On January 8th Nintendo applied for a new patent with the inventor crediting to being our beloved Shigeru Miyamoto. This could very well be a huge hint as to what the next Zelda title will be like.
I have yet to read through the entire Patent because it is really quite long and detailed. However, our friends at Zelda Elements did so and posted a brief summary of what it really means.
The patents name is ‘King Code’ and is a system that is split into three modes, Game, Digest, and Scene Menu. Game is the standard play through of a game but there is a ‘hint’ button on screen that the player can click to get a video hint for a puzzle within the game. Digest is where the gamer can watch a pre-recorded play through of the game, much like a video walkthrough. The gamer can switch back between Game mode and Digest mode. The third mode is Scene Mode, which will allow a player to a select a scene from the game and replay it.
As reported by Zelda Elements, a lot of the wording within the posts designates its for a Zelda game. Many of the image diagrams show a swordsman walking in what appears to be a field, and some of these diagrams refer to the game as ‘Legend of OO’. I cannot seem to be able to access the images, but Zelda Elements uploaded one at their website and it can be found here.
This looks like an attempt to bring the casual fan to the Zelda series, while also keeping the games difficulty intact for the hardcore fan. I’ve seen something remotely similar in a PS3 game where the press of a button would create a transparent red line, guiding you down the correct path that you must go. While I’m sure for Zelda, it will be different, I think the purpose is to make Zelda games quicker and easier. I think this will cause many gamers, even hardcore gamers, to use these hints, and the game will become very linear and less open. I also think this is something that more video games will be doing in the future, having these built in strategy guides, making it easier for the gamer to progress in the game without having to buy a strategy guide or look online. Lastly, I think something like this being made available really opens the eyes as to what the next Zelda game could possibly be like, and I think it gives us Zelda fans more things to think about as we wait impatiently. Feel free to post your thoughts of this at the forums.