Zelda: Breath of the Wild artist on making the Guardians, scrapped “giant, fortress-like” design
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.”
We have the following comments about the making of the Guardians in Breath of the Wild:
“The art director gave me two directives in regard to the design of the Guardians. The first was that they should have many legs that move fluidly, and the second was that they are from an ancient culture. From there, I started sketching. At the beginning of development, it wasn’t yet decided whether the Guardians would be your allies or enemies, so I tried to design them to look neutral. That way, later, they could be used either way. As far as the legs moving fluidly, I designed legs that could bend freely like an accordion and would allow them to move quickly over variable natural terrain. I used Jomon-era flame-shaped pottery as inspiration for its body. If you look at a Guardian upside down, you should be able to see the form of that pottery. In addition to the Guardians that ended up in the game, 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.”