Are Gamers Ready for a High-Tech Zelda Game?

The Legend of Zelda is Nintendo's premiere high fantasy series - with ghosts, dragons, fairies, swords and sorcery - but could fans accept a sci-fi entry into the franchise?

[Art up top by Jamie Boylan, via Dueling Analogs]

Writing about my love for unfairly marginalized Zelda II, I got to thinking about the future of Zelda, especially with the upcoming open-world Wii U Zelda title, and again I'm reminded of how much the series has changed over the years - and how much it could still.

There's a lot of speculation about the stuff Nintendo included in the E3 teaser footage, and in particular the evil, laser-blasting robot and the apparently high-tech energy-blade arrow Link nocks out.

The thing is, technology has always skirted the edges of the Zelda universe.

The very first game included motion-sensing traps and spring-loaded doors, A Link to the Past introduced the retractable and reusable hookshot, Ocarina of Time had mechanical bombchus, Majora's Mask had the pictograph box, Wind Waker had a portable communicator, Spirit Tracks had trains, and Skyward Sword - the oldest game chronologically in the series - has ancient robots, industrial factories and even artificial intelligence with holographic technology!

Are Gamers Ready for a High-Tech Zelda Game?

[Art by Aaron Diaz, via Indistinguishable from Magic]

Gamer's should be ready for something different. We've seen child Link, adult Link, ocean-going Link, high-flying Link and wolf Link. Why not a Link who understands and utilizes technology? That doesn't mean magic would have to be thrown out, but Skyward Sword suggested that the ancient Hyrulians had access to advanced computers and equipment: let's see more of that!

Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak put out some great art for his fan-project "Clockwork Empire" which imagines an advanced future Hyrule in which the hero Zelda has to rescue the fair Prince Link (now that's something different!).

How would gamers react if Castle Hyrule was a sky-rise in a big city and Epona was a hoverbike? For one game at least, it'd be fun to find out.