Aonuma Says Wii U Zelda Won’t Be Traditional

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Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has suggested to 4Gamer that the next Zelda game doesn’t have to be traditional  like Legend of Zelda games in the past. Aonuma says that the team want to try out new things and they have started doing this with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which allows users to tackle dungeons in any order.

How’s the development of Legend of Zelda for the Wii U going?

“It’s going well!” exclaims Aonuma. “We’re incorporating HD features we tried in the Wind Waker, and vice-versa, by applying HD features from it to the Wind Waker. Since it’s a remake, we’ve been limited regarding what we can do with the Wii U Gamepad; however, for the new title we’ll have various ways of using [the device].”

Any connection between Wind Waker HD and the new Legend of Zelda?

“I believe so,” answers Aonuma. “For example, traveling while having the map displayed on the Wii U GamePad made it really comfortable [to play], and I believe this can also be done for other areas besides the ocean. Parts that I felt were fun while playing [The Wind Waker HD] will assuredly have an influence on the next title, without a doubt.”

Not tired of making Zelda games, Wii U Zelda won’t be traditional

“When I say I’m tired, I’m not talking about making Zelda, but rather, the same constituent that has been used to make Zelda up until now. While on the subject, in regard to how we’ve always done things the traditional way until now: ‘Why does it have to be traditional?’ That’s the question I’ve been asking myself.”

“If we don’t change that, we can’t make something new. We’re slightly approaching The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with that mindset, and also the next Zelda title, which we intend to continue changing. However, this brings us to the topic, ‘Exactly what is The Legend of Zelda about?”

“Something that is ‘traditional’ is in a sense often something that copies previous works, so if you continue doing that, it gradually takes away from its uniqueness,” says Aonuma. “So we’re currently working on making those parts more and more unique.”

“So, by no means, am I tired of it,” Aonuma reiterates with a laugh. “Rather, the more we change it, the more I get fired up. Having someone think ‘Huh? Is this Zelda?!’ at first, then ‘Oh, it is Zelda,’ is what we’re going for. Something that wouldn’t make it matter whether Link or Princess Zelda appear in it or not. Something where it wouldn’t even matter if Zelda is actually a princess, or not.”

94 thoughts on “Aonuma Says Wii U Zelda Won’t Be Traditional”

          1. Skyrim, in my opinion, was a horrible game, and I couldn’t understand all the hype about it. I got bored and let it aside quite quickly

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  1. now that’s the kind of thinking I want with zelda games from now one. a little change up is definitely needed for this franchise. I just hope the pro controller is an option. maybe wiimote too if motion controls are an option.

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    1. To you and I guess anyone else on this site, please refrain from spoiling anything (: I’m playing WW for the first time tomorrow and I don’t want to know anything! Too bad Ganon already got spoiled for me (he doesn’t always “appear” to be the main villain in every Zelda game ie: Zant, Ghirahim, Vaati).

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      1. Of course bro! I always try not to post spoilers :)

        Windwaker is a 10 year old game though, so most people just presume that everyone, by now, knows the plot…

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  2. I’d crap my pants if they made it as non-linear and “figure-it-out-yourself” like Dark Souls or the NES Legend of Zelda.

    Skyward Sword had charming characters and story, but let’s get back to isolation (since Metroid is taking a long break…)

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  3. SS SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!

    I think he just gave clues to the plot/timeline of Zelda wii u! Think about the beginning of the timeline, (before skyward sword) Zelda was still Hylia, and there was NO Link yet (but there was indeed a ‘hero’ if I remember correctly??) So a Zelda game without link and Zelda, would actually be the VERY beginning of the story, where Hylia fights off Demise!

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  4. That’s good Aonuma. I’m glad to hear it, but wasn’t there a similar attitude behind Skyward Sword? I don’t think the game quite deserves the revile it receives, but it had it’s problems (*cough*linearity*cough). Let’s innovate, but at the same time, let’s not try to fix what isn’t broken.

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  5. yeah but in the end it will be the same boring uninspird zelda game like it has been since after WW. the nintenbabies hate change and innovation, they just like gimmicks and mommies bottle.

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  6. The key is to change the formula and yet have it still feel like Zelda. I really wish them the best of luck on this one, because doing such a thing is ambitious. I hope they try though, because get it right and you can kick some new life into the action-adventure genre as a whole.

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  7. I would love then to take a little inspiration from the super smash bros series and have Zelda be the protagonist. She would have a mechanics where she could change between zelda with magical attacks and abilities and sheik where she relies on speed and melee attacks. The puzzles would involve the changing mechanic and each of her personas would have specific weapons they could use. Some enemies would also be more vulnerable to the different attacks offered by each or her forms. This will never happen because it is TOO different but man would that be a cool game to play

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    1. That would be cool, but a little too drastic.

      But have Link and Zelda travel together, each as their independent character with strengths and weaknesses, and you have moments where you need both to solve a puzzle, moments like in the last 2 dungeons on Wind Waker, but the whole game.

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  8. Hopefully, this nontraditional experience will be nontraditional like Super Mario 64 and not Paper Mario: Sticker Star!

