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Link Between Worlds: Hand-holding & Majora's Mask ties

3:45 PM on 10.14.2013

Steven Hansen

Features Editor

A bunch of things from Zelda's Eiji Aonuma at New York Comic-Con

Lots of tidbits for you Zelda fans over the weekend. Longtime series producer and director Eiji Aonuma gave a long talk at New York Comic-Con, which you can catch above. Immediately after, he sat down to an interview with Polygon where he discussed changes made to the upcoming 3DS title A Link Between Worlds, which wasn't originally related to the classic A Link to the Past.

But we could've made this game, or a game, without having Link to the Past as a base. Because we have the ability to go into the walls, and then contrasting that with the top-down view, that was basically the kernel of the game — that mechanic, and then those two contrasting camera views.

I've been curious about where that mechanic came from; it's interesting to hear it was part of the game's origin. Still, why then develop the Link to the Past tie in the first place? According to Aonuma, it's all about familiarity.

We used a lot of the base material from Link to the Past, setting it in that same world to kind of deepen the entire experience. Because that would make it easier for people to get into, and easier for people to understand. But there's also a lot of stuff in it that's completely different. So it could've just been its own game — I mean, it is its own game.

While that still kind of comes off as coattails riding to me, Aonuma, who has expressed a desire to uproot series tradition, seems like one of the more dynamic figures at Nintendo. which is why A Link Between Worlds is a, "a less linear, more free experience," one where it would be fun to get lost and stuck, which is why the game now allows you to sequence break and tackle dungeons in whatever order you so choose.

I think that one thing all game developers worry about when they're putting something into a game is, 'Will people notice it? Will people realize what they're supposed to do?' And we kind of have a bad habit of hand-holding, trying to make things easier for everyone..But more and more, I start to think that that kind of isn't actually that fun.

I like the idea of opening the experience up and letting players explore It gets back to series roots, really.

Aonuma dropped two other juicy tidbits. First, he said that the fans at New York Comic-Con were "even more passionate than the fans in Japan," so rock on you loony toons. When asked about A Link Between Worlds' connection to cult favorite Majora's Mask, he noted, as picked up by GoNintendo, "Finish this game and that may give you your answer." Seems there's more of a connection than we thought.

Zelda's Aonuma discusses the dangers of games that help too much [Polygon]
Finishing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds may make the Majora's Mask connection more clear [GoNintendo]

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