News Article

Eiji Aonuma Hints at The Legend of Zelda on Wii U Being "More Than Just a Single-Player Experience"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

More playable characters to be revealed for Hyrule Warriors

The Legend of Zelda is a franchise that's dabbled with multiplayer in the past, most notably with the Four Swords titles across GameCube, Game Boy Advance and DSiWare re-release The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition. The definition of 'multiplayer' can be stretched in this online era, however, as even single-player experiences can be infused with optional crossing over into multiplayer, whether directly in the case of summoning and invasions in Dark Souls II or, to look at more passive communication options in Wii U titles, messages exchanged through Miiverse or otherwise in-game within titles such as ZombiU and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

The latter example is particularly relevant, as Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has dropped a hint that The Legend of Zelda on Wii U will contain elements that take it beyond being a single-player adventure. When asked by Game Informer about whether multiplayer was an aspect to be considered in the new entry — albeit on a wonky premise that it's a new feature for Hyrule Warriors, whereas it's actually common for Dynasty Warriors titles — Aonuma-san suggested that the new adventure would have elements to divert from a standard single-player experience.

The two-player functionality of Hyrule Warriors is actually something that has traditionally been done in the Dynasty Warriors series, but they’ve changed because of the hardware and the second screen on your GamePad. Instead of having a splitscreen on the television, you have one-player playing on the television and one on the GamePad. When I was talking back about making Zelda more than just a single-player experience? That’s something you will see in the future, maybe next year.

This could mean a variety of things, as we've suggested above — it could be subtle, selective multiplayer elements rather than multiple heroes running around on screen together. Almost anything is possible given Aonuma-san's desire to shake up the series.

Elsewhere in the interview we're promised even more playable characters for Hyrule Warriors that will be confirmed soon; new additions are promised to satisfy Zelda fans.

What sort of multiplayer aspects would you like to see in The Legend of Zelda in Wii U, if this tease becomes a reality? Do you want to directly share the adventure with others, or perhaps just exchange messages and items? Let us know.


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User Comments (81)



TheWPCTraveler said:

If they actually seriously consider using the image Kojima shared a while back as inspiration for the multiplayer, I won't know what to think about that.



GuSolarFlare said:

hope it's a battle mode, something similar to the Shadow Link fights in ALBW, but multiplayer and with more than just 2 Links battling at a time
and without that time limit too....



JimLad said:

I think the second player will control a companion, ala Navi/Fi rather than another Link. Just a guess.



bonham2 said:

Please no. I have hated every attempt at turning Zelda into a multiplayer game...4 swords with GBAs and link cables.



Gelantious said:

Would really enjoy a full coop mode where a second player controls another character. Would also be a good time to introduce a female character since that's been a talking point lately. If playing alone then one could switch between these two characters.



fluggy said:

Please not co-op.... My fave franchises, Dead Space and God of War were ruined with co-op. Single player in Dead Space 3 suffered and main campaign in God of War Ascension wasn't up to scratch as devs were spending time n resources to include multiplayer. Co-op Zelda doesn't sound necessary at all.



rjejr said:

I just wrote the other day that I only buy co-op games, but Zelda doesn't fall in that category, and most add-on attempts at simple multiplayer - Puppeteer, Child of Light, SMG - seem to tacked on and more trouble than thy are worth.

I haven't played WW HD yet but I've read they did a goo djob o fintegrating some weird online multiplayer w/ Tinkle, so a simple "Kilroy was here" coments weiten on rocks or butterfly wings might be ok.

Maybe one of those work boards where you do errands for people. Somebody could hide gold bugs in their own game and somebody would find them in those spots and get a gold bug as a reward. So like the Sonic Lost Worlds trade system, only you have to work for it.



Tsurii said:

I really hope it's not a co-op MP, too.
Something like in ALBW would be pretty neat. Maybe even "real-time" fights as @GuSolarFlare said (1on1, I don't want arena matches in Zelda) or a Dark Souls-ish approach.
I'm sure, that Aonuma will do something great either way, he's yet to fail me, but I'm a fanboy anyway

And I'm also really curious to see who'll be revealed for Hyrule Warriorsö No particular wish(es), tho.
But...I hope this won't be a trend in Nintendo's advertisement. They shouldn't show too much of the games. That kinda killed my Smash Bros already :/



FullbringIchigo said:

NO! please leave multiplayer out of it so many franchises have become dull and boring because they only concentraite on multiplayer

if you have to make a multiplayer Zelda then make a seperate MMO style game for Wii U but leave our single player games alone



Volmun said:

@fluggy im so sick of this argument.. "Co-Op ruins games" no it dose not and from what allot of my frends have sed God of War has goten worse with etch game past the PS2 games. I personly realy liked Dead Space 3 and found it more intresting than the 2nd game albe it too short but thats not down to the co-op at all ppl just blame it as thay cant be bothered to consider the company mabe just didnt make the game longer as its More Work to do.. its like how ppl blame Co-Op for all of RE5s problems... nop.. RE5 eas just a bad game notthing to do with the Co-Op and id mutch rather have a Co-Op mode over a lazy botched VS pile of crap thats generic in every game with it.. only exception is Dead Rising 3 witch made the VS mode like a Game Show (Terror is Realty) but normaly you get the same boring old crap (Death match, Capter the Flag, ect) witch is fun for about 5 minits then dull as hell atlest in co-op (specialy if you can do it with frends you wanto unline in games like Jerny where its randoms) you can just relax and messaround and have FUN youknow what games are Made for...



Volmun said:

@FullbringIchigo i think thats a better way of doing it realy tbh (bit like how White Knight Chronicals and Half Life did have the online and Single player story seprated Keeps ppl happy then. Im just sick of ppl saying "Co-Op is why this game is crap" when its actualy as the game IS just a bad game... i get more wound up by things like Lost Planet 2 where it was ment to have this huge Co-Op campain but thay botched it inplace of a dull generic VS mode...



Oren87 said:

It shouldn't be "Developers focus on multi-player too much and the game sucks", it should be "as long as it doesn't affect the quality of the single player experience then why not".

If that's the case then I'm all for it. Some people like multi-player. Others don't. If you don't like it then don't use it. The idea that including multi-player in a game will somehow make it worse is a bit silly. Mario Kart has multi-player, is it any less of a single player experience because of it? Nope.



fluggy said:

God of War 3 on PS3 was best in series. The incredible visuals n design were watered down for Ascension.... If they had ignored spending time on multiplayer and created an incredible solo experience fans would be happy. They didn't .... They tarnished a legacy, sales were poor and members of the dev team were rightly laid off... All because some dimwit wanted to include a pointless multiplayer. I wouldve liked resi 5 a lot.... If it was just Leon in solo game without having to babysit Shiva. Dead Space 1+2 were both far superior to 3 ... WITH NO CO-OP!!!



Nintenjoe64 said:

As long as the main quest isn't affected by the multiplayer I don't see problem. I also don't want a Mario Galaxy style coop because that is pointless!



Volmun said:

@fluggy -i may be wrong but didnt a difrnt team doGoW Assension? Also it was Chris and Sheva in 5 it was leon in Re6 with Hilana also with seprt capains with Chris, Pirce, Serry and Jack along with an Ada Wong campain.. and no 5 was bad as it was a dull Action shooter not a horror survival that has Nothing to do with Co-Op as RE6 imo was far far better than 5 (but i perfered Revilations Witch was made to be Co-Op but thay ran out of time so removed it .. ie its a co-op game with no co-op and its fine as thay put the efort into it = that co-op isnt the reason see? I actualy think Ratinaly about thes things not go charging in blaming 1 new thing) and i did say I PERSONLY think Dead Space 3 was Better than 2 all be it too short for sevral reasons other than co-op I liked the Gun Customisation .



Volmun said:

@Oren exactly I only get angry with games lile Lost Planet 2 when it was planed for Co-op story then thay rushed it and focused on making a VS mode insted (you can tell with all the older demos thay sudnly stoped bothing woth the campain inplace of the VS mode not to mention the last boss omg... lol) but yeah i agree with what you sed.



ikki5 said:

if they make a multiplayer aspect to it, it better not be like what the 2 player they considered for Super Mario Galaxy was.



Volmun said:

@ikki5 agreed but i think a Tinggle mode on the game pad might be quite fun (like the GBA link up on the Game Cube ver of Wind Waker) -or even have some form of abilty to link the 3DS to the WiiU.



Spoony_Tech said:

I said it on the forums and I'll say it here. I'm always up for something new as the series needs a bit of change but as long as it doesn't interfere with the single player experience I'm fine with it. The main game needs to stay single player and not turn entirely into Elder Scrolls.



King47 said:

I don't care, as long as the single player is good.
I hope it doesn't feel forced.



Tsurii said:

@Spoony_Tech Elder Scrolls is even "more" of a singleplayer game than Zelda, tho. You have no MP elements at all in the main series.



Varoennauraa said:

OMG! I'm still not holding my breath, but it sounds like my dreams might have a slight chance of coming true.

Co op Zelda was my first wish, when I saw the GamePad.

Link has had a companion since The Ocarina, and in my view the best use for the GamePad in a Zelda game would be controlling the companion and leave Link wielding a Wiimote.

The two characters would obviously be very different and complement each other, which would explode puzzle design possibilities and help to make battles even more interesting. When playing alone, the companion would be controlled by AI, and the player would alternate between the characters by changing the controller.



sinalefa said:


Link as the wiimote swordsman and a companion as a Gamepad magic user (could be Zelda) or bow and arrow user as we saw in Nintendo Land could be interesting.



Gelantious said:

The Elder Scrolls MMO is made by a different developer than the studio that made the singleplayer games. That studio is most likely busy making a new game in the series.



Spoony_Tech said:

@Tsurii897 Well as a fan of the series I can say I enjoyed the 2 I played up to Skyrim. Was it really that bad of a game? Never even seen a pic from it.



MrKenta said:

Calling it now, the next Zelda will have co-op with the Player 2 character being either Zelda, Impa, or a new version of Aryll.



Jock_Nerd said:

I'm not worried. The single-player campaign will still be in tact. This is a bonus to me.



TheRealThanos said:

A standard multiplayer should be a definite NO, but I can absolutely see the added value in some sort of live setup were one person is playing Ganondorf (or whoever is the bad guy in this new game) and you can use evil helpers to actively try and stop Link from achieving his goals by creating all sorts of traps and ambushes and you could also take on the role of one of the friendly races to help Link against the evil forces. It is supposedly an open world game after all.
Besides that I can also imagine a situation where a second player takes on the role of for example Sheik to help Link to solve the larger puzzles that need more back and forth traveling. A live chat connection could then see to it that the two can keep in contact or their respective progress could be displayed on the other's GamePad when online, and in local co-op you could just have the option of one on the TV and one on the GamePad. Eiji Aonuma will do right by this if there is going to be some form of multiplayer, I'm not too worried about that.



dinosauryoshi said:

I'm sure this won't impact on the single player so it's fine with me. I'm not too bothered about it being included though. Zelda is just fine as a one player experience in my books, however if Aonuma comes up with a multiplayer mode that's good, well that's a bonus.



WanderingPB said:

Im in a tug of war…i absolutely want my single player Zelda but my son and I love playing Four Swords together…guess it would be greedy of me to want both huh?

@sinalefa i absolutely agree LOZ in Nintendoland was a great mechanic in dividing up wiimote and gamepad and if they could allow the person controlling the gamepad only play on the gamepad so the tv screen didnt have to be split than YES!!!

