near danger zones (enemies, lava spouts, etc).

    • Red-tuniclink

      Kid icarus had that too, the lower the difficulty the less hearts and the weaker weapons you got.

      • Anonymous

        I thought of that version, but you’d have to pay Rupees in a Zelda game to change it. While we actually need something to spend Rupees on, I’m not sure this is the best choice.

        • Red-tuniclink

          Yes,you would have to spend rupees however,you would gain more due to the higher difficulty,what you would get on higher difficulty would be far more than what you would get at a lower difficulty.

          • Anonymous

            That may work, if you want prize chests, not treasure chests, to refill after each completion of the dungeon. I’m not sure what the price of difficulty will be, or what the enemy drop rate/drop size is.

    • zombie_eat_flesh

      So did all the other Kingdom Hearts games, but the difficulty you pick there is permanent for that file, the Subspace Emissary in Brawl, Kid Icarus: Uprising… Anything else I’m missing where it lets you choose difficulty?

      • AnonymousGX

        In Kingdom Heart Re: Coded, the difficulty can be changed on a whim in a single file, as can be seen on the stat matrix. Here’s a video, it shows up at the beginning, but is never accessed directly: , You can clearly see “Standard” and “Beginner”. I was thinking that a special save station can allow you to use these. That way, they can prevent you from getting an achievement /chest/item for a difficulty you weren’t on the whole time.

        • zombie_eat_flesh

          I know. I have the game. I’ve beaten it all on Critical because I got bored with it. At least it’s not as boring as Days.

    • Never

      It already has that in many forms, the heart pieces/heart containers after boss battles and the bottles for potions all serve to make the game easier- so that Zelda can be HARD but still leave room for the player -themselves- to make it easier if they need to. This is where the problem with Skyward Sword crops up, it has all the necessary Zelda things to make it easier and yet they made the game already so easy that they’re unnecessary.

      The hearts containers and potions were put in for the “casuals” or the people who can’t handle the difficulty so they can dynamically make the game easier while not skimping out on the people who want a challenge.

      Essentially, it IS the difficulty selection but implemented into the game itself- adding even more to the games world as a whole.

      I maintain that no-one’s going to get stuck in a dungeon puzzle even if it’s hard so the layout and rooms of a dungeon really don’t need to change, and if they somehow do get stuck they have FAQs and guides on the internet for them but I really can’t see how.

      • Anonymous

        I’m a guy who can beat all the bosses, without walkthroughs, and takes damage twice if it’s a bad and unlucky attempt. Even Demise on Hero Mode only hit me once.

        I don’t view heart containers and potions as difficulty, but as challenges. Heart Containers and Potions don’t make enemies less likely to hit you, but without them, you push yourself to be better on the SAME difficulty as with them. Those items, and similar ones, don’t make the game easier, they just make you tougher.

        This is part of what I was referring to when I said I wanted a higher difficulty. In Skyward Sword Hero Mode, I never had Max – 5 hearts during the whole game, and only collected more heart containers for “just in case” and “100% completion”. Part of what I want is higher IQ for enemies, and more attacks and attack patterns. I want Keese to see you have a sword and try to get around it or behind you. Moblins that see you have your shield up and either work together to make you vulnerable or wait for you to reveal/open yourself. Dodongos that see bombs and move away.

        The only enemy that I’ve had difficulty with was actually TP’s Darknuts. They were weak to Sword Skills at first, but learned to block them after a few hits from them. Same with Ganon. However, neither of them posed an offensive challenge.

  • Tehlul

    Yes please.

  • Pendio

    I think the difficulty in upcoming Zelda titles should be about the same as in the original The Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past or Majora’s Mask. Those three have the perfect difficulty in my opinion. >:)

    • AJ

      I like it

  • Killian Price

    This would solve everyones problems: add a difficulty selection. Into the game via beginner, normal, difficult, and hero/hard/intense. This would add more overall gameplay and everuone would be satisfied. That or you could put in a series of sidequest dungeons with difficult puzzles and tougher/a lot more enemies, and maybe throw some extra side bosses in there.. I would personally like love to hear what others would have to say to this. Message back responses!

    • Katalyst

      The issue is that making puzzles into 3 difficulties requires 3x the amount of work for the same sales. Difficulty should at least curve instead of the easymode of today’s Zelda titles.

  • Letsrant!

    The original Legend of Zelda is nothing like Skyward Sword. The original was based around exploration and finding your own way through. Skyward Sword is a based around advancing the storyline. Sure, the Darknuts and Wizzrobes were kind of hard, but the main difficulty of LoZ was finding out how to proceed. There was no such difficulty in SS.

    • ralphpotato

      The idea is that the hoard battle at the end of Skyward Sword is similar to The Legend of Zelda, and the original GenGAME article wants the entirety of Zelda games to be more similar to that.

      • TriforceofCourage

        The hoard battle wasn’t even challenging or fun. It just took forever. All you do is run down the ramp until you’re forced to stop and then waggle that remote for your life and you can kill most of the enemies without any effort. It was a good idea, but they didn’t actually make it so that you had to fight well during that battle.

        • Guest

          Well it sounds like the way *you play the game is the issue, not the game itself. You’re not supposed to “waggle that remote for your life.”

          • Meh..

            And? The game doesn’t PUNISH the player for waggling the remote, in fact it promotes it. If you DON’T waggle the remote there’s a high chance the enemy will INSTANTLY MOVE THEIR ARM to defend against your attack, whereas if you do you’ll kill them much quicker and with far more ease than waiting until they stop mystically blocking every attack and reading your every move!

            The game was poorly designed and the enemies were incredibly flawed. If you’re not supposed to then it shouldn’t LET you, but maybe we should take it slowly. First lets start with not making it incredibly easier to just wag-to-win, then we can work on making the actual swordsmanship, well… Swordsmanship.

  • Marton

    For me difficulty is really important for the game experience. My best experiences with video games is when you feel really challanged and after trial and error accomplishes the facing challenge. In order to get further in the game, you have to know the game mechanics and learn to use your items/weapons.. A game should be difficult, but not that extend it gets frustrating. When you have beaten the game you should be left with a feeling that you have mastered it.

  • EOTW

    Hands up if you beat the second playthrough of the Cave of Ordeals. *raises hand*

  • littlemissgleek

    I like the difficulty level in ocarina of time. Though, what can you do when playing a game means the player improves and eventually they’ll find it too easy. But if games gradually got harder to challenge the players, then new comers would be overwhelmed by the difficulty.
    Sometimes, you just can’t win.

    • Tommyjoe Pete

      In Oot, I thought the bosses were too easy and the enemies too hard. But that’s just me.

    • Zach Jackson

      If a game increased difficulty at a proper rate, then it would encourage new players to gain more skill as they go along. If even then they couldn’t do it, or aren’t even motivated to try and get better, then maybe this is not the right kind of game for them at all.

      Also the problem with Ocarina’s difficulty is that since most of the challenge is puzzle based, its really only difficult the first one or two playthroughs. Personally, playing through Ocarina of Time now feels like nothing short of a cakewalk, no matter how much I love the game.

  • Calanekeeps

    I think they should just add a difficulty setting or something. Or they could add more hazards in the dungeons and places you traverse, which would make fighting and exploring more difficult… I don’t know, really. I’m fine with how they are now to be honest.

  • Taylor

    nintendo needs to stop catoring so much to new players and realize who their fans are. amp up the difficulty in zelda.

    • Tommyjoe Pete

      …Ultimately leading to less sales. Intimidating games don’t sell, and fans can only get older.

      • Zach Jackson

        If a game has a steady difficulty curve so that players can get used to the controls first and ease their way into the challenge at a reasonable rate, it won’t be intimidating. Also, I sincerely doubt that hearing that a game is challenging will reduce sales. There are plenty of challenging games out now that sell perfectly well, even better than some recent Zelda titles.

        • erikingvoldsen

          You overestimate casuals. If they die ONCE they will rage like crazy.

          • Zach Jackson

            Well that’s a whole other problem if people get that upset from losing. That was a parenting problem. :P

          • Bleh

            No, it’s more of a mental issue.
            Or did you think “casuals” meant children exclusively?

          • Zach Jackson

            Well where do you think the mental issue came from? Being raised to think that any time you lose that you automatically declare its unfair and that you aren’t having fun.

          • Anonymous

            Well, you just supplied an easy way to count how many people actually do what you think they do. So far, I count 2.

