GenGAME: Non-Linearity More Than Dungeon Order

KyleJanuary 28th, 2013 by Kyle

One of the things that Eiji Aounuma has promised about the upcoming brand-new Zelda title for Wii U is that non-linearity will return to the forefront of the adventure. This announcement has been met with cheers from fans who have been craving a freer system than has been available in recent games. An article on GenGAME by Alex Plant discusses why this is necessary, and why non-linearity isn’t just about the order you beat the dungeons in.

I personally agree wholeheartedly. While I don’t mind a linear game, the original Legend of Zelda stands out to me as a game that was almost completely free from linear constraints. You don’t even have to get a sword right away! However, I think it’s important to note that forcing a path is as early in the series as The Adventure of Link, where each dungeon item has a use in the overworld that severely limits where you can go without it. A Link to the Past saw a return to form in non-linearity (among many other things), and the trend continued for a while until we began to see less linearity and more restrictive environments.

You can read the article at GenGAME here.

What about you? Do you think non-linearity has to be at the center of this upcoming Zelda title? Comment and let us know!

Source: GenGAME


Categorized under: Zelda Wii U
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  • Thrice (╥﹏╥)

    So long as the overworld isn’t overly bloated in size and provides some sort of distinction as well as not being empty, with a lot more focus put into NPCs and their dialogue even if it’s just one liners so long as those one liners are responded to by someone else giving the world a breathe of its own and making you want to talk to people, which would also then provide a sort of sense of where to go in the process.

    In other words it will work if they focus on optimizing the world itself, instead of just inanely making big empty plains of nothing with people nowhere and no need or provided inclination to talk to them.

    • sdsd

      yes i agree with this. There needs to be substance and life to the world, a sense of threat and a good story going on in the background which one can play through in a non-linear way. handholding also needs to be drastically reduced so i can come in and play Zelda whenever i want rather then turning on the console and sit through 20 min of cutscenes and scripted events.

      I am really glad they have just come out and said “we are making this game non-linear”.

    • Welcome to the NHK

      Have you been playing kingdom hearts 3d? The worlds in that game had a similar problem where although they were huge there was literally almost nothing in them and people were virtually non-existent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.pallotta.90 Anthony Pallotta

    First!

    • (._.)

      Blue Shell…

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.pallotta.90 Anthony Pallotta

        NOOOOO!

        • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.pallotta.90 Anthony Pallotta

          Last…

    • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.pallotta.90 Anthony Pallotta

      sorry, i had to do that. anyways, i think that it would be a great idea for the next zelda game to be non-linear. it would give the player his/her own decision on which temple they want to do, when they want to. That, to me, is awesome! It’s one of the main reasons i play the first zelda over and over again! At the same time, though, i like Linear games because they set out a course for you, and you are limited to doing only things that would follow the story line of the game. One of the biggest parts of a game, to me, is the story line. Saying this, i officially do not care at all what the next zelda game is like. as long as it is a zelda game, it rocks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.pallotta.90 Anthony Pallotta

        Wait a minuet, I was first, now WHY AM I THE WHOLE WAY DOWN HERE!?!

  • http://twitter.com/ThomaseDurnad Thomas Durand

    Yeah I would love non linearal dungeons.

  • erikingvoldsen

    Absolutely not. Linearity is what made the series as good as it is today. Linearity is why games such as OoT, MM, tWW, TP, SS, PH, ST, and even the oracles are so much superior to the original four titles. Linearity adds story, better puzzles, more room for item usage. Non-linearity has nothing to offer except in a tainted gameplay order.

    • BEN

      actually the wind dungeon and earth dungeon you could play in ny order in wind waker just saing but yeah ill probably play it in the order trees fire water like how your supposed to play zelda games

      • BEN

        srry i couldnt think of a better name for forest besides trees hen i remebered the word forest lol

      • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

        No, you most certainly could not. The Earth Temple always comes before the Wind Temple.

        • BEN

          then why was i able to mabye its a glitch cause ah the tree dude makaui was in the waterfall and able to learn the song before the bird girl

          • erikingvoldsen

            Find me a walkthrough or a Let’s Play on Youtube where the user does it in this order.

      • erikingvoldsen

        No…you had to do earth then wind.

      • Emma Mix

        I’m not sure if I’d do water first, since it’s my fave, or do it last– because everyone knows you should save the best for last. Call me crazy but I LOVE the water temples lol…

    • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

      I’m glad someone agrees with me.

    • gamer

      Making it non-linear will make it much harder. That’s what I’m excited about. The stories and cut scenes can still be utilized in the game, just instead of being held by the hand and told what to do, you’ll actually have to use that piece of meat in your skull to figure stuff out. All old school Zelda fans should be happy about this.

      • Emma Mix

        Are you saying OoT is easy? Well I suppose the last time I played it was a long time ago…

        • gamer

          No, it’s the hardest of the 3d style titles (OOT and on), but it’s still a lot easier than the first Zeldas. My complaints not with OOT it’s the last two console games that I beat straight through with never getting stuck or dying. Let’s put it this way. When I was a kid, I beat the first Zelda. I died forty times in the process. I ripped through SS because it was too easy. Great story in SS, but if I was looking for a great story, I would go read a book. the games have gotten too easy, and since they have been taking care of the new and younger fans from WW to SS, I feel it’s time nintendo took care of us who have been playing since the 80s. We like the first Zelda games because the sense of adventure and how hard the games were, so hopefully that is what we will get more of in the wii u title.

          • Christburner

            “if I was looking for a great story, I would go read a book”… thank you! story is good in a game but remember what it is..a GAME gimme something to DO. gameplay trumps story, graphics, everything… cause its a game well said buddy, well said

      • Sir Quaffler

        I find this very interesting. I find the first Zelda game too easy personally. Just run around and stab bad guys until you find a dungeon, then do the same thing until you beat the boss, rinse and repeat. But hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DarthDiclonius Alexander Tischler

      What are you basing this off of? Have you played games such as Dark Souls or Elder Scrolls where the non-linear gameplay actually provide incredible experience and allow you to discover different routes and approaches with each play through? I’m honestly not sure where you’ll pulling this information that linear gameplay offers all those benefits while non-linear games don’t. A quality story is not based on linear gameplay, that’s just niave to suggest, nor is a good story based on non-linear gameplay. An intriguing story is written with time, care, and effort. The type of gameplay simply allows for new ways of telling the story. As for better puzzles and more room for item usage, again, not sure how you figure. In past Zelda games you usually are required to use three items in a dungeon: the bow/boomerang/slingshot, the item acquired last dungeon, and the item acquired the current dungeon. While this is a generalization and there are some dungeons that break the fold that is true, and very linear. In a non-linear setting they can make dungeons more complicated with multiple routes and puzzles for a variety of equipment load outs. It makes them far larger and real feeling by not having you conveniently have the items you need for that straight shot through after leaving the last one dungeon where you conveniently had and were given the perfect set. With a non-linear style you have to figure how to get through with what you have.

      Considering people have been demanding a more free Zelda experience for years now it’s going to happen. In the face of Bethesda games, Bioware games, and many others where non-linear gameplay was embraced and praised, making it become more and more the norm, it was only a matter of time Zelda would feel the heat and test it too.

      • PRDX4

        But Zelda isn’t a sandbox style game. Elder Scrolls kind of is. So non-linearity can’t affect a game that you can do whatever you want in as much as a game like Zelda.

        • http://www.facebook.com/DarthDiclonius Alexander Tischler

          Right. And the point of this new system is to move away from a linear style and, in my interpretation, make it non-linear and more sandbox. Zelda is already close to being a sandbox with a large over-world to run around in. If they make it non-linear then it becomes similar to a sandbox more so. So my comparisons still stand as examples of how non-linear sandbox games work and even work well.

          • PRDX4

            But Zelda shouldn’t be sandbox. It has alwaus been a puzzle series. Even the first two Zeldas (which could be considered non-linear) are not sandbox. Sandbox does not mean non-linear. Plus, as I said in a different comment, go read some books. How many are non-linear?

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Sandbox means that you are free to do what you want from the very beginning.

            You can play the game how ever you see fit.

            For the most part the original LoZ was in fact a Sandbox game. Also there was a lot less emphasis on puzzles.

            The majority of the in game puzzles involved in pushing blocks, or defeating enemies in a room (some of which required special items). Pushing blocks to uncover a secret path isn’t really a puzzle.

            Not to mention you weren’t required to solve puzzles to beat the game.

            You had alternative options. For example instead of earning your key’s to unlock doors in the dungeon, you could simply fight enemies in the over world and make money and buy the keys you needed to unlock your path to the dungeon boss.

            Again this is a design prominent in “sandbox” games… freedom to find your own solution. There is more then one way to defeat a dungeon… you can earn keys by solving puzzles…. blow up walls to make your own paths and shortcuts…. or earn money to buy your keys and other items.

            The original Zelda was sandbox to a tee and full of freedom. It catered to many different player styles.

          • PRDX4

            It was not sandbox. It was not nearly advanced enough to be sandbox. Nor could you do whatever you want. Also, since the Zelda series is a puzzle series NOW shouldn’t we be putting emphasis on PUZZLES? Seems like backwards logic to me.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Sorry but I think you have no idea what what a “sandbox” game is. Which if you must know technically is called an open world style of game.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_world

            The defining feature of such a game is as follows;

            “An open world is a type of video game level design where a player can roam freely through a virtual world and is given considerable freedom in choosing how or when to approach objectives.”

            So yes, guess what because the original Legend of Zelda gave you almost complete freedom in regards to how you tackled the in game objectives, it would technically be considered “sandbox”. You didn’t even have to go to the dungeon’s right away you could spend plenty of time in the over world simply exploring for items.

            Also Zelda is not a puzzle series. Tetris is a puzzle series, Bejewelled is a puzzle series, Professor Layton is a puzzle series.

            Zelda is an Action/Adventure title. The fact that the game has some puzzle elements in the game does not make the entire game about puzzles.

            Zelda is just as much about sword fighting and exploration, as it is about solving puzzles (even recent Zelda titles are just as much about sword battles and exploration). Although I’m not against improving the variety of puzzles in Zelda titles, I don’t believe they should be the sole focus of the series. Hence the importance for Zelda to bring the focus back to adventuring and exploring for that matter.

