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    Dungeon Styles for the Next Zelda Game: Which do you Prefer?
    • Choose your Dungeon Style: 22
      1.  
        Hyrule Castle "Gauntlet" (4) 18%
      2.  
        Divine Beast "Puzzle Box" (1) 5%
      3.  
        Traditional "Lock and Key" (If so, how would you modify this formula to fit the open world genre)? (16) 73%
      4.  
        Other (please specify) (1) 5%
      Seeing that Nintendo is likely to continue with the "open air" style games going forward, and that the Divine Beasts weren't well received overall, what style of dungeon would you like to see from here on out?

      The way I see it, BotW provided two different styles of open world dungeons: the Divine Beasts and Hyrule Castle, both of which have their pros and cons.

      Would you like to see more of the nonlinear, navigation/exploration and enemy "gauntlet" style of Hyrule Castle?

      Would you like to see a new and improved version of the "puzzle box" style of dungeon that the Divine Beasts represented?

      Or even a straight up return to traditional "lock and key" dungeons (do you think they can be reconciled with the "open air" design)?

      Personally, I'd like to see a modified form of gauntlet dungeons. I'd start with the open layout of Hyrule Castle as the base, but add objectives like the Divine Beasts that you have to complete before reaching the boss (but vary the objectives to avoid the repetition of the "activate 5 terminals trope"). However, Hyrule Castle was short on good puzzles, which are essential to a good dungeon in my book, so some rune/ability based puzzles like those found in the Divine Beasts and Shrines would definitely need to be added. I'd also like each dungeon to have a unique rune/ability that you acquire and can use only within it's confines. This would simulate the feeling of dungeon items without taking up permanent inventory space.

      Let me know what you think!

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Zero_Origin ().

    • Good question!

      Since my primary enjoyment of Zelda games comes from the classic puzzle dungeons, the Breath of the Wild-style solution of spreading the puzzles across shrines and a few Divine Beasts was a fundamental letdown to me.

      I did love the Divine Beast puzzles, though. It was challenging and inventive. What I felt was missing was a sense of personality to each. The classic dungeons had themes like fire, forest, water etc., while the Divine Beasts and the shrines felt anonymous and empty. And as you mentioned, Zero_Origin, a unique ability for each dungeon, as in older Zelda games, that would be great. It adds to the "personality".

      In BotW, it seems like Nintendo added themes to the outside world, spread it too thinly across it (that lack of substance is my primary criticism of open-world games in general), and simply didn't have time to add anything to the actual shrines (which were also spread thinly in terms of puzzles). I like my puzzles concentrated to one location, complex and big, and with a theme, as in classic Zelda. BotW did the complete opposite.

      As for the Hyrule Castle of BotW, that was just weird. It didn't do much for me at all.
    • nomen nescio wrote:

      Good question!

      Since my primary enjoyment of Zelda games comes from the classic puzzle dungeons, the Breath of the Wild-style solution of spreading the puzzles across shrines and a few Divine Beasts was a fundamental letdown to me.

      I did love the Divine Beast puzzles, though. It was challenging and inventive. What I felt was missing was a sense of personality to each. The classic dungeons had themes like fire, forest, water etc., while the Divine Beasts and the shrines felt anonymous and empty. And as you mentioned, Zero_Origin, a unique ability for each dungeon, as in older Zelda games, that would be great. It adds to the "personality".
      Thanks!

      Dungeon puzzles have always been my favorite part of the series as well. I was also slightly let down to see the dungeon content so spread out, though at the same time I was still thankful to have so much puzzle solving present in an open world game. The two don't usually go well together, but Nintendo found a way. That said, I do feel like they could cut down on the size of the over-world, which in turn would reduce the amount of shrines they would need to dot the landscape. Ultimately this would allow room for more fully fledged dungeon experiences.

      Like you said, the Divine Beasts were inventive and fun, but they did suffer from not having enough individual identity. While they each had an elemental theme and a core mechanic tied to the map which differentiated one from another, they still should have had unique architecture, more enemy types (more enemies period), and bosses that stood out more from one another.

      That said, if they actually brought back the Divine Beasts, made them twice as long, had maybe twice as many of them, and made sure that each had enough individual "personality" (including not rehashing the "find the terminals objective") then I would actually be satisfied with the dungeon content of the next game.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Zero_Origin ().

    • Zero_Origin wrote:

      That said, if they actually brought bring back the Divine Beasts, made them twice as long, had maybe twice as many of them, and made sure that each had enough individual "personality" (including not rehashing the "find the terminals objective") then I would actually be satisfied with the dungeon content of the next game.
      Agreed, that would be excellent.

      I can imagine the Divine Beast puzzles took quite some time to create, though, so maybe we're asking for too much with twice as long and twice as many. But if they didn't spend so much time on an open world, it might be possible. :jinny:
    • Hyrule Castle in BotW was fine and all, but I have never seen any issue with the old-school traditional dungeons. Sure most of them could be pretty linear but so what? They were fun and exciting. If it isn't broken don't fix it. Only because the world is open doesn't mean that every aspect of the game has to be that.

