The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening launched yesterday to pretty widespread fanfare. The long-awaited remake reintroduced a beloved, charming game on a modern console with a whimsical new art style. It did not bring too many new features outside of the Chamber Dungeon. Essentially Build-a-Bear for Zelda dungeons, players have preset components and building chunks at their disposal that can be fashioned into a custom, puzzling dungeon. A lite version of a hypothetical Zelda Maker, if you will. Our reviewer did not enjoy the new mode too much, but it was still a fascinating addition unlike anything the mainline series has really seen before. In an interview with IGN, series producer Eiji Aonuma elaborated on the Chamber Dungeon and its peculiar origins in Shigeru Miyamoto’s desire to see Super Mario Maker‘s level-building gameplay spread to other series. The excerpt below from the interview explains how the Chamber Dungeon came to be and may imply a little bit about why Nintendo is yet to outright give us Zelda Maker.
“I talk to Mr. Miyamoto regularly about ‘the next Zelda game,’ and one time, he asked me if I could come up with a game that features Super Mario Maker-like gameplay, but for Zelda. We talked about how a game like this for Zelda would have dungeons, but it’s generally quite difficult to devise the logic needed to solve them.
So we gave some thought into a more approachable style of play where you have to think about how to arrange parts that already have a solution to create a single dungeon, instead of allowing players to create complex arrangements like in Super Mario Maker 2, and that’s how we created the Chamber Dungeons for this game.”
Mr. Aonuma’s words are both intriguing and disheartening for fans hoping for more games in Super Mario Maker‘s vein. It seems that, at least for now, the Nintendo bigwigs think that Zelda Maker is too complicated an idea, but at the same time, it is very exciting to hear that they have explored that style of game in other properties. Experimenting with something like the Chamber Dungeon could also serve as a baseline for a more complete Zelda Maker in the future, even if it appears unlike now.
At a glance, any Nintendo series that is not a 2D platformer such as Kirby or Donkey Kong Country seems almost impossible for a Maker game, but Nintendo might not be giving up on that just yet. Hopefully, those craving a Zelda Maker or something similar can have that dream realized before too long.