            If you think that the Legend of Zelda series is a puzzle series it makes me doubt you’ve spent considerable time playing the games.

          • PRDX4

            I do now what a sandbox game is. GTA is sandbox. Apparently any game can be sandbox to you if you procrastinate enough before desiding to continue with the story. Because you are desiding when to approach your objectives. Which, by that definition all of the Zelda games are sandbox (Which I know you are going to say it’s not and then tell me I haven’t played the games). And yes, Zelda is a Action/Adventure PUZZLE series. Just because it isn’t Tetris doesn’t mean you aren’t solving puzzles. Some puzzles may be sword fighting oriented doesn’t mean it’s not a puzzle. Here’s a perfect example. The Cave of Ordeals. You have to use a veriety of items and sword skills to solve the PUZZLE of making it through all 100 floors alive. The first Zelda was a puzzle title. Remember when you had to figure out where the old men with the heart containers were without any help? That was a PUZZLE.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            All Zelda games are not sandbox, where they give you multiple solutions to an objective. You can’t use keys from one dungeon in another dungeon. You can’t make your own path to the end of Temple of Time in Twilight Princess…. there is a single solution, you bring the giant statue to the beginning of the dungeon.

            You can’t choose which dungeon you want to go to at the start of Skyward Sword, you have to go to Skyview Temple, you have no choice in the matter.

            How much more do I have to spell it out? Recent Zelda’s are not Sandbox. They allow you to yes procrastinate and buy items in town before heading out, but you don’t get a choice on where you go, and how you do it.

            Also just because a game has puzzles in it, doesn’t make it a Puzzle game/series. I mean by your definition then Half-Life 2 is a puzzle game. Super Mario Galaxy is a puzzle game (yes because you have to hit switches, and use items in order to solve the the challenges that are presented to you), Star Craft II is a puzzle game because you have to figure out which units are effective in what situation, and that’s a puzzle, or an enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver.

            Basically any game that requires thought and ingenuity to pass a challenge, to you is a puzzle series… and that is literally EVERY video game.

            All video games are about testing the player’s skills using a variety of items and abilities to pass some challenge.

            When I say that Zelda is literally not a puzzle game, and not a puzzle series, I am talking about the fact that it isn’t a franchise that falls into the “puzzle” genre, and it’s main focus isn’t to deliver “puzzles”. It is about more then that, which is why it’s important they also further develop the adventuring aspects of the game. Either way in case you don’t believe me about what genre Zelda belongs to.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda

            I’m not sure what is hard to understand about that.

          • PRDX4

            I know recent Zeldas aren’t sandbox. But by YOUR definition any game can be sandbox if you decide when to do something.

            And yeah all those games can be puzzle games. Did I say they weren’t?

            I think you missed a very important quote. “It’s gameplay is a mixture of action, adventure, and puzzle solving.” I think its main point is to deliver puzzles. Just because it may not be “Officially” classified doen’t mean it isn’t. Any Action/Adventure can give you a gun and tell you to shoot a bunch of people (which a lot of modern games do). Your prized Zelda 1 didn’t even tell you just to do that. You also had to find keys and solve block puzzles. In every dungeon. And on the overworld. And in every game since.
            I agree that by further developing anything makes it better. But your first comment criticizing the LoZ did not state your point. Maybe you should just state that you’d like those aspects to be improved instead of stating that Zelda sucks because it’s linear.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            The whole reason this discussion has gone on is you said that the original Legend of Zelda wasn’t a sandbox game (you did go so far to say it wasn’t “advanced” enough to be)… and now you are saying that recent Zelda’s aren’t sandbox.

            Also my definition of sandbox is that there are multiple way to approach an objective (which is up in a previous comment, I believe the one with the definition of a sandbox, open world game). Not simply that one can do things at their own pace.

            Also referencing those other games was just to point out that by your own concept of a “puzzle game” or a “puzzle series” that any game falls under it.

            Also as much as you’ve back peddled to say that Zelda is also now about adventure/action, your original point was that “since the Zelda series is a puzzle series, shouldn’t the developers put emphasis on puzzles” which is how this whole debate morphed into whether or not the Zelda series sole focus was on puzzles.

            Which it isn’t. Just because you get key’s doesn’t mean you’ve solved a puzzle. Some of the way’s Link receives keys is through action, and battle, defeating all the enemies in a room.

            Also the whole point of this discussion was because your argument was that The Legend of Zelda series had no connection with non-linearity, that it was not Zelda like, and that the original Legend of Zelda was not a sandbox game.

            My point in all this discussion, was that it in fact is a series rooted in non-linearity, and used to be more sand box, giving more then one way to complete objectives (referring to completing dungeons).

            I’ve never said linearity was bad (seriously find a comment where I have said that), I’ve never said puzzles were bad, or unimportant. Simply that puzzles aren’t the main premise of Zelda, and that they don’t need to be emphasized more then any other aspect of the game (which you claim needs to be done because Zelda is a puzzle series, and it would be “backwards logic” to develop the adventuring, exploring, action portions).

            Any way’s this discussion has gone on long enough, and you can’t seem to stick to a solid point. Not to mention you keep putting words in my mouth I never said.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DarthDiclonius Alexander Tischler

            Except books and video games are two completely different medias. There are plenty video games that are non-linear and/or sandboxes that have amazing stories: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect 1-3, Elder Scrolls 3-5, Fallout 1-NV, Dark Souls. Your suggestion that because books aren’t non-linear, which is pretty much impossible with the exception of those create-your-own-adventures (though still kind of linear), that video games should be linear too is bogus. Plus, as I’ve already pointed out there are non-linear games awarded for great stories, your comparison falls apart; maybe I just don’t get your point.

            Games evolve over time and that’s just something that happens. Do you remember the change from 2D to 3D Zelda? That was a drastic change to gameplay now that you interact in a full 3D environment. With different graphics you now have different opportunities to tell stories. Remember when Mario went from a side-scroller to a 2,5D RPG before becoming 3D goal oriented star hunter? Mario 64 is considered one of the best Mario games to date (though I’m still a fan of Mario Bros. 3). I’ve still played every Zelda game, but the linear path has become stale. It’s been a much desired and needed change.

          • PRDX4

            Just because they are different medias, doesn’t mean the story telling should be any different. I’m not saying evolution or non-linearity is bad. If I did I wouldn’t be playing Zelda. I’d be living in a mud brick house and I hunt my own food. And Mario was an RPG like 3 times(?). That doesn’t mean the whole series evolved. Nor were all Mario games 3D oriented star hunters. Again, about 3 were made. NOw look at all of the others. The rest were mostly platformers. I’m counting at least 10. The series really didn’t evolve.

      • erikingvoldsen

        This isn’t Dark Souls or Elder Scrolls, so let’s not get off topic, shall we? If you want to use a linear game comparison, use a Zelda title.

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Actually the first Zelda title was non-linear, no guidance, no one telling you what to do, where to go, and how to beat the game. You can beat level’s 1-4 in any order (you need the raft in order to reach the next dungeon after that though if I’m not mistaken.. or the ladder… can’t remember)

          I always find it funny how people forget this fact. It isn’t following other games, it wouldn’t copying them either, it would simply be returning to it’s roots.

          • erikingvoldsen

            Your right it was…and to many, it remains one of the weaker titles with AoL. The first Zelda title was also on a cartridge. I’ll tell Nintendo to get right on that too.

          • PRDX4

            LOL

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Excuse me…. one of the “weaker titles”?

            You clearly aren’t well read in game design if you think that. Just do a quick search of all the articles game developers have written about the original Legend of Zelda and the genius of it’s design.

            Anyone calling the original Legend of Zelda one of the weaker titles has no respect from me cause they clearly know nothing about game design.

          • PRDX4

            What he meant was that those games are not Zelda or are Zelda-like. That is off topic. He didn’t say Zelda would be copying. Zelda doesn’t have to de-evolve to be good either.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            To be honest to bring up other video games really isn’t off topic. Zelda is a video game, Dark Souls and Elder Scrolls are like wise a video game. There is common ground for comparison and discussion since they are all games.

            Much the same someone can bring up the comparison of Mario to Zelda as well and the intended connection between their development, because it is in fact relevant.

            Also I brought up the fact that Zelda was in once non-linear at one point so as to make an even more direct comparison. People often talk about Dark Souls as being a non-linear game where you are free to choose what you want to do from the very beginning, but truth is that the original Legend of Zelda was actually like this, and so were many titles that followed, although that has diminished over the last 10 years more so.

            The Zelda games also have been sacrificing game play in order to put in more story elements for long enough that it may be time for Nintendo to get back to the roots of what made Zelda so great in the first place. Considering how highly regarded the original Legend of Zelda and Link to the Past are I don’t think it would be de-evolving to bring back some of those games traits.

            It would be an improvement over some of the terrible game design recent titles have had like Twilight Princess.

          • PRDX4

            TP had great game design despite not having non-linearity. If non-linearity is all that’s important, you’re very simple minded.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            Linearity wasn’t the only problem with TP though. As TheMaverickk pointed out in another comment, it also suffered from an extremely underutilized array of items. On top of that, it had repetitive and bland wolf sections, enemies didn’t deal nearly enough damage to give the game any challenge beyond its puzzles, and Hyrule Field contained far too much empty space. That’s not to say that the game wasn’t enjoyable, but based on those points it could be easily argued by many that it was not a very well designed game.

          • PRDX4

            I wouldn’t say it could EASILY argued as a badly designed game. People may not like things about everything but that doesn’t mean they’re badly designed.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I’m not even going to get into TP… I’ve talked about it enough already. You can find out why TP is a poorly designed game by reading my reply to [b]Zelda Is the Bomb![/b] up above…. he made a comment about ignoring the TP haters.

            I already wrote a reply in length about the problems with just the items design, don’t even get me started with poor character development, poor use of the wolf transformation, ect.

            Skyward Sword is an incredibly linear game, but it was well designed and I loved it. I’ve also already said in a comment below that I have no problems with linearity. Zelda can be linear and still be great, but I want them to mix it up and I want them to bring back attributed that were once apart of the original Zelda titles.

            I’m not simple minded, I play and study video games extensively (and love many genres), what you can do with game design, how you can use various mechanics to pull the player in ect. I may be long winded in what I have to say but it’s simply because video games are that important to me.