            I think we should distinguish between casual and fan for Zelda. A casual is somebody who isn’t a fan and is playing Zelda. They are more critical than fans when it comes to the general audience views and difficulty, and may or may not be a great player. They can be converted into a Zelda fan if they like what they play and find it at a pleasing difficulty MULTIPLE games in a row.

            A fan is somebody who loves Zelda. They ignore the minor glitches and errors, mostly, and focus on what they loved about previous versions of Zelda. While some fans may dream about improvements, they’ll keep buying newest game even if the previous game didn’t quite reach their expectations. Very few fans become atheist or anti-fans, but are more likely not to consider games that stray too far from their vision of Zelda (Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland and BS Zelda anyone?). There are many more “die-hard” fans that will play anything with Zelda in its name (think Full House’s Jesse. Elvis this, Elvis that, Elvis the Peanut Butter…) than those who will completely give up on Zelda as a whole if 1 game fails in their eyes.

            As these 2 general (not all-encompassing) definitions show, Nintendo will gain more fans and money from DECENT (not necessarily easy) difficulty games than hard. To appease both groups, they can make the games have 2+ difficulty levels, but that would set back the release date. How far back depends on how many changes are made: enemies, damage, item locations, dungeon layout/puzzles, etc.

      • Darkgreyfire

        Something they could do is add separate harder dungeons that are not part of the story. They can make those dungeons really hard, and give you something good for completing it. Final fantasy is known for that. They create bosses that are harder than the final boss, but hide them somewhere and make them optional (like the emerald weapon in ff7 or hell wyrm in ff12). Gives the people that are not as good the ability to finish the story, and the people who want 100% completion and a challenge something to test themselves with.

        • gamer

          best comment ever

      • Darkgreyfire

        Something they could do is add separate harder dungeons that are not part of the story. They can make those dungeons really hard, and give you something good for completing it. Final fantasy is known for that. They create bosses that are harder than the final boss, but hide them somewhere and make them optional (like the emerald weapon in ff7 or hell wyrm in ff12). Gives the people that are not as good the ability to finish the story, and the people who want 100% completion and a challenge something to test themselves with.

    • Skyward Schlong

      Sorry, but if Nintendo had designed a harder game than Zeldas I and II rather than A Link to the Past, I never would have become a fan of the series. Nintendo thinks about the kids on Christmas morning who’ve never played before as Link, and that’s the right thing to do.

      • hcpaki95

        Yeah but a lot of newer Zelda games are easier than Link to the Past. Yeah, not every Zelda game has to be as hard as the original two (which were pretty crazy), but they need to at least present a challenge. A Link to the Past wasn’t bad – it wasn’t crazy hard but at least it had some difficulty. Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, not so much. They were cool games which I enjoyed, but they just weren’t challenging enough.

    • 10DS

      they did amp the difficulty in majoras mask. look where it got them. people gave up 5 minutes into the game. zelda needs to have a difficulty setting.

      Easy-Routes to the other areas can be shown, damage from bosses can only do max 1 heart.

      Medium-routes are shown if you’ve wandered for a while and max damage should be 1.5-2 hearts a blow for boss hits.

      Hard-No routes. Less cash and restocks of items and bosses can do a good 3 hearts.

      Boom. conversation ended.

      • Meh..

        Hah wow, what a joke.

        Next time you decide to open your mouth, try doing research first. Or are you simply projecting?

        In the time of release Majora’s Mask did -very- well, it was well accepted by everyone as most Zelda games are but it was still in the shadow of what people considered “The best game of all time” that was still riding high off of word of mouth.

        Try doing research before you get your spit everywhere.
        And no, Zelda doesn’t need difficulty settings at all. What, pray tell, do you think collecting hearts and using bottles is for? IF you can’t handle the difficulty you PICK THEM UP and USE your equipment, which is brilliant and incredibly intuitive. If you have 3 hearts, a boss who deals 1 heart max is going to be as tough as a 3 heart boss with 9 hearts.

        It’s DYNAMIC DIFFICULTY, of course everyone without a brain (read Aonuma- the six heart start guy -and you, specifically) can’t see this. Instead you shove typical bullshit difficulty that makes you feel like you’re missing what was originally intended for the game if you pick hard or easy, or give you “HERO MODE WOOOHOOO!!” all the while putting little stools everywhere in every dungeon so you never have any fear of dying. It’s brilliant, which is of course why it’s downplayed and underused. We’re all idiots after all, at least according to Skyward Sword.

        Skyward Sword was a joke. A dumbed down joke. And don’t even get me started, I just tried to play it again and had to quit because it shoved Fi in my face every 5 minutes to explain the most idiotic of things, it had dialogue going every 2 minutes you’re outside of a dungeon (Note: Dungeons aren’t exempt from Fi jumping up and being unskippable every 5 minutes) constantly beeped and beeped and BEEPED if you DIDN’T DO EXACTLY WHAT IT WANTED YOU TO DO and even had the gal to tell me what hearts do. Thanks guy, I’m clearly incapable if figuring out that the hearts on the ground must have SOMETHING to do with the HEARTS BLINKING IN THE TOP LEFT. So thank you, so very much, for clarifying.

        I could go on, and on, the dungeons! The enemies! But I’ve already written a wall, sorry for that.
        Even if I were “new” I’d have been upset about this games constant toddler treatment. And if anyone gave it as a gift or told me I’d like it, I’d take that as an insult.

        • hcpaki95

          Think you’re a bit too harsh… I was also annoyed by Fi and by Skyward’s Sword….lack of difficulty, to put it mildly. However, it wasn’t a bad game. I definitely wouldn’t go so far as to call it a joke.

  • gamer

    If you want a harder game, just don’t pick up the hearts after beating a boss. That’s what I do. I do go search for heart pieces, but I have been finding the games easier ans easier. My gripes not with the puzzles though, it’s with the bosses. Now a days even if the boss is hard, they leave so many hearts and pots laying around, it takes away from the fight.

    • 10DS

      well the problem with skyward sword was is that you have 6 hearts from the starting. room for plenty of mistakes.

    • npatoray24

      that sound like a terrible solution to the real problem… i dont think a player should have to skip out on parts of the game so it meets their own requirements for difficulty. In personal opinion i think the games have lost some difficulty by simply having a companion that spoon feeds the answers on where to go or what to do next. Sure navi was annoying. but she never told you what to do. I miss having to break down what characters said to figure out what to do next.

      • gamer

        Yeah, but we both know that nintendo is going to go after new gamers rather than make the fans happy by making the game harder. They are a company and have to make money. Most new gamers want great graphics and an easy game they can beat, just to say they beat it. So why now do what we can with what we got.

        • Skywardandy

          Cause that’s being a conformist and it’s far better if the problem is solved from its root. Zelda needs to apply that and Nintendo has to understand it, they can even take the example from games like mario galaxy 2 or dk country returns both games have a great lvl of difficulty. Or the better solution would be to have different difficulty lvls. That being said if the problem isn’t solved then as you said the player has to apply his/her own rudimentary solutions

        • punkie136050

          but if its easy to beat what is the point to buy the game?
          Ive always just rent the game first and if i cant beat it in a few days and like the game then i might buy the games but Ive rented so many games for a day or 2 and beat them and games now are either 2 short of 2 easy or both i think its pathetic what happened to the challenge we all used to remember??

      • TheMaverickk

        I never found Fi to spoil the game for me, but then again I never used her.

        Never touched Dowsing, and never asked for hints.

        It’s true that Fi had all the solutions, she was essentially an in game GameFAQ. Still that’s only if you went and asked her by summoning or answering her call.

        • hcpaki95

          …really? What about the stuff she came up and said on her own, without you calling her/answering her call? I’m sure I recall her forcing her unwelcome input on me many a time. Such as “Link, I detect that there is one more Kikwi in this area.” I mean, obviously, since there were three to begin with and I’ve found two. Ugh.

          Plus it’s annoying even to ignore her even when she is optional because her sound effects grate on you… though not as much as Navi’s “Hey! Listen!”…

    • Guest

      But by doing that, you miss out on many aspects of exploration. If you’re not searching for heart pieces, a whole chunk of things to look for is eliminated. I’d rather feel like the game is challenging me than have to self-impose challenges and miss out on parts of the game.

      • Raphael Gouin

        He actually mentioned he would skip only boss’s heart pieces and would search for quarter heart pieces. I think its a good idea to adjust difficulty although i never tried it. I’d rather do that instead of having nintendo integrating a difficulty level system.

        • Guest

          Oops, I misread his comment. It sounds a bit more reasonable like that. Still, I’d prefer the game to present challenges, even through varying difficulty settings, than have to figure out ways to make the game and combat challenging for me.

