The whole idea of instruments in the Zelda series has been around since the early games but it really became popular with Ocarina of Time. The ocarina in this game allowed players to do so many different things, such as solving puzzles, fast travelling, changing the weather and changing the time. These sorts of things were carried over into games like Majora’s Mask, The Wink Waker and Twilight Princess. Other games in the series have used musical instruments too, just not to the extent of these games. Should the upcoming game in the series include some form of magical instrument? Personally I think it’s alright if they find way to make it fresh and if they can’t do that, tone it down and don’t use it as heavily as Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask.

In this week’s edition of Zelda Dungeon Talks various staff members will share with us their opinion on the topic. As always feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments section. 

Jon Lett – View Profile

I always thought it was interesting the way Zelda found cool, different ways to use new, or returning, instruments to improve gameplay. The uses of Skyward Sword’s Harp, and even Twilight Princess’ howling, were clever and memorable. That being said, unless they can come up with some fancy new way of using one, instruments should perhaps stick to being used for, at most, fast travel. Beyond that, everything has been done. Don’t get me wrong, the music of the series is one of my absolute favorite parts of Zelda, and I still love using the Ocarina of Time and the Wind Waker in their respective games, but their styles of use in the games has almost become repetitive. Zelda Wii U is set to “change conventions”, so maybe this is one aspect that is also going out the window, to which I say, “Sure. Why not?” This new title, specifically, could maybe use something different for fast-travel, weather effects, time-changing, and so on, so if Nintendo has a neat new method, bring it on.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

I definitely think music or a musical instrument should be included somehow, but I’m not sure I’d care for a whole new one. The Goddess Harp in Skyward Sword was kind of pointless, I don’t know if Nintendo is just fresh out of cool ideas for Zelda instruments. Incorporating small homages to Zelda songs the way Twilight Princess did through grass blowing for the hawk and for Epona (even the wolf howling wasn’t too atrocious) might be the way to go; not too much emphasis is placed on the instrument, but one is still present. I would be hard pressed to say that I’d like an instrument to be the focal point of Zelda Wii U, but I do strongly believe that music should play at least a small role in the plot and/or gameplay.

Thomas Jacobs – View Profile

Music has always been an integral instrument in the series. From the single plot-important items such as the Ocarina of Time, the Spirit Flute and the Harp of Ages to the collectable macguffins such as the Eight Instruments of the Sirens and, sorta, the Lokomo in Spirit Tracks: there are an awful lot of instruments so far. Thus far they’ve been supportive items, allowing Link to go new places or interact with the environment. Using them as a weapon has not really been explored (aside from the Sun Song and Hyrule Warriors), but I feel that this is not what they should be used for. When introducing a new instrument however it can either be based on an old one like the ocarina, a harp or maybe the recorder from the first two games, but in that case it would have to be heavily redesigned to not look silly. I feel that Ocarina of Time did things just right, allowing for player-involved playing of music instead of the simple “press button, thing happens” that other games did. I would love to see a return to this form and I don’t really care whether or not it’s an old or a new instrument.

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