IGN recently caught up with the developers behind the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They had a number of questions to ask, but they wanted to find out why the team ultimately decided against including the hookshot as an item. Here’s what they said.
“We did consider using [the hookshot] to climb, and then you’d parasail down,” series producer Eiji Aonuma told IGN. “But initially when we had the hookshot [in previous Zelda games], it was always that you target something, and that was a game mechanic of itself. But that kind of defeated the purpose of what we wanted to accomplish in Breath of the Wild. With the hookshot, we always had to give it towards the end of the game, or else players could just go anywhere. But in this game, you could do that by climbing and parasailing.”
“In the early stages of development, we did actually do some tests with double hookshots and just being able to kind of go anywhere, like Spider-Man,” director Hidemaro Fujibayashi added. “Your mobility and your speed was just kind of incredible. We did do some tests like that.”
“Honestly, the hookshot kind of completely breaks the climbing mechanic,” he continued. “There’s lots of fans in the staff, even at pretty high levels, who really like the hookshot and they kept bugging me about it. I eventually just had to say ‘No! Hookshot is gone. There will be no hookshot in this game. If we put the hookshot in this game, it’s not going to work.’ We were just going back to what we did before, and [Breath of the Wild] is all about doing new things.”