      • TheMaverickk

        Technically you can always go back and get those heart pieces and powerful items at the end of the game.

        That content is always there regardless of whether or not you get it in the middle of your journey or at the end of it.

    • TheMaverickk

      Agreed, if your a Zelda veteran, and have been playing the games for years you shouldn’t need to collect every heart in order to complete the game.

      I usually do two plays, one in which I collect absolutely everything and one where I skip out on things like hearts.

  • Tommyjoe Pete

    Hmmm…SS enemies were a lot harder than TP enemies, but in TP, there were a lot more of them and more intricate puzzles. Also, the bosses were harder in TP.

    • Mark Rose

      LMAO bosses in TP were harder? What were you smoking?

  • Fengar

    When I play a Zelda game, I dont like being told “how” to do stuff. I like being thrown into the game (a small story at the beginning is fine, but Skyward Sword’s was too long). I also like bosses and enemies that challenge me, ones that I literally have to go back to 20+ times before I figure which weapon I have to use and how, in order to effectively beat it.

    I prefer puzzles to storylines, and quality enemies to quantities of enemies, which is why my Gameboy Zelda game typically have more reply value for me

    Thats just my opinion. Bring that into the new console game (with Epona not a dumb bird), and I will be the happiest clam in the sea.

    • TriforceofCourage

      Its so true with the being told how to do things. I just want to figure things out myself. In skyward sword especially, it seemed like any time there was an opportunity for a puzzle or task that might require some thinking, the game went ahead and made it painfully obvious with what you had to do, sometimes because of freaking Fi. I want to figure things out myself. They should make it more difficult, and remove the companion from the next game.

      • Anonymous

        I want a companion. I DON’T want a fussy nanny!

    • hcpaki95

      I think getting rid of the companion, or at least making their dialogue completely OPTIONAL, would do a lot for difficulty. That was the main problem with Skyward Sword. I’m not saying every game has to be like the original and throw you into the wilderness with only a sword and almost no story, but there needs to at least be a balance and the player has to at least figure some things out on his own.

  • Awesome Socks

    I think they should do kinda a merge between TP and SS. I don’t find Skyward Sword Ll tht difficult even in Hero Mode (I have the heart medal and still don’t get many hearts). All of the bosses and mini bosses are easy to figure out. Just whip out the dungeon item if you’re having trouble. SS was just stressing for me (Silent realms and long, repeated battles with the Imprisioned). Twilight Princess actually had you THINKING. You were always told directly what to do. (Like in SS when you see the cinema of the boss door and Fi tells you there’s and 85% chance that’s where you’re supposed to go. Nah dip, Sherlock.) In TP, you had to go through challenges and figure out hen to switch to wolf form and HOW to kill things. And Midna didn’t bug you all the time with obvious stuff. I liked having to figure out the puzzles and NOT being stressed but at the same time having fun. I thought Ganon was especially fun (that’s why I’ve gone back and kicked his but five times).

    • Zach Jackson

      Problem is in TP, once you figure out how to do something, the challenge is over because it is almost never difficult to execute that action. That makes it disappointing whenever you’re up to that part again later in the game or on a new playthrough, you’re just going through the motions and you don’t even have to think about it.

      • TriforceofCourage

        Yeah, but its better than Skyward Sword still. In that game there was no challenge to start with. You are always told exactly what to do. Also, the only sort of challenge was how to kill enemies, but once you had that down, it was boring and repetitive as you fight the exact same enemies over and over again in repetitive motions. They could have made the motion controls more meaningful for sword combat if they had a wider variety of enemies so it didn’t get so boring and gimmicky as fast.

        • JuicieJ

          Skyward Sword actually has you perform precise movements and has you think on the fly in most combat situations. Twilight Princess? Just run up to an enemy and spam the B button (GCN version). There’s no strategy in TP at all. Things are handed to you on a silver platter. SS actually requires thought on the most trivial things, even if it’s very mild thought.

          • Katalyst

            I want to downvote this but I’m a guest. At least in TP you had cool special moves that you unlocked to improve the swordfighting. I mean with the exception of lightning enemies, it was the ol’ hack and slash minus cool skills.

          • JuicieJ

            Ironically, Skyward Sword had more diversity in its combat without all the fancy moves. Now that’s not me saying I don’t want them to return. I would love that. Just saying, TP’s combat is very monotonous compared to SS’s. They’re both highly enjoyable, but TP’s is just downright not stimulating at times.

          • Never

            Hardly, they both equally lacked diversity.
            You could wag to win almost every enemy in Skyward Sword, as well as TP. The only time I ever -really- needed to utilize Skyward Swords motion controls beyond “Simon says swing DOWN!” was with the final boss. At the end of the game (see what they did wrong there?). The rest were just kind of fling until you hit, or hope they stop blocking every attack.

          • JuicieJ

            SS’s enemies had a lot of depth. There were multiple ways to take out some of them with just normal sword swings alone, whereas enemies in TP consisted monotonously mashing a button. Not to insult, but it’s also not exactly logical to say that enemies capable of guarding in multiple directions and shifting said directions according to the position of Link’s sword isn’t more diverse than an enemy with no defense at all (SS’s Bokoblins compared to TP’s).

          • Never

            And it’s also not logical to say that enemies that actually become easier when you wag to win in Skyward Sword have any more depth than the ones you mash to win in TP.

            No offense, but the guarding was obviously AI cheating, they don’t “shift” they instantly move. When beating an enemy becomes infinitely easier
            by mash wagging it completely throws away any and all depth they could
            have had, the same applies to TP.

          • JuicieJ

            I’ve always had attacks blocked a lot more when waggling (and so have basically everyone else I’ve talked to), so I can’t see the angle you’re coming from when saying the game was easier while waggling.

            I don’t get the “cheating” thing either. It’s their to make you think more and react, not for the sake of it being there. Maybe you think this way because you waggle all time?

          • hcpaki95

            …. I don’t know. Yeah, it’s possible to get through by waggling, but that way it takes longer to defeat enemies and you’re much more likely to take damage. Sooo… I would definitely not say enemies become easier when you wag to win (though that was true of TP).

            I never waggle and the enemies can never successfully block my attacks or land damage because I’m actually thinking about what I’m doing.

          • TheMaverickk

            Special move that OP’ed Link and made every fight meaningless half way through the game.

            Mortal Draw? Instant kill anything.
            Jump Strike? Instantly knock down hoards of enemies.
            Helm Splitter and Back Slice can also be used at any time, so you can easily spam them to avoid enemy attacks and keep them spinning trying to keep up.

            This as opposed to Wind Wakers helm splitter/back slice which serve as counter attack methods, and require putting yourself at risk to perform.

            No offense but all those “cool skills” broke the combat and difficulty of TP.

          • hcpaki95

            Yup. This.

          • hcpaki95

            I agree in terms of battle that TP was easier. In terms of puzzles, not so much. Though both these games were pretty easy in that regard, Skyward Sword with Fi takes the cake.

          • JuicieJ

            Fi doesn’t affect the puzzles in any way, shape, or form. She says things that have no real effect because they’re things you already knew. TP’s hardest puzzles are also the equivalent of SS’s easiest, i.e. the puzzles in the surface portions. The dungeons had some of the most devious ones in franchise history, especially the Lanayru Mining Facility and Sky Keep.

          • hcpaki95

            Sorry, let me reword. I didn’t really mean to refer to “puzzles” in my earlier comment, but rather to linearity and the overall feeling of the gameplay. Though both games were linear, Twilight Princess at least felt like it had exploration because you got to gallop across fields (which did at least have some caves, random pieces of heart, and so on, so they weren’t as empty as people sometimes like to suggest) and just in general got to “explore” a large world. Also, you weren’t told EXACTLY what to do and mostly, the obvious was thrown in your face. When I refer to Fi, I refer to her in terms of what to do next. I prefer for them to kind of just throw you into the action and let you figure out what you need to do. Although even Midna does kind of say “Okay, let’s go get the next Fused Shadow” or whatever, she doesn’t pop up every few seconds to tell you where to go next. For example when it comes to getting to the Sky, Midna doesn’t tell you much at all – once you’re on the quest to find the mirror shards, she just keeps saying “Link, we have to find the shards, which the sages said were in the forest, the mountains, and the sky” or something to that effect. Fi, however, pops up for even the stupidest things and tends to even tell us when to dowse, which annoys me quite a bit. Actually, not only does she tell us “I’ve added blah blah blah to dowsing, so dowse” but once she does so, the dowsing button flashes on-screen and emits peals of sound until it is clicked. If you don’t really WANT to dowse at that given time, but rather explore on your own, you’re forced to press the button anyway to get rid of that. That kind of annoyance is more what I was referring to. In Skyward Sword, I didn’t feel like I was really choosing where to go on my own or figuring out where the next dungeon was. Instead, I was following a set, linear path in which Fi popped up to reiterate the already obvious way.
            On the other hand, if I think about SS’s puzzles, I admit that those in the Lanayru Mining Facility and Sky Keep were probably more difficult than anything found in TP specifically. However, I probably wouldn’t go as far as to dub them “some of the most devious in franchise history” because…they were still relatively easy. I never had a point in the game where I actually got stuck on anything or thought, “Wow, this puzzle is pretty difficult – no idea what to do next”. So… maybe its puzzles were more difficult than those in TP (which was actually an extremely easy game in those terms, I liked it for other reasons), but in general they weren’t exactly extremely challenging.

