This is exactly one of those headlines.
Takuya Aizu, CEO of Inti Creates, recently expressed interest in remaking Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link.
You know, the classic 1987 game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that eschewed the overhead gameplay of the first game in favor of a scrolling action slash role playing game adventure that is known both for its difficulty and obscurity. Featuring such classic characters as Error and Shadow Link, Zelda II is a classic example of the early NES drive to differentiate sequels from the games that came before them.
Remaking this game, then, is a bit of a strange proposition as it is often overlooked, though never underloved, when it comes to Zelda titles.
Could now be the time for Zelda II’s day in the sun?
Takuya Aizu’s expression of a willingness to remake Zelda II is nothing more than idle chatter and will likely remain so in the foreseeable future. After all, it is rare that Nintendo straight out remakes its games, let alone trust this to an outside studio.
But there is a precedent in the Zelda universe for just such a move. The Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons titles for the Game Boy, two of the best portable games and among the best in the series if you ask fans and critics alike, were both developed by Capcom. While Capcom is known for their quality games, let’s just say there’s a bit of a cultural difference between the House of Mario and Boudoir of Resident Evil. Nonetheless, the formula worked – could it do so again?
Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of love for retro games and older Nintendo titles always seem to find a market out there. But what exactly would a Zelda II remake look like?
While the title introduced novel elements for its day – RPG systems, pseudo open-world exploration, and a magic system – its innovations are now quite standard fare and, with the release of Breath of the Wild, probably wouldn’t stand out in a crowded field of competition.
In terms of a game that adapted the Zelda II style to a retro aesthetic and updated the gameplay to include more open-world elements like Breath of the Wild the remake of Zelda II would be less Zelda and more like any of the myriad of indie retro titles on the market.
When you think about good remakes of classic titles one of the best examples that comes to mind in recent memory is the new version of Metroid 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. That title takes everything you love about modern Metroid games and uses the backdrop of Metroid 2 as a loose canvas upon which to tell its tale. The game is decidedly retro without feeling that way and it is never held back by its adherence to an older gaming style. A Zelda II along those lines would be a welcome title indeed.