The Legend of Paper Zelda would be an adventure RPG for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. As you might expect, it would be a combination of The Legend of Zelda and Paper Mario series, in both art style and gameplay.
I came up with this the first time I got into Paper Mario and began thinking about how cleverly the gameplay and world were designed around the art style. I thought it would interesting to apply this formula to The Legend of Zelda, since it lends itself to the RPG style, but has never had an installment quite like Paper Mario in terms of gameplay.
And so, I decided to make up this fun little adventure. Hope you all enjoy it!
The plot would fit the Zelda pattern, but it would also fit the whimsical paper world in which it's based. That being said, it shouldn't come as a surprise that this game wouldn't fall anywhere in the official Zelda timeline, were it to be made. It would fall in with games like Hyrule Warriors as a hybrid spinoff.
This game would be about Ganon seeking possession of the Triforce Pencil, an enchanted object which would allow the user to bend 2D space and time, rewriting (no pun intended) history to make Link and Zelda disappear, and make himself the ruler of Paper Hyrule, enforcing his authority by using the pencil to make gruesome minions in the thousands to carry out his evil will.
Link would probably be around the age he was in A Link Between Worlds, but he would have a paper appearance resembling his OoT incarnation. He'd play the role of a young farmhand under a somewhat impatient farmer named Elfonze, and the only part of the job he really enjoys is working alongside a spirited young girl named Malon, the farmer's daughter, whom he has a secret crush on.
The inciting incident of Link's journey is when the farm is raided by bandits, and Malon is kidnapped. Even after Link wards off half the bandits by himself using just a shovel, Elfonze tells him to stay behind and goes to rescue Malon on his own. Link finally gets fed up and follows Elfonze anyway.
However, Link soon finds Elfonze mortally wounded, and in his last moment, he gives Link his sword and tells him to do what he couldn't.
Link's quest to track down Malon gets him caught up in Ganon's schemes, because it turns out that the bandits who kidnapped Malon were sent by Ganon in an attempt to draw out Link. For Ganon needs to capture both Zelda, Princess of Paper Hyrule, and Link, courageous Hero of the Page, to bring forth the Triforce Pencil. After Link finds Malon, he and his companions meet up with Impa, who they then follow to find out that she is guarding Zelda, who was forced to flee the castle.
From this point on, Zelda and Link decide to go on a quest to obtain the five Mana Erasers, powerful elemental relics with the power to wipe away dark paper magic. With this power in hand, they can confront Ganon and defeat him together.
This game would have the same layout as Paper Mario, with an open overworld separated into large areas. The combat system, meanwhile, would be entirely separate from the normal exploration, and would be turn-based, which would make this the first Zelda game to have this kind of combat.
The basic gameplay features common in Zelda games would remain, but characters like Ganon and Link, as well as minions like goblins and carnivorous plants, would take on the paper format established in the Paper Mario titles. Combat would also reflect this; for example, throwing the Gale Boomerang at an enemy would do damage by flipping around the paper enemy in the wind, but it would also have a chance to do damage to enemies on its way back after being thrown, thus giving it a unique purpose.
Other Zelda items would be implemented with this title, just as in the Paper Mario series, in order to make the terrain a bigger part of the game. Link could acquire a shovel and use it to to dig things up, or destroy hidden walls with bombs. One similarity it would have to Super Paper Mario would be the option of switching between 2D and 3D viewing angles to amp up the exploration and puzzle-solving factors.
Combat in this game would essentially be the same as in Paper Mario. Each character would have a standard move that can be used as many times as the player wants, while more powerful moves would cost limited magic points.
Net magic points for the party increase over time, and the stronger a move is, the more points it costs. After every battle, some magic points and health points will usually drop, but won't necessarily make up for points lost during battle, thus making it important to end battles quickly and efficiently.
As moves get upgraded, their strength will depend on greater player participation, mainly through quicktime events. One change I would make to this system from Paper Mario is that there would be a greater range of outcomes depending on how well the player executes the event. This way, it would be in the player's best interests to practice combat and develop their skills.
This game's character layout would be in many ways similar to Paper Mario, with a major gameplay similarity being the ability to use multiple characters as companions for Link, with only one companion in the field or in battle at a time.
These companions would all have different movesets with varied effects, and every so often, a character can have his or her moves upgraded to become more powerful. Link would also be able to obtain these upgrades, but through different means, such as a story quest or sidequest.
The entire character roster would include:
Link would be the main protagonist of the game, and the destined Hero of the Page.
- Hero's Bow
- Gale Boomerang
Zelda would be the mage princess of Paper Hyrule, and the clever planner against Ganon's devious schemes. She would be forced to go on the run from Ganon after he staged a coup against Harkinian, the king of Hyrule.
- Din's Fire
- Farore's Wind
- Light Arrows
Malon would be the young farmgirl kidnapped by bandits, but then would be saved by Link, whom she would join on his quest.
- Pitchfork Strike
- Lon Lon Milk
- Horse Trample
Groose would be Link's standoffish friend from the town near his farm, as well as Malon's cousin who would go after her separately from Link, at least at first. After Malon is found, Groose would join Link along with her to look after her.
- Hammer Swing
Impa would be an old friend of Hyrule's royal family, who would know that Zelda holds the Triforce of Wisdom, and would thus be on the run with her to keep her safe from Ganon.
- Jumping Slash
- Cyclone Spin
- Fire Plumes
Biggoron would be a hulking Goron blacksmith who would give Link a unique sword, and join him on his quest to stop Ganon after Ganon's minions destroy his home and workshop.
- Biggoron Swing
- Rock Slide
- Goron Roll
Ralis would be the timid yet clever son of the Zora Queen Rutela, who would request to travel with Link in his desire to become a hero like him.
- Trident Twirl
- Flood of Ruin
- Slippery Surface