The Zelda series has introduced many innovative and enjoyable game play
elements which have then been reused in future titles. From the mighty
Hero’s Bow to the common Bomb, many items and actions have appeared in
almost every Zelda game due to popularity and story continuation.
However, why is it that one of the most original and exciting features,
the Sword Beam, has been omitted from the series?
The Sword Beam function was first introduced in The Legend of Zelda.
When at maximum health, Link would fire sword-shaped lasers form the
tip of his blade which acted as effective projectiles. This offered an
alternative to those masterful enough to keep themselves out of danger,
and these beams offered the perfect alternative to using precious arrow
ammo. Almost every Zelda fan loved this invention: the ability to shoot
down Octorok’s, Tektite’s and Moblin’s with lasers from Link’s sword
from across the screen. Due to popularity, this original game play
technique re-appeared in many future games: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening, the Oracles games, Four Sword Adventures and The Minish Cap.
However, all of these titles have been 2D games, where the world of
Hyrule was viewed from above. Why is it that the prestigious Sword Beam
has not been included in 3D titles, such as Ocarina of Time?
There were rumours that the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time
would be able to shoot beams when Link was at full health, but the game
offered no such feature. Instead, Zelda fans were given the Spin
Attack, another previously used technique. While the Spin Attack was an excellent addition to Link’s
arsenal in the 3D environment, it was not the Sword Beam that many fans dreamed of wielding
while trekking through Hyrule Field or Ganon’s castle. Nintendo
accepted that fans wanted to see a traditional game play element return
to the series, and so they decided to incorporate the Sword Beam into
the sequel of Ocarina of Time: Majora’s Mask. However,
fans were once again disappointed. The function was only available at
the very end of the game to players who had collected all the masks and
obtained the Fierce Deity Mask.
Nintendo has often tried to
improve on elements that they felt were underdeveloped, flawed or
simply repetitive. Some items throughout the series have been revamped,
such as the Gale Boomerang, and many dungeon designs have been through
major changes. Unfortunately, the Sword Beam was not worked on and was
never seen again in a 3D Zelda title. I for one am disappointed in
Nintendo. They knew that they had created an original attack that fans
enjoyed, yet they have not put in the effort to implement this creation
properly into a 3D Zelda game. Zelda Wii is fast approaching, and with
the likelihood of the Wii Motion Plus being used in the game, the
Sword Beam could be yet another fantastic use of the Wii’s innovative