My Hopes for Zelda Mobile

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I don’t consider myself a mobile gamer. I have some time-killers I play on the train, but I still struggle to see mobile gaming as “real gaming.”

But The Legend of Zelda is making the leap to mobile devices later this year and I’ll be on board for that. MORE ZELDA! Still, this version needs to feel as big as the franchise, especially on the coattails of Breath of the Wild, while adopting a mobile formula that encourages habitual use. Some features and functions that I’d love to see include:

Daily puzzles. The Legend of Zelda is legendary for its challenging puzzles- there are 120 shrines to solve in Breath of the Wild. With the breadth of functionality offered by mobile devices from touch screens to gyroscopic/movement-based controls, puzzle innovation is nearly endless and can be varied enough to not feel repetitive. Give me a new challenge every day

Real World integration. Hyrule is a HUGE place and I want to feel like I’m exploring it in the real world. Much like walking hatches eggs in Pokemon Go, I’d like my daily physical activity to translate to my mini hero in-game. Do I need to walk 3 miles to get to Zora’s Domain and unlock new puzzles? Bring me my running shoes and let’s go on a quest!

Link as a secondary character. I’d be less critical of it as a Zelda game and more delighted I get to play alongside my favorite characters and themes. Let me customize my own sprite who interacts with Link in my own story. Maybe Link is my silent sensei, training me to protect Hyrule so he can retire. Or maybe he needs me to rescue him! I love playing as Link, but I’m craving my own adventure. Mobile would be a perfect platform to try this kind of alternative story formula since it’s not a traditional vehicle for Zelda games and players’ expectations for mobile games are vastly different than console. There could even be an opportunity for microtransactions to buy new character features, clothes or accessories.

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Selfies! It’s mobile! Come on. Those Wind Waker selfies were adorable and hilarious. Nintendo could drive engagement and promotion with a selfie feature that’s easily sharable to social.

What do you want to see in a mobile Zelda game?

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The Old Kind of Tattoos

A few years ago while I was working on a research project at the amusement park I worked for, I stumbled upon this photo called “The Old Kind Of Tattoos” a stranger posted on some crazy niche industry forums about Wildwood in its glory days.

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We lost my Uncle Buddy this week. He was 91. The last of his group. The last of the Greatest Generation in my family.

He used to hand-paint old-fashioned temporary tattoo transfers and sell them at a rickety little stand on the boardwalk. The first time he ever applied one on me, I was so afraid it was going to hurt (and he may have played up that fear just a little- he was silly like that). I remember the stickiness of the tattoo on my arm, the cool, wet sponge and then incredibly, the art was on my skin and the paper was perfectly clean, if not a little slimy. It was SO COOL. I spent hours playing in his tattoo storage closet, swimming waist deep in Ninja Turtles, Mickey Mouses, dragons, Bart Simpson heads, snakes coiled around daggers and MOM hearts. I examined them all and stood on my toes next to his work station to watch him paint. Each one was slightly different. Not a single one was perfect, a product of the slightest tremor or shift in focus.

I have two family photos always displayed. One is my grandparents sitting on the beach. The other is my grandfather and Uncle Buddy manning a machine gun.

My grandparents met shortly before my grandfather enlisted in the Marines at a round robin dance. The ladies formed a circle in the middle and the men formed an outer circle and whoever you ended up in front of was your dance partner for that song. My grandfather landed in front of Mimi. After their first dance, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to dance as well with anyone else. Each round, he shuffled around the circle so he’d always land in front of her. They married shortly before he deployed for the South Pacific.

While on deployment, Grampi was stationed with Uncle Buddy and he went on and on about his wonderful wife and the letters they constantly exchanged. Uncle Buddy decided he wanted a lovely lady to write letters to and asked Grampi if Mimi had any friends. He began writing his letters to Mimi’s sister, Aunt Redda. And they got married when he returned from war.

That’s what the Greatest Generation did. They went to war and they came home and reveled in their families and hard work. They were extraordinary men and women who lived simply, happily, beautifully. They took pride in their work and found joy in watching a little girl flex her sad little bicep and feel like a badass for the first time in her life because she had a droopy Ninja Turtle inked on her arm.

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RIP Uncle Buddy. I’m glad you’re all together again.