Articles

Official Amiibo Site Launches

Catty GreentreeNovember 17th, 2014 by Catty Greentree

amiiboLinkNintendo’s new Amiibo figures become available on November 21st, 2014. To support the launch, Nintendo has put up an official Amiibo website with gameplay trailers, the lineups of available (and upcoming) characters, and of course links to buy them. Check out the highlights after the jump!
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The-Legend-of-Zelda-Wii-U-E3-2014-2

Since the announcement of Zelda Wii U, limited details regarding the game’s plot have been spared– leaving plenty of room open for interpretation. Written by one of our very own forum users, Tatltael, has mused an intriguing speculation concerning the story, tone, and other details worth noting that could have otherwise been easily overlooked. You can read all about it after the jump. Read more…

MMsaveIn the wake of the news that Majora’s Mask will be remade for the 3DS, Eiji Aonuma has posted his thoughts over on Miiverse. Although he might not be able to reveal too much for the time being, he spared some insight regrading the development and features of Majora’s Mask 3D. Click the jump for further discussion and Aonuma’s Miiverse post.
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A Link Between Worlds and the Zelda Formula

Mark OlsonSeptember 4th, 2014 by Mark Olson

ALBW Pic A Link Between Worlds is a game that’s equal parts entertaining and fascinating. Nintendo said they were trying to rewrite the so-called “Zelda Formula” with ALBW, but that begs the question: what exactly IS the Zelda Formula? Moreover, did the development team succeed in breaking it? Reviewers certainly thought so. However, when you take a closer look at both the game and the Zelda Formula, it becomes apparent that it is far more complicated than that.

Hit the jump to read more!

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imagesIt is a truly sad day in the world. Beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams has passed away at the age of 63. The Zelda series has lost one of it’s oldest, most beloved fans, and he will truly be missed.

To hear more on the story, please follow the jump. Read more…

Link_and_Zelda_(Ocarina_of_Time)What was your first Zelda game? Would you say it’s your favorite out of the series? How many Zelda games have you played? Recently, an extensive survey was conducted by a curious fan of the Zelda franchise, answering these questions and so many more. In fact, there’s such a plethora of information that was gathered, it can’t possibly be confined to a single article, so I’ll be sharing data concerning my earlier inquiries. While I’m sure some results won’t be very surprising, others may shock you. I hope you like math!

Hit the jump to learn more!
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A Secret and Personal Journey

DathenJune 29th, 2014 by Dathen

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The following article was originally released at Zelda Informer on Valentine’s Day.

It goes without saying that it contains spoilers for games all throughout The Legend of Zelda series, including the most recent installment, A Link Between Worlds.

This article is dedicated to those who came before, those who will come after, and—most of all—to those who were there all along.

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Zelda Wii U World

After years of immersion in playing, analyzing and just being a fan of The Legend of Zelda series, everyone comes to have their own ideas—sometimes even obscure fantasies—about what their ideal Zelda game would entail. Online communities are full of fans with opinions to share, including plot-lines from the tangible to the impossible.

Of all these fan wishes for the upcoming Zelda Wii U installment due out in 2015 (which I will call Zelda U), two concepts unanimously continue to rise to the top of the collective fanbase’s list. There’s the desire for the lush expansive world to explore and the wish for a large-scale war taking place within.

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Lyrical Associations with The Legend of Zelda

A childhood obsession with The Legend of Zelda series is a difficult thing to put behind you as an adult. All it takes is the crow of a bird to send my mind into a spiral of nostalgia, reminiscing about the first time I gazed upon the sheer terror of Ganon’s Castle in Ocarina of Time.

The Legend of Zelda has never provided us with an ending song such as Xenoblade Chronicles’ ‘Beyond the Sky’ or The Last Story’sToberu Mono.’ Never has the series ended with a song that succinctly sums up the experience of the game through verse.

That’s why when I listen to the lyrics of some songs, I just can’t help but let my mind wonder back to those times spent with a controller in hand, Link on my screen and an adventure beckoning. The following is a look at some lyrics from songs that I have come to associate with The Legend of Zelda.

