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Eiji Aonuma Explains Why He Enjoyed Working On Zelda: Breath Of The Wild The Most

The critically acclaimed Zelda: Breath Of The Wild for Nintendo Switch and Wii U has already proven to be one of the most well-received Zelda titles to date. Series producer Eiji Aonuma recently stated to Game Informer in an interview that this particular entry into the series has been one of the most enjoyable to work on. Here’s what he had to say in the latest issue of Game Informer:

“You know, I’ve been making Zelda titles for almost my entire career, and the memories start to pile up. I start to forget things, but I think one thing I’ve always been proud of is the fact that Zelda games have always been about new surprises and thinking about different things to try, yet still maintain that Zeldaness, or whatever it is.

To touch on Breath of the Wild, it was really fun to develop – maybe the most fun I’ve ever had making a game. It was because of the staff. They took so much initiative and were always looking at everything in the game with this eye to improve. They took so much initiative. I could see it every day. As a producer, it gave me a lot of courage, and made me realize “Okay, this could actually work.”

The people who made this game didn’t have troubled faces. They were smiling the whole time they worked on it. At the start of development, with all of the new things we were doing, I definitely was worried – I had a worried face. As I saw the staff put it together, that concern started to go away. We were doing challenging new things, but we always did them with a smile. I don’t think I’ve experienced that before. The development experience was so great, and the game that came out of it was great. That’s something I’m really proud of.

On top of that, in the [new downloadable content], we got the motorbike I wanted in. That’s what I really want to leave you with. [laughs]”

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24 comments

  1. Let me guess: He was so board with 3D Zelda games, he wanted to make the entire franchise open world and hard as hell. As little Zelda as possible.

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      1. “Did I Reuben Studdard?”

        No, you just said something kind of silly. BotW on normal mode is an absolute breeze past the first couple sections of the game. There are so many powers and equipment rained on you that it is legitimately hard to die.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. “You mean the part with the breakable weapons and the cheap deaths?”

        Open world, little direction, combat oriented, built on legitimate discovery, not being told where to go, there’s no obvious signs signifying where a secret is, etc. etc.

        You name a single, one, new feature to claim it isn’t faithful? By that standard, there’s never been a true Zelda sequel.

        But do please name one single cheap death.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Whenever I read this statement I feel that the person saying probably hasn’t played the original Zelda for quite some time, if at all. I’m playing the OG Zelda for the third time now, and notice that this game (BotW) is STILL very far from even the first game. Sure, one paper it sounds like it could be quite similar, but in practice they’re far from one another.

        For its time, The OG Zelda was considered a landmark for NES games as it had something of an open world (as close as it got I suppose) and had several dungeons and items used within those dungeons (and secret places outside of them) to solve their puzzles. BotW replaces this with a few Ninja Ipad apps.

        In OG, you would be able to go to almost any of the dungeons you wanted given you knew the secrets or could get past the stronger monsters, but they all were different in their own ways and were (for the time) indepth. The main dungeons on BotW are about as indepth as the minidungeons from the previous entries and all have the same basic theme. They’re too simple for a newer Zelda title.

        In OG Zelda, you would be able to get items and weapons and then find/make superior versions. This has been a thing in Zelda forever, and yet BotW seems to have greatly limited this. Cool, I have 10 different outfits to dress Link in, but they’re not all that useful for the most part except for certain situations, especially when you get more hearts and stamina in the game. This game only has a select few nerfed versions of items only in the form of weapons that often service a very minor role outside of combat, and aren’t used for nearly any puzzles or anything else.

        The game simply feels to simple, it’s not a very good Zelda game in respect of what the series has come to be known and loved for. It has some loose ties, but it’s lost nearly all of its soul.

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    1. Maybe try attacking enemies with more thought and skill and explore to find better weapons/armour, you know play the game like you’re supposed to?

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      1. You mean, NOT like a Legend of Zelda game, which in that case, there are none (as of 2017 until further notice).

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  2. Like Miyamoto before him, Aonuma is now the producer of the games & has given the reigns of lead developer to someone else. If the next game can improve on what BotW did and erase the issues I had with this game, we’re in good hands if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, we need the traditional dungeons and have a return of some items like the ones for underwater exploration. The shrines (or whatever they want to call them in the next game) also need to look different to give a change of atmosphere. I hope they make 13 to 15 dungeons in the next Zelda game even if this means to cut some shrines to make this happen.

      I hope to see the return of the Pieces of Hearts and that they make Stamina Pieces so that they are separated instead of having to choose between Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel. In other words that the spirit orbs aren’t the only way to increase your hearts and stamina. This can give the opportunity to developers to put classic Zelda items in the shrines so that they don’t always have spirit orbs. Imagine the surprise of finding the Hover Boots at the end of a trial or finding the Clawshot after beating the mini boss of a a trial.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope they don’t change the existing game mechanics, just add game mechanics, enemies, art style (I would like the same art style but with a different theme, is I guess what I mean. No more technology theme)

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    1. I didn’t like that they excluded a lot of items like the boomerang, the collectable pieces of hearts, to name a few of them. They also wasted the opportunity of putting other items like the bomchu, the hover boots of Ocarina of Time, items for underwater exploration like the iron boots and the zora armor and few others I don’t remember now.

      Those are some of the things I didn’t like in this game. What are the things that you don’t like of this game?

