Radical Changes I’d Love To See In A New Zelda Game

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The Legend of Zelda is my favorite gaming series of all time. I’ve loved the series ever since I was 9 years old, booting up Ocarina of Time for the first time and gazing in wonder at the lush, beautiful world of Hyrule. The series has had its ups and downs since then, but it’s always been able to introduce new elements to keep the series fresh while still retaining that Zelda sense of majesty and wonder. No game demonstrates this better than 2017’s Breath of the Wild, which radically changed the series formula to create a massive, amazing open world experience. And with its sequel slated to come out some time next year, I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the things I’d love to see in the new game – things that Zelda, at least, has never done before. Some of these ideas might sound a little out there, and some might be outright heresy to longtime series fans, but these are just some of my ideas for something that could make a new Zelda feel completely different and new. Stuff like…

A Different World

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Akira‘s Neo Tokyo might provide a great blueprint for a sci-fi Zelda game

Don’t get me wrong: I love Hyrule, and Breath of the Wild has the biggest and best version of Hyrule there is. But I also think that after spending hundreds of hours climbing up Death Mountain or navigating the Lost Woods game after game, going to these same exact places again would feel like a bit of a letdown. So why not introduce a new world for Link to explore?

A different world could have a huge impact on the game’s story and gameplay, especially in regards to its technology and culture. What if there was a steampunk Zelda world, where you could explore massive industrialized cities or fight epic sky battles on airships? Or perhaps Link could visit a Mesoamerican-style kingdom, scouring the jungles to find ancient stone temples and fighting monsters based on Aztec mythology. Hell, maybe the series could ditch the fantasy genre entirely and feature a sci-fi Hyrule with laser swords and computer-based magic. It sounds crazy, but considering Breath of the Wild already includes many technological elements in its shrines and the Guardian enemies, is it really that farfetched of an idea at this point?

A Darker Story

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One of my favorite games in the Zelda series, and one I think needs more love in the fandom, is Majora’s Mask. I loved the different world and all the cool sidequests you could do, but the thing that really drew me in was how surprisingly dark the game is. It’s got Eldritch horrors, political drama, major character death – oh yeah, and everyone in the world is living in constant fear and anxiety because a kid with a creepy mask is going to make the moon crash into the earth in three days. It’s one of the most disturbing stories in a Zelda game to date, and even the post-apocalyptic world of Breath of the Wild doesn’t have that same sense of dread and existential nihilism.

Just from the trailers Nintendo has released so far, fans are already speculating that Breath of the Wild‘s sequel will have a much darker story than the original, and I’d love to see that happen. It can still have all the whimsical charm and swashbuckling action Zelda is known for, but incorporating darker and more complex themes in the story could make for a uniquely gripping experience. Not only would it be something different than what longtime fans are used to, but it might make audiences feel more attached to the story and characters and feel more invested in helping Link and Zelda succeed.

A New Villain(s)

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This might be controversial to hardcore Zelda fans, but… I think the series needs to retire Ganon, or at least give him a break for a couple games. Sure, he’s iconic and he’s been in the series since the beginning, but the King of Evil has had so many appearances and incarnations that I’m not sure if there’s anywhere else for his character to go at this point. While the trailers for Breath of the Wild‘s sequel indicate that Ganon(dorf) will most likely come back, I think that a different villain would make future games more exciting and memorable, and could dramatically impact the course of the story.

Sure, you could bring back old baddies like Majora and Vaati, but there are also a ton of new villains who could crop up within the Zelda universe. A massive empire could try to invade Hyrule (or wherever the new game would take place) and Link and Zelda would have to fight for the defense of their land. The King could be corrupt and tyrannical, forcing our heroes to stage a coup d’etat. Maybe there’s some sort of apocalyptic religious cult trying to revive a Lovecraftian death god. Or maybe there could be a team of villains, all with their own unique personalities and motivations. The great thing is that not only would these villains be a nice change of pace from our favorite beefy green-skinned Gerudo/giant pig monster, but that it would make a future Ganon appearance all the more exciting if/when he returns.

For Nayru’s Sake, Just Make Zelda Playable Already!

Tags: Anime, Pixiv Id 6860559, Zelda no Densetsu, Zelda no Densetsu: Breath of the Wild, Zelda no Densetsu: Breath of the Wild 2, Zelda (Breath of the Wild), Link, Link (Breath of the Wild), Princess Zelda, Torch

This one feels so obvious, it’s astonishing Nintendo hasn’t done it yet. Princess Zelda is the catalyst for the plot of nearly every Zelda game, she has access to incredibly powerful magic, and her name is in the title! Yet, after 30+ years and countless titles in the franchise, her one appearance as a playable character was in a terrible CDI spinoff game that Nintendo likes to pretend never existed. My question is, well, why?

A playable Zelda would make the series so much more exciting and fun, and open up tons of new possibilities for storylines and game mechanics. Maybe the player would need to switch between Link and Zelda during combat, and have Link take care of the hacking and slashing while Zelda blasts enemies away during her magic. Maybe there would be certain quests that could only be completed as Zelda, or she could use her royal status to wield more power and influence in the game’s story. It could even open up a chance to have two-player co-op, something that’s never been done before in any Zelda game.

Beyond all that, though, making Zelda a playable character and giving her a much greater role in the game would be really great in terms of female representation in games. Women play video games just as much as men do, but almost all video game protagonists are male. Zelda is an amazing heroine and a great role model for young girls. So why not make what could potentially be the biggest change the Zelda series has ever seen, and let our wonderful princess save the world right alongside Link?

No More Gyro Puzzles

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Just… please, no more. Who thought this was a good idea?!

Regardless of what features the new Zelda game holds in store for fans, I’m sure that Nintendo will do another bang-up job with it. This series is very near and dear to my heart, and it’s been amazing growing up with it and seeing how far it has come with each new game. What would you like to see in any future Zelda games, and do you agree with any of the ideas I’ve floated around here? Let me know, and let me know if you’d like me to write more Zelda or game-related posts in the future 🙂

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