June 10, 2017
Since day one, the Zelda producers and designers have crafted a unique form of game that presents items to the player, and then creates puzzles based around the use of those items. Whether these puzzles are just finding your way from one part of the room to another or combat related, this has been the case from the original game all the way through Breath of the Wild, though the latest entry takes a slightly different approach by more or less using the same mechanic based around magical rune abilities rather than physical items. This works incredibly well, but most of these puzzles are found within shrines and dungeons, leaving the overworld they are neglected all too often.
Since this has been a key point of the series’ gameplay for three decades, I thought of several places where I would have liked the addition of some old favorites, and I decided to narrow it down to five items from previous titles that I would have liked to see (or possibly would like to see in future DLC) in Breath of the Wild. These items were not just chosen because I like them, (though that is a contributing factor) but rather I believe that each one would add something to the game mechanically that could be applied to multiple situations, and only chose them if the game would not have to change anything else to benefit from their inclusion. So here we go!
#5: Goron Garb (First Appearance: Tri-Force Heroes)
The Goron Garb was a costume availabile in Tri-Force Heroes, and it presented among the most useful utility abilities I could imagine; swimming in hot lava. I worked hard to increase the power of my flame-retardant Flamebreaker set as soon as I could since the obvious call to me was to grant it the ability presented in the last entry before Breath of the Wild. Unfortunately, the “Fireproof” set ability does nothing to resist lava. This ability would not have made a major impact on the game as a whole, however in the few areas it would be useful it would make exploration run that much smoother by removing the need to constantly circle around lava pools. Grinding your last few Korok seeds in that area, for example, would have been a much simpler, streamlined process if you could simply walk into some of the shallower areas, if not go as far as swimming. I think this piece of gear, or at least a similar ability, would put the “Fun” in “Functionality”.
#4: Switch Hook (First Appearance: Oracle of Ages)
What I consider to be the most underrated games in the series, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were chock full of unique items that never saw the light of day again. While I did reminisce the power of the Magnetic Gloves when I first witnessed the new Magnesis rune power, I thought the puzzles based around the ability to attract and repel metal were simply superior. The difference is basically that in Seasons, Link was a magnet, and in Breath of the Wild he becomes Magneto from the Marvel universe.
Along this line of thinking, I remembered several items forgotten from this series, and the one I think could add the most to Breath of the Wild is the Switch Hook. On the outside, it seems like a strange, gimmicky item that would need every puzzle to be created around it, but if you think about it, the uses are endless. Is there a rock up on that cliff where you need to be? Spot switch! Is a Moblin about to clobber you with his Royal Greatsword? Switch places with his Boko-buddy and he will hit him instead! It would be a strange item to get used to, but its efficacy in combat would be hilarious, and its usefulness as a utility item would simply create new ways to solve existing puzzles.
#3: Pegasus Boots (First Appearance: A Link to the Past)
I almost thought I would not count the Pegasus Boots since there are speed-enhancing items in the game, (including boots) but none of these really do justice to this classic piece of attire. The ability to charge into combat with your sword drawn would be endlessly enjoyable, as well as useful to do some extra damage and perhaps give a new way to break open rock formations when you run out of bombs (Oh, wait).
I thought this would be a marvelous addition even in Skyward Sword since it first implemented the stamina meter and the ability to run. This would extend that ability, probably taking more stamina, and be limited to running in a straight line. The ability to run and jump with the Pegasus Boots would also make for some fun “I-bet-ya-can’t-jump-Gerudo-Canyon” moments.
#2: Power Bracelet (First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda)
The Power Bracelet is such a simple item, granting the user strength enough to push or sometimes lift heavy objects, yet it has appeared in almost every Zelda game to date, and has never felt out of place. In A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time it was replaced with gloves that possessed the same ability, but even so, the use was practical, and it would be even moreso in Breath of the Wild. There are bewilderingly bulky boulders everywhere, and they are so often used for puzzles that would become much simpler to lift the rock instead of fighting the physics engine for half an hour trying to get it over a gentle slope. Plus just think of chucking a log back at a Hinox and seeing his reaction. Priceless.
#1: Hookshot (First Appearance: A Link to the Past)
This should be the most obvious, in my opinion, as it was the item which first inspired me to craft a more detailed list. The hookshot has a spring-loaded chain which can pull items closer, or pull Link to distant places. An incredible percentage of this game is spent climbing. The ability to skip a good twenty feet would be unmistakably useful when scaling huge mountains, and in many cases it would reduce most, if not remove all frustration of trying to climb in the rain. Moreover, a quick stun on one enemy (as the item has also done in the past) could prove invaluable in crucial combat scenarios.
Well, that was just my thoughts on the matter, and I hope you have more! Do you think we really need to see the return of the Cane of Somaria? Did I include something silly that has no reason being on this list? I would love to hear your opinions, so please leave a comment below, or tweet the site (@2guysplayzelda) or myself (@spamomanospam) and I will do my best to get back to you and keep the conversation rolling.