The upcoming remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will include a dungeon-making mode called Chamber Dungeons, and according to series producer Eiji Aonuma, that could lead to a full-blown "Zelda Maker" game if it’s popular enough. The remake was first revealed in a surprise announcement during February’s Nintendo Direct, and the Chamber Dungeons feature was yet another surprise, unveiled at this year’s E3 2019.
The original Link’s Awakening was released in 1993 for the Game Boy. It was the first Legend of Zelda titles on a handheld console and remains one of the most beloved entries in the series to this day. It’s actually already gotten a remake, called Link’s Awakening DX for the Game Boy Color. While the upcoming Switch remake won’t make any sweeping changes to the game, its massive graphical overhaul and the addition of Chamber Dungeons make it a much fresher take on the core game than Link’s Awakening DX.
Aonuma hinted at the possibility of Chamber Dungeons evolving into a Zelda Maker game in an interview with Kotaku during E3. Reporter Jason Schreier asked Aonuma directly if a Zelda Maker was in the cards, to which Aonuma replied:
“I can’t predict the future, but if people do love this idea of arranging dungeons, I’ll keep that in mind going forward.”
While that may not sound like a very exciting answer - and certainly shouldn’t be taken as confirmation of anything - some of Aonuma’s other statements in the interview make it clear that the new dungeon creation mechanic is more than just a tacked-on bonus in Link’s Awakening. In fact, it’s part of the reason why the game was remade in the first place. According to Aonuma, the Legend of Zelda team wanted to find a way to let players make something of their own in the next game in the series, and decided that dungeons, a long-time staple of the franchise, would be a good outlet. Dungeons in Link’s Awakening are made up of rooms of about equal size, which means they can easily be rearranged without breaking the flow of the dungeon. That made the game a natural choice to try out the Chamber Dungeons idea.
Nintendo has long been seen as extremely protective of its IP. That’s begun to relax quite a bit recently, though. Just this month, indie developer Brace Yourself Games released Cadence of Hyrule, a spin-off of the developer’s own Crypt of the NecroDancer, with Nintendo’s cooperation. Even the idea of Super Mario Maker, a massively successful game with a sequel coming out this week, would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Given Nintendo’s apparent change of policy and the light Aonuma shed on the importance of Chamber Dungeons to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, it’s not too hard to imagine a full-fledged Zelda Maker some time in the near future.