Posted on January 15 2018 by Andy Spiteri
With the turning of a year comes the promise of new beginnings. The time to eat healthier, maybe hit the gym more. The time to go on the big trip you’ve always wanted to go on. The time to actually finish the fifty-seven games you bought last year during the Steam Christmas sale but never actually got around to playing. The time… for New Year’s Resolutions.
Of course, being that we’re already two weeks into January, it’s fair to say that many New Year’s Resolutions have already went down the toilet, but never-the-less, the staff here at Zelda Dungeon have hand picked and want to share a few resolutions of their own.
I won’t bore anybody with my own personal resolutions (spoiler: I’ve yet to hit the gym in 2018), so to spice things up, the staff have written their resolutions as if they were The Legend of Zelda series. Zelda had a pretty incredible 2017, with Breath of the Wild releasing to unanimous critical acclaim, selling millions of units, and filling up it’s Game of the Year trophy rack to capacity.
Still, there’s always room for improvement.
Below, you will get a glimpse into the minds of the experts that make Zelda Dungeon tick, as they tell you what they hope to see from Zelda in 2018.
Taylor Wells, Original Content Editor
To improve upon the formula established by Breath of the Wild and expand on the storytelling. While Breath of the Wild was a very beautiful game with major improvements and innovations to the mechanics that make a Zelda game what it is, I felt the story lacked a depth that previous titles like Skyward Sword and A Link to the Past did not. Now that Nintendo has proven to itself that it can accomplish open-world gameplay with Zelda, it’s time to bring the same depth of story that other similar games in the genre have.
Bobby Chichester, Senior Editor
If I was the Zelda franchise in 2018, I’d aim to put a much larger focus on characters. A story is driven by its characters, and the Zelda franchise is often lacking in character depth and growth. While some characters are much more important to a narrative, there are often characters that fall by the wayside, such as Mipha, Daruk, the other Champions, Zant (who didn’t get enough of the development he needed to make a compelling villain), and even Demise! Far too often the narrative follows Link, and only Link. By not giving lore or information on the background of other characters, they feel bland or boring.
Peter Lowes, News Editor
Incorporate an upgrade system into the series. This may seem weird, but in actuality makes sense. The way I envision this being done is allowing the player to gain upgrade points every time they level up, allowing the player to unlock and learn the skills like those seen in Twilight Princess. Also, dual wielding. I wanna be able to use the starter sword without thinking that it’s a useless pile of junk after I get the Master Sword!
Adam Barham, Original Content Editor
To revitalize the classic music that fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise have come to know and love. While Breath of the Wild brought a few new quality tracks to the series, it didn’t feature as much music as games past. And so many classic tracks, such as the Song of Storms, Song of Time, Gerudo Valley, and many more, haven’t been included in any Zelda games in years. They deserve to be showcased again.
Michaela El-Ters, Associate Editor
While I love seeing the Zelda series continue to grow and innovate with each installment, I also appreciate the homages to the beginning of the series, whether it’s through faithful remakes or incorporating references to the older games. For this year, I would love to see a culmination of innovation and homage in the form of remakes or sequels to classics we already love, with new, modernized features that make it unique without taking away from the charm that makes the Zelda series what it is. Like that rumored Link’s Awakening remake…
Calamity Siothrún, Managing Editor
To boldly take Hyrule where it’s never been before by actually improving on the parts that lacked in previous entries, such as making sure music in the next game is more than an awesome theme song and then very little in terms of music after that. Or, I would look at what went right in the most recent entry, such as the dynamics of Zelda’s character in Breath of the Wild, and tie that into a slightly more concrete story. Something less “legend-y” and more in lines of an epic.
Alexis Anderson, Senior Editor
Being that Breath of the Wild released last year and is done with DLC (as far as we know), I’m not expecting much from Zelda in 2018. But, because I’m disappointed by the lack of this in the most recent Nintendo Direct, if I were the series, I’d resolve to begin work on a 3DS remake of Link’s Awakening. The game was lightning in a bottle, in my opinion, so a spiritual sequel would probably fail to capture the magic of the original. The series should seek to recreate the game with modern visuals, slightly improved character interaction, tweaked dungeons, and new sidequests. If I’m the Zelda series, I resolve to start crafting Link’s Awakening 3D.
Savannah Gault, Original Content Editor
For me personally, I believe one of the things that needs to happen is for the characters to be fleshed out a little more. While Breath of the Wild went in that direction, and we got more insight on Princess Zelda and Link, I wished we had gotten to know the Champions a little better. (Except Revali… ’cause we already know he’s just a jerk.)
I believe that the main characters for future Zelda titles should be well thought out and have better dialogue, in ways that would make them more memorable for us. Adding to that, I would love for us to get more backstory on the Royal Family and perhaps even Link’s family as well.
