Tears of the Kingdom dungeons are designed with seamlessness in mind

Breath of the Wild with over 100 puzzle-filled sanctuaries instead of building around The Legend of ZeldaThe more traditional dungeons were both one of the most refreshing aspects of the game of 2017. It was also one of the most potentially polarizing – especially for those who had grown fond of Link’s old formula of taking down dungeons one by one with his specialized weapons. Forward Tears of the KingdomWhen it came out this week, Nintendo revealed that classic dungeons would be making their return throughout the new game, and it was easy to get the impression that Link would be spending a lot of time in scattered heavily themed fortresses. about Hyrule.

In some cases, that is very much the case. But according to Tears of the Kingdom director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the new dungeons weren’t really made with the intention of getting closer or further away from the Zelda franchise’s core design principles. Rather, each of them was created to function as a dynamic place to showcase many of Link’s new powers and weapons – players can pop in and out of them with a seamlessness never seen before in a game. Zelda game for.

During a recent news report in the press about Tears of the KingdomFujibayashi explained to me that he and the rest of the game’s development team didn’t really intend to Zelda‘s core design principles when it came to dungeons. Instead, they were much, much more interested in the sheer number of new gadgets that allow Link to create and build things.

“I think maybe the basics of these dungeons are a little bit different, in that we’re not really concerned about what we’ve done in the past, but we’re really considering the new items that are available this time around” , explains Fujibayashi. .

Link clings to a platform in one of Tears of the Kingdom’s more imaginative open-concept dungeons.
Image: Nintendo

Similar thinking has shaped the previous one Zelda games, especially pertaining to dungeons in which a particular weapon or item was positioned as the only viable key to puzzle solving. Now that Link has so many new powers and tools at his disposal Tears of the KingdomHowever, Fujibayashi found himself much more fascinated thinking “what kind of dungeon can we build to maximize the gameplay associated with those things and make it a fun, enjoyable experience?”

One way to build fun into the game, Fujibayashi believed, might be to emphasize a sense of seamlessness between the different layers. Tears of the Kingdom‘s larger world, a concept lightly explored in Breath of the Wild in the way Link spends a lot of time gliding from the sky. But unlike with Breath of the Wild‘s Divine Beasts, which were all quite similar internally and were clearly cut off from the outside world, focused on seamlessness in Tears of the Kingdom inspired Fujibayashi to extend that feeling to the dungeons themselves.

“Of Breath of the Wild, there was a theme of moving dungeons, which is why the dungeons turned out the way they did there,” Fujibayashi said. “With this theme of seamlessness, we thought about things like how we could realize the fantasy of being able to dive into a dungeon from the sky, and not have anything getting in the way of you. Or if you wanted or needed to take a break, you could step out of the dungeon and go right back in – all seamlessly.

Stay tuned for more of our interview with Fujibayashi as well Tears of the Kingdom producer Eiji Aonuma is coming very soon.

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