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Aonuma on Zelda winning top honors at The Game Awards, The Champions’ Ballad DLC, end of development

Posted on December 24, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

Famitsu published a new interview this week with Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma. It was pretty interesting, with Aonuma talking about Breath of the Wild winning “Game of the Year” at The Game Awards, including his mindset at the time and why he started out by saying “Thank you America!” He also spoke about The Champions’ Ballad DLC, and confirmed that development on the game has concluded.

We’ve prepared a translation with the most notable parts from Famitsu’s interview. You can read it below.

Famitsu: And now we’re talking about a topic from a few days ago, but congratulations on being awarded Game of the Year from The Game Awards 2017!

Aonuma: Thank you!

Famitsu: We saw you receiving the prize during the live stream, but you were in a situation where you wouldn’t know whether you would win it or not, weren’t you?

Aonuma: That’s right. When I was sitting at the awards ceremony, there were more and more foreign titles being mentioned… I somehow became discouraged, thinking it might be difficult at all for a Japanese game to win this. And as the event was about to close, I was talking to Fujibayashi saying, “Let’s prepare to leave.” And just as I underestimated it, the Game of the Year announcement came, and my head went completely blank. I stood up hugging Fujibayashi, but at that time I was already completely unconscious. I stood on the stage while still being in that situation, and the first words that came from me were “Thank you America!” Are you a middle schooler? [referring to himself at the awards ceremony] (laughs).

Famitsu: (Laughs)

Aonuma: Now I understand how people cannot say anything at times like this. (wry laugh)

Famitsu: But we were moved when you were cheered. Aonuma-san must have been very excited.

Aonuma: No no, I didn’t even know whether I was excited or not. That’s why I had “Thank you America” as my first words. After that, the development staff tampered with the speech quite a lot… (laughs). But yes, I was that happy.

Famitsu: Congratulations once again. And at the same time you also released the second DLC, The Champions’ Ballad; could you tell us the main points of this DLC?

Aonuma: The first DLC “The Master Trials” let people enjoy deeper playthroughs of the game. For this second DLC, we’re delving deeper into the main story. Of course, there are new Shrines, and we’ve also added a new dungeon on the same scale as the Divine Beasts, and finally a new boss appears. And as informed in the trailer, you can obtain a motorcycle called the Master Cycle Zero.

Famitsu: Having a motorcycle appear in that world is so shocking.

Aonuma: Regarding that motorcycle, just before the first DLC was released, I proposed to the development team “Couldn’t we make a motorcycle?”, but they were greatly opposed to it. They said, “A motorcycle in that world wouldn’t make any sense!” I also ride a motorcycle in the real world, and I said it would feel good if we could also ride one in that world too… While it kept getting rejected, as development progressed on, there were talks that we “really want to have something impactful at the end.” And then somebody nonchalantly said, “Perhaps the motorcycle then…” so I reacted “What now, you all really wanted to do it, don’t you!?” (laughs)

The development for the motorcycle started from there, and for refueling the motorcycle we naturally decided to put materials inside just like cooking. It’s not limited to just the motorcycle, but when something gets decided, the staff works on it with huge amount of enthusiasm, so they can be relied upon.

Famitsu: At the Game Developer’s Conference, you did release a design image of Link riding a motorcycle, right?

Aonuma: That was one of the proposals from the staff. “It would be interesting if we had this feature.” But at that time, there weren’t any talks at all to actually implement a motorcycle into the game.

Famitsu: Nevertheless, you had a lot of passion just for a single motorcycle.

Aonuma: This motorcycle can be considered as a trial motorcycle; if you jump well you can even climb mountains, so please kindly try it out. And I think this would make a good finale for Breath of the Wild.

Famitsu: So is it really the finale…

Aonuma: Of course the Zelda series will still continue from here on, and since everyone has supported Breath of the Wild this much, I want to make something unique that won’t lose to this. There are some difficult aspects when talking about when this will come out, but I’ll be glad if you would [patiently] wait for it.

Famitsu: If you’re making something that has been supported this much, that means the hurdle for the next game will be raised so much.

Aonuma: The hurdle is very high indeed (laughs). But I’d like to continue participating in development projects that are fun, so please look forward to it!

Massive thanks to BlackKite for helping with this translation!

Thanks for making it to the end of this post! If you use any of this translation, please be sure to properly source Nintendo Everything. Do not copy its full contents.

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