Aonuma on Zelda: BotW - Wind Waker influence, the feeling of Zelda, Switch porting process, cut GamePad feature

The following is a Google translation of a Jeuxvideo interview with Eiji Aonuma...

Jeuxvideo.com: Breath of the Wild includes some elements of The Wind Waker such as the Koroks, Deku tree seeds ... To what extent are the worlds of Breath of the Wild and Wind Waker linked?

EA: I will be very frank with you, for each Zelda that we realized, we always picked up elements of Zelda passed to refresh them in the new episodes. As you can see for yourself, in Breath of the Wild we used a graphic style that is very close to animation. It has therefore been assumed that it would be much simpler to take up graphic elements and assets from Wind Waker, rather than from other episodes. It is actually a graphic point of view that the two are very similar, but if you talk about the scenario, to be honest, there is no particular connection between these two games. Graphically, it was much simpler for us to work on the basics of the graphical elements of Wind Waker.

Jeuxvideo.com: Skyward Sword, the latest installment in the series, was at the very beginning of the chronology of Hyrule's story. Where do you find this episode?

EA: I can not yet answer this question because I want players to discover some elements of the game on their own, but you have some clues when you see that in the game there is the voice of a young person Woman who tells you that the world you are in has suffered many battles against Ganon. You can imagine roughly what period it is.

Jeuxvideo.com: Breath of the Wild looks very different from the previous ones, why all these changes? Do you think this is necessary to ensure that Zelda continues to reach out to the greatest number?

EAIt was not a question of saying "for the players of today, it is necessary to do like this, otherwise it will not work". Instead, we tried to do something that we had never done before. So we decided to make a Zelda much larger than what we had done so far, also because we had the material capabilities. Afterwards, the reflection was made on "what have we ever done and what we could do today to make a gigantic world like this interesting" and it came, for example , Harvesting or being able to change its holdings according to our environment.

Jeuxvideo.com: Zelda: Breath of the Wild brings Link into the world of Open-World, a very important concept for Westerners. Are you inspired by games like Skyrim, The Witcher 3 or GTA for this opus?

EAOf course, the three you mentioned were games I played and studied, but I still think that you can not just play games that others do and Good ideas. Even if Breath of the Wild is different from the Zelda we've done so far, there is something called "Zelda taste" that is so unique and that is found in every episode of the series . I could not just say "ah bah, I played it, there was that in it, it's nice, we'll do it" since my teams would have told me "but no, it's not Possible, we can not do that, it's not how it works "or" that, it can not go in relation to what one wishes to do ". Indeed, I know the games you are referring to, but we have created this Zelda as a Zelda, certainly in an open world, but above all as a Zelda. I'm the kind to say, as soon as I see something good, "Did you see that?" that's great ! ". But my staff is much more serious than me, they say "see Mr. Aonuma, we can not do that, we have to do something more original" or "we have to do something Even better or more Zelda ". That's why I think we can be proud of this Zelda, we have not copied anyone. In the end, we really did something original.

Jeuxvideo.com: The fact that one can choose between a link man or woman was actually considered?

EAIt was just a rumor. Two years ago, when we first showed the images of the game at the E3, people started asking questions "But it's Link! Why is it like that? "As I wanted to say as little as possible, very stupidly, I replied" but wait, we never said it was Link. I can not tell you who this character is, nothing was announced at all. " And suddenly people started to say "He said it might not be Link, so maybe it's a girl!" ". As a result, people got excited, they threw a lot of smoke on my answers and ultimately it became a speculation and people thought it might be a woman. Here, it will teach me to do the mysterious.

Jeuxvideo.com: Is this an idea you like?

EAWe do not forbid ourselves, to the extent that it has already happened. In Hyrule Warriors, you could choose different characters whether male or female. There is nothing that prevents us from making a main female character in a Zelda stamped game.

Jeuxvideo.com: We have been waiting for this Zelda for 5 years, what is the reason for this development? Did you encounter any particular difficulties with the open-world? How did the development take place?

EAI would not say that from a technical point of view it took a lot of time, it's just that the development choices we made were deliberately time-consuming insofar as it was actually The first time that one made such a vast world in which one can move naturally. The ambitions we had for the use of this world were such that we needed a model of realization that was quite different. As always different teams take care of different parts of the development of the game, but it is not possible to move each one of its side when making an open world like this. If someone touches something and it changes a part that someone else is doing, it loses an incredible time and one discovers full of problems as the game progresses.

We really advanced step by step. We set a goal, we said to ourselves "we will advance the game until then" and once we were there, everyone stopped working; Whether it's animators, programmers, graphic designers. For a week, everyone stopped working and played. We noticed all our impressions "here, it happens that", "it has changed that, it means that here, it changes that". For a week, everyone was playing, everyone was recording his impressions, which he had noticed. Once everyone had played for a week, we moved on, we moved on to the next stage and everyone was at the same point of information on the progress of the game. Could not discover a cave etc ... We were always, all at the same level of information. We had to regularly take a week to stop production and everyone could play the game and upgrade.

