May 13, 2023

The Legend of Zelda Gets An Update

The latest The Legend of Zelda installation, Tears of the Kingdom, came out yesterday. Although this piece by Zachary Small in the New York Times gets a little too ambitious with typography and integrating videos into the text, it’s still a great read. The article goes into the history of the iconic Zelda games and the direction they are headed in, and underscores the legacy they have left.

Someone might write an entire university dissertation on a specific part of the worlds created by Tolkien,” said Ed King, a 26-year-old British gamer who translates the mysteries of the Zelda universe for his 700,000 YouTube subscribers. Zelda lore isn’t quite on that level yet, but it does have depth.”

Small goes into detail about what has been changing in the franchise and focuses on the ability to combine certain elements into tools. The designers prototyped this in a modded version of the original game (I wish I could get my hands on that).

Multiplicative gameplay encourages players to combine actions and objects in ways that allow for a vaster set of solutions. Developers created a prototype to test their theories, recreating the original Legend of Zelda with an interactive environment where the player could burn trees, pick up the logs and then make rafts from the timber. Those mechanics were incorporated into Breath of the Wild, alongside a physics system that allowed players to manipulate rules like the conservation of momentum.

The game franchise keeps evolving and if the excitement for the new game I’ve seen on social media is any indication, fans are staying loyal.


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