E3 2014 | Aonuma Wants to Shake-up Puzzles in Zelda Wii U

By Jorge Ba-oh 14.06.2014 5

E3 2014 | Aonuma Wants to Shake-up Puzzles in Zelda Wii U on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma is thinking about shaking up puzzle traditions in the new entry for Wii U.

One of the biggest announcements during E3 this week was that the new Legend of Zelda game for Wii U will take on a more open-world approach, compared to the more linear barriers formed in past 3D titles.

It's not just the landscape that Aonuma and his team are tweaking, with puzzle solving also said to be a focus of the change. "I wanna kinda rethink or maybe reconstruct the idea of puzzle-solving within the Zelda universe," he said in an interview at E3.

As a player progresses through any game, they're making choices. They're making hopefully logical choices to progress them in the game. And when I hear 'puzzle solving' I think of like moving blocks so that a door opens or something like that.

But I feel like making those logical choices and taking information that you received previously and making decisions based on that can also be a sort of puzzle-solving.

How do you think Nintendo should approach puzzles in the new Legend of Zelda game?

Box art for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild





Action Adventure



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Would be great to see more puzzles not isolated to rooms, so puzzles linked up across the whole dungeon or landscape. Really need better use of items too, combining multiple items in succession, and possibly having dual functions for certain items.

Hopefully the landscape will also be more organic and less marked out. For example if you step into the dungeon where you get the hookshot, it's almost instantly apparent that you'll get it there.

More item use/puzzles in the overworld would be great too.

Side quests that involve some puzzle solving would be great too. Game needs more sidequests and NPC interaction in general; Skyward's sidequests were shit.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Hm..perhaps it'll be something more action-oriented, with less "Stare at this puzzle (room) here and figure it out." Skyward Sword had some genuinely clever puzzles, but a lot of them were indeed of the kind I described just now. If it is what I think Aonuma means, I'd certainly welcome those changes to mix things up.

Darkflame (guest) 14.06.2014#3

Not sure.
I am all for a mix-up, but this description sounds very hard to pull off - at least in decent quantities.
Also what if you make the wrong choice earlier on?

More "global" puzzles rather then confined to single rooms I am all for. And more environmental/local item based puzzles too (think Zack & Wiki). 

I saw a comment somewhere else with a very intriguing suggestion for mixing up the puzzles and making the open-world approach really pay off. Basically, you'd have a number of dungeons to complete (seven or whatever), but part of the puzzle is to find them in the world first. You might stumble upon one on pure accident, but the idea is having to find them by piecing together clues gathered from NPCs, the environment itself etc. I'd love that if done right, tbh!

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I said it multiple times and I'll say it again here, I wish they took an approach more akin to Metroid for dungeon progression, whereas there wouldn't be any way of telling how many items a dungeon may hold which is going to be necessary to progress through the game, and that perhaps entering one given dungeon, may not necessarily mean that you'll be able to complete right away, but rather that you may have to visit this dungeon 1 first to get item A, so that you can get item B from dungeon C, which in turn will let you progress more, back into dungeon 1.

Would make the dungeons harder, yes, but there are plenty of ways to give subtle hints to the player as to where they might find the necessary stuff to make the story progress, while keeping things not too obvious and non-linear, instead of taking the player by the hand constantly and having the dungeons well lined up for him or her to tackle in a specific given order.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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