How Modern Can Zelda Get?

We've seen hints from Nintendo's Zelda franchise producer, Eiji Aonumam that more flight may be in Link's future. Last week, I asked him about things like cars and guns getting into a Zelda game.

Consider that the earliest Zelda game was all caves and magic swords, with nothing more high-tech than a boomerang and a whistle. Several Zeldas later, Link was sailing ships, taking pictures with a camera and, as of a week from today, driving a train in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks on the DS.

So I wrote to Aonuma: "Spirit Tracks features a train, which may be the most modern piece of technology included in a Zelda game. How modern do you think the Zelda universe can get? Could it include, for example, a radio? A car? A gun?"

In an e-mailed response, Aonuma said: "Technology actually was not a major concern for us when we decided to use the train. In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, the boat was the key mode of transportation. Now that Spirit Tracks takes place on land, we needed a new way for players to get around, and felt that the train offered the best sense of exploration and discovery. We don't think it feels out of place in the game world. Trains are also a popular mode of transportation in Japan. My children and I still feel a great sense of adventure when we ride trains in Japan."

Note how un-Zelda-like some of my suggestions were. Final Fantasy can get modern and even futuristic. Even World of Warcraft manages to include motorcycles. But a Zelda game with even more modern technology?

I don't see Aonuma ruling any of it out based on what he then said to me about future tech:

"Regarding use of other forms in technology in the future, as long it adds to the overall game experience and is something we feel the player would enjoy, we wouldn't be afraid to implement it. As a matter of fact, we have used the Hook Shot in several previous games, which would be considered a very modern type of technology, even by today's standards. "

So maybe Link can have a cell phone some day. Though I doubt they'd go that far. I don't see the gameplay benefit of an iPod over a fairy. But a car... then who would need a horse any more?