Sunday, April 21, 2013

Magic Meter and Items in A Link to the Past 2

So, let's analyze and predict a little bit with this new Zelda game for 3DS. If you've seen the footage, you might have noticed the magic meter in the bottom left corner of the screen:

It works a lot different from the magic meter in the original A Link to the Past. Some people even mistook it for a Stamina Meter, while it doesn't seem to be. While it's indeed self regenerating, only three actions in the demo were draining the meter: hammering, shooting arrows and using the new wall merge main gimmick. The latter drains it constantly until it runs out, similar to the Cane of Byrna or the Magic Cape. And here we already have the reason, why the magic meter is self regenerating: if it wasn't, you would constantly get stuck in places. And doing a spin attack does not drain the meter, which is why this probably isn't a stamina meter, but in fact still a magic meter.

The Hammer was called "Magic Hammer" in the original, while it never really used magic. Seems like Nintendo finally made the Magic Hammer get true to its name. As for the bow it's interesting that it doesn't seem like there are any arrows in the game. Instead of using arrows, the bow drains your magic meter. I bet it's called "Magic Bow" or something similar in the game.

Now with self regenerating magic some of the original items in A Link to the Past would become somewhat overpowered, especially the Cane of Byrna and the three Medallions. Well, actually they were already overpowerd in the original game. Your natural instinct of not wasting your resources was just countering this. The typical "I don't use the bow often, because I don't want to waste arrows" feeling, even though that's bullshit. But add some Infinity enchantment or self regenerating arrow counts and you start playing Rambo. It's like missiles in Metroid: Other M - you can always refill on the spot, so you were using them all the time without hesitation. That's why something like the Bombos Medaillon wouldn't work with the new system. You would terribly abuse it all the time. Just wait a couple of seconds and you can wipe the screen again.

So, the Medaillons as well as some of the other magic items will probably not make a return to this new game. And a look at the inventory screen supports this assumption:

There are only 20 slots. A Link to the Past had 24, using the GBA version as a basis, where each bottle has its own slot and the shovel doesn't get removed. I'm pretty sure each bottle will get it's own slot in this menu, so it's only 16 items really then. But subtract the three Medallions, as well as the Cane of Byrna and this already fits. And I'm pretty sure the Magic Cape will be gone as will, because the new wall merge feature basically covers the main idea of the item. You can effectively dodge traps and enemies by staying inside a wall. Also, the Book of Mudora never really was a real item, this can move into the status screen. So, we already made plenty of room! In fact there's already room for two new items! However, the Pegasus Boots on the other hand will probably just turn into a normal item like in Link's Awakening or The Minish Cap. So, there goes one open slot already. I wouldn't wonder if the Pegasus Boots use up the magic as well.

And don't be afraid that every original magic item will go. The lantern will definitely stay... :D

Just kidding... Fire and Ice Rod should work fine with the new system. In fact it should even nerf them. In A Link to the Past they could become really overpowered, because you could use them with rapid fire. The new system probably prevents spamming, so shots with the two magic rods will have to be timed much more. They'll probably use up half of the meter with one shot. The Cane of Somaria, as well as the Magic Powder should also go well with the new system.

Thinking about this new magic meter (or "item meter", not sure what this will be called), makes me really like it. It's a lot simpler then the previous "collect bottles or trink potions to refill" system while at the same time you have to balance your actions a lot more. It removes unnecessary bloat, while making the game more of a game. Me likes.


Let's take a look at the remaining items: (Magical) Boomerang, Bombs, Shovel, Ocarina, Bug-Catching Net and Magic Mirror. The existence of the latter depends on the question, whether there will be a Dark World or not. Storywise there shouldn't be, but you'll never know. They also said the "Master Sword will sleep forever" and we all know how that turned out.

I guess, the Magical Boomerang will also use up magic now, it would fit. But I wonder about the bombs. I can imagine myself some magical bow that creates arrows from magic, so you wouldn't have to collect arrows. But getting bombs out of nowhere would feel a little weird...

Shovel and Bug-Catching Net could get some more uses. On the SNES the shovel disappeared as soon as you found the Ocarina. On the GBA they tried to do more with the shovel, but there wasn't much room for potential. But in the 3DS game there is. I would like to see a nice 3D effect when actually digging deeper. I always loved how Link sunk in a dug hole in Link's Awakening - that was such a nice detail and I hated how they removed this in the Oracle games. With the 3DS game they can finally turn shoveling into something that feels real.

The Bug-Catching Net got used in the GBA version for an additional sidequest - the Riddle Quest. I could imagine that they'll use it for sidequests here as well. A new bug collecting quest or something similar.

There's definitely a lot of potential to make the old items feel fresh and exciting. They demonstrated this with the Hammer and I'm eager to see how the final inventory will look and play like. For new items I could see something like the Gust Jar from The Minish Cap to make a return.

1 comment:

K2L said...

I hope it's the magic meter what is shown. The last game to have it was TWW, and that was 10 years ago!