Jeuxvideo.com: The Sheikah tablet used by Link in the demo strongly reminds the Wii U gamepad, which suggests that much of the game was developed specifically for the Wii U. How did the Transition to the Switch? When did you make the decision?

EAIndeed, the game at the base was a game exclusively Wii U. So we thought it would be funny that Link has a tablet that looks like the Wii U controller. Obviously, during the development of the game, we Learned that finally the game should also go out on Switch, so we had to modify some elements of gameplay. For example, we could no longer use the dual screen of the Gamepad, whereas it had been thought that it would be nice to have the same tablet in the game and in the hand. As the goal was really for people to have the same experience on either the Switch or the Wii U, the tablet aspect of the game was reduced compared to what was thought to be when the game was only intended for The Wii U. On the other hand, we are lucky since the controller of the Switch also looks like the tablet in the game. From this point of view there, I think we are rather lucky.

Jeuxvideo.com: Do you produce DLCs for this Zelda?

EAThis is obviously something that, if it takes place, will take place after the release of the game so I can not tell you about it.

Jeuxvideo.com: What benefits did you get from the Switch for the development of Zelda Breath of the Wild?

EAIt is more comfortable on Switch since the processor is more powerful than on Wii U, so at the level of the management of the game it was simpler, but I can not say that I master the Switch because the Breath of the Wild of The Switch is a port of the Wii version U. We can not say that my programming teams and I have been around the machine at the moment. But what I can say, what adaptation was very, very fast. It took much less time than I imagined to transpose the game from the Wii U to the Switch.

Jeuxvideo.com: Are there ideas that you had to abandon for technical reasons or that did not make any sense?

EAAs I told you earlier, at the base, the game was only planned on Wii U, so we had planned that the Gamepad would symbolize the Sheikah tablet. It was abandoned when it was decided that the game would also go on Switch since we did not want the experiences to be different, but the tablet was supposed to talk to you. While you were playing on TV, the Gamepad could suddenly display information and the tablet would have spoken. But in practice we realized that it was finally a bit odd that the tablet challenges you during the game. So it is an idea that we have abandoned.

Jeuxvideo.com: Are there any games that have marked you this year?

EALast year, unfortunately I did not play much, but I was able to play the last DLC of The Witcher, Blood & Wine. If not, I was very busy because it was precisely the period when Breath of the Wild was almost finished so I had to play several times to see if everything was okay. I still managed to find a little time at the end of the year to play very deeply at The Last Guardian.


Not sure if I wanted a Sheikah Dex or not.

Wed Jan 25 17 02:51pm
(Updated 1 time)

The time line response makes me think that the game takes place in the Downfall period. Hyrule certainly seen a lot of Ganon throughout that time line.

It is virtually the only timeline it CAN be in.

Ganondorf only attacks Hyrule twice in the other timelines (3 in the child one, but the focus is on Vaati the third time).

In the downfall, Ganon appears 5 times.

Wed Jan 25 17 03:08pm
(Updated 1 time)

It was very poorly translated.
Thankfully I'm French so I can get where some of the mistranslations come from, but honestly, certain parts don't make any sense.

Edit: Oh, I see that was Google-translated. Well, not so bad then, for a Google-translation!

I found the DLC statement to be interesting, it makes you wonder what kind of DLC could even be possible for a game like Breath of the Wild. Episodes maybe?

In open world games, usually DLC consists of new areas, bosses & items. They could also feasibly add outfits for Link, but yeah. They tend to have a location that will take you to/warp you to a new place.

They could also easily add new shrines.

I would love expanded story though.

Wed Jan 25 17 05:21pm
(Updated 1 time)

Aside from what MoldyClay said, they could also add more sidequests

For DLC- I'd like a Zelda backstory that lets the player control Zelda as it leads up to her capture.

The said he made the Wii U version shittier so it wouldn't be a better experience when compared to the Switch version... Man, that's sad.

Wed Jan 25 17 07:28pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 6 times)

Knew it. The GamePad features were destroyed so that self-proclaimed "true gamers" could have the Twilight Princess situation they whined for and not have to hurt their pride by buying a console with Wii branding on it.

Wasn't this supposed to be the Wii U's crown jewel? Way to cut down your products and fall in line with the competition in order to appease those pricks, Nintendo. Most of them still won't buy a Switch anyway and you cut up the game for nothing.

Looks like the real Nintendo did die with Iwata. This spineless mutt isn't gonna do anything now but scurry behind Microsoft and Sony with its tail between its legs because that's what self-proclaimed "true gamers" want. Pathetic. Way to buckle in the face of opposition.

