Zelda producer on why money matters in A Link Between Worlds

In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, you'll be able to buy and rent any weapon you want. So, how did this new direction come about? We asked director Eiji Aonuma.

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In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, you'll be able to buy and rent any weapon you want. It eschews a long-held series tradition, which had you earning new powers and abilities through a chronological series of dungeons. So, how did this new direction come about? We asked director Eiji Aonuma.

"Collecting rupees have always been a big part of Zelda games. But there was always a point in Zelda games where even if you collect rupees, there wasn't that much left to do with them. Making a game where there was a reason to continue collecting rupees was a big challenge for us on this game," he explained to us. "One idea there was to make you purchase all your items, and obviously that would give you a reason to collect rupees."

"But, that would make it very difficult to get items in the beginning. So, we made a rental service so that you could pay less money and rent items," he explained to Shacknews. "The downside there is that if you have items that are rented, if you Game Over, you lose them all. We wanted people to feel like they want to save up their rupees and buy all these items and buy them forever."

Making the collection of money so important made us think of yet another Nintendo handheld game: New Super Mario Bros. 2. However, Aonuma laughed at the suggestion.

One could cynically look at Zelda's new economy as inspired by free-to-play games. Obviously, purchasing in-game currency is something that many modern mobile games do. Aonuma insisted that the inspiration didn't come from there. "The idea of the rental system actually came from my own experience by getting into a hobby by first renting something and then deciding to actually buy something," he said. "But I can totally see how that kind of system would be a good business model, and I think that character in the game is a great businessman," he added, laughing.

A Link Between Worlds will be available on 3DS on November 22.

From The Chatty
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    October 15, 2013 9:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Zelda producer on why money matters in A Link Between Worlds.

    In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, you'll be able to buy and rent any weapon you want. So, how did this new direction come about? We asked director Eiji Aonuma.

    • reply
      October 15, 2013 9:37 AM

      super on the fence about this. getting new a weapon in each dungeon was one of my favorite parts of the games :/

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        October 15, 2013 10:55 AM

        it was a big part of the gameplay itself!

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        October 15, 2013 2:47 PM

        yeah the dungeons were kinda built all around a certain weapon/item, now you have to figure out which ones you need for every dungeon and run to a store and rent them? I dunno...

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          October 15, 2013 2:51 PM

          not only that but i enjoyed wandering around and seeing places that i knew i'd be able to reach later in the game when i'm all decked out. LttP is one of the best games for that too! SEQUEL RUINED

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        October 15, 2013 6:49 PM

        i'm actually excited because it might mean this will allow them to be a lot more creative with dungeons and items. for a long time they've been constrained to this formula where the item you find is the key to every "lock" in the dungeon and that kind of sucks.

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          October 15, 2013 7:12 PM

          i'm open minded. it's a bummer to see one of your favorite mechanics go bye bye but i've never been let down by a zelda game

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      October 15, 2013 10:23 AM

      People complain when zeldas don't change, people complain when they do.

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        October 15, 2013 12:14 PM

        People complain when zeldas don't change, people complain when they do.

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      October 15, 2013 11:14 AM

      Final rating: 0/CDi Zelda Games

      From previous article: "A shopkeeper name Ravio will offer most of the in-game items near the beginning of the game, first to rent and eventually to buy". So, OK, no item finding in the dungeon, but you'll just find a big crate of rupees instead, right? Meh.

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      October 15, 2013 11:24 AM

      This feels less and less like a proper sequel to LttP every time they show something new from it :(

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        October 15, 2013 11:52 AM

        I don't know. That overworld music brings me back every time I hear it.

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          October 15, 2013 12:19 PM

          Just the way it looks and plays, and the weird modern gimmicks (like this thing, the 2D wall movement stuff) and that story trailer the other day was especially off-putting.

          I feel like this is a sequel in the same way a lot of Final Fantasy offshoots have gotten the name: because it will sell better that way. It doesn't look or feel like LttP to me.

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            October 15, 2013 12:52 PM

            I don't understand what fans want from Nintendo. Announce a new Zelda or Mario? They cry, "Same old thing!" Dare to change up the tried-and-true formulas? They cry, "This isn't my Mario/Zelda!"

            It's baffling.

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              October 15, 2013 12:58 PM

              I admit, I don't really like Zelda in general, but I love LttP. So the idea of a direct sequel to that appeals to me, except that each new thing they show looks less like a sequel and more like what I would expect any random new Zelda game on 3DS to be.

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                October 15, 2013 6:42 PM

                I think they've achieved a good balance. They're reusing the light world--probably to make fans squeal with delight--and every item from LttP looks to be returning. Gotta mix up the formula a bit, otherwise the game would come across as more of a remake than a sequel.

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      October 15, 2013 11:46 AM

      So Play to Pay to Play?

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      October 15, 2013 11:51 AM

      Hm. Well, if they're going to be experiementing with all this stuff, I'm glad they're doing it on the 3DS instead of the Wii U.

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      October 15, 2013 2:41 PM

      Didn't know Aonuma was so involved in this game, I thought he only worked on console Zelda's. I guess we're still two or three years out on the Wii U Zelda.

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      October 15, 2013 2:45 PM

      The downside there is that if you have items that are rented, if you Game Over, you lose them all.

      Oh FFS, so I have to run back to a store every time I die or what?

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      October 15, 2013 7:02 PM

      I wasn't sure what to make of this when I first read the article, but now I'm actually warming up to it. Considering the dungeons don't have to be beaten in any specific order, you're pretty much free to explore in non-linear fashion and then rent/buy items as you see fit when you encounter different challenges. Could be cool!

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        October 16, 2013 2:25 PM

        That's how I'm seeing it as well. As long as you don't die your fine but if you die you screwed. Unless each dungeon still works around a certain weapon/item then you could just work to get some rupees just for that specific weapon/item and then continue that way in linear way and just buy and keep what you need or do it anyway you want by renting but then you can't die unless you got lots of rupees to go rent again. It offers a little more freedom and I like that!