February 10, 2018
It’s fair to say that Breath of the Wild has stolen the hearts of many a Zelda fan. From the stunning visuals to the open world style gameplay, it has been a joy to play. The decision by Team Zelda to take the game franchise in a different direction has worked a treat, so much so that lead producer Eiji Aonuma stated future Zelda games are very likely to follow the same formula. We now have a comprehensive taste of an open world Hyrule, but what would other worlds from other Zelda games look like in the same engine as Breath of the Wild? Especially if it was a world very similar to Hyrule itself? One that has captured so much of the Zelda fanbase’s imagination that theory after theory has been created? Yes, you guessed it, I am referring to the world saved from the brink of a ‘moon crushing’ death, Termina itself.
Majora’s Mask is a game so beloved by the fans, that even suggestions by the Hyrule Encyclopedia calling the game events a result of a mask’s imagination has not deterred clamors for a sequel. The story was emotionally captivating, the dungeons memorable, the NPCs unforgettable and the big bad… well, let’s just say completely insane. But if Aonuma and co really did decide to all-but confirm Breath of the Wild’s place in the Zelda Timeline (yes, I’m a Child timeline advocate) and make the game both a Breath of the Wild and Majora’s Mask sequel, what exactly could we all expect?
Gameplay and Overworld
Photo on right is from Youtuber Dom Bigode. It’s from his Majora’s Mask – Termina Field (Dom Bigode Dubstep Remix) video.
I have always imagined Breath of the Wild to be the new generation’s equivalent of Ocarina of Time, which is why naturally, it would make sense for the next game to be the next generation’s equivalent of Majora’s Mask. The engine for this game should be replicated from Breath of the Wild. However, there should be a contrast. Hyrule from Breath of the Wild was colorful, scenic and relatively calm and peaceful, albeit lonely from time to time (even that was minimized by Kass). Termina should be different in this regard. The only time Breath of the Wild was anything remotely scary was during the Blood Moon scene. An open-world sequel to Majora’s Mask should multiply this creep level manifold. An open world Termina should at times be scary to wonder around in, giving you the ‘someone is watching me’ feeling. But at the same time, Termina shouldn’t be a ruin, we’ve already seen this in Breath of the Wild. Instead, Termina should be a world which has progressed since Majora’s Mask. Which brings me to the next points.
The first thing that comes to mind when mentioning Clock Town is the famous clock tower chime every dawn and dusk. We remember the very modern-run system of the town, with a Mayor, a bank, gallery, bar and hotel. Clock Town was very much a place which was expanding and growing. Now imagine how much progress would have been made in 10,000 years (barring a Calamity Ganon-esque catastrophe). Clock Town should be depicted as a metropolis. But if the tone of the game is to be dark, it should be a city with a similar feel to something like the city of Gotham from the Arkham series. Carrying on from Majora’s Mask, the inhabitants of the city should be engulfed in some sort of strife and restlessness, with criminals seen in certain alleyways. Clock Town criminals would make for interesting in-game enemies, replacing BOTW’s Bokoblins.
The home to the Deku society, we all remember this area for having to save a monkey from getting essentially cooked at the hands of a rather angry Deku King. Also, not to forget the dopplegangers of Ganondorf’s surrogate mothers Koume and Kotake and how they took a more protagonist role as the area’s potion sellers. I can’t help but feel that a society such as the Dekus ran by a leader so irrational and incompetent (blaming a poor monkey for killing your daughter without any evidence at all, really?) would not last too long without either destroying themselves or being destroyed by a foreign body. Thus, I could imagine the Southern Swamp being the remains of a once not-so-great empire. This would make the swamp a creepy place to visit indeed. Sort of how the Lost Woods is in BOTW, but a bigger area. But why not make it even more creepier by adding ghosts of the extinct Deku, who are in fact hostile and try to attack Link?
