Shigeru Miyamoto Talks about Skyward Sword’s Difficulty

KnowleeFebruary 11th, 2012 by Knowlee

An interview has been posted up over at Entertainment Weekly that features Shigeru Miyamoto. It has him talking about Skyward Sword, mainly some differences between the prototype and the finished designs difficulty levels, the 25th anniversary of Zelda and Mario, and other Nintendo stuff. Here’s a good tidbit of the interview:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I just completed Skyward Sword, which really makes good use of the Motion Plus controller. Can you talk a little bit about how existence of Motion Control changes the development process of these videogames?

SHIGERU MIYAMOTO: First of all, thank you for completing Skyward Sword. You probably know more than I do when it comes to the game, because the version I played was actually the prototype. The version I played through was more challenging than the version you did.

The very first Legend of Zelda game for Wii was Twilight Princess. At the time when we were designing the Wii remote, we were thinking about incorporating the pointer functionality into the new Legend of Zelda game. I think, to some extent, our efforts worked out. For example: When players were trying to aim at some objects in order to shoot an arrow, or fire the hookshot, we came up with something really handy. Unfortunately, when the player was required to take a sudden and immediate action, and aim at something with a pointer, it took some time. And Link could not perfectly reproduce whatever you were doing.

We really wanted to do that. With the Wii Motion Sensing technology, it became possible. So we were able to incorporate the real sword-fight feature. It’s not like you’re just fighting by freely waving your sword. [In Skyward Sword], you need to see how your opponent is acting. You’re taking into consideration your opponent’s movements. It’s actually a real sword fight!

You said that you had played an earlier version of Skyward Sword that was more challenging. How much more difficult was it?

As the development period goes on, we get accustomed to the content and the gameplay and the riddles and whatnot. The developer is almost always thinking, “It’s too easy for me. It must be too easy for the player, as well.” The same with designing bosses: Because the developers are supposed to be very, very skillful in challenging these tough enemies, they often make the boss too tough. It’s a dilemma we always have as developers.

To see the rest of the interview for yourself, please click here.

I find it quite interesting that the earlier version of Skyward Sword was much more difficult than the final product. If I found myself having trouble at certain parts of the game in the finished version, I’d hate to see how much more difficult it would have been in the version that Miyamoto played! Oh boy!

Please leave your comments below and stay tuned for more Zelda information and goodies!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  • Anonymous

    I would want to play the prototype just for the challenge! I wonder if it’s harder than hero mode (which is pretty annoying!) 

    • Anonymous

      I found it was annoying until I found the heart medal, after which it wasn’t too much harder than the normal quest, other than the double dammage, of course. Releasing this as a “Master Quest” could be really cool, if they still have the prototype, and haven’t disposed of it

      • sm1130

        i agree

        • Anonymoususer00123

           Well, it was easy after the heart medal, until you try to get you hylian shield… :( That was the HARDEST part of the game…

          • Anonymous

             ik im at that part and i can’t get it so far DX at least i get practice with the final bosses b4 facing them which is good :D

          • Twilighttakesover

            lol i should do that too, ( when my wii starts working again ) ;)

        • Twilighttakesover


  • Johnny Nguyen

    Sounds like it would have been a good Master Quest.

  • metalligimp

    Fighting Ghirahim in Miyamoto’s version…::cringe::

  • fused_shadows

    ZELDA FTW!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I want the early version!!!

  • LinksDestiny

    Playing the prototype would be really fun. Double the challenge in hero mode!

  • Anonymous

    It would be awesome if you could customize the difficulty in hero mode to make it even more challenging.

    • Princess Zelda

      That would be cool. I would make it as hard as possible.

  • Anonymous

    Somewhere in the distant future, they should so remaster Skyward Sword, and give it a mode with the Prototype’s level of difficulty. Maybe on the Wii 4?

  • Wolfman50055

    The prototype was more difficult than the final product? Challenge accepted

  • Anonymous

    Skyward Sword was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to coast through in a little over a month. The main story part, that is. Thanks, Zelda Dungeon!

  • Roth

    I just wish the nunchuk could point like the main remote. One shouldn’t have to switch hands or draw the bow backwards; as easy as it was to handle, it took the realism right out of the motions.

