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Nintendo discusses playable Zelda in a future Legend of Zelda

"It's possible."

Zelda holding the Master Sword
Image credit: Nintendo

It may be Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launch day, but Nintendo is already thinking about the future - and the possibility of a Legend of Zelda game where Zelda could finally be the star.

Fans have long called for Zelda to take on more of an active role in the series she gives her name to. And more recently, Zelda has indeed been playable in spin-offs such as Hyrule Warriors, Cadence of Hyrule and Age of Calamity.

But the main Zelda series has remained steadfast at always casting Link as the hero, and Zelda herself as someone kept largely off-screen. (And that's all we'll say here, where there shall be no Tears of the Kingdom spoilers.)

10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting The Legend of Zelda Tears of the KingdomWatch on YouTube

How about the future, however? Vanity Fair asked Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma just that, and perhaps surprisingly it sounds as if it is a possibility.

"We feel like what takes most priority is this idea of gameplay. If it turns out that the particular gameplay we're trying to bring to fruition would be best served by having Zelda take that role, then it's possible that that could be a direction we could take," Aonuma said in response.

"With that said, of course, because we are not sure what the next gameplay experience is going to be, we can't say what Zelda's next step is going to be."

In other words, Nintendo would need to be thinking of a Zelda game where Zelda's own skillset was necessary in order for her to be its main character. Or, perhaps, a story where Zelda's own position - as a leader, perhaps? - meant it was important for her to be in the spotlight.

I'd love to see a middle-ground, where Zelda was simply playable in some of the game, or as an option alongside Link. Indeed, when Tears of the Kingdom was first announced, I thought this might have been a possibility, with a portion of the game (ie. the sky) separated off as a place where you played as Zelda instead.

I can see why Nintendo didn't do that - Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom are enormous open worlds where you run around and collect a lot of stuff, and sharing inventories/exploration/side-mission progress across characters has its own issues. But surely there's a solution in there somewhere?

In the meantime, I'm headed back to Hyrule with Link. "A terrific Breath of the Wild follow-up with some brilliant new systems, amazing views and more dungeon-type spaces, plus a slightly deadening emphasis on gathering resources," Edwin wrote in Eurogamer's Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review.

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