So we finally got to see some Zelda U footage, as promised. The trailer, cut using the in-game engine, shows off a world that looks expansive, detailed, and very bright. People have reacted with intense excitement across the web, and cringe-inducing comparisons to Skyrim have been vomited forth in various comment sections. Some, like myself, are impressed with the visuals and the promise of a more open-world approach to the Zelda formula, but are reserving judgement until some gameplay is shown. In the end, it’s at least comforting to know that Aonuma is telling the same story he told the last time he mentioned Zelda U, stressing an alteration in recently established formulas that have defined the console Zelda experience.
Looking back at the cinematics, there are some interesting details worth noting that may or may not hint at the narrative direction this new Zelda will be taking. I’ve developed a working theory, which I’d like to lay out briefly in blog form. Normally I’m not one for speculation, but there are a few details in this trailer that are simply too juicy not to mention. SO, for your reading pleasure, I present to you some flagrantly speculative analysis.
I tried to find a pic that highlighted the actual arrow, but failed…
After breaking down the elements of the trailer, I am immediately struck by what appears to be a greater focus on electro-animated/runic technology. It’s blatantly present in the arrow Link uses to dispatch his foe at the trailer’s conclusion. Link’s costume design appears similar to the design elements of the Ancient Robots of Skyward Sword. Note the enemy that attacks Link following Aonuma’s introduction; this creature appears techno-organic, not demonic. Link’s arrow and the enemy that pursues him in the trailer conjure memories of the technology used to animate the Ancient Robots and enemies featured in the bygone land Link explored in Lanayru Desert during Skyward Sword.
The similarities I see between Link’s outfit/weapons/the enemy that pursues him and the Ancient Robots/enemies in the Lanayru Mine make me think that this next Zelda game might take place in the original land Din, Nayru and Farore created and subsequently left in the care of the goddess Hylia. This would be the same world detailed in the Deku Tree’s flashback tale in Ocarina of Time, and later confirmed by Hyrule Historia to be the stage for Hylia’s great war with Demise preceding the events of Skyward Sword. This new Zelda could potentially take place in the same time that Link visited in Skyward Sword while he explored the ancient Lanayru Province, or perhaps in the time shortly after the three goddesses created the land. This is certainly an exciting prospect, and could also indicate a story that does not revolve around Link saving Princess Zelda from Ganondorf (as those two characters do not exist in their traditional forms prior to the events of Skyward Sword). We could be treated to a sweeping landscape that features organic beauty married to technological brilliance.
This conjecture is reinforced by another element of the trailer:
See anything missing?
It was Broken Angel that first brought to my attention that Link doesn’t appear to be carrying a sword (good catch, brah). He certainly doesn’t appear to be carrying the Master Sword, in any case. This could be used to provide even further evidence for Zelda U (ugh) being set in a pre-Skyloft world, where the Master Sword is also non-existent. Of course, that’s a massive amount of speculation to be drawn from a simple trailer, but that’s what this blog is all about. FLAGRANT SPECULATION.
Some other minor things of note; if you look closely at Link’s bracers, they recall the same design elements of Ganondorf’s own bracers in Ocarina of Time.
If this is significant in some way, then how?
As time goes on, more viewers are likely to find other distinctive elements present in the trailer. If anyone reading this happened to see something else in the trailer that struck them as particularly relevant, please feel free to let me know in the comment section. Remember though, this is all simply conjecture. While this kind of speculation is fun, I cannot stress enough that it is merely that; SPECULATION. None of what I described in this blog should be taken as confirmation of any kind. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; until Nintendo says it’s so, it’s pure speculation.