    (Yeah, I know, Mario is a completely different series from Legend of Zelda, but I couldn’t think of an equivalent for Sticker Star in the Zelda series.)

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  9. I hope they dont go for that past and future idea and i hope princess zelda and link are still in it, i like new ideas but him saying it wouldn’t matter if link was in it or not made me scared…

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  10. I’ll be fine with the change as long as:
    1.) No multiplayer
    2.) Link and zelda are involved, or Just link, Like in MM. etc. so the game can feel natural
    (The “Is this zelda?! Oh it is Zelda” quote kind of scares me.
    3.) Keeps SOME important formulas of the game.

    You know what would actually be cool? Like how in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. instead of renting Items and seeing them too early spoiling the game (kinda)
    Zelda Wii U can; instead of sprinkling the items in linear dungeons/temples. waiting for you to get them. They can be sprawled across the land. as treasures hidden in seemingly ‘important’ (Special) caves, forests, mountains, and even towns. the reason i say “Seemingly important” is because these locations have NOTHING to do with the Actual dungeons/temples of the game (If any) except for the fact that you need the items that resides in it. But you will have to travel to these places to receive the items most needed for the dungeon you are trying to beat.

    It’s a similar concept in the Wind Waker when you receive the power bracelets and Iron boots.those Items were different from the others because they were secret treasures hidden on remote islands, rather than in a dungeon. and you needed other items to get to them. (Sometimes for the zelda Wii U but not all the time would it be a good idea to need other items to get another as it would make it a bit more linear)
    It actually even makes more sense rather than fighting a mini boss, then a treasure box randomly appears. Instead, each of these locations for the items could still have a mini boss, or in other words, a guardian watching over the treasure. that you have to fight, or solve a puzzle to get, etc. all the while treasures are secretly hidden through out the entire land of hyrule.

    The best part about this idea, You can obtain treasure maps. The same idea as WindWaker, but instead of typical treasures such as rupees and heart containers, there will be treasure maps telling you where an item you need to progress further in the game is. these treasure maps can be obtained from other people, shops. Dungeons/temples (So they give you a hint on the item you need), and as rewards.

    So to better imagine this.. lets say you reach a dungeon/temple that requires Mostly bow arrows to complete. As you progress through the dungeon. you find that you can’t progress anymore, stumbling through the dungeon/temple. you find a compass, map, and this time No Item. But an Item MAP. (ONLY in specific dungeons/temple though because it would make things less linear, harder, and you would have to actually THINK when playing a game. NPC’s will give you hints when talking to NPC’s native to the dungeon/temple area. hints will be given, but you have to put in effort.)
    The map Doesn’t tell you what item yet. but it gives you a hint of what it is (this item is good with long range attacks) and give you a location with an “X” and a small riddle of how to obtain the items when you get there, which includes either fight a mini boss./ guardian, solving a puzzle, Running an errand for exchange. resolving a conflict, and other dilemmas. You will then have to leave the dungeon and make your way across hyrule to the “X” which could be in a forest, on/in a mountain, in a town, or any other place of secrecy where treasure is hidden. after reaching the destination, you will have to commence getting the treasure by whatever the means are that I previously stated. after obtaining the treasure, you return to the temple you left, to further proceed.

    Treasure items can be received before starting a dungeon if you wished.
    Some dungeons/temples will not provide the treasure map, meaning the treasure map should be somewhere along the way before entering the dungeon, such as in a town, held by a strange character, or special enemy, or obtained in an important side quest.
    Some dungeons/temples will not allow access until you receive specific treasure items first in order to get into the dungeon. however, Every dungeon can be completed in any order ( if you’re a type of person who finds the treasures without the hints or maps or cheats by looking online for treasure locations) which would be cool if all treasure locations would randomize per new game started. but if you stumble across a hidden item accidentally. then good for you, that makes one dungeon/temple one step easier to complete.

    If the new Hyrule will be as large as Aonuma says it would be. then it will make this idea much more awesome in my Opinion. I like games that actually make you work for things and takes time to complete.

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  11. let’s just hope zelda won’t end up being something like resident evil, or ff games. it sure is risky when a game changed it’s direction from something that we’ve been used to for a lot of years. i am not skeptic. i’m just excited and a bit nervous for this

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  12. Being “non traditional” can be both good OR bad. Lets hope it’s a good thing. Skyward Sword was non-traditional in some ways, and all I heard was people cry and complain about that game. Yet I myself thought it was the best Zelda game since Wind Waker.

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  13. There’s something that has been missing from the franchise that was last seen in The Wind Waker. It’s something most of the games before WW had, as well. But it’s been MIA ever since.

    Don’t get me wrong; I loved both Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. But they both lacked that feeling of personal immersion and the connection you felt to the story. Both TP and SS, while great games, felt more like I was watching a great movie, while games like WW, MM and ALTTP felt like I was really a part of the story. I WAS Link, and my actions would alter the course of the world around me.

    This is something I hope A Link between Worlds has (Pre-ordered yesterday!) and something I think Zelda Wii U NEEDS. I totally agree that the ultra-linear adventures we experienced in SS need to be ditched. Let’s bring Zelda back to its roots.

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