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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Last year, Zelda: Breath of the Wild received a soundtrack release in Japan. It was packed with a few goodies, including a booklet containing a special interview. Sound designer Hajime Wakai along with composers Manaka Kataoka, Yasuaki Iwata, and Soshi Abe had plenty to say about the game’s music.

You can find our full translation of the discussion below. The four team members commented on why it was decided to mix up the usual Zelda music formula and how the direction was ultimately settled upon, creating specific character themes, bringing back classic themes in a new way, and much more.

Takafumi Kiuchi was the lead artist on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. One of his major roles was coming up with the designs for the Guardians. In the recently-translated Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion art book, Kiuchi spoke about their creation.

Interestingly, Kiuchi revealed that the Guardians weren’t set as being Link’s allies or enemies when development was in its early stages. He therefore went with a design that was more neutral. Kiuchi also said that “there was a design for a giant, fortress-like Guardian that was equipped with multiple beam cannons, but we were ultimately unable to implement it.”

When The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was early on in development, Nintendo had some very different ideas in mind for the design of the Gorons. Lead NPC artist Hirohito Shinoda revealed in the recently-translated Creating a Champion art book that the team was planning a drastic change in which they had bigger heads, a more human-like appearance, and more. However, “none of them really fit.” This led to basing the Gorons on their original design from Ocarina of Time.

Shinoda said:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild introduces some radical design changes for Link. His signature green look is gone, as is the classic hat he’s worn since the earliest games.

Some of the developers behind Breath of the Wild spoke about these changes in the game’s newly-translated art book. Series producer Eiji Aonuma said that he wanted to “make Link a more neutral character in a variety of ways.” Additionally, while the blue look “organically ended up that way” according to Aonuma, senior lead artist Yoshiyuki Oyama added that “Link wearing blue clothes appeared pretty early on because the blue stood out against the backgrounds we were producing.”

The Legend of Zelda series has experimented with many different visual styles over the years. Nintendo aimed for realism with Twilight Princess, but before that, Wind Waker offered a completely opposite feel with its cel-shaded look.

As part of an interview published in the newly-translated Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion book, art director Satoru Takizawa commented on the series’ ever-changing visual style. Takizawa had this to say on the topic:

Accompanying the release of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion in the west this week was a special “Hero’s Edition.” Get a closer look at the book in the video below.

Where Breath of the Wild sits specifically in the Zelda timeline is something that has been a big question since the game’s release last March. However, series producer Eiji Aonuma has indicated that Nintendo will never place it in the chronological timeline.

In the newly-translated Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion book, Aonuma explained that “people were enjoying imagining the story that emerged from the fragmental imagery we were providing.” If Nintendo were to say where Breath of the Wild sits in the timeline, “then there would be a definitive story, and it would eliminate the room for imagination, which wouldn’t be as fun.”

Ubisoft is releasing its latest Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, on various platforms this week. It’s even coming to Switch, though only as a cloud streaming title in Japan.

Kotaku picked up on one area of the world that actually holds a Zelda: Breath of the Wild Easter egg. The site was even able to confirm with Ubisoft that a reference to Nintendo’s big game was included.

Here’s a look:

Earlier in the year, we heard that Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the highest-selling Zelda game in Japan in 19 years. It was a bit behind Ocarina of Time, but has now surpassed the N64 classic.

Combined sales of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Switch and Wii U are now at 1,258,611 copies. It just surpassed Ocarina of Time, which had sold 1,257,205 units on the N64.

Super Mario Odyssey isn’t the only game Nintendo will be offering a Starter Pack month. On the same day, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2 will be receiving the same treatment.

The Zelda: Breath of the Wild version comes with the game and “Explorer’s Guide”. It’s mostly the same with Splatoon 2, as the package includes the game and “Splategy Guide”.

Both releases will cost $59.99. They’ll go on sale starting September 28.

Source: Nintendo PR