Aonuma Says Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Wasn’t Inspired By Skyrim Or The Witcher

Despite being an open-world game that shares many similarities with titles such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Witcher, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wasn’t inspired by either of them. This is according to Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma, who says the upcoming Zelda game is instead building upon the world that was established in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Aonuma revealed this tidbit during a recent interview with Game Informer, which you can read a portion of below:

Game Informer: Did you guys look at any other games to see what they were doing? For example, Skyrim or Witcher feel reminiscent of what you guys are doing with the open world.

Aonuma: First of all I think that many of the staff members do play many different kinds of games, open-world games like you mentioned, but I don’t think there was one game that we really looked at and said we want to make a game like this. Instead like I mentioned earlier we wanted to really expand on the world of Skyward Sword and we kind of tried to think about what kind of cycle can we create in the game that really encourages continuous exploration so that what came up was things like needing to cook and gather ingredients to eat, needing to procure weapons from enemies because they break, things that like there’s a cycle of expending something and then procuring something, that’s like a main important part of this game and it was kind of drawn more from that than any singular inspiration.



  1. This is gonna be stupid. They have ruined Zelda for me. I want to be able to use the same sword until I upgrade into a better sword. Upgradable weapons are way better than breakable weapons. This is where Nintendo has fallen. They should call the game The Fall of Nintendo instead

    1. he doesn’t say all weapons would be like this. What it sounds like is that there will be an element of “realism” in the way the world works, what can kill you and what you need to survive that is different from these other games. A weapon like a sword that in reality could last thousands of years if taken care of, I would imagine that isn’t just going to wither into dust. But a shitty weapon, that might. Shitty armor, etc. There are things you need to do to move along in the game and it is those little details that will make the game unique and add to the difficulty by some degree, even if what it does is not “difficult”

    2. Talk about overreacting. For one, Aonuma has hinted at a crafting/forging system in place, but they couldn’t reveal them in the demo due to not wanting to spoil the towns. That suggests precisely want you want: forging better weapons that are either more durable or practically indestructible. Besides, the trailer was displaying the Master Sword, and you know it won’t be rusted for long.

    3. That’s a bit dramatic….. But Nintendo and Zelda will gain so many more fans and players from this game so they won’t be missing you much lol. #bye

    4. Then don’t play it, simple as that. as for everyone else I guess…its new, freash, and ready to say “look at me, I’m still zelda with new enhancements. To me, you are stupid to think that, but its your options…no skin off my back.

    5. Calm down buddy. Yeah I understand you don’t like the direction this new Zelda game is going in, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean the end of Nintendo. This new Zelda game is garnering more excitement and attention from Zelda fans and people who are not fans of Zelda than any other Zelda game in recent memory. So yeah, I think Nintendo will be better than fine even if you don’t approve of this new Zelda.

      1. Haha. Pretty much. It might just stop the bleeding of Nintendo’s scorched reputation.

    6. The fuck dude? This does not ruin Zelda at all. They took elements from Fire Emblem, (weapons having limited use) and from monster Hunter. This could be the most ground-breaking Zelda yet.

      1. well that makes me look at it differently…and in a good way too, I love playing monster hunter and generations lets me play as a palico for one in the series…and I love it. I got the early demo for it so I can talk by experience and I tell ya, the pros and cons of that if you like.

    7. but their are upgradable weapons. the point is some times you need a spear, and until you have what ever magic spear, you well have to forage for different dropped ones. same with the master sword. you well be able to get it in game. but you just dont need to. they said you can beat the game without finishing the story. what they mean is, you can go hunt down the master sword. or if you think your good enough you can try to go to the final boss right off the bat. what nice about that is, even if you “beat” the game you well still have plenty to do in the game world. so you can go at your own pace and decide how you want to go about things.

      he also said you well not only have upgrades, but well be able to collect things and sell them, then buy better items or upgrades.
      maybe give the game a chance before freaking out.

    1. No, the inspiration for those and Zelda would be Ultima. Miyamoto even said in an interview before that when creating the first Zelda he specifically wanted to mimic the style of Ultima.

      1. Perhaps you are correct ? I know the bigger influence for Zelda was Miyamoto wanting to give the same sense he had as a kid exploring Kyotos country side more than wanting to be like a particular game. Zelda popularized a genre that many other game makers got inspiration from. I don’t know how big a role ultima played but I know Miyamotos vision for this style of game played a bigger role.

        On a different note… This was an old post wasn’t it ;)

  2. I’m honestly getting tired of every open world RPG being compared to Skyrim. It’s a good game, but it’s just that. Good. People view it as some kind of masterpiece and I really don’t get it.

    1. Skyrim was a masterpiece, for its time. Back in 2011 it was king of the mountain and Skyrim set the bar for open world games. Now in 2016 better open world games have been made. But Skyrim set the bar, and even though that bar has been crossed several times it made such an impression on fans that even today people compare other open world games to it. Honestly Skyrim is still currently my favorite open world game.

      1. I’d still say Oblivion handled it a bit better, and that came 5 years before Skyrim…

        1. I think alot of people are nostalgic for Oblivion, I know I am. I loved that game, still do. But in all honesty Skyrim does what Oblivion does, but better. It does everything better, it looks better, it sounds better, better combat, better weapons, better voice acting, better world, and of course……..Dragons? Dragons are not a big deal now, but in 2011 when Skyrim was announced the hype was very real. I am very much looking forward to playing the PS4 version of Skyrim coming this October… Better visuals and sounds, not to mention the famerate and the console mods.

            1. I am a PC gamer, but not with games like Skyrim. I love playing the Total War series and cant wait to get the new Warhammer Total War. Probably gonna put over 2k hours on that game. But Skyrim? No thanks. Skyrim is best played on a 60″ flat screen using Playstation controller. Not on a monitor sitting at a computer desk. I know you can hook your PC up to your TV, but I dont roll that way. Thats what consoles are for.

              1. Not for me. There’s no way a 60 inch TV would work for my gaming. I’d need to sit back far away to see everything and I don’t like looking all over the screen. Personally, I think 42 inches is the best size. But anyways, I prefer the PC version. Simply because you can change the UI and then add graphical mods. That way, it plays and also looks like a PC game. I haven’t had any problems sitting at a desk to play games tbh. I used to connect the PS4 to the PC monitor via HDMI and play games on it just like that.

    2. People also see Game of Throwns as some kind of masterpiece when it’s actually just good, nothing more. I guess that’s because both have dragons in it.

      1. Game of Thrones is the best television show of all time. Every episode is on par with a major blockbuster that plays in the theaters. No other show on tv can do what GOT does on a weekly basis. And the acting is superb.

        1. It isn’t and there are a lot of weak points that thankfully are overshadowed by monumental episodes like last weeks. Many of the subplots suck and the characters worthless or just plain poorly written. I am a fan, but there are better shows that hit all the points, every episode, every scene.

          1. You may be right, but at the same time I have never had a t.v. show conjure up so much raw emotion from me. During the infamous “Red Wedding” episode, i was so heavily invested into those characters, that when I watched that episode I went into a real anxiety attack! Im not kidding, my pulse raced, I started to sweat, and I even got a little sick at my stomach… Not to mention the shock of it all kept my mind racing all night and I didnt get a lick of sleep. No other show has even come remotely close to making me feel this way. The Red Wedding is not the only episode that has done this to me. Many others have as well. When Im about to watch a brand new episode, my palms start to sweat and I start to get nervous. Nervous about whats going to happen next! Every new episode I get a small adrenaline rush during the intro.. LOL! I know its strange but this show has affected me like no other show has! I agree with you about certain sub plots, but when the overall story arch and main characters are as good and emotional as it is in GOT, its hard to imagine another show on its level. Not to mention the production value and stellar acting. I guess Sopranos would be a show that could maybe line up with GOT, that show made me feel a little emotion from time to time… Nothing like GOT has though…

            1. Don’t get me wrong, big fan, I just think in the lead up to what has been two very good scenes and because there is a lot of story to tell, that there just has been some weaker writing than in previous seasons… However, the high points are higher even if the low points are lower. It is an exceptional series. Sopranos, for me was near perfect with only a two episode lull in my opinion. Everything supported the main throughline and was very, very well done. I only bring that up because you mentioned it, but I have a few series that certainly stand up to either of those as stellar shows. So far, the Knick and Daredevil are three still going series that have had zero weak points. Peaky Blinders, despite the terrible name, is also a gem of a show, with only one character choice I did not like, but this past season was remarkable.

              Anyway, that was about as short as I could keep that as you understand. Just got done with that finale and I was thoroughly impressed with most of it and look forward to where they take it. In my opinion they could give one last season and hit a home run with every episode giving a “feature length” series finale in a 10 episode season. We will see though as I can also envision milking it two more. Things are coming to a head rather quickly now.

              1. Yea, Sopranos was near perfect. It was my number one before GOT. Still a close second and depending on how GOT ends off, it could bounce back. From what I understand there will be 13 episodes broke up into two seasons.Season 7 having 7 episodes and season 8 having 6. HBO is pushing for 20 more episodes instead of 13 so we’ll see. I am a little worried that the show is becoming to predictable now. I accurately predicted nearly every outcome in season 6.. A small complaint that I think will be remedied in season 7.

                1. That might not be too bad, but I dislike milking shows for 2 seasons when there should just be one (Breaking Bad, which to me turned into trash those last two seasons).

                  These past two episodes of GOT were fantastic and even though the Arya storyline was terribly drawn out for no reason other than too just postpone and the unsullied and all of them are just silly, the rest worked out very well.

                  But anyway… back to Nintendo, because I could talk about this all day

        2. Another awesome thing about GoT is they aren’t pulling punches. When they killed off Sean Bean’s character at the end of the first season, you knew that series meant business & wasn’t fucking around. It was pretty much Scream with Drew Barrymore all over again. o.O

          1. Which is why I need to actually start watching that show! I wonder if Netflix or Hulu Plus has all the seasons on their streaming service, minus the latest season that ended as it’s too soon for that to be available on a streaming service.

      2. You are totally right… usually at least half the of each episode is complete trash, and even more so now that they are not totally basing them off the books. Sure, you get some really awesome episodes that really bring it up to that exceptional level that puts it above all else, but every episode is certainly not like that and subplots are often just terribly expositional and mind-numbing

        1. Well, I guess it depends person to person, as with any TV show. I personally find it very entertaining. Sure some episodes are better than others, but if you are totally desensitized to violence, sex, language as I am – and are fond of fantasy storytelling, It’s fun for some of us! :] Anyway, hardly something worth disagreeing on a gaming site. :D

    3. Skyrim looked nice but it felt way too streamlined for the mainstream market compared to past entries. Oblivion and Daggerfall are my favourite or Morrwind with mods installed.

  3. Open world is a lot like platforming. It’s really hard not to do at least some similar things to other games from other companies at this point. It’s a heavily used genre, and a heavily embrace genre at that, as reception has shown thus far. Merging the ridiculously popular open world genre with the system selling Zelda, is a sure-fire way to move the NX at launch.

  4. Is someone asking Aonuma these questions personally, or is he so bored, he’s following social media and willing to quell people’s illusions.

    Aonuma, why no Linkle?

    Aonuma, how is Link gender-neutral if he has a male voice and walks around shirtless in the beginning. Only men walk around bare-chested.

    Aonuma, why keep Link (the main character) mute, while all the other billion people he encounter can speak with human voice acting?

    Aonuma, is Legend of Zelda a franchise you’re in charge of, or is it Miyamoto’s?

    1. The second point has already been adressed (he used “gender-neutral” wrongly). The third one is not true. The fourth one is well know: Aonuma is the producer while Miyamoto oversees the project and gives some creative input here and there, just like he did with other titles such as Splatoon.

    2. Like in Xenoblade Chronicles, only certain characters talk. Not everyone you encounter in Breath of the Wild will have a voice actor/actress.

  5. People should remember that open world was always the purpose of a zelda game.

    Open world games doesn’t really exists where you are free in what you can do.
    Most games are Linear even the ones like skirim and the witcher aren’t real open world games.

    If you want to call some existing open world games, you would have to look at WOW or ultima online.
    Even those mmo has restriction in where you can go. Wow quests are also mostly stuppid to do (earn 10 from…., or go to person A.) You even have restrictions in the gameplay.

    This zelda game would go back to the first zelda and for the first time in game history, we would have a game that can be called a real open world game.

    People are sick of games that:
    – are cinematic or has 50% of cutscenes in the game (the witcher 3)
    – Quests that sucks like in wow

    People wants a game where you feel you hav real quests and puzzles like we can expect in zelda games and that is what Zelda BOW does.

    I believe this game could be the best games ever exist and this even for a long time.

    Hope other delopers leans from it.

    The new mario will be also focussed on this game (in term that it feels fresh).

    Last thing what i wanne say is, people that thinks this games is one of the many open world,games, they are really a joke.

    1. Agreed. Zelda has always set off to be open world. Maybe the first, given what they had to work with. Zelda definitely set the genre in motion.

  6. The Zelda games have always been pretty darn open, this is really just continuing the trend.
    (well, excluding SkywardSword that was a bit less open then TP)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they got the engine advice from the Xenoblade team though.