    • Jono

      ….switch hands? I never had to switch hands.

      • Roth

        I mean, if you’re drawing it like a real bow, being right-handed and right-eyed, you’ll pull the string with your right hand and hold the bow with your left. It’s not necessary for using the bow in SS, just for performing the action realistically.

        • Jahnnie

           I didn’t think it was realistic. I just thought it was a way to stretch it quickly.

  • Mr. Link

    It should have been more difficult. Only problem is that if it were more difficult, the tutorial would be 10 times longer. Get rid of the tutorials Nintendo. People aren’t that stupid…

    • Guest

      You’d be surprised by just how stupid people can be.

  • rulerofyourface

    They should have made the prototype the hero’s mode

    • derpaderp

      they may have.

  • Robotortoise

    Zelda hackers, looks like you have a new assignment!

    • Roth

      And here I thought it was just the weirdest resident of Termina, land of weird people.

  • Stenaven

    They should make this “prototype” available for download or something, or post a video of what it was. I’m kinda interested to exactly how “tough” it really is.

  • JuicieJ

    I’m perfectly satisfied with the difficulty level of SS. It’s the ideal balance of not too tough and not too easy.

  • Amy

    I’m disappointed in SS’ difficulty, it is too easy and doesn’t deserve the Legend of Zelda crest — it’s in the same position as Twilight Princess IMO. I doubt the prototype was any harder. Here’s my hopes for Zelda 3DS and Zelda Wii U to return to the days of LoZ, AoL, ALttP, LA and OoT.

    • Rinku

      lmao every zelda game was easy its up to u to make hard on ur self u probably collected every heart piece, upgraded all ur weapons, and so on

  • godess reborn

    It took me FOREVER to beat Demise in the normal version! Just imagine him in the version Miyamoto played…
    I probably wouldn’t last ten seconds.
    But that’s just me.  

  • Anonymous

    Well Skyward Sword was way too easy for me…

  • Siucold

    Beating 8+ end bosses in a row at the Thunder Dragon bonus (and the last boss) was the hardest for me…I just had to got that Hylian Shield.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a list of things to make SS more difficult:
    Some of these #rules# will make the game more difficult in hero mode, they will be marked with a (H).

    #Shields allowed: Iron, Wood or Hylian Shield
      Or you can play the game without a shield
    #Don’t equip the heart medal (H)
    #Equip the Cursed Medal (Optional)
    #Ignore the Heart Containers after every boss defeat.(H)
    #Ignore the Heart Pieces (H)
    #Don’t Utilize any type of potion although the pumpkin soup is an exception (H)
    #Don’t buy extra wallets and/or extra pouches from Beedle.
    #Don’t use Dowsing.
    #Don’t open Goddess Chests


  • Jahnnie

    He says something interesting about the timeline as well. “we are doing best to make the story consistent throughout the entire
    series. Hopefully people won’t point out any contradictions.”


    Too difficult for me. 

  • derpaderp

    i think i found the toilet ghost story!

    it’s a story of a girl that lives in bathrooms of schools and comes out of the toilets to scare people.

    • Roth

      Moaning Myrtle?

  • Koutai Kage

    Personally, I found the game to be extremely easy, but very entertaining as well. I had been hoping for something more challenging and thought inducing. But overall, I loved the story and playing it.

  • 7DS

    it was extremely easy yet entertaining for 3 times playthrough, but the puzzles sometimes to more than 2 seconds. :) (normally up to a minute) the story was kinda drawn out which a zelda game based on story and not gameplay pissed me off.

  • Skyrim Sword

    Imagine if the harder prototype version was used for the second quest. It would probably have to be slightly modified but still… 0.o

  • Maryam_mm

    isnt the hero mode harder

    • 7DS

      not really. the 3 differences are:1.double damage to you. 2. no hearts spawn unless you have a heart medal. 3. you cannot knock the boss of the game down. dont want to give out spolers.

  • Neutopia

    SkyWard sword was definitely way too simple, I would have loved to play the harder version, the experience would have lasted longer too no doubt.

  • das

    The dungeons are way too easy, they never challenged me. I just don’t have to think. Also Fi thinks, you are an idiot…

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