          • JuicieJ

            I never got seriously stuck, either, but I’ve been at this since 1999. I’m a seasoned veteran. I don’t base my judgments on how hard puzzles are to me NOW. I base my judgments on how well-crafted and ingenious they are, and Skyward Sword absolutely delivers on all accounts in these categories. Easily on par with, if not better than, that of Majora’s Mask.

          • hcpaki95

            I would consider myself a seasoned veteran as well, so that has some weight. However, even now if I went back to play the original game, i would find it difficult, especially the last dungeon. Even Ocarina of Time – if I went back to play it now (assuming I didn’t remember how to solve all the puzzles from the first time) the puzzles would still present me with a challenge even with my current level of prowess in solving puzzles. Skyward Sword and TP both failed to achieve that, in my opinion. SS’s puzzles may have been par with Majora’s Mask, I only played that game once long ago so I don’t recall, but I would consider those in Ocarina of Time to be more difficult than those in Skyward Sword. I imagine that even you, who also never get seriously stuck, might have some difficulty when going back to play the 9th dungeon on NES (though I may be wrong, since I have no idea how you play).
            Yeah, I could agree that some of Skyward Sword’s puzzles are well-crafted – definitely outdoing Twilight Princess, not disputing that – but in my preference the difficulty level could have been raised, especially when compared to earlier games. That’s all. I’m not saying that none of Skyward Sword’s puzzles were at all well-crafted.

        • npatoray24

          the hardest part of SS for me personally (meaning i was stuck for an hour+) was trying to figure out where that stone went in skyloft (it was the bird statue’s missing eye) i never talked to the man at the very beginning of the game that is standing in front of it, so i never even noticed it missing. The only time i was ever stuck in SS

    • TheMaverickk

      “All of the bosses and mini bosses are easy to figure out. Just whip out the dungeon item if you’re having trouble.”

      This is actually the formula for Twilight Princess…

      Bio Deku Baba – Use Gale Boomerang to bring him down
      Fyrus – Use arrows to strike glowing weak point
      Morpheel – Use clawshot to pull eye out of tentacles (just like pulling Morpha out of water)
      Stalord – Use Spinner in both cases
      Blizzeta – Smash the ice cage with the Ball and Chain (just like you smashed every other ice piece in the dungeon)
      Armoghoma – Use staff to control statues and squish the boss
      Argoroc – use the clawshots to swing around and then latch on and beat on the dragon

      Every boss in TP uses the dungeon item to defeat it.

      Additionally the wolf is only used to defeat two bosses…. the mini boss Dark Sword… and Beast Ganon. That’s not exactly a lot of bosses in the entirety of Twilight Princess.

      The wolf aspect of TP was under utilized. In wolf form you really only have two methods of attack, and two special skills… “sense” and “dig” both of which are again… barely used in the design of the game.

      85% of the time digging unearths nothing more then green rupee’s or hearts. Additionally sense is barely used to solve any puzzles. In fact there are only 2 dungeons that really make use of your wolf transformation ability. The Arbiter Grounds… and Hyrule Castle.

      You use your wolf form in City in the Sky for a single instance… to walk across some tight ropes that lead you to the entrance to the boss key. That’s pretty sad when you considering that the whole wolf ability is supposed to be a big part of the game.

  • Michael Philliber

    while ss was a little easy, im worried about how many of the comments here are attacking a video game because it has story. i think story should be up for the gameplay within it. story is important to video games. it gives you something to strive for, an item to get or a princess to save. without story we might as well go play pong or tetris. (not that those arent fun)

    • Grimat

      Agree on all levels, I like Zelda, for the story element, not the difficulty, I wouldn’t mind if it was more difficult, but I don’t really care, I can deal with easy and hard. The NES zelda games were infuriatingly difficulty and very little story elements, thus I haven’t really played them.

  • Cinnamon

    What they really should add is an option to choose difficulty. It would probably please the widest audience as well.
    It would affect things such as how much damage you and enemies do, how many hearts you start out with and how easy it is to find items. It doesn’t neccesarily have to affect the actual game, though one thing I have seen done is adding extra phases to bosses and additional attacks to enemies.
    Another thing would be affecting chest placements. Maps can show less items on higher difficulty, and various timers in the game can be shorter.

  • hills

    I personally would like difficulty settings. I would like to play a zelda that is more difficult, but at the same time my grandparents both love zelda and would not be able to enjoy a game that was more difficult. I was happy with the overall difficulty level in skyward sword.

  • Henri Arthur Pearson

    One way to make Zeld games more difficult (Or easier if you wanted) would be to have a feature similar to the fiends cauldron in Kid Icarus Uprising. You could pay rupees to increase/decrease the difficulty.

  • slinkycat

    I think there should be an option for greater challenges, but for me, I’d never finish any Zelda games if I had to spend too much time trying to accomplish everything. Plus, I’m not all that coordinated on certain moves and I can do them now with practice. If it were harder I’d give up. The earliest games were too hard for me and I’ve never finished them. I’m envious of the people who can meet the tough challenges, but I only have a limited amount of play time too, and I like to feel like I’ve made some advancement each time I play.

  • erikingvoldsen

    Don’t expect difficulty in a Zelda game. It’s a casual series.

    • JuicieJ


    • Never

      What are you on about, Zelda’s always been niche but even Mario used to be difficult. So much so that people started saying “Nintendo Hard”, when were you born?

      • JuicieJ

        What’s wrong with taking no damage when falling down a pit? It honestly doesn’t matter either way. You also seem to be forgetting that SS’s enemies took off 1 whole heart of damage, which doubled to 2 in Hero Mode (alongside of no heart drops). I don’t see how that’s “baby difficulty”.

        • Never

          Wow. You’re just completely pointless to argue with aren’t you?

          Oh gee, what could possibly be wrong with taking no damage when you fall down an bottomless pit I… I just don’t know.

          Wait… wait just a minute, you might have a point! Hey guys! Next Mario game how about when the player falls down a pit, he’s just sent back up with NoOOO CONSEQUENCES!! Losing a life’s ludicrous, I can’t believe we’ve been doing it all this time! …What’s that? At least shrink him if he’s big? Preposterous then it would be too difficult!

          OMG they take a whole heart of damage when you start out with SIX? Oh dearest me however will we cope? Oh no… Hero mode deals twice as much? Thank god you never get hit, I don’t think I could handle that.

          Oh sorry, the conversation ended at the definitive “It honestly doesn’t matter either way.” didn’t it? Well gee I’ve just been extending what’s already proven! Your genius argument and invisible piles of reasoning and logic are more than enough, how dare I question it. I’ll be sure to reprimand myself in the mirror.

          • JuicieJ

            Mario is a platformer. The rule of a platformer is take die when falling into a pitfall. Zelda’s an Action/Adventure game. A pitfall… well, it’s not necessary to take damage from it. I don’t think it matters if you DO take damage from it, but I don’t think it matters if you DON’T. You failed to make a jump in an Action/Adventure game. Okay? Is that absolutely necessary to take damage from? Not really.

            The whole point the game started out with 6 hearts was because of the 1 heart damage ratio. If it had been 3 and one heart, that would have been asking way too much of players. And before you say the could have done 3 hearts and 1/2 a heart of damage, think about how that would work with more hearts later on. Say you have 10 hearts. With a 1/2 heart damage ratio it’s going to take 20 hits to die. With a 1 heart damage ratio, it’s going to take 10 hits to die. You may not know this, but that means you’ll die twice as fast.

