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Phoenixon

Zelda Wii U: Speculation and Stuff

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(Note: This blog is about the new first party Legend of Zelda title for Wii U, not about Hyrule Warriors or Wind Waker HD)
(Note 2: The official name for this game has not been confirmed, but I will call it Zelda U in this blog.)


Eiji Aonuma confirmed last year that we'd have some kind of info on Zelda U at E3 this year.S1 If you've watched Nintendo's silly but awesome E3 announcement trailer, you'll notice there's a lot of Zelda music in the background, which seems to hint at this fact. (If you haven't watched it yet, you should.)

I think we can expect a trailer, maybe just a teaser. We probably won't get the release date, but maybe which year it's gonna come out. Still, since we can expect some sort of announcement of it at E3, I think it's time to speculate on the stuff we might see. Below, in the bold, are subheadings about the different aspects of Zelda games and how they might appear in this new game. Under each heading is my own thoughts on what I think or hope will happen, supported by what Aonuma and Miyamoto have officially said.

Gameplay: Will there be motion control?

Probably the most important part of Zelda is its gameplay, and as such, I have seperated it into multiple sections. First is the question of motion control. A lot of people disliked Skyward Sword because of its heavy use of motion controls, although in my opinion, it was a cool concept. Miyamoto himself said that some people didn't like it, and they want to see how they can "evolve" what's worked before. S2 It does sound like they won't be using motion controls like they did in Skyward Sword for the new game, but that doesn't mean they won't be using motion controls at all. The Wii U's GamePad does have motion control, S3 so I would like to see some bits of motion control in the game. For example, you could shoot arrows by aiming at the TV where you want to shoot. The GamePad screen could give you a magnified view of the screen when you do this for more accuracy. Items like the Lens of Truth could be used in a similar way, although we don't actually know if that item specifically will appear in the game.

Gameplay: The GamePad

Eiji Aonuma, the director for this game, has said they want to "utilize" the GamePad "to the fullest." S4 So it's safe to assume that we will see a lot of touch screen related features of the gameplay, similar to the two DS titles, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. I would say that those two games used the DS's touchscreen "to the fullest", so much so that they were criticized for it. I don't think that Zelda U will use the touchscreen as much as those two games, but I do think that they'll bring some of the stuff they did with in those games to Zelda U. The map will probably be displayed on the touchscreen, and the note writing feature could return. They could have some spells in the game that are activated by drawing some symbol. The paths of boomerangs and Bombchus, and items like them, could be drawn on the map like they were in the DS games. They could have those gimmicks we're you blow into the mic to extinguish a fire or something.
Another important feature of the GamePad is off-TV play. But I don't see how they could implement it if there is heavy use of the GamePad. Wonderful 101, a game that also uses the GamePad, does have off-TV play, but from what I understand, the gameplay becomes quite different. So they could have off-TV play, but it might be a little hard to pull off.

Gameplay: Linearity

The latest Zelda game, A Link Between Worlds, has been praised for it's non-linearity. Almost all dungeons can be completed in any order. Most of the other Zelda games are not like this; instead, dungeons are completed in a set order. Non-linearity allows for more exploration, discovery, and of course, freedom. The very first Zelda game had almost no order that you had to complete the dungeons. That game gave you complete freedom over literally everything, up to the point where you don't even have to get the sword in the beginning if you don't want to. Aonuma has said that, because of the linearity in the previous Zelda titles, "we couldn’t gain the sense of wonder that existed in the original Legend of Zelda, in which you made unexpected encounters and where what used to be impossible would suddenly become possible." S5 With this, we can assume it's likely that Zelda U will be very open-world-ish, and dungeons will probably not have a set order, like A Link Between Worlds. However, we do not know exactly how they will allow you to complete dungeons in different orders.

The Story

As far as I know, Zelda games are not necessarily known for their stories, but they have stories nonetheless. What can we expect the story for Zelda U to be like? Will it be darker and "mature" like Majora's Mask? At this point, we know almost nothing about the story. But there are some themes that every Zelda game always has. For example, it's always Good vs. Evil, and Good always wins. These are things that I think probably won't change, but what if they did? What if in this game, Link starts out as a villain, but later becomes the hero he's destined to be? Honestly, I think that would be a pretty good idea, as it allows for major character development. What about Zelda? Aonuma has said "We now have many titles in the series, so we are seeing characters and location names from previous titles coming up again. We are using these when it adds to the fun, but there is no rule that we have to use these at all. We may even need to change things you might take for granted like Zelda being a Princess."S6 He really wants to change up the formula, and I think Zelda will have a major role in the story this time around. What if she's playable as well? Maybe something similar to Phantom Zelda in Spirit Tracks?

The Setting

Aonuma said, "I would really like the next Hyrule to be a setting no one has ever imagined before."S6 Well, now that we've already sailed through oceans and roamed across the skies, what else could the setting be? What about something crazy, like in outer space? It's unlikely, but if he really wants the setting to be different from before, it could be a good choice.
Note that he said "the next Hyrule". I don't think this confirms that the next game will be set in Hyrule, as its possible he didn't mean to say that. (He was proabably just using the term Hyrule because it's the most common setting for Zelda games.) But what if it's set in Termina instead? What about a completely new place? I think it will be something new that we haven't seen before.
But what does he actually mean by something that "no one has ever imagined before"? Assuming that the game will be sort of open world, could it be Skyrim-esque? Aonuma has said the he wants to give fans the feeling that Skyrim gives when playing it S7, probably in terms of freedom. So taking that into account, we can at least say that whatever the setting is, it'll be huge.

