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Unlocking the Enchanting Dungeons of Tears of the Kingdom

One of the most refreshing aspects of the 2017 game, Breath of the Wild, was its departure from traditional dungeons and the introduction of over 100 puzzle-filled shrines. However, this change was also potentially polarizing, especially for fans accustomed to Link’s journey through specialized dungeons using specific weapons. In anticipation of the release of Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo recently revealed that classic dungeons would be making a comeback in the new game. This led many to believe that Link would spend considerable time exploring heavily-themed, isolated fortresses scattered across Hyrule.

While this is true in some cases, Tears of the Kingdom director Hidemaro Fujibayashi clarified that the new dungeons weren’t designed to either adhere to or deviate from the core design principles of the Zelda franchise. Instead, each dungeon was meticulously crafted to serve as a dynamic showcase for Link’s array of new powers and weapons. Players can seamlessly dive into and out of these dungeons, providing a level of fluidity never before seen in a Zelda game.

During a recent press junket conversation about Tears of the Kingdom, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the director of the game, revealed that the development team did not aim to completely overhaul Zelda’s core design principles in regard to dungeons. Their primary focus was instead on exploring the vast array of new gadgets and tools that Link could create and utilize.

Fujibayashi emphasized that the fundamental approach to designing these dungeons differed slightly from past iterations. The team was less concerned with adhering to previous conventions and more interested in incorporating the capabilities of the new items available in the game. By doing so, they aimed to create a fresh and immersive experience for players as they navigate through the dungeons of Tears of the Kingdom.

Fujibayashi’s fascination with maximizing gameplay associated with Link’s new powers and tools in Tears of the Kingdom led to a departure from the traditional approach of relying on a single key item to solve puzzles in dungeons. Instead, he focused on creating dungeons that would be enjoyable and fun by leveraging the diverse range of abilities at Link’s disposal.

To enhance the overall enjoyment of the game, Fujibayashi sought to establish a sense of seamlessness within Tears of the Kingdom’s expansive world. This concept was lightly explored in Breath of the Wild through Link’s ability to glide down from the sky. However, in Tears of the Kingdom, Fujibayashi aimed to extend this feeling of seamlessness to the dungeons themselves.

The idea of seamlessness prompted the development team to imagine scenarios where players could effortlessly dive from the sky into a dungeon without any interruptions. Additionally, they wanted players to have the freedom to step out of a dungeon if they needed a break and seamlessly return to continue their exploration. By integrating these elements, Tears of the Kingdom aims to provide a captivating and immersive experience for players, blurring the boundaries between the outside world and the dungeon environment.

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