Nintendo on maintaining Zelda: BotW's freedom for future Zelda titles, and the notorious Korok Seed reward

IGN continues to share snippets from their interview with Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi. You can see their answers to the latest questions below.

On shrine and other in-game shortcuts

HF: “That was definitely one of our goals. That's totally all according to plan. A big theme of this game was that there should be multiple answers, multiple methods, multiple ways of doing anything. All the dungeons, we wanted to make it so that the players would be able to solve problems in any way they wanted to without us even being able to know what they would do to solve it.

It had to be an environment where they could do things we couldn't predict if it would work. So we have a lot of fun watching the videos and seeing people do things that we didn't actually predict and things that are totally unique. So yeah, it worked out.”

On maintaining Breath of the Wild's freedom for future Zelda games

EA: “You know, I can't speak to what other people, other companies will do in their own games, but I think for me, especially just in terms of the Zelda series, the incredible freedom that this game offers you and how well that's been received…to me, it means that freedom, that level of freedom is something that needs to be maintained in Zelda games going forward. My eyes have been opened to how important that is. So one of the things that we definitely consider is that we always wanted to make sure the player could understand what their challenges or what their hurdle is. We always wanted to make sure the challenge could be challenged. So we always wanted to make a linear way of [overcoming] a hurdle."

"So for example, if there was like, ‘you can't do this because you don't have the right tools' or 'you don't meet the certain requirements,’ players are going to not want to do that anymore. So we wanted to very much incorporate that. Going forward, I think we would definitely consider that way of thinking when we create something in the future."

On the reward for collecting all 900 Korok Seeds

HF: "We just kind of thought it would be funny to make that a big joke. It's just the backstory, the kind of hidden kind of thing in the game the whole way is that the Korok seeds are actually Korok poop.”


Top Rated Comment

I think it's just good commentary on how unrewarding/unnecessary it is to be a completionist sometimes. There's a lot of games these days with filler and grinding and hours of unfun gameplay to just get 100%. The Korok poop is just like reminding you "That wasn't necessary to do all that."

I felt certain the final korok seed reward was basically a big troll the whole time. Although I know it isn't, I almost like to imagine it's a jab at Arkham Knight and how that game forced players to get 100% completion to see the true ending, which is a problem because the devs went way too overboard on the amount of Riddler Trophies.

I think it's just good commentary on how unrewarding/unnecessary it is to be a completionist sometimes. There's a lot of games these days with filler and grinding and hours of unfun gameplay to just get 100%. The Korok poop is just like reminding you "That wasn't necessary to do all that."

Sun Dec 31 17 02:42pm
(Updated 1 time)

I love hearing about their thought process for this game. Every time you can tell how much they cared about this game and how (still) excited they are about people playing it.

Hopefully with all the physics and mechanics already done they’ll be able to turn around another Zelda for Switch relatively soon.

I don’t know if I want another Shrine based game. Maybe remove the “Tests of Strength” and “Blessing” Shrines and flesh out dungeons more.

I’d also like to see the ability to swim underwater return (but no water dungeon please) or even a light/dark world mechanic again which could effectively double the game world.
I hope the next visit to Hyrule isn’t a world in ruins. A fully populated functioning world the size of BOTW would be epic. Think if all the ruins in BOTW were not ruins.

Why no water dungeon?

But they are horrible.

Because in my opinion we’ve never had a good water based dungeon in a Zelda game. Smile

No I don’t find them difficult, they simply weren’t fun to play. Drain the water, raise the levels, reverse the flow - they’re just not fun.

I remember the one with the whip in SS being good.

I honestly can’t remember any dungeons in SS. I need to replay that game but I don’t have motion+

I would like to replay it too. I really liked that game. I remember the dungeons being very good and stylish.

Honestly... I just realized I liked all the Zelda games I played (not played Phantom Hourglass or Tri Force Heroes) and I wonder how many people out there just like all the Zelda games and don't shit on any of them? Are these fans few or just possibly a silent majority?

I’ve liked them all. Haven’t played Zelda 2 or any of the “spinoffs” like Tri Force Heroes but I’ve liked all the ones I’ve played.

Some more than others, but even my least favourite Zelda game is still a great game. If I had to say which is my least favourite it’d be either Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword - but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like both. They’re two I’ve also probably replayed the least too. Only played SS once and TP twice.

I hope they'll have more traditional Zelda stuff next time. The "free" approach to puzzle-design was OK but personally I do appreciate a structured and focused design over it. At the end of the day, I'm still going to be going back to something like Majora or Link's Awakening.
Some of BOTW had a hollow quality to it in the end. Usually say a dungeon in Zelda would have implied history to it as a special location in Hyrule (or wherever) but the shrines and DBs...because they were all basically the same it felt a bit dry.

I'd like some old tools too. I really missed them it must be said. Why didn't they put in those hookshots they mentioned as part of the DLC? The motorbike is basically a 100% reward anyway, why not just give us another toy to mess around with (especially if it's as fun as it reportedly was!)