            When did I ever say you shouldn’t question my logic? I brought up valid points in a discussion. Nothing more. There’s a very large difference between telling someone they’re an idiot — like you basically did with me in your post — and questioning someone’s reasoning. I did the latter of the two.

          • TheMaverickk

            You got to admit that taking no damage isn’t really that big a deal with you consider how much damage you used to take from a fall.

            If you fall into a pit in Twilight Princess you only suffer 1/4 of damage…
            That’s pretty pointless. It’s not going to kill anyone that way.

            The penalty for falling was already pretty small in previous Zelda titles. So do I really feel that taking no damage from a fall is truly altering my Zelda experience? Not really.

            Also in the grand scheme of things losing 1 of 6 hearts may not seem like a lot…. but when most enemies in in Twilight Princess only do 1/4 of damage…. even with only 3 hearts, that means you can suffer as many as 12 hits.

            That’s double the amount of hits as skyward sword allows.

            It’s not even until you get to mini-bosses like the Darknut that you start to take more damage. Even then his full armor weapon only does 1 heart of damage and after you strip his armor off he only does 1/2 of damage to Link. That’s pretty lame as far as difficulty goes.

            This is with out mentioning that Twilight Princess give you a variety of instant kill attacks from the Jump Strike and Mortal Draw. Not to mention that it’s easy to avoid any enemies attacks using moves like the helm splitter or back slice.

            In the grand scheme of things….. I’ll take suffering more damage from enemies as opposed to suffering more damage from falls. Especially when you consider how little damage you took from falls to begin with.

            Not that Skyward Sword is that hard regardless, but it’s certainly deals more punishment compared to other modern Zelda games.

  • firecrb

    I know that scervo was the most annoying minibosses of ss

  • Olimar

    I agree on raising the difficulty, just don’t add hoards of enemies. In my eye’s, Zelda is about puzzle, and story. I mean think about it, if Zelda has tons of enemies an less stratagey, it would get old fast. So up the enemie strength, but don’t place to many enemies everywhere.

  • rigfbckdufyt

    I think that puzzle-wise, SS was very easy. I only got stuck once or twice on my 1st playthrough. I never got “really” stuck on a puzzle (meaning I spent 0.5-1 hour figuring out, then went to ZD to read the walkthrough). However, combat-wise, it was pretty challenging at times. Who didn’t find the Silent Realms hard as S*** on their first playthrough? Or the battles to get the Triforce of Wisdom?

    TP, on the other hand, has good pizzles (I’ve had to refer to the walkthrough about 5 times already, just finished lakebed temple), however, combat-wise, it’s really easy. I only got Game Over a couple of times, and there are too many hearts everywhere, and the bosses are REALLY easy.

    • TriforceofCourage

      I’ve never looked at a walkthrough for a zelda game. I’ve never been stumped in a Zelda game since Majora’s Mask. The games are just way to easy. I haven’t died in one of these games in forever. And I actually thought the Silent realms were easy. I did them all my first try. They were intense and scary and really were a great addition, but I was still able to do them my first try.

      • npatoray24

        thumbs up for the people who have never used a walkthrough!!!, i put MM on the shelf for a year before coming back to it and beating it.. My biggest goal is to one day beat the original LoZ, i have never looked at any walkthrough before, so one day when i have a few weeks to burn, ill try for that goal. :D

        • hcpaki95

          You should, but dang that game is hard…. xD I also have never used a walkthrough, and I did beat the first game… but I had to make extensive notes on paper to beat the last dungeon. Hah… that took forever

      • Calanekeeps

        One of the only times I ever needed a walkthrough was the Spirit Temple in the Master Quest… That dungeon was completely…not right. Something felt off about it, and it seemed to WANT to make you get stuck.

    • TheMaverickk

      My guess is that Twilight Princess was the first Zelda title you played. Or at the very least was one of the first.

      Either way, it’s been a long time since a Zelda game has left me stumped or lost. After years of playing Zelda I doubt there is any puzzle they could throw my way that would really throw me for a loop.

  • toonlinkuser

    I’m fine with the enemy difficulty of most Zelda games, but I want harder puzzles and less bottles, as well as enemy’s that get smarter as the game progresses.

  • JuicieJ

    In my opinion, Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword nailed the proper difficulty level for Zelda. They weren’t too hard, but they weren’t too easy. They required a level of focus that, if you did properly, you’d get by pretty easily, but if you slacked off, you’d get punished, no questions asked. That’s good difficulty for a Zelda game. It’s aimed at all audiences, so it’s enough to satisfy both casual and hardcore gamers. They also got tougher throughout their adventures due to their masterful pacing in the gameplay(especially Skyward Sword). It’s what future Zeldas should look to for their dififculty.

    However, I do think difficulty levels should be a part of the series. Subsequent playthroughs are more fun when they’re challenging, which is why I like Hero Mode. The base difficulty level should be that of Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword, but higher levels, yeah, step it up to A Link to the Past’s level. I’d be game for that.

    • Zach Jackson

      I would hardly consider “getting by pretty easily” perfection in difficulty. Games are fundamentally supposed to have challenge, and they aren’t meant to be something that eases you along just so you can experience a story. I agree that having difficulty levels would be a good compromise for “hardcore” and “casual” gamers, but it’s just going to continue this trend where games have to cater to a variety of skill levels, rather than really mastering difficulty curves so that even an unskilled gamer can become skilled. Essentially, I think that Nintendo really should consider making a more challenging Zelda game, but really balance how the challenge increases as the game goes along so that players of all skill levels will improve as it progresses. That said, I don’t think Skyward Sword did this well, considering that it remained pretty simple until, like the article mentions, you reach the horde battles in the final dungeon. That was one of two places I died in the game, the other time being my first encounter with Demise.

      • JuicieJ

        I said perfect for Zelda, not for general gaming. Games like Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden would be pointless with that kind of difficulty.

        Zelda’s a series that aims at everyone, including casual gamers. Casuals tend to not like games that are frustratingly hard no matter what. I also made the distinction that it’s only going to be relatively easy if you pay attention and don’t slack off. Unlike in the GCN games, if you treat ST and SS like they’re nothing, you’re most likely going to get hit a lot. If you focus in them, you’re most likely going to make it out okay. Again, perfect difficulty *for Zelda*.

        I also said I think difficulty levels should be a part of Zelda and that the base difficulty is what should be what I first mentioned. Higher levels should be a lot harder.

      • hcpaki95

        Agreed. And funnily enough, I actually died in those EXACT two places in my playthrough as well! Interesting. But yes, I agree that Nintendo needs to return to making Zelda games more challenging. I’m not saying every game has to be as difficult as the original was, since that was admittedly pretty crazy (though fun), but they should be at least as challenging as games like Link to the Past. Games like this are supposed to present a challenge, and that’s what makes them fun. I don’t understand this catering to the casual player who make a fuss every time they die.

    • hcpaki95

      Yeahhh… I would prefer at least A Link to the Past’s level. Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks were fine in terms of difficulty (I found Skyward Sword easier, though). Skyward Sword would have been okay if Fi would just … not say anything. She annoyed me to no end with her constant stating the obvious and the fact that even in HERO MODE most of her comments were unskippable. In the older games, there was no handholding. Even when Navi was introduced in Ocarina of Time – though her “Hey! Listen!” was mildly annoying, she wasn’t intrusively oppressive in telling you every last detail, explaining what hearts were and reminding you of the obvious constantly. And most of the time listening to her was OPTIONAL. With Fi, a lot of what she said was mandatory, which really annoyed me.

      Also, Skyward Sword was entirely linear and it was obvious what to do next… it would be better if you had to explore and find dungeons on your own. And they should bring back the ability to do dungeons out of order (The original Legend of Zelda) – then the more advanced players can pick and choose to do more difficult dungeons first if they want to.

      Aside from the rant on Skyward Sword (which was a game I actually enjoyed, despite my annoyances with it) – I generally agree with your comment.

      • JuicieJ

        I definitely agree that Zelda should stop being so linear, although I do think that Skyward Sword was a *slight* step in the right direction towards that. The game itself was linear, but most of the individual portions had a fair bit of open choice involved, including the dungeons, so that gives me some hope that maybe we’ll see it return in the near future.

        • hcpaki95

          I’m sure some future games will at least be less linear than Skyward Sword (or at least I hope). I doubt they’ll return, however, to the adventurous feel of being on your own of the earliest games, which is a pity. But I hope you’re right that we’ll at least see less linearity in future games.

