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Zelda Producer: Why Does the Series Have to be So "Traditional"?

Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma is getting tired of the series formula and wants to make some changes.

Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma has been working on the Legend of Zelda series since 1998's Ocarina of Time. That's a decade-and-a-half working on a single series, enough to make any designer want to do something new. Aonuma is currently the producer on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS/2DS and the unnamed Zelda title for the Wii U. In an interview with 4Gamer (translated via Siliconera), Aonuma pondered trying something new within the confines of the Zelda series.

"When I say I'm tired," began Aonuma when asked about his July interview with the LA Times, "I'm not talking about making Zelda, but rather, the same constituent that has been used to make Zelda up until now. While on the subject, in regard to how we've always done things the traditional way until now: 'Why does it have to be traditional?' That's the question I've been asking myself."

"If we don't change that, we can't make something new. We're slightly approaching The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with that mindset, and also the next Zelda title, which we intend to continue changing. However, this brings us to the topic, 'Exactly what is The Legend of Zelda about?'"

In a recent article, USgamer's own Jeremy Parish wondered if A Link Between Worlds is the Zelda series trying to evolve itself out of a rut. Aonuma admitted that the series has lost its "uniqueness" over the years by sticking closely to tradition. A Link Between Worlds shakes things up by allowing players to choose how they tackle the dungeons; weapons will be available for purchase or rent in a shop, instead of inside each dungeon.

"Something that is 'traditional' is in a sense often something that copies previous works, so if you continue doing that, it gradually takes away from its uniqueness," said Aonuma. "So we're currently working on making those parts more and more unique."

"So, by no means, am I tired of it," Aonuma added. "Rather, the more we change it, the more I get fired up. Having someone think 'Huh? Is this Zelda?!' at first, then 'Oh, it is Zelda,' is what we're going for. Something that wouldn't make it matter whether Link or Princess Zelda appear in it or not. Something where it wouldn't even matter if Zelda is actually a princess, or not."

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be released on 3DS/2DS on November 22, 2013.

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