The Legend of Blah Blah Episode IV: A New Game
13 Jun 2012 — by hinoseijin
Link’s Sword Play and Defense Tactics
Once relegated only to the 2D Zelda games, Skyward Sword saw Link using the beam attack in 3D in the form of the Skyward Strike. An awesome idea that made excellent use of the Wiimote and the Wii Motion Plus, and I’m fairly certain it could be translated to a handheld 3D Zelda game. Just use the B button to charge the sword as you would for a spin attack, but press forward on the analog pad to create a vertical beam, or press to either side for a horizontal beam; to perform the spin attack (or the charged spin attack, if it shows up as an upgrade), simply leave the analog pad alone. Two other sword techniques that have been left only in the 2D Zeldas, and one only if the Pegasus Boots were an item, are the dash attack (Pegasus Boots required) and the roll attack (seen only in The Minish Cap). These are also moves I’d love to see translated into a 3D Zelda. I also recently learned that in A Link to the Past, some of the bombable walls could be destroyed with a dash attack; I don’t know if it was a glitch or if it was intentional, seeing as I have the GBA port of the game, but either way I would still like to see this again. To help determine if a dash attack can destroy a wall or if you need a bomb, the hollow sound effect that helps us find a bombable wall could take on a deeper tone to tell us that we’ll need a bomb to get through the wall. Then there are the hidden skills in Twilight Princess, the Ending Blow, the Shield Attack, the Back Slice (first seen as a parry attack in The Wind Waker), the Helm Splitter (another parry attack in The Wind Waker), the Mortal Draw, the Jump Strike, and the Great Spin Attack (seen in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask when the spin attack was charged all the way to max); these were great moves that allowed us to adapt our fighting strategy to fight enemies that couldn’t be defeated by sword combos alone, and why the dev team took most of them out for Skyward Sword I’ll never understand.
Moving on to Link’s defense, another great idea Skyward Sword introduced was a stamina meter for Link’s shield; it was a move that made players learn some skill when it came to using the shield. Now if only the Mirror Shield was kept in. It could have reflected light and magical attacks, though it would take extra damage with physical attacks; after all, it is a mirror. Again, stronger armor would undoubtedly be welcomed back into the series, as would clothing that helps Link adapt to extreme environments, such as the Death Mountain Crater (the Goron tunic) or the bottom of Lake Hylia (the Zora tunic).
With the exception of Zelda II, Link has always had plenty of handy items to help him on his quest. Let’s start with Link’s bow; in The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, silver arrows were needed to defeat Ganon, and, after a bit of research, they are stronger than regular arrows. A sorely missed component of the Zelda series. Then there are the elemental arrows, the Fire, Ice, and Light arrows; I’d like to see them return, but perhaps this time with an Electric arrow to help Link defeat water-type enemies. And then there are the bomb arrows; first used as a glitch in Link’s Awakening, Twilight Princess brought them back, but then we stopped seeing them. Twilight Princess also saw the use of the Hawkeye, both as a way to get a closer look at objects in the distance and as a way to help us aim the bow.
Other ranged weapons that Link has had in his inventory include the hookshot, the clawshot, the double clawshot, the grappling hook, and the whip. The double clawshot is an item I hope that continues to make appearances in the series, as well as either the whip or the grappling hook.
In the past, Link has made use of potions to heal his health and restore his magic, but Skyward Sword allowed Link to upgrade those potions, a feature which should be kept, especially since it gave us something to do with the enormous amounts of rupees we invariably collected halfway through the game, but had nothing to do with them (that goes double for upgrading our items). Another potion that we only saw in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess was the Elixir Soup and the Great Fairy’s Tears, which healed Link and gave him double attack for a limited period of time; surely no one wants to see that taken out of the series.
Link’s accessorizing hasn’t always been with new armor and clothing. Power gloves and bracelets have increased Link’s strength, allowing him to more completely explore Hyrule or form shortcuts. The Hover boots were a neat item in Ocarina of Time, allowing Link to walk on air for a few seconds. The Iron boots were introduced in the same game, but were hampered by the fact that to equip them you had to pause the game; thankfully, that was fixed by making them regular items in The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time. The Hero’s Charm, an accessory from The Wind Waker, allowed Link to view an enemy’s health. These are items we should be seeing more of, especially the Twilight Princess incarnation of the Iron Boots, which were magnetic, and just looked cool.
What are round, blue (sometimes black), and explodey? Bombs! Powerful weapons that I use more as a tool unless I’m facing an enemy that can only be defeated with bombs. Throughout the series, we’ve seen some variations of this item, the first one being the Super Bomb in A Link to the Past. You only used it the one time, to get to the faerie in the Pyramid of Power so you could upgrade your arrows and sword. I’d like to see the Super Bomb return, this time with more than one location requiring a Super Bomb to get into. The Minish Cap gave us the remote bomb, allowing us to place a bomb and then detonating once we were safely out of the blast range. Then in Twilight Princess, we got access to water bombs, allowing us to open up underwater passageways we couldn’t get to otherwise. Twilight Princess also gave us multiple bomb bags, allowing us to carry several varieties of bombs.
It would be nice to see the magic meter as a constant feature in the Zelda series. Again, the return of the the Fire Rod, Bombos, Ether, and Quake would be awesome, but a return of the Ice Rod, Din’s Fire, Farore’s Wind, and Nayru’s Love would also be appreciated. Also appreciated would be the spells from Zelda II.
This is something we haven’t really seen in the Zelda series, but I think it’s one that should be implemented from now on: being able to customize Link. The only real customization we can do with him is change his name when we create the file name. But Link is supposed to be the link between us, the player, and the game. He’s supposed to represent us in Hyrule. So why not let us change Link’s appearance? Link can still have a default appearance, but we should be able to change Link’s skin color, hair color, eye color, face, gender, etc. to create a Link as unique as we are. After all, who wouldn’t love to actually see themselves in Hyrule?