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Breath of the Wild Tech Demo Vs Actual Style

Jun 14, 2014
I personally love both art styles. I think either one would've worked out for me personally. But I prefer the current art style to the old one. The old one was nothing less than stunning, and it blew many people away. But because it was more realistic, it felt lifeless and bland to me, so I'm happy that this newer build is more vibrant and stylized.
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Feb 3, 2013
I feel like the developers ask themselves, what's possible in this kind of world. I'm sorry for all those quirky things that just don't match a style like that presented in the tech demo. In a fantastic setting, there are less boundaries. I love the hand in the toilet, hang gliding a magic leaf and stuff. And I'm really looking forward of being surprised with quirky, new and unexpected ideas.
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Azure Sage

March onward forever...
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
I love the actual style the game has far more than the tech demo art style. I was really hoping for a style like the one we got, and I'm very glad we got it. You have no idea how relieved I am that it doesn't look anything like the tech demo. I didn't really like the look of the tech demo graphics... at all, really. It's not my style at all. It also reminds me too much of Twilight Princess's style, which I also don't like at all. The style we saw in the trailer looks gorgeous and amazing. It's a thousand times better than the tech demo.
Jun 11, 2014
I like both styles, but I think maybe this new style suits better to a game such as Zelda, being so bright and colorful I feel like it goes along with the essence of the franchise.
Nov 28, 2012
If you love the style, that's fine, more power to you. But as someone who's first Zelda games were OoT and MM, and whose favorite game in the series is TP, I'm just so sad that we're staying on this path from now on.

My first two games were OoT and MM, although I was to young to get through the first part of MM, the 3rd and 4th were TWW, a game I thought was childish, and TP, which I at the time thought was awesome. When I became a teenager I went back to these games.

I learned that MM was amazing. It really made me personally feel immersed in the world. I also learned that WW was amazing for the same reason. I just simply didn't feel the same with TP, it just felt like it was trying to hard to be "cool", and the world didn't feel as real to me.

But whatever, if you feel immersed in these games via graphics, fine by me.

I accepted when we saw the first SS trailer that my expectations and original interpretations of the Zelda series, a series that would get a bit darker and cooler like OoT and TP in contrast to SO MANY OTHER colorful Nintendo franchises like Mario, Kirby, Pokemon, Yoshi (the list goes on), just didn't apply anymore to the modern Zelda series.

This is where I disagree with you. You seem to think that "bright and colorful" means "goofy fun games" This:


does not equal this:


Also, "dark" does not equal deep, meaningful or interesting. Majora's Mask was amazing because of the way the characters are developed, they gave me a reason to save the world. It wasn't because they had awful problems, it was their emotional reaction to those problems that gave them depth. I felt immersed because the characters made the world feel real and alive, not because the base color was brown, or because the writers tried to come up with the most horrific things to happen to someone.

That's fine, I'll play the games and hopefully have fun with them from a gameplay perspective. But as for ever being a truly unique EXPERIENCE that I can envelop myself in and never forget, instead of just another fun game? Zelda isn't the series for that when it comes to the factors I hold in high esteem, unfortunately

Here is where I will bring in TWW, a not only beautiful game, but a game that I would never call "another fun game." I'm not very happy that MM and this game didn't do well on release, because if it did, I think we would be getting more Zelda games with unique characters and worlds.

TWW had Tetra, a female role that wasn't the cliche 'damsel in distress' but also wasn't the cliche 'kick butt sassy pants'. She was stern, intelligent, confident and a leader. She had sassy moments, and fell more into her 'damsel in distress' role after she went 'full Zelda', but even then she still had pretty distinct personality. Ganon in this game, although extremely easy to defeat, actually had depth. I'm not saying his dialog was perfect by any means, but he was more interesting then any Ganon we've seen before.

And the other characters in this game also played big roles in creating an interesting world. They introduced you to likeable characters(Medli, Makar, Aryll, Grandma, Mila, Maggie, Valoo, etc etc) that changed and were effected as the story progressed. Everyone seemed helpful, and there were only a few really irritating characters(except for Tingle :P).

But of course, we all enveloped into a game for different reasons, I