          • JuicieJ

            I don’t see why there wouldn’t be any non-linear titles in the future. Nintendo brought back (and refined) many of Zelda’s classic elements in Skyward Sword, such as a heavy focus on RPG mechanics & resource management, and a content-littered overworld (obviously surface portions). I can see them taking the next step forward.

          • hcpaki95

            Yeah, that’s fine. I’m not disagreeing that there will be “non-linear” titles in the future – I’m just saying it’s likely they won’t be AS non-linear as the original. Then again, it’s possible they may prove me wrong.

  • Driorianos

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s difficulty, it’s just two factors. One, there’s more of a guide for what you need to be doing rather than open world with who knows what. That’s not new, though, just wasn’t really a part of the original Legend of Zelda and Adventure of Link. Second is, to me… the fact that as the controls of the game get more complex, so does your ability to dodge and block. This keeps your heart rate up, and in turn, you don’t die as much.

  • Xyphon

    Two really solid ways to tackle this issue:
    1. Have a second quest that’s harder
    2. Have a difficulty setting

  • Ben

    I do think Zelda needs to up the difficulty in terms of puzzles and enemies. I would like to see a normal and advanced mode available to choose from the beginning. That would help with the latter problem but in terms of puzzle difficulty I would like to see them do away with clues given out by your navigation partner and force the player to figure it out themselves more often

  • grandeh

    It’s not really the enemies that makes the zelda games difficult or easy. The more recent games in the series have been to easy to complete in general. They give you too many hints on where you’re supposed to go.

    • 10DS

      they should have settings to disable Fi or whoever the next one is, like a hard mode where no partner talks, very little cash or restocsk come from grass and damage is amped. the hero mode in skyward sword could easily be completed without a shield. was VERY pathetic.

      • TheMaverickk

        Hero Mode with 6 hearts is a lot different then Hero mode with 20.

        Hero Mode is a minor adjustment in difficulty. Those people who really want a challenge do minimal challenges… least amount of hearts is usually where to start.

    • npatoray24

      completely agree

  • Katalyst

    Unfortunately, SS in general, including the endgame (Sky Keep-Demise) were not only still too easy, but the combat was just long and repetetive. I prefer short, Punishing combat (IE tons of damage per hit taken) and a medium amount of health. Less puzzle fights, more skill (timing/etc).

    • Tough

      A lot of it had to do with the amount of hearts you were given at the very start, in all of the other games you only start out with 3, but in SS they give you 6 from the very beginning.
      In truth, the game tried its hardest to treat you like an imbecile and tamper itself so even a kindergartener could beat it. You can thank Aonuma for that.

      Humorously enough, the combat in Nintendo Land is leagues better than Skyward Sword- ie no idiotically fast reflexes to block every attack you throw until you just decide to wag-to-win -so hopefully they’ve learned from their mistakes.

      • Katalyst

        Well put my friend. Well put indeed. However, weak enemies in other games dealt <1/2 heart and weak enemies in SS did 1 heart (Usually) so really the heart count didn't matter as much at the beginning. It was a bit more than usual but not enough to warrant the whole lack of difficulty in SS.

        • Tough

          Very well thought out, but there’s one -massive- difference between SS and the older games.

          The enemies in Skyward Sword, aside from the bosses, *always* deal one heart or less- it wasn’t just the small fry. It would be like if all the enemies in OoT constantly only deal 1/2-1/4 a heart, the game would be a breeze even if you went through it all with 3 hearts.

          The 6 hearts from the start system is only there to disguise that fact, falling directly in line with SS’s “Treat the players like imbeciles” theme. I completely agree with you though, it wasn’t JUST the enemies or the hearts that made the game lack difficulty.

          • JuicieJ

            The whole point of the 6 hearts was because of the 1 heart damage ratio. If it had been three, the beginning would have been murderous and frustrating for the vast majority of players.

          • Never

            That’s where proper scaling comes in. Congratulations on figuring that out on your own. Because obviously if they decided to start you out with 3 hearts they’d clearly keep the enemies at dealing 1 heart from the beginning.

            It’s only logical.

          • JuicieJ

            Again, a 1/2 heart of damage would have made the game easier later on due to Link taking more hits to die.

          • hcpaki95

            Why not make the enemies more difficult along the way and have different enemies take differing amounts of health with each hit?

          • JuicieJ

            We wouldn’t be able to strategically project how many hearts we could potentially lose with that kind of system.

          • hcpaki95

            …why do we need to strategically project? Either don’t get hit, or take note of how many hearts are lost when you are.

            Haha but going back to your other post, I actually agree that one heart of damage is better than 1/2, 1/2 all the way through the game would definitely have made it too easy. I just think differing amounts of damage would have been better. I’m not saying they’d have to be drastically or unreasonably different – it’s not like a normal field enemy would be wiping out half your health with one hit, since that just wouldn’t make sense.

    • JuicieJ

      If the combat is taking too long for you, you’re probably getting your attacks blocked a lot, meaning you’re probably doing something wrong… which in turn means it’s probably not as easy as you’re making it out to be.
      SS’s combat also is also exactly what you described. It’s punishing due to enemies that don’t let you get away with flailing wildly, take off 1 whole heart per hit, and require timing and skill to take out.

      • Katalyst

        Meh. I personally hated the motion controls which made me have a bit of distaste for SS. Because with the Wiimotes used by me and friends, it would often not work great. (I’m using a original launch day wii and sensor, is that the issue here?) I just hated that every time I got close to completing one of those puzzles, my sensor would screw up (Brand new wiimote, bought specifically to play my copy of SS) and the puzzle would reset. :P .

        • JuicieJ

          The Wii MotionPlus actually doesn’t use the sensor bar. That’s the entire point of its existence.

          As far as not liking motion controls goes, that’s fair. They’re not for everyone. That’s one reason I believe Zelda Wii U should have multiple control schemes.

    • TheMaverickk

      Sorry but there’s still a lot of timing involved in fighting the enemies in Skyward Sword. Especially considering that many of the enemies are adjusting their fight stance. So you have to wait for the opportune moment to strike.

      In fact all the fights in Skyward Sword are about timing your strikes. Or timing your shield blocks to throw your enemies off for that matter. If you are finding it takes too long to defeat enemies, probably means you aren’t that skilled at combat.

      Additionally you don’t have to have a lot of health to play The Legend of Zelda. Heart Containers are their for people who struggle through the game. You aren’t forced to take them for a reason. I’ve been skipping them for ages and been well rewarded in challenge for years.

      Talk to me after you complete Skyward Sword Hero Mode with 6 hearts. It’s pretty merciless especially when you have several enemies circling in on you.

      • JuicieJ

        Oh, gosh, Hero Mode 6 minimalist runthrough. The Horde Battle… @_@

        • Katalyst

          You shouldnt have to sacrifice content for the sake of challenge :P . I know you love SS with a passion though.

          • JuicieJ

            I don’t think you have to do that with SS, though. It’s not the hardest Zelda game, but it’s not the easiest, either. Like I said in another post, as well, I think it’s the ideal difficulty for Zelda.

            By they way, I don’t say these things because I like SS. One of the reasons I like SS is because of these things.

          • TheMaverickk

            I’ve done minimalist runs of every Zelda title (with the exception of Zelda 2 which is honestly is hard enough when you are fully leveled up). It’s one of the best ways to see how hard a Zelda title truly can be.

            I do love Skyward Sword, but it isn’t my favorite Zelda title. Top 5 sure, but not my fave.

            What I am passionate in regards to the game though is when people bring up two topics;

            1. Difficulty (in comparison to other Zelda titles)
            2. The Controls (They work perfectly, anyone having issues, it’s all based on their own skills)

        • TheMaverickk

          Yeah doing boss rush mode it’s the one battle that always give me a headache, there’s so many enemies that start crowding around you and can easily take a stab at you while performing a sword beam (the only sane method I can think of in this mode to survive).

          I’ve yet to try it without a shield, far too easy to be swarmed even with it.

      • Katalyst

        Eh. You didnt have to time anything, just what direction you swung the wiimote (Which didnt work well for me, or most people I know.). I did like the timing for shield blocks. And I feel cheated out of content when I play minimalist runs. eh.

        • TheMaverickk

          You did have to time your attacks. If you take too long to strike an enemy they switch their sword stance. Meaning instead of doing a blow against them, they block your attack.

          Timing is everything… the fact that you also had to make sure you were swinging your sword in the right direction was just another level of thought you had to consider before performing your attack.

          You really can’t argue against the fact that “timing” when you swing your sword in a certain direction is important.

