The Chamber Dungeon mode in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening only exists because of Shigeru Miyamoto, according to an IGN interview.
In the interview, producer Eiji Aonuma (speaking to IGN via email) says that Miyamoto asked him to come up with “a game that features Super Mario Maker-like gameplay, but for Zelda“. Aonuma says it’s quite hard to come up with the logic for a dungeon maker feature. Eventually, the two arrived at a solution whereby the player would fit together already-existing parts and rooms. This is in contrast to the Super Mario Maker 2 method, which allows players to construct complex levels from individual elements.
Aonuma also says that Link’s Awakening is the perfect game for the Chamber Dungeon feature. He told IGN that Link’s Awakening‘s dungeons are “usually the size of a single screen”, which makes their layout easier to understand. If the player understands the original dungeons in the game, they’re more likely to familiarize themselves with the Chamber Dungeons quickly. Aonuma says understanding the original dungeons is “a critical part” of Chamber Dungeon gameplay.
The Chamber Dungeon feature makes a lot of sense given the series’ history. The original 1986 The Legend of Zelda was initially going to include the option to design dungeons. This feature was scrapped because Nintendo thought that navigating dungeons they’d made was more fun than moving through player-designed ones. Since games like Super Mario Maker and Minecraft have proven so popular, it seems Nintendo’s backtracked on this viewpoint. Whether this paves the way for a full Zelda Maker remains to be seen.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is available right now on Nintendo Switch. It’s a full remake of the original 1993 Game Boy title. The Switch version also packs in the Color Dungeon from 1998’s Link’s Awakening DX.
Would you play Zelda Maker? Are you using the Chamber Dungeon feature in Link’s Awakening? Let us know in the comments below!