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Zelda: Ocarina of Time originally had Ganon’s Castle as the only area in the game

Posted on June 27, 2011 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, General Nintendo, News

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is partially known for its expansive lands and Hyrule Field’s wide-open area. Early on in development, however, none of that existed.

Shigeru Miyamoto revealed in the latest Iwata Asks that, initially, he was thinking of only including Ganon’s Castle as the setting in the game. Miyamoto compared the idea to Super Mario 64, in which separate adventures would be made available in different rooms. Ganon’s Castle would have acted like a hub, just like Peach’s Castle in Super Mario 64.

Miyamoto: Right. So I would have “A” stay there all the time and the other data switch in and out. If you only change what you have to, the memory is more efficient and the data reads more quickly. In other words, you make good use of the characteristics of the ROM.

We put constructing the system first, and since we were going to determine the story in line with the system’s capacity, at first I thought only having Ganon’s Castle might be enough.

Iwata: Huh? At first you imagined Ganon’s Castle as the only setting?

Miyamoto: Yes. I thought about putting in all kinds of adventures into the different rooms, like making a dark meadow or an ocean—like in Princess Peach’s Castle in Super Mario 64.

Iwata: You imagined lots of rooms in Ganon’s Castle, with various worlds all connected.

Miyamoto: Yes. In the worst case, Link wouldn’t have been able to go outside the castle! (laughs)

Iwata: Hearing that Link may not have been able to leave the castle is quite surprising. Was one reason you thought about making Ganon’s Castle the only setting because early on in development you didn’t think you would be able to create a huge area like Hyrule Field?

Miyamoto: Yes. I thought so from the perspective of the hardware’s processing abilities while making Super Mario 64. At first, I didn’t mind making the game complete within a single building as long as I got to make Link in 3D. In other words, it might have turned out like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Iwata: Koizumi-san did say that you were experimenting with a polygon version of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the Super Famicom system.

Miyamoto: That’s right. Partially because of that, I started making it with the idea that Ganon’s Castle might be enough. For example, there’s a room in which you fight Phantom Ganon after he rides a horse out of a picture.

Iwata: Yeah. The boss battle in the Forest Temple.

Miyamoto: That’s a glimpse of an idea that I had started making during the time that I was saying to the others, “At the very least, it’ll be like this.”

Iwata: Oh, okay. Now that you mention it, I can see that. Because the fight against Phantom Ganon unfolds inside a room.

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