Aonuma wants to turn puzzle-solving in Legend of Zelda Wii U on its ear

Saturday, 14th June 2014 22:01 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The Legend of Zelda is going open world on Wii U in 2015, and that may be just one of the changes to expect from the latest entry to the franchise.

Speaking with Kotaku at E3 2014 this week, series producer Eiji Aonuma reiterated that players will have freedom to tackle areas as they see fit.

“We’ve talked a little bit about the puzzle-solving element in Zelda, and how that’s kinda taken a different shape,” he said. “But I think people have come to just assume that puzzle-solving will exist in a Zelda game, and I kinda wanna change that, maybe turn it on its ear.

“As a player progresses they’re making logical choices to progress them in the game. And when I hear ‘puzzle solving’ I think of moving blocks so that a door opens or something like that. But I feel like making those logical choices and taking information that you received previously and making decisions based on that can also be a sort of puzzle-solving.

“So I wanna kinda rethink or maybe reconstruct the idea of puzzle-solving within the Zelda universe.”

I guess this means no more moving around ice blocks like those in the Snow Peak Ruins of Twilight Princess or the tile puzzle in the Private Oasis of Wind Waker. Man I hated that one.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U is without a proper title at this point and will be released in 2015.



  1. Tormenter

    For a new IP.. ‘maybe’ (very tentatively), but people have quite firm expectations of what a ‘Zelda’ game should be, and the classic puzzles are a part of that.

    Change that and your changing a major pillar the game is based on.. it ‘may’ work (although it’s most certainly against the odds doing that to a popular franchise) and it’ll most certainly sell (we’ve already established elsewhere that sales figures are not indicative of quality or satisfaction) but you risk a lot of pissed off fans it you end up making it dumber, which is exactly what it sounds like he’s trying to do by taking out the active elements that make you ‘puzzle’ something out instead of such a flat experience of so called story choice (makes it sound like ‘read your own’ adventure), which is never as involved as we’re sold that it is and certainly could NEVER replace a good old puzzle for those that play Zelda exactly for that.

    Dumb idea is dumb.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Tormenter

    *you’re* why is this such a fucking blind spot?


    #2 6 months ago
  3. truekeitaro

    So you don’t want Zelda to innovate. You want to just keep it the same. If that’s the case go replay oot and don’t even buy the new Zelda. There’s no need to hear you whine about it.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Tormenter


    Lol, Tube.

    Typical kneejerk reaction from the cerebrally challenged and yet another who advocates blind change for blind change’s sake.. First off.. I don’t play Zeldas for no other reason than I PC. Secondly this has nothing to do with ‘innovation’, it’s the changing of a basic part of what is expected to be a zelda experience, and that’s what keeps people coming back.

    There ‘may’ be a section of the players who are bored with the ‘formula’, but you can bet it’s not the majority and you start dicking around with those majority and you’ve a recipe for disaster. If they want to experiment then do so with a new/different IP but I wouldn’t think it would be too advisable to do it with such a big franchise unless of course they enjoy listening to bitching customers.. and AGAIN, as I said, it ‘may’ work, but the odds aren’t with them.

    Next time read it and stop making it up in your head as you go along.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Obernox

    On its ear? Gravity puzzles confirmed!

    #5 6 months ago
  6. braindead1981

    @Obernox : lol, well played! I am curious what Aonuma actually meant with this. For me personally, having puzzle-heavy dungeons was always THE cornerstone of the franchise. Sure, fighting fun bosses and discovering the overworld piece by piece while hunting for hidden secrets is a core part of the experience as well, but I just think that what the Zelda-franchise does best is providing fun and addictive dungeons. No game does it as well as the Zelda games, and without it, I just think something would be missing (for me at least).

    #6 6 months ago
  7. hitnrun

    One increasingly suspects they’ve read Tevis Thompsons “Saving Zelda”.

    Puzzles are not a “pillar” of “classic Zelda.” The gameplay itself used to be the puzzle. Now the puzzles are thankless tasks for people too young or poor to waste their time in MMOs.

    Zelda still gets a lot of attention because of its pedigree but its far from the system seller it once was.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. TheWulf

    There’s an obvious question, here: Is he genuinely thinking of removing all but the most basic kind of puzzle, or is he swapping it out for a puzzle that would fit with the environment more organically (Myst-style puzzles, Uru especially)? The former just seems to be making the IP stupid for an increasingly anti-intellectual audience, whereas the latter is something that I would support, and might even buy a WiiU for.

    It all depends on that question, I guess.

    #8 6 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.