Eiji Aonuma and Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Nintendo‘s masterminds behind The Legend of Zelda, recently spoke about the Zelda open world format and the possibility of linear story lines making a return to the series.
And their answer may disappoint those fans of the game franchise hoping to see “traditional” Zelda experiences making a return to the forefront.
I am a very big fan of the direction in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, with their massive open world and freedom to tackle the story at your own chosen pace and sequence.
Sales numbers suggest that the consumers are loving the latest direction in the Zelda franchise as well. Both games are major money makers for Nintendo as a couple of the best Switch exclusives.
But we do know that there are some hardcore Zelda fans who are still hoping to see the series go back to old form in a more linear format with a traditional overworld and dungeon setup.
To me, it sounds odd to say that you don’t like all of this freedom and you’d rather have a game that walks you through a story on rails.
It would seem that the minds behind the Zelda franchise also feel that way, and they are having trouble imagining how to remove all of that freedom for a linear story experience.
In a recent interview with IGN, Eiji Aonuma and Hidemaro Fujibayashi shared their thoughts on the future of The Legend of Zelda series.
And Eiji Aonuma summarized it quite well when he said: “I am wondering, why do you want to go back to a type of game where you’re more limited […] in the [..] ways you can play?“.
He also stated that he understands why people hold on to the nostalgia of the old game format, but that guided linear formula is best left with “the games of the past.“
This interview, as well as other statements made by the Zelda team, all but confirm that the open world Zelda formula is here to say.
The Future of the Zelda Universe
With the massive success of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom essentially concluding the current Zelda storyline, it has many asking what comes next.
We know that the Zelda team have said that they do not believe they can force another storyline to fit within the current Hyrule world.
I also believe that it is time that we start to see new storylines, characters and game elements added to the Zelda universe rather than trying to repeat the same story over again.
I can see why people try so desperately to relive the most sentimental experiences in their life, including video game experiences. It is what this retro video game niche is all about – reliving beautiful memories.
Those of us participating in this retro gaming community have all of those classic games to replay in so many unique ways in 2023.
Whether it is taking games once locked on home consoles in our pockets using one of the best handhelds under $100, or experiencing a classic game in an entirely new way, like the recent Link’s Awakening HD port.
So rather than trying to control the Zelda experience we get in the future, let’s leave our trust with the creative minds who gave us everything we love about the series.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.