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      1. Oh man, where to start.

        In general, it just lacks the Zelda flair. If this game had released with a different name, at most people would’ve said “Oh look, a partially Zelda influenced open world game!”

        The dungeons are extremely simplistic, and never give that Zelda fix that I’ve had now needed for a while, and like you said, it partially has to do with the lack of items and puzzle based off of said items. The four main dungeons are basically mini dungeons.

        The music is also extremely subpar, sounding more like a musical tracks’ equivalent of a collection of rough and unfinished sketches with maybe a couple that are more fleshed out.

        The combat and weapon system is also in great need of fixing, as running into a run of the mill joe shmo bokoblin that takes all but 1/4 hearts from you with ONE HIT and then sends you rolling down even the slightest of changes in elevation, which then somehow damages the delicate new Link the remaining 1/4 and kills you is just unacceptable. The weapons break, and that’s okay, but they break way too soon, and there’s absolutely NO way to fix them? Not even the special story related ones like Mipha’s trident? That’s just ridiculous, especially since the one sword you have that won’t break (master sword) also becomes unusable for the stupidest reason (won’t state it specifically in case someone hasn’t gotten it yet) This sucks because when you collect a good amount of nice weapons like royal claymore and the like you quickly run out of options when fighting the grunts of the enemy since your weapons pockets will fill with nice weapons that you don’t feel like breaking on a bokoblin’s face. The house displays are a nice relief for a short time, but you can only have so many, and you’ll have to get to that house to get them again, this is rubbish.

        The open world itself, although teeming with more vividness than most open world game’s world since Morrowind, has very little reason for you to explore it. The treasures are all Korok seeds, nothing else of value or interest, not even a collect-o-thon side quest like the rest of the series had for the most part. That seriously undermines the great (if a little bland) design of the overworld by making you not feel as motivated to explore it.

        But by far, the WORST aspect of this game has to be the story. Words cannot describe the masterpiece of fail this story has, it must take conscious effort to avoid any and all forms of enjoyment and quality or even decent writing in order for this bland story to have been written. It’s like they found a generic template of tropes to avoid using in a story, and used that as their script.

        You may get the impression that I hate the game with all that I’ve said, but I don’t actually hate it, I actually kinda like it, but it’s so mind bogglingly over-rated. I just think it’s a DECENT game with the title of a LEGENDARY series on it’s cover, and as is the case with any such situation, the flaws of a decent game are much more prevalent when they’re supposed to live up to a legendary expectation. It would be as if we were waiting for Metroid Prime 4 to live up to the previous entry’s quality and got The Conduit quality: it’s not bad in of itself, but it has so much more to do if it’s going to be the future of the series.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. While I enjoyed the game’s story, it definitely could have been loads better. The fact most of the stuff with Zelda is just flashbacks was a bit of a letdown for me; I still enjoyed them, though, to a degree.. The second pack of DLC had a chance to fix that with the story expansion & then we find out it happens before the fight with Calamity Ganon and we’re introduced to more story in the form of…
        Wait for it…
        MORE FLASHBACKS!!! D: It’s one of the many things I actually liked about The Witcher 3: the final DLC that expanded the story takes place in the post-game. Even the first story expansion DLC could fit in the post-game if you did the main story first. (If you did it before the end of the game and before meeting up with a specific character, that first story expansion can help you unlock one of the alternate endings (if I remember correctly.)) They should have taken a second chance with the game & added a story expansion that takes place in a post game after defeating Calamity Ganon. CD Projekt RED showed that you can do a story expansion that takes place after the main game you have to pay extra for IF it’s done just right and not piss off a good majority of the people that already bought the main game. I can forgive the lack of a post-game story if the next Zelda game is a direct sequel to BotW and they intentionally left the game’s ending open for that sequel. (Here’s hoping but I won’t hold my breath.) Some won’t agree with either of us and we may not fully agree with each other, either, but oh well. We like what we like & there is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, we’re all still Legend of Zelda fans.

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      3. True, we are still fans regardless, but at least we can agree on some things. I personally have a strong distaste for stories that are very over the top in their dialogue and lack subtlety that are supposed to be cool. This can describe 99% of anime, which is what BotW was clearly trying to go for, so the style of the writing mixed with the clichés was a double whammy for me. The whole flashback mechanic would’ve been interesting if it was for more minor plot points or side stories I think. Rather than trying to have you get connected to these characters who are already dead is I think a lost cause with this type of writing. I’ve not played the Witcher series, but I’ve heard good things about it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Don’t worry, I don’t think you hate the game. I also have more issues with the game that I didn’t mention yet. And you’re right, they need extend the durability of the weapons and make the master sword usable indefinitely because it’s the legendary blade. How can it be legendary if it becomes unusable for sometime?

      I also think that they need to include smith houses that repair weapons and that they can also increase the duration of them. The collectable items NEED to be more because we are talking about an open world Zelda and just koroks seeds isn’t enough. At least 3 types of collectibles should be included. I want to see caves and underwater caves in the next Zelda game.

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      1. A direct sequel could explain that the Master Sword’s power has waned over the last 10,000 years and it needs to be recharged/repaired/something. The Master Sword has probably had it’s power for over 20-30 thousand years. It just needs a “tune up.” lol Least that’s my theory as to why it’s not usuable 24/7 in BotW.

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