Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 20, 2014

Emails on Zelda All-Stars

And here we go:

When it comes to “Zelda All-Stars”, Nintendo won’t do it. At least, not in the way you described because it’d take way too much effort. More likely, if they’d do something like this they’d just put a few emulated versions on a disc and call it a day, which they have already done with the Zelda Collection Gamecube disc over a decade ago. And if by some chance they would update the games a bit, I bet it’d be with annoying features like hint stones everywhere and Tingle. Excuse my cynicism.

The “back to the roots” and “open-world” talk of the new Wii U Zelda does make me suspicious that they might be trying to reboot the series and that the game will be simply called “The Legend of Zelda”, which will be more like Super Skyward Sword / Mega Wind Waker instead of being anything at all like Zelda I. And yet it’ll be considered to be a re-imagining of Zelda I and will retcon it out of existence in the series’s time-line.


I thought about this email as I dodge petroleum trucks on the 610 loop in Houston. Zelda I cannot be retcon out of existence. The game is too famous and too iconic. Legend of Zelda is the most famous video game for the NES aside from Super Mario Brothers. Nintendo tried to retcon NES Metroid out of existence with Zero Mission. It didn’t work. I actually hope Nintendo tries to retcon NES Zelda out of existence by declaring Wii U Zelda is ‘that Zelda’. People will compare the two, side by side, and conclude how much superior the 1986 game is.

Aonuma is currently on thin ice with even the new Zelda fans. Pulling a move like that would be the ultimate in arrogance. I don’t think such a move would be received well by anyone.



Master Malstom,
Excellent idea, only thing I’d add is if they do this, stop with the crappy, fruity anime art style. Make it look bad ass high fantasy like Twilight Princess or OoT.
Also, I think they need to do another Mario All-Stars in HD. No, no, I know they released MA on Wii. But I mean getting the royal treatment, redone graphics, music the works. And drop the overly saccharine NSMB art style, I liked the grittiness of the original Super Mario Bros.
None of this is hard at all, as you’ve said, with technology making games like this would not be as tedious as it was back in the 80’s. And since none of the Nintendo devs wish to make these games any more and continue to destroy these series’ as we knew them, at least give us this bone.
On cue, Nintendo would say, “We need to make new and unique stuff. We’ve made these games before. We don’t need to make them again.” Yet, they go remake that goddamn Wind Waker… a game that would be universally despised if Aonuma didn’t get worse and worse with the DS Zelda games.
Hello Master Malstrom!It’s been a while since I read your blog, but it’s not until now that I decided to send and e-mail.I’m no native english speaker so my english is no perfect, sorry. (Anyways, a lot native english speakers seems to have a perfect or even a decent english in the Internet)I just wanted to talk a little about Zelda. I love Zelda games, even if Zelda 1  & 2 are too dificult for me, they seem to have that “unknown” aura that makes them fresh. Even if could only finish the first dungeon in Zelda 1 the lack of tutorial or guide makes the trip to anywhere special, since you don’t know where you are going or what are you supose to do.  The same feeling I had for one of the best Zelda experience I had: Oracle of Seasons.When I played Wind Waker I found a very similar situation: I didn’t know what to do, but that made the game incredibly boring. Twilight Princess was better, not as good as Oracle of Seasons or A Link to the Past which I played for the first in the GBA so when TP launched I had it fresh in my mind, but it took me more than a year to finish because I got so bored with some parts of the gameplay that I quit the game more tan once. Skyward Sword was the ultimate corridor experience, boring, bad designed, RPG components that were poorly designed and side quests which were pretty silly. Besides, the story was awful. They could have made the best plot in a Zelda game and they simply packed some fan service. Skyward sword took me even more than TP to finish, and I completely regret the time I invest in it. At least TP had a great ending, I really felt that the ending was well written. But SS was bloody awful.I didn’t understand why I didn’t like those games that critics praised so much. During a long time, I thought that I was the problem, I thought that I was terrible at puzzle games and that’s why it took me so looong to finish TP and SS (I haven’t finish Wind Waker yet, and I have had the GC since day 1). But then I played Portal & Portal 2, games that were supposed to be about puzzles. I loved those games, and I finished both in a short period of time. That was the moment when I realised that those Zelda games were really poor designed.You say that the problem of modern Zelda is puzzles, but I think the real problem is bad, poorly desing puzzles. Puzzles in games are supposed to be funny, if they are not funny, they should not be there, but in modern Zelda they are, wheter they are funny or a pain in the ass. When a puzzle is well designed the game is still funny, if puzzles in Skyward Sword were funny, I could have finished it in less than three weeks, but it took me around two years to finish. Action is cool, aventure is cool, some puzzles can be cool to, although I don’t think is possible to fill a 30 hour game with puzzles without making a lot of bad puzzles. Puzzles in modern Zeldas aren’t clever. Anouma thinks that if a puzzle is difficult then it must be clever, but they it is not like that. I remember a lot of puzzles which observation and exploration were needed, but intelligence or skill were not. A lot.

A few days ago you showed some games that were other companies’ Zelda. I’d like to add one more game to that: Assasin’s Creed. If you think about the natural evolution of the Hyrule that we saw in Ocarina of Time I think of something similar to the places (Italy and the Holy Land) that were recreated when those games were truly crafted and not like now, were they are visible struggling to accomplish one game/year.

So: Not just kill puzzles, but good design is also needed to revive the true spirit  of Zelda

Have a nice day

I’d be happy if they cooled it on the puzzles and focused on bringing back the hard combat. The entire point of heart containers and weapon/armor upgrades is to make combat easier. If you can’t handle it, then get more upgrades and the game becomes easy mode.
Master Malstrom, I must protest. Your latest blog about Zelda all-stars is damn cruel. All the 2D Zelda games in one spot with updated visuals and bug fixes? I would buy that day one.However, I remain skeptical that Nintendo would do it, but I suppose it wouldn’t be without precedent. The Gamecube got that “collector’s” Zelda disc that had Zelda 1+2, and the N64 games, while the GBA got Zelda 1+2 and ALTTP re-releases.Still, the contrast with Mario All-Stars or the Mario Advance GBA remakes of Super Mario 1-4 is startling. Nintendo will spend time updating the 2D Mario games, but when classic Zelda games gets re-released they are in their original forms. Any thoughts as to why that is?
If I wanted to be conspiratorial I’d say Nintendo almost want to try and hide classic Zelda behind its original visuals. That way when current gamers come to those games they will say “ugh, this is so confusing and dated”. It wont work on us all though, I in fact first played Zelda 1+2 on my girlfriend’s Gamecube many years ago (my personal introduction to Zelda was ALTTP on my SNES) and thought they were great, even through the “dated” gameplay and visuals.On the other hand she found them too archaic to enjoy properly.
It’s not so much that they dislike Classic Zelda, it is that they don’t want you to like Classic Zelda either. They remade Wind Waker because they want you to like Wind Waker. They are even considering remaking fucking Majora’s Mask. “What about the original Zelda or Zelda 2?” “No, Malstrom. We can’t do that. I hope you understand.” It really wouldn’t take much work to make a HD version of those games. It seriously wouldn’t.
Hi Master Malstrom,

I hope you get this email! Took me a little while to find your address and the post I found it on is from July ’09, so I hope you haven’t changed it.

You’ve been talking recently about a Zelda Maker in the vein of the recently announced Mario Maker. Have you heard of Zelda Classic? ( It’s a freeware fan-made Zelda Maker. Obviously it’s not a patch on what an official one could be, since it’s a little cumbersome in its usage, but it can do everything you’ve recently said you wanted a Zelda Maker to be able to do. You can make overworlds and dungeons fairly simply (although not as simply as the freeware Mario Maker, Super Mario Bros X – also worth checking out) and link them together. You can also include nearly any music or graphics you want, although that’s more complicated, and create whole new enemies and monsters if you can script them (more complicated again).This doesn’t diminish your point that Nintendo should make one: if anything it proves it, since a community has grown up around a fairly cumbersome fan-made program that has no official alternative. It proves an audience is there. Still, in the absence of an official Zelda Maker, it’s worth checking out.It even includes 1:1 recreations of the 1st and 2nd quests plus a 3rd & 4th quest. They’re structured like the 2nd quest: same overworld map but everything is hidden in different places and the dungeons are all different. However, you don’t go to the 3rd and then the 4th by beating the 2nd: beating the 2nd takes you to either the 3rd or the 4th depending on how many heart containers you finish the 2nd quest with. The 3rd quest is focused on combat while the 4th is focused on exploration. If you thought the dungeons were hard to find in the 2nd quest, wait until you see the 4th. Similarly, if you thought the enemies were hard in the 2nd quest, wait until you see the 3rd. If you’d like to skip straight to them you can enter your name as Alpha to skip to the 3rd or Ganon to skip to the 4th, just like entering your name as Zelda would skip to the 2nd quest in the original (you can do that in this too by the way).

I’m curious to see what you could make in this, although from what you’ve said of your schedule you probably don’t have the time! I think you’d enjoy the 3rd and 4th quests though. I can promise you’re that they’re 100% anime-free and better than anything Aonuma’s made!

Keep up the good work.

Yeah, I’m aware of Zelda Classic. If the Overworld hasn’t changed, then it isn’t a New Quest. Overworld is where all the fun in Zelda 1 is at!
Can you imagine a Second Quest to Zelda 2? Ohhhhhhhhh…… That would be sooo much fun!
Can you imagine putting in brand new items or other tropes of the series into these classic games? Imagine the hookshot in Zelda 2! I suppose it would behave similar to Super Metroid’s grapple beam. See where this is going? Zelda All-Stars would become Game of the Forever!


%d bloggers like this: