The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker almost featured a Theremin
Everyone's favorite instrument!
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker certainly keeps the musical theme and gameplay found in many Zelda titles before it. Link himself uses the titular Wind Waker to control the wind, while Medli plays a Harp and Makar cranks out tunes on a Violin. Turns out original plans for Wind Waker included another instrument, and it’s far from a traditional one.
The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming reveals that Wind Waker almost had Link using a Theremin to control the wind. This was inspired by a documentary about the creator of the Theremin that the development team watched. The team even implemented this idea into the game at one point, which had you place the GameCube controller upside-down on a flat surface. You’d then use your hands on the back of the controller to rock it, thus manipulating the joysticks (thumbstick and C-Stick) to mimic the input of a Theramin.
If it all seems a bit complicated, you’re not alone. Eiji Aonuma talked to Nintendo Dream magazine about this idea, and it turns out Miyamoto squashed it when he first saw the demo.
“He’d play what we made and point out what was weird. We had the Wind Waker item ready to some extent, when Miyamoto came to me shaking his head saying “no, no, no”. He talked about how it was “entirely unacceptable”; we were using both sticks at first, adjusting with both hands like how you would play a theremin. But eventually, we changed it to the baton, and everything else fell into place from there.”
Miyamoto was definitely right about removing this idea, but I can’t help but wonder what it would have played like. There’s no doubt it would be a more cumbersome setup, but would the charm of it be enough to overcome the awkwardness?
That is the craziest instrument, never in a million years would I have thought it'd be considered. It wouldn't make sense in the Zelda universe either as it needs electricity to play.
Bill and Ted experimented with it in Face the Music :) But yeah, the controls looked aweful.
I think I would have enjoyed the theremin. I remember how the wind baton always disappointed me a little because you couldn't play it like an instrument for fun, like the ocarina.
But a theremin would have been better implemented in a Wii Zelda, where motion controls could be used.