by Shane Kelley
As per the title, I combined Harvest Moon with "Blood Moon."
When thinking of The Legend of Zelda series, many think of a traditional action-adventure-type game or maybe even the Hyrule Warriors series. From time to time, we see Nintendo let other companies take the reigns and develop a new way to play a Zelda game or a remake of an older game, such as Cadence of Hyrule and Link’s Awakening on Switch. So, what’s stopping Nintendo from making new genres within The Legend of Zelda franchise?
After contemplating what genre could effectively bring something new or fun to the series, I thought of a few, but I wasn’t sure how these ideas would translate into writing. I ultimately decided that it would be amazing to have a farming simulator mixed with RPG (Role-Playing Game) elements.
This is what my brainstorming came up with.
You would choose an area in Hyrule, such as Hyrule Field, Lost Woods, Lake Hylia, Gerudo Desert Oasis, Goron Mountain Hot Springs, etc. After choosing an area, you would create your character or choose from the cast of existing ones and then name your farm, choose a pet, and start planting. With this idea being a farm sim, we know that crops would be at the "heart container” of the game, but what unique elements could be infused to make it feel more Zelda-themed?
As per the title, I combined Harvest Moon with "Blood Moon." I thought about games such as Stardew Valley, which contains light combat elements you utilize within a cave. As you progress deeper within the cave system, you receive more prestigious rewards. So, having sword and armor upgrades as part of a Zelda farm sim would feel natural. Having four seasons makes sense, and, to incorporate the Blood Moon mechanic in Breath of the Wild where it resets the enemies, we could do something quite similar.
Each season, the player would have the opportunity to go as far into the cave or other areas presented to defeat enemies with the potential to find rare materials. These rare materials would be used to upgrade weapons and armor; at the beginning of the next season, the Blood Moon would rise and reset that area. Each time this occurs, you have the potential to get farther into the area as you get stronger. This is just one way the game mechanic could function.
As for traditional farming, I believe that we have a lot to go on within the Zelda series. Examples such as Lon Lon Ranch could provide the focus of the game where we grow food, raise animals, and cut grass for extra spending money, but other elements that could be added might give the farm sim a fresh feel. You could raise Loftwings and travel to other locations that have rare materials or other mechanics you could unlock (maybe obtain iron boots to find treasures under the water, hover boots to reach islands with rare materials, or Pegasus boots to find hidden areas or travel faster).
With the animals, you could produce Lon Lon milk, Cucco eggs, Ordon goat cheese... the list goes on. The plants you grow could be foods such as Deku nuts, pumpkins, Mighty Bananas, and Hearty Durians. You could cook these items to sell or consume for magical purposes. The other thought I had was that the player must tend to a newly sprouted Deku tree, and as time passes, the tree grows--and so do the story elements for the game. Unique attributes such as this idea could make this an amazing experience.
Activities within the game could also flesh out the game even further. Fishing is a staple in the Zelda series, of course, so we could see various locations and plenty of real and made-up fish. Added traveling to various locations could allow for new technologies or upgrades to occur for the player to utilize. Concepts such as the outfits mechanic in Triforce Heroes could be incorporated into wearable fashion that is showcased as something fun and lucrative. Of course, in any Zelda game, a superior soundtrack would be incorporated alongside some musically based mini games to liven up the world. Lastly, the world must be populated with lifelike animals and non-playable characters to keep the land of Hyrule fresh and inviting (this probably means Tingle should be mayor).
The ideas and coming up with elements are the easy part to this whole non-existent game; it’s pitching the concept to Nintendo that would be the difficult part. What do you think of the concept? What elements would you want to see incorporated? How would you feel about a Zelda farm sim?
Please follow me on Twitter @Stillsaneshane.