Where Can Zelda Go After Breath of the Wild?

It’s already been nearly a year since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released to widespread adoration on Nintendo Switch and Wii U. A year! While we recently has the Champions DLC, the main period of conversation for the game is starting to settle down. Other big-name titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey have all been received well and taken some attention away in that time.

Therefore, the fast-paced gaming world is going to demand what comes next for Zelda. It’s perhaps a more challenging question than ever before for Eiji Aonuma and the rest of these creative developers. How do you top such a stunning, sprawling, groundbreaking game? Can we go back to a smaller, dungeon-focused Zelda?

If you listen to series producer Eiji Aonuma, then it appears clear that standing still is not in the plan for Zelda. Talking to Japanese magazine Nikkei Trendy (as translated by Japanese Nintendo) he said (via Nintendo Life):

“It’s not an easy thing to be able to answer expectations of all our users, but through this game, I recognised again that the significance of continuing to create the series is right there, so in the future I’d like to repeat doing “great fusses*” and provide great ‘surprises’ that exceed everyone’s expectations.”

To think about what these surprises may be, looking backwards provides some possibilities. Whilst the original NES The Legend of Zelda started it all, the game with the biggest effect on the Zelda series is arguably N64’s Ocarina of Time. That game broke huge ground for what a 3D adventure could be, with a huge game world full of interesting characters, hidden secrets and memorable storytelling. Sounds familiar, hm?

The effects of the success OoT had were felt for generations to come, and not just in the Zelda series. Looking at just how the Zelda series (on home consoles specifically) responded is retrospectively fascinating, and could give us some ideas of how Breath of the Wild may be followed.


The Majora’s Mask Direction

Mask

In fact, the project being worked on straight after Ocarina of Time was the Master Quest version of the game, a version of the game with reworked versions of the dungeons. This could be compared to the DLC for Breath of the Wild; a way to still use the world that had so much development time and effort put into it. In an Iwata Asks interview, though, it came out that Aonuma wasn’t so happy about having to do this.

The next mainline Zelda, the cult favourite Majora’s Mask, came about from general producer Shigeru Miyamoto himself saying that series producer Eiji Aonuma wouldn’t have to do Master Quest if a new Zelda could be made in a year (OoT released in 1998 and MM in 2000 – let’s give them some slack, though!).

This shortened time limit was likely a factor that led to Majora’s Mask being the game that it was, with the three-day time cycle. We may see a similar departure after Breath of the Wild; the Switch and Wii U epic had years and years of development, so a tight experience with a unique new mechanic and a shorter development time could be a great refresher for everyone – developers and players alike.


The Wind Waker Direction

TWWHD

Whilst Majora’s Mask was very closely tied to Ocarina of Time in many respects, the next title in the Zelda lineage went in a very different direction. Met with skepticism at first and positivity upon release, The Wind Waker flooded Hyrule and washed away the previous visual direction of Zelda. It was replaced with a cartoonish, cel-shaded look instead. The general structure of Ocarina of Time remained (to really simplify it: get some major items, plot twist, more items, fight Ganon), but felt fresh with the sailing, islands, and new characters like Tetra.

This may be the most exciting way to look at Breath of the Wild‘s legacy. The open world looks like it is here to stay, considering how Eiji Aonuma has stated to Famitsu (via Polygon): “I think that, in the future, open air games will be the standard for Zelda,”.

Breath of the Wild‘s post-apocalyptic feel has a certain appeal. Now, though, could we perhaps see a more intact rendition of Hyrule? A more built-up world (even if it’s not quite to the degree of New Dong City in Super Mario Odyssey) – could be one such direction. Before Breath of the Wild, we saw the seas, twilight, and the sky introduced to keep the series innovative, and this kind of variation could be the answer post-BotW.


The Twilight Princess Direction

TP

If there was one criticism to lodge at Breath of the Wild, it may well be how dungeons were implemented into the new open world. With the go-anywhere message, the dungeons were compromised to fit; they were shorter, and less clear-cut in their puzzle design. This was partly due to Link’s climbing and gliding making it harder to restrict the player. Furthermore, the dungeons lacked the visual variation we have seen before, even if the open world had plenty. Shrines were a welcome addition, but their bite-sized nature meant they, again, were compromised forms of dungeons. They couldn’t create the same a-ha! moment that comes from solving a larger dungeon in, say, Twilight Princess.