      • Katalyst

        Plus I didn’t even take a hit early game because of the old TP shield bump reflex. I later took my first hit due to my shield burning away, leaving me with a sad piece of ash and a heart less. ;-;

  • npatoray24

    lets look at the game that started it all… the original LoZ…. who can honestly say they beat this game on their own, or better yet beat it without dying 1000 times? I dont think making a game that is super hard, is such a terrible thing. I mean almost all the games for the NES were near impossible. Im not suggesting Nintendo make impossible games, but seriously in the original LoZ i would sometimes die trying to get to the temple i needed to go to when i would start playing. The difficulty needs to be stepped up a notch, or at the very least make a hero mode or master quest an option from the very beginning for advanced players. I want and need a more difficult zelda experience

    • TheMaverickk

      When Nintendo created the more challenging Majora’s Mask… it turned a lot of people who loved Ocarina of Time, off of the series.

      Of modern gamers many have yet to complete that title… and it wasn’t even that difficult a game.

      For those of us who grew up with the challenge of the NES era, the Legend of Zelda was of a moderate difficulty, but for many who tried it, they probably never completed the game, and never returned.

      As much as there are those of us who enjoy a good challenge, the mass audience doesn’t like losing or feeling as though they suck at a video game.

  • Katalyst

    Difficulty should go up as the game progresses, not down as it did in SS. At least for me, one of the issues I face is not too few hearts, but because I enjoy sidequests, too many hearts. Dear people that say “Just don’t get the hearts”, I say that you shouldn’t have to up the difficulty for yourself at the cost of game content. I think Zelda should have 3 levels of play: It should be impossible to move the story forward without a few extra sidequest hearts between each dungeon, and getting more of these would lower the difficulty (IE you find an area to be too hard, go do sidequests). What do you guys think? (And yes this is another post just one comment away from my original post, but on a different topic. Deal with it.)

    • Never

      Yes. YES! This is exactly what I was going to say.

      You make the game intentionally difficult then give the players options to make it easier, having trouble with a boss or dungeon? Go do a sidequest, search for some heart pieces, prepare yourself with potions and come back with a vengeance! This Dynamic Difficulty (I like how Meh.. put it) makes traditional difficulty selection look pitiful and archaic- even primitive by comparison.

      Not only does it successfully scale the difficulty for the player in a completely controllable way, it simultaneously immerses the player further into the world.

      THEY go find hearts for their Link to the game, THEY tough out the sidequests, and THEY go searching through Hyrule of their own free will- so by the time they come to the dungeon, decked out and ready to win, THEY’ll have that sense of development and accomplishment that will only serve to pull them deeper into the world when they finally conquer it.

      This, precisely this, is a MAJOR reason why OoT was so amazing. It was so far ahead of its time that even now, nearly 15 years later, game developers have yet to even grasp this simple concept.

      Though honestly, it’s actually kind of saddening they haven’t.

    • JuicieJ

      The GameCube games had much more heart drops than SS did (which was the same amount as in the classic games).

      • Katalyst

        Yes, however it had both the “Heart Medal” (Acquired because I enjoy sidequests) and the stools/chairs. Those worked pretty well for Hero mode (Which I didnt bother to complete due to the fact I didn’t enjoy the game that much) but made your first playthrough, which I consider to be more important, godmode. The “Chosen Hero” doesn’t take a hit from the monsters. He just picked up a sword for the first time and hacked away like a knife through butter. The amazing “Make the game easier as you get more skilled.” *Puts up the flameshield*

        • JuicieJ

          The Heart Medal is also optional.

          • hcpaki95

            Yeah that’s true.
            However, the fact that it’s there is annoying, especially for completionists. For example, the Sheikah stone for hints is also completely optional. Regardless, its existences annoys me because even if I don’t use it, I no longer feel as accomplished solving puzzles on my own because I think, “Well. Anyone could have solved that by just going to the Sheikah stone for hints”. In the original game, you felt accomplished when you figured out things others didn’t know, like finding a random cave (there was no indication of where to bomb, either). There was actually explorations and puzzles were actually difficult.

  • IMFWeirdo

    Yes please, I want mind-bending puzzles that make me give myself a pat on the back when I figure them out (like Calculus, but FUN!), bosses that demand all the gaming skills I’ve acquired these past years, a monster horde that kills me ten times before I kill it, and–I always find these the most exciting and challenging–timed tests (like the Silent Realm, except not so easy)!!!
    More challenge=MOAR FUN!!!

  • Alberto Mani

    I would like the difficulty to be optional at the beginning and perhaps some challenging bosses and dungeons, if you wanted to try

  • AJ

    I think in Skyward Sword the enemies too simple,and the hardest enemy is the stalmaster, and it is pretty simple as well. The bosses are repeated again and again with the Ghirahim and
    Imprisoned, both three times, and they are very easy, and all I have to say is it bad. Like with Ocarina of Time,there was None, zip zero bosses repeated and pretty much every other game in the series has no repeated bosses, the enemies are at least a little bit harder in the older games like the enemies from Ocarina of time. also the difficulty changer belongs in RE: Coded, but it is a good idea.

    • TheMaverickk

      Uhhhhh…. every enemy in Ocarina of Time is a piece of cake to kill. The one exception to this is probably Iron Knuckle who does a massive 4 hearts of damage (an oddity in a game which again many enemies didn’t do much more then half a heart to a whole heart of damage).

      Also there’s lots of repeated bosses through out the entire Zelda series. For example Phantom Ganon… who although you don’t fight him a second time in OoT, the first phase of the Ganondorf fight involves repeating the exact same strategy.

      Not to mention Phantom Ganon is re-used in Wind Waker (which you also fight both in Forsaken Fortress and several times in Ganon’s Tower…. so yeah lots of repetition there). In Twilight Princess you fight a Possessed Zelda, and again… same fight yet again.

      Looking further back these battles were all built on the template of Aghinm from Link to the Past. That’s just one boss fight that repeats not only in one game, but is repeated across various games.

      Then there is Bongo Bongo and Gohdan…. Morpha and Morpheel…. even Ghoma and Armoghoma are fought in very similar ways.

      Don’t try and tell me that only Skyward Sword has repeating boss fights, or that it’s boss battles are any less original. Mind you for what it’s worth, those bosses you fight repeatedly in Skyward Sword are not battled in the same way.

      The way you fight Ghirahim in Skyview Temple is not the same as your final showdown with him in the Sealed Grounds.

      Also the Imprisoned has many different ways to be defeated. That’s probably what makes the battles against him so satisfying, there are numerous ways to defeat him. My first fight against him I did the slow way, taking out each small nail like limb…. on repeated confrontations I discovered I could jump from a higher cliff on to his head below in order to knock the spike in… with my third fight finally discovering the secret of the sky dive technique.

      I’d much rather fight a boss with multiple ways of being defeated then simple bosses that can only be defeated by one strategy.

      • Katalyst

        The end is nice, but saying repeating bosses in other games is repeating them is not a fair assumption. I think PG was decent in WW because you only fought him twice. The Ghirahim and imprisoned were both nice the first time, but at the second I was like “I beat this guy, why’s he back? And the third was a chore. Maybe two fights each would have been okay, but three was pushing it.

        • TheMaverickk

          Again Ghirahim at the end of the game is not the same battle as the Ghirahim at the start of the game.

          May be the same character, but it isn’t the same strategy. Much the same can be said about the evolution of facing the Imprisoned.

          In fact re-used boss tropes across Zelda titles are usually more redundant by comparison. I mean I love the small changes, but I was very disappointed at the fact that the first phase of Twilight Princess’ final battle played out the same way as the first phase of Ocarina of Time’s final boss battle.

          • JuicieJ

            “I was very disappointed at the fact that the first phase of Twilight Princess’ final battle played out the same way as the first phase of Ocarina of Time’s final boss battle.”

            Twilight Princess in general played out like Ocarina of Time. I wasn’t surprised.

          • TheMaverickk

            Truth is that early impressions of the game had me hoping for an entirely unique experience.

            The end result though was discovering how much of the game took directly from Ocarina of Time. There are some gems in TP worth mentioning (from Midna to Snow Peak Mansion)… but overall it just didn’t deliver an experience that stood out form the rest of the Zelda series.

            A fact that has been cemented over the last 6 years since it’s initial release.

    • Anonymous

      When I saw that 3 Stalfos were the second bosses to the first dungeon, I said “too easy”, OK opened my bomb bag. I then said “ok. Way too easy”, then put them away. I only took damage from that battle ONCE, and I was playing aggressively (not “HULK SMASH!!!” aggressively, I had some strategy/patience).

