Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma wants A Link Between Worlds to be a “game where it would be fun to get stuck.”
Back in the day, half the fun of a Zelda title was trying to figure out what the heck you were supposed to do next. That feeling of being happily lost is something some might argue recent entries in the franchise have been missing. In turn, series producer Eiji Aonuma hopes to lessen some of the “hand-holding” in the series’ next iteration, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and craft a game that returns players to a time where wanderers aren’t necessarily lost.
“We wanted to make it a game where it would be fun to get stuck and be lost,” said Aonuma. According to Aonuma, this goal has sometimes run contrary to many of the lessons the company has learned from the modern gaming market. “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.”
In turn, Aonuma has tried to guide the team making A Link Between Worlds to create a game that offers help for players who really need it, but also leaves enough ambiguity so that gamers will have the freedom to explore, get lost, and figure things out for themselves. “There’s actually one area in the game where I fought for three days with my director over whether we should have a hint in there or not,” he said. “As a result, after the end of that we actually decided to take it out. So if that part of the game is too difficult, it’s my fault.” Somehow we suspect there won’t be too many Zelda fans holding it against him.