Disclaimer: This article is completely my opinion and does not reflect the opinion of the site as a whole. If you wish to express your displeasure or opinions on the subject, please do so in the comments.
Zelda Wii has been a long time coming. Actually, it is a long time coming. It’s been two and a half years since Twilight Princess came out, the last real Zelda game. In those two and a half years, we’ve gotten Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks was announced, and there have been some vague references to Zelda Wii. Apparently, we will not be hearing the true details about Zelda Wii until E3 2010, so let’s SIT TIGHT guys. This game should be pretty fucking good. Or so I’d hope. Here’s what it will need to be in order to be epic.
Super Mario Galaxy had orchestrated music. Twilight Princess almost did, much to Kōji Kondō‘s displeasure. Kōji cited two reasons why Twilight Princess did not have orchestrated music:
Generally Kōji writes the music after the gameplay had already been finished, but by the time the trailer had come out not enough of the game had been finished and he decided there was not enough time for a fully orchestrated soundtrack. Thus, the music was sequenced instead.
Orchestrated music, to him, has a lack of versatility (ie. it takes more work to make it flow into battles and such) so Kōji was too lazy -er, Kōji decided that sequenced music was more versatile.
Well, those two reasons are basically now stupid answers. We have all seen Super Mario Galaxy. The music was beautiful and I believe wholeheartedly that Zelda deserves this treatment as well. Zelda music is gorgeous, but using orchestrated music will elevate it to a whole new level.
2.A (somewhat) open world
This is one thing I’ve always felt Zelda is missing. “Oh, you see those trees over there? Yeah, the cliff under them is too high, sorry, you can’t go there.” I’ve always hated that, even when I was 10. It doesn’t need to be completely open world Twilight Princess came really, really close to but there needs to be something like mountains or huge bodies of water to be keeping me from going places, not just-barely high enough cliffs that I can’t see to walk through. Also, I’ve always disliked the lack of walkable forest in Zelda. There are plenty of fields to walk around, but forests, oh no no, can’t go in them. Please, Nintendo, let us walk in the forest.
3.More side stories
I think everyone can see what’s coming here. Yes, I want more Majora’s Mask. I want side stories where I actually care for the people I’m helping. Twilight Princess had some lame bug catching thing which I honestly never finished, because it got old really fast. It also had the Poe catching, which was fun but also was annoyingly repetitive and very little reason to do it other than saving some greedy guy who really doesn’t deserve to be saved.
The side stories, while still being side stories, need some sort of relevance while still being meaningful. I’ll agree that side stories are just that, on the side things that don’t need to be done but I think the whole point of them is to make it feel like they should be done. That there is more to them then just the reward at the end. Really, in Majora’s Mask, all I got for saving Anju and Kafei was a single mask but it was worth every bit of work because I actually cared for these two people and I was happy when I reunited them for their, perhaps, last moment. Side stories need to have these motivations and the more of them, the better because it makes the game feel more alive and immersive which I believe should be the goal of all games, Zelda or not.
4.A Darker Story
Zelda stories, with the slight exception of Majora’s Mask, have always been a little on the light hearted side. While I can understand the sentiment, Nintendo needs to realize a bit that those people who once played A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time when they were younger are now a bit older and generally don’t go for the “save the princess” stories anymore. That kind of story is okay in Mario, but Zelda has progressed past that point.
By darker, I certainly do not mean blood, gore, and guts. Definitely not at all. I mean it needs to have more menace and foreboding in it. Twilight Princess has two good places where it came close to this, the Twilight Realm and Zant. Both, from the beginning, were very real and big problems but they were different. The Twilight Realm was a big, in-your-face sort of problem. It was “scary” but it was also very visible and honestly, easily taken care of. Zant, on the other hand, was a very behind-your-back problem. He rarely showed his face and when he did, it was mostly when he wanted to kick your ass. But, at other times, he was just a creeping menace that did not go away, even when the Twilight was. Unfortunately, they ruined him.
They ruined him a couple ways. They basically wussied him up but making him seem less menacing and more like a child with a playtoy instead. The other way was by allying him with Ganon. As mentioned by Nate in his article, Ganon has lost his luster. Sure, he is evil, but he’s just not scary anymore. Adding Ganon in there as Zant’s “Master” took all the fear we might haveve held for Zant and stripped it away because if he is Ganon’s puppet, then he certainly poses very little threat to us now.
All in all, Zelda Wii just needs to tackle some more mature questions. What those questions should be, I’m not sure. I don’t want meaning of life stories and honestly, I’m not really sure what I want. But I just want to be playing the game, and know that one wrong step could mean my life.