Jarrod Raine, Senior Editor
One of the best parts about Twilight Princess was the different combat options you unlocked throughout the game via the hidden skills, which were pretty useful. When I first saw the trailer for Breath of the Wild that included the Shield Parry and Flurry Rush, I was hoping to see that sort of combat return in the game. While Breath of the Wild’s combat isn’t bad and made for some interesting encounters, it could have been better if we had different ways to fight enemies like we did with Twilight Princess. As such, I’m hoping to see the next Zelda installment give the player more combat options in a Breath of the Wild-style game.
Bob Aquavia, Associate Editor
Keep. Moving. Forward. Breath of the Wild was a massive shift within the Zelda framework, like Ocarina was with the shift from 2D to 3D. I imagine the next game will take what Breath of the Wild did well and run with it, but they need to make sure they keep their level of quality and take out what didn’t work (*cough* weapon durability *cough*).
Also, I’m hoping Zelda goes against the trend and doesn’t get anywhere near loot boxes/microtransactions. The DLC they’ve released is good, but the more important thing is that the game was complete out of the box; all the DLC was gravy, not parts of the game that were supposed to be in there in the first place.
Alasyn Eletha, Copy Editor
To produce a more compelling Zelda. Most of my friends know that I adore the Zelda franchise, but don’t much care for Zelda as a character. I find that I can only tolerate a couple of them, and that’s only because they seem to add more to the game, to Link’s growth as the hero and the overall story. In 2017, I was really looking forward to seeing a more fleshed out Zelda in Breath of the Wild, based on how much she seemed to be in the game. Unfortunately, she was dull and predictable. Her only defining traits were her whiny-ness and, once again, her role as damsel in distress.
If I am The Legend of Zelda in 2018, my resolution is to reinvent Zelda as a more complex character, give her a more compelling role in the series, and to branch away from the tired, old trope of using her character as a pawn to spur Link into action.
Michelle Garcia, News Editor / Social Media Manager
Personally, I would like to see more involvement of the Royal Family of Hyrule in a game’s story. Yes, we see Princess Zelda and the crucial role she plays in saving Hyrule and aiding Link, and we also get to see the King of Hyrule play an important role in a variety of games, but we don’t get to see the Queen of Hyrule or her role in the story. That is something I would love to see in future Zelda games. I think that seeing the mother-figure of Princess Zelda and leading woman of the Hylian Kingdom would be something amazing and mind-blowing. This might even give us more of an insight on the Royal Family and how the teachings of their sacred power is passed down to the next generation.
Finally, I would also love to see more music that is similar to Breath of the Wild’s soundtrack. I think the soft and quiet music in the new game deserves much more love and appreciation from fans and players. I know that the composers will continue to work their magic and give us even more beautiful music to listen to.
Kristen G. Rosario, Copy Editor
It occurs to me that this generation hasn’t played a whole lot of the classic titles. Sure, we had re-releases of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess, but we need to go further. Back to a time when Zelda had its best run of 2D classics. Back to when relying more often on your friends than an online guide was a thing.
My resolution is to get another one of Zelda’s timeless classics to this generation of gamers. With this being the year after the release of Breath of the Wild, I think it’s time for another remake. And not just any remake either, but a remake of one of the most iconic portable Zelda games around: Link’s Awakening. This could be either a Switch HD remake or a 3DS remake.
Not a lot of people realize how important Link’s Awakening was to the series. The citizens of Koholint Island and the story that leaves the fate of them in your hands gives so much for a Game Boy game. A 3DS version, with the engine that was used for A Link Between Worlds, could work. A Switch HD remake though, using the Breath of the Wild engine, could expand the amount of things to do on Koholint Island. Regardless of what we get, I think Zelda would benefit from showing appreciation to more of the classic games.
Rod Lloyd, Managing Editor
To fill the entire game world with more meaningful content.
Having a gigantic game map comprised of many different environments is great, but there needs to be more to find or do within that world, from end to end. This has been a running issue with the series going back console generations. A Zelda title offers a sprawling piece of real estate to explore, but there are seldom enough substantial locations to discover beyond a quest-centric town, an occasional cave, or a random ruined structure. The expanse between these locations is just too barren.
Breath of the Wild was a step in the right direction, as Shrines, Towers, and Korok Seeds help fill in the larger gaps. But even the many environments and locations found in that massive map are tragically under-served. The Coliseum Ruins, the Akkala Citadel, and Ludfo’s Bog were visually intriguing from a distance, but inspection up-close revealed them to be shallow pieces of set dressing with little significance.
Future Zelda games should utilize these unique locations for a storied side quest (not just a mini-game!), or provide enough context clues and pieces of visual storytelling to reveal a location’s function, context, and importance. If every location in a game offered a memorable experience, insight into the world, or a story of any kind, exploring a Zelda map would be that much more fulfilling.