          • PRDX4

            You are everywhere, aren’t you? Telling everyone there opinions are wrong. TP can be the best Zelda game for people despite not having a good boomarang or not using the slingshot or being to visually dark. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it was poorly designed. How many times did the Wright brothers hear their plane was stupid before everyone starts to use planes and everyone loves them? You may have an opinion, but telling everyone they are stupid or don’t play Zelda isn’t going to pull them over to your side.
            And my whole arguement wasn’t about wiether or not non-linearity could not be done (which I know I can) but wiether or not Zelda sucks without it. Then It morped into an arguement about genre and etc. ( because I’M the one who doesn’t play Zelda, apparently).

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Never said anyone’s opinion was straight out wrong, but I am talking about very specific material here.

            I’m not saying Twilight Princess is a bad game, just poorly designed. It’s fun, entertaining, and overall is still a good game, but it is a weaker entry in the Zelda series in regards to how many of it’s game elements are executed.

            Some people also can enjoy games and even love games as being their favorite despite them being poorly designed, still doesn’t change the fact that the game has poor design.

            Things that contribute to poor design is when different attributes of the game aren’t balanced, and items aren’t properly integrated, when the overall level design doesn’t consider the gameplay of the video game.

            Also yeah your stance is clear you think Zelda should be linear, that like all books read from front to book. I’ve done nothing more then argue the opposite, that Zelda would be just as good going back to it’s roots, being more open world styled,

            Additionally, I haven’t been calling people stupid… it is something you’ve done though. Look at your reply to Alexander Tischler where you say “I also find it stupid when you say it’s a needed change.” and you call me “Simple Minded”.

            It may seem harsh if I question whether or not you know what a sandbox game is, but when you were originally saying that the original Zelda isn’t sandbox, and when you make comments that sandbox games not being non-linear (which sandbox sandbox games are actually), it really calls to question your familiarity with the term and series. Not to mention claim the sole focus of Zelda is puzzles, and to develop any other part of the game play is “backwards logic”.

          • PRDX4

            I said I find “it” stupid not “you”. Being simple minded is not being stupid, though I could see how you could take it that way.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I know you aren’t referring to me… I said that you were referring to what Alexander Tischler said as being stupid. “It” refers to the words he said.

            Calling someone “simple minded” is an insult though. You also meant it in an insulting manner. I never said you called me stupid, just said you’ve been the one going around doing insulting and pretty clearly at that.

    • Never

      Wrong. Linearity as it’s become in the recent games (TP & SS which were far too fixated on linear plot) is what’s actually corrupting the series and making the worlds unbearably lifeless.

      Zelda has never been about “story” (read plot, as you’re using it) to begin with, take OoT- did you think “Saving the princess” was the point of the game? Not at all. In fact that’s utterly wrong, all throughout the game you’re saving the World you’re in, and the people in it- the princess is always shown to be safe until the VERY end after you’ve beaten every one of the Temples. The story of Zelda games does not come from the linear plot, but from the side characters, side quests, and your sense of attachment to them and that world- contrary to what people who were introduced to the series via SS & TP would believe (PH and ST were DS games so I’ll cut them some slack).

      In fact, linearity does nothing but make puzzles pathetically easier and extremely restricts item usage- non-linearity will fix both.

      OoT and WW are both somewhat non-linear though not emphasized there are dungeons you can do out of order, MM in particular was really a non-linear game since the focus of the game revolves around the side quests and side characters (Aka the heart of 3D Zelda’s “story” and immersion) of which can be done in any order.

      You have your logic backwards, but we’ll see how it turns out when the game debuts.
      In the meantime at least try not to spout asinine conjecture as though it’s fact.
      Oh, and the original 4 were superior to every 3D game so far but OoT and MM.

      Bet you 10$ my opinion will beat your opinion. Then again I don’t know if I want to place my bets on Aonuma just yet…

      • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

        Ironically, spouting conjecture as though it’s fact is exactly what you’re doing. I happen to agree with erikingvoldsen. Without at least some linearity, the game would be a mess. Besides, if you had access to everywhere right from the start, you’d have no clue where to go, there’d be no difficulty curve, and it’d be very difficult to weave the plot in. You can’t cave plot events happen out of order. I don’t believe, as you do, that linearity and lively worlds are mutually exclusive, nor that nonlinearity causes liveliness. In fact, the original game was extremely lifeless, and non-linear at the same time. I believe that SOME non-linearity could help the series, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

        Oh, and FYI, there were no dungeons that could be played out of order in WW. It’s a common misconception that it’s possible to beat the Wind Temple before the Earth Temple.

        • Never

          Hardly. Unless you’re talking about the WW thing, which I just assumed was true since I haven’t actually played it yet ha-ha-ha yeah I really need to get to that. The more you know.

          I focused on things from previous games that were already released, there’s no conjecture there. Non-linearity could fix some of the issues because of what it will force the devs to do, not it IS the best that’s ever ever ever happened to the series oh my goooo-, don’t just go assuming that means lively worlds can’t be done! with linear games.

          …What do you think they were going to throw you into an alpha build where you have to know DOS commands to get anywhere? Linearity =/= Direction. Now it’s just blown out of proportion. Obviously they won’t allow for a time where you feel you have no idea where to go- that’s the idea or rather the intrigue behind non-linear games. The player can take different routes, end up having different areas to go to, all without feeling lost. This is where I’m getting the NPC logic from, if you feel lost that gives you a reason to look around and talk to people which means they’d finally focus more on the world and less on the plot that should remain in the background to give a sense of urgency. Speaking of which, in OoT would it have made a huge difference if you had seen Kakariko Village burn before seeing the Lake drained? Or vice versa? I fail to see how an order would make it any more difficult unless you want a novel in which case I suggest JRPGs or a book.

          Any and all non-linear games that fail to give the player direction end up getting hit, hard. Unless they’re completely blind to others mistakes they won’t make it themselves.

          The point was more that it could go horribly right. That it was hardly definitively bad in fact might be even better than the linear we’ve seen so far and if it doesn’t prove well they’ll simply return to the old formula.

          Oh, and that’s what happens when the game is just a concept to test the waters. Dungeons are still the life of the gameplay, I was just talking about “story” and depth of the world itself. Also you should read what Thrice (╥﹏╥) and the people who responded to him (more specifically sdsd) said. Ultimately, all details aside, THAT’S what I’m hoping comes out of them choosing to go non-linearity since they seem to be having a hard time with it in the linear games.

          • Never

            Ha… I wrote a wall of text again.

      • erikingvoldsen

        Linearity shifted in to the series since OoT and was completely built in by MM. It’s not just the newer games. Side characters are fine so long as they are in the main plot, but side quests have nothing to do with the real story. And it’s not just story, it’s item usage, difficult curve, and more room for developers to make better puzzles.

        Nothing in tWW’s story could be done out of order except for the Triforce quest. MM was even more linear…you couldn’t even access the next part of the world until you did the previous dungeon. Linearity allows multiple item uses in dungeons whereas non-linearity restricts developers to 1 item per dungeon at best.

        • Never

          Oh. That’s complete and utter bull. Side quests and side characters make up the world, the world where Ganon is taking over, the world where their government is crumbling, the world where the side characters princess was taken away, it has everything and anything to do with the real story.

          If you’re looking for a straight to the point PLOT you should play an RPG or read a book- or a fanfic, if SS was your thing. There are plenty of other options but Zelda is an Adventure game first and foremost- it’s focus is and should be on the world you’re adventuring in, including the side characters in it, and less on the plot and main characters.

          MM’s number 1 focus was on the sidequests which were all non-linear so I can’t say the game itself was linear but since the dungeons very much were I’ll give you that. And I haven’t played WW (I’ve wanted to but…) so I assumed since people kept saying it without being told off it was true, the more you know- thanks for informing me. Non-linearity hardly disallows multiple item usage and could actually encourage it if done correctly, as it has been in the past. So no, it doesn’t restrict the devs in that respect at all in fact it opens a plethora of doors for them- at this point there’s no use arguing if we both have polar opposite views.

          Lets just talk again when the game comes out.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Cyborg1985 Joshua Anderson

            But that’s just it. Zelda appears to be transitioning into the Realm of an RPG. With the technology available, it makes sense. Obviously it will keep its adventure tag, but it will also inherit the benefits of an RPG, which is the story.

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Arguably MM doesn’t require you to complete one dungeon to get to the next.

          All that is required is the dungeon item. For example you can get the bow in the Swamp Temple and then go to Snow Head if you want.

          Although you do have to complete Snowhead in order to get the bomb needed to free Epona, which will allow you to go to the great sea.

          Either way getting off point… where MM may have had very linear story elements, the world was still very much free to experience as you like. With almost all the side quests being open and accessible quite early.

          So lots of elements and a good chunk of the game play was actually free to discover as opposed to being told what to do next.

          • erikingvoldsen

            Actually no. MM’s overworld was possibly the first restricted overworld in the series. Good luck getting to the snow area without a bow and the ocean and canyon areas without a horse.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            First no. Your saying the fact that Ocarina of Time wasn’t restrictive? You couldn’t leave Kokiri Forest until you complete the Deku Tree….

            You can’t access Death Mountain until you sneak into Hyrule Castle and get a pass to get to the next area.

            You can’t access Zora’s Domain until you at least get the bombs from Dodongo’s Cavern.

            Seems someone’s forgotten just how restricted OoT’s world was. So I wouldn’t say Majora’s Mask was the first to have such gates up.

            Additionally I did say you needed the bow in order to reach the snow area, and you needed the horse in order to reach both the ocean and valley, but at the same time you aren’t required to complete any dungeon before you proceed to the next one.

            Where as in Ocarina of Time you actually have to complete the Deku Tree in order to go anywhere, not only that you have to visit Hyrule Castle and complete that event before you are even able to reach the next dungeon.

        • http://www.facebook.com/DarthDiclonius Alexander Tischler

          As dungeons are currently built in the Zelda world, of course they wouldn’t work in a non-linear way. You can build the dungeons to have multiple paths through them to take into account for different item combinations. Dark Souls is non-linear but requires either extreme skill or certain items to get through an area. Same with Skyrim, you have free reign of the world, but certain areas are pretty much off limits because you aren’t strong enough to tackle yet. Of course, Skyrim and Dark Souls aren’t puzzle games (well Dark Souls to a degree is at times) like zelda, but there are ways to make games non-linear while still having difficult puzzles. You have to use your imagination and look at the picture with an open mind.