5.A Shifting Story
Zelda needs to take some notes from Bioware games. I don’t mean copy them exactly, but I want some options in my game. They don’t even need to be huge. Take for example we walk into a dungeon perhaps at the beginning of the game. It’s a fairly linear dungeon, but there is a separate section to it that is maybe a prison of sorts. I could easily go through the dungeon, ignore the prison section, go to the boss, and get my heart. Or I could go into the prison, which I would imagine could be significantly harder then the main dungeon, fight another sub-boss or even full-fledged boss and save the people in the prison. Then, later in the game, these people I saved could be in a city or in other dungeons and offer to help me in some way.
Something like that would be fantastic for me. My main reason for wanting it is to give me more of a hero feeling. As much as saving the whole goddamn world does make me feel happy in the end, those little moments make you feel just that more or less heroic. I don’t think Zelda should have an evil and good dichotomy at all. Mostly because Link really can’t be evil; just more of a hero with a really, really heroic feel. This could certainly fit in with point number 3 as well.
6.Play as someone other than Link
Okay, before I get all of you gnawing on my arm in anger, I do not mean the whole time. One thing I’ve always thought would be very cool in Zelda is to give us an outside view of our actions. Zelda has always been a first-person game in terms of story. All we see is Link, and only his point of view. But imagine if at some point we play as someone else entirely and see our actions unfold when we were playing as Link. I’m not even exactly sure how this would work, really, but I think it would still be really, really cool.
7.Give a larger sense of time
Again, this is breaking a tradition of Zelda where time really doesn’t matter (other than Majora’s Mask… again) but I think this is one thing Zelda has always been missing. Days go by in game, and very little happens. Everyone’s sitting in the same place. People don’t really change their daily plans, other than the side quests you can do on the side, but all in all, the world has hardly changed.
What would be really cool in Zelda Wii is to give us a calender of sorts. We should be able to see time passing, see seasons go by, even go so far as to see people grow older. As much as I’d like to believe it, I honestly don’t see me saving the world in a week. As proved in Majora’s Mask, it takes much longer then 7 game days to beat it.
What I would suggest is time go by fairly quickly, like MM, where say 1 hour is a day, have Link start as a teenager and even grow older as time goes by. The towns could build bigger, set up houses, plant flowers and watch them grow. For the sake of sanity, though, they should give us a way to make time move faster or skip days. Obviously, this would take a lot of work and really, I don’t see this happening. But seriously, how cool would this be.
I read one time that Miyamoto was attempting to make Ocarina of Time much more interactive in terms of the world. Some examples were cutting down trees, and they’d never grow back or putting a footprint in dirt and it’d stay there for days in-game. It was cut out, unfortunately, because of the use of Cartridges instead of disks for the N64. So, these ideas were removed.
But, NO, Miyamoto, don’t let those ideas die! Bring them back and use them. This sort of thing would be easy to do now that we have internal memory and disks. So, DO IT. Seriously.
9.Bring back magic
I know in Twilight Princess, they removed magic at the last minute for… whatever reason, I don’t know. It was probably stupid. But no, bring it back, please. Magic was one of the coolest things about Ocarina of Time and not including it in Twilight Princess was a really, really stupid idea. Please do not do that again.
I want more things to play with. Not necessarily things that are required for the game, but items that are really cool and do really cool things. Sure, we can have our boomerang, our bow and arrow, etc, etc. But I want MORE. There needs to be more random stuff to play with. The whole idea behind this is that these items could be non-essential, hard to get, but could make the game easier or more interesting and interactive to play. An example of this was the wand thing given to Link in Twilight Princess that brought statues to life. This thing, in idea, was really nifty but ultimately, very bland. But, if instead they had made it a sort of side item that could be acquired to make the sky temple easier, and less of a major item, then it would’ve seemed cooler. Either that or they could’ve made it so it made all inanimate objects controllable. Either would’ve worked for me.
But, with Zelda’s lack of cheat codes, I think items like this could make the game more fun to play, while still giving a balance of easier gameplay with more work.
My final wish, while not something it “should have” is: PLEASE do not rush it – I want Zelda Wii. You want Zelda Wii. We all really, really want Zelda Wii. But I am willing to wait. My philosophy here is that the more we wait, the better it will be. As much as I want it now, I also want it to be good and pushing it out is a really bad idea. Twilight Princess was rushed out, and it ended up, at least to me, feeling like an unfinished game. Zelda Wii could be so much more then this.
This time, there is little rush other than the millions of fans who really want it. But who wants a shitty game? I know I don’t so I am willing to give them their time to make it fantastic. Until then, I’m an anxiously waiting for some information other than “he’s not holding a sword, ooooooOOoooo!”