It may not feel like it, but Twilight Princess was released eight years ago. In half that time, Nintendo has released remakes of three classic Zelda games. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, The Wind Waker HD, and the more recent Majora’s Mask 3D all turned out to be much welcomed, glorious remasters of already amazing games. We can always expect a new Zelda game; The Legend of Zelda Wii U is dated for released this year, and possibly yet another title for the Nintendo 3DS. With this recent trend, fans can now begin to wonder what is next for The Legend of Zelda remakes.
While The Wind Waker HD was still in development, The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma stated in interview with Polygon that a remake of Twilight Princess, and even Skyward Sword, in HD was not out of the question. In fact, before settling on making The Wind Waker in HD, the developers demoed Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword with HD graphics into order to determine the visual approach for The Legend of Zelda Wii U. With Majora’s Mask recently released and a new title in The Legend of Zelda series due for the Wii U this year, it may be too soon to expect another remake. It is not, however, too soon to begin talking about the possibilities, and if any Zelda game should be remade next, it is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
After The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess was the next 3D console Zelda title. Some may ask, “Why remake Twilight Princess when it was from just last generation?” Technically, it was a GameCube game ported to the Wii. The game is still widely available, but this may not last forever. Twilight Princess was The Legend of Zelda title that many were pining for, demanding more realistic graphics as opposed to the visuals of The Wind Waker. When it was revealed at E3 2004, the reaction was likely the greatest that the expo had ever seen; grown men cried more passionately than normal. For some, Twilight Princess lived up to the hype. Breathing new life into this Zelda title and bringing it to the current generation could remake it as nothing short of the game it was meant to be. After all, there is a number of ways that Twilight Princess Remake could be improved upon.
Gameplay always comes before graphics, but when it comes to updating an older game that already plays well, graphics are just as important. Even though it has been only eight years, Twilight Princess’ visuals have not aged as well as other, more cartoony Nintendo games. They did not face the same challenges that Twilight Princess did; it was Nintendo’s take on a more realistic Zelda, so everything in the game had to look as such. While it was very appealing for 2006, it was also released at the very beginning of the HD console era. Its visuals were quickly eclipsed by the graphics that next generation consoles displayed. The Wii U’s power can finally do the game justice. The Zelda HD Experience, a tech demo for the Wii U at E3 2011, has already given fans a taste of what an HD Twilight Princess might look like. The demo was definitely inspired by Twilight Princess’ art style, and it was beautiful. Not to mention, by the time that Twilight Princess HD would even be released, the development team would have had experience with two HD Zeldas: The Wind Waker HD and the new The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. Pulling off stunning graphics in Twilight Princess HD would be less of a challenge.
With its release on both the GameCube and Wii, Twilight Princess had two very different control styles for its respective platforms. The GameCube version’s controls were traditional, controlling more tightly. The Wii version’s controls were the series’ first attempt at motion controls, and they felt somewhat tacked on. They were not always as responsive as they should have been. The waggling of the sword swings, unlike those in Skyward Sword’s, did not feel as natural; more tiresome. While the aiming mechanics were really quick and useful, almost everything else felt tacked on. However, with a remake, Nintendo will have the opportunity to fine tune them. The motion controls are not broken; they just need some work. Although, this does leave the question: what control scheme should the remake use? Well, why not both the traditional and motion controls? They have both been done, and returning players are likely to have their own preference. It would also be wise for Nintendo to include GamePad functionality, with all the ideas that were implemented in The Wind Waker HD, also with new additions form Zelda Wii U.
Many of those who have played Twilight Princess will never forget is that the GameCube and Wii versions were literally mirrors of each other. The entire game world was flipped for the Wii version in order to make Link right-handed so that the motion controls would appear more accurate for the right-handed players. This flip was rather confusing for me as I have played both the Wii and GameCube versions. I personally prefer the GameCube version; it was the first one I played through and recognize more closely, and it is what Nintendo had in mind when originally creating the game. However, as with the control option, Nintendo should consider both audiences and provide the option of which way the map will face.
Twilight Princess is not a particularly challenging game when it comes to combat. The sword skills made it easier to quickly dispatch even some of the tougher enemies; sometimes too easy. Like The Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds, an HD remake could include a Hero Mode in which Link takes double damage. Also, many bosses, especially those in the first three dungeons, are taken out without much of a fight. Fyrus was the boss that Nintendo revealed in the first trailer for Twilight Princess, and the monster appeared intimidating and fearsome, but he is beaten more easily than any other boss in the game, only having one phase to his fight. He did not live up to the expectations many may have had for him. The developers could also do what has been with Majora’s Mask; change the boss battles, but in this case, do it to make them more challenging.
Anouma has recently placed an emphasis on challenging the traditions of The Legend of Zelda, which he has done with A Link Between Worlds and plans to do accomplish with The Legend of Zelda Wii U. Linearity has become a tradition of the Zelda franchise, and Aonuma could break it for a Twilight Princess remake. There are certain areas of the game where the linearity is not necessary. The opening of the game drags on a little, and it would be nice to expedite it by skipping tutorials and getting straight to the action. Also, it should be possible for Link to travel from one province to the next without first completing any dungeons in favor of instead clearing Hyrule of Twilight. As a wolf, he does not need help from dungeon items while he is collecting Tears of Light. Later on, Link should be able to immediately meet with the different Resistance members in any order to open up parts of the map. With some tweaking, this can be done without causing issues with continuity. Steps can be taken to bring players to the doorsteps of a dungeon but preventing them from entering without the necessary items, much like in A Link Between Worlds. These are only a few examples of ways that linearity can be reduced.
Though they are a fairly new product line, Amiibo have already been used in many ways in recent Nintendo games. In Super Smash Bros., they act as extra fighters called “Figure Players”, and in Hyrule Warriors, they reward players with weapons and other items. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of the Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda Wii U will have Amiibo support, but nothing has been said about how they will affect Wii U Zelda’s gameplay. Whatever their uses might be, the same could be done with a Twilight Princess Remake, allowing new experiences when playing with Amiibo. Besides, the Smash Bros. Amiibo of Link and Zelda are based off of their Twilight Princess designs, so they will fit perfectly.
Most Zelda remakes have only tweaked the gameplay mechanics and improved the graphics, while adding some level of new content. None have taken the opportunity to expand on the lore. It would be nice to not have to wait for another Hyrule Historia to tell us more about the Twili and their origins. Twilight Princess has one of the richest stories in the entire Zelda franchise, but at times, it falls flat. Twilight Princess, like many Zelda titles, is filled with mystery, but some of the writing is not “mysterious”; just confusing. Nintendo should not retcon anything; they should only enrich the story where some things go unexplained. I cannot really go into detail without getting into plot spoilers, but many things are not clear. I would like to know more about the Interlopers and their origins, and exactly what Zelda’s fate is after she helps Midna half-way through the game is very vague. Some plotholes could stand to be filled.
Updated: As an aside, I think I only ever need to read how much a Rupee is worth the first time I pick it up in the field. If Twilight Princess is remade, I could do with this message popping up every time I reload a game.
A Twilight Princess remake may be far off, and it may never happen, but that will not stop anyone from thinking about the potential. Fans wanted Majora’s Mask 3D, and Nintendo eventually gave them what they asked for (even if they had every intention of remaking it regardless), so it cannot hurt to start asking for Twilight Princess HD in the future. Somewhere down the line, it may become a reality.
Would you want a Twilight Princess remake? What would you like to see changed? Say what you think in the comment section below.