New details have emerged about Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios’ canceled Zelda game based on Sheik, and well, let’s just say it’s now pretty clear why Nintendo scrapped it.
You may remember back in 2020 we reported on leaked concept art from Retro Studios showing off a Zelda game starring Sheik. Now, the new details come courtesy of DidYouKnowGaming (via VG247 (opens in a new tab)), who was able to chat with former Retro Studios programmer Paul Tozour about what the project looked like before it was cancelled.
The game apparently featured “badly done” gameplay in which the player controlled a stationary sheikh surrounded by dire wolves. The player would have moved the Wiimote to hit the wolves and defend themselves, and that was it. Frankly, it sounds like a minigame that would have been included in a real game as a bonus, but was apparently being designed as a game of its own.
Tozour describes the game as Whac-a-mole-like, but even simpler. Whereas Whac-a-mole games require you to prioritize which moles to hit, apparently this game of Sheik was just one wolf after another, with the only challenge being moving the Wiimote at the right time.
“I see people commenting on that concept art online and saying, ‘Oh my gosh. Retro was working on a Zelda game. That would have been awesome,'” Tozour said. “I understand that sentiment, but what you have to understand is that it wasn’t really a Zelda game. At no point was it anything like Zelda. It was an experiment gone wrong and it was set in the Zelda universe.”
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo had nothing on Retro Studios’ Whac-a-wolf Zelda game, though it’s unclear if anyone at Nintendo actually saw footage of the project. Now we just have to find out what happened to the Mario Boo project, although I cringe to think what kind of motion control hack was being considered for that.
For everything on the Nintendo horizon, check out our guide to upcoming Switch games of 2022 and beyond.