@radioactivez0r: Well, think of how vast the Zelda worlds are (compared to other games at the time). Then think that playing through them is the same straight line every time, dependant on Item B leading to Dungeon C. Yet they are still immensely replayable, and the metagame of sequence breaking or handicapping is a big part of the fanbase.
Now flip the table over and make it an open world game like Red Dead. But not even tied down to the narrative of plot missions, just a basic arc. You stand the chance to be overpowered in some dungeons, and completely out of your league in others. You don't know until you try, and overcome. How many other secrets will you have to return for? Suddenly the side quests of building up your items and life bar have a direct correlation to your chances of success. You're free to explore without so many item gates.
Making Zelda games unstructured sounds exciting to me.