Posted on February 02 2016 by Alexis S. Anderson
Hyrule has provided refuge for a plethora of unique and important races throughout its history. We’ve met with Zoras, Gorons, Kokiri, Hylians, Deku, Picori, Koroks, Rito, Kikwi, Gerudo, Twili, and Sheikahs– just to name a few. No matter how long the list of races, each manages to be important to the game or games it appears in and fully developed both visually and culturally. Just when I think the Zelda series can’t possibly create another distinctly memorable race, one appears for me to marvel at. So at this point, it’s likely that we’ll meet more new races in future, perhaps even in Zelda Wii U.
But what other races could the Zelda series incorporate? The writing staff here at Zelda Dungeon was asked to consider if Zelda Wii U introduced a new race, what they would want that race, its culture, and its function to be like. They came up with a range of answers that focused on the new race’s purpose in-game, its appearance and traits, and what its history may contain. Hit the jump to read the staff’s thoughts, and feel free to join the discussion in the comments!
Thomas Jacobs – View Profile
A new race would have to do something we haven’t seen before and has to add something new, either to the mythos of the series or the mythos of the game. In the former case many of the roles have already been or implied to be filled, so the latter would be a better fit. Seeing a particular people as the core of a game’s scope might prove to be rather interesting. Link goes around solving problems for this particular race, who in turn help him continue on his quest. Perhaps they are not strong enough to defend themselves against whatever evil besets them, or perhaps they lack certain other skills that Link has. Such a race would have to be fun with plenty of different members to meet, without getting repetitive or annoying. As for design I personally favor simple over elaborate, yet allowing enough freedom to make the various members look different. Humanoids could work, or perhaps something like snake people (of which you don’t see a lot in the series). Keep them relevant to the plot without overtaking it or making them seem utterly incompetent, have them be fun and diverse and there would certainly be a place for another race amongst the mythos.
Alexis Anderson – View Profile
The Zelda series has introduced a lot of different races over the years, and once I thought that trick was tired out, the Anouki graced Spirit Tracks! To add yet another somehow memorable race would be difficult, but if I had to add one maybe I’d try a race that was bat-like in nature, so they wouldn’t use their eyes to see and they’d communicate through sonar. These creatures would dwell in a dark cave-like domain that could be beautiful in a similar somber yet dignified way as the Twilight. They would be able to speak the way Hylians do too just to make communication easier, but certain frequencies in music Link plays would be a special way to greet them and could be used as a gameplay element (like playing Saria’s Song to Darunia to make him dance and trust you). Any dungeon themed around the race would require the use of music to complete puzzles and defeat enemies, so that would be kind of unique. It would depend of the game’s story how this race would tie in, obviously, but that’s the best I can come up with right now.
Brandon Schmitz – View Profile
The Twili are the closest thing that the Zelda series has to alien invaders. As fantastical as Hyrule is, the Twilight Realm makes it look totally grounded by comparison. I wouldn’t mind seeing another race take on a similar concept. If Link’s mechanical bow — not to mention the enemy he’s firing it at — is any indication, then Zelda Wii U may place a stronger emphasis on technology. Although I’ve never been crazy about the idea of a full-on steampunk Zelda game, having a race — one with hostile and friendly members alike — that thrives off of building otherworldly technology would be neat. Something that combines the industrial nature of the Gorons with the exotic appearance and behavior of the Twili, you know?
Alasyn Eletha – View Profile
Okay, this might not be an entirely new race, but I can’t be the only one that’s curious about the Keaton race. We’ve only seen one Keaton in Majora’s Mask, and their race is briefly discussed by other characters when Link wears the Keaton mask in both Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time, if I remember right. So, since we know close to nothing about these three-tailed fox creatures in the Zelda universe, I’d like to see new concepts about them in future games. Maybe Link could have the Keaton mask and if he wore it in certain places, a keaton could pop up and act as an item well, much like the Goddess Wall functionality in Skyward Sword. Clearly, I’m not that creative, but my point is that I wouldn’t mind Nintendo giving Keatons another go in the Zelda games. I’d be disappointed if they were left as a vague concept from just two games.
Alexis S. Anderson is a Senior Editor at Zelda Dungeon who joined the writing team in November, 2014. She has a JD from the UCLA School of Law and is pursuing a career in Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. She grew up in the New Jersey suburbs with her parents, twin brother, and family shih-tzu.