News Article

New Legend Of Zelda "Only Possible" Thanks To The Wii U Hardware, Says Eiji Aonuma

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We can achieve this thanks to the hardware features of Wii U"

This year's E3 was notable for showing us the first footage of the next Legend of Zelda title, which is due to hit the Wii U next year. This new release promises a massive game world to explore, and has predictably become one of the most hyped Nintendo launches of next year.

Producer Eiji Aonuma has spoken to EDGE magazine this month about the game's open world setting, and has stated that the new title will move back towards the non-linear approach of the NES original:

In the original Legend of Zelda, there was no clear way to lead the main character to his goal. It was something that we entrusted to the players to find by themselves. As the game later expanded into a franchise, the structure of the game worlds became more and more complex – especially with the introduction of 3D – making it necessary for us to point the player in the right direction. Consequently, progression in the games became more linear.

Aonuma is very clear on the fact that this shift will only be possible thanks to the unique nature of the game's host hardware:

To recreate a similar experience to the original, we have to give the game world a simple structure that players can understand intuitively. In doing so, it’s very important that we make every aspect of the world feel real and physically connected, so that it’s doesn't look fake. We can achieve this thanks to the hardware features of Wii U, but to truly get a deep understanding of the game world, we also need a real map that depicts the world as it is. The GamePad is very effective for displaying this, and thus also [for] providing players with a constant hint on where to head to. I think we can safely say that the innovations in this new game are only possible thanks to the Wii U hardware.

The Wii U Legend of Zelda is certainly shaping up to be quite an exciting release — if you don't own a Wii U already, will this be the game to make you open your wallet? Let us know what you think.

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User Comments (59)

ikki5

#1

ikki5 said:

Well, I'd hope so. Just imagine if he went out and said "Oh yeah, our next Zelda game could run on the Wii or gamecube (same thing hardware wise) or the N64.... no one would look at their New Zelda game as a next Gen Zelda game.

DiscoGentleman

#2

DiscoGentleman said:

Nice! Hopefully the gamepad will be used for plenty of map-related things and map annotation! That's a feature that I feel was sorely missed in wind waker HD.

Lasermaster123

#4

Lasermaster123 said:

Well anyway this game looks beautiful, much better than any other Zelda game so the hardware must obviously help out! Can't wait to play it!

Having features like making notes or marking points of interest on the map would also be great :)

DualWielding

#7

DualWielding said:

who wants to bet this game would eventually be ported or emulated to a future Nintendo console who does not use dual screens

ikki5

#8

ikki5 said:

@Einherjar yeah, but remakes are slightly different. i am talking your next Zelda game. Just imagine if the next one was said to be able to run on your 10-15 year old systems.

nik1470

#9

nik1470 said:

But Shadow of colossus on the PS2 had a 3D world where you had to figure out where to go to get to the next colossi without hand holding. Anyway I'm being picky the new Zelda will be awesome they always are!!!!

Einherjar

#10

Einherjar said:

@ikki5 And ? Would that automatically mean its a bad game ?
Last time i checked, Ocarina of Time, a 16 years old game is still considered to be the pinacle of the series.

Also, when did something like that ever happen ? O.o How and where do you people get such ideas ?

@DualWielding So, whats your point ? That it shouldnt use the systems features, because it can also be done without ?
Sure, you can also play Smash Bros with a 2 button controller, but it doesnt mean that you should.

Darknyht

#12

Darknyht said:

A company representative states that latest game only possible on the latest hardware the company makes!!! Say it isn't so!!!

As for his reasoning, I thought Xenoblade Chronicles already showed you how to have a huge open world while having players not get lost on story elements.

eviLaTtenDant

#13

eviLaTtenDant said:

As long as that doesn't mean extended frustrating backtracking i'm fine with it.
Also still a bit let down that so few games released since the DS launch let you make notes on the map.

unrandomsam

#14

unrandomsam said:

"and thus also [for] providing players with a constant hint on where to head to"

That is a really annoying thing that Skyrim does (Or Bravely Default). Talk the townsfolk and find out where to go and go there would be better. Put your own waypoint.

NintyMan

#15

NintyMan said:

With Wii U's power, I think this grand scope for the new Zelda is certainly achievable. I'm also confident that the GamePad will be used very well, besides just being a map and an item inventory. I'm still intrigued at how this game's world is portrayed as "without borders".

Tamalesyatole

#21

Tamalesyatole said:

I hope that they get rid of the "open door>change room>close door" or that at lesast it's faster now.

Tsurii897

#22

Tsurii897 said:

@unrandomsam I think his point was that you have the map constantly there and just have to look on it when you're getting a bit too lost.
I'd imagine it kinda like NPC A tells you about some event in region B, but instead of giving you an actual waypoint, the NPC marks the region on your map. I think Skyrim actually did this too, but because you don't have a second screen to view your map on the go, you're getting that compass on the HUD.

