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Here’s Some Messages From The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Developers

It’s always interesting to have an insight into video game development and for a title as big as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild it’s especially intriguing. Eiji Aonuma and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi left some detailed messages in the official The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide sharing their thoughts on the massive open world.


In re-examining the convention that Zelda games are played on a set path, we decided to implement a groundbreaking new play style that would allow players to go wherever and do whatever they want. This has been achieved for the first time in the history of the series in its newest edition, Breath of the Wild. In order to attain this goal, we spent most of the production time creating the game as we played it.

The process of “creating while playing” went like this: first, we placed a countless number of “points” throughout the vast world of Breath of the Wild. Then, as we went through and actually played the game, we would make those “points” larger, smaller, or move them around, incorporating the things that we felt, while playing deeper into the game itself. In truth, this production style is very similar to the method Miyamoto used in the very first The legend of Zelda. Nonetheless, as games became 3D and people wanted more realism from game worlds, it became necessary to have a concrete “blueprint” of our game world from the very start of development. In essence, what became known as the quintessential Zelda experience, following a path set by the developers from start to finish, ended up being a product of the demands placed on the developers by that blueprint.

However, since this approach of creating a game while actually playing it means that the game continues to grow and evolve over time, it makes it very difficult to decide where to place the ending. Even now, after development has finished, I still get the feeling that there are so many things left that we didn’t get a chance to achieve.
Although this feeling isn’t new to this particular work, for past games, it was more a feeling of disappointment.
For this game, in contrast, it’s more of a desire to keep evolving and growing. I feel like that’s a big difference between this Zelda game and previous versions.

I’m not sure what lies before us, but I’m positive that this feeling of wanting to keep on growing and changing will be a driving force for future Zelda games. I hope that you’ll keep your eye out for whatever comes next in Zelda.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a project that we started in an effort to completely re-imagine the conventions of The Legend of Zelda to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series. I tried to imagine what that would look like: a new Legend of Zelda, utilizing new technology, new hardware, and new ways of playing that we had never done before. I contemplated this for a long time, and my staff and I spent day after day trying to come up with an answer, but for what seemed like an age, we couldn’t find one.

When we went back to the essence of what it was that originally made The Legend of Zelda so much fun, we realized the answer was in the very first Zelda game: venturing through wide open fields, using your imagination and trying out different approaches in order to overcome problems… Was this the answer? Was this the essence of The Legend of Zelda? What if we tried making a game where there was a response to every single one of the player’s actions? What would we need in order to make that happen? After we started asking ourselves these questions, we came up with a vast variety of playstyles that served as the basis for everything that was implemented in the finished version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Most of the natural phenomena that occur in the world of Breath of the Wild are based on physics, and they affect all forms of life that appear in the game. In addition, depending on the choices and actions of the player or the effects from the items that they use, there are various kinds of reactions that can occur. Due to the mass of possible combinations, we have on occasion observed things happen in the field that not even we, who created the game, could have imagined. For this reason, there is no one way to beat this game. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the number of ways that you can tackle and solve any problem is limited only by your imagination.

Unique characters, powerful enemies, and challenging puzzles that can only be found in the world of The Legend of Zelda are waiting for you. This time, our hero Link uses an item called the Sheikah Slate to aid him in his adventures, but with this strategy guide by your side, I hope that you too will be able to venture forth with confidence into the vast world of Hyrule and experience your own adventure to the fullest.


27 thoughts on “Here’s Some Messages From The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Developers”

  1. Worth the wait, I really enjoyed the game as a whole, and after many hours of playing I’m still finding stuff to do, characters to meet and places to be.
    Without any spoilers, let me say that the story develops more as a Metroid prime game, where you have to uncover all the details by yourself.

    Great Work Ninty!

    1. Agreed, I really loved how they dealt with story progression in Breath of the Wild. I think the only complaint I have about the game is the lame boss fights. But I still hold it as the best game since Super Metroid.

  2. I’m over 165 hours in and all I’ve been doing is exploring to find Koroks and Treasure Chests. I caved and am using an online map that shows where things are. There’s just too much to find by myself which would take forever lol.

