Way back in 2013 – when Nintendo first announced the plans for the Wii U console – they also revealed plans to bring a new Legend of Zelda game. But not just any Legend of Zelda game – a ‘different’ Zelda game, one that would require the player to complete dungeons in a linear order. But better yet – it would include an open world.
Since then, the game has had some details previewed publicly, however it has also been delayed. After the news of the Wii U console, one of Zelda‘s much loved games The Wind Waker was made in HD in order to bridge the gap of it’s anticipated release. It was stated to be released this year, however in March, new ideas added delay to the game, therefore it was announced that it making it a 2015 game was no longer a priority.
Despite this, some ideas and even a trailer and gameplay footage have been made available. Let’s have a recap of what we know so far.
In an interview with The New York Times, Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of the LoZ series) stated that:
“One of the main things we wanted to do was go back to the open-world concept of the original “Zelda” games and design with that in mind. That’s really the direction the team is going in. This time, we’ve brought back Link’s horse, Epona, and his bow and arrow, but what we’ve decided is really fun is being able to freely walk around in this world and choose what you want to do and how you want to explore. I can’t talk much about it, but one of the things we’re working on right now is that, as you play, the world will change and be affected by what you choose to do.”
Eiji Aonuma confirmed this when showing the trailer at E3 2014. Essentially, the developers wanted to develop a game that was much bigger with much more to explore compared to previous LoZ installments that did to some degree limit the player’s movements, such as in Wind Waker. When Miyamoto and Aonuma sat down together to show off some gameplay for the gameplay trailer, they noted that mountains were reachable and can even act as an aid for player on where to explore next. From what little has been shown, the game seems to be set around Hyrule with spacious fields. Miyamoto noted that wildlife can been seen in these fields and even apples growing on trees (which can also be eaten). While I would argue that LoZ games do offer a large space to explore but has set boundaries, the new Zelda game offers endless exploration and I imagine myself taking hours to complete this game just to explore every inch of the world. I think it’s needless to say that this is something that LoZ veterans have wanted for a long time.
Now, after the release of the short trailer of this game, many fans were…concerned (for the lack of a better word) about Link’s appearance (we’ll talk about that in a minute). Aonuma was later asked if it was actually Link in the trailer, to which he replied:
“No one explicitly said that that was Link.”
But don’t worry – Aonuma had this to say a few days later:
“It’s a rumour. Actually that comment I made jokingly. It’s not that I said that it wasn’t Link. It’s that I never said that it was Link. It’s not really the same thing, but I can understand how it could be taken that way. It seems like it has kind of taken off where people are saying ‘oh it’s a female character’ and it just kind of grew. But my intent in saying that was humour. You know, you have to show Link when you create a trailer for a Zelda announcement.”
Well done, trolly Aonuma. Can’t say I’d blame him for having a bit fun, though.
But I do understand why fans called Link’s new look ‘weird’. I like the outfit: blue shirt; white undershirt with red and green tribal patterns; leather gloves, white trousers and (sometimes) a brown hood (fairly similar to the outfit you first see Link in for The Wind Waker).
But the thing that got me was Link adoring a ponytail. A ponytail, really?! I pray that when he encounters Zelda she demands he cuts it off.
Game Mechanics and Items
It wouldn’t be a Zelda game without bows, arrows and a trusty steed, would it? Well, with an open world I suspect Link wouldn’t get very far with Epona. Nor would he be able to fight enemies without a weapon. One feature that is different from the previous LoZ games is that when you hop onto Epona, it automatically ride for you (but you will need to steer), meaning you can now ride with free hands, like riding a bike without putting your hands on the handlebars (sort of). So, what can you do with free hands? Well, while riding Epona, you can swing a sword and even fire arrows. Another neat trick is that if the player encounters enemies while riding Epona, Link can vault off and use said bow and arrows while in slow motion. Pretty cool, right? You can even use the Wii U touch pad to aim arrows, much like in The Wind Waker HD.
Speaking of arrows, it seems as if a possible new type of arrow has been added. In the E3 trailer, Link was seen remotely activating an arrow that transforms into an arrow of light. Now, it could be a Light Arrow, however Light Arrows emit a yellow/gold shine, while these ones shine blue. I think they’re possibly a new type, but time will tell.
The sailcloth also makes an appearence and is used for the same thing as previous games (or the Deku Leaf) – it acts as a parachute so the player doesn’t take damage when, say, I don’t know, jumping off a mountain. The sailcloth adds fuel to the theory that the new Zelda game will be set after Skyward Sword (I think this fact, along with the graphics being similar to Skyward Sword, make it very possible).
As previously mentioned, the Wii U touch pad helps aiming arrows and also doubles up as a (very large) map which can help place beacons.
Not much has been revealed about the enemies within this game (or even who the final boss is) but the E3 trailer did show off one. It seems to be a steam-punksque, spider-like machine (even though it only has six legs) that emits a powerful stream of light but can be killed with arrows. Also, a health bar is shown above the enemy much like when the Hero Charm is used in Wind Waker. A metallic sound can be heard when you hit a enemy with a arrow and successfully damage it.
While no release date (or title for that matter) has been decided yet, the game is still available to buy online.
But with the plans of releasing the NX soon (Nintendo’s newest console) I have a feeling that it will be available on there too. Fingers-crossed it will be released as planned (now at least) next year (I wasn’t really that upset about it being delayed, and neither did other fans for that matter). But from what I’ve seen, I can’t wait to play a 20+ hour Legend of Zelda game. But Miyamoto has teased it again recently:
“We have some really great Zelda footage and, at some point we will be showing that off, but not today.”
- Watch the E3 2014 trailer here (skip to 2:56 for the pure, short trailer).
- Watch the gameplay trailer here.
- Watch Mr. Aonuma’s apology video of the delay here.
- Read Mr. Miyamoto’s interview with The New York Times here.
- Read Venture Beat‘s article of the possibility of Link not being the protagonist here.
- Read Nintendo Everything‘s (very short) article of trolly Mr. Aonuma here.
- Read Zelda Universe’s article of Miyamoto’s ‘great footage’ here.
As always, thank-you for reading. Hope you enjoyed!