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download (1)If any of you are familiar with the popular game Minecraft then you know that it’s a creative building game that allows players to create constructions out of textured cubes. One Minecrafter is a also a fan of our favorite game. YouTube user Mini Jimbo went through the tedious task of placing blocks in such a way that they make sounds when they fall a certain way and not just any sound, but the main theme from many of the Zelda games.

Hit the jump to check it out.

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Fan Made Majora’s Mask

GuestFebruary 24th, 2014 by Guest

Preview There are so many artists that have made awesome versions of Majora’s Mask, yet this campaign for a Kickstarter by Camille Young is by far the most creative. Camille has created “Oni” masks, meaning devil or demon from Japanese literature. The masks resemble Majora’s Mask and are made from resin that she casted and carved herself! She has gathered a group of artists to paint their own wearable Majora’s Masks with their own style! The masks even have a black mesh in the corner of the eyes so that whoever is wearing the mask will be able to see. She is planning on selling blank and painted Oni masks by different artists on a Kickstarter that should be coming soon. Hit the jump to see final versions of the masks!

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Capture A little over a year ago, a channel on YouTube called BaruchFilms released a highly popular short film based on the Legend of Zelda, called ESCAPE. The director of the video has now released his announcement video for a feature-length adaptation of ESCAPE, called PRINCESS IN ANOTHER CASTLE.

For all the details, hit the jump and watch the announcement trailer!

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320px-super_smash_bros_4_merged_logo_no_subtitle_7136 Nintendo is once again bringing trophy collecting back as an element of the latest Super Smash Bros. games on Wii U and 3DS. This news was brought to our attention through a post to Miiverse from Masahiro Sakurai, with the first revealed trophy of the 3DS version: Ocarina of Time’s own Saria.

Hit the jump to see the whole Miiverse post!

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Living for the Future Here and Now

The Wind Waker from The Legend of Zelda series is known for being a game with a message. It is a tale of letting go of the past and washing away the bitterness of regret. A tale of not being held back by the circumstances of the present and living for the future to come.

However, The Wind Waker goes further than it is often given credit. The game conveys that life is not about simply remaining optimistic, but also that direct and proactive action must be taken to seize the desired future.

The Wind Waker also makes a distinction between truly earning the future of your dreams and trying to take it by force out of jealousy. The game uses the Kingdom of Hyrule as a metaphor for the ideal paradise, both the paradise that has been lost to the past and the paradise yet to be obtained in the future.

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Legend of Zelda rubber duckies

JenDecember 15th, 2013 by Jen

zii Link DuckThe website, Only Duck has been making custom made rubber duckies for a little over four years now. The creators have transformed many rubber ducks, including Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who (or Ducktor Who), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and much more! So what does this have to do with The Legend of Zelda? Read more to find out!

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Queen Gohma artwork

JenDecember 8th, 2013 by Jen

queen gohmaQueen Gohma is a famous Zelda boss. Her first main appearance in Ocarina of Time led to a similar boss in Twilight Princess called Armoghoma. Even though Queen Gohma is an enemy, that doesn’t stop people from creating fantastic pieces of artwork inspired by her!

Jump in to read more!

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Forza 5 Wind Waker Car

JenNovember 29th, 2013 by Jen

windwaker carForza 5 is a game about cars and racing. The new game for Xbox One only came out a few days ago, but already people have found an interesting way to put a little Zelda spin on it. Jump in to read more!

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17. The Legend of Zelda - A Link Between WorldsBefore the release of A Link Between Worlds, everybody was speculating where it took place on the official timeline. We knew from the fact that it was a sequel to A Link to the Past that it was set after it on the Downfall Timeline, and when we were told that it was a new generation of Link and Zelda and that the game was set centuries after A Link to the Past we all assumed that it must therefore be set after Link’s Awakening but before The Legend of Zelda. But according to some fans, A Link Between Worlds messes a few things up with this assumed placement. Now, Nintendo of America has released a Tweet that confirms A Link Between Worlds‘ timeline placement. Hit the jump to find out!

