Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity devs on how the game came to be, Nintendo wanting it to be a new experience, more
This week’s issue of Famitsu contains an interview with key members of the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity team. Producer Yosuke Hayashi and director Ryouta Matsushita as well as Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma answered a few questions about the new Switch game.
Famitsu asked about a few topics, including why a new Hyrule Warriors game was made themed after Breath of the Wild and whether Aonuma had any specific requests for the project. The magazine also asked about whether certain elements had already been established when it came to the characters and story.
Here’s our full translation:
Why did you decide to create a Breath of the Wild themed Hyrule Warriors sequel?
Aonuma: The idea came from Breath of the Wild’s director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and art director Satoru Takizawa. When they first pitched the “Great Calamity” as a setting for a Musou game, I was very interested but wondered if there would be difficulties when crafting the story. From there, we deliberated on how things would go, and the two of them already had plans in mind. Driven by how serious Mr. Fujibayashi and Mr. Takizawa were, I decided to consult with Hyrule Warriors producer Yosuke Hayashi.
We were so committed to the project that we ended up imposing details on the story and visuals. I’m afraid we may have made things more difficult for Koei Tecmo, but they went above and beyond in this collaboration and really nailed their depiction of Breath of the Wild’s “Great Calamity”.
Hayashi: That takes me back. From the Koei Tecmo side, we often discussed what a new Hyrule Warriors would look like should the opportunity ever arise. That’s about when Mr. Aonuma approached us and all the pieces fell in place. Musou games are known for their expansive, all-star cast of playable characters, but we felt this title was a great opportunity to show off a different direction for the series.
Matsushita: I also felt we were given the best possible setting. It was just begging to be made into a Musou game where you play as Link, all fired up as a soldier amid the Calamity 100 years ago.
It was important for us to maintain our roles as developers, but everyone on staff is also a Breath of the Wild fan. So, rather than feeling pressured, I think the team felt a personal responsibility to make something worthy of existing in Breath of the Wild’s world. Many impassioned arguments about Breath of the Wild took place behind closed doors.
Age of Calamity features many characters as they were 100 years prior. Did you already have their designs and personalities established since Breath of the Wild?
Aonuma: We created various characters’ personalities and their relationships to Link during Breath of the Wild’s development. However, we consulted with the Musou team to flesh that out in this game. Like with Purah, who ages quite strangely. I feel like we allowed her charms – and just her as a character to shine in this title.
Matsushita: I’m so glad we at Koei Tecmo were able to propose designs for Impa, Purah, and Robbie. Every character had fragments of rich lore scattered throughout Breath of the Wild, so we used those as clues to match the Zelda team’s impression and establishment of the characters. That’s how we formed their depictions of 100 years past. I felt it resembled how Link regained his memories in Breath of the Wild through little spurs.
There are fragments of the story from 100 years prior in Breath of the Wild. Did you already have a concept for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s story?
Aonuma: There are mementos and remains in Breath of the Wild, which are remnants of the battle that took place long ago. Those remnants are placed around the world, detailing stories and settings. This game takes those points and expands upon them.
Matsushita: In Breath of the Wild, we only met the four Champions for a short time and yet the game painted a detailed picture of the types of characters they were and what kind of relationships they had. For that reason, even while proposing scenario ideas for this game and going back and forth with the Zelda team, the production team could freely share ideas like what Mipha and Daruk should say or do at a given time.
Were there any requests from Mr. Aonuma that you absolutely had to include?
Aonuma: The degree to which the Hyrule Warriors team understands The Legend of Zelda left me feeling confident they could make a game as strong as the first Hyrule Warriors. Because of that, I didn’t have to ask them to do anything in a specific way. And once again, I was blown away by the result.
Matsushita: Thank you very much. The only basic principle that they asked of us was to give players a new experience with this game that they couldn’t find elsewhere. We were happy to be told that, but I think it also made us tense. With such a strong signature of approval behind us, we did everything we could to create a new Musou experience for Zelda fans – something only possible in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is available now for Switch.
Translation provided by Jarop and Oni Dino on behalf of Nintendo Everything.
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