Simon Rayner, Associate Editor
Going forward, I would love to see more unity within the lore of Zelda. What I loved about Breath of the Wild is how abstracted it seemed from any timeline, referencing Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time and many titles in between with place names, the inclusion of Koroks, and other Easter eggs. I would love to see the Twili and the Picori exist in the same world, and to see more of the world Zelda has established, expanded.
But mainly, I would like the Zelda series going forward to build on top of the new sandbox norm with guidance from the games that came before it. Breath of the Wild was a sprawling world, but one I found myself getting both joyously lost in and horrendously bored by. The central dungeons that you had to return to in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks were a chore, but what if this dungeon was non-linear? What if it existed in Breath of the Wild?
A sort of massive coliseum you could return to with new items you got along the way, not all given to you in the beginning. Combat was interesting in Breath of the Wild with its dodges and weapon types, but I found the more item-based combat of prior titles more compelling. What if in Breath of the Wild, some enemies actually had impervious magnetic armor you had to strip from them? Or perhaps there were more sword techniques to deftly implement, much like Twilight Princess. Breath of the Wild was amazing, but if it is to be the new norm, it needs to bring some of the magic that the linear titles held.
Andy Spiteri, Managing Editor
To change the perceptions of mobile games by releasing an amazing mobile Zelda game.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like a Nintendo console isn’t “legitimized” until a new Legend of Zelda game comes out for it. The Wii and Switch were instantly legitimized by launching with a Zelda, versus the Wii U that… well, it’s better we just don’t talk about that. The point is, the quality and prestige that go hand-in-hand with Zelda lend a gravitas to a console, giving it an air of respectability and legitimacy.
If I’m The Legend of Zelda in 2018, I’m aiming to bring that same legitimacy to the world of mobile games.
Nintendo has made great strides in mobile gaming — Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, and Super Mario Run are all great, fun games. But the time has come for Zelda to take mobile gaming to the next level, as it’s done to so many consoles before it. Don’t think a great Zelda game can be made on mobile? Look no further than Stranger Things: The Game as a template (which ironically copies A Link to the Past as it’s template). It can be done. Mobile games have a reputation of being nothing more than microtransaction-heavy filler games. Zelda can change that.
Gooey Fame, YouTube Coordinator
To fine tune the modern Zelda experience. I think Breath of the Wild is a massive step forward for the Legend of Zelda series. That being said, I think it only scratches the surface of what a great modern Zelda game could be. I believe many of the ideas introduced in Breath of the Wild could be built upon to make potentially the greatest Zelda game ever. For starters, I think you could make a smaller but more densely populated world with more meaningful things to find than Korok seeds. I liked the idea of the weapon durability, but in practice I’m not a huge fan; I think there is still something to it, though.
Finally, I think side quests could be made more meaningful. One thing that could help this would be more voice acting. Breath of the Wild stuck its toe in the water in regards to voice acting, but I think the series needs to jump all the way in. I don’t mind doing some random sidequest for 300 rupees if the story of it was fun and interesting enough, but something about these characters not talking while others are partially voice acted made their characters and the tasks they presented feel unimportant. LINK SHOULD SPEAK TOO! Maybe…
Basically I want them to Majora’s Mask this game. Take the skeleton of Breath of the Wild and make something great with it!
Alfred Tabaks, Senior Editor
One of the best parts of any game is the story. The way that you’re taken through the action, whether masterfully or otherwise, makes the experience for me. We posit that video games are an art form, but then we must hold it to a higher standard. Giving games a pass in certain areas because of their namesake is an error in judgment.
Going into the next Zelda game, Nintendo needs to pull out more stops for the story. For such a cinematic game, the story of Breath of the Wild was incredibly lacking and hollow. At this moment, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 holds the candle for best story in a Nintendo game for this past year. I want to experience a Legend of Zelda story that’s as good as, if not better, than games like Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Molly Maugans, Associate Edtor
Although we have seen a lot of it before, I would still like to have even more animal interaction in a Zelda game. Taking examples from games like Harvest Moon as well as building off past game mechanics, it sounds like a good fit. We have already seen little animal interactions; where players could feed horses, pick up cats and cuccos, call seagulls for favors, but let’s do more! Perhaps there could be an option to have an animal familiar as a partner in a future game. We have already experienced that kind of thing with the Wolf Link amiibo and, you have to admit, that was pretty sweet.
Since Zelda games are all about side quests and collectables, I think it would be awesome to house and care for your own animal friends. Feeding them, making sure they are happy for in game rewards. And maybe, there could even be an option to pet dogs? 😉
So there you have it. Some common themes can be found (combat, story, Link’s Awakening), but overall a pretty diverse list of goals the team is hoping Zelda can reach in 2018. What about you though? What would you strive to accomplish if you were The Legend of Zelda in 2018? Let us know in the comments below! Until next year…
Andy Spiteri is a Managing Editor at Zelda Dungeon. To find him and all the members of Zelda Dungeon that helped shape this list, head here on Twitter!