Aonuma on Zelda: BotW - getting lost is fun, subtitle, coy on Link's green tunic, more - Nintendo Everything

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Aonuma on Zelda: BotW – getting lost is fun, subtitle, coy on Link’s green tunic, more

Posted on June 16, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

IGN recently published an article about Zelda: Breath of the Wild which contains comments from producer Eiji Aonuma. Aonuma spoke about the world and how getting lost can be fun, rupees’ role, the subtitle, the special arrow shown in 2014, and Link’s green tunic.

We’ve rounded up Aonuma’s comments below. You can read IGN’s full piece here.

On how Nintendo approached the idea of filling such a large space…

“We talked a little bit about the idea of density, how dense to make this big world.” – Aonuma

– The team realized that filling the vast landscape with things to do and explore would be a lot of work
– As the team experienced moving around on horseback or climbing up to a high place to paraglide down, they realized that their desire to see what’s ahead of the next horizon grew
– At the same time, the team realized some moments should be subtle as you explore

“We realized that it’s OK if there’s pocket of emptiness.” – Aonuma

On how Aonuma learned that getting lost is fun…

“In previous 3D titles, I thought that getting lost is a bad thing. Getting lost in those small worlds, it’s not a loss of what to do but it’s more of a directional loss. I see the exit, you’re going to end up at the same exit, but I can’t figure out how to get there.”

“Challenging something in a way that ‘I think this is going to work’ and then discovering that ‘Oh, this isn’t going to work,’ it’s not actually that much of a painful experience. It’s actually fun. It’s a sense of discovery and as we’re developing this, I thought to myself, “Maybe this is what it means to create a big world, to find out that getting lost is OK.”

On rupees…

“Rupees do exist, but the reason for their existence is a little different this time around. As you saw it’s not about going to cutting down grass and collect rupees or find them in treasure chests but it’s about collecting things and going to sell them and then using the rupees you get to buy new things.”

On the subtitle…

“Even the subtitle itself is different from previous Zelda titles. Really the world is the main character.”

– Past games would use item names like Skyward Sword or character names Twilight Princess as the subtitle
– Aonuma worked closely with Nate Bihldorff from Nintendo’s Treehouse over the span of many months before they landed on the name, Breath of the Wild

“It took a while. We talked a lot about plot points and items and characters, but what we kept coming back to was that the world itself is really the soul of this game. The ruined, crumbling masonry and the quiet field with a breeze running through it. The sense of melancholy that pervades this place, what was once a beautiful kingdom is now fallen to ruin really felt like the soul of the game to us.” – Bihldorff

On the special arrow Link used from the original video in 2014…

“That arrow is definitely an important part of the game, and getting it is very important to navigating the game. To reveal it now would be a spoiler so I don’t want to say too much.”

On what happened to Link’s green tunic…

“I don’t know… I wonder.”

Leave a Reply

  • Damian Rasmussen

    I find this quote from the full interview interisting “Thankfully, Aonuma did tell us the upgrade path for equipment is “very Zelda-like”.
    Something tells me that the typical dungeon-items will be really powerful upgrades to already owned gear or at least be found in chests in the dungeons.

    • Dascylus

      I also get the feeling the Master Sword will be very much like the Falchion in Fire Emblem Awakening, where it’s the only unbreakable weapon, but at first it’s much weaker than the best weapons you get that can break (judging by its rusty and dulled appearance)

      • MusubiKazesaru

        That sound sensible. Maybe you have to upgrade it like aLttP or aLBW or you have to re-imbue it with power somehow. I’m not sure if that’s quite what I’d want out of a whole dungeon but in aLBW if you combine your newly bought item with some kind of upgrade piece found in some dungeons it would be enough.

        • Dascylus

          Yeah, I feel like the Master Sword won’t be the “best weapon” until late game…. and there could still be a two-handed sword that’s better than that.

  • Exy

    I’ve been traveling lately and I agree, getting lost in the forest is kinda fun.

  • Bcardia

    Finally, Aonuma realized that getting by and figuring stuff out on your own is much better than being spoiled by a stupid handholding sidekick.

    I was kinda iffy on the Zelda franchise after TP, SS and the DS games, but this time, Aonuma finally listened to fan-feedback and reacted accordingly. I love everything what I read about this game so far.

    • Exy

      The main thing I got from the previews overall, about how there’s very little info given in the beginning and how the final dungeon can be challenged at any time, is that they’re trying to invoke the first game, which people have been looking back on in retrospect as an early open-world game before the term was even defined. Certain people I know have been wanting a game like that for a while so this will certainly be fun to see how well it works out.

      As for me, I’ve been wanting a new Zelda 2 for years and the free jumping in this game is good enough for me.

  • metalpants

    I agree with that statement about having “pockets of emptiness” here and there. That’s more realistic if you think about it, compared to other games. Not every corner of the real world is filled with bustling life.

    Most gamers today have been programmed to think that they need something “advertised” to them every minute or several times in a minute (which is that Ubisoft mentality brought about through games like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, etc.). It’s very easy to get distracted and forget the main objective just to make a bit of cash, or collect certain item, etc. in those games.

    I like the fact that in BOTW , you see something in the distance, and you go explore at your own leisure while enjoying the sights. This is shaping up to be a really fun, soothing, exploration-filled experience.

    • Justin McQuillen

      He’s referring to the long-held design mantra that Zelda started, in which every screen had some relevance or unique gameplay opportunity (even if it appeared to be an irrelevant area). That’s what he means by content density — in ALTTP, you can tell the developers took extra special care to make every area unique and relevant.

  • Aonuma on the hype train!


  • Justin McQuillen

    It’s Aonuma’s knowledge about content density in game design that makes me most interested to enjoy this new game. It really is a step forward for video games as a whole, not just the Zelda franchise, and that is the case because the OOT-style of level design has been the much copied norm for so many years now. When people design an open world game, I always notice these density problems where bethesda, rockstar or whomever seemed to struggle with managing the density of content in a huge world. Aonuma on the other hand is a seasoned master of content density in design philosophy, so I can’t wait to see how he managed to pull off a completely new type of level design in gaming. It truly is an amazing feat for him to combine the extremely dense (Zelda) with the extremely sparse (Skyrim, Fallout) to find the perfect middle ground.

  • pegadoodle

    really cool to see all this info from aonuma… hype train is running once again!

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