Four Ways to Make Shops Important in Zelda Again
Hello everyone, this is ChargewithSword here, bringing in his first article about the shops of Zelda games. Lately as of most recent Zelda titles, the shops have become useless. This isn’t something that I’d call a big problem, but I find it to be a little annoying when you consider how you have thousands of rupees in your bags but nothing to spend them on. It sometimes makes you wonder why you have these things in the start. You buy something there once and then you ignore the shop for the rest of the game unless there is an especially desired item available. This makes the shops seem like an extraneous and unnecessary addition to the games, and recently it has been true. It is here that I wish to discuss my concerns and suggestions on how we can escalate their use.For beginners worth, have fewer items be present around the overworld. Now I know what you want to say, “What if I run out of items while doing something important?” Yes, that is a problem, but I have a possible solution, why not have limits on where you can get items? Have it so that the closer you are to shops the fewer items will appear in the grass or in the bodies of enemies. Also, to help this situation, have warps near shop centers so that way you won’t be allowed to use a warp to instantaneously grind for items. This allows the player to pay more attention to the shops rather than avoiding them like in certain situations of Majora’s Mask where there were two shops that were shoved off to the side and you could care less about going into them.
Another thing to do is to have more items consume magic. If you have more items that consume magic and less big bottles in the grass then you’ll most likely be using magic potions again. How many of you bought blue potions in Alttp because you didn’t want your magic to run low, but wanted to get some health on the side just in case? That little trick had you running back to the magic shop often times I bet. Incorporate something like this and shop’s definitely have a use in our games. If you make magic be an important part of a dungeon or a boss fight you would also give players a good reason to buy potions just for emergencies. Also, these magical items should be the sort that resemble Nayru’s love, or the Cane of Brynna where they constantly consume your magic while being useful at the same time.
Input items that are similar to the magic rings of the Oracle games. If there was one thing in the Oracle games that you spent your money on, it was magic rings. They offered a good way to up your skills in your own way, while also working as a collector’s item. These rings would also take a good amount of your money (unless you got the same one.) This kept you going back to the ring shop again and again, hoping to get your new power up.
Have spending on items be rewarding. One thing I always remember is Beedle’s Ship Shop and how he always gave you a reward if you bought enough items. Though the rewards were pretty bad, it was an interesting concept that had me going to his shop for supplies. Perhaps this could be reworked in the future to give you some better rewards, like a discount maybe, or special items. For starters, remember the magic armor from Wind Waker? Perhaps it could’ve been a reward for spending enough money on items rather than being the object of a side quest. However the problem with this little method is that people could abuse it to their own skulduggery. However that could be solvable by having the item not be especially easy to gain. During the begging of the game have rupees be of less exorbitance, and then when you are at least past three dungeons have them grow in abundance.
Auction houses should also make a return. Auctioning stuff is like shops but can also help simply because of the fun factor in auctioning for a rare item. There are situations in Wind Waker where I also remember having to auction multiple times because I wanted to get a piece of Heart or a Sailing chart. This made me often come back for more and spend rupees like a mad man. Auctions are definitely something that could help bring a bit of buzz to the trading system.
Now we shall get to the important part: Things not to do.
You must consider the player in this extravaganza as well. You must consider that there are ways to improve the shop that might look good on paper, but at the same time might not help in real life.
For starters, one must not have plot related items be bought at horrendously expensive pricing. Yes, I am referring to none other than this punk here to the left.
If you did not hate this guy and his accursed prices then you are lying. Tingle offered to translate your plot related charts at very horrendous prices that had you going back and forth for rupees. Instead of enhancing the shopping experience, Tingle boggled it down by making you having to go back and forth, searching for a currency that you might have dried up from the Great Sea at that point if you were interested in searching.
Another thing is to not have certain shops sell only one really important item. These things take up space and really don’t offer you much, often time. Then if they do offer an important item, you really don’t know about it unless you go there by chance. I am mostly pointing towards this situation in A Link to the Past where you need to get the super bomb in order to open the crack in the pyramid of power. You go to the bomb shop the first time and see nothing of interest so eventually you just leave. Later in the game, the powerful super bomb becomes available, but you don’t know that unless you randomly visit at one point. This is especially harrowing when you need the Silver Arrows to defeat Ganon.
Any way, there is a plethora of ways to make shops useful in Zelda again. The problem is that Nintendo doesn’t use them. Also, I bet many of you are wondering why I would care about this; I suppose it is because better shops would make the experience seem a little more dire in Zelda games and could up the difficulty if you are forced to shop at a long distance instead of just grabbing stuff out of grass and pots.