Where do you want to see Zelda go next?

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With BotW now out for a few weeks and it being highly received in its big shake-up over previous Zelda games, I thought it'd be interesting to see where people want to see the next 3D game go.

If we can try to refrain from it, please do, but mark any potential major BotW spoilers appropriately with tags, minus the spaces: [ spoiler ]text here[ / spoiler ]

So I think Nintendo's found its new base to work from for future 3D Zelda games, certainly for the next game at least, with its totally open world format. A world with no walls or barriers, where everything is climbable and can be reached or got to the other side of. I don't think this will change at all for the next game.

What I think most definitely will change, and something I want, of course, is a new location. Hyrule has been crafted and explored in incredible detail in BotW, so I think it's a given that we will be done with this kingdom for the next game. We simply have to be. Unless we go back to a time when Hyrule was thriving, possibly during the peak Sheikah age of magic - the age that crafted the Devine Beasts. Or we go to the future, ages after Calamity Ganon is defeated, with a rebuilt Hyrule that may now have many more new locations.

However, I personally think the best thing will be to take us to a new world, in the same way Majora's Mask took us from Hyrule to Termina. BotW was great because it filled fans with a huge sense of nostalgia - it was amazing to see places like Zora's Domain, Death Mountain, Gerudo Desert, Hyrule Castle and the Temple of Time in detail like we'd never seen before... But those are done now. I don't think they can be taken much further - at least for another decade. We need to be taken to a completely new land, a new kingdom with its own lore and history, its own characters and enemies, and its own dungeons and threats.

BotW did so many things right, but I think one area it can improve is its story and characters. Simply throwing us into another open world and saying "Go defeat this evil thing and save our kingdom" isn't really going to be enough for me next time around. Story always plays a big part in my enjoyment of games, and whilst I was able to take a large exception to BotW because it was so damn good, the next game needs to be more like the Majora's Mask of the series in the sense that its story and characters need to be more prominent and memorable.

The way NPCs moved and acted as if they were real people in BotW was great, and if they can combine that with the level of depth Majora's Mask's NPCs carried, with interesting and memorable personalities and designs, I will be extremely happy with that.

The other major thing on the characters front would be the big baddie. Calamity Ganon was obviously an embodiment of pure evil and incredible strength, but it lacked a sort of major drive and appeal. It was just simply "there", floating around Hyrule Castle, waiting to be fought. I would want something with more of a presence next time around. Something that has a personality to it, and something that we saw develop in Ganon's humanised form over the course of the series, particularly in Wind Waker.

The other major change I would appreciate is altering the weapon durability system. Whether this is coming up with a new system whereby weapons don't break, or simply reducing the amount of times weapons will break - either way I would probably be content. I think perhaps doing it other ways, where each weapon has a durability bar that slowly goes down with use and can be fixed up at blacksmiths/stores would work that bit better. That way, you don't lose your favourite weapon.

Dungeons. I think the shrines were a fantastic part of BotW, and I would definitely welcome something similar in the next game. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss the more memorable, elaborate and larger designs of the previous dungeons when it comes to the main dungeons. The four Devine Beasts were great ways to mix up the mini-dungeon format that we have going on with the shrines, but they were still actually mini-dungeons themselves when compared to past game dungeons. They were good in many respects, but it is an area that I would definitely want improving on in the next game. When I think about dungeons like Stone Tower, OoT's Forest Temple, Spirit Temple, Snowpeak Ruins, Sandship, Earth/Wind Temple, Jabu-Jabu... I really miss the unique themes and interior - and even exterior - designs that these dungeons provided. I wouldn't say the Devine Beasts were memorable when it came to exploring and solving them.

I think the runes were excellent additions to the gameplay, and I'd like to see them return. Not sure how they can get the Sheikah Slate to be used in a completely different kingdom that the Sheikah weren't a part of, but perhaps they can work that into the lore/story of the next game's world.

I think the main things for me, then, are slightly more focus on story, better characters with more depth, better main dungeons, a new kingdom to explore, and either tweaks or a new system to weapons. Take elements of Majora's Mask and mix it with BotW and I think I'll have my desire.

So much good groundwork is in place from BotW already that I think this will be obtainable easily enough, but I think it's inevitable that they will have to put a lot of thought into certain areas to make this not just BotW 2.0 - and I think the easiest way they will accomplish that is in its story and characters that go more of a MM route in breaking the mould from the typical Zelda/Ganon plot. That said, I would like to see Zelda return, whether it's the same Zelda (and Link) from BotW, with some sort of central role alongside Link. Whether this means controlling either/or, I guess that's up to how Nintendo wants to take it.

Anyway, curious to hear what others want to see from the next game. What should/shouldn't be carried over from BotW? Hyrule or a new kingdom? More big dungeons and less shrines, or vice versa? Looking forward to some responses!

( Edited 21.03.2017 16:32 by Azuardo )

I was sat here thinking about this for a while and I've not not come up with anything big. I will say though, despite the divine beasts not giving me the same feeling I got from previous Zelda dungeons, as something new, I actually thought they were great in their own way.

So I think they are great really, but I did miss those more traditional Zelda style dungeons as well, where they had more of a uniqueness about each one. So I wouldn't mind seeing a mixture of both in the next game, but that would really depend on the story, too and whether it would feature the Divine Beasts again. Though they could perhaps just come up with something similar.

Other than that, I really want them to just keep going with this open-world design. It is really wonderful and any improvements they can make will only make it even better. I would certainly like to see a different story, as well. I just keep thinking about Majora's Mask. I really think they could do something like that again, use the same engine, make some improvements and tell a new story in a new land with new runes maybe.

( Edited 22.03.2017 08:44 by Marzy )

I loved this too. Manipulative dungeons we need more of. I know it's slightly different, but MM did that well, with Stone Tower, Snowhead and Great Bay Temples in particular. Alter parts of the dungeon to open up new paths. I feel the Devine Beasts moved that onto a logical level.

They were just too short and plain though. I feel a landmark like Stone Tower could have fit into BotW's world just fine. See, I would have been happy with just four main dungeons if they were on the same size as MM's. That game got a lot of dislike because it only had four, but BotW is a vaster game with its shrines going on in the overworld too, so MM-sized dungeons would have still fit perfectly into the four main dungeon setup in BotW. Perhaps the DLC dungeon will be much larger (I hope).

I don't think they can introduce the Beasts again in the next one. They have served their purpose now, so would be too typical to bring them back. We've conquered their dungeons, so they don't have a reason to be in the next game.

Plus, I always look at tradition with Zelda games, and the second game to a console's first Zelda is usually always pretty drastically different, whether it's art style, design, location, etc. I expect all around the next game to be quite different to BotW, but still keeping much of what made it great, a la MM.

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