Regardless making a new Zelda game that makes fans happy and innovates is an arduous task no questions asked. I dont mind, I'll patiently wait to see what great adventure the creating for us



ULTRA-64 said:

Sounds interesting to me, I'd love to see some inspiration taken from zombie u!! Not the cricket bat, but the master vs survivor formula with a person trying to live through challenges set/controlled by the gamepad player! You could use an interactive dungeon, placeable hazards and enemies and of course collectable weapons. Online leaderboards for times- zeldatv (mk8style) and wait for it.......Online events like winner stays on tournaments against Nintendo staff controlled get the idea =)



Nareva said:

Just give me another Picto Box and the ability to share photos on Miiverse and I'll be happy.



Goginho said:

I would like to see asymmetrical co-op, as well as an extra battle mode a-la Dark Link with live players. As for the story co-op part, they need to find a clever way to incorporate a second player, where it wouldn't hinder your progress if playing alone, such as have a decent AI partner.
Man, this is the kind of co-op I wanted to see in a 3D Mario game, 2-player asymmetrical, but for Zelda...I can't think of how this could be implemented accordingly :/
I could imagine parts of the game being similiar to how near the end of Majora's Mask you had to alternate between controlling Link and Kafei on that respective mission. Those kinds of puzzles could work well with 2-player co-op I assume, but for some other parts it could be tricky to come up with something and have work-arounds.



Usagi-san said:

Next Aonuma will announce a large roster of hylian knights (each with an amiibo) for players to hire as companions or play as with friends. Each Knight will specialise in one of the series' trademark items and the player will be able to switch between control of Link and the hired companion in solo play.



Blackleg_sanji said:

My god the amount of ppl saying no in the comments is disgusting. .plz let him shake it up a bit just this once? If it fails fine ill eat my words but I welcome the inclusion of multiplayer if it means we get a different experience.



Hero-of-WiiU said:

As long it's different mode. I want the core experience/campaign to be experienced myself, online elements found in Wind Waker was cool so Id definently take that.



xerneas said:

Battle mode would be pretty cool! Though I'm happy without anything, too.



Nik-Davies said:

If I could explore the open world with 3 other friends online doing exclusive quests, I will be the happiest Nik-Davies to ever exist



Travelinghermit said:

If they add multiplayer I hope it is something like the tingle tuner from Wind Waker because that was lots of fun.



Dpishere said:

I am almost certain it won't be anything that will be core to the main game. If anything it will either be a seperate mode, or an optional way to play certain parts of the main single player adventure. Perhaps even Miiverse integration as suggested by the article.



Nareva said:

It could also be something like A Link Between Worlds where you could fight other people's version of Link.



Bender said:

Watch it allow you to create your own character and play online with friends..



MeloMan said:

I still have that little piece of hope that Zelda has a MMO component where Hyrule is one big thriving community and vast world. Whether it takes a standalone game or not, I think that the Hyrule universe would be awesome as an MMO action adventure, but that's just imo.



aaronsullivan said:

@WanderingPB @sinalefa Zelda in Nintendo Land but fleshed out would be amazing. I'm sad that it always has to be "one-player" first. I get it... but it could be so much more fun with cooperative play. Perhaps everything could just be enhanced when there is a second player? More enemies, more elaborate puzzles with partner, more complex combat situations. Nintendo did it before by varying the puzzles for 1, 2, 3, or 4 players in Four Swords, so maybe. They'd have to be clever to avoid double the development time!

@Varoennauraa My first thoughts were also the "helper" character being playable. I was thinking even Navi with free flight out to a certain distance to find things and give an overview but also have other abilities. It's a natural extension for the casual observer. They can observe where they want to, freeing them from looking in the same place the main player is. The game could build more and more abilities as the game progresses and force interaction. Could be a great way to draw a casual observer in.

To those mentioning MMO, it's an interesting dream, but he is very specific comparing it to the TV and GamePad Screen separate gameplay experience of Hyrule Warriors, so I'd say he is clearly NOT suggesting anything MMO. I don't think it fits Zelda proper games much at all, but Hyrule has enough fun stuff that it could be a fun alternate Zelda game like Hyrule Warriors is.



KeatonTS said:

Multi playable characters is fine as long as link has the most play time, and that in a certain point in the game, you get to choose whoever you want for as long as you want.