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      Play A Link to the Past. There’s enemies on a majority of the screens, so it’s not insanely empty. And there are some people. Not a lot, but some. Plus, you can’t go to the dungeons out of order. You need some way of getting there. For example, the Desert Palace. You can’t enter at all without the Book of Mudora. But to get the Book, you need to get the Pegasus Boots. And you can’t get those without first beating the Eastern Palace and then talking to Sashralaha(or however you spell his name). So really, you are WRONG.

      • erikingvoldsen

        Not as linear as LoZ, but way more linear than OoT. That is why aLttP is one of the weaker games to me.

    • Kablamogroup

      In OoT, after you beat the Forest Temple, you had the freedom to play the rest of the dungeons in pretty much any order you want, it’s just that the Shadow and Spirit Temples are much easier to play after you get the Megaton Hammer and Longshot.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        Except that you can’t enter the Shadow Temple (well get past the entrance part) or Spirit Temple with out the long shot….

        I believe that you could beat the water temple before the fire temple though if you wanted. I don’t remember any rusted switches or puzzles that required use of the hammer in order to access the water temple.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      Except Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass are pretty weak entries in the series…..

      Also Oracle of Ages and Season’s I’m not sure I’d count them as “linear” when you consider you can play the events of Ages before Seasons, or vice versa… meaning the entire story can be played in different ways… and depending which game you play first even alters and affects the events of the second game.

      Although yeah for the most part dungeon progression was linear in each respective game. Ages is still the better designed of the two mind you.

      Also the puzzles in Link to the Past are still some of the best. I mean bringing a damsel you rescued to a light exposed room and they turn into the dungeon boss? That was an amazing puzzle and plot twist. Especially compared to the rigid formula where the boss is so predictably in the final room of the dungeon waiting for you. Or what about gaining entry to the Swamp Palace… in order to get in the dungeon you have to drain the water first in the light world and then return to the dark world. That is clever… and Link to the Past was full of well designed puzzles like that.

  • Mystery?!?

    Wtf Nintendo?! You totally ripped off 3DS owners! You have one game special to 3DS for Zelda and that was a remake! You could’ve made Wind Waker for 3DS because people would like it better because its portable

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Calm down, there will be another Zelda game for 3DS eventually. Play something else in the meantime.

    • Rupee

      3DS Zelda will be on E3 this year.

  • Rupee

    Every single game in the series is something special to me, so I don’t really care that much about (non)linearity.

  • HeyListen!

    I dont think it is necessary to let the player access dungeon in a non-linear order, the player should just have the possibility to explore more and find more secrets. Something in the direction of the Minish Cap would be fitting, although most of the time you just found a small chest some Ruppees, so the secrets should become a little more significant. This adds more possibilities to where to go, as the player is not forced to get the next item in a dungeon in order to continue exploring, but can adventure elsewhere in search for secrets if he/she doesnt really feel like doing the dungeon at the moment. Making several dungeons accessible from the beginning is not such a great idea in my opinion, as these orblems would arise: 1. You would have to find out the order of their ascending difficulty. 2. Or they would all have a similar difficulty level 3. Or the dungeons’ difficulty would be toned down depending on in which order you visit them. I would want to experience everything the next new Zelda title would have to offer, and I would miss out on the true potential of each dungeon. Also, the time and (disk) space wasted on programming alternate dungeon difficulties could have been used to offer more content.

  • The_Sign_Writer

    I personally don’t care for the non-linear thing, I always, ALWAYS do it the same way every time I replay it. Why? cause it’s the most perfect path to take once I learn which sidequests and bonuses to get at which time. This is just going to make things impossibly confusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Ryals/624098565 Allen Ryals

    I love remakes so don’t get me wrong but you know what sucks. we have a 3ds and wiiu and the only Zelda titles on each are remakes. I prefer remakes over nothing but I wish they’d announce Zelda 3ds already and it better not be a mm or alttp remake.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Don’t worry. Every system gets at least one original Zelda game. They’ll announce it sooner or later.

  • guest02

    The difficult thing is getting around the fact that if its non linear, how do you handle the situation of the items/weapons? If players tackle dungeons in different order than the game design will have to take that into account that not everyone will have the same weapons when entering the same dungeons, so then how would they even begin to design the puzzles for the dungeon???

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      There are different ways to handle item distribution in a non-linear setting.

      The first would be to give a base set of adventurer’s tools very early in the game.

      You know how Zelda tends to give Link a starting set of equipment… simply put give Link the obvious and most useful items up front.

      Give Link bombs and arrows up front. These are probably the two most readily used items in Link’s arsenal over the years. Basically build the first 3 dungeons in the game in a way that you can complete them with this base inventory set.

      Each dungeon can still have it’s special “dungeon item” which would be required for the boss fight, or maybe to uncover an optional treasure room in the dungeon but make it so the dungeon item isn’t required in order to reach another dungeon or in order to complete another dungeon.

      This ensures that the first 3 dungeons can be completed in any order and without completing another dungeon first.

      This would be a nice first step in breaking up linearity issues.

      Basically after you have completed the first 3 dungeons, and have all the inventory items it means that the next series of dungeons can start including puzzles which involve those new inventory items. Build those dungeons around those new items you now have.

      It’s basically a larger gate system…. instead of gating each dungeon separately… you group dungeons. This gives some player freedom for their own discovery and choice making. It’s hard to explain with out drawing it out … but it is possible to still build on the old zelda dungeon item formula while giving players more freedom.

  • PRDX4

    We need the sword first. Then it can be as non-linear as you want as long as sequence breaking doesn’t happen.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Sequence breaking would be the big problem with a non-linear game.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        The whole point of a “non-linear” game is being able to sequence break.

        All sequence breaking is, is completing in game tasks out of order (normally though this is through glitches to get past in game gates).

        Sequence breaking isn’t a problem when a game is designed in a way that permits it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

          To be fair, it’s difficult to call something “sequence breaking” if the game is non-linear and thus has no set sequence for you to break.

      • Never

        Sequence breaking only applies to linear games.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.philliber.7 Michael Philliber

    i am a fan of linearity, but that aside i do have to notice that i have seen that people are saying non-linearity and linearity will effect how hard the devs can make puzzles…im pretty sure that doesnt change how difficult a puzzle can be made. all that can restrict puzzle difficulty is the creativeness of the devs

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      Non-linearity allows players to challenge themselves.

      For example going into a dungeon that has stronger enemies then the gear you have, or the amount of hearts you have.

      Or it means tackling a more challenging puzzle or dungeon first.

      Also the other thing about puzzles is that certain puzzles/challenges is that their difficulty is largely based on the skill and knowledge of the player. It’s possible that you will have players get stuck in one dungeon and not be able to progress…

      At least in a non-linear game they can go challenge another dungeon and possibly have more success their. Then come back to the dungeon they were stuck on earlier and complete it another time.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.philliber.7 Michael Philliber

        ok, first off there* second, that is your opinion on harder games are better, i on the other hand cant care less if a game is hard or easy, i am fine either way. what i like is story drivin games. and non-linear games tend to have a chopped up silly story that really doesnt mean much. all they have is the first part of a story and the last. i like story elements in the center and all over a game as well. and that is obviously just what i personally prefer, feel free to prefer different lol

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          What’s the point of playing the game if you aren’t in it for the game play? Why not just read a book? or watch a movie? Or why not just watch a Let’s Play of Zelda and then you can watch the story unfold that way? May sound a bit harsh, but I’m really curious to why video games as a media format is the ideal for experiencing a rich story.

          Additionally I said that those who wanted more of a challenge can go challenge those harder dungeons first if they want.

          Doesn’t mean you have to go and do the harder dungeons first…. you can stay the course and complete the dungeons in the recommended order. What I am talking about is how having non-linearity gives players that option, the freedom to choose.

          Not to mention that for many gamers, the story is about OUR adventure as the player. How we experienced the world, and discovered it, as opposed to have someone dictate it to us. Narrative isn’t always about being spoon fed a story.

          Look at games like Metroid Prime, Majora’s Mask or Ico even. They have clear narratives expressed through the environments and how you progress through the world in their respective universes.

          Simple truth is if you are look for deep rich stories to be told to you, you can’t compete with book’s or movies. Or perhaps maybe a video game series more about telling you a store then the game play like Heavy Rain for example.

          Zelda at it’s core has been about the game play and that should come first, they’ve already started putting an excessive amount of cut scenes in recent games… and I really enjoyed Skyward Sword, it’s a great game, but personally, there was times when I felt they could’ve cut back on such scenes.

          I think now is a good time if ever for Nintendo to bring Zelda back to it’s roots, even if it’s just for one game. Not to mention especially on a system like the Wii U where people will be sharing their own personal adventure in Hyrule through something like the Miiverse. That is an exciting prospect… then you don’t have a single story, you have a multitude of players sharing their own tales and adventures.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.philliber.7 Michael Philliber

            see like i said this is a matter of opinion and view. like i enjoyed skyward sword and it became one of my favorite zelda games. and yes i enjoy gameplay, and i have played many games where gameplay and story have been woven together perfectly such as ratchet and clank and jak and daxter series’ of games. it is my opinion you can have both in a linear scenario. but like i said that is my opinion, why is it that you are concentrating on that when that wasnt even the original point of my first comment?

  • valoo

    Although I prefer the newer, linear games to the old ones, I think this is good news. More effort could be put into the overworld and filling it with secrets and rewards (maybe even optional dungeons?)
    Just as long as you’re given some sort of direction rather being left figure out EVERYTHING for yourself (Zelda 1) and as long as there’s a story with a narrative that plays out as you go along, then I’m happy.
    I would be disappointed if they did give us a cleverly crafted, expansive overworld and more freedom and then took it all away by dropping you in the middle of it with no direction and no story! I think the restrictive games and the less restrictive games both have their ups and downs and the that next game should blend both styles so those who want to go from A to B can do it but those who prefer exploration can take time off and have a good roam around Hyrule Field.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      There are different kinds of story in a video game.

      There is story that is dictated to the player, and then there is the story that unfolds through the players actions.

      The original Legend of Zelda had a tale and a story, a series of events, but these events were directly the result of you the player. Every person has a different version of their first adventure in the land of Hyrule.