Wed Jan 25 17 07:47pm
Rating: 1

Really? Really? You're blaming "whiny self-proclaimed true gamers" for the fact that the Wii U version lost its Gamepad functionality? That's such a reach, I feel like your arms must be as long as an Orangutan's!
Not only does this assume that the Switch version came into existence because of "whiny gamers" rather than the failure of the Wii U itself, it also assumes that feature parity was done because of these "whiny gamers". And both of these assumptions are just... wrong. Come on, you're barking up the wrong tree here. If you want to point any fingers, point them at the people who actually made the decision to have a dual release for the game and have feature parity among these two versions

Then again...

Looks like the real Nintendo did die with Iwata. This spineless mutt isn't gonna do anything now but scurry behind Microsoft and Sony with its tail between its legs because that's what self-proclaimed "true gamers" want. Pathetic. This industry's gone to the dogs.
You do seem to point the finger at management! But wow, so much anger... And everybody's to blame, huh? I suggest you sit down, drink some nice hot relaxing tea, and ask yourself why you play games in the first place. This game is still the same. Yeah, it's a shame the Gamepad features are gone, but are you really this upset because of the lack of a map on the Gamepad? Are you really?

Wed Jan 25 17 08:00pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 13 times)

I am.

Because this is just the cherry on top of the pile of reasons why I think the Switch is not an adequate replacement for the Wii U. From the paid online to the lack of second-screen functionality to the removal of Miiverse to the destruction of BC with any and all existing games and peripherals to the shift of focus from casuals to eSports, this is not a Nintendo system. I don't care if that's how it's branded, I don't care if there are Nintendo games on it. This flies in the face of Nintendo's entire philosophy for the decade prior to this. The existing ecosystem is gone and features have been outright removed for the first time since the GameCube. Gamers got their "traditional Nintendo system" ('cuz that totally worked so well against the PS2) and I lost the only manufacturer with any goddamn balls.

This is the same culture that'll salivate over the $800 package of a PS4 Pro with PSVR and yet a largely traditional controller with a screen in it was too much of an "expensive gimmick" for them. And for years I've been meekly saying, "C'mon, can someone just give it a chance?" But now? No. I'm goddamn infuriated, because what I wanted got thrown by the wayside. I've been wanting another screen-controller console since the Dreamcast went under and this is four years of rage at the Wii U being ignored and mocked boiling to the surface. You always hear whinging for wanting the option to continue using traditional controls. Where's my goddamn option to keep using this kinda stuff, huh?

Switch is a goddamn half-measure created by a whipped and neutered Nintendo. Am I supposed to just sit back and accept this because my wishes don't align with what self-proclaimed "true gamers" want?

Those bastards were too busy mocking and resenting anything with Wii branding to stop and consider if there was anyone who believed in it. Well I did. I believed wholeheartedly in the Wii line and the philosophy of the Nintendo behind it. And in the past few years I've watched it get @#$!ing stomped on. If no one else is gonna get angry at the loss of that Nintendo, then I will. This is my turn to get pissed.

Wed Jan 25 17 08:23pm
Rating: 2

"the shift of focus from casuals to eSports"
Huh? Not sure I get this one. Are you saying 1-2 Switch and Snipperclips are eSport games?

"This flies in the face of Nintendo's entire philosophy for the decade prior to this"
Which is? Because as far as I can tell, their philosophy is about making fun games, and last I checked, they are still doing that.

"and I lost the only manufacturer with any goddamn balls."
Because making the Switch didn't take balls? They're actually taking quite some risks with this system

"This is the same culture that'll salivate over the $800 package of a PS4 Pro with PSVR"
Uhm, no. Hardly any Nintendo fans here have bought nor want the PS4 Pro + PSVR. And it's obvious Nintendo isn't going for that crowd either. The Switch is vastly underpowered compared to a PS4 Pro

"C'mon, can someone just give it a chance?"
Yeah, nobody gave it a chance but you.

"You always hear whinging for wanting the option to continue using traditional controls. Where's my goddamn option to keep using this kinda stuff, huh?"
At least you seem to implicitly agree that you're the one whining here.
And the fact the Gamepad is gone now has nothing to do with whiny gamers. It's simply because it never took off. It wasn't a success. And you can attribute that to a lot of things, but to blame "whiny gamers" is not really the right thing here.
Same can be said about... Virtual Boy, for example. It failed horribly, and they never revisited that. Not until it became more viable, anyway, if you want to count the 3DS.

"Switch is a goddamn half-measure created by a whipped and neutered Nintendo."
How so? How is the Switch a half measure of any kind?

"what self-proclaimed "true gamers" want?"
The Switch isn't really what these imaginary people asked for. It's very much still a Nintendo console, trying to do something new. Just because it... what, lacks backwards compatibility, doesn't suddenly make it spit in the face of all that Nintendo stands for, as you're so eager to claim.

"I believed wholeheartedly in the Wii line and the philosophy of the Nintendo behind it. And recently I've watched it get @#$!ing stomped on."
Because... The Switch isn't called the Wii Thrii? Is this really your reason?

"If no one else is gonna get angry at the loss of that Nintendo, then I will." Fair enough. It's your battle


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