Does carrying out a long mission ending with a Goron rabidly chomping down a big piece of meat ring a bell here? If so, you are sure to remember the snow-laden Mountain Village area, famous for leading up to the Snowhead Temple. Interestingly though, this is the one area I don’t imagine to have changed much from Majora’s Mask. In fact, it would be very similar to the Hebra region of BOTW. However, in contrast to BOTW, where we see the Goron has a happy, ‘seen all over the place’ race, they should be a society not antagonistic to everyone else, but those that keep themselves to themselves, who don’t really like visitors, but can cooperate if necessary. Link would have his work cut out to gain their trust.
In my opinion, Great Bay was the highlight of Majora’s Mask. Swimming in the ocean as Zora Link was extremely pleasurable and stealing eggs from the Pirate’s Fortress all the more satisfying. However, Great Bay is somewhere which could be made spectacular by BOTW’s engine. The Zora’s were depicted as an extremely friendly and modern race with close ties to Clock Town. We should then also see Zora Hall as having expanded manifold since the Hero of Time’s adventures there. In fact, the Great Bay area should be like an Atlantis type area. Somewhere where Link needs special armor to visit like he did for Goron City in BOTW. Pirate’s Fortress should also be completely different, as a place where the Zora’s have chased away the Gerudos after Majora’s Mask and have gained control. All in all, the Great Bay area should be a more lighter area of an overall darker game.
Notorious for not only being one of the scariest areas in any Zelda game, but for any Nintendo game. Ikana Canyon was famous for its disturbing music, dead atmosphere, and abundance of the supernatural. However, given that the Hero of Time’s actions allowed the fallen inhabitants’ spirits to be freed and move on, I would go in a different direction with Ikana Canyon. Earlier, I mentioned how the Zora’s could have chased away the Gerudo from Pirate’s Fortress, the Gerudo could have forcefully migrated to Ikana and made it their new headquarters. In the past, Zelda games have depicted the Gerudo as a female race who are indifferent but not completely bad. BOTW has also made them allies. However, the Gerudo here, in contrast to BOTW, should be made completely antagonistic, always looking to cause havoc and baying for Link’s blood. Therefore, Ikana Canyon in this instant should be a more intimidating version of Gerudo Fortress from Ocarina of Time. Seriously, imagine a revamped, open-world version of Stone Tower?
Photo on the right is from Deviant Art user kGoggles.
The area well famous for the once-only appearance of aliens (or more specifically, ‘them’) in the Zelda franchise. But what would its role be in this new game? Well, remember how in Twilight Princess, it is popularly theorized that Ordon Village, a town of farmers, is where Kokiri Forest of Ocarina of Time once was. Well, how about we have a complete reverse here, and see Romani Ranch now as a peaceful forest marking the return of none other than the Kokiri themselves. They have not been in a Zelda game for far too long, however, how would they come to be in a land with not even the slightest concept of a Deku Tree? Well, the Kokiri are a rather mysterious race, about whom we don’t know a lot as compared to other races. What if these forest dwellers at some point stumbled upon the magic portal between worlds, encountered Termina and some even decided to permanently migrate there? We’ve already seen the Koroks in BOTW, so what if the Kokiri never de-evolved in Termina, expanded and made a potentially abandoned Romani Ranch their home? It would be a safe haven from the neighboring haunted Southern Swamp. Plus, the Kokiri here could be a friendly, outward-looking race, unlike in Ocarina of Time. It would be like when Link goes to Hateno or Lurelin Village in BOTW, a place which isn’t vitally significant to the game, but allows Link to pick up important items to aid his quest.
Along with the re-imagined areas of Majora’s Mask, such a game should also introduce new locations to Termina. For example, what if a part of the menacing moon which once threatened the land was not destroyed and remained in the sky, and in fact, became home to inhabitants of a race which is seen a lot in the sky? Yes, I think you know where I am going with this. Termina should also have its own Rito race. However, there should be a complete 180 here and instead of being the crafty and amicable race seen in BOTW, they should be a dangerous and menacing people who have the potential of causing great havoc.