The thing is, Zelda as a series can’t go backwards now. If the games became more linear and restrictive, it could be seen as a step back. The great task facing Nintendo is combining the open world of Breath of the Wild with the peerless dungeon design we have seen in many other Zelda titles. 3DS’ A Link Between Worlds is a great reference for this – renting items for different dungeons may have been a clunky way to explain item limitation, but the reward of the dungeon design it allowed was worth it. If Nintendo could work out a more story-sensical reason for restricting items whilst in a dungeon, then that could be the answer.


Looking at those three post-Ocarina of Time games, you can see that we should have a lot of faith that Zelda has a bright future inspired, not overshadowed, by Breath of the Wild. The influence of OoT led to phenomenal – and, crucially, varied – games like Majora’s Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, and Breath of the Wild can have a legacy just as impressive.

Seeing how the team working on the next Zelda try to top themselves is something we can very much look forward to. Meanwhile, I have another 100 or so hours to put into Breath of the Wild

Hyrule Weekly #4: The Fallen Hero Theory for Breath of the Wild

– This post was originally published on 11th February 2017. It is being archived and updated here, which is why sections may seem out of date. For more info read here! New entries in this series of articles are on the way… –


It’s getting rather close to the release of Breath of the Wild. We’ve waited years, but now we are less than a month from the launch of both the game and the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd. Yet, somehow, we don’t know many concrete facts about the story – or do we? That’s what Hyrule Weekly will be getting into right here, now that we have more to analyse – for example, the very cinematic trailer from the Nintendo Switch presentation in January:

So, it’s time to try and connect the dots a little bit. Previously Hyrule Weekly has theorised that Breath of the Wild could be set in The Imprisoning War; can we make a different, more informed assessment with what we know now? The objective of this is to give you more rock-solid information about the game, as well as theorising what it means.


Hyrule History

Let’s start with the wider setting first. In that prior Hyrule Weekly, we made some strong points for why Breath of the Wild has to be in the Fallen Hero timeline after Ocarina of Time. This is where Link failed in his quest to kill Ganon and save Hyrule, and goes on to be the setting for A Link to the Past. What we’ve learned since June last year actually backs up a lot of this.

This could be the aftermath to Link and Zelda failing to defeat Ganon

Take GameInformer’s rapid-fire interview with Zelda‘s creator Shigeru Miyamoto and producer Eiji Aonuma. Check out this exchange, plain as can be, for whether or not the new Zelda takes place after Ocarina of Time or not:

GameInformer Senior Editor Ben Reeves: Does Breath of the Wild take place before or after Ocarina of Time?

Eiji Aonuma: After.

That’s that cleared up in a no-nonsense fashion, then. It gets a bit more tricky when trying to 100% confirm whether the game is set in one specific timeline, however. Again, to go back to The Imprisoning War theory, we established a few reasons for why the process of elimination points to the Fallen Hero timeline. Firstly, the Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks line results in a flooded Hyrule and a discovery of a new land, and Breath of the Wild is definitely set in the land of Hyrule. Also, the Sheikah – so prominent in the footage we have seen of the upcoming game – have only ever appeared before and in Ocarina of Time or in the Fallen Hero timeline.


What’s Changed

Now, there’s some really huge information that has come out in recent times that gives us important backstory for Breath of the Wild. There is a certain “Relic of Hyrule: Calamity Canon Tapestry and weather-worn map” item (catchy, eh?) that comes with both the Special and Master Editions of the game (the Master Edition that is not available in Europe… why Nintendo, why?) that has unwittingly exposed said backstory.

A view of the Sheikah text (via IGN)

After the aforementioned Nintendo Switch presentation, there was a Treehouse stream showing off the console and the games on it. When discussing Zelda, this item was shown off; while the map was impressive in its size and detail, the other side had Sheikah language that was brilliantly decoded in the Discord chat of the Zelda YouTuber Zeltik. The video showing off the work is below:

The tapestry reads like this in English – bear in mind there is always room for slight error, as it is translated from Sheikah to Japanese to English: (via Eurogamer):

“Hylians pass stories of a destined time long past where multiple races lived and worked together in harmony. The Sheikah Tribe’s blue aura breathed through the land and this mutual prosperity continue until a cataclysmic disaster struck. The Hero and the Princess attempted to seal the terror which became known as the Calamity Ganon. Divine Beasts awoke from four directions and deployed a mechanical army which made the King and his people fearful. They fractured Ganon’s power and sealed him but the Shiekah were banished from the land ever since.”

When you read through this with the events of the Fallen Hero timeline in mind, multiple elements match up. Let’s go through it in more detail.