  7. Wow, so the premise is that just because this is an open world game it must have been inspired by particular other open world games – seriously! What next, that it was inspired by Xenoblade Chronicles X? Sorry this has to be the most nonsense premise for a Zelda story yet.

    It’s an open world game – so what?

  8. To honest Eiji -San always said the new Zelda was inspired from Skyrim cause he is a fan of that game. The environment is similar to xenoblade and you can see it in the trailer.some part of Zelda look like oblivia region hence how you know monoltih helped on that game. I really have doubt there is no inspiration from Skyrim or lessons learned from playing that game.

    1. Nah there’s more games than just Skyrim. Zelda’s an open world too so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  9. Personally, I absolutely love WoW.

    I love Zelda, I love it. But game wise it doesn’t pack shit when compared to WoW…

    Hella excited either way. What’s sad is that the only exciting news to keep Nintendo fans going is news about the new Zelda game, this is already fairly stale to me. Should have busted out an Animal Crossing Wii U or something.

      1. Well that’s a matter of opinion really and how much of WoW you actually play. WoW has tons of content. The PvP is, in my opinion the best thing I’ve ever experienced in terms of plain,straight fun when totally slaying fools. It’s all fake, but you get access to items and functions you would never find in a Zelda game. So again, matter of opinion. Again, I love Zelda. But I can say personally as someone who only started in Burning Crusade and that didn’t think I would like it, that it only took a one week trail from one of my best friends who loved it to get me hooked.

        He loaded my computer up with everything I needed one day while at work. Came home and started a journey of insanity. Loved every minute of it.

        Anyway ! Peace love and kudos and all that. I’m still obviously hella stoked for the new Zelda. 2017 can’t come soon enough…

        1. I never played WoW, but didn’t it cost around $20 per month? Or even more? How much content was created or did you have access to during three months? Random quests, random items/weapons and farming/grinding etc. doesn’t count as content, only human generated content does.

          1. That’s just the subscription fee. WoW has expansion packs that add more content. I don’t think a game like that is really comparable to Zelda which is just a single player game. Zelda is one of those games you beat for like once or twice and enjoy the experience. WoW, being an MMO and all, is the type of game you play for like dozens and hundreds of hours even past the endgame. Like I said, not really comparable.

          2. Single month play is 14$ (at least it was) you can pay discounted prices for more months of play. I have item’s I’ve kept in my bank for years and years. You have access to everything, all the time, forever, as in until you choose to stop supporting the game and close your account.
            There is no randomly generated content…everything is made for the game, just like any Zelda game.

            Did you even look into WoW or just assume a bunch of Magikarp!?

            1. Based on what I’ve heard about WoW, it didn’t have much content at the beginning. That’s why I asked.

  10. TLoZ was one of the VERY FIRST open world games. If anything, those games have been inspired by Zelda, not the other way ’round.

  11. I actually liked the beginning of Skyrim more than beginning of Zelda. Skyrim sets the tone and sets up a little story element in the opening sequence. Zelda just throws you into the wild without any opening at all, which is fine, but I really would like a little motivation story wise before I start exploring the world. Its all about immersion. Gotta say, Skyrim does the opening better. Im 100% sure that BotW will eclipse Skyrim in every other way though…

    1. No motivation? Did you SEE the opening? We don’t know who Link is, what time period we’re in. Where the fuck is Zelda. What’s up with this Shieka? book? There are many mysteries. You have to solve them. Just like always.Or do you wanna take care of goats and save children again?

  12. I remember reading an earlier article saying he picked up Skyrim because it looked similar to Zelda and he loved it. That’s why a lot of people assumed this game would be based on Skyrim

    1. That’s strange that he would say that. I remember reading that the new Zelda is more influenced by western games. Not just the open world, but the inventory system and a variety of different weapons all feel reminiscent to Skyrim. It’s not like that’s a bad thing.

  13. Yeah, it sounds like a mix of how you could upgrade things in Skyward Sword, and the way you need to manage your items and weapons in Dark Souls. A bit. I think it’ll be great. I never even managed to get the unbreakable Hylian shield in Skyward Sword, I still love that game to bits though.

  14. I don’t believe him. Even if they didn’t look at just “one specific game”, as he is apt to point out (of course they didn’t look at just ONE game), doubtless they were looking at other games and seeing what worked and what didn’t and how they could make it “Zelda-esque”.

    1. Whatever. Every other game out there is influenced by Zelda. It’s all just a cycle of Zelda > something else > Zelda.

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