I think they could achieve a mix of free open world with the traditional style dungeon. Like A Link Between Worlds. A blend between the old and the new.

Basically what BOTW is but replace the divine beasts with 6-8 traditional style dungeons.

The Shrines are essentials the rooms of dungeons split up into standalone challenges. Put a random 15 Shrines together and you’ve got yourself a dungeon.

Sun Dec 31 17 06:28pm
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I suppose in that sense it's like being given a birthday present versus just being handed something (random gift)...

  • Birthday present would be the dungeon. It's a wrapped gift. It's a mystery that could contain more than you expect. Maybe it's a book? Maybe it's two books and a fancy bookmark
  • (and hell, maybe a bar of chocolate for good measure!) It could be ANYTHING. It's mystery- and more often than not the person behind probably put a lot of thought into it.

  • "Random gift" is a shrine. It's something given on a whim. Unwrapped. No mystery. Boom, I saw this at the grocery store and thought you might like it. It was on special. Etc. It's nice but it's not AS special as a birthday gift. It could be but usually not.

...nevertheless BOTW hasn't "soured" me or anything like that- I love it for it does. I'm still hella excited regardless for what they have to offer.

I really like that analogy Smile

Shrines are impulse buys whereas Dungeons require more thought and planning.

They'd have to add the dungeons vs replace any shrines. As saturated as they got, they did serve a fantastic purpose in the overworld as a point-of-interst to explore and a warp point.

Sun Dec 31 17 05:32pm
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Add more to the world. BotW had many ruins which fit the story perfectly, but next time just put in more. Villages, dungeons (that might not even seem like dungeons) etc. But keep the amazing freedome this last game had. Do NOT make a linear story. In BOTW the player made most of his/her own story aside the main plot. Such a genious design. But dothrough in a lot more Zelda lore next time. Keep BOTW as a basis and build upon it and we can get an unreal great game.

Sun Dec 31 17 05:51pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Agree. One of the greatest accomplishments of BOTW was the conversation it spurred between players. Everyone played their own game and did different things, found different things and had unique experiences. That was born from the freedom to do what you want, when you want, how you want. Or - screw it all and make a beeline for Hyrule Castle wearing nothing but briefs Smile

I’m in my second playthrough and while I did every shrine in my first play through, I’m still finding things I didn’t come across the first time around. The game is a true masterpiece. It’s follow up will be amazing too but won’t have the same wow factor but that’s ok.

And just imagine if they can build upon that and make it even better and immersive. That would be a wow on itself.
Happy 2018!

Holiday 2019 BOTW 2 start the hype now!!

Keep the non-linearity that was perfectly executed in BotW, but with more traditional Zelda stuff like large-scale dungeons, and a soundtrack full of epic, overbearing orchestral themes.

I'm fine with the Korok seeds being a big joke. But did there have to be 900? 300 or 400 would have been fine. But 900? I think that's going overboard.

As far as I know they were scattered so abundantly so that 1) you’d have some little reward for looking in that nook and 2) so that you could max out your inventory slots without needing to collect all of them (I think you need around 400/900 to max your inventory slots)

Similar with Mario Odyssey - they littered the worlds with more than enough moons to make it through the main game and unlock pretty much everything.

I agree. There didn't need to be that many. 300 sounds about right. Plus, an actual reward for collecting all of them would be nice.

Poop jokes reflect the quality of writing

How many fans probably reacted.

Mon Jan 01 18 11:39am
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I'm tellin ya, I'd still love to see BOTW engine on a very large island that has 6-8 dungeons scattered around the island and hidden and can be completed in any order.

I want it to be Eventide Island meets the entirety of Link's Awakening.

In fact, I would not mind if it was a reimagining of Link's Awakening. BOTW Link goes on an ocean expedition. Gets shipwrecked on the Island. There's even the giant egg on top that you can climb to at the very start but won't do anything until you find and beat the dungeons (in any order this time). The whole Marin story can be there, even with cutscenes, but maybe you can miss it altogether if you don't find her (like Zelda's memories in BOTW). Heck, they could leave in the chain chomp that you can carry around the island to your heart's content.

Sorry, I have to keep adding ideas. They could ditch the paraglider since it's smaller and more dense than Hyrule but bring back utilitarian items you get in dungeons like Roc's Cape that lets Link jump (high) and glide. They could bring in the mole mitts for a new digging element but ULTIMATELY as a climbing buff tool (same buff as climbing gear[so you don't have to change outfits just for climbing] and no-slip grip for climbing). There's a lot of neat things they could do. Honestly, even if they go in a completely different direction than the one I'm dreaming up here, I'm still excited because truly there's still A LOT of neat things they can still do. BOTW is a really good foundation. As long as they are willing to take risks and get creative, the next Zelda game should be fantastic.

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