Story and Dungeons
Breath of the Wild ends with Zelda vowing to rebuild a Calamity Ganon-torn Hyrule. However, a threat still looms large in Hyrule, the infamous Yiga Clan. With a false sense of security, Link goes to the Korok Forest to once again put the Master Sword to rest. He is making his way back out through the Lost Woods, when he hears a voice call out his name. It is Zelda, standing in front of a rather odd-looking tree. He approaches her, when she says she has something important to show him inside the tree. He looks, and suddenly, Zelda behind him gives a sinister laugh, grey smoke pops, little red sheets of paper fly around to reveal a Yiga Clan member who pushes Link into this tree. Link feels himself falling down a large hole, hearing a taunt saying “Hahaha, the hero has gone. Hyrule shall bow before the eye of the Yiga!”
Instead of being a game with the same formula of Link fighting a big villain to save the world, the premise should be a little different. Instead, Termina should be a world in the middle of a war. A truce had remained between Clock Town and the Gerudo, however, a little before Link enters Termina, this truce has for some reason been broken by the Gerudo, who have declared war on Clock Town. In this war, the citizens of Clock Town are allied with the Zora, the supposedly ‘good guys’ against the Gerudos allied with the Rito, the apparent ‘bad guys (or girls)’. Link is on the side of the Clock Towners and Zoras and a decent portion of the game should focus on fighting the Gerudo and Rito. They would be a handful to fight individually. Hence, while exploring the open world, we would see battles occurring between the Gerudo and Clock Town inhabitants in certain areas, where Link can join in at will, his successes being rewarded by items such as weapons and rupees. Also, like Majora’s Mask, the Terminians should again be doppelgangers of the Hylians. Which means we could see doppelgangers of the Champions, with very different personalities. Mipha’s doppelganger would be the leader of the Zoras. This responsibility could give her a more gritty and open personality to that seen in BOTW. We remember Daruk as this extremely friendly, chatty and extroverted ally in BOTW. As I mentioned before, the Gorons being a closed off race here would make Daruk’s doppelganger a very introverted, serious and even hostile character at first, who then allies himself to Link. Now I’ve mentioned the Gerudo as being pure antagonists in this game. Lady Urbosa’s doppleganger would also be the Gerudo Chief here, however, in a complete contrast from her benevolent, motherly and honorable personality, she would be depicted as the game’s main antagonist (at least for most of the game). She would be cold, cruel and a merciless dictator.
Seriously, imagine a boss fight against Urbosa? Formidable is the word which comes to mind. So many players have commented the Urbosa’s Fury ability as being lethal against enemies. Imagine having to fight against it? Also, we’ve never really seen a powerful female antagonist in the history of Zelda. Now if we imagine the Rito being antagonists in this game, given Revali’s animosity towards Link in BOTW, we would assume him to be a villain, however, I would throw in another curve ball and make Revali’s doppelganger a Rito defector, someone who becomes Link’s main ally and occasional sidekick in the game, and at times joins him in some of the game’s fights.
Again, this game should have four main dungeons. Earthquakes are occurring under Clock Town and upon investigation, Link finds a dungeon, oddly familiar to the shrines he encountered back in Hyrule. Here, he would find a boss who is responsible for these quakes. After defeating this boss, he would go to Great Bay to encounter a sea of water conducting electricity everywhere except in Zora City. To get through the water, Link would need a special electricity-resistant suit. He would again eventually encounter another similar-looking dungeon, but one with an electrical theme. He would then fight a boss causing this electrically charged water. Defeating this would make the water safe once again for the Zora to swim, allowing for them to properly join in the fight against the Gerudo-Rito coalition. The third dungeon should be a return to the traditional Zelda dungeons, one in the same mold as Ice Cavern and Snowhead Temple. This dungeon would be home to a boss terrorizing the Goron. Defeating this would enable Link to gain the Goron’s trust and convince them to join Clock Town and the Zora’s in the war. The fourth dungeon would be in the sky at the Rito’s headquarters. This should be slightly similar to the City in the Sky from Twilight Princess, but with a Rito Village look. Here, a final boss fight and victory against the Rito Chief, with the help of Revali’s doppelganger, would mark the end of Rito involvement in the war. This would cause the Gerudo to retreat to their headquarters, in the former land of Ikana. Here, Link would once again scale Stone Tower. At the top, there would be waiting Urbosa’s Terminian counterpart, the supposedly main antagonist of the game and leader of the hostile forces. Link would be in the boss fight of a lifetime against the Gerudo Chief and would need all his energy and skill to just about defeat her.
Link leaves this area and goes to Termina Field, assuming that he has restored peace to Termina. However, he sees a massive spiked ball hanging over Clock Tower. It looks like a humongous version of the ball that sent Master Kohga to his death. But wait, with this familiarity, it could mean only one thing. Suddenly, that same grey puff of smoke and same little red sheets of paper fly around. He can’t believe it as it’s none other than a handful of Yiga Clan members coming to attack him. He defeats them and makes his way back to Clock Town, which has been taken over completely by the Yiga Clan with the inhabitants hiding in their homes.
Link makes his way to the top of Clock Town, where suddenly, a figure very similar to a shrine monk from Hyrule appears. However, this monk is red and black and has a sinister smile. He introduces himself as the true leader of the Yiga Clan. He says after the fall of Calamity Ganon and his pawn, Master Kohga, the Yiga decided to go on a mission to not only go and conquer Hyrule, but also other worlds. They had knowledge of the world of Termina and coerced the Gerudo to break the truce, enlist the help of the Rito and start a war which would cripple Termina and give the Yiga Clan a free pass to conquer the land. They created the first two dungeons and bosses in the game through their advanced magic in order to weaken Clock Town and the Zora. They also assumed that getting rid of the Hero of Hyrule would be a difficult task, but a task made easier without his darkness sealing sword. When he put the Master Sword to rest, that gave them the window of opportunity to banish Link to the world of Termina, expecting him to be no match against the Gerudo-Rito alliance. But again, he defied the odds and had almost brought peace back to Termina. So as a last resort, the Yiga Clan decided to emulate the ancient terror which almost demolished Termina before and crush it under a spherical body. A final battle would then commence between Link and the Yiga leader. Each blow Link would land, this spiky ball would shrink and shrink until the final blow, where the sphere would land on the Yiga Leader and crush him. This time, peace would surely reign on Termina once again, with Link returning back to a rebuilding Hyrule.
On the whole, I would bring most items from Breath of the Wild back into this game. However, keeping with the theme of Termina, I would introduce new items which involve magic. Firstly, I would definitely reintroduce the Hookshot. I think we all certainly missed that in BOTW. I would also bring in mystic items, for example, one which allows Link to shape-shift for a very limited amount of time, enabling Link to enter places he wouldn’t be able to in his normal form. This would be a great throwback to the masks of Majora’s Mask. Also, instead of the Master Sword being the premier weapon of choice for Link, in Termina, I would make several, each having its exclusive strength over the other. However, these should be weapons which don’t actually break, but only lose their special feature for a limited recharge time. I would keep the health regaining mechanic exactly the same as it was in BOTW. I would also keep the Sheikah Runes, but also upgrade them, so instead of Stasis freezing only one object, it could eventually freeze all of Links surroundings for a few seconds.
Overall, I think we would all love to see another open world Zelda game, especially if it goes back to a beloved world of the Zelda franchise. Also, going back to this dark world and depicting a different type of darkness, the ravages and losses of war, would shine new light on the series. Given how the non-linear aspect of BOTW always sparks debate, I would make the first half of the game non-linear and then return to linearity at the back end.
Did you like this article? Please share your thoughts below!