Posted on September 29 2018 by Sean Gadus
The Legend of Zelda has long manipulated and changed the way its central character moves and how the player interacts with the game environment.
Ocarina of Time added the ability to ride the horse Epona, a mechanic that sped up travel and offered a different viewpoint to players who had trudged long hours on foot. Majora’s Mask followed its predecessor by adding a distinct movement strategy for each of the three new forms that Link has access to. Goron Link had the ability to roll, Deku Link floated on his flower, and Zora Link swam gracefully through the water, which gave water travel a much needed shot of adrenaline.
With the release of The Wind Waker, Nintendo upended the conventions of Zelda with its sailing mechanic, an essential aspect of the game that helped define it, whether you loved it or hated it (I loved it). Twilight Princess introduced the concept of Wolf Link, a form swifter than Link’s human form, but slower than Epona. The GameCube/Wii title also included a leaping mechanic in certain sections with Midna.
Skyward Sword brought the concept of flight to life with the Loftwings. Unfortunately, the mechanic didn’t get to shine due to the somewhat lackluster design and implementation of the sky areas. With the exception of the glorious Levias battle, the mechanic was sadly underused. Finally, Breath of the Wild revolutionized the series with its climbing ability and glider, once again changing how players understand movement/space in the Zelda series.
I am still hoping that Nintendo will finally release a true successor to The Wind Waker (with Breath of the Wild‘s art style and game play), which would implement sailing on the scale of a modern over world and redefine the idea of sailing.
Which systems of movement do you want to see return in the next Zelda game? Is there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Art by Dario CiVon