Nintendo of America’s Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang were joined by The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma, creative fellow Shigeru Miyamoto and translator Raymond Elliget in this week’s Nintendo Minute.
Their discussion was centred on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where Aonuma was asked what his five favourite things were about Link’s latest adventure.
His first choice was horses, for which Aonuma reveals that there was a dedicated programmer and designer whose sole focus was to create the animals in Breath of the Wild over the past four years. Aonuma likes how they were able to make it feel when Link climbs on a horse, and, while there are other transportation methods such as warping, this will be the best way to explore every nook and cranny.
Next up is climbing, which Miyamoto revealed had been a particular challenge for the development team seeing as players could now climb any surface. Aonuma adds that while you can start climbing trees early on, he likes that, as you progress in the game, you can scale far taller mountains by eating food that you have cooked.
Aonuma’s third choice is the game physics. Miyamoto touches on how there is now more freedom to approach puzzles in different ways, whether that be through using brute force or more deductive reasoning in overcoming the challenge.
Fourth is the story, which, while Nintendo is promoting the freedom that Breath of the Wild’s open-air adventure allows, he likes how they have managed to tightly wrap the narrative around that. He adds that players will definitely cry after being moved by the game’s events.
“When you think of a story it has a beginning and an end, so it lies on a time axis,” Aonuma explains. “But when something lies on a time axis then, if players come in at certain points, you might think that the story might crumble as it doesn’t make sense. We have a sneaky little way to make it all work, but you will have to play the game to enjoy that.”
The fifth thing is the natural environment that you explore. Aonuma praised how well the soundtrack and environmental sounds blend, and hopes that this will help immerse players in the world. Miyamoto adds that environmental sounds are usually planned, but, in Breath of the Wild, they were able to freely express far more across the regions that players will explore.
Aonuma threw in a bonus choice, sharing how much he liked Zelda’s character design. Asked as to what players could expect from her role in the game, he once again joked that players would cry.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch and Wii U on March 3rd.