Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 21, 2016

Email: Re: [New post] Some more Zelda emails…

I’ve seen the ‘shrines’, and I do not have a problem with them. The shrines seem short. We haven’t seen a dungeon. You can’t go 100% without puzzles because that has never been the case in a Zelda… or even a 2d Mario game.”

You have consistently stated that Zelda I and II did not have puzzles, and you were correct when you said that. The shrines really bother me – classic Puzzelda. These need to be axed and replaced with combat trials, rather than puzzle trials. Mazes /= puzzles, secret levers/blocks /= puzzles.

The Trine-like blocks and 2×4-throwing needs to be axed. Lame.

Magnet gun – Lame. Axe it.

Push-over enemies that stay in little camps so that you don’t have to fight. Their ‘tells’ last for about 5 minutes. Nintendo really needs to take a page from the Souls series in this respect, which is more like Zelda I than any Zelda game since. Enemies should be hunting you in packs, hiding behind bushes, ambushing, ranged attacks, ranged and close-quarter tag-team attacks, birds bugs, bats, swooping down to attack as you run around, horseback enemies running after you 24/7 – there should be no quarter. I like what they did with Wind Whacker where the sharks would swim after you – they could do something similar in BOW while on foot and on horse. This game is about 99% running around in open fields and if you want to go smack some bokoblins or sekeltons on the head and collect some lame treasure, you can just walk right up to them and spam the attack button – they won’t try to harm you – they intentionally don’t hit you. You can say that “its only the beginning of the game”, I don’t buy it. This IS the game; the beginning sets the tone for the entire game. It is currently “Fisher-Price”-level difficulty. Aside from bosses and mini-bosses, enemies in the over-world are going to be camping-out waiting to be slaughtered. Difficulty needs up 2 orders of magnitude. Enemies on-screen need up another 2 orders of magnitude.

In an interview it was mentioned that in the original Zelda every screen had enemies on it, and that they recreated that feeling by having things on the screen moving like the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. Well, nature in motion is not the same as dangerous enemies in motion, and spears and rocks being shot at you. This is where they have problems making the connection.

Constant reminders of picking-up an item with item description scree and that lame-o chime: “I know what it is, I have picked it up 50 times and you have reminded me every one of them.” Aonuma is on interview trying to tell me how this chime is so amazing and emotionally connects with the player – as if telling people how great something is actually makes them believe it. In the original Zelda it worked because it was rare, it is vastly over-used now and it is not even the same chime to boot.

Over-world looking good – we have made headway here. They even intentionally recreated that scene from the manual – its in the first area as soon as you walk out. It could have been done better, but still a good sign.

NPCs and handholding – saw plenty of handholding as navi is replaced with “Sheikah Phone 6” – constantly says, “Link, you need to go here.” The owl/oldman npc comes swooping around to stop game progress and tell you crap with those words that are highlighted in different colors for some reason. Both these things need to go. Sheikah Phone = Lame -> axe it. Replace with binoculars or telescope or something.

Finally fixed Link’s movement (run/walk), no more trotting around like a moron – although I still don’t think it is good enough, it is an improvement. Link’s movement still needs to incorporate momentum and inertia and camera needs the same, but this hasn’t really even been incorporated to any game yet (except for original Super Mario Bros) so I don’t know why I think that will change any time soon.

Fixed horse movement where horse does not run into stuff – should have been done a long time ago.

Shouldn’t have gotten rid of hearts and rupees, just should have made the game more difficult and hearts more rare. Cooking food should just be a potion replacement.


I do not mind the hearts and rupees because it makes the game world more logical. Why would rupees be in grass or in a rock? I think the ‘use your environment of nature’ is a huge nod of Minecraft’s survival.

I think it is unfair to judge the enemy camps as passive to be that all enemies will be passive. This was only the starting location.

I like Link’s tablet. I actually think the use of high technology does fit the traditional fantasy theme. Science fiction is technology created, mythology is technology found. Science fiction is that the further back in the timeline we go, the less technology we get. Mythology is that the further back in the timeline we go, the more technology we get. This is why shows like Babylon 5 were more mythology than sci-fi in the end. I’m really digging the use of constellations and the use of ‘wicked cool ancient technology’ so far in Zelda BoW “WOW!”.

There definitely were *some* puzzles in Classic Zelda. But it is ridiculous to take a few of those and say Zelda was about puzzles which Miyamoto has done. In Zelda 2, you needed to hop on the roof tops and enter through a chimney. That wasn’t straight forward. My favorite was using fairy spell to get through locked doors.

Zelda BoW: “WOW!” could become super lame and dumb. But from what I saw *now*, it looks solid. It looks fun. I want to buy it and play it. And I haven’t said that for any Zelda game since Twilight Princess.



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