      The design around the shrines in BotW was fine in and of themselves. The problem was the few amount of Sheikah Runes and the vast amount of repetition. I like the concept of having mini-dungeons, but make them differ from eachother please. Imagine 8 runes (or just items), and that every mini-dungeon had its own identity (music, theme, design, etc).

      The post was edited 4 times, last by MVS ().

    • Change something for the sake of changing it is not a very strong argument. As I said, if something isn't broken, don't fix it. I got tired of the divine beasts just in BotW, so only because something is new, it isn't necessarily better. Tell me why the old traditional dungeons are bad or needs changing. That they have been used a lot in the past is not a good argument. That they are linear? So what? Everything doesn't need to be 100 % open. Why not mix up linear- and open-ended dungeons at the very least? Breath of the Wild as big as it was, could have had all these dungeon-designs in it, and still have a lot of space left.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by MVS ().

    • I would something like the dungeons from older games but sprawling.

      BotW had such a huge world that it could have made such impressive dungeons.

      It would have made exploration that much more enticing while tackling a giant a dungeon with an epic boss would just really give that sense of accomplishment I want from completing dungeons.

      Stone Tower in MM was one I felt super proud about finishing in full (all chests and Great Fairy fairies). It just had this epic feel to it and with what we've seen Nintendo can do, I would love to see them expand on that formula.


      Sig & Avvy by Lady Sunshine, the most wonderful girl in the world
    • I definitely prefer traditional dungeons. They actually felt like I was accomplishing something, and were mysterious, unlike the shrines and Divine Beasts. I really liked the open world of BOTW, but I would prefer traditional items again. Maybe make it so you can do the dungeons in any order, but certain items from other dungeons make it easier.

      I wouldn't mind one dungeon like the Divine Beasts in the next Zelda game, as variety is good. I just don't want all of them to be just glorified shrines.

      And the shrines were okay, but they suffered from the lack of variety that the Divine Beasts did. I mean, sure, some of them had water and lava, but they weren't really that unique. I prefer all the puzzles in one place, one puzzle leading to another, and then somehow connecting. The Twilight Princess dungeons are a great example of this. If they want mini-dungeons, go the route A Link Between Worlds did, with the optional rupee caves. Those were fun, and had variety.

      Hyrule Castle was fun, but lacked any puzzles. I would have liked to see other locations, such as the Akkala citadel, or inside the Great Plateau like this, but unfortunately, those were blocked off by dirt. I wouldn't mind seeing a few of these in the next game, but only as long as they don't take the place of actual dungeons.
      :moon:
      "A puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage. This puppet's role has just ended..." -Majora

      "A puppy can be fused with garbage. This puppy's role has just ended."
      :moon:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by The Moon of Termina ().

    • Maku Scrub wrote:

      Divine Beast dungeons (with more variety), or something new. We've already had over a dozen games with traditional dungeons, I say it's way past time the series evolved.

      MVS wrote:

      Change something for the sake of changing it is not a very strong argument. As I said, if something isn't broken, don't fix it.
      This is exactly why I don't envy the design process/decisions the Zelda team has to consider. No matter what course of action they take they will end up pleasing some fans and annoying/alienating others. There seems to be an element of this with every major console release since WW, but this time it's around non-linearity and which zelda conventions to break, and which to keep.

      Truth be told, while I included the option of traditional dungeons in this poll, I don't actually think they are likely to return. Aonuma has gone on record in the past saying he wanted to get rid of "lock and key" style gameplay, including items serving as glorified keys, and this ended up being the case in BotW.

      So given the fact that dungeons as we've known them aren't likely to return, the intent I had in creating this thread/poll was to brainstorm new ways of capturing the feel of those traditional dungeons in a way that fits with the non-linear and open air nature that the next game seems likely to expand upon. If Nintendo could find a good middle ground then it might be possible to appease both sides of the fanbase (although, in this case, some people might criticize the game for compromising too much).

      Do you guys think it is possible to find a better balance of "traditional" zelda and "open air" zelda dungeons, or are the two gameplay approaches too fundamentally opposed to ever be reconciled?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Zero_Origin ().

    • Big Daddy Biggles wrote:

      Can you link to this? I don't believe I've seen this being said anywhere.
      I've browsed for it recently but unfortunately haven't been able to find it. I'll for sure link it if I ever come across it again. I think it came out around the time they were previewing ALBW. The crux of the interview was around how items have always been acting like keys that unlock parts of the game world, which ends up leading to linear game design. He then went on to say that ALBW would be the first step in moving away from this formula, and that BotW would take it further.

      In the meantime I can only point to another interview on the topic that is similar, but that you've probably already seen: IGN Interview

      It at least makes a similar point to the quote that I was describing: that freedom is likely to be the name of the game from here on out.
    • TheQuestion wrote:

      I'd like to see a cross between the hyrule castle design and more traditional dungeons.

      I agree with this sentiment. Hyrule Castle was the only dungeon in BotW that actually felt like a dungeon. It could have been improved, like have some more unique mini-bosses instead of the Stalnox, Lynel and Stone Talus, but other than that, I liked how we went both inside and outside the dungeon, and basically the entire exploratory feel of it. I was actually kind of disappointed to reach Ganon's heart/cocoon thing at the end, because that was it.