A Fallen Hero

For starters, you may think that the description of a scenario in “harmony” doesn’t really make sense. If Ganon won, how can the world be in harmony? The secret is that we may be thinking of this all in the wrong way. This backstory doesn’t start AFTER Ocarina of Time; it starts during that game. The period of harmony is before Ganon managed to gain access to the Triforce in that infamous cutscene midway through Ocarina of Time – in other words, when “a cataclysmic disaster struck”. Still with me?

Zelda protecting Link

The backstory then continues to describe what we know from that timeline. “The Hero” (Link) and “the Princess” (Zelda) are described as trying but failing to stop this threat. Doesn’t that sound very familiar? It’s all fitting into place for the Fallen Hero timeline, and The Imprisoning War takes over to match up from here. To fully catch up on this part of Zelda history, do check out the theory article linked earlier or the Zelda Wiki page on the subject.

The Imprisoning War tells us that Ganon was then sealed away by the Seven Sages in the absence of the Hero and the Princess. Our information on this period came from A Link to the Past‘s manual, which confessed that that part of history was “”obscured by the mists of time, and became legend”” (via ZeldaInformer). Even so, the general events of Breath of the Wild‘s backstory and The Imprisoning War have a stark similarity to them.


Guardians of Hyrule

The creations of the Sheikah used to try and defeat Ganon were turned against their owners by Calamity Ganon’s corruption, as stated in Zeltik’s video. In The Imprisoning War, residents of Hyrule were corrupted by the Dark World Ganon was sealed in, becoming monsters in his army. This army then set upon the land, where the Knights of Hyrule managed to protect the Seven Sages until they could seal the Dark World once more. We may have actually seen this very sequence in the recent trailers, where we see the turned Guardians – of Sheikah creation – destroying the civilisation of Hyrule.

Calamity Ganon attacking from the Dark World?

The successful resolution of the Knights of Hyrule and the Seven Sages has such little known about it, and it’s very possible that we could be seeing the true events of that time in Breath of the Wild. With the failure of their creations to save Hyrule from Calamity Ganon, the Sheikah could look to a dormant, hidden Link (who fell against Ganon in Ocarina of Time) to help them retake the four main Sheikah protectors on the “Relic of Hyrule…” from earlier. Unbeknownst to Hyrule history and Ganon, Link and Zelda may have teamed up with the Sheikah to rally against Ganon and support Hyrule’s battle against Calamity Ganon. Only this way can Link and Zelda still complete their destinies to defeat this incarnation of Demise from Skyward Sword.

In addition, this would make sense as the dungeons of this open world Zelda game, with the corners of the map each holding on dungeon. The final boss could be the Shiekah protector, and defeating it removes the corruption in order for it to help you in your final battle against Ganon. This theory works for both the story and the gameplay, which lends it a bit more believablity; it even fits with Zelda’s inclusion. If we treat Link as the version from Ocarina of Time, waking from a 100-year sleep, then Zelda could also have been conserved in this way. As part of the Sheikah, she may wake up to see their attempts to save Hyrule backfire horrifically and only help Ganon’s murder of the citizens of Hyrule – Zelda’s citizens. This seems like a good justification for the distress we see her in in the Nintendo Switch presentation trailer.

Is this the result of the Shiekah’s failed attempts to save Hyrule?

The further we get into the areas of the timeline that don’t have games to explain them, the murkier connections get. However, there are clear similarities that potentially link (ba-dum tish) Breath of the Wild to the Fallen Hero timeline and, subsequently, The Imprisoning War. It’s a notable event that leads to A Link to the Past, and honestly it’d just be a brilliant, epic setting for a Zelda game. Let’s get that bit of history cleared up, yeah?

It’s all just a theory, though. Maybe Ganon is secretly Tingle. Calamity Tingle is behind it all! March 3rd is so close, so we’ll know very soon!


It was a very story-heavy Hyrule Weekly this time around, and we’re going to go in an opposite way next week. A community article is on the way! See you next Saturday, when we will be one more week closer to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch and Wii U!

Hyrule Weekly #3: Breath of the Wild is a Breath of Fresh Air

– This article was originally published on 4th February 2017. It is being archived and updated here, which is why sections may seem out of date. For more info read here! –


Seriously, how has that headline not been used more? Nevertheless, it’s true – after getting a taste of the vast expanse that is the world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the Nintendo Switch Premiere Event in London, there’s a feeling that the series will never be quite the same. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Eiji Aonuma and his team stepping back to the more restricted areas we got used to in Skyward Sword.

