Hey everyone and welcome to the latest edition of Gossip Stone! This week we are going to be discussing what really makes a good dungeon. A lot of planning must go into making the dungeons in the Legend of Zelda games, and more often than not we are left with great results– although sometimes we have a dungeon that’s a little less than extraordinary.
I’ve got a few points to cover today so without further ado, let’s begin!
For starters, I believe that the inclusion of puzzles is a key element in the design of a good dungeon. Nintendo can’t just throw random block puzzles all over the place, though. We need the puzzles to be easy to grasp at first and then slowly work their way up to something along the lines of the ice block puzzle in Twilight Princess. A lot of people hated that puzzle, and that’s what made it good; a puzzle that leaves you stumped for a while is great because when you finish it, the feeling of satisfaction you get from clearing the challenge is amazing. Another good example of a puzzle is the Water Temple in its entirety. It’s a difficult dungeon for most, and while it does get frustrating having to change the water levels so often, the sense of fulfillment you get after delivering the final blow to Morpha, signalling the end of the water temple is once again just great.
Now let’s move onto the enemies that inhabit the dungeons in the Zelda universe. I would definitely agree that enemies play a vital role in the game and especially in the dungeons. Without enemies, what would we be left with? A bunch of puzzles? Sure puzzles are great and all, but wouldn’t that get old real quick? Having to fight off enemies around you is great, especially the more challenging enemies.
Bosses are also really important. We have yet to see a dungeon without an interesting boss as its guardian. We have always impaled our sword into the body of a giant or powerful creature, then grabbed the heart piece that lied in its remains. That is when we know we have truly completed a dungeon.
So what do you guys think is the most important element when it comes to dungeon design? What do you believe makes a dungeon truly up to Zelda standards? Give us your answer in the comments section below!