    1. That is exactly what im doing, I’ve beaten 82 shrines I don’t remember how many seeds I’ve collected but I assume it’s 100+, I did beat one of the devine beasts which all I will say is that it is useful for exploring especially when climbing. I did find all of the great fairies so now I can max upgrade my gear I did find and got the master sword which I sometimes use for mining and grass cutting, it still gets used on fights. Story progression is mostly advancing the devine beasts but not actually doing anything with it. I have been doing the Hyrule compendium. I did do the arrow exploit and maxed out before the patch and I occasionally use the fairy exploit for when I’m down to 5, use 2 for cooking but still keeping 3 for the exploit. All that on the Wii U version while the Switch version I haven’t done much other than completing the Hateno main quest though I did do the arrow exploit and maxed out before the patch as well.

      1. I suggest using the Iron Sledgehammer for mining. Does it in one hit and there’s two that respawn every blood moon at your house in Hateno and the Stasis shrine on Great Plateau.

  3. I love Breath of the Wild, but it disappointed me as well, because it didn’t feel that much like a Zelda game to me. Since it’s looking likely that future 3D Zeldas will also be open world, I’m hoping that they place a lot less focus on climbing and gliding, and actually use mountains and structures to limit the play area. Special climbing surfaces can still be a thing, but separating areas and leading the player more would help a lot with the popular critique that the map is too big and empty. I also want lush, beautiful forests like the Korok Forest (though a bit larger), the old item system to help overcome obstacles and solve puzzles, more common enemy types, more interesting hunting and fishing, proper temples and dungeons, a big busy Castle Town and bigger and more interesting villages in general, and a green tunic. I think the map size could be almost halved to help further with making the game feel less sparse. It’s mainly Hyrule Field that needs to feel wide and empty.

    1. “…popular critique that the map is too big and empty.”

      Who’s been saying that? Everyone I’ve seen talking about the game has said the exact opposite. The map has never felt empty to me. I feel like I want to fully explore every single area I see, and I mostly find something that makes the exploration worth it.

      1. From my perspective, it’s been a common criticism. I think there are too many open grasslands and empty mountains with nothing going on. While I did go out and try to find as many as I could, Korok Seeds don’t do much to liven up the landscape for me, and the lack of enemy variety made exploration quite dull and repetitive. The map could’ve easily been halved.

        1. That’s interesting. I haven’t had the same experience. I’ve discovered something new with every play session so far. Just last night, I was exploring the southern part of the map when a huge dragon flew overhead, within bow shot. I never would’ve expected it.

          As for the Korok seeds, I think eventually they’ll start to feel like the Riddler trophies in the Arkhan series, but for now they can be used to expand my inventory slots, so they’re useful and I feel I’ve gotten closer to my goal when I find them. The shrines are the same way. I like that the game makes me actually work to make my character better, and I’ve enjoyed the puzzles so far.

          As for a couple of your other points above, I kind of miss the old system of puzzles being item-specific and requiring a specific solution, but I can’t prefer it over the new system. There’s just so much freedom involving the puzzles in BotW. Over the weekend I came across a shrine and solved it, but it seemed too easy. Afterwards I realized that I had solved it in a way that was completely different than the intended solution. I like that. It adds a sense of realism to the game.

          I agree with the special climbing surfaces, but in a different sense. I think climbing speed should depend on the surface and certain surfaces should be easier/faster to climb than others. (i.e. vines, cracked walls, etc.) Likewise, surfaces like ice should be more difficult to climb. They can still limit the play area in this way by making a surface that would require too much stamina to climb.

          I’d like to see a huge city in the next game as well. I just think it wasn’t possible in BotW due to the setting. It was the same way in Wind Waker. The post-disaster world simply didn’t have room for a bustling city.

    2. Totally agree with you, couldn’t have said any better ;)
      Have to say one more thing; i miss the classic tunes and melodies that give the game that special feeling.
      I like the shrines tough, i miss the quite bigger temples.
      More of a storyline and linear gameplay is prefered in Zelda for me.

  4. “Due to the mass of possible combinations, we have on occasion observed things happen in the field that not even we, who created the game, couldn’t have imagined.”

    This is a good measure for how successful Nintendo was with this game. Fans are doing things that the developers made possible, without even knowing they were possible.

  5. I hope Nintendo continues with this “go wherever and do whatever they want” style of gameplay in future Zelda titles. I also hope they keep them open world games. I LOVE the freedom and exploration in this game. However, I do hate how fast weapons break. I wish they’d at least last a little longer than they do. And I wish there was a musical instrument Link could play to stop the rain. I’m sick of it raining when I want to climb something. You know, this may very well be the first Zelda game where Link doesn’t play any musical instruments.

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