Zelda is different now. From the oh-so-brief 20 minutes supplied in the demo, the Ocarina of Time gameplay formula – dungeons, main event, more dungeons, finale – seems to have been torn apart and replaced with something fresh. The Wind Waker brought massive visual change, but Breath of the Wild is more seismic in how it changes the inherent structure of the game.

It’s evident in the first few minutes. Link wakes up from his cryogenic-style pool, naked but for the shorts (calm down, girls), and you’re put in control from the off. These first few rooms brilliantly teach you some of the core changes Breath of the Wild makes to the Zelda series. You’re introduced to the Sheikah Slate (which is suspiciously like a Wii U GamePad…), which will act as a multifunctional tool to help you around the brutal open world (think map, waypoints, and so on). You pop open a couple of chests, and see how the gear affects your stats in much more of an RPG fashion; yet, more important is how you get out of these initial rooms. The core way you move through the environment has been dramatically changed with the introduction of jumping and climbing techniques.

Jumping? In Zelda? What is this?! In all honesty, using the X button to jump feels a little unnatural at first. Games have often taught us to use a lower button for jumping, and so having it at the top of the ABXY diamond takes getting used to. Furthermore, the climbing – which is limited by a meter, not the surface – is a really nice way to give an extra feeling of freedom in the open world ahead. To the player, the limitations seem to be only what you can traverse yourself, rather than any route laid out to you by the developers; if we look back to Skyward Sword, we saw the beginnings of this there. The meter used for sprinting and other physical tasks has been fitted into an open world, subtly pushing the idea of exploration further.

It really is an impressive and typically Nintendo introduction. By the time you majestically run out of those secluded rooms onto the cliffside, you know the basics of how the controls have changed and how to move about this massive sandbox ahead of you. It feels like the first level of Super Mario Bros., or the introduction to The Legend of Zelda on NES. The gameplay has taught you, not a dull typographic tutorial; as players we are being taught anew what a Zelda game can be as we play about in the world.

What a world it is, too. Even if there is a rough route that Nintendo’s talented developers wanted us to follow, it’s indistinguishable. The open world spans in all directions, with the mystery of each pulling you around. The 20 minute demo barely allowed us to get accustomed to it, but one thing that came out of that was how exciting the prospect of getting the full game is. Just in that 20 minutes alone I had genuine stories to tell my friends about afterwards, whether it was managing to acquire a sword, meeting the old man who is so reminiscent of the King of Red Lions in The Wind Waker, exploring what appears to be the ruined Temple of Time or, er, getting one-hit by an enemy.

Yeah, that last bit didn’t go so well for me. It’s refreshing, though, to have a game take the training wheels away and push you out on your own. In the case of my humbling Game Over screen, I was methodically taking down a cave of Moblins until their leader, with a particularly lethal-looking weapon, got tired of my acrobatic moves and swiped all of my hearts away. It’s a strong callback to The Legend of Zelda on NES, when half of the time you are walking into unknown environments and getting wiped out. Yet, there isn’t frustration in either Zelda title – my anticipation to get Breath of the Wild in a relaxed scenario and not only wreak justice on that cave, but also explore what is beyond it, is palpable.

Before I end, a couple of more technical things. My demo was played half on a TV, half on the Switch’s own screen. On the TV, there was some notable frame issues when – for example – encountering groups of Moblins, but we were assured by the staff that this was an earlier build and these would be fixed in the final edition. On the Switch itself, the game ran much better, though this may be down to the 720p quality it transitions to (on the TV, Breath of the Wild outputs at 900p). On that point, 720p on the smaller screen was very impressive; the stylistic art style was stunning on a crisp, small display at that resolution. The Switch’s buttons are much smaller than those on the Pro controller, but I am confident that these will be easy to accustomed yourself to.

Breath of the Wild is great in leaving you alone to work things out, but things like the aforementioned X to jump are a bit unusual. I found a bow in my demo, just through exploration, but wasn’t able to use it because it wasn’t immediately obvious to me how to equip it. It wasn’t listed as one of my weapons (like a sword or axe is), and in the time limited environment of the demo I couldn’t find it easily. This may well be less of a problem when learning all the button inputs at home.

Combat itself is one of the major areas of change, with the swords, axes, and similar weapons having a wear rate on them. This means you are constantly thinking about your supplies, giving the game a bit of a survival feel. Engaging enemies has a Wind Waker vibe, with rolls and dodges helping you to dance around opponents and slow-mo really making certain attacks satisfying. This area of the demo was one of the best for me, and spin attacks with the axe became a move of choice in my short time. Watch out, though, as big attacks like that can leave you vulnerable; there is a distinct strategical element to the combat. The only reason I survived so long against the Moblin leader was because of evading and chipping away, but when he managed to get a hit in? Yeah, that was the end of me.

At least I didn’t nearly burn all my hearts away in a fire of my own making (Josh). Or, y’know, drowned (Dem).

Overall, Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a masterful reinvention of the series loved by so many. There’s so much we don’t know about the world (despite the many reveals for the game) and that’s tremendously exciting. Who knows what secrets Eiji Aonuma and the many other developers behind this game have left for us to discover? Oh, and the story looks epic and emotional on another level from what Zelda has done before – but more on that next week…

Hyrule Weekly #2: Insights from the EDGE Feature

– This article was originally posted on 20th July 2016. It, and others, are being archived and updated here, so sections may seem out of date. This, specifically, is from the Hyrule Weekly series I intend to continue with new entries soon, especially as we get more news about the sequel to Breath of the Wild! –


The specialist gaming magazine EDGE (check it out here) recently released issue #296 (September 2016), and amongst all of the E3 coverage is a massive feature on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Other than the beautiful design of this feature (you can see images of this on Facebook), there is also a lot of interesting insight from The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma that hasn’t been uncovered elsewhere.

Indeed, you may have even seen parts of this feature cited elsewhere on the internet; the feature has been pulled apart into several articles, however, and so I thought you’d like an easier gateway into the best bits. So here’s another Hyrule Weekly compiling (and analysing) these parts in one place.

So enjoy the read – or get the physical magazine, to stop the digital takeover and The Matrix becoming a reality (there is a digital home for the magazine here, too). Your choice.


Break of the Wild

The beginning of the EDGE article has Eiji Aonuma explaining the inspiration behind the refreshed feel of Breath of the Wild. With a kind of Japanese theatre called kabuki, no less: “A kabuki master would say, ‘In order to break the mould, you have to know the mould’. Often, when I speak to Mr Miyamoto about a problem, that’s the feedback he’ll give me: ‘You don’t understand the mould here. That’s why it’s no good’.”

As you read this excerpt and match it to what we saw of the new Zelda at E3, it becomes clearer how recent Zeldas haven’t broken that “mould”. While fantastic games in their own rights, Zelda titles have been using the Ocarina of Time format for a while, giving us the open world we desire without ever actually fully giving us it. Look at The Wind Waker, with its vast ocean hiding the very structured map; Breath of the Wild is finally supplying us with the open world Zelda that previous entries haven’t quite managed.

Aonuma himself uses Skyward Sword to express this in the EDGE feature. “We got a lot of feedback from the people that played Skyward Sword,” he said, continuing on to explain that “There were these pockets of worlds that players were able to dive into, but they really wanted to see what was in between those worlds – all the hidden elements they weren’t able to see. I thought that was really natural for Zelda fans, who like to explore, to uncover little secrets. We realised that we needed to make this free, open-air world.”


Working Day and Night

With the saturation of open world games in the industry – they have become the first-person shooter of this generation, in many senses – simply introducing modern mechanics into Zelda may not have been enough to truly evolve the series. However, Breath of the Wild retains a magic synonymous with Zelda. An eloquent mentioning of the day/night cycle captures this; Aonuma said: “We didn’t want to create something that was dark and scary. I’ve been up a mountain at night and seen the stars; it was completely dark, but the starlight made it brighter. I wanted our nighttime environment to be something like that.”

Perhaps it is those kinds of details that keeps the game faithful to the Zelda series lineage, but it may also be the delicate balancing act of old and new elements. The EDGE interview has Aonuma describing said act: “I do question the staff about whether the way we did things in the past is really the right way to go this time. ‘Is this the path we want to take?’ That’s the question I ask them. The stuff we did in the past, we did for a reason. But a lot of the new staff on our team don’t know the real reason for why those things are there – they’re just so used to having them that they just kind of fit them in. We wanted to make sure they know why they’re doing something before they do it.”

Maybe it’s simpler, though. Aonuma adds: “Whenever I ask Mr Miyamoto what Zelda is, he says, ‘Well, Zelda‘s greatness is that it’s unique’. So we focus on what we weren’t able to do in other games.”