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EB Games Australia suffers preorder problems

CameronNovember 23rd, 2013 by Cameron

EB Games logoIt’s happened before, it’ll happen again, and it’s happening now: a game retailer taking too many preorders and not having enough stock to fulfill these orders. Hit the jump to find out what’s being done to remedy the situation this time.

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Is Staying Spoiler Free Worth it?

GuestNovember 21st, 2013 by Guest

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In an age where information spreads like wildfire on the internet, it’s easier than ever to keep up to date on the latest news related to unreleased games; for example, all the information on A Link Between Worlds! But is there a point where you can know too much about a game before it’s released? When does it start to actually affect your experience when you actually get to play it? Click the jump to find out!

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A-Link-Between-Worlds-Scene-Art-5 As we get closer and closer to the release of A Link Between Worlds, more and more sites are getting their hands on review copies of the game. Reviews have been nothing but good, with Game Informer going so far as to give it a 10/10! Well, I’ve got news for you, Destructoid is here to kill that streak. Just kidding!

Hit the jump to see what Destructoid had to say!

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Top 15 Cases of Nightmare Fuel in Zelda

Axle the BeastOctober 25th, 2013 by Axle the Beast

Halloween’s just around the corner, so I thought it was a good time to tackle a certain lovely little article topic: The top examples of “nightmare fuel” in Zelda. While this term can have a broader meaning that applies to anything scary or nightmare-inducing, I’m going with a specific version. In short, I’m covering things that were never meant to be scary, or scary to this degree, but certainly become highly disturbing when you think about them. I suppose you can look at it as fuel for nightmares as opposed to the stuff of nightmares! Creepypasta Wiki describes it best:

Sometimes, things that were never meant to be scary, end up being scary anyways. This notion is universally familiar to anyone who was ever scared by a toy, book, cartoon or whatever as a child, and because of such frightening experiences at such a young age, these can be just as, if not scarier than, the latest blockbuster horror movie. This is what we like to call “Nightmare Fuel.”

Not everything on this list was intended to be completely pleasant from the get-go, and in fact a few were supposed to be at least freaky, but in those cases I’m including them for the sake of their added horror factor when examined too closely. So, without further ado, let’s get to my top 15!

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Facing the Mistakes of Your Past

One of the chief strengths of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the contrast it makes between the worlds of childhood and adulthood. From a gameplay perspective there are differences in the inventory Link can utilize and the locations he can reach, as well as changes in the world and the characters around him.

On a thematic level, perhaps the game’s starkest contrast is that of childhood as a time of innocent and ignorant mistakes, compared to adulthood as a time of responsibility to face the consequences of our past actions.

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Before Skyward Sword, when Nintendo first showed us the fabulous Ghirahim, I wrote an article analyzing him and proposing possibilities as to who he might be. Now that we’ve had a similar reveal for A Link Between Worlds, I thought I’d do the same for the new villain. Maybe I’m making an assumption calling him the villain, but I can’t see any way he’s not! Aside from his obviously-villainous creepy face, this character’s key trait is that he looks like a clown or jester; the pants and shoes are like those you might see on a jester, he has the bright-colored hair and red lipstick of a clown, and his shirt and scepter also bring to mind a jester. He reminds me of Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy VI, and no matter who or what he is I imagine he’ll be a similar villain: A twisted psychopath, but also with some dark humor.

I have four possibilities I’d like to discuss for this villain, and they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive; if he’s any of these, he might be several! The possibilities are as follows:

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Zelda and Mythology: Dragons

Axle the BeastSeptember 27th, 2013 by Axle the Beast

This one was inevitable; I mean, what are dragons if not the single most well-known and popular mythical creature around? They show up all the time in modern fantasy stories and ancient myths alike, appearing in the beliefs and myths of many cultures worldwide. It seems everyone’s into large winged lizards with a little feline grace. Zelda, too, has an abundance of dragons, and more importantly their presence is rather obvious and not obscured like a lot of mythological elements in the series I’ve discussed. Their likeness and name alone have appeared quite often, from dungeons like the Dragon labyrinth in the original game and the Dancing Dragon Dungeon from Oracle of Seasons, to enemies who resemble them like the Ra from Adventure of Link. The term “dragon” can be traced back to words in Greek and Latin that denoted any large serpent, not just the creatures we now know as dragons.