      I remember me and my friends had our own copies of Zelda and we’d always compare notes on what each of us had found or what dungeons we had completed.

      Some of us completed Dungeon 1 first, where as one of my friends never found dungeon one, he actually found dungeon 2 instead. His own personal story and accounts of the adventure were different from our own.

      That is the kind of the story that you the player craft and create through your involvement.

      Where as when a game gives you cinema scenes and scripted events, that’s the game dictating the story to you. Forcing it on you as opposed to it unfolding naturally.

      Both are stories in their own right, just comes down to perception.

  • Benf207

    I don’t quite understand some people of the Zelda fanbase. With Twilight Princess, everyone complained about items only being used in their dungeons and not outside of the dungeon or in others. Skyward Sword was praised for fixing this problem. The problem is, if dungeons are allowed to be completed in any order, the dungeon item has to be confined to its own dungeon, otherwise the game is forcing you to complete dungeons in a certain order. Some have said there is a way to deal with this, but all the ideas I have seen don’t really solve this problem.

    • Anonymous

      Well, you can look at what I said ten minutes after you.
      BTW, good way of putting it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

      Not necessarily. This would only be a problem if they continue to design the games around the idea that the items you get are solely used for puzzle solving. If they start to make items that are more useful in combat, then it wouldn’t be a problem at all because you’d be using it for more purposes than just completing the dungeon. Either that, or items that you would need in order to complete a dungeon could be obtained elsewhere besides within the dungeon itself. There are plenty of solutions to that problem, you just have to think outside the box (which is exactly what I want Nintendo to do with the next Zelda ;D)

      • erikingvoldsen

        You can’t make the majority of items combat items. This would hijack the Zelda gameplay, weaken the puzzles, and become very stale.

        • Benf207

          Exactly, you could fundamentally change Zelda and make non-linearity work, but it just wouldn’t be Zelda and I’m willing to bet many fans would be upset.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            Maybe not Zelda as you may know (or like) it, but it was Zelda at one point, like it or not. The fundamentals of the first few Zelda games were very much intentionally based on non-linearity. Shigeru Miyamoto himself said that the game was meant to be the opposite of Mario in this aspect. And clearly many fans will be upset either way it ends up seeing as how polarized the debates on Zelda’s future direction can get.

          • erikingvoldsen

            Really, if anything, Mario should be non-linear. It has no story, upgrades, or anything that benefits from its linearity. In fact, SM64 was easily one of the best Mario games and it was very non-linear.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            Well sure that works for 3D Mario’s current design because it isn’t the same type of game as Super Mario Bros. anymore, hence there’s a whole New Super Mario Bros. series for that now. When Zelda transitioned into 3D, however, the game design remained mostly intact from the model set by A Link to the Past. Since you agree that making Mario non-linear made for a better game, don’t you think the same would apply to Zelda? It really doesn’t matter how good the story is if the game is tarnished by the lack of freedom and replayability.

          • erikingvoldsen

            The main reason it worked for Mario is because Mario is a platformer in which you gain little to no upgrades. Zelda has many puzzles and many upgrades (often in the shape of items) that benefit far more from linearity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            The Mario 3D platformers have plenty of puzzles and unlockable items (the 3 hats, for example) but the great thing is that you can tackle the levels in nearly any order, providing so much diversity to the game, just like the early Zeldas. There are plenty of ways that puzzles can still be designed around items (if that’s what you really want), if you look through the comments you’ll see all of the creative solutions that people have come up with while still maintaining non-linearity.

            The thing is, I don’t want to have to subject myself to playing the EXACT same game when I come back to replay the next Zelda. The only reason I played Skyward Sword twice is because of Hero Mode. Besides that, the game gives you no reason to play it again besides nostalgia. It will be more or less the same experience every time you play it (give or take a few subpar side quests) because it is so strictly tied to a narrative and gives such little freedom to play the game the way that people want to. When I replay all of the Zelda games up to MM, or maybe even WW, I play them differently every time because of all the variety the game allows in either dungeon or sidequest completion. The games give me something new every time I play them because of this (also because they are substantially more challenging), which is why, in my opinion, they have better stood the test of time than Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess will.

          • Benf207

            If you could point me to a creative solution that isn’t horrible or just linearity disguised as non linearity, I’d be interested to see it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            My personal solution is to remove the emphasis on entirely puzzle-based items and go back to giving them combat purposes as well. I think that once a few ordered dungeons are completed and you have your basic inventory (bow, bombs, boomerang, etc.) the remainder of the dungeons should be able to be completed in any order. The remaining items obtained throughout the game might perhaps only serve puzzle purposes in their respective dungeons and for overworld secrets and sidequests, but they will still be useful in fighting, as well.

            Clearly, my “solution” will not appeal to everyone. People have different tastes in games, and I completely get that. However, I feel that this would allow diversity, creativity, and challenge to thrive in a Zelda game while also not prohibiting a great story to be told. A story can be told around any sequence of events, so non-linearity would not hinder that. It may not be storytelling in the way people are used to seeing it in say a book or a movie, but games should take advantage of the fact that they are capable of telling stories in a variety of unique, exciting ways.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Cyborg1985 Joshua Anderson

            Except for what was mentioned in a previous dungeon. Link Continuously gets stronger throughout the game via collecting new dungeon items.

            We also have to consider the technology available when Loz and Alttp were made. At that time, that was really the only was a Zelda game could be made, as a result, It was nonlinear by nature of design. Now, with 3D Zelda games, the designers can incorporate more story elements to the games, thus adding some linearity as a result. Adding a story makes the game even more replayable, so that you can hear the story again and pick up on anything you may have missed during the first playthrough.

            Personally, Twilight Princess was the first Zelda game I played, and as a result, I didn’t have the older games to fall back on. I thought they did a pretty good job on TP. I have since place ALTTP and OoT. They re both good, and I didn’t see any problems with ALTTP, but I hated the overworld Layout of OoT. One hyrule field in the middle with arms going to other places in nearly every direction? thats not very creative. But I digress.

            Anyway, the point is, that the style of LoZ and Alttp is long gone, and not likely to make a return. 3D Zeldas are what we are going to get.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            The technology has literally nothing to do with it, and people need to stop falling back on this argument. Not only were plenty of other games at the time able to incorporate linear stories (JRPG’s like Final Fantasy) but the developers of Zelda have come out and said that they intended for the games to be as non-linear as they were. Adding a story also does not add replayability in the sense that the word is commonly used when referring to games. Sure you can play a completely linear game more than once, but it’s like watching movie more than once, it’s still the same thing every time. Games are not movies (although modern game developers like to think they are).

            It’s disappointing to see a form of entertainment subjected to the same standards of other forms of media like this. People seem to forget that video games are GAMES first. Sure you can turn things like football into a movie (i.e. Remember the Titans), but what if EVERY football game ever played out like the last game in that movie. People would have no reason to ever play football more than once, because you know how it’ll end up each time and that takes away from the experience. Yes, it’s an extreme example, but it’s pretty much what you’re suggesting Zelda does; play out the same way every time.

            Also, you say ALTTP is long gone, but it is Miyamoto’s favorite Zelda and he wants to remake it. Clearly he is still a fan of the design of games like that, and he is probably the best developer at Nintendo.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            Also, I just want to make clear that I’m not against story in games. I’m just against stories that are so restrictive that it has a negative impact on the novelty that games provide.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I feel you… you try and tell people that games could stand to cut back on the excessive story elements, and people freak out at you as if you don’t care about story or appreciate it, but it’s hardly the truth.

            I love story myself, I just know that there is more the one way to tell a story and weave an internal narrative through game play, something people seem to grasp.

            And really that’s all I’m asking for, is Zelda to go and take a few pointers form the past, where you learned about the world through exploration, discovery and even questing in dungeons. Skyward Sword was amazing, I love it, but now I’m ready for them to shake up another element of their modern Zelda design.

          • Xaragon

            YES! Super Mario Land 2 and Super Mario 64, Mario doesn’t get stronger through the game, unlike Zelda where you pick up new items to add to your inventory to make you stronger. This has always bothered me with Megaman games, I’d be going through a level only to find that the boss isn’t weak against any of my current weapons, or I don’t have the weapon necessary to grab this item lying behind an obstacle. Zelda can probably be a little more forgiving, but the Deku Tree has a bombable wall, you don’t get bombs until later so going back just to bomb the wall is just a pain.Unless they can make each dungeon an entirely different experience depending on the state of your inventory, making it worth revisiting.

          • PRDX4

            It may have but now Zelda has a story. What story did you get from the first two non-linear Zeldas? Nothing or not very much. Ocarina of Time had a comparitively low amount of story. With a more involved story means it’s more difficult to set things in different orders. Read a book. How many have non-lonear story telling mechanics?

          • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

            Well I personally think the increasing importance on story in Zelda games is negatively impacting them, and the scarce stories of the earlier games provided enough for me to feel immersed without it affecting the gameplay negatively. The fact that games have the ability to be non-linear while stories by definition do not just makes it seem like story heavy games severely hinder their potential.

          • erikingvoldsen

            Am the only one noticing that many people here clamoring for non-linearity are also bringing in other games and asking Zelda to copy them?

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Except that Zelda actually originally gave more freedom (every Zelda from the original LoZ to Link to the Past). For many of us who have grown up with Zelda, for Zelda to go back to a more non-linear game design approach would actually be a return to form.

            It would be a classic Zelda design.

            Not to mention there are ways to give that sort of freedom while still having scripted story events. The point would be to save those scripted events for very specific moments, and have fewer of them as opposed to have scripted events in between every single dungeon.

        • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

          That’s the way it was in Zelda 1 and A Link to the Past, which in my opinion were the best of the Zelda games. All the items had practical combat purposes which made battling much more complex and strategic. The puzzles definitely were much simpler then, but I don’t particularly like puzzles to begin with so I guess I’m biased. It’s really a matter opinion what everyone likes best about Zelda whether it be the exploration, combat, or puzzle solving. The thing is, if Nintendo is PLANNING on make dungeon order non-linear, it would be wise of them to do that in the most efficient and balanced way possible, which would be similar to the way the early Zeldas handled it.