      THANKS for agreeing with me about Kingdom Hearts RE: Coded! Look at the top comment for my take on it, and a little more.

  • Ike

    I find that gameplay and story are more important to me than difficulty. Obviously I don’t want it to be TOO easy, but at the same time, I’m THE Chosen Hero, so I should be able to take on anything with only a few bumps and bruises along the way. While it was really easy, I thoroughly enjoyed the unending horde at the end of SS. It made it feel like I really was the Goddess’ chosen hero who also had the power of the Triforce to help him. I think that most of the Zelda games have had a good balance in difficulty overall.

  • Adam Christie

    I think that they need to make it where you can choose your difficulty. And if you want to do the tutorial or not so if you want to play the game multiple times you don’t have to repeatedly do the tutorial.

  • Eddie Ramirez

    Have a “choose your difficulty” option from the beginning. THERE. something for everybody.

  • Thareous

    No… Just give us a difficulty option. Really, that’s the most efficient thing to do, especially since everyone, including myself, wouldn’t want Zelda to become overly hard. Keep it mildly intense, but this series shouldn’t become anything like God of War in terms of severity…

  • TheMaverickk

    The next Legend of Zelda game should have a difficulty system like Kid Icarus uprising.

    Before you enter a dungeon you can choose to gamble some rupee’s away for more enemies in dungeon rooms or choose to enter it at a regular difficulty.

    Give more rewards though for players willing to traverse a dungeon with stronger enemies or with more enemies.

    Some stuff obviously will still be static, like Mini Bosses, or puzzles (unless they pull pure genius and have dungeons that change their lay out based on difficulty as well).

    Just my thoughts… I just loved the scale-able difficulty of Kid Icarus and the rewards you get as a result of making it more difficult.

    • Katalyst

      Mother of god, procedurally generated, difficulty scaled Zelda dungeons. I would be throwing money at Nintendo for that.

      • TheMaverickk

        Well they clearly know how to program it.

        Kid Icarus is the first game I’ve ever played to have such an intricate difficulty setting. Where you honestly see a difference in any amounts from one level to the next, and see rewards increase.

        It’s not a far stretch.

        It would strike a good balance in some regards… have the overworld enemies be standard fair, where their difficulty and power is set.

        Makes them good monsters to train on.

        Then dungeon monsters may receive power increases based on how many rupee’s a player invests into the dungeon. At the same time though chests will produce more rupee’s… so instead of getting a blue rupee or a red rupee you are more likely to get a purple or silver rupee. Or perhaps more crafting material for equipment.

        There’s a lot of potential in the idea, but implementing it may take a lot of effort.

  • Jonathan Shaheen

    How about a second quest for the next game where you are given the Zora Tunic at the start as opposed to not at all in the first quest, so you are weaker to ice and fire, but because you can breathe underwater you’re able to go to inaccessible areas that have significant challenge or areas that allow you to sequence break. That way you can have your difficulty and be able to explore more of the game.

  • Michael Bayruns

    I really liked the combat in skyward sword. You had to know what you were doing in order actually kill things(well atleast more then previous games). Also all zelda games have an adaptive difficulty, the heart containers and heart pieces make the game much easier or harder depending on whether you get them or not. Skyward sword also had hero mode which was the perfect difficulty for me. I honestly don’t see where all the hate on it comes from.

  • punkie136050

    you know i am 25 but ive been playing zelda since i was 5 on my nes since then i have played all of them except hand held versions but what if they did it where you would have to level up that would be different for zelda games???

  • Alex Plant

    I’m having a hard time figuring out how dungeons including more of one of Zelda’s cornerstone gameplay elements would be “filler.” Filler is what happens when you throw in stuff that has nothing to do with the core gameplay just to make the game longer.

    • JuicieJ

      I’m pretty sure he’s talking about enemies appearing like that in the overworld, and I agree wholeheartedly with that. That was one of A Link to the Past’s biggest issues. Seemingly every five steps there was a group of enemies getting in your way of exploring the landscape, and it got really old really fast. That’s not to say there should be a lack of enemies in the overworld, but there’s a point where it’s overdone. If you want an example of the proper amount of enemies in the overworld, go play The Minish Cap.

      • Alex Plant

        I’m not sure I can agree. The point of enemies is to pose a challenge; The Minish Cap’s enemies didn’t do that.

        • JuicieJ

          Enemies out in the overworld aren’t supposed to be tough, though. They’re the grunts. The basic enemies that you see throughout the entire game. What’s the point in having a load of them around every corner? All it does in the end is waste time fighting them off when you’re just trying to roam around and have fun. In other words, filler.

          In a set of progression, like the areas in A Link to the Past and The Minish Cap that lead up to the dungeons and the surface portions in Skyward Sword, having a group appear every now and then makes sense. And that’s what these games did. Problem is, A Link to the Past just decided to have enemies everywhere across the overworld, which ultimately wound up making traveling it tedious rather than fun.

          • Alex Plant

            There are plenty of ways to give players the freedom to explore unhindered while still using tough enemies in the overworld as challenges to overcome. Xenoblade Chronicles did this very well by surrounding secrets and bottlenecking the pathways between areas with more powerful monsters. Meanwhile, there are plenty of “easier” monsters in between that you can basically ignore once you’ve gotten over the initial hurdle and become powerful enough.

            By exploring more of the world, you gain rewards and the enemies that first bogged you down aren’t even a threat anymore…but there’s always something tougher around the corner. I think there’s a satisfying balance, and having experienced it in other games I can say with utter confidence that Zelda–and the GameCube games and beyond in particular–simply hasn’t got it.

          • JuicieJ

            What you fail to understand is that when you have hordes across the entire overworld, seeing them eventually becomes boring and monotonous. They’re no longer impressive and end up feeling like a waste of time, much like the issue with the size of the bosses that Axle the Beast has talked about a few times. An opportunity of pacing is lost as a result. The Minish Cap and Skyward Sword never struggled with this at any point in their adventures by presenting many areas with relatively no enemies followed by short bursts of enemies to keep you on your toes. They weren’t overly challenging, but they were enough to keep the gameplay stimulating and prevent it from becoming boring and predictable. That’s just something not seen in the classic Zelda titles. The GameCube games did a bad job on the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ll agree, but that’s their issue, not The Minish Cap’s or Skyward Sword’s.

  • Joseph Siasnor

    The difference between Zelda games and Kingdom Hearts,Kid Icarus,SSBB,etc. is that Zelda is an adventure game without levels. There is no “level select” screen, so once a dungeon is finished, you can’t go back in. The way it works for Adventure games like this is with a difficulty option when a new file is being made. There should be 3 options,probably even four. “Easy” for noobs/little kids, “Normal” for those with some experience,”Hard” for those playing again or looking for a challenge ,and “Extreme” for masochists. Enemy stats/AI,Treasures,Hearts found, and damage taken all depend on your dif. level. I don’t wanna get into too much detail, but this would most likely be the way to go an a game without a level select screen.

  • Infinite1UPs Mask

    People need to realize that the reason that the older zelda games were so hard is because they were so short. They needed to be difficult to make the experience last longer. Zelda 2 was the first zelda i ever played AND beaten and i loved that game.

    That being said, i thought SS’s challenge was extremely well done. For a game of this length to have the original zeldas challenge being thrown at you for 45 hours straight would be absurd.

    My only gripe with SS is that it wasn’t longer. I wish it had more dungeons and locales. This game was so engaging and paced so well that i didnt feel the 45 hours it took to beat the game. It felt like 10 hours to me. Ironic being there are many 10 hour games that feel like 45 hours to me. lol

  • hcpaki95

    Many people here are discussing difficulty mainly in terms of enemies, hearts, and damage. In other words, in terms of combat. Though I have my own opinions on the combat of Skyward Sword and other games, I don’t think that should be the main issue when discussing difficulty. My annoyance with the lack of challenge in Skyward Sword doesn’t center mainly on combat, but rather on the linearity, the ease of puzzle completion, and the handholding with Fi and the Sheikah Stone. The Sheikah Stone was at least optional, but most of Fi’s annoying statements of the obvious were mandatory, which annoyed the hell out of me. Also, the linearity and the lack of exploration made it just completely obvious what to do next, and there weren’t many very difficult puzzles, either. That’s the kind of difficulty that needs to be amped up. I’m not saying it should be as difficult as the original, but it should move at least a little more in that direction. And get rid of entities like Fi – or at least make their comments about what to do next OPTIONAL. Entirely.

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