The producer discusses how good it felt when the Zelda series was liberated of its longstanding traditions.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won everyone’s hearts and minds when Nintendo finally took the wraps off of the next installment in the legendary Zelda series at E3 this week- in every way possible, it seems to be like the next evolution of the Zelda franchise that fans have always wanted and desired. It is unreal to think just how perfect it seems to be.
The best part is, the more we hear of the game, the better it sounds, too. For instance, the game’s producer and Zelda franchise custodian Eiji Aonuma recently spoke to IGN, where he discussed a few things about the game, addressing some concerns that fans have about it- mostly all relating to that gorgeous open world.
For instance, when he was asked about the game world, and how it might not be empty, Aonuma said that while it would have plenty of things for the player to do, there would absolutely be ‘pockets’ of emptiness and serenity- which is just how things are out in the real world too.
“We talked a little bit about the idea of density, how dense to make this big world,” Aonuma explained. The team realized that filling the vast landscape with things to do and explore would be a lot of work. As the team experienced moving around on horseback or climbing up to a high place to paraglide down, they realized that their desire to see what’s ahead of the next horizon grew. At the same time, the team realized some moments should be subtle as you explore. “We realized that it’s OK if there’s pocket of emptiness,” he said.
But what about players getting lost? Is that not a concern, given how big the game’s world is, and especially for a company like Nintendo, that always designs its games so that even the most inexperienced players can see them through to completion?
“In previous 3D titles, I thought that getting lost is a bad thing,” Aonuma admitted. Due to hardware restrictions, most 3D Zelda games stitched together a bunch of smaller made worlds with an entrance and exit. “Getting lost in those small worlds, it’s not a loss of what to do but it’s more of a directional loss,” he said. “I see the exit, you’re going to end up at the same exit, but I can’t figure out how to get there.
“It’s actually fun. It’s a sense of discovery and as we’re developing this, I thought to myself, “Maybe this is what it means to create a big world, to find out that getting lost is OK.”
Does this mentality extend to the game’s dungeons, too? Is it possible to, for instance, enter the dungeon from any direction, and take it from there? We already know that Aonuma and his team intend on letting players tackle dungeons in any order that they feel like- an idea already explored in A Link Between Worlds on the Nintendo 3DS.
“If there were multiple entrances it would be very confusing,” Aonuma said, “but how you get to that entrance is very different this time around.”
Fans have had questions about this game- specifically, it seems that the game is really aggressive in dispensing with a lot of the series’ traditions. A lot of them, naturally, make sense to be done away with- but others are a bit more puzzling. For instance, so far, in all the footage for the game, we haven’t seen a single Rupee, the iconic gem like currency in the series. Is that something else Aonuma and his team have cut out?
“Rupees do exist,” he said, ”but the reason for their existence is a little different this time around. As you saw it’s not about going to cutting down grass and collect rupees or find them in treasure chests but it’s about collecting things and going to sell them and then using the rupees you get to buy new things.”
On the whole, this sounds like an incredible game- the kind of Zelda game that should have been made after 2003’s The Wind Waker. Nintendo are fashionably late to the party, yes- but at least it seems like when they are arriving, they are doing so in style. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is due out on the Wii U and Nintendo NX some time in 2017.