          • IgosDuIkana

            Lol non linerity would not be Zelda thats a joke, the games were not horribly linear untill after mm. Alttp is the best zelda game and they really need to base the series off of that game

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I actually agree with Zach here….

            Why can’t an item be used for both puzzle solving and combat?

            Many of Link to the Past’s weapons were designed so well. I mean the Cane of Somaria was used to create blocks to hold down switches, but then again those magic blocks could also be used to attack enemies.

            The Magic Cape allowed you to bypass obstacles in a puzzle just as much as help you fight a boss.

            The Pegasus boots didn’t just let you run fast to escape danger, but charge into tree’s and attack enemies.

            Truth is in the past most items used for puzzle solving also in fact helped Link in battle different ways. This a far more practical design choice for Zelda then creating useless dungeon items like the Dominion Rod.

          • Never

            It’s a good idea, the issue used to be that with the last two games you could only have one thing equipped making it completely impractical.

            Take OoT for example, you could constantly use items then because you could have at least 3 assigned at a time. It’s not as though it wasn’t used in 3D games but more that it was restricted. Though, even OoT didn’t have very much strategy as far as taking down enemies with items went.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I didn’t mind Skyward Sword’s variant of item equipping because you can equip items while moving around, it wasn’t as if my game play was getting interrupted as I tried to use a potion or take out a new item as I wasn’t pausing the game every time I needed something else.

          • Never

            Meant last game** but you got the point.
            I found it slightly annoying honestly, so I never used potions or items at all in regular fights, what I wouldn’t mind seeing though (if they use the motion controls again) would be a mix of TPs and SS’s methods, where you can switch one instantly just by highlighting it but have to press the arrows while it’s highlighted for the other 2 slots.

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      Don’t listen to TP haters. You actually can use items outside their respective dungeons. In fact, the Gale Boomerang, Clawshot, and Spinner are nessacary for completing Hyrule Castle. And the Dominion Rod is needed in order to acess the City in the Sky. And there’s quite a few more examples I could give, but you probably get it.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        Except that the Gale Boomerang is a dumbed down version of past boomerangs… that’s the real reason it sucks.

        The boomerang in past Zelda titles could kill enemies and at the very least stun them to help you defeat tougher more agile ones.

        The gale boomerang in TP can’t even kill a Keese. All it does is bring it closer to you in order to then have to stab it.

        It’s the most nerfed version of the boomerang ever. Essentially turning what was once one of my favorite weapons into a useless inventory item.

        The clawshot doesn’t grapple onto as many surfaces as it’s hookshot equivalent (which could latch onto all sorts of wooden and textures objects).

        The spinner is used to open some locks and access a few area’s later in the game, but have you tried using the item in Hyrule Field? Ever tried to fight an enemy with it, just for the fun of it? Not really fun or satisfying.

        The Dominion Rod is needed to access City in the Sky, but it’s such a tedious chain of events that isn’t even enjoyable. Not to mention all you are doing is moving the statues you find a foot over so you can collect the sky character.

        Not to mention after you complete this side quest to move the few bird statues with Sky Characters, when do you touch the Dominion Rod again? Can you use it to stun enemies? Help explore other parts of Hyrule? It’s actually useless after you complete the few parts of the game that require it.

        Twilight Princess has a terrible set of inventory items. The slingshot is pointless once you have the bow and arrow (which you receive quickly after the slingshot) and bomblings are a pointless bomb mod considering you can make bomb arrows which are actually go faster, farther and are more accurate.

        Seriously don’t get me started on TP’s inventory items, they are a joke.

        • sdfsdfsd

          i agree. TP fails majorly many areas, although it does have a few redeeming moments they are not common.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Yeah it’s not just items…. it’s characters, plot development, lack of integrating character abilities…. ect.

            The only credit I give them is that Midna was a good companion character.

      • fdsfd

        What i dislike about TP’s items is not that they can’t be used outside the levels themselves, but rather that they can only be used on switches or in inflexible situations.

        Take the Clawshot and compare it to the OoT/MM hookshot. The Hookshot could be used on any wood objects, just some of these were targets, the others were discoverable by the ingenuity of the player and were objects that would often appear, such as chests and trees. This provides a better gameplay experience as it requires one to think outside the box a bit.

        The Clawshots of SS were identical to the TP clawshots. Other items, however, such as the beetle, gust jar, whip etc. could be used in a wide variety of situations. The gust jar could blow little enemies away and even fight certain enemies, the whip could steal items from enemies and the beetle could explore enemies. None of these are as good as say the Hookshot but they were improvements.

  • Anonymous

    The main argument against non-linearity is that items won’t necessarily carry over from one dungeon to the next. If a game were to be truly non-linear, the necessary items of each dungeon either aren’t used in any other dungeon, are only used in the overworld, or can unlock new areas/treasures in previously done dungeons.

    Personally, a Block or Branch design would work better for the Zelda series. While a branch design would be interesting, I’d prefer the block.

    In a block design, there can be more than 1 dungeon in each block. If there’s at least 2, they will not be interdependent (you must visit 1 before the other). In other words, dungeon blocks can need the items from the previous block, but not those of the same block. In Twilight Princess, the Mirror pieces may have been a block, but I’d have to double-check. If they wanted to make the Goron and Zora dungeons a block, the only thing we’d have to do before the Zora dungeon is unlock the Twilight from both regions, so that the Prince can be healed.

    In comparison, a Branch design can be where obtaining an item can open up access to 2 branches, or dungeons. For an example, suppose in TP that there was a hidden dungeon at the end of the Forest Temple, where the Diababa boss was fought. We could reach it either after obtaining the Iron Boots or the Zora Tunic. That hidden dungeon can either give us an item to reach another hidden dungeon, or make the main quest (main branch) easier.

    • Sir Quaffler

      I’d be perfectly fine with the block idea.

      Now that Nintendo’s focusing on making the experience more non-linear this would be the best option to go with. Don’t have the entire thing open from the gate, that produces some problems like what I’ve found in the original LoZ. But have it segregated into groups of dungeons that can be completed in any order, then let the story progress after that.

      That’s actually what I was hoping the Sacred Flame quest in SS was gonna be, and it’s one of the only gripes I have in an otherwise fantastic game. I totally understand why the first third was a totally linear plot, and I think they pulled that part fantastically, as it made me glued to the screen seeing what would happen next. But the Sacred Flames should have been available to complete in any order (something that was fixed with the Song of the Hero quest).

      Weird… now that I’m looking at it, it seems some of my favorite games employ a structure of a linear first half, then a nonlinear second half. OoT, FF6, Chrono Trigger, to name a few, do this, and I think it works like a charm.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        You can tell that Nintendo was experimenting with a bit of non-linearity in Skyward Sword.

        The Song of the Hero quest (or dragon quests as some people call them) were able to be done in whatever order the player wanted.

        The only issue was a minor bug that some people discovered by doing certain parts first. Oddly enough on my first play through I actually did the Thunder Dragon first, Water Dragon second, Fire Dragon third with out discovering the bug.

        It takes a lot of careful testing sometimes to create scripted events in a non-linear setting, but clearly that was what Nintendo was trying to work out, probably for future use in other games.

        That said I agree, I’ve said for a while that a block/chunk system would be the best way to handle a non-linear Zelda adventure.

      • Anonymous

        I agree. If it’s open at the beginning, we get lost and won’t build a basic item collection to use in other dungeons. Maybe they can use the Branch Idea for the first third or quarter of the game, then divide the rest into blocks.

  • Someone

    I guess the Zelda fans really differ about the linearity problem. Some want an open world, while others actually prefer it linear. I don´t mind some linearity, but a linear world feels really oppressive.
    Maybe they can set one dungeon to be the first, like a warming up to the rest of the game (Like Great Deku Tree) and to get people into the story. After that, people get the freedom to do the dungeons in the order they feel like with just a few hints to get started like in the first game.
    Doing this also gives the possiblility to place one or two really hard optional dungeons for those who want a real challenge.
    But that is just how I would prefer the build-up of the game, I’m looking forward to hear more about Zelda Wii U in the future, and I’m just curious what kind of road they will take this time.

    • Mawk

      I think maybe it should be like Kingdom Hearts, where you complete set of worlds/dungeons in any way you want, then that unlocks the next set of worlds/dungeons, and so forth until you get to the final boss. It would take care of the problem with usage of items out of their respective dungeons, as well as solve the difficulty problem for dungeons, and it would be a happy medium for fans of linear and non-linear games. In my opinion, it’s the best route to go, especially with all this debate.

  • erikingvoldsen

    Guys, let’s be realistic. Nintendo isn’t going to make branching or multiple path dungeons.

  • Mawk

    To, be honest, I’m completely neutral with this. My first Zelda games were linear ( My first game was Phantom Hourglass, then The Wind Waker), and I love them a lot considering the Wind Waker is my favorite of the whole series. Yet, I played the older, less linear games shortly after, and had just as much fun with them. I’ll admit I think non-linearity is the better choice for the upcoming Zelda Wii U, but I’m sure I’ll love it just as much if Nintendo randomly changed their minds and went with a linear game like Skyward Sword and Twlilight Princess. It will be a nice change of pace with the franchise altering its usual norm, but no matter what, it’s still Zelda, and I will play it regardless of whether it’s linear or non-linear.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      Actually believe it or not Wind Waker had a non-linear portion.

      It shows clearly that a more non-linear structure can still be built into a story driven game.

      You can choose to either complete the Earth Temple first or complete the Wind Temple first…… there is nothing preventing you from choosing one over the other. They are even designed in such a way that the others dungeon item isn’t needed to access it or complete it.

      Nintendo could easily expand this format and make it so you have portions of the game where you have choice like this. That would be essentially a game that was more non-linear.

  • Emma Mix

    I think as long as the overworld is complex (but not overdone) and provides lots of OPTIONAL side-quests and side-dungeons and lots of caves to explore, I’d be happy with it. They need to rejuvinate the overworld by making it more like a real world– complex, intricate and realistic.

  • Kablamogroup

    That would be cool, as long as they don’t sacrifice the difficulty curve. In other words, I hope that completing dungeons in any order you want doesn’t mean that one dungeon has the same strength enemies as every other one. I still want to be challenged by the next dungeon I play, even though I would be one Heart Container stronger, and posess a greater arsenal than I did the dungeon before.

