Posted on December 23 2017 by Jarrod Raine
One change to the series The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild includes was the addition of the Shiekah Slate Runes, which took the place of traditional Zelda items. In a recent interview on the Nintendo Power Podcast, host Chris Slate asked game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and series producer Eiji Aonuma why runes were added:
Slate: And another new element to the game that I believe was new to Breath of the Wild were Runes. Obviously there were items and weapons in past games, but Runes were handled quite a bit differently. In one aspect of that was the fact that you get them straight at the beginning of the game. And I wonder how you settled on this selection of Runes that are in the game and what that trial-and-error process was like in getting those just right.
Fujibayashi: Initially, we were thinking about perhaps getting items like in the older Zeldas, just in order. But when we considered that this world was an open world and a free world where players could go anywhere, we thought perhaps providing them with what they need from the beginning was important. Especially if players are going to play not in order or not in a specific sequence, we thought it would be very important to have these tools from the beginning. So when we were thinking about items or Runes, we were thinking perhaps doing that from the early stages of development.
Aonuma: And I think Mr. Fujibayashi talked about this with cooking a bit as well. We had a very strong principle with this game that we didn’t want to tell players what they could do with what they had. We just give them the systems, give them the items. And you get them and you think, “Well, what can I do with this?” And then you go out in the world, and you encounter different things, and you try different things out, and then you realize what you’re able to do. You get those Runes right at the start, and you think, “Okay, well, what are these?” And then you go out in the world, and you travel around, and you encounter lots of different things, and you take out the Runes, and you try lots of different things, and you get your own hypotheses that you sort of test in the world. Then you get that feeling when something works, it’s like, “Oh! I was right. I could do that. I thought I could do this, and I was right.” We wanted people to have that experience over and over again, constantly having things to test and realizing, “Oh! That’s what I can do. I was right.”
But what do you guys think? Did you like the idea behind the runes and would you like to see them implemented in a future Zelda game? Let us know in the comments below!