Zelda: Breath of the Wild director on why you can't pet dogs in the game - Nintendo Everything

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild director on why you can’t pet dogs in the game

Posted on December 17, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

While journeying through Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you may encounter dogs. They tend to be found at stables and towns.

Dogs aren’t just there to make areas more lively. You can bond with them, they’ll follow you around, and can lead you someplace special. Unfortunately, you can’t actually pet them.

Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi commented on this while speaking with IGN in a new interview. When asked about why you can’t pet dogs in the game, Fujibayashi explained:

“In the game it seems like you can do anything, but what it really is are all these interlocking systems where you actually have a pretty limited number of actions that can do a ton of different things. So if it came down to something like petting a dog, we would actually have to put in a custom action just for petting a dog that couldn’t really be used for anything else.”

“In terms of design philosophy, it just didn’t fit with how we actually made the game world. It’s actually more about taking a smaller number of actions and using them in as many ways as possible.”


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  • Emufred

    So it short term

    “We didn’t feel like it.”

    • No.

    • Mark

      Real answer: “We didn’t want players to pet dogs. We wanted them to lure them, using meat, onto minecarts placed by magnesis, then Stasis the minecart and slam it enough times with a hammer to send the dog flying.”

      • Dumdum

        ^ This guy gets it.

  • Airsh Bornely

    I never understood the appeal of wanting this feature so badly. Sure it would’ve been nice, but it seems like a feature one would interact once or twice and then forget about it. Not worth the effort.

    • hoteltuesday

      You must be a cat person.

      • Airsh Bornely

        BS. That would be true if I didn’t like dogs too. Just not enough to have one as my own since they’re so high to maintain.

    • I interacted once or twice with Hyrule dogs, and much more with SMO’s hatted pupper. Goes to show.

  • Jacob

    Yeah. It would probably a day or so to make an entire animation then code it in. Development time spent on wiser decisions.

    • Justin McQuillen

      It’s really that they designed every item and action in the game to have a multiplicative reaction or effect that can interact with every other item or action in the game. Petting a dog is one dimensional and can’t be multiplied by all the other items/actions in the game so they decided not to include those sorts of one trick designs. It’s more about what they removed.

      • Justin McQuillen

        This is the reason that there is no fishing rod but instead you can use spears to fish. The definition of a good idea according to Miyamoto is one that solved multiple problems with a single action.

        • speedyclax

          Wait, you can use spears to fish!?

          • Justin McQuillen

            Yeah and you can use bait also

  • awng782

    “Too much lack of dog-petting”

  • Mark

    Because how else will you let him know what a good boy he is?

    Such a good boy.

    • okeribok

      Huge piece of meat? Plus: is he really such a good boy? Try throwing a stick and see if he fetches…

      • Mark

        They’re good dogs Brent.

        … do people get this meme?

  • Tlink7

    Inb4 dog-petting DLC

    • BrokenSkullZero

      DLC #___
      Beast mastery Trials and dominion shiekah app.

      They have some companion foundation with the wolf link feature, so i mean, they could just add more functions on top of that and simultaneously still allow wolf link to be more useful for people who couldnt play Twilight Princess HD

      Have the Shiekah slate be a glorified Pokeball at that point

  • Wayne Email

    Could have made it after you pet every dog in the game, you get a reward and a quest that has a little lore backstory.

  • Dylan W

    Let’s be honest, it’s because Nintendo wants us to buy the new Nintendogs when they inevitably make that for the Switch. 😉

  • BrokenSkullZero

    “-It’s actually more about taking a smaller number of actions and using them in as many ways as possible.”

    Ah. Yes. Soothing is utilized as often as possible and That whole bonding system for Horses is definitely used for much more than beyond stables.

    Forgive me if you cant hear my sarcasm and see the eye rolling

  • Christopher Poussin

    I would agree…. IF pet wolf-Link wasnt in the game :/
    Fine by me tho,I have the amiibo ^^

  • Justin McQuillen

    It makes sense. If you look at it from a design perspective they tackled a lot more design problems than they created.

  • YoungTheFish

    Wouldn’t be a problem if I can also pet my horse, and maybe koroks.

    • You can pet your horse while mounted. It’s like the easiest way to bond with it.

  • Devlind

    I mean, I can see what he’s saying. The NES BotW testing room was created for this reason. One action, multiple uses. eg fire can spread, is affected by wind, can burn bushes, grass, wood, food, objects and enemies, gets you warm and can even burns you. Petting the dog is just an action for a single use: petting animals. The same could be said about sitting. They just do not match the game, but they would have been nice nonetheless.