Zelda-Style Z-Targeting Was Apparently “Too Hardcore” For LEGO Fortnite

Image: Epic Games

LEGO Fortnite — a new game that’s available inside of Fortnite — has been dominating online conversation since it dropped last week on all consoles. But former senior designer at Epic Games, Cristina Ramos, says that one key piece of game design was rejected for being “too hardcore”. (thanks, Nintenduo!)

Ramos, who is now with Blasphemous studio The Game Kitchen, shared her thoughts on Twitter regarding the new mode in Fortnite. But what mechanic could be too hardcore for the hugely popular battle royal? Well, according to Ramos, it’s Z-targeting — the very thing that was pioneered by 1998’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Quoting a fan’s tweet which compares one of LEGO Fortnite’s moments to Dark Souls, Ramos expresses her frustration with Epic’s decision not to include a mechanic which it considered “too hardcore” while players praised these Souls-like combat moments. We won’t embed the tweet here due to some strong language in the quoted tweet (though the aforementioned response is here), so here is Nintenduo’s translation of Ramos’ response:

“It makes me laugh to see people celebrating souls combat, and it makes me sad that they wouldn’t let me put in things like target lock because they considered it “too hardcore” when literally z-targeting was invented by Nintendo for people who had never played a 3d game before.”

Z-targeting is a crucial aspect of Ocarina of Time, and it arguably helped popularise the lock-in feature in action-adventure games (and all video games in general). And given how LEGO Fortnite plays like an open-world adventure game with combat, dodging, and the like, its absence may seem a bit odd.

Ramos is also disappointed because she feels that those who are saying the game is (via Google Translate) “‘super polished'” are unaware of these missing aspects — “the reality is that I was only able to make the temporary prototype versions of the weapons and for various reasons the ‘good’ versions were never made.”

Of course, we don’t know whether this is the exact wording that Epic used, but we acknowledge that Ramos is frustrated that the developer apparently didn’t want to implement a mechanic that has been used in video games for years.

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