Nintendo is no stranger to perfecting well known titles such as Mario, Kirby, and even Metroid; but there is one game that has expanded farther in story, graphics, and experience. The Legend of Zelda is famous for evolving narrative, complex puzzles, and gripping secrets, making fans of everyone around the world, both young and old. With each installment, Zelda’s legend has been handled somewhat differently, bringing the freshest and best play through possible with each release. That is why there is no doubt that Zelda Wii U has made it to OnlySP’s Most Anticipated for 2015.
Eiji Aonuma has made it clear that, if nothing else, the vastness and exploration is completely new for the Legend of Zelda series. While having dealt with 3D in an ever expanding technological world, Nintendo has had trouble veering from the linier and designated guide. However, using the Wii U equipment to their advantage, the team has been able to see their dream with a complete open world game. Much like Skyrim, the character and his trusted steed are now able to explore any corner of the world at any time, with any amount of experience obtained. This is a great accomplishment, as the graphics are far too beautiful to not be able to inspect up close. Besides, who wouldn’t want to explore Hyrule in its entirety?
It doesn’t take a die-hard fan to see all of the likely throw backs to previous games in both the trailer and the four minutes of gameplay we were allowed to witness. A big part of The Legend of Zelda series is the ‘links’ between games, referencing everything from highly important landmarks, to simple icons like the symbol of Sheikah. This element has been established in almost every installment and would be a shame if that wasn’t implemented now.
The bow is the first weapon we see Link wield, using both bomb arrows as well as a mysterious arrow that he must trigger to shoot. In the trailer, he leaps from Epona while simultaneously activating this arrow that looks slightly like the monster he’s pointing it at. Whether this signifies the bow as a primary weapon isn’t really known, but it seems to be a new and necessary feature for a ride-by attack on creatures.
Though the format seems to be analogous to former Zelda games (dungeons, puzzles, and map), the way developers go about Zelda Wii U makes for a fresh new gameplay experience. With an open world and seemingly new or, at least, improved weapon practices, fans are promised yet another brand new aspect to a classic.
And, following the new bow mechanics, mounted combat makes a comeback from Twilight Princess and allegedly enhanced for the Wii U. Not only can we leap from Epona, slow down time, and shoot while still in the air, but we can gallop by, swinging our sword at unwanted company. Tying with the two Wii games, Link is right handed in Zelda Wii U. This was implemented in Skyward sword and Twilight Princess because of the Wii controls, but isn’t a big deal for this game…unless you are a fellow left-hander who loved Link for being like you.
With several speculations and theories floating about the gaming community, Nintendo staff and Eiji Aonuma have neither confirmed nor denied any accusations, keeping much of the game unknown for now. However, the guesses are enough to keep the fans sated, hopefully, until release.
Theories suggest that the game may fit in between two of the previous Zelda titles as far as the story goes, seeing the Sail cloth from Skyward Sword, and quite possibly, an undamaged Great Bridge of Hylia from before Twilight Princess took place. Other hints are scattered throughout the short gameplay, but everything is just speculation.
The way the main character is portrayed is another interesting feature. Since the release of the trailer at E3 2014, it was thought that Link was quite possibly a girl which would maybe change the story. However, upon more recent interviews, Link is mentioned as a “him”, ruling out at least one theory. Still, the color of his tunic is different from his signature green, giving a potential throwback to ‘Links awakening’ or even the blue tunic from ‘Ocarina of time’. This causes curiosity about possible abilities in clothing and if this will have tie-ins with previous games both in story and gameplay.
Even if the story is not 100% clear, and speculations are born faster than facts are given, one thing is certain – Zelda fans are hyped for Hyrule and the characters they know and love. We’ve been given masks, boats, tunics, horses, and Ocarinas’. Let’s see what we can do with the vast and beautiful world we’ve only dreamed of exploring, and what secrets await in the crevices we’ve never been able to discover before.