For a long time, fans of The Legend of Zelda series were puzzled over how the games were interconnected. Some seemed to follow on directly, while others appeared detached, sparking talk about varying timelines or even the absence of a timeline altogether. However, Eiji Aonuma, the Zelda series producer, has now revealed that he doesn’t prioritize the series’ chronology as it could restrict future titles.
Zelda Producer wants players to interpret the stories in their own unique ways
The Legend of Zelda’s series producer, Eiji Aonuma, talked about his thoughts on the franchise’s storyline in a recent interview with IGN. Aonuma claims that the studio prefers for players to interpret the story in their own unique ways rather than trying to precisely place each game into its own historical chronology.
Eiji Aonuma said, “Personally, I don’t like to put too much stock in the chronology of the series, because from the design perspective, that can kind of box us in and limit where we’re able to take the story as we continue making games in the series. And so I do think it’s something that is best for people to interpret on their own.”
Zelda games’ open-ended design clearly reflects Aonuma’s worldview. Examples like Breath of the Wild and its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, showcase expansive worlds that aren’t overly concerned with fitting every detail together. As players are free to create their own interpretations of the plot and characters, Aonuma thinks that this method encourages a closer bond between players and the virtual game setting.
This strategy makes sense since it guarantees that future games won’t be restricted by the story of their predecessors. It allows developers to explore various timelines, enabling them to envision settings as diverse as outer space or submarines.
Aonuma admits that some people prefer more conventional, straightforward storylines. However, he contends that the freedom provided by the more recent games promotes player decisions and creativeness. He claimed that being constrained in that way confines people. It would be great if they could just concentrate on conveying the story of that game without worrying about how it all fits together.
When confronted on how he felt about fans saying they missed the classic Zelda games, Aonuma said: “I do think we as people have a tendency to want the thing that we don’t currently have. There’s a bit of a grass is greener mentality. It’s interesting when I hear people say those things because I am wondering, ‘Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you’re more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?'”
Nevertheless, Aonuma acknowledges that fans’ longing for the past isn’t entirely surprising: “I do understand that desire that we have for nostalgia, and so I can also understand it from that aspect.”
To be honest, the majority of video games and the series used to be similar. It was only around ten years ago that the notion that all of a franchise’s entries must tell the same story first originated. However, new transformations are being made where titles are particularly well-known for focusing more on being enjoyable rather than focusing on any established storyline or chronology.
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