What I want (and don’t want) to see in The Legend of Zelda Wii U

Last Updated July 5th, 2021

Whenever Nintendo launches a new console, the two franchises fans clamor for most are Mario and The Legend of Zelda. We’ve already gotten two great Mario games on the Wii U with New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Mario 3D World — three if you count the stellar Super Mario Maker — but there’s still no sign of a new Zelda. It’s certainly on the horizon, and it’s not like Nintendo’s forgotten about the series on the Wii U. It would seem, however, that the company’s still working on it.

So until we get that next installment, we’re left to our own speculative devices. Here are five things that would be great to see in the tentative Zelda Wii U, as well as five things we could probably do without.

Do want to see: Bigger open world

I’ve noticed a pattern whenever some folks say they want a massive, sprawling open world in The Legend of Zelda. That sort of request is usually met with contrasting reactions from opposing fans along the lines of: “If you want a huge open world, go play Skyrim.” I honestly think Zelda Wii U would benefit from a gigantic map because it’s never been done before in the series, so it would open up the realm of possibility for players in ways never before achieved by the series.

It would be rad to be able to explore optional dungeons filled with nasty enemies, intimidating bosses, and sweet rewards. Imagine the things you could discover: weapons, armor, and baddies exclusive to those areas. These great discoveries would be your rewards for going off the beaten path. Mostly, though, it would be nice to finally witness a more fully realized Hyrule, and that’s something that could only be done with a bigger, exploration-driven world.

Don’t want to see: Forgettable NPCs

Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Wind Waker all star a colorful cast of interesting, memorable characters. Whether they’re allies, rivals, or enemies, you could be sure that around every corner there’s going to be a meaningful interaction with a special NPC. Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds … not so much. The NPCs you meet early on in those games are hardly worth remembering. Let’s stay away from that, shall we?

Do want to see: Open-ended approach akin to A Link Between Worlds

After years of doing largely the same thing over and over again, it was quite refreshing to play A Link Between Worlds. Rather than tie you down and force you to play dungeons in a specific order, Nintendo’s 3DS Zelda title invites you to play your way. You could rent weapons and items at any point in order to visit different dungeons in any order you wish, which was a great change from the normal Zelda formula.

That freedom to explore and travel to different areas is something that just feels special. Give us more of that, Nintendo.

Don’t want to see: Monotonous tutorials

Taking another page out of A Link Between Worlds, it would be great if we weren’t forced to complete the same basic tutorials we’ve already done in past Zelda titles. Confession time: I just recently started playing Assassin’s Creed II for the very first time (I know, I know!), and the way that game handles tutorials is actually quite brilliant. You’re taught how to play by engaging in missions rather than by being stuck in the opening area and learning through walls of monotonous text.

I’ll be forever in Nintendo’s debt if I never have to repeat the same combat and controls tutorials in a Zelda game.

Do want to see: Some free-running

This is once again partially influenced by my recent foray into the world of Assassin’s Creed II. That said, it’s also partially inspired by Skyward Sword. In that game, Link was able to run up walls and perform some neat acrobatic feats. And it’s no secret that the Hyrulian warrior is the master of the auto-jump. Admittedly, it’d be pretty great to be able to scale daunting architecture using some slick, stylish running-and-jumping mechanics.

Don’t want to see: Robotic animations

Is anyone else tired of Link moving like a robot whenever he runs? Yes, those animations were fine during the Nintendo 64 days, but seeing Link run so mechanically in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword is just jarring.

Do want to see: Meaningful looting and crafting

Both Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds toy with the idea of a crafting system. Neither game boasts especially deep crafting mechanics, but it’s fun to be able to alter and enhance weapons and armor by putting collectible trinkets to use. Offer up more of that, Nintendo, but let it be a deeper customization experience, and let us have to earn those valuable crafting items by tucking them away and adding fun loot gameplay.

This would probably rely on Zelda Wii U featuring the aforementioned massive open world. But just think about how much more special that rare piece of loot would be if you discovered it in an optional cave or dungeon and then found out that it has some cool capabilities if you pair it with your sword or shield.

Don’t want to see: Lack of meaningful GamePad functionality

Zelda Wii U should totally put the GamePad to good use. I always look back at ZombiU whenever a game fails to utilize the touchscreen on the Wii U controller. It would be nice to see Nintendo include that kind of engaging GamePad functionality in the next Zelda entry. I’m not saying I’ll take gimmicky use of the controller, but it would be interesting if some decent GamePad mechanics were incorporated to enhance the experience and make the next Zelda unlike any before it.

Do want to see: Female Link (not Linkle)

Look, I think Linkle is great. Heck, I don’t even mind the name Linkle that much anymore, really. Having said that, I would personally really love to see a female Link take the spotlight in Zelda Wii U. Not only would it be a huge victory for diversity in games, but it would be a welcome change to the series. Having a Zelda story based around a female protagonist would be a shocker, but more importantly than that, it would provide a different perspective and open the door for a new type of Zelda tale.

Speaking of which …

Don’t want to see: The same old story

I appreciate the fact that The Legend of Zelda can retell the same basic story and keep it relatively interesting every time. Still, it would be great to experience a new story. Yes, Majora’s Mask, A Link Between Worlds, and Skyward Sword were fairly different takes on the formulaic narrative, but the series is still in need of a major revamp. That’s not to say that Nintendo needs to reboot Zelda — but perhaps a vastly different narrative hook would do the series a bit of good.

Honestly, Zelda has such a rich history and such ever-growing lore that we probably don’t even need to see Ganondorf again for at least the next handful of installments. Going one step further, how cool would it be if a new, deadlier antagonist was introduced? Imagine if Ganondorf shows up at the start, only to be demolished by this new vile presence? Exciting, right? Plus, it would set a unique tone and make Link all the more heroic.

What are you hoping for in the newest Legend of Zelda game? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *