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Aonuma on his Link Between Worlds/Wind Waker HD work, 3D effects, influences, goals and more

Coming from an ONM interview with Eiji Aonuma...

On A Link Between Worlds/Wind Waker HD involvement and his routine

"I am the producer for both A Link Between Worlds and The Wind Waker HD, and was involved right from when the decision was made to make them. In my case, I think that my job as a producer is 70 per cent complete when I am able to convey to the staff what I really want to do with the game, see their reaction to it and confirm that it's worth doing. After that, I spend each day supporting the staff so that they are able to reach the finishing line. I forget things easily now I have grown old, so sometimes I end up confusing the staff when I point out that something needs to be fixed a certain way for one game and then complain to the staff working on a different game about it still not being fixed!

"However, there are also times when they can benefit each other. For example, if we do something new for one game and it works well then I can use it in the other game, too, so I think that working on several titles at the same time is actually a good thing."


On the importance of A Link to the Past and influence on A Link Between Worlds

"A Link To The Past was the game that taught me the vast potential of games during the time I was still new to Nintendo...so this game has a rather special place in my heart and I was never able to imagine that I would be working on a sequel for it now.

We will be using arrangements of music from A Link To The Past, since this is a sequel to that game, and we are also trying to make the music sound like it's played on real instruments. People who know the original will definitely be able to tell and be happy about it, while newcomers will also be able to enjoy it."


On using 3D effects to make A Link Between Worlds more user-friendly

"No matter what game it is, we are always trying to come up with graphic effects that would make the game more user-friendly. In A Link Between Worlds we made the difference in height of different objects clearer by making use of the 3D effect. In the original A Link To The Past it was harder to make that difference clear, so players would get hit without expecting it because they couldn't tell the position of objects flying towards them, but now we have been able to fix that particular problem. This applies to everything, but not really knowing why something happens is a very unpleasant feeling and the game being harder to play because of that really isn't the same thing as the game being challenging in a fair way. In A Link Between Worlds, although it's now easier to tell the heights of different objects, we have tried to incorporate things like this into the actual puzzles instead, so it's not really the case that the game is simpler because of it.

Using the 3D effect on Nintendo 3DS and making the two-dimensional A Link to the Past playable in 3D was kind of an assignment that Mr Miyamoto had given me after the release of Nintendo 3DS. However, I wanted to do more than just that. My main reason for wanting to do it was because this game is perfect for the part where Link turns into a drawing and moves along the walls."

On new types of gameplay

"The 3D effects are this title's biggest addition in terms of the hardware's performance and features. However, we have also introduced gameplay that never existed in previous Zelda games. Players who have become used to the series and who are expecting things to work a certain way will probably be very surprised, so I hope that they look forward to this.

Collecting rupees, the currency of the Zelda world, will be very important in this game. You might think that was the case with all the past games too, but I must say that this time it will be more important than ever and there will be a need to collect a great deal of them. I'm afraid I can't tell you any more about it right now."


On streamlining Wind Waker

"I think that people nowadays - including myself - are busy with all kinds of things and consequently it has become difficult to dedicate a long length of time for playing games. So we have adjusted the game in such a way that the time for repetitive tasks in the game as well as the cutscenes that come with them are shortened and so made it easier to do them over and over. It might be thought that, as I talked about earlier, this might make the game a bit easier but I think that instead it just means the percentage of actual gameplay has increased.

We made The Wind Waker over 10 years ago now, so we came across lots of places where we didn't know why we made it that way at the time and we had a lot of trouble trying to decide whether we should change them or not. In addition, when I announced that The Wind Waker HD was being made, some players said that they did not want huge changes to be made because they like the original graphics. So it was a bit challenging to improve the graphics while not overly changing it from the original, but I believe that the resulting graphics have turned out pretty well."


On the GamePad map

"Being able to have the map always on the Wii U GamePad and play while looking at where you currently are on the map is a very important element for Legend Of Zelda games because you have to explore the world and discover various places. In addition, switching between different items as you play is also extremely important for Zelda and the Wii U GamePad is very effective in making this really easy to do. We are using this control scheme in The Wind Waker HD, too, so you could consider them to be even more refined in the new Zelda."

On Skyward Sword's control idea coming from a Wii Sports Resort dev

"Although not a Wii U title, the producer who worked on Wii Sports Resort gave us the suggestion for using the Wii Remote's sensor to freely swing a sword in Skyward Sword for Wii."

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