I'm really against having a co-op mode, however, i'd be willing to accept it if there is a separate mode/short story or side quests that allow or require co-op mode.
and also, integrate co-op mode for single player but make its importance to the story minimum, e.g. Only use co-op mode for collecting treasure chests containing rupees, heart containers, and other somewhat essential quest items. players would have to work together to get to the chests an into secret dungeons and caves. but this shouldn't be a necessary option to complete the came. I still want Zelda to be a single play experience. If not, then I hope they do this right.



Iggly said:

If it's a whole different mode like the Shadow Link Battles, I wouldn't mind as I love battling Links. If it's in the story mode, they'd have to execute it well. It could probably be something like the Super Mario Galaxy Series where instead of a Luma, it can be a Fairy.



JaxonH said:

@WanderingPB @vamkar @SanderEvers

Trust me when I say that multiplayer is not going to override the single player campaign for this game. It will certainly still be a single player affair, only with the added option of local co-op, online co-op, or whatever other multiplayer feature Aonuma has in mind. But it's not going to be a "multiplayer only" experience. That I can say with full confidence. Whatever kind of multiplayer is included, it will be in addition to. They're not going to limit the potential audience by purposely excluding single player gamers, who are the vast majority. And certainly not with a game of this magnitude and level of expectations.



renaryuugufan92 said:

four swords style online co-op would be very interesting~ (doesn't have to be restricted to 4 ppl obviously, just a reference)



brandonbwii said:

I imagine Zelda U having Dark Soul-style hint integration like Shovel Knight or even the two Mario games.



-X- said:

I made an account just to say that Zelda should stay single player. Making it multi-player takes away from the immersion. I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm playing a game with friends, we are not deeply immersed in the game world. We are instead cracking jokes and simply playing games. But when I'm alone, I am deeply immersed in the game.

I understand they want to shake Zelda up a bit, but turning it into a multi-player game is not the only option out there. That should be their last resort if all else fails. Zelda has been feeling a bit short. Perhaps they should focus on making the game longer & harder. Bring out harder puzzles and harder monsters (Not every boss has to be hit the obvious eye, gem, or tail). Make almost every dungeon make players want to bash their heads into a wall (not just 1 level [cough*water*cough*level*cough]). Bring back the adventure by tossing us in a map with literally no clue of where to go. All we should know is we have to save Hyrule(or wherever we are). Hide the dungeons and make us think we are losing our minds because we can't find them. This is what I think they should be trying to capture, more gameplay hours and frustrated players who when beating the game feel like they have accomplished something. Not, lets shorten your content because we had to take time to do a multi-player mode and single player mode.



WanderingPB said:

@aaronsullivan My friend im with u 101%!!! The possibilities are simply glorious! What if Nintendoland was really a game that tested the waters for the future games?? Very sneaky Nintendo but i like it LOL!

@JaxonH i also agree with u and not just cause ur avatar is awesome but because ur comments are always from an open minded perspective. But i believe we meant more of delving into all the gloriously rich possibilities that could come from a Zelda multi-player with gamepad awesomeness LMAO!

Like i said b4 i'd be happy with either or but im greedy and want both but am patient enough to see how they're going to implement the game pad and show us gameplay innovation like Skyward Sword or just a damn good game!



Sanguinaire said:

I can't imagine this ending well. I'm sick of Nintendo's damned 'party in the living room' mentality that has been obstructing their games' success since the GCN The Wii U is not only forgoing most online gameplay, but obstructing the offline single player as well? Disgusting. I didn't want to be forced to play with other people instead of the AI or online in Nintendoland or Mario 3D World just because they wanted to bring back giggles in the living room.

This shouldn't carry over into Zelda, of all things. Not Zelda and Metroid. Save this garbage for Pokèmon or Kirby. But if I see a single point where I'm completely jarred from my immersion by some buffoon ingame refusing to let me try some minigame, or even worse, progress in the main game, I'm giving up. I never even realized how much this philosophy bothered me until it began to seep into my Zelda.

Don't ruin Zelda, Nintendo. Don't go down this road.



