4 Ways Zelda Could Learn From Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey has completely taken over my life. I can’t stop searching for purple coins, collecting moons, and exploring the breathtaking worlds Nintendo has created for this game. I really enjoy this game, but I find myself constantly comparing it to Zelda. Perhaps it’s because the two games are being hailed as the greatest of 2017, but Odyssey has me thinking a lot about Zelda and the ways in which they seem to inform one another. It seems obvious to me that Zelda‘s open world had some influence on the direction for Odyssey, and this has me thinking about the ways in which Super Mario Odyssey could improve the follow-up to Breath of the Wild. Here are four ways that The Legend of Zelda could learn from Super Mario Odyssey.

Side note: there are mild spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

1. Bring Back Dungeon Bosses

One of the most iconic experiences I’ve had in Odyssey so far has been the battle against the giant mechanical centipede in New Donk City. I’ll never forget how menacing it looked perched atop that skyscraper, or how much that battle reminded me of Zelda. This is something I sorely missed in Breath of the Wild. Fighting slight variations of the same version of Gannon just isn’t the same as discovering what kind of enemy lies at the end of a dungeon in the earlier installments. This is something I hope they bring back in the future, while still preserving or even amping up the difficulty.

2. Make Cities/Towns/Villages More Realistic.

Something that bothers me about some of the towns in Breath of the Wild is how inconsistent they are, especially in how they represent themselves as places where people are supposed to live. Take Ruto Village, for example: sure, it’s called a “village” for a reason, but there aren’t enough homes for me to realistically believe that everyone we meet here has a place to sleep. In contrast, New Donk City—one of the most popular locations in Super Mario Odyssey—feels like the opposite: there are not only far more doors, buildings, and possible homes than there are NPCs, but there’s also a powerful energy and liveliness that makes the entire place feel as if it could actually be a real place. Not all of the places in Odyssey have this same feeling, but it’s something I would love to see in whatever’s going to follow Breath of the Wild.

3. Add More Lore/Regional History

While it’s true that Breath of the Wild has the bigger map and more freedom (despite whatever Mayor Pauline’s song would like us to believe), I would like to see them hone in on each region and expand upon their histories beyond their connections to the Royal Family and the rest of Hyrule. Tell me the story about why the Gerudo don’t allow men into their city. Give me a side quest that explores a ruler from the Zora tribes past that tried to become more powerful than the Hyrulians. Give me a reason to believe SOMETHING has happened besides a whole lot of rebuilding and waiting for the hero to return from his 100-year-long nap. I don’t necessarily think that Super Mario Odyssey does much better in this regard but it at least has unique (albeit corny) ways of expressing these kinds of historical differences in the form of the sacred items that Bowser steals. Perhaps Nintendo is planning for this request to be fulfilled in the upcoming Breath of the Wild DLC Pack 2 (which as of this writing is still unannounced), but that remains to be seen.

4. Add More Items and Collectibles

No matter what Kingdom you visit in Super Mario Odyssey, one thing is certain: there is no shortage of purple coins, moons, outfits, and treasure to be found. While you can arguably still have the same experience in Breath of the Wild, I want to see them take this further. Sure, Korok Seeds are arguably Breath of the Wild’s “purple coins,” but I’d like to see more of a use for them than just expanding weapon slots. Give us more puzzles around the world with better prizes than just the same type of seeds!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s