Do you think that the technology in the Zelda series is advancing too quickly? Ever since the first trailer of Spirit Tracks hit just over a year ago, it has seemingly become a hot topic in the Zelda community. In the past two Zelda titles we’ve seen both steamboats and locomotives, neither of which fit the criteria for what classic medieval Zelda is all about. Yusei over at Zelda Temple his recently written an article concerning the topic where she argues that technology had advanced much earlier in the Zelda world, but it just isn’t until now that we are finally noticing it.
A good example of a previous Zelda advancement was the entire Great Bay Temple, a temple composed of water, water wheels, propellers, pipes and other things that one would not consider fitting for a Zelda game. But it’s there and still there and a part of Zelda people don’t complain about really. If trains and steamboats are too advanced, then pretty much an entire metal temple that relies on water running water in order to power parts of the temple up is basically a preposterous thing. But no. We all ignored it and we’re only whining about things now, not things in the past.
Yusei makes a great point, but my counterargument would be that it isn’t the actual technology itself that is causing the uproar. The shift that I think older Zelda fans are complaining about is that there is far less magic nowadays and everything is becoming more modernized and realistic. The first several Zelda games contained several magical items, while in more recent times it’s gotten to the point where there is no magic meter at all, and there is usually just one or two items that could even be considered magical. So with there being less of an emphasis on magic, the advancements of technology is what is bearing the brunt of the criticism.
I don’t really think fans had a problem with technology in Majora’s Mask or any of the games of its time, since those game were still set in a more magical world where the advancements in technology were not front and center. They just weren’t important aspects of the game at all and were second nature to the magic that the game was still themed after.
So what do you think? Has Zelda advanced too far ahead technologically? Is it because there is less of an emphasis on magic? Would you prefer a more medieval Zelda title in the future? Let us know by posting in the comments below.