In exclusive interview with 1up legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that Nintendo feared gamers would simply dismiss The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as just another Zelda title with the same old puzzles across the same old dungeons, so they strived to switch things up with Skyward Sword to continue to keep the franchise fresh.
With previous Zeldas, we took what we thought was good from the past and used that as a base to build on. Sooner or later, though, we need to add some new play structure to the thing, or else people will say ‘Well, Zelda’s just the same old puzzles going across the same dungeons.’ I don’t feel a need to stick with that system, because I think Zelda’s core lies in playing around in the same world over a period time, gradually learning more about it and building experience as you discover new secrets.
“That thought drove us to structure this game so you play in the same places many times through the game,” he continued, “and the story is built on top of that. Outside of Link’s home turf, there are essentially only three major sections — but there are lots of events in each of these sections, as well as dungeons to explore. It’s not a set system of dungeons, but instead three sections that gradually open themselves more as you dive deeper in. Maybe it sounds complex, but as you play, it’ll basically feel like you have the sky, and then three different areas to play in.”
I think this Zelda offers a new adventure, a new type of gameplay. I think we were able to bring multiple things that are important to Zelda into a single package. We’ve evolved Zelda without having to turn it into an epic thing.”