IGN recently had the chance to interview none other than Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma to discuss the upcoming open world adventure, The Legend Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The interview was actually a video interview in Japanese with subtitles but NeoGAF member Cerium has kindly written up a transcript of the video which is mainly about how Nintendo has evolved the franchise since its debut.
Aonuma: Every storyline needs a beginning, middle, and an end. I knew before we began development that it was going to be difficult to predict where the user may start. We added an element to get around this. The idea is actually a secret, so I can’t share what it is with you. I’ve had it since I first created a game 20-somewhat years ago.
Miyamoto: I think Skyward Sword is a good example. The setting is a bit complicated, and there’s a lot of human relationships and a lot of character development that needs to happen. And through all of that, there may have been times where the game felt a little slow. We wanted to throw that all out and have everybody be able to get right into the game. And as you’re going through the gameplay, you slowly discover what the story is. I feel that is one of the important points we took on as we tried to redefine what Zelda is.
Aonuma: Link is tasked with saving the world – as usual. And Zelda has the same goal as Link. But then again she’s a princess. She has a different viewpoint. She has to make sure that her kingdom is safe. In the trailer, you probably saw some characters and wondered who they are. These are companions who will help Link on his journey. And the support that you’ll see from these characters is not the usual kind, it’s a bit more mysterious.
This is a world filled with monsters, so Link can’t be the only one who is battling to take them down. There are people along the way who will ask Link for help, and if he helps them out, they will give him rewards like an item and such. There are people who live in these worlds just as monsters are living in this world. These little details are something that I think everybody will enjoy, so I really want you to pay attention to these fun details as well.
Miyamoto: Initially, when we were creating this game, there were scenes with tons of villagers in one place, or some of the villagers were wandering at night. It’s so dangerous. Who would do that? [Aonuma laughs] It detracted from the immersion. But as we worked on it, we reworked things so that they each have their own lives. [Aonuma nods emphatically]
Aonuma: As you saw in the trailer, there are lots of people who Link can interact with, and there are towns and villages. Above all, there are the stables, which we showed during Treehouse Live. Stables are where users can register the horses that they ride. But there’s more to the stables. They serve as a crossroads where people come and go, and you’ll be able to meet new characters and exchange information.
Miyamoto: All of this is seamless. Everything is connected. So you can really understand where that village or that stable is in this world.
Aonuma: Some horses are a bit stronger and a little harder to catch. Some are easier to tame. Another thing is the sound of the hooves. A dedicated animal designer and a programmer focused diligently on those fine details. The sound of the hooves matches the animation of the horse galloping, which really enhances the riding experience.
Miyamoto: We may have told too much story in the beginning of Skyward Sword, and it was hard to get into the gameplay, but we wanted to make sure even beginners would be able to ride the horse. Even a simple mechanic like riding horses can offer a deep gameplay experience.