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.