If George R. R. Martin Created The Next Zelda Game
The Legend of Zelda remains one of Nintendo's most popular series, but like many of the company's first-party games, it's often criticized for sticking too closely to its decades-old formula. At the same time, no element of the series has caused more backlash than The Wind Waker's introduction of Toon Link, which was considered by many fans to be too childish. That got us thinking: What if Nintendo decided to slay both criticisms at the same time in the most extreme way possible: By hiring Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to write the next Zelda game.
An Unsullied Heroine
The first thing Martin would want to change is Zelda herself. Despite being the titular character of the series, Zelda often gets stuck in a traditional princess role in her own games, passively waiting for Link to come rescue her from wherever she is imprisoned/hiding/sealed inside of a crystal.
Martin will have a more active role in mind for Zelda. While Link is off gallivanting around Hyrule taking part in every horse race, shoveling contest, and carnival shooting gallery he comes across, Zelda will quietly be amassing her own army of eunuch slaves to take back her kingdom herself. She'll also hatch and raise a couple of fire-breathing dragons to boot, because a girl needs options.
In a surprise twist, Ganon won't be the main source of Link's troubles in Martin's new Zelda game. Instead, Link will have to contend with Ganon's unruly offspring, whom Ganon quietly manipulates from the shadows.
A brash but charismatic knight, a quick-witted dwarf who actually seems pretty cool, and a petulant prince you can't wait to see die are just some of the members of Ganon's bloodline that you'll be up against as you try to regain control of Hyrule. Luckily, Ganon's kids will spend as much time fighting with each other as they do Link, so for the most part you can just sit back and wait for the family to implode.
Dangerous And Powerful Magic
Link has used a variety of magic items during his adventures, from enchanted shields and clothing to a variety of element-infused rods. In Martin's Zelda game, however, magic will take on a much darker tone.
Blood Magic will allow Link to summon the spirits of long-dead warriors in order to poison and curse his foes – just be careful the treacherous sorcery doesn't backfire on you. If that's not dark enough for you, one particularly shocking boss encounter will require Link to first impregnate the Great Fairy, who in turn will give birth to a Shadow Link that will then assassinate his enemy. Now that's a boss battle!
Coming Up Next: George R. R. Martin's trademark storytelling shines through...
Hungry For More
When it comes to describing food, Martin's attention to detail is unparalleled. Naturally, he won't want to forsake his trademark writing style for the new Zelda game. Whenever Link travels between locations, meets a new character, explores a dungeon, or does pretty much anything of note, it will be followed by a mandatory 30-minute feasting minigame. Navi will recite the ingredients for each food item as they're presented, in excruciating detail...
Navi: Look, Link! We're having a bowl of thick, buttery Yeto's soup, served with a chilled glass of sweetened Lon Lon milk. The Reekfish is topped with a crust of roasted Deku nuts, grated redcap mushrooms, and Ordon goat cheese. Eat fast; we've got six more courses after that!
A New Kind Of Dungeon
Dungeons have been a staple of The Legend of Zelda since the very beginning. The puzzle-filled locations have sported a variety of themes and mechanics over the years, but rarely have they ever been scary.
Martin will ensure that the dungeons in his Zelda game live up to their names. Link can expect a variety of physically, emotionally, and mentally traumatizing horrors as he explores and tries to escape each location. If you thought the Temple of the Ocean King was bad, just wait until you enter the Dreadfort...
The Gorons have always been depicted as peaceful creatures in the Zelda series, but that won't sit well with Martin. A race of giant rock-eating creatures that live in a place called "Death Mountain?" Come on – they have to be bad-ass!
As such, Martin will transform the Gorons into a race of coldblooded warriors, whose culture glorifies violence and shows no mercy to enemies, innocents, or anyone else that's weaker than they are. However, they won't necessarily be Link's enemies – our hero can stay on their good side by frequently gifting them presents, like weapons, horses, and slaves. In one memorable side mission, Link will attend the wedding of tribal leader Darunia, and watch on as the Goron celebration descends into an orgy of violence, before descending even further into a literal orgy. You better hope Darunia likes your wedding gift.
All Zelda fans know how to bomb, hookshot, and spin attack their way to victory. In keeping with the more adult tone Martin will be striving for, Link will have a variety of new moves at his disposal.
In addition to his standard swordplay, Link will now be able to hack off limbs, slit throats, and burn people alive – the perfect way to deal with those Kokiri forest children. There will also be a new poisoning mechanic Link can access by combining items in his inventory, making those glass bottles you're always collecting even more invaluable. Outside of combat, a new gloating mechanic allows Link to mount the heads of his fallen enemies on spikes to ward off any future enemies. However, as visceral as these new moves might be, you'll still look pretty dopey waving around a Wii remote...
Coming Up Next: Adult Link has never been more adult...
Martin isn't completely opposed to putting supernatural elements into his stories, and one specific aspect of the Zelda series will appeal to him so much that he'll recycle it in his own game – with a slight tweak or two.
Like in Twilight Princess, Link will be able to transform into Wolf Link in Martin's new Zelda game, only he'll be called Direwolf Link, and he'll rip out a lot more throats than he did in his previous form. He'll also eat the entrails of his slain enemies if the player doesn't use Midna to quickly shoo him away via a quick-time event. Completionists will love the severed hand collectibles scattered around Hyrule, which Direwolf Link can sniff out and retrieve using his extrasensory perceptions.
Taking The Throne
Another aspect of Martin's new Zelda game that will pique the interest of fans is the exciting new end-game scenario. Saving the land of Hyrule is no longer the conclusion of the story. Instead, it simply activates the ruling phase of the game.
From Hyrule's massive, twisted throne, Link must attempt to maintain fragile alliances, ferret out potential usurpers, and appease the kingdom's citizens in hopes of staving off a revolution. On the plus side, you can execute pretty much anyone you want until you inevitably step on the wrong toes and find yourself stabbed, poisoned, or gored by a Bullbo.
Thanks to Nintendo's focus on creating family-friendly entertainment, Link and Zelda's relationship as always been largely platonic, aside from some romantic undertones. Martin, on the other hand, doesn't shy away from depicting sexual relationships in a frank and unflinching manner. It has certainly worked for HBO's adaptation of Game of Thrones – why wouldn't it work for Zelda?
In Martin's new Zelda game, everyone has sex with everyone, all the time. In addition to visiting Zoran pleasure streams, Deku fornication dens, and Goron smut huts, Link must navigate the tangled web of sexual relationships that all of the game's characters are ensnared in. Well, everyone except for Tingle. No one wants to have sex with that guy.
For more stunning speculative analysis, check out what would have happened if George Lucas Created Mass Effect 3.