Who will the main villain be?

You may notice how Aonuma keeps pointing out that he wants this Zelda to be different from it's predecessors, asking himself, "Why does it have to be traditional?" S8 Ganon(dorf) is the most common recurring enemy in the entire series. And because of that, I don't think that the antagonist this time will be Ganon again. Vaati's been a villain in a few games as well, so it might be him, but it should be noted that he's only been a villain in the handheld games. (Still, I do want to see how he would look in a console game.) Then there are the one-time villains, like Demise, Majora, and so on. Of these, I think Majora is the most likely, as we know so little about him and there's a great opportunity for a backstory and/or sequel story to him.
However, there's a great chance that we'll be seeing a completely new villain as well. What will that villain be like? How will they look? Will it be a character that already exists in the franchise? What if the villain this time is actually Zelda or Link? We don't know.

Art Style

When Wind Waker was revealed, there was initially a negative reaction towards its art style. People thought it looked "cartoonish", and they wanted something that looked more realistic, something more dark. And then we got Twilight Princess, which had gritty, dark, and in terms of colour, dull graphics. Later on, we got Skyward Sword. I actually loved Skyward Sword's art style, which seemed like a mixture between these two: super colourful, partially-realistic, and partially-cartoon.
Miyamoto has said that we can expect "high-quality visuals" from Zelda U S9, which is basically just saying it will be in HD. However, Aonuma has also said "We wouldn’t want it to be ultra-realistic because you can see that elsewhere. But I can’t say that it’s going to be cartoony-realistic like you mentioned, the fantastic presentation that we’ve already done in the past. It will be something new." S10 So basically, he's saying it's not gonna be an art style we've seen before. It feels like what he's going for is a more realistic version of Skyward Sword's art style, and I'd love that.

Where will the game be in the Timeline?

Ahh, yes, the Zelda Timeline. I would just like to note that it doesn't really matter to me where the game is in the timeline, in terms of game play and most other aspects, except it might matter in terms of story. Also, Aonuma said, "Honestly it's not finalized yet, where in the Zelda universe this story will land. We're exploring different directions that we can take this story at this point, so there's unfortunately nothing I can share from that perspective."S11 So it looks like even Nintendo might not know where the game takes place yet. But let's take into account what we already know. The Fallen Timeline got a game just last year, so it seems unlikely they'd visit it again so soon. The Pre-Ocarina Timeline got Skyward Sword just three years ago. And, the Adult Timeline got Spirit Tracks just five years ago, not to mention Wind Waker HD from last year. However, the Child Timeline hasn't had a game in it for eight years. Going by this alone, it does seem likely that the next game will be set in this timeline. Also, as I said before, it would be interesting to see a Majora's Mask prequel or sequel, and many fans have wanted a remake of it anyway, so this would also work. And of course, we could also get a Twilight Princess sequel, that serves as a link (pun intended) to Four Swords Adventures. Or it could happen in that timeline anyway and not be particularly related to a specific game.
But then there's the crazier ideas: What if there's another timeline split? What if the timelines merge together? I actually think the latter idea is pretty awesome.

Items and Weapons

Each Zelda game has what I call the "signature" items that have been there from the very beginning, and have been in almost all games since. A sword (or two). A shield. A bow and arrow. Bombs. A boomerang. I see no reason why all of these shouldn't return.
But then there's the less common items... There's too many to list, and each Zelda game brings more and more. So, instead of talking about which items we'll see in this game that are from other games, I want to talk about what new items they could come up with.
This idea is not completely new, but I want to see a "Spell book" kind of thing to expand on the GamePad features mentioned above. There are many different kinds of staffs (Or Rods/Wands) in Zelda games, so wouldn't it be nice to have just one staff, with a spell book, and depending on what spell you "draw" in the book (after you've already learned it in-game), a different effect of the staff is used.
To expand on Twlight Princess' Wolf Link, it would be cool if we had an item that allows you to shape-shift into different animals or forms.
To expand on the ability of "becoming a painting" in A Link Between Worlds, what if there was an item that allowed us to actually walk through walls?
Random other ideas:
-Giving Link the ability to summon monsters himself.
-Something that allows you to control nature/plants.
-An item that allows you to manipulate light. (For making lazers and stuff.)

What are your thoughts?

Well, I guess that's all I can say right now...

So, according to what we know, what do you predict will happen Zelda U? What are some things you want to see? Do you agree with me? Why or why not?

Let the discussions begin!

That is all, for now.
~Phoenixon

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Updated 6th May 2014 at 05:50 PM by Phoenixon

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  1. Norzan's Avatar
    The thing i loved the most about ABLW was the non linearity in Lorule, i 100% the game in both Normal and Hero mode because of all the fun i was having with the non linearity, so yes non linearity in Zelda Wii U would be awesome. About the villain, recently i played Minish Cap and the final battle with Vaati is easily one of my favourite final battles ever, if he is the villain they better make his battle just as awesome. About the timeline placement, it will be most likely at the end of either of the three timelines. About the art style, i love art styles that never age like the Wind Waker and the Skyward Sword art style, i hope it has an art style that never ages.
    Updated 6th May 2014 at 06:13 PM by Norzan

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