Henmii said:

As long as it doesn't affect the single player in a bad way, I am fine! And for all we know it may turn out to be along the lines of past Nintendo games (Like in Mario galaxy, where a second player can help if desired). So no proper co-op.



Theober555 said:

I do not want co-op unless there are 2 different main story modes. One for single player, and a second with Link and Zelda co-op! I still want my good single player adventure!



aaronsullivan said:

@fluggy @rjejr @FullbringIchigo @Tsurii897 @vamkar @Goginho @Dpishere @KeatonTS @JaxonH @-X- @Sanguinaire @Theober555

IMO, there's little chance the single player experience will be significantly compromised.

That said, I find it disconcerting how many people want to play completely alone. There's not much worth doing alone if you have the choice. Pair up with someone that has common interests or with someone who is willing to give and take and try out different experiences while you try out some things they like. Life will be so much better, I promise. Games will be more fun, too.

I do admit that there are some serious pitfalls to step around as they add whatever type of cooperative play they have in mind. I'd put online and MMO out of your mind for now, though, because he specifically singled out the type of two screen play present in Hyrule Warriors: cooperative, local, one one GamePad, one on TV.



KeatonTS said:


Yeah.. It could have a separate mode for it, or some sort of online battle mode. where you can roam Hyrule field (if this is hyrule) and search for other players to take down. or an enemy brawl mode where you explore dungeons together and fight the boss of that temple (whose attack and defense power is increased. even a boss battle mode sounds cool .

However, very game has its own style. There are games fit for multiplayer and games fit for single. Legend of Zelda is one of those games. Sure Some multiplayer games are fun, but not everyone wants to play with everyone else. It's not disconcerting. It's just how it is. For all these years. Zelda games have been single player for the most part. It's best known for being single player, and most people didn't find four swords to be all that great. definitely not console tier.

If anything is disconcerting, it is making a game multiplayer which has been single player for the majority of it's life time. this is the kind of change that makes or breaks a game and which the Wii U really depends on.
I see where you're coming from, but I'm sorry. I don't want a single player experience to be a multplayer one. I want this game because I want it. not to share it with someone. In my opinion, It's worth more to play it alone. I don't want a game that depends on having a bud or a sibling to play with you. I have enough multiplayer games as is.

If people want to make something multiplayer, then I suggest making a spin off of it, like the mario series. Or what they're doing with hyrule warriors. Don't ruin the experience for the majority of people who like to experience a Zelda game the way it's supposed to.



aaronsullivan said:

I don't know. I mean I hear what you are saying but I've played almost every Zelda game from the first to the last with friends or family sitting right beside me. There were a couple where it didn't happen for long stretches but I've always enjoyed sharing an experience over consuming it alone.

If they could play along, all the better.

It's one of the reasons handheld Zelda's are less appealing to me, too. Very hard to share the experience.

Sad if it's true that the majority play alone. :/



TheRealThanos said:

@aaronsullivan Eh? How did you come to the conclusion of putting me on the list of anti-multiplayer advocates? I only said no STANDARD multiplayer, as in for example, an fps or something similar. Other than that I think I was rather elaborate in showing examples explaining how a Zelda multiplayer definitely COULD work. AND I also said that whichever way it goes, that Eiji Aonuma would do right by it, so I'm also not worried about any possible multiplayer ruining the single player experience. But no offense taken, though...



aaronsullivan said:

@TheRealThanos I think I may have snagged you in because of that big uppercase "NO". Sorry. But I did read your ideas earlier like the other player playing the enemy. I think I may have been including people who discussed something very similar not necessarily against multiplayer. I removed you from the list in the post though.



TheRealThanos said:

@aaronsullivan No worries. Being removed was never my goal, I was just wondering. I know I have a knack for being somewhat unclear in my wording sometimes. That is, unless you know me, and therein lies the problem: being on a website with anonymous people anonymously posting comments and discussing articles with each other that sometimes (not this time) turn into heated arguments for next to no reason, as I have experienced here since signing up. Especially since most of us are probably very reasonable and likable human beings...

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