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Aonuma and Sano on Twilight Princess HD – thinking behind remake, Miiverse stamps, Wolf Link amiibo, more

Posted on March 2, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

Nintendo Life has published its full interview pertaining to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Series proucer Eiji Aonuma and Wii U assistant director Tomomi Sano participated in the discussion. Between the two, they discussed the thought process behind remaking Twilight Princess HD, the frame rate, enhancements that were tough to implement, and what went into the Miiverse stamps and Wolf Link amiibo.

Head on below for some excerpts from the interview. For the full talk, visit this page.

On the thought process behind producing a remake of Twilight Princess…

Aonuma: This was quite some time ago now, but back when we were discussing the direction to take with the art style for the new Zelda game on Wii U, we tried experimenting with what past Zelda games would look like in HD. Although it wasn’t our original intention, we found some of them worked especially well in HD and we decided to create remakes for them. As you know, The Wind Waker HD was the first of these. We wanted to continue straight on and make the Twilight Princess HD remake, but it was around this point that work on the new Zelda game on Wii U really started and so the Zelda team was needed for that instead. So we started looking for somewhere that we could trust to handle this project and found Tantalus, who have a good reputation with producing remakes. With their help, we finally managed to complete Twilight Princess HD.

On the frame rate…

Aonuma: The original framerate was 30fps. We decided to stay faithful in the remake and kept it as is. There wasn’t any pressure that forced us to do so, we just wanted to make sure that the gameplay still felt the same as in the original. Still, we have adjusted the speed of a number of cutscenes that appeared a bit slow when looking at them now.

On enhancements that were tough to implement…

Aonuma: Swimming in particular stands out for me. Throughout the Zelda series, including Twilight Princess, we have often used underwater gameplay as a contrast to playing on land. For underwater sections, you need to make the movements heavier to replicate the effect of the water pressure, and this tends to make the gameplay a bit more stressful. We’ve long been trying to find a ways to reduce that feeling of stress. Although we gave this a lot of thought when we were making the original in the first place, when it came to this remake I still felt there was room for improvement. So we did our best to make this as stress free as possible this time.

Sano: We also went through a lot of trial and error with the graphics. When we created more precise models of objects to go with the higher resolution, we found that everything was too clear and we lost that soft and delicate atmosphere that you get in particular at twilight or with the light in a forest. We had to strike a balance between the parts where we could be precise and the parts where we tried not to make things too clear. We worked hard to make the graphics look really nice while still preserving the feel of the original.

On what inspired the Miiverse stamps…

Sano: There were lots of treasure chests placed around the world of Twilight Princess, but most of them just contained rupees. By placing lots of different items inside them, it makes it more exciting for players when they open one, and if it’s something they can actually use, that’s even better. So we decided to put in stamps that can be used in Miiverse. We thought about what kind of things players would be able to use while talking to each other and would actually be useful to them, and in the end this led us to settle on pictures of the characters with different expressions as well as the Hylian alphabet. We also tried to find the right size for these stamps so that they are perfect both for using and viewing, and we hope you will have fun trying them out in Miiverse.

On the Wolf Link amiibo…

Sano: Wolf Link and Midna both have distinctive designs and are popular characters with fans. If players buy an amiibo, they expect an appropriate in-game bonus for doing so, so I thought that something related to Link’s wolf form would work well. While brainstorming a few ideas, we had the realization that some of the enemies designed to be fought as human Link could also be defeated while in wolf form. We thought that maybe we could create a place where you could have some exciting battles against combinations of those enemies.

I also thought it would be nice if players who have any of the Zelda-related amiibo already released also got some kind of in-game bonus too. So we made it so that if you use these amiibo while playing, you can receive some bonuses that help you out if you are in trouble. However, the Ganondorf amiibo still posed a bit of a problem. Even though it’s still an amiibo, it’s hard to imagine Ganondorf helping Link in any way. After giving it a lot of thought, I feel that in the end we managed to come up with a solution that provides a worthy challenge to players.

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