Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s map is based on Kyoto
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s huge map is based on Kyoto, Japan. That’s according to director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, who revealed the information while speaking with The Verge.
Fujibayashi told the site:
“When I first started looking at this game, I had Link in an empty game field and I would just walk around and try to map out and get a feel for the distance and where landmarks should be. What helped me with this was my hometown, Kyoto. I took a map of Kyoto and overlaid it on the game world, and I tried to imagine going to places that I know in Kyoto. I’d think ‘It takes this much time to get from point A to point B, so how does that translate to the game?’ And that’s how we started mapping out the world in Breath of the Wild.”
Fujibayashi added that using Kyoto as a base was helpful during development since developers were familiar with the region:
“When we were talking to the staff and saying, for example, the distance from this point to the next tower is just like the distance from these points in Kyoto, it made the conversation go a lot smoother and faster. Whether it’s walking to a certain place or riding my motorcycle or driving a car, I’ve done those things in real life in Kyoto, so I know about how much time it will take.”
Art director Satoru Takizawa also spoke about why Kyoto was a good fit for the new Zelda game:
“One thing that made it really easy is that there are so many tourist spots in Kyoto. You have all of these famous temples and shrines and whatnot. If I’m going from famous spot A to famous spot B and it takes me this long, it made it really easy to envision how that would translate to the game map.”