Posted on November 14 2018 by Sean Gadus
The Great Deku Tree was first introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as the benevolent guardian spirit of the Kokori Forest. As the character who sets Link’s journey in motion, you could say that everything that happens to Link and Hyrule throughout the game is the Great Deku Tree’s doing. The tree spirit reappeared in The Wind Waker, redesigned in the cartoonish cel-shaded art style, watching over the Koroks on the Forest Haven Island.
In this sketch by Tetra Square Games, the artist goes through the various steps it takes for one to complete a piece of art. Tetra Square Games starts with a lonely piece of white paper, building the drawing up from scratch. The artist first creates a rough pencil sketch, before moving on to a black marker, which accents the design and features of the Great Deku Tree. Tetra Square Games finishes off the sketch by giving the character deep brown bark, a leafy green trunk, and branches above his head.
I’ve always loved this design for the Deku Tree. The depiction is a very clean look like Ocarina of Time‘s design, but it clearly highlights the facial expressions in a way Ocarina of Time couldn’t possibly achieve. Let’s be honest, in Ocarina of Time, the character is basically just a tree with a giant mouth; nothing special is really going on with its design. In The Wind Waker, the designers gave him a lot of soul and expression. The character has been given a wide jaw, enormous pointy ears, and a pronounced nose that helps you feel like his is a living, breathing character. He truly looks like a gentle giant.
What do you think of this sketch? Does it capture the essence of the Great Deku Tree? Let us know in the comments below!