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Eiji Aonuma

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Depths design

A recent interview with Famitsu reveals that the Depths for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom “were made in a surprisingly short period of time.”

That comes from director Hidemaro Fujibayashi. The initial area’s development came together quickly, though he did acknowledge that “it took a long time and many adjustments for it to take its present shape”. 

Zelda Tears Kingdom Elden Ring

The developers behind The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom didn’t take any inspiration from Elden Ring or any other major titles for that matter. That’s according to Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game’s director and Eiji Aonuma, the producer of the series.

FromSoftware previously said that when the studio was developing Elden Ring, it was influenced by various titles including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, it sounds like the team at Nintendo was too busy to play that game – or at least that goes for the developers at the top.

As the director and producer respectively, Hidemaro Fujibayashi and Eiji Aonuma are two of the most important people working on the Zelda series currently and they recently finished up Tears of the Kingdom as director and producer respectively. Both have been involved with the franchise for decades at this point. Fujibayashi started out with Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages in 2001 while Aonuma has been around even longer – specifically in 1998 with Ocarina of Time.

Fujibayashi and Aonuma, speaking with RTL Nieuws, were recently asked if they’re afraid of getting “stuck” in the sense that they only continue to work on Zelda games. However, both don’t seem to view it that way.

Here’s what the two shared:

Classic style Zelda

The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has again commented on the possibility of revisiting the style of past entries in the series – but there are no plans as of now.

Speaking with RTL Nieuws, Aonuma said that games like Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom were possible because of what came before them. However, rather than looking back at the old entries in the series, Nintendo instead prefers “to look to the future.”

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Majora's Mask comparisons

The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has weighed in on comparisons fans have drawn between Tears of the Kingdom and Majora’s Mask. This comes as part of an interview with Polygon.

Both titles are built based on their predecessors, but Aonuma was quick to point out that with Tears of the Kingdom, it was “the opposite sort of challenge”. He brought up how with the new Switch title, Nintendo “took the same world and some of the same materials, or constituent parts, but needed to make it [all] bigger, and needed to create a more expansive world”. That goes for both a horizontal and vertical sense.

Aonuma explained:

A remake of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was once deemed “close to impossible” by series producer Eiji Aonuma, but we know that Switch eventually received a new HD version. Aonuma has now commented on what changed since he made those original comments.

When Aonuma was originally speaking about a re-release of Skyward Sword in 2019, he pointed to the game’s controls as being an issue. Moving from motion controls to buttons wouldn’t be an easy task. Those problems were solved though and we did get a new Switch version a couple of years later.

Ganondorf future

The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has commented a bit about Ganondorf and what could be done with the character in the series in the future.

Ganondorf is back again in Tears of the Kingdom after taking a bit of a backseat to other villain stories in the more recent entries in the series. He was technically there in Breath of the Wild, but only as Calamity Ganon – which didn’t really have a true physical form or personality. Yet even with his appearance in the new game, the most amount of development Ganondorf gets still probably goes to The Wind Waker.

The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma believes that Breath of the Wild is a “new kind of format for the series to proceed from”, which has continued with Tears of the Kingdom.

Ocarina of Time kicked off the 3D approach to the series which essentially stayed the same through Skyward Sword in terms of approach and how players experience the adventure. Then with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo went in a different direction by offering a much higher degree of freedom. Aonuma now says that type of experience “has created a new kind of format for the series to proceed from.”

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Nintendo and Koei Tecmo came together for the first Hyrule Warriors, a spin-off of the Zelda series, back in 2014. They then collaborated on the just-released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Now that we’ve seen two of these games, some fans might be wondering if Hyrule Warriors could be its own dedicated spin-off series.

IGN recently spoke with Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma as well as Age of Calamity producer Yosuke Hayashi, and asked whether Nintendo is considering making this its own standalone series to go alongside mainline Zelda games. The two developers said in response:

The Game Awards has certainly made a name for itself over the past few years. Millions upon millions of viewers tune in to the show for first looks at new titles and to see all of the trophies handed out. At this point, you could definitely say that it’s one of the industry’s most important events.

Out of everything that has happened at The Game Awards, one of the more monumental moments for creator and host Geoff Keighley was seeing Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi come on stage to accept their Game of the Year prize. Keighley told Hollywood Reporter:

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