    • Kablamogroup

      Basically what I’m saying is: they should do whatever they did in ALttP that allowed you to collect the Crystals in the Dark World in any order you wanted (after the first Crystal, of course), but you wouldn’t be struggling through the first dungeon you played, then breezing through the next, because you skipped it.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        The amount of damage enemies did in Link to the Past was scaled.

        Later dungeons had enemies that did a considerable amount more damage. It’s why the game includes two tunics to upgrade Link’s defense and reduce heart loss.

  • clinty456

    Phantom Hourglass sort of had non-linearity with the final three dungeons.

  • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

    Nom-linearity is the way to go. It was awesome in A Link to the Past. Half the time I spend just running around doing whatever the heck I want. Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword didn’t really let me do that very much.

  • crazyvio

    ok this may just be my opinion but ocarina of time, wind waker, twilight princess, and skyward sword are THE BEST zelda games to date and do you want to know why that is because they were linear. the plot i think is the best part of the game and all of those games have an amazing plot and to be perfectly honest i HIGHLY doubt i am the only one that thinks so. don’t they see that they have been doing a fantastic job since 1998, what in the world makes them think that they should change zelda. also the whole point of skyward sword was to show all the great NEW things that they will be creating for the FUTURE of zelda if they go back to non-linear then they are going back to ZELDA II in 1988 and we all know how that worked out! NINTENDO PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ZELDA DON’T CHANGE MY AND SO MANY OTHER PEOPLES FAVORITE GAME.

    • shadowlink11

      Zelda 2 was a great game. Just because it was different and hard doesn’t make it bad. And you liking the story so much is just your opinion. Some people like exploration, others like combat, and others like the story. Nintendo can’t please everyone

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      And this is the problem with huge franchises…. so many gamers who are afraid of change.

      They just want more of the same.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing in some old hardcore Zelda challenge akin to the original Legend of Zelda or even Link to the Past. With tougher enemies and a clever use of dungeon design to craft a unique experience (I mean seriously there is still nothing more memorable then rescuing a damsel in a dungeon only to find out she is in fact the dungeon boss).

      Personally although I loved Skyward Sword (favorite recent game in the series, as I loathed Twilight Princess for it’s bad design) I’d be more then happy to see Nintendo bring back some of Zelda’s roots.

  • AliatusAquilan

    Having a non-linear world will lead to easier puzzles as you’ll be forced to only use the item you get from that dungeon for the puzzles. Which also means the dungeons in which you use those items will still have to have simple puzzles because you only have the one item to use and you have no previous experience with that item. Also a difficulty curve will have to be non-existent in the enemy AI to allow new players to the series to learn how to play the game. If you ask me the linear style of play is the better way. It makes way for progressively more difficult puzzles and enemies instead of either having the puzzles and enemies be TOO difficult or not difficult enough.. Not to mention they won’t have to work the plot around the non-linear world meaning we’d get to play sooner.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      “Having a non-linear world will lead to easier puzzles as you’ll be
      forced to only use the item you get from that dungeon for the puzzles”

      Having such restrictions actually could lend itself to more creative puzzles actually. Sometimes I find some dungeons use their dungeon item’s so little it would barely make an impact.

      Also there are other ways to make a dungeon more challenging then just puzzles. For example a dungeon could be puzzling simply trying to figure out how to navigate it… like the Water Temple for example… the hardest part of the dungeon had nothing to do with puzzles revolving around the longshot… the toughest part of the dungeon was the in dungeon device of raising and lowering the water…. not to mention finding all the keys to get from room to room.

      Or how about putting more emphasis on battle style puzzles where the enemies and situations in a dungeon require a certain approach to be successful with out the dungeon item. Using arrows to explode barrels to kill off large groups of enemies.

      Also they could easily give Link a certain base set of tools to solve puzzles with. For example there is a large variety of puzzles that can be created just out of using bombs and arrows for switches and blowing of material.

      Sometimes dungeons need to step out of their comfort zone and not rely so heavily on those dungeon items anyway.

  • The Unicorn Hanger-Outer

    Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Non-Linearityyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! :D . This will be fun in a 3D Zelda game.

  • PRDX4

    Just so others may see this: Go read some books. How many have stories that are non-linear?

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      That’s why video games shouldn’t try to be movie or books for that matter.

      Video games is it’s own distinct media, and the way they craft a narrative need’s to be different. Truth is a narrative built on the actions of the player is how a games story should unfold. Not have a shoved down your throat through cinematic events and scripted sequences.

      • PRDX4

        All video games have cinematic events and scripted sequences nowadays. But many games don’t strive to have good music, good plot, or unique gameplay. Zelda does that without being non-linear. Plot only works in one direction as well. It would be difficult to program a different scene or event for everything you do differently. And I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t like it when a game just hands me with a sword and tells me “Good luck!”

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          It’s not difficult to program story into non-linearity. Just choose to have less scripted events.

          I don’t need a cinema scene, or scripted sequence between every single dungeon in order to understand the story or plot. It is entirely possible to bog down game play with too many story elements.

          They could easily have you complete 3 dungeons and then have an event occur that progresses the plot. Allowing for you to complete those dungeons as you see fit.

          You can balance out both attributes,

          Or take a design like Majora’s Mask where almost all the deep story elements are in the side quests, where by completing those side quest arcs you learn more about the world, and you learn it through the events of the quest.

          This is a much better means of telling a story through game play then having it spelled out for the player.

          • PRDX4

            I do want more side quests but I wouldn’t say Majora’s Mask had few cutscenes or scripted events. You could play the entire game without doing any of the sidequests and still get the whole plot. Majora’s Mask was also easier to program into non-linearity because it had a repeating 3 day cycle. Everything happened at the same time every day. And I don’t think telling a story through gameplay is possible at all. Take Zelda I. What story did you get from it’s non-linear gameplay?

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Tons of games have told a story through game play, from Metroid Prime, to even the Mega Man Zero series. Dead Space gives you story through audio logs, and by the environment. You can tell what happened on that ship by how it looks, you walk into a morgue and you can see that the dead bodies have been pulled out to be turned into aliens with out anyone having to tell you.

            Gameplay is how you experience the world. You don’t need someone to tell you the obvious in order for you to figure it out. When you first reach the Sealed Grounds in Skyward Sword you can see that something evil has been buried down there. You know that the spike in that pit is important for whatever reason.

            This is how you learn story elements through game play. Just one of the few ways.

            Also as I’ve said this before, a part of the story of a video game is the choices you the player make. You are a part of the story. If you choose to take a character somewhere, that becomes a part of the tale of that character. That’s the difference between books and video games…. you are literally involved as opposed to sitting from the sidelines watching everything unfold.

          • PRDX4

            No, gameplay is HOW you play the game (as in controls). You may experience the world while playing, but it’s not actually gameplay. You may experience story while you are playing the game, but not by actually playing the game. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel any story when I press the z button to target.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Controls = Controller Input, Press the R Button to Defend, A Button to Slash… ect. ect.

            Game Play = How you play the game. Jumping on platforms, solving puzzles, finding secrets, defeating enemies…. ect. ect. ect.

      • erikingvoldsen

        Non-linearity can never work with anything that has a main quest. Whether it’s through narration or gameplay, non-linearity will screw it up. It will only work with games without a main quest like SM64.

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          You do realize what non-linearity means right?

          It simply means that you can approach a games objectives any way you wish, and in a way that suits you.

          It’s not like you are going back and forth between points in a story.

          Let’s say you have 3 dungeon’s in a province in a Zelda title…. you can do any of the dungeons you want first.

          When you complete a dungeon you get the exact same cut scene you would for completing any of the other two dungeons.

          The plot is still progressed forward in a linear fashion.

          Then you can go and complete one of the two remaining dungeons in that province. When you complete the second, you may get another small cut scene that again progresses the plot.

          Basically story plot points are delivered based how on how many dungeons are completed, as opposed to cut scenes based on location.

          There are ways to easily have a “linear” story, while still giving players freedom of choice to choose where they want to go first and what they want to do first, and even more so how they want to do it. Saying it can never work is silly. Video games like the Mega Man series have been doing it for ages.

          A lot of what made the first Legend of Zelda non-linear was all the different ways in which you could complete a dungeon. You could solve the puzzles to get keys, or you could simply buy keys with rupee’s earned from killing monsters in the over world, or if you were crafty use the bombs you found to save your keys and make your own path through the dungeon.

          That’s the sort of “non-linearity” that many Zelda players want. Instead of everything being hallway-ed and dungeon’s only having one solution.

          • erikingvoldsen

            Non-linearity is simply chaos while Linearity offers order and progression. Non-linearity doesn’t work with linear elements like a main quest. It only works with non-linear elements that don’t require progression and order, again, stuff like SM64 which had no main quest or progression. A main quest–Zelda in general–works better with progression and order.

            Doing 3 dungeons in any order sacrifices the order and progression of each dungeon. They lose quality because the developers can build off any of their elements. They can’t build off elements than haven’t occurred and the only way to make sure that the elements have already been shown if the order has been controlled and developers KNOW what the player has available and what is not available to them.

            Story is just one minor thing ruined by non-linearity. The real issue is how it effects gameplay. Buying keys is the worst thing they could do in the Zelda series and it’s one of the many reasons why the original is so poor compared to its successors.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            I think I understand what points your trying to make, I think you made some typos though.

            The funny things is that Mario 64 did have a main quest. The main quest, and the whole point of the game is to save princess peach. How you get to that end and collect the stars needed to reach her is up to you the player though.

            All Legend of Zelda games are built for the most part around the exact same main quest. To collect a series of items which in the end will allow you to save Princess Zelda/Hyrule from dispair.

            That is the main quest of all Zelda games.

            The difference is that Zelda over recent years has opted to make it’s quest items usually tied to dungeons. Complete a dungeon, get a Medallion/Sage/Maiden/Pendent/Fused Shadow/Flame…. whatever item is essential to the plot that Miyamoto and Aonuma is trying to deliver.

            Usually these serve a purpose… like collecting the three spiritual stones get’s you the Master Sword. A major story, plot development, because it means now Link is a step closer to being able to defeat Ganondorf.

            Still how Link get’s to this point could be flexible. Flexible… for example in Ocarina of Time you get the sling shot for the Great Deku Tree, get’s the bombs in Dodongo’s Cavern and the boomerang in Lord Jabu Jabu. You need these items to complete each dungeon.

            Still why is it that you need to find each item conveniently in each dungeon? What if before Link ever entered the Great Deku Tree he is given all three items (the slingshot, the bombs and the boomerang) up front. They are still required to beat the dungeon, but now he is free to approach each dungeon at his choosing.

            He still get’s to meet Princess Ruto and the Zora King, and have character development that way, but he could do this first before he meet’s the Gorons. Is there any specific reason that Link needs to meet the Goron’s before the Zora’s? Not really. Cause you will meet them when you eventually decide to tackle that dungeon.

            You still have the same puzzles, and have to figure out what to use to solve them and everything. That doesn’t change.

            What is given is the freedom for you the player to make some choices.

            This would be non-linear. It wouldn’t ruin the story, you’d still learn all the important plot details that you need to learn. I could get into the benefits of giving those items up front (like incorporating a greater variety of challenges for the player using all items as opposed to one) but I’m just going to leave it at this.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Added note… the game play of the original Legend of Zelda wasn’t weak, it was engaging, and required strategy.

            It didn’t conveniently give you the exact item you needed to complete a puzzle. Zelda is so predictable… you walk into a water dungeon now, and you see a target on a wall, and instantly you are like “well I need the hookshot to get there” and then when you get it, you already know exactly what you have to do.

            What’s that a far away switch, oh well mean’s I’m getting the “bow & arrow” somewhere around here in order to hit it.

            Even boss fights…. oh well I got the hammer, so that must be what I have to use to defeat the boss.

            It’s been like this for almost 10 years now. With out any flexibility… I mean at least in Link to the Past you could usually use alternative strategies. Use a bomb to blue up Helmasaur’s Mask, using the magic cape to defeat Mothula… ect. Didn’t have to use the dungeon item.

            The original Legend of Zelda didn’t spell it out for you, you had to figure it out. Dodongo is the boss of the second dungeon in the original Legend of Zelda… but you got bombs a lot earlier, so it wasn’t as obvious that you had to use bombs on him. The solutions weren’t so painfully spelled out for the player.

            Sometimes pushing a block wouldn’t open a door or a gate, sometimes you reached a dead end and there was no crack in the wall to spell it out that you had to put a bomb there. You had to simply try it because it was worth trying. Being able to buy key’s was a way of allowing people not good at solving puzzles a method to progress. It was balanced game… the only thing it didn’t do was give you instructions on how to solve everything (like giving you a fairy who tells you the answers).

            People still praise the original Legend of Zelda, and many developers are still trying to emulate that experience (from Dark Souls, to The Binding of Isaac). Essay’s have been written about it (from the Super Brother’s More Rock Less Talk, to even Tepid’s snooty Saving Zelda essay). It is hardly a weaker game.

            Just saying.

  • Christburner

    The main concern I’ve noticed is the necessity of items in the game. No doubt about it the items obtained are a huge part of the Zelda games. Making the game non-linear, I think, is creating a fear of losing the importance of these items. Not only looking at games like The Legend of Zelda on the NES, but also looking at an entirely different franchise do we see that it can be done and done well. Yeah dude, Megaman. Play in any order you want. The only thing you get from a “self made” linear path is a collection of weapons that aide you on your adventure (making shit a whole lot easier). Creating a HUGE amount of replay value. This could create dungeons with multiple paths that lead to hidden areas. Multiple ways of defeating dungeon boss’. And its all up to the player, you don’t have to be led by a game telling you “do this” “go here” “use this” “talk to her”…and we don’t risk alienating items. Because I agree, it sucks when you’re playing a game, you get a new item and you’re super stoked on it. use it once and then that’s it. it just takes up space in your inventory. It’s a bummer. Taking the function away from the items can make the game seem flat and kinda boring as well as leaving the player feeling unfulfilled and otherwise unimpressed. Its like how Egoraptor described the weapons in Castlevania 4. It would suck to have that happen to Link.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bs88145 bs8814

    Interesting. Picking what dungeons you want to do and when you want to do them sounds interesting. I wonder how they will end up incorporating it in to the game.

  • http://twitter.com/ProjectNimpak Jonathan Shaheen

    I’m open for a more open Zelda game, so long as the world I’m exploring isn’t non-distinct and homogeneous. Zelda games are more about exploration AND discovery and not necessarily just exploration. I thought Zelda was based on Miyamoto’s childhood where he’d find something or someplace new after exploring in the forest, and the new game should reflect this as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003298020387 Alan Da Cruz Nascimento

    >the original Legend of Zelda stands out to me as a game that was almost completely free from linear constraints. ▬ yet but, in some parts it was impossible to overcome without the previous item in a dungeon. So much so that once I was lost in the dungeon where there was a lot of wizzrobe. :T

    and the ocarina of time for anxiety I went to the first dungeon of fire, where I could not pass when required to enable use of a bow freaked out

  • anonymous

    The story is a lot easier to manage with a specific order. We are supposed to know the story of the pendent of Courage before we enter the desert. We are supposed to have all three pendents or spiritual stones before we can get the Sword of Evil’s Bane. We are supposed to assemble the ancient dark magic hat before we can turn into a wolf at will. You are so busy restoring the sword that Ezlo refuses to acknowledge that Vaati has possessed the king. You have no reason to destroy Bellum, nor any knowledge of him, until you find a statue of Tetra on a ship responsible for the death of countless people. Link has no clue of the next destination of his girlfriend… and yet Fi may, as she/it produces the next map. Need I continue?

    Wind Waker had the worst excuse to be linear. What did that talking boat guy say? something about it being too early to go too far south from Windfall? And why doesn’t Makar show up when I want him to?

    Of course, there is a way to guarantee a different story for every experience by capturing the order the events are played and telling a different story. I hope that method is what we see in Zelda WiiU. It would be great for the replay value.

    I have some fear of this coming game. The worst Legend of Zelda title, in my opinion, had neither elements of linearity, with the exception of the final challenge, nor the requirement of playing alone. In fact, it was the requirement NOT to play alone that made it so bad. Link’s Cable crashed it so many times.

  • npatoray24

    the original article hit the nail right on the head… the problem is that every thing is lock and key. one event triggers another, or one item opens up another area…. if they made it so not evry area required you to get a certain item before gaining access to it i feel it would be a much better experience. i understand that lock and key is necessary for some aspects but to make every thing in a game that formula gets repetitive

  • http://www.facebook.com/a.awesome.R Rebecca Gail Rue

    I think people are getting confused with non-linear with dungeon order. You can have a non-linear game with a dungeon order.

    To help with non-linearity and having a dungeon order, you can access to multiple places near the beginning of the game(emphasis on near, for room for character/plot development) with multiple puzzles, characters and side-quests(that you DO NOT have to do), and after you beat a dungeon the plot can move and open up different areas, characters, and puzzles, while holding a non-linear world. Just because you could access point A, B, and C before you needed to, doesn’t mean opening point D, E and G after you defeat a dungeon makes it non-linear, just gives you more of a reason to move forward in the game.

    Another thing I think would help with non-linearity is mini-dungeons. Small dungeons, that you don’t need to complete for story purposes(except maybe for side-quests). And you could possibly find non-needed items that would help with heart pieces and who knows what else. This is what i felt would of immensely helped wind waker, since they had a whole bunch of secret places to explore, sadly some of them you were forced to visit and they were done poorly.

    That last paragraph is just an idea, but I still believe you don’t NEED to be able to pick your dungeon to have a non-linear game… Feel free to head butt that opinion of mine though ha ha

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      I do agree, non-linear can mean many things. It could mean that the over world itself is more open to explore and filled with optional tasks and adventures to have.

      Not to mention that even if the option was there to complete dungeons out of order, that doesn’t stop people from doing them in the suggested order.

      Not to mention that even in a non-linear game, technically it’s still all about getting from point A (the start) to point B (the games end)… meaning that you are always progressing forward towards the climax and conclusion, you aren’t going back and forth… but as the player you get some free choice on how it is you want to get from point A to point B.

      People are so dead set for whatever reason though about Zelda mixing things up it seems. They are content to have their games become more and more gated… it’s like having an on rails adventure. It may be fun at first but eventually it becomes very predictable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/a.awesome.R Rebecca Gail Rue

        I agree with you, on your last point especially. And then once people get the same thing, they yell about how its not unique enough and Nintendo is like “WHY U NO HAPPY!?” Just look at the hate of WW, then when they try to go back to what people liked(TP) they don’t like that either. People people people…(twilight zone reference)

        I have a question, is there anyway to change it so it won’t have my name here? I feel uncomfortable with my name being flaunted across the internet :p I don’t care if I lose my post or not.

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Since you logged in using Facebook it’s using your Facebook information (not to mention linking to your Facebook profile) a better option is to use a website service like Disqus;

          http://disqus.com/

          Go and make an account and then log in with it, but don’t connect your Facebook to Disqus. Then sign in for posting comments here using your Disqus information. When you are on the Disqus website you will be able to make your profile with a user name and everything.

          The other option would’ve been to post simply using the temporary service, by inputting your e-mail.

          Still if you can just create a Disqus profile they are used on a lot of websites, like IGN and I think even GenGame and stuff.

  • DWray SweZ

    As longas there is a compeling story

  • Vink

    Zelda was originally based on Miyamoto’s childhood exploring experience in his home town Kyoto. That’s why Zelda 1 was non-linear is because he probably had no one with him (maybe his friends would come with him sometimes), the famous ‘It’s dangerous to go alone, take this’ perhaps represents his parents giving him something to take on his adventures. He probably got lost then eventually find his way back which happens to people in Zelda 1.

  • WWHDexited

    I honestly can’t understand why people have problems with linearity.

  • RationalWaffle

    I would love to see gameplay that is less linear than Skyward Sword. I loved the game, but it was definitely the most linear-feeling game in the series for me. Even Twilight Princess (which I also loved) did not feel so restrictive. There were so many places that you could not go, and these places were so obvious it was a bit painful. I’d like to see a return to the Wind Waker exploration, where you have so many extra things to explore that when you come across a mysterious island that you can’t access yet, you don’t feel bad, because you know that you’ll probably solve that mystery easily after exploring more of the 40-something other islands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wade.langner Wade Langner

    I’m sure Nintendo can make it work. I mean, this is NINTENDO we’re talking about here.