• Welcome to ZD Forums! You must create an account and log in to see and participate in the Shoutbox chat on this main index page.

Zelda What-Ifs

Uwu_Oocoo2

Pico picori!
ZD Legend
Forum Volunteer
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Location
Anywhere You're Not
Hey guys, I decided that I'm going to be posting a weekly Zelda what-if scenario for discussion. I decided to start with something mega basic, which is this-
What if a Nintendo executive told you that they were making a new Zelda game, and wanted you to head the project. Which direction would you want to go, story and/or design wise?
 

Mikey the Moblin

sushi is a suspicious hello
ZD Champion
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Location
southworst united states
Gender
Dude
Wow starting off with the hard ones
First of all I think console zelda games should continue to use the modified havok engine that botw is made in.
Then I'd look at the mechanics and try to simplify them as much as possible. BOTW already had fairly simple mechanics so I wouldn't expect this to change much. I think next would be looking at the physics and trying to imagine how different items would work in the constraints, and return to a traditional key item style. Some items, like the bow and boomerang, are already implemented. The hookshot and iron boots are toys I've wanted in botw for so long, so I would probably throw those into the early brainstorming. Bombs can stay, but probably only one type of bomb at a time that you can eventually upgrade or swap out like minish cap. Paraglider is replaced with korok leaf. A fun key item that would be brand new, a shiekah smokebomb thing that allows you to disappear and reappear at a target location. Get rid of jumping, bring back rolling. Obviously weapons are gone and link sticks to the hero/master sword etc

The overworld is reworked from the ground up to be compatible with key items and lack of climbing ability. It's also a TON smaller. By reworking the overworld, we can make a more linear progression path that limits entry to other parts of the map behind usage of certain key items. Probably similar to twilight princess' layout but larger.

Its interesting to me that I'm designing gameplay over narrative because I think narrative is so important, but I think at least this is a solid framework to start with, and I can leave the story and region/dungeon design to the story team I guess
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

The Devil's Advocate
ZD Legend
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Location
Iowa
Gender
Lizard
The setting: My first decision would probably be on that makes part of the Zelda fanbase happy when they hear it: another jump to a different timeline. This is a different era where things seem somewhat darker. The previously majestic castles of the franchise are replaced by ominous fortresses built into mountains, perched like predators waiting for the first sign of violence. The world is somber and dark. Whatever future we're in is not a happy one.

My second decision is likely to conflict with the more... "traditionalist" Zelda fans: there is no Link in this game. No grand reveal or attempt to revive him or free him. The concept of a Link is mentioned in passing, a hero clad in green that steps through time. Whispers of him are passed around this somber, cold version of Hyrule. When he is mentioned, he's treated as a bedtime fairytale. While there is still some lingering hope among the older folks, people who swore on their lives that they saw him, this is a world without a chosen hero.

This is a world in which Ganon rules unabated.

Years ago, Ganon returned. He peeled back the layers of darkness and forced his way back into the world of living, revived by some impossible entity just as he'd always been. He expected the Hero of Time to rise against him as he always did, for Ganon to feel the cold metal of a blade to push its way through his heart.

But the Hero of Time did not come.

This is a world where Ganon has ruled for decades, settling into a cold peace. Hylium, the modern remains of a Hyrule split apart by civil war and later reformed, is his. He is king, in position if not in name. His armies are a mixture of humans and members of the monsters races brought up from their oppression beneath the previous Hylian monarchy. In victory, Ganon is pensive. His goal was never to spread beyond the borders of Hyrule, but to secure a home for the Gerudo.

But the Gerudo are gone, migrating long ago to parts unknown. Ganon sits on a quiet throne and without his people to stand beside him. He took a wife decades ago. Not one to prance with nobility, she was a member of Hylium's lower class; a symbol of the old kingdom's tendency to step on those with no voice. She died in childbirth, survived by her daughter.

The protagonist: The protagonist of this game is Lady Zelda Dragmire, daughter of Ganon. She was born into a position of affability and wanted for nothing. Unlike many, Zelda is accustomed to the presence of the monster races in Hylium and regards them as equals. Incredibly intelligent but socially awkward, Zelda falls onto the lower end what we could consider the autism spectrum. She is a skilled engineer and tinkerer with a proclivity for invention and critical thinking, but she tends to avoid unnecessary socialization.

Zelda is half-Gerudo, leaving her skin darkened as if by the sun and with a shock of bright red hair. Given the absence of the Gerudo in this modern Hylium, she is somewhat of an anomaly. She is fond of her father despite knowing his past.

The companion: Impa is a consequence of Ganon's rule. In the days when Hylium was more adamant in its resistance, Ganon purged towns as examples to the people. One member of each settlement would be spared if only to continue the memories of those who lived there. Impa, known at the time by a different name, was four. At the time, Zelda was months away from her fourth birthday. The girl from the forgotten town was uplifted and made to be Zelda's playmate. She was given a new role and a new name from a different age: Eémpah. Impa. In the Sheikah tongue, it meant being 'of nothing'. Rather than an insult, it was intended to be a description of strength; being strong enough to stand tall when you had nothing.

As the years went by and Zelda grew older, Impa's role shifted. She became a guardian, trained personally by Ganon in the combat arts of both the Gerudo and the extinct Sheikah. She is Zelda's shield, a constant companion to her in times of peace and strife.

The antagonist: Time has weathered Ganon. Much closer in personality to the version of him we saw in Wind Waker, but with more than a sentence and a half of motivation. Although settled into his role as the de-facto king of Hylium, Ganon is pensive. Whereas he might once have gone personally to war, he is more inclined to send the military to carry out deeds in his name. Once a hothead of anger and war, he seems unsure how to carry himself in a time of relative peace.

Boiling inside Ganon is the essence of something old. In times gone by, it took on many names: the Void, Demise, and sometimes the Calamity. It rages inside of Ganon, eager for an outlet.

The premise: As it seems to be with all Zelda premises I write, this game would function as the end of the Ganon/Demise story, ending (in one case) with Ganon being killed conclusively and with no possibility of resurrection. The series needs a new (and good) villain and this functions as a way to flesh Ganon out as a character while behaving as a swan song for both him and Zelda.

Demise is coming to a head within Ganon's mind. Without the violent outlet that normally keeps him in check, he's re-surging in new and dangerous ways. Ganon begins to lash out at those closest to him, Zelda included. He becomes darker and more violent. Whereas Ganon was always in control with Demise feeding him power and anger from afar, now Demise is rising to the forefront. He is beginning to consume the mind of a powerful but more complacent and peaceful Ganon.

At the height of Ganon's possession at the hands of Demise, Zelda's mother is beaten to death.

Lady Zelda, despite her loyalties to her father, is driven away. She flees from her father's house with Impa in tow, set on killing him. It is not a noble story of heroics and good deeds, but as revenge. Her departure leads to a run-in with the floundering Hylium Resistance, a loose conglomeration of freedom fighters and those who fund them. Though apprehensive about selling herself out to such a band of ragged degenerates, the image of her mother, still and glassy eyed, plays through her mind. Her father is too far gone.

Zelda, intelligent as she is, is familiar with the cycle of reincarnation. She's gone through texts detailing his countless deaths and resurrections. Those who contended with him before never sought to kill Ganon, only seal him. Throughout history, the Hero of Time had only ever postponed Ganon, dooming a future generation to suffering at his hands.

Not this time.

This time Ganon dies for good.

* * *
And that's all I've got. This premise is similar to fanfiction I wrote years ago. It's intended to act as a definitive conclusion to Ganon's storyline while fleshing him out where all the other games failed to do so. Unlike other games, it would be more interconnected with the rest of the franchise. Aspects that were previously ignored or shelved, such Hyrule's inability to keep records or countries outside of Hyrule, would be rectified.
 
Last edited:

Uwu_Oocoo2

Pico picori!
ZD Legend
Forum Volunteer
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Location
Anywhere You're Not
The setting: My first decision would probably be on that makes part of the Zelda fanbase happy when they hear it: another jump to a different timeline. This is a different era where things seem somewhat darker. The previously majestic castles of the franchise are replaced by ominous fortresses built into mountains, perched like predators waiting for the first sign of violence. The tone of the word is somber and stark. Whatever future we're in is not a happy one.

My second decision is likely to conflict with the more... "traditionalist" Zelda fans: there is no Link in this game. No grand reveal or attempt to revive him or free him. The concept of a Link is mentioned in passing, a hero clad in green that steps through time. Whispers of him are passed around this somber, cold version of Hyrule. When he is mentioned, he's treated as a bedtime fairytale. While there is still some lingering hope among the older folks, people who swore on their lives that they saw him, this is a world without a chosen hero.

This is a world in which Ganon rules unabated.

Years ago, Ganon returned. He peeled back the layers of darkness and forced his way back into the world of living, revived by some impossible entity just as he'd always been. He expected the Hero of Time to rise against him as he always did, for Ganon to feel the cold metal of a blade to push its way through his heart.

But the Hero of Time did not come.

This is a world where Ganon has ruled for decades, settling into a cold peace. Hylium, the modern remains of a Hyrule split apart by civil war and later reformed, is his. He is king, in position if not in name. His armies are a mixture of humans and members of the monsters races brought up from their oppression beneath the previous Hylian monarchy. In victory, Ganon is pensive. His goal was never to spread beyond the borders of Hyrule, but to secure a home for the Gerudo.

