Retro Studios once pitched a Final Fantasy Tactics-like Zelda game to Nintendo

Retro Studios once pitched a Final Fantasy Tactics-like Zelda game to Nintendo

Retro Studios, the team behind Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country Returns, has already released a Zelda game for the Nintendo DS similar to Final Fantasy Tactics.

This project was dubbed Heroes of Hyrule and would not have had Link as the main character. Rather, the Hylian hero would have appeared as an NPC.

The next game in the Zelda series will be Tears of the Kingdom and will be released in May.

By YouTube channel Did you know ?who got their hands on the original pitch from Retro Studios, Heroes of Hyrule would have told the story of a magical book.

The titular heroes of Hyrule would have been Dunar the Goron (a “gruff and tough fighter” who “embodied the triforce of power”), Seriph the Rito (a “patient [and] warm rito “who embodied the Triforce of Courage”), and Krel the Zora (yes, you guessed it, he embodied the Triforce of Wisdom and is described as being “cynical” but with a “warm heart”).

The game’s prologue would have told the story of a failed attempt by Link to save Princess Zelda from Ganon. Luckily, the three heroes noticed Link’s absence and rescued him. Following this successful rescue, Ganon would later retreat to the aforementioned magic book, albeit in a weakened state.

The heroes would then all have tried to get rid of said book – which Ganon had arrogantly called “The Book of Ganon”. However, it would be impossible for them to destroy entirely. To counter this, the Hylian team would instead rip pages from the book and scatter them across the kingdom in an attempt to prevent Ganon’s return, with Link placing the now incomplete book somewhere in the Kingdom to keep it safe. sure.

The game itself would have featured a young boy named Kori, who comes across Ganon’s magic book in an antique store. It is at this point that Final Fantasy Tactics-like gameplay would come into effect, and the game would be split into two timelines – two-thirds would have taken place in the past, and one-third of the game would have taken place in the Gift.

In the present, players would have taken on the role of Kori and experienced more traditional Zelda gameplay, but “without dungeons or combat”. This part would have focused on exploration, chatting with NPCs around the world, and mini-games like fishing. While doing all of this, Kori would also discover the torn pages of the Book of Ganon and put them back in place.

This act of replacing the pages with Kori would have “literally [brought] the adventures of the heroes to life”, and at this point players would switch to the past and play as the titular heroes of Hyrule.

“Gameplay in the hero world consists of turn-based strategy and puzzle-solving,” reads a design document for Heroes of Hyrule.

“The player controls heroes and their occasional allies in a series of low-key encounters. Although most of these encounters involve combat, much of the gameplay in the hero world is geared toward solving environmental puzzles in the manner traditional Zelda.”

In addition to this turn-based puzzle solving, players could have called upon “cameo characters” to aid them in their quest, though who those characters would have been remains a mystery for now.

Meanwhile, as players completed various quests in the past, Kori would have gained additional knowledge in the present, allowing her to progress further in her version of the world (an example of this depicts the heroes talking to the Great Deku Tree, with Kori then recognize the tree in the present following the meeting of the heroes).

In its pitch, Retro Studios explained that it thought Heroes of Hyrule would be a good fit for Nintendo and the series as a whole, as it would “[expand] the rich universe of Zelda with new characters, scenarios and game mechanics. [would] too [inject] exciting new themes in the proven handheld strategy RPG market segment, ultimately delivering a product worthy of the Nintendo name.”

However, Nintendo ultimately did not opt ​​for this land. Why this, we do not know. According to Retro Studios, the team “sent it to [Nintendo] SPD and I immediately got a ‘No, you don’t do that’.”

Programmer Paul Tozour told Did You Know Gaming, “[Nintendo] just didn’t seem interested in that gameplay concept, which is a shame.”

He continued, “It was a really solid concept and had the potential to be something big.”

You can watch this Heroes of Hyrule video in its entirety below.

All about Heroes of Hyrule

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