      I liked most of the shines, even if they did get repetitive after a while. The blessing shrines that came after a big overworld challenge, like the Labyrinths, were okay, IMO. The Tests of Strength could have all been taken out though. I wish more had had permanent rewards, like the ones that had armour pieces. Rupees and breakable weapons just don't do it for me. Heck, I'd prefer a return to the traditional find a piece of heart anywhere rather than knowing what you'd get at the end of each mini-dungeon.

      The Divine Beasts were a huge disappointment after the first one. It's like they copy-pasted the general story idea for them as well as the interiors. When it was announced that BotW would only have four dungeons, I expected vast, different, challenging locations like in Majora's Mask. It had only four dungeons, but what dungeons they were! Stone Tower is still my favourite in the series! What we got pales in comparison to every other 3D game in the series, and most of the 2D ones!


      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Gear, by my husband, D4rkSilver
    • Honestly, I would be fine with just minidungeons in the next title, if they actually make them good and distinct. Imagine 100 minidungeons in the next game in the same kind of space (or slightly smaller than BotW), but this time they are not shrines, but just "minidungeons", as in 100 different smaller dungeon areas, with unique design, unique music (can of course be reused to some extent, where it fits), not the same kind of enemies all the time, different themes, different structures... pretty much as I have already stated above. But the shrines as they were handled in BotW got old very quickly. I don't hate them, not even today after 3 playthroughs, and I will replay the game again sooner or later, but man it could have been handled sooooo much better. It doesn't work to just copy and paste the same stuff like 100 times... it will get very old very quickly. It isn't enough to have different puzzles when everything else are the same.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by MVS ().

    • I really liked the unique items though. Maybe they could pull an ALBW and have all the items available in the overworld (Maybe through mini-dungeons) and just use those items in a more traditional dungeon. I really don't want another 74 mini-dungeons, when we could have 8 normal, unique big complicated dungeons.
      :moon:
      "A puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage. This puppet's role has just ended..." -Majora

      "A puppy can be fused with garbage. This puppy's role has just ended."
      :moon:
    • The Moon of Termina wrote:

      I really liked the unique items though. Maybe they could pull an ALBW and have all the items available in the overworld (Maybe through mini-dungeons) and just use those items in a more traditional dungeon. I really don't want another 74 mini-dungeons, when we could have 8 normal, unique big complicated dungeons.
      Well, why not just have all the key-items from start then? This also paves the way for more complicated and less obvious/predictable puzzle solving... where you really have to use your brain. In the past the traditional dungeons were centered around one specific item most of the time, which made the puzzle solving way too easy since you can just focus on that specific item.

      But having all key items from start is kind of the philosophy behind BotW with the runes that you got in the first "tutorial" area (the plateau). My problem with the runes was that they were too few. Would have been cool with a "hookshot"-rune or a "spinner"-rune for example. You get the idea. Imagine if the motorcycle-rune was there from the beginning and that there were shrines that was built for that rune in specific? That would have been cool and interesting.

      In short, I think BotW did some stuff very right. The problem was just that they didn't expand the idea enough. Therefore I have big hopes for the next game, that they dare to go further.
    • MVS wrote:

      Well, why not just have all the key-items from start then? This also paves the way for more complicated and less obvious/predictable puzzle solving... where you really have to use your brain. In the past the traditional dungeons were centered around one specific item most of the time, which made the puzzle solving way too easy since you can just focus on that specific item.
      I really didn't like having all the items from the start. To me, it is much more satisfying to find items as I go. In BOTW, I felt like there really wasn't much to work for, considering I could just go kill Ganon from the start.

      MVS wrote:

      In short, I think BotW did some stuff very right. The problem was just that they didn't expand the idea enough. Therefore I have big hopes for the next game, that they dare to go further.
      BOTW did do a lot of things correct, but I feel like they went too far with the open world concept. I miss the old dungeon styles. I really loved those. I could just go back and play the old games, but it just isn't the same.

      Either way, it's a matter of opinion, and as Zero_Origin said above, the Zelda team can't please everyone. I'll still be happy with another BOTW like game, I just hope they put a little more linearity back into the games.
      :moon:
      "A puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage. This puppet's role has just ended..." -Majora

      "A puppy can be fused with garbage. This puppy's role has just ended."
      :moon:
    • @The Moon of Termina Yeah they can't please everyone, but it is partly their own fault for having such a diverse fanbase, due to their dramatic changes from one title to another. Everything from artstyles to dungeon design. I have said this in the past and I will say it again, the best thing in my opinion would be if they divided Zelda into two types of games, like how it is in other series. One Zeldaseries that focus on openness and freedom, and another that focuses on tight linear dungeon design plus more storyheaviness. Just have two separate Zeldateams for this, and everyone would be happy.

      But yeah, I get where you are coming from when it comes to having all items from the start. It was pretty exciting in the past entering a new dungeon since you knew that a new item awaited you in there. That was pretty much gone in BotW.