Go Your Own Way

Returning to the theme of changing what Zelda is, we have to remember that Nintendo plays games too. Some even affect development… “Of course we play a lot of games.” Aonuma says in the article. “Especially the staff – they play whatever they like. When someone says, ‘Hey, I’d really like to put this feature in the game,’ someone else may say, ‘No, actually, that’s already been done [in another game]’. We try not to focus too much on whether it’s already been done. We think, OK, it’s been done before, but how can we implement it in out game and make it our own, unique experience?”

The approach to building an open world shows this approach off. A criticism of other open world games such as Assassin’s Creed can be the large quantity of rather shallow objectives filling the world; Breath of the Wild takes one of the defining aspects of Zelda – the dungeons – and draws on them to occupy the world. In between the large-scale dungeons, over 100 Shrines act as mini-dungeons that encourage you to explore and find new areas. In addition, the open thinking being applied to world design is transferring across to new-style puzzles with multiple solutions.

“In the past titles, if a player found a different solution to the one we’d intended, we’d call it a bug,” Aonuma explains. “But for this title we created puzzles with multiple solutions. Even battles against enemies have a puzzle element: you can push a rock off a cliff and defeat them that way, or have bees chase them away so you can sneak up and take their weapons. Even if it’s a strong enemy, there are a lot of strategies, and it’s not just about battling.”


Breaking the Wild

Much of the news around Breath of the Wild, at least pre-E3 2016, was unfortunately about delays. Initially revealed at E3 2014 as a 2015 game, it ended up missing not only the 2015 release window but also E3 that year. Now it’s been slated for a 2017 launch, alongside NX. However, if you’re looking for a reason why it’s been so drastically pushed back, Aonuma might have an explanation:

“We have these milestones during development,” the Zelda producer said. “I play the game, then give staff my comments, my advice on what direction they should be heading in. At one of the milestones, the game was fantastic. There were so many great elements. But at the next milestone, that was all gone.

I’d made a lot of comments about what they needed to add, but I never told them what I thought was good about the game at that milestone. So they added stuff that I’d recommended, but they also added some other elements they thought would work well – and that ended up breaking all the good parts of the previous build. I learned that, when it’s good, I have to say so. If I’d managed that well, maybe development wouldn’t have extended quite so much!”

A pretty big admittance of error there, but it’s not difficult to excuse. For starters, Aonuma has been behind so much of Zelda‘s success over the years. More significantly, Breath of the Wild‘s transition from a Wii U exclusive to a dual release on NX as well may have been inevitable. In which case, the date may well have still been pushed back. As it is, we have a pretty stellar game for the launch of Nintendo’s next console (whatever that is).

In fact, unlike when Twilight Princess performed the two-platform trick with GameCube and Wii, Aonuma is directly involved in Nintendo’s hardware now. “When they told me about [Wii’s] motion controls, I was kind of surprised,” Aonuma recalls. “But I’ve been with Nintendo a long time. At first they would say, ‘Hey, we made this new platform. Make a game.’ The next step was, ‘Is there anything you want to add to this new platform?’ Now I’m involved in creating the hardware. They’ll ask me what would be a good feature to add. I’m not so taken back by it anymore.”

To close thoughts on hardware, it’s intriguing to note a sentence in the article on motion control. EDGE writes that: “Aonuma admits he felt “fulfilled” by his work on motion controls with Skyward Sword, and would be happy to try it again. “But I really like anything new,” he says – something that’s hard to reconcile with the familiar way in which Breath Of The Wild is controlled.”

If nothing else, this throws up many more questions on what NX could be. We all need more of them, right? Oh, wait.


Among Sheikahs

Finishing our findings from EDGE’s article is Aonuma talking about his own future. Could he work on something that isn’t Zelda? “Actually, Nintendo has been telling me to create a new IP,” he reveals. “But then, they’re also telling me to make more Zelda games.” It’s a conundrum, isn’t it. A mind behind such masterpieces may well have some amazing ideas beyond the world of Zelda. Actually, he may already have them…

Aonuma said: “I can’t really share much; I’m not sure I’m allowed to say anything. But I really like the idea of a game where I can live as a thief. That’s all I’ll say.” Now, this makes me think of the Sheikah. Which would bring it back to Zelda, which isn’t really the point of this exercise… Still, this means we may have something outside the setting of Hyrule coming from Eiji Aonuma – which is very exciting.


Whew, there’s a lot of meat to chew from that EDGE article and interview! Remember you can find out how to get the physical edition of EDGE here, or find the magazine online at their new home of gamesradar.

Finally, what do you make of Eiji Aonuma’s comments in EDGE #296? You can let me know in the comments. See you in the next edition of Hyrule Weekly!