But the Gerudo are gone, migrating long ago to parts unknown. Ganon sits on a quiet throne and without his people to stand beside him. He took a wife decades ago. Not one to prance with nobility, she was a member of Hylium's lower class; a symbol of the old kingdom's tendency to step on those with no voice. She died in childbirth, survived by her daughter.

The protagonist: The protagonist of this game is Lady Zelda Dragmire, daughter of Ganon. She was born into a position of affability and wanted for nothing. Unlike many, Zelda is accustomed to the presence of the monster races in Hylium and regards them as equals. Incredibly intelligent but socially awkward, Zelda falls onto the lower end what we could consider the autism spectrum,. She is a skilled engineer and tinkerer with a proclivity for invention and critical thinking, but she tends to avoid unnecessary socialization.

Zelda is half-Gerudo, leaving her skin darkened as if by the sun and with a shock of bright red hair. Given the absence of the Gerudo in this modern Hylium, she is somewhat of an anomaly. She is fond of her father despite knowing his past.

The companion: Impa is a consequence of Ganon's rule. In the days when Hylium was more adamant in its resistance, Ganon purged towns as examples to the people. One member of each settlement would be spared if only to continue the memories of those who lived there. Impa, known at the time by a different name, was four. At the time, Zelda was months away from her fourth birthday. The girl from the forgotten town was uplifted and made to be Zelda's playmate. She was given a new role and a new name from a different age: Eémpah. Impa. In the Sheikah tongue, it meant being 'of nothing'. Rather than an insult, it was intended to be a description of strength; being strong enough to stand tall when you had nothing.

As the years went by and Zelda grew older, Impa's role shifted. She became a guardian, trained personally by Ganon in the combat arts of both the Gerudo and the extinct Sheikah. She is Zelda's shield, a constant companion to her in times of peace and strife.

The antagonist: Time has weathered Ganon. Much closer in personality to the version of him we saw in Wind Waker, but with more than a sentence and a half of motivation. Although settled into his role as the de-facto king of Hylium, Ganon is pensive. Whereas he might once have gone personally to war, he is more inclined to send the military to carry out deeds in his name. Once a hothead of anger and war, he seems unsure how to carry himself in a time of relative peace.

Boiling inside Ganon is the essence of something old. In times gone by, it took on many names: the Void, Demise, and sometimes the Calamity. It rages inside of Ganon, eager for an outlet.

The premise: As it seems to be with all Zelda premises I write, this game would function as the end of the Ganon/Demise story, ending (in one case) with Ganon being killed conclusively and with no possibility of resurrection. The series needs a new (and good) villain and this functions as a way to flesh Ganon out as a character while behaving as a swan song for both him and Zelda.

Demise is coming to a head within Ganon's mind. Without the violent outlet that normally keeps him in check, he's re-surging in new and dangerous ways. Ganon begins to lash out at those closest to him, Zelda included. He becomes darker and more violent. Whereas Ganon was always in control with Demise feeding him power and anger from afar, now Demise is rising to the forefront. He is beginning to consume the mind of a powerful but more complacent and peaceful Ganon.

Lady Zelda, despite her loyalties to her father, is driven away when her father beats Impa to near death for some minor indiscretion. She flees from her father's house with Impa in tow, set on killing him (more in revenge for Impa than for anything else). Her departure leads to a run-in with the floundering Hylium Resistance, a loose conglomeration of freedom fighters and those who fund them. Though apprehensive about selling herself out to such a band of ragged degenerates, the image of a battered and broken Impa plays through her mind. Ganon is too far gone. He needs to be killed.

Zelda, intelligent as she is, is familiar with the cycle of reincarnation. She's gone through texts detailing his countless deaths and resurrections. Those who contended with him before never sought to kill Ganon, only seal him. Throughout history, the Hero of Time had only ever postponed Ganon, dooming a future generation to suffering at his hands.

Not this time.

This time Ganon dies for good.

* * *
And that's all I've got. This premise is similar to fanfiction I wrote years ago. It's intended to act as a definitive conclusion to Ganon's storyline while fleshing him out where all the other games failed to do so. Unlike other games, it would be more interconnected with the rest of the franchise. Aspects that were previously ignored or shelved, such Hyrule's inability to keep records or countries outside of Hyrule, would be rectified.
Okay wow, I can see you put a lot of thought into this one xD
Tbh I was kinda just thinking "Something like Twilight Princess, maybe? Darker tones, more intricate civilizations. More depth, generally. Theres a different villian, aka not Gonon for the thousandth time. I would want to learn more about the three celestial goddesses, perhaps with the main villian summoning them and forcing them to do his evil schemes. More intricate dungeons, each with classic but new items. A larger space like in BotW, but more flushed out so it isn't all just empty fields. I would also want to make Zelda one of the main characters, if not playable than a traveling companion."
And um yeah thats about it
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

The Devil's Advocate
ZD Legend
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Location
Iowa
Gender
Lizard
Okay wow, I can see you put a lot of thought into this one xD
Tbh I was kinda just thinking "Something like Twilight Princess, maybe? Darker tones, more intricate civilizations. More depth, generally. Theres a different villian, aka not Gonon for the thousandth time. I would want to learn more about the three celestial goddesses, perhaps with the main villian summoning them and forcing them to do his evil schemes. More intricate dungeons, each with classic but new items. A larger space like in BotW, but more flushed out so it isn't all just empty fields. I would also want to make Zelda one of the main characters, if not playable than a traveling companion."
And um yeah thats about it

It kind of stems from my frustration with the franchise. I want a Zelda game that doesn't try and ignore all the other entries in the series, nor do I want the same old thing where Link stabs Ganon in the head, seals him away for however many years, and accomplishes nothing. Zelda is a series that deserves to be dissected and its plot, theme, and characters poked.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Ohio
Gender
tree
General: A standard dungeon crawler with the usual Zelda tropes, only improved. Better dungeons, better bosses, better items, etc.

Design: The Wii U tech demo artsyle. Use the 12th century Europe aesthetic but with a few obvious fantastical twists, nothing overly revolutionary.

Gameplay: Full button controls, no motion whatsoever. I would use TP as a starting point then expand from there, throwing out whatever SS and BotW introduced. Puzzles and combat receive the highest focus.

Story: I feel like I would return to a previously established setting and continue the abandoned narrative with a unique sequel plot like that of MM. No Ganon, no Triforce, just something that has not been done to death. Bring back some old characters too.
 

Link&Midna

just a WORTHLESS BUM alone on a pile of bricks.
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
a MM sequel, music that sounds similar to the zelda songs in melee, and an artsyle like that of soul calibur (yes, purely b/c of link in sc2)

I don't have any real story or gameplay ideas, but a zelda game with these factors is what want to see
Link was so hot in Soul Caliber 2, I'd totally be down for a game in that art style as opposed to what Botw has done. I don't think the rendering style in Botw makes any of the characters look good tbh
 

Link&Midna

just a WORTHLESS BUM alone on a pile of bricks.
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
You know what, I'd love a Back to the Future style Zelda game where Link travels between a medieval Hyrule and a modern one. I heard somewhere that the original concept of Zelda was just that, and Link was named because he represented the "link" between past and present times. I think it's really unfortunate that they didn't go with this idea, it had so much potential... Also, can you imagine Link in sweatpants and a baseball cap? Sexy!

Edit: source
 
Last edited:

Mikey the Moblin

sushi is a suspicious hello
ZD Champion
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Location
southworst united states
Gender
Dude
You know what, I'd love a Back to the Future style Zelda game where Link travels between a medieval Hyrule and a modern one. I heard somewhere that the original concept of Zelda was just that, and Link was named because he represented the "link" between past and present times. I think it's really unfortunate that they didn't go with this idea, it had so much potential... Also, can you imagine Link in sweatpants and a baseball cap? Sexy!
Not sure where you heard that
 

Link&Midna

just a WORTHLESS BUM alone on a pile of bricks.
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Not sure where you heard that
Me neither actually, I wanted to see if I could find it again but googling didn't come up with much. There is sort of a mention of it in this post, though, and because it mentions the name thing that might be where I heard it originally. Either there or on one of those iceburg videos.
 

Chevywolf30

I hunt, therefore I am
ZD Champion
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Location
The Lone Star State
Gender
Manufacturer recommended settings
I think he's called Link because he's a link from the player to the game.
As for the thread topic:
I'd love to see something like Majora's Mask, but even more surreal. I'm talking extradimensional. I really like surrealism and all that good stuff, but I'm not the greatest at thinking stuff like it up, but I'd still love to see an even more surreal MM, maybe even more on the horror side.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Gender
man
I want Zelda 1 and 2 era games. There is a lot more connected world-building that the Zelda franchise could do, and there were pretty interesting concepts in the non-canonized parts of the early games (books, CDi, TV show, etc.) that I would love to see get explored further.

Also: "It is a story that is not well known, but at the time, when we started the design of The Legend of Zelda, we imagined that the fragments of the Triforce would actually be microchips! The video game would happen in both the past and the future. As the hero was a link between one and the other, it was called Link." -Shigeru Miyamoto (translated from Japanese into French and then from French into English)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom