In addition to the above multiplayer footage, Wired also conducted an e-mail interview with the man of the hour himself, Eiji Aonuma. Jump inside to see why trains were included in Spirit Tracks, his thoughts on the series’ sales in Japan, and more.
Wired.com: Why trains?
Aonuma: In Phantom Hourglass, the game featured a boat since most of the world was water-based. We wanted to keep a similar system in place for Spirit Tracks, but since this is a land-based world, we needed a new form of transportation. We felt that a train offered the best possibilities for exploration as players open up new routes and find new areas. My children and I still feel a sense of adventure when we ride trains in Japan, and I think we’ve effectively conveyed these feelings in the game.
Wired.com: Zelda doesn’t sell as well in Japan as it does overseas. Why? How can you fix this?
Aonuma: Good question, I wish I knew myself! In Japan, the series is mostly perceived as being challenging and geared toward more experienced players. This perception is hard to change. We felt that Phantom Hourglass offered an opportunity to introduce the series to new types of players, and we did notice this to some extent with more women playing the game. I think that the touch screen controls and camera perspective, in which you view the game from the top-down, does offer a different experience than the console games that may appeal to a broader audience.