One thing about Zelda that I’ve always enjoyed is that although it is obviously meant to be a medieval-like story, we see very advanced technology in some points of the games. Now, this isn’t anything new in fantasy stories, but the way it’s implemented in the Zelda series is very unique, in my eyes. I mean, for the most part, you’re in what appears to be an ancient world, like you’re thrown back to the Middle Ages. Castles, knights, all that, and rather, out-dated living. There are towns and villages, yes, but we see no major concrete cities or anything. Transportation is mostly by means of boat, horse, or feet. People use fire to heat their homes and to have light.
And yet, at times, we see things that are equal to today’s technology, sometimes, even more advanced. This seemed to start with Link’s Awakening, where we are introduced to the Camera. Yes, a camera, later to be seen in Majora’s Mask and the Windwaker. In these three games, we have this machine that can somehow freeze time and put the image that we see through the lens onto a small sheet of paper. And even, at times, look at them while still stored in the camera, and delete them like nothing! Then we are also shown working phones in Link’s Awakening, ones that seem just about on par with the technology of phones from the early nineteenth century.
Ocarina of Time pushed this random use of advanced mechanics even further; the Bombchus, a juke-box in the Shooting Gallery, time-limit set fans in various dungeons, Link’s watch, the lighted-wheels in the Bombchu Bowling Alley, conveyer belts, and especially the robotic Beamos. We basically had a completely unnatural, metallic creature to fight, on several occasions. At first glance, I felt like I was in Star Wars or something. Then in Majora’s Mask, we see the massive telescope in the observatory outside of Clocktown. This is a machine that allows us to literally gaze all the way up into the universe, outside of ‘Earth’.
Windwaker was showing use of real-cannons, extremely often as well. We may’ve seen it once or twice in the past, but here, it was very common. More so, at some of the Sea-Towers, the cannons on the sides seem to aim on their own and fire at you, like automated aiming. This is also apparent at the Forsaken Fortress, where they can detect you even on the high walls along the main tower. It’s an incredible thing, because while it’s possible that there are small holes or something for Bokoblins or Miniblins to control them, it seems very likely that the Great Sea’s population was able to create a weapon that could home onto a target without any special computers. Mind you, the list for Windwaker’s amazing techs goes on; camera, re-use of the Hookshot, laser beams in various dungeons, the Tingle Tuner, personal, portable telescopes, so even after having the entire land of Hyrule drowned, there’s still advanced technology prominent on the islands.
Now then, this brings me to another idea (yes, I’ve beat around the bush the whole time). My curiosity is the question of how far will this all go? To what extent will these astounding inventions be used, and how much? For the upcoming Twilight Princess, and beyond? Well, I certainly can’t assure you anything, but I can assume, that I can.
If Nintendo decides to stay with the trend they’ve been following, Twilight Princess will be the same as the others; medieval fantasy world for the most part, but instances of advanced technology (I think this is obvious already to us now with hundreds of images, and several trailers and video clips). Of course, we haven’t seen much machinery yet, so, what could we see?
Twilight Princess takes place in the time of the Zelda series where the ‘Industrial Revolution’ continues and is going strong. I expect to see the same interesting items as before (camera, Hookshot, special bombs and such), but for now, I can’t really say that there seems much different, except for one certain part.
If any of you remember the trailer we were shown, when news was first released about Link turning into a wolf (officially), we could see little bits of Link and Midna fighting against very odd looking enemies. These things, for the most part, have black bodies, that seem like normal flesh. But at their heads, they are completely covered by stone-like faces, with tentacles coming from them. Heck, at some parts of their bodies, they have odd runes that are glowing. Then, when wee see that they’re destroyed, they explode into a mess of shards and blocks, not the normal colored smoke we get. This all leads me to wonder; will robotic enemies be returning in Twilight Princess? Or even, cyborgs?
Now of course, I could be over-assuming things, or just caught in wishful-thinking, but when you look at another aspect we saw in that same trailer, it makes some sense. In the grey sky, a big portal opens up, one surrounded by glowing green and black bits and lines, which the ‘cyborg’ monsters fall through. It seems like that portal is ‘robotic’ for its own part, or at least consisting of magical technology. Perhaps that can include the monsters as well, that they aren’t really ‘robotic’, but still not fully natural. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were created by some insane wizard or alchemist through mystical mechanics or chemistry or something. Or maybe its one of the Twilight’s many different affects on living things? Who knows, but the idea is interesting enough.
So yes, that’s all I got for Twilight Princess, but we all know Zelda won’t end there. TP may be the last game that features “Zelda as we know it”, but we can be sure that the series will continue, and hopefully keep long-running parts of it proceeding on. This will most surely mean more quirky bits of advanced technology, or even, a more sci-fi Zelda? I’ve seen it enough in fan-fics, and I don’t like the idea, but there’s infinite possibilities for technology that what we’ll see next, created by the mad geniuses of Hyrule.
With the way cannons were made, and have evolved into Windwaker, I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually saw guns in one of the Zelda games. Nothing big like what we have today, but instead; muskets, old-fashioned gatling guns, even rifles like we saw in the 17th and 18th Century. I mean, they’ve created bombs, heck, they’ve created the Bombchus, why not guns?
Airships are another idea I expect to see one day, and very much hope to. We’ve seen this in many other fantasy sagas like Final Fantasy, Baten Kaitos, even the novel/CCG series Magic the Gathering. Crude vessels running off coal or steam, using propellers and all to sail in the clouds. I think it’d be amazing to see Link standing atop a soaring craft all the way above Hyrule. This could even go into trains, ‘car’-type machines, and steam-boats.
No doubt, the list goes on and on, if I were to sit here and type that all out, I’d surpass the combined word total of every single other Behind the Rupees article written. Plus, I’m sure there’s ideas that many of you have had, but I haven’t, I’ve just given you my assumptions and educated guesses this whole time. Though, I think that I can say for sure that the technology in the Zelda world will always impress us, whether big, or small. What truly does come next? We don’t know, honestly. After being a Nintendo fan for fifteen years though, the most important thing I’ve learned about them is this; they can, and will try anything to give us unique gaming experiences.