What’s important to note is that there are two main variations of dragons: European and Chinese. The European dragons are the quadruped, bat-winged, spiky varieties most people are used to. European dragons were almost always evil until their appearances in modern fantasy, and of course were known for wreaking havoc, hording treasure, and making their home in caves. The Chinese dragon, on the other hand, is benevolent and even royal, used as a symbol by the emperor as they represent power, strength and good luck.

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Adding Detail and Believability to Zelda Worlds

Axle the BeastSeptember 13th, 2013 by Axle the Beast

One of the main things I’ve always wanted to see changed about the Zelda series is the level of detail the worlds in its games have. More so than some other adventure games I’ve played, Zelda has a tendency to have areas that feel… like they’re from a video game. I realize there are multiple confusing elements to that statement. The bottom line is that there’s usually two extreme kinds of video game: Arcade, and simulation. Arcade-style games don’t feel realistic at all, and instead they feel like they’re designed entirely to be a game. Simulation games mimic real life as much as possible. And then, of course, there’s everything in-between. Zelda has never been purely one or the other, but to me it’s always leaned more into the arcade category.

I suspect this is one of the reasons for disliking the series for many of its critics: That its environments and characters and general interactions tend to feel like those out of a video game, with clipped dialogue and locations that feel purely like products of game-design and not a believable world, something that the adventure genre seems to be moving away from these days. I wouldn’t know if that’s the prevailing reason the series is criticized or not since I’ve loved the Zelda series since I got introduced to it, but I do know that, as a Zelda fan, this is one weakness I always felt could be improved without damaging how conducive the series always has been for just plain old fun gameplay. I’ll elaborate throughout this article and talk about how I would apply this additional detail — and therefore more believability — to three specific aspects of any Zelda world.

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Everything We Know About The Wind Waker HD

Jessica CappsSeptember 10th, 2013 by Jessica Capps

tww-hd-gamescom-1-690x388 copyWith just a few weeks left to go until the release of The Wind Waker HD, along with these past few months comprised of emerging details, changes, interviews, bundles, and release dates, there may have been a handful of details you might have missed out on. And just in case you have, we’re here to fill you in on exactly everything we know.

Announced back in January this year on a Nintendo Direct, we anxiously awaited news of a brand new Zelda Wii U game, only to be surprised with a remake of The Wind Waker, in full out HD. Fortunately, anyone who never had the chance to experience the original Wind Waker on the GameCube as well as returning veterans, won’t be missing out on much thanks to both various improvements and installments for an overall enhanced experience on the Wii U. Hit the jump for all the details we know! Read more…

Escaping the Rule of Three

GaroXiconAugust 30th, 2013 by GaroXicon

Nintendo loves the number three. I can’t say I blame them; it’s a magic number, after all. When we think about sets, about grouping things together, there’s a sort of bizarre, inexplicable attraction to the number three. Movie franchises with only three films are exceptionally common, to the point that we even have a word for a set of three movies: Trilogy (the term “duology,” which is a set of two connected films or similar works, is hardly ever used, so sets of three tend to be seen as more important than sets of two). In some cases, franchises with more than three movies are still grouped into multiple sets of trilogies — look no further than the Original and Prequel Trilogies that comprise the Star Wars franchise. Movies themselves often follow a “three-act structure,” in conventional screenwriting wisdom.

