In another recent interview with Eiji Aonuma, the topic of modernization in the Legend of Zelda series had come up. With the Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks utilizing a train as its main form of transportation, one must ask themselves, where does it end? Guns? Planes? Space Travel?
Technology actually was not a major concern for us when we decided to use the train. In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, the boat was the key mode of transportation. Now that Spirit Tracks takes place on land, we needed a new way for players to get around, and felt that the train offered the best sense of exploration and discovery. We don’t think it feels out of place in the game world. Trains are also a popular mode of transportation in Japan. My children and I still feel a great sense of adventure when we ride trains in Japan.
Regarding use of other forms in technology in the future, as long it adds to the overall game experience and is something we feel the player would enjoy, we wouldn’t be afraid to implement it. As a matter of fact, we have used the Hook Shot in several previous games, which would be considered a very modern type of technology, even by today’s standards.
I’m with Eiji on this one. I don’t think that added technology or modernization distracts gamers from the actual game… as long as it is implemented properly. I had no issue with the steam boat from Phantom Hourglass, as it just seemed to fit. I cannot seem to visualize the Legend of Zelda series using cars or guns, or anything overly modernized… but who knows. If you asked me five years ago I might have thought a steam boat and a train were crazy ideas.
For the full interview, check out the article at Kotaku