EDIT: Wind Waker HD actually did just that. And since they said the remake was kind of an experiment for the "real" Wii U Zelda, it'll most likely do the same exact thing.

aaronsullivan

#23

aaronsullivan said:

A juicy bit of Zelda information! I'll take anything!

So part of the control scheme involves having the map on the GamePad as an integral part of gameplay. Letting that sink in...

Does this suggest that all the controls will be on the GamePad or are we going to also be using the Wiimote+nunchuck combination for combat with GamePad as an extra tool? Will I raise up the GamePad to draw and arrow and aim and fire as with the Nintendo Land game and then switch to the Wiimote for sword fighting. If I pre-order can I get holster/sheath for my wiimote to put it on my back with authentic styling? Can I speculate beyond reason?

In all seriousness, if the map is a big focus of the game on the GamePad it will likely be something far better than switching back and forth like you'd do on one screen as his statement about Wii U being uniquely qualified for the game has substance. Can't wait to see... anything more. :D

datamonkey

#24

datamonkey said:

Goddam it Nintendo, is it too much to ask for a little bit of new footage?!

10 seconds would be enough! :)

unrandomsam

#25

unrandomsam said:

@Tsurii897 I think a map is useful. But I think I would rather have attempting to find something for the first time to be using instructions from NPC's (Then when it is found it can go on the map). Zelda 2 had some good ideas in this sort of area.

BigH88

#26

BigH88 said:

I can't wait to explore the world of Zelda Wii U. Oh but we really do need the games name. Hopefully in the near future.

skjia

#27

skjia said:

@unrandomsam I agree. I'm very tired of waypoints. It's more fun to explore and figure it out fo yourself. Hopefully there's at the very least an option to turn them off like the hint system in Metroid Prime.

97alexk

#30

97alexk said:

This new zelda looks really promising, cant wait, huge legend of zelda fan

3Daniel

#31

3Daniel said:

The map feature of Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks would be divine. Especially with the ability to zoom in said map so you have a lot more writing room. I also hope we get at least one "uncharted" island where we are left to our own devices to define the landscape and points of interest. Personally sharing maps and replaying the title by relying on another gamer's map would be awesome. Perhaps a single randomly generated dungeon in the mix tied to another player's map would be interesting and a great way to use Miiverse sharing. Just a map and or inventory screen on the pad would be lackluster.

CTs_Lieutenant

#32

CTs_Lieutenant said:

The hype for this Zelda game is building quite nicely.

It also links in with what Miyamoto-san said about Nintendo moving from casual to core. Clearly the Wii Zelda titles were aimed at the casual market whereas this new title seems to be aimed at the core crowd.

This I like.

argol228

#33

argol228 said:

@nik1470 Shadow of the colossus had a vast, empty, desolate world with the occasional notable feature. You also had a linear progression.

Bolt_Strike

#34

Bolt_Strike said:

I wouldn't call map screens very "innovative", maybe it was innovative on the DS, but it's old news now.

Jahir

#35

Jahir said:

Seems like someone finally beat the first LoZ... Does someone remember him saying he hadn't finished it a while ago? Well, I'm so glad he finally did it

Mega719

#37

Mega719 said:

It was already said that it would "differ from current open world games" he probably means that with the sense of discovery and adventure something Journey and Skyrim gave us

fluggy

#39

fluggy said:

Not sure if I like the sound of this. Too many changes. Enjoyed Link Between World's but on second playthrough I realised the new item purchasing was rotten. I like stumbling through a dungeon and trying to guess which item will be hiding in a chest somewhere. To be able to complete the game without having to use ALL items just isn't Zelda.

JimLad

#40

JimLad said:

I seriously can't wait for this.
Like a Bethesda game, only not all bloody and depressing

kyuubikid213

#41

kyuubikid213 said:

I'm really looking forward to this game. I've been looking forward to it since the tech demo...haha...

Seriously though, I'm not surprised. It'd be kind of depressing if they DIDN'T take advantage of the Wii U's hardware to make a great game.

I'm glad to hear there'll be a map on the GamePad. It sounds like they'll be using the techniques they used in Ocarina of Time 3D for this new game. Personally, I'm not bothered by being pointed in the right direction. The Zelda games usually have big worlds. For someone like me with a big backlog, I like having Navi or Fi tell me where I need to be headed to keep the game going. It's a pain when I haven't played a game in a little while and forget what I'm supposed to be doing and end up wandering aimlessly for hours. I hear complaints about this all the time, but it's not like you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GO HERE RIGHT NOW. The game's just telling you where you should be headed. (I had this issue with Egoraptor's Ocarina of Time vs. Link to the Past Sequelitis. Yeah, Link to the Past doesn't hold your hand as much, but it's not like Link to the Past is a game many people can get through without a guide in the first place. Pointing you in the right direction is NOT the same as forcing you to go from point A to point B like a truly linear experience.)

ColdingLight

#42

ColdingLight said:

I'm kinda tired of Nintendo trying to forcibly install faith in us about the Wii U's hardware. Like... It's an underpowered machine in comparison to it's competitors no matter how you slice it.

Mus1cLov3r

#43

Mus1cLov3r said:

@Einherjar You shouldn't make new hardware if you are just going to make a game for said hardware that could run on the previous system. That wouldn't make it a bad game, but it would feel a bit cheap.

I want this game already! (T_T)

Einherjar

#44

Einherjar said:

@Mus1cLov3r Again, when did this ever happen ?
Especially with nintendo ?
If i look at the PS4 right now, i have a slightly different feeling though :P

Einherjar

#46

Einherjar said:

@Mus1cLov3r I also never said that you implied that ;)
But this NEVER happened, so why even discuss this possibility in the first place ?
Are people really believing that Zelda U will be technically on par with OoT ?
If anything, it would be closer to WW or TP.
I think the game will profit the most from the WiiUs new "semi Blu Ray" media. If they dont include voice acting (which i hope) it would leave more than enough space for content on the disc. That the WiiUs hardware can handle a living, breathing open world enviroment doesnt hurt either :P

SuprisedStar

#47

SuprisedStar said:

"Producer Eiji Aonuma has spoken to EDGE magazine this month about the game's open world setting, and has stated that the new title will move back towards the non-linear approach of the NES original."

Something about that sentence seems familiar...HMMM...

"Questioned as to the status of the game by a Japanese radio station, he revealed that Mario would have a new character by his side and reiterated that the game would appear on the Wii with a different name. Interestingly, he also mentioned that Super Mario 128 played a large role in the conception of the Wii (then known as Revolution), like Super Mario 64 did for the Nintendo 64. He went as far to say that the Wii was based around "this new type of game"".

Yep...something about it...hmmm...

Kurtz

#48

Kurtz said:

voice acting would hurt zelda i feel. i think that would break the whole you are the link in the story jazz they have going.
aonuma has more planned for zelda than the wind waker map i reckon.

DarkKirby

#49

DarkKirby said:

While it didn't ruin it, I don't feel like the Wii-mote Plus and nunchuck actually made Skyward Sword better. In fact, until I learned how the controller was actually detecting inputs by researching online, they made the game worse.

It's the same in saying I don't feel like the GamePad is going to make a Zelda game "that much better". I'm not against Cell Shaded art like some, but I think the Wii U just being a overall more powerful system would have been more beneficial.

Ralizah

#50

Ralizah said:

Sounds amazing. One of the things I loved about A Link Between Worlds is that it got away from the franchise's linearity a bit. It also helps alleviate the problem of searching a huge map for one tiny event you need to experience or person you need to talk to to move the game forward. Many of the LOZ games are particularly bad about this.

Granted, I like being given SOME direction about what needs to be done next. But the prospect of exploring things at my own pace is exciting.

HaNks

#51

HaNks said:

cool story we'll have to see how good the game is. the e3 showing was basically nothing, though what's been said is encouraging.

midnafanboy

#52

midnafanboy said:

@ColdingLight I read your comment and i didn't see Zelda and beautiful in the same sentence.Why? And yes everyone knows the wiiu is underpowered,but it's not all about power to make great games in the gaming industry no matter how you see it.

FJOJR

#53

FJOJR said:

An actual use for the Gamepad in a high profile Nintendo game? I'll believe it when I see it.

KillScottKill

#54

KillScottKill said:

SO excited. No more linear, Zelda formula trash. An HD, 3D interpretation of the original Zelda. Game of the generation potential.

Action51

#55

Action51 said:

As an old school gamer, I have to say I'm so glad to see developers move away from the casual linear formula on big name games recently.

It's not just cartoony VS realistic or cut-scenes VS no cut-scenes that determine "casual" or "hardcore"...It's game structure and mechanics!

Windy

#56

Windy said:

Looks to me like it might be a mix of past Zelda games with a bit of World of Warcraft and Monster Hunter. That could seriously be a nice mix! Especially if it has online co-op. That would seriously move the Zelda Franchise to the next level!

Pahvi

#57

Pahvi said:

"Open world" reminds me of how long the loading times in LEGO City Undercover were whenever returning to the main city from a mission. Hopefully it won't be like that here.

JarredBuzzo

#58

JarredBuzzo said:

Time to wave the fanboy flag. I SRSLY KAN'T WATE FOUR THIS GAEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robfozz

#59

Robfozz said:

Im supprised how mum Nintendo has been with this game. Heck theyve been completley silent on everything they showed at E3 (except Smash Bros). If we dont get a Nintendo Direct on this game before the end of the year I would be pretty suprised

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