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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the biggest moment the franchise has ever seen, and by a large margin. The Zelda series was always a very important one to Nintendo, but Breath of the Wild helped the franchise reach far beyond its usual audience to find millions of new players. Even more importantly, those players are now series fans, and have followed Link to his next adventure, Tears of the Kingdom.

While millions upon millions are incredibly happy with the direction of Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, there are some who miss the old days. A group of longtime Zelda followers find themselves enjoying some areas of the classic adventures more, such as the traditional dungeon design and linear approach to gameplay. Could we ever see the series return to those days? A new interview with Nintendo gives us some insight.

IGN spoke to Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma at length about the entire Zelda franchise, and they touched on the idea of returning to classic-style Zelda. You can see Aonuma’s comments on the matter below.

Well, I do think we as people have a tendency to want the thing that we don’t currently have, and there’s a bit of a grass is greener mentality. But I also think that with the freedom players have in the more recent games in the series…there still is a set path, it just happens to be the path that they chose. So I think that that is one thing I kind of like to remind myself about the current games that we’re making.

But also, it’s interesting when I hear people say those things because I am wondering, “Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you’re more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?” But I do understand that desire that we have for nostalgia, and so I can also understand it from that aspect.

[Eiji Aonuma]
[IGN]

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Comments (11)

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lucius6

"Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you're more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?" But I do understand that desire that we have for nostalgia, and so I can also understand it from that aspect."

Wow, what a condescending so-and-so. 😐

I'm so sick of my preferences, which are honed from experience and broad understanding of many, many games, being thoughtlessly chalked up to "nostalgia" by others.

additionally, his concept (which he pretends here is unimpeachable science or even religious dogma) that all games are better with fewer rules and therefore "open world = better" is laughably naive.

F off, Aonuma. I've been playing these games long before you took control. 👎

lucius6

3M ago

"Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you're more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?" But I do understand that desire that we have for nostalgia, and so I can also understand it from that aspect."

Wow, what a condescending so-and-so. 😐

I'm so sick of my preferences, which are honed from experience and broad understanding of many, many games, being thoughtlessly chalked up to "nostalgia" by others.

additionally, his concept (which he pretends here is unimpeachable science or even religious dogma) that all games are better with fewer rules and therefore "open world = better" is laughably naive.

F off, Aonuma. I've been playing these games long before you took control. 👎


bluespheal

3M ago

I don't think we need to fully go back, in fact I don't think the "issues" with the new format are necessarily the fault of the open world, but how Nintendo understands it and its relationship with Zelda and modern gaming.

I think all the next game has to be is be a better mesh of the old and new, basically Zelda 1, with all the freedom and limitations, as well as scope and variety. Basically imagine if you will, TotK, maybe without the hand abilities, where you aren't directed or hinted at where the dungeons are, with more enemy variety, where any random cave you encountered could have a fully fledged dungeon inside, or inside some notable locales, like lake hylia, death mountain, inside the deku tree, and that you got permanent upgrades not in form of a sage or power, but as an item.

That's basically it, I know I simplified it way too much, but I feel the issue with these new games is that "creative" solutions are often not that creative or hard to execute, you can get into say, an eventide island or atop death mountain with some mild amount of work and time, but I'd rather see some of these areas locked behind a specific item or behind more creative solutions.


hawk

3M ago

I don't mind the Zelda series remaining non-linear. Even some of the classic "linear" Zelda games on NES and SNES weren't entirely linear. But I worry about how story elements have suffered from non-linearity in BOTW and TOTK. Because they didn't know what order you were doing things in, they had to streamline the story and present it in weird ways. For instance, in TOTK, for each sage you gained, you got the same story bit recited by a different voice actor. And for both games you retrieved memories that you essentially had to watch a second time in the right order to make better sense of them, because they didn't know the order you were going to find them.

If they're going to keep the games non-linear, I hope they find better ways to tell the story.


the_crimson_lure

3M ago

Wow, that answer hits the nail right on the head.
The only thing a linear Zelda would get you over the current format is maybe a better story, although Nintendo has never been great at story, really.
But in this day and age the story would be leaked a week before the game comes out, anyway.

So I don't see anything a linear format would offer over BotW style.

Edited 1 time

conangiga

3M ago

I'm not sure I can take many more open world Zelda games to be honest...
BotW was pretty amazing but slightly too long. TotK...was exhausting. And while I liked the game I don't want to go through another 300 hours of basically doing the same things over and over and over again just because I'm a completionist.


frenchfryguy

3M ago

The last traditional new Zelda game was "A Link Between Worlds" (Happy 10 years btw) and it is not just a better Zelda game, but a more fun game than either BOTW or TOTK in my personal opinion. I'll never go back and play either BOTW or TOTK again, but I have and will go back and play ALTTP, Link's Awakening, OOA, OOS and OOT etc. etc. again and again.


kuribo

3M ago

On one hand, fans of the series and their preferences shouldn’t be discounted but at the same time, the developers should be allowed make the game they want to make. I think people in the comments are overreacting.


socar

3M ago

Once upon a time Shigeru Miyamoto made the series non-linear before Eiji Anouma took over.

Now when he does what Shigeru Miyamoto did earlier, everyone is salty because of wanting...more limits?


enthropy

2M ago

Reading comments from gamers the last years has made me notice how entitled many of them have become. Always complaining, nothing is good enough etc. People wanted change but when change came it wasn't good enough either. Seems like Team Zelda must make a game catered exactly to them.
That will of course not happen. These creators are creative artists and should follow their visions, not the crowd's vision. Good thing they did with BOTW and TOTK since they have both sold damn well. Being critical is a must, but some people seem to overdo it.

I personally love BOTW (still haven't had the time for TOTK) and wouldn't mind if they keep things....open, but in a different style. Oh and more water. Even a sea and underwater stuff, but I'll wait and see what they have for Zelda and Link's next adventure. But that is several years from now anyaway.


enthropy

2M ago

@socar

Odd that, eh? Have to have it both ways or something.


nekotaku

2M ago

Well that's sad that he doesn't understand that... it's not about nostalgia...