What’s Lost in The Legend of Zelda

Magic!This article from IGN is another great look at all that has been forgotten over the course of the series. IGN is producing a lot of Zelda content and they attribute it to 2011 being ‘The Year of Zelda’. This latest article is an exploration of some of lost attributes of older Zelda titles.

While the article is very nostalgic, recalling spells, power ups, difficulty and a jump button, they have no in depth explanation of how to implement these 2D elements into newer console games. I think that while this article is correct on a few cases, it is just pure nostalgia with no thought into what the effects of reimplementing these mechanics into newer titles would be. Here’s what they had to say about power ups:

Everybody remembers the Starman in the Super Mario Bros. series. It’s been around from the very first game and still shows up as a collectible item in that franchise’s newest sequels too – it’s a bouncing, shining, smiling star that, when touched, makes Mario completely unstoppable. Enemies can’t hurt him. He defeats them instantly with just a touch. He’s all powerful.

For a little while, anyway. The effect only lasts for a few seconds, after which Mario goes back to being a normal old vulnerable plumber. Interestingly, some early Zelda games held a couple of similar ideas. Not an Invincibility Star like Mario’s, but a couple of other items that also gave Link vastly improved abilities that only took effect for a limited time.


Would these old ideas work again in today’s modern Zeldas? Maybe, though the Clock concept [from Zelda 1] would probably be re-imagined as a permanent item that would drain a magic meter with usage and the Piece of Power might not feel quite as incredible in a 3D game. But as a more modern Zelda, Majora’s Mask came close to revisiting this concept – w[ith] its intentionally overpowered Fierce Deity Mask that made that game’s final battle a total breeze to complete.

It is my belief that these items would only contribute to making the game easier, and let’s face it, they’ve been getting easier with time. The author even recognizes later in the article that difficulty is another lost feature of Zelda titles. While they mention implementing power ups, they only briefly state one way to do it. I do like the idea of using the magic meter, but power ups don’t really come in the form of drop items. It’s more common, as the article states, to use improved items such as new sword techniques and upgrades such as a bigger quiver or a second bomb bag. I also fear that power ups would take away from the adventure side of Zelda titles and make them more focused on action and platforming.

But what is your opinion? Do you think power ups should be revisited in Zelda games? Do you want any of the other mechanics to be reimplemented? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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