Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s edition of Zelda Dungeon Talks! In the Legend Of Zelda series, the overworld plays a pretty important role, especially in the original and Zelda II. It usually acts as the main hub to get to all the different parts of Hyrule, but it sometimes has it’s own significant purpose (for example it holds all the statues you need to find in Twilight Princess) as well as a few small secrets here and there. But what the main focus is today is the overall layout of the overworld. A majority of the time, the overworld isn’t completely open, with some parts not being accessible with the current gear you have and that leaves you with a sort of semi-linear area to explore when you aren’t tackling dungeons. Another point I’d like to throw in here is that everything looks the same. There aren’t many differences in the design of the overworld which is something I hope they fix in Zelda U and I’m sure they will. So what do you think guys? What changes would you like to see made to the overworld?

In this week’s Zelda Dungeon Talks, various staff members will share with us what they believe should be changed in the overworld.

Question: What changes would you like to see made to the overworld and why?

Jon Lett – View Profile

After playing many great games with great sandbox overworlds like Borderlands 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles, I can see now that the vast worlds of the Zelda series sometimes lack in terms of varying content. Think back to Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and The Wind Waker’s main overworld areas. How many times do you see repeated use of the same creatures, cave and crevice layouts, and structures/land formations? I won’t say that other games don’t reuse elements such as these, but as you progress through the game and frequently return to, or see more of, these areas, there should be more original content, rather than such frequent reuse, or subtle changing of, things we’ve already seen. Of course, there is something to be said about hardware limits, with respect to how much you can actually fit into one game, but we are in the days of powerful consoles with large storage capacity. We’re not seeing new Zelda’s on N64 anymore, Nintendo. Push the Wii U to its limits.

Kev Doughty – View Profile

The overworld is what connects everything in the game together but aside from being a way to connect one town from another it doesn’t seem to get used for anything. Sure, there may be the odd heart piece or cave to stumble across but, for the most part, all you’ll be doing is running through it from one town directly to another. Some games have used the space, such as the big poe quest in Ocarina of Time and the horseback sections in Twilight Princess where you protect Telma and fight King Bulbin, but most of it just gets passed by. Seeing as the overworld is usually a large area I would like to see this space used a bit more for both side quests and main story sections so we get to fully experience the land of Hyrule that we are trying so desperately to save.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

Get rid of it. If we’re heading into open-world territory we shouldn’t have an overworld splitting up regions, no focal point to constantly return to. Every bit of space should be of some importance unless it’s transit so let’s make the epicenter of our world map be an important place like Hyrule Castle or a Temple of Time. I honestly don’t know if overworlds are utilized in open-world games or not, but if they are then let’s make sure ours doesn’t bring up loading screens when moving to other sections of the map. In a non-open world Zelda just make the overworld small so I can get to where I need to be quickly and without a horse, I guess.

Ethan Hunt – View Profile

Alterations in weather patterns or season changes would be an amazing addition in my opinion. Whilst subtle and perhaps not altering the game’s story in any way, they would contribute greatly to the immersion created by the Zelda universe. A style similar to that used by the Animal Crossing series is what I have in mind, and it would be a really neat change!

Thomas Jacobs – View Profile

Something that the 2D Zelda games did better than the 3D ones in my opinion is filling the overworld with creatures to fight. Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule Field is notoriously empty, Hyrule Field only has a couple of clusters of enemies in Twilight Princess, Termina Field is not terribly exciting either and the Sky in Skyward Sword has next to nothing in it either. And to be fair, it’s kinda boring. Fighting your way through a bunch of enemies as you progress through the overworld is a ton of fun in the 2D games, and gives some life to the world. Especially when you fight monsters you don’t see anywhere else in the game: it makes the world feel like a, well, world.

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