Gaming, too, is not immune from the bizarre fixation on the number three, but it takes on a new form within the gameplay of many series. It’s called the “Rule of Three,” and refers to the tendency of game design to both group similar tasks into sets of three and require three repetitions of a singular task in order to accomplish a goal. For instance, in most Mario games, defeating a boss requires attacking their weak spot — usually by jumping on their head — three separate times. The Rule of Three isn’t an actual rule, but rather a coincidental tendency of game design to reflect the real fascination with the number. There is no concrete understanding of why the human mind tends to sort and group things in threes, but game design has embraced that tendency nonetheless. It’s a number that doesn’t feel too excessive, but nor does it feel too small. Hitting a boss three times as opposed to two (which would feel like too few) or four (which may feel like too many) can make a significant difference in the feel and flow of the game, so the Rule of Three is a good rule of thumb for these sorts of things.

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Despite my general opposition to remakes, recent news has even me a bit excited about The Wind Waker HD. Faster sailing, a reworked Triforce quest, increased Pictobox capacity, but mostly a new Hero Mode like that of Skyward Sword’s… Finally this game is confirmed to have some new additions that make me excited about it. That said, there are also a number of things missing from it. The Wind Waker is my least-favorite Zelda game and if I were to list off all the things I’d “fix” about it, we’d be talking a much more drastic overhaul than we’re seeing with The Wind Waker HD. As such, this list will only include additions that fall in line with the degree of the changes we’ve already seen announced; they’re additions I think could have easily been fit in with the collection of changes that the remake already features.

While unannounced additions to the remake may include entries on this list, I think further major announcements are unlikely with the release date so near. And hey, if anything on this list is announced, then consider that wish satisfied! So, without further ado, here’s my list of additions that should have been in The Wind Waker HD:

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The Evolution of Zelda Music

DjinnAugust 16th, 2013 by Djinn

800px-Oracle_of_Ages_Artwork_2The Legend of Zelda series, like many of the popular NES games of the 80’s, has expanded into newer territory and evolved with its gameplay, mechanics, and rich mythology. One of the most notable aspects of the series that has continued to change and evolve is its music. What began as an ordinary soundtrack that played along with the game just as any other at the time gained a high level of popularity as the series progressed. As later games came along, that popularity grew and grew, leading to that music’s transformation into a major game mechanic and, beyond that, a traveling concert. Fans enjoy more than the game, they enjoy the music and replaying its tracks themselves.

The main theme of the original Legend of Zelda was no less memorable than that of other major releases at the time, and soon became synonymous with the series. After a while, people easily recognized the tune even if they were not altogether familiar with the game. And some time later, the series evolved and placed more emphasis on music, with more themes to accompany more regions, then personal themes to accompany the characters. With no voice-acting present in the game, music became a very prominent element; moods are set with the tone of the music supplementing the text-only dialog. And in certain games, playing instruments, or just the presence of certain themes, began to have serious involvement with the gameplay and story.

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Quest_Story_4Indie developer Bertil Hörberg, best known for the iOS, Android and 3DS action platformer Gunman Clive, has a new game on the way. Much like how his last title, a western-themed side-scroller with stylized brown-tinted backdrops, borrowed many ideas from classic Mega Man, his next work seems to be a full-out tribute to The Legend of Zelda on NES.

Hit the jump to see how much this indie 3DS title resembles the very first game in Nintendo’s storied fantasy adventure series.

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Art styles are a pretty big deal among Zelda fans, but, while I have touched on the subject before in various articles and videos, I’ve never really dedicated an entire article to the topic. Until now that is. I’ve made no secret in the past of my general disappointment with Twilight Princess — I don’t hate the game by any means, but it did disappoint me when compared to most other Zelda games — and one of the biggest reasons for that was its art style. Now, a lot of people forget this but Twilight Princess did not have full-on realism; plenty of the aspects of past games’ anime style still show through in Twilight Princess, and there’s still familiar elements in the art style. But I don’t think anyone’s going to argue that it’s not the closest thing that exists right now to a realistic Zelda game.

“So what? The real world’s made of realism!” you might be yelling at your monitor. So, what is wrong with realism in the Zelda series? One of the arguments I’ve always made is that Zelda itself isn’t realistic; it’s a whimsical fantasy series with a lot of quirky elements. It’s kid-friendly, light-hearted, and stylized. It’s been that way since day one, with looks ranging from the stylized drawings of the early 2D games, the anime-inspired look of the N64 titles and Skyward Sword, and the cartoon style of The Wind Waker and the DS games. This is the tone and style that I identify the series with. Twilight Princess is the only game to break this mold — some would say Majora’s Mask did too, but I’ll get to that later — and while I wouldn’t mind a non-traditional title here and there, the idea that future games should use this style bothers me.

However, there’s certainly room for arguments against this notion of mine. For example: Realism can be whimsical too. For all the dark drama or horror live-action movies, you also have silly comedies and, well, fantasy movies! Twilight Princess isn’t automatically less whimsical because of its heightened realism, but rather because of its darker tone and duller, minimally colorful world. If there were a realistic Zelda game that did not drop the colors and make things as serious for as much of the game, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t regard it like I do Twilight Princess.

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Majora’s Mask is unquestionably a classic. It was released more than a decade ago on a console that’s now firmly cemented in people’s memories. It was the sequel to one of Nintendo’s greatest success stories, and it has been hailed by the fanbase as one of the greatest titles in its series — praise that’s not unwarranted considering its quality.

Considering its age and status, and the fact that it was only the eighth Zelda game ever released in what is now a 15-game series, it might also be tempting to think of it as a relic of a bygone era of Zelda games. There is, however, a fine line between the recently-released Skyward Sword and the classic Majora’s Mask, and it’s a line that seems to grow thinner the more we look into some of the fundamental ideas in these Zelda titles. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how instrumental Link’s Awakening was to the development of stories in Zelda games. If that’s the case, the transformation to the “modern” Zelda style may well have been fully realized over a decade ago.

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I think New Hyrule on the Adult Timeline would be the ideal setting for the next major Zelda release on home console. This is a sentiment I’ve expressed before on the Curiosity Shop, but I haven’t gone in-detail about it before now. New Hyrule is the land settled by Link and Tetra after The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, featured as the main setting of Spirit Tracks. I think there’s plenty of potential for this setting in another game. Before I get to explaining why, realize I don’t necessarily mean to limit this future game to the locations we saw in Spirit Tracks. There’s more potential for the setting and it’s concept than what we saw in one game, as I will get into.

Breaking Convention: New Setting, No Expectations

My first major reason ties directly into what little we know about Zelda Wii U right now. Zelda Wii U is going to be about breaking conventions. Specifically, Aonuma has discussed making the dungeon order more open and making it so there’s a way to interact with other players. The idea of breaking convention, and trying different things, would make New Hyrule a thematically perfect setting; though we have seen it in one game already, it’s still a new land, and largely uncharted territory.

While The Wind Waker ended with the idea that Link and Tetra would find and pioneer a new land, neither Phantom Hourglass nor Spirit Tracks really capitalized on the concept; Spirit Tracks simply took place within a pre-discovered land. The idea of an uncharted new continent is still an unexplored concept, ripe for use in Zelda Wii U and other future games.

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The last article I wrote began with a call to arms for Nintendo. They were being left behind in the new culture of gaming, I said, because of their reliance on gameplay to the detriment of their story. I pitched a grand vision of a single Link’s tale concluding in the upcoming game A Link Between Worlds. I talked about how they should allow that story to connect with the gameplay by allowing players to traverse a Hyrule changed since the events of A Link to the Past, and allow players to experience the strangeness of being in a familiar but changed land just as Link does in the game’s story.

Further information has since come out that has made that possibly less likely (though still possible, and I continue to hope!), as it was confirmed that A Link Between Worlds is not a direct sequel. Though it was received with muttering and minimal discussion, I fear that this news is yet another symptom of a sickness that has been plaguing the Zelda franchise for quite some time now. This sickness is the reason for the franchise dropping out of mainstream gaming conversation. This sickness, I believe, is responsible for the disappointing sales of Skyward Sword.

Today, we’re going to talk about just what this sickness is, why it’s affecting the franchise, and how the franchise can cure itself of the affliction.

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