Posted on December 30 2014 by Jeffrey Edelstein
Several weeks ago, the ZI Podcast toyed with the idea of amiibo support in Zelda U. Lo and behold, Shigeru Miyamoto himself hinted at the use of the NFC figurines in the upcoming Wii U title. While there is little to suggest that the figures will be necessary to enjoy the game, their addition would certainly be appreciated. The question is: how should this be done?
In terms of which of the ever-growing variety of Nintendo characters should be used, it seems obvious the ones from the Zelda series should be included. At the very least, it is a must that Link is compatible; considering his immense popularity, I’d be shocked if someone who purchases Zelda U does not own a Link figure by the time of the game’s release next year. This would also be an excellent way to add to the increasing number of uses of the figure, increasing its value to those still on the fence. As for the other Zelda characters, Sheik and Toon Link seem less likely choices than Zelda and Ganondorf, and the former two have not returned to a main entry since Ocarina of Time and are not the proper representation of Link in this title, respectively.
It is, however, worth noting that the current Link amiibo is the part of the “Super Smash Bros. Series” of amiibo. As such, it is fully within the realm of possibility that a brand new Link amiibo is released before or alongside Zelda U. If the popularity of the amiibo figures is still intact by the time of the game’s arrival, this would be an excellent way to usher in a new, smaller wave of figures with a more specific target demographic than Super Smash Bros. for Wii and Nintendo 3DS.
So what are possible uses for the figures? Going on their integration thus far with Hyrule Warriors, they could unlock extra weapons, ideally not necessary to complete the game. If Zelda U‘s use of amiibo follows Hyrule Warriors‘ even more closely, this opens up the possibility of using amiibo from other series and simply having them unlock rupees or materials (i.e. for crafting and upgrading weapons, if that feature from Skyward Sword is retained). If, however, the use of the figures is constrained to Link alone, this opens the door for a personalized adventure, with you and “your” Link.
What if additional mini-dungeons, puzzles, or sidequests were enabled through the use of your Link figure? Moreover, if that particular unlock is registered to your unique figure, perhaps the use of your friends’ Link(s) would unlock even more. If an approach less akin to DLC is taken, I could see the creation of a multiplayer experience of sorts, in which other Links carry a “ghost” of sorts, providing hints or support to your character as you progress through a dungeon. While this might not be for everyone, it would be an interesting attempt to bring back the feeling of the older games when friends, not walkthroughs, were the best source of game guidance.
Until we get the official word from Miyamoto or Eiji Aonuma and his team at E3 or in a Nintendo Direct, we can only speculate as to how important amiibo will be to Zelda U. What do you want out of your amiibo in this game? Should the feature be minimized as to not penalize players who aren’t amiibelievers, or should it be maximized to reward the fans who are looking to game with their Link by their side? Should a new Link amiibo be created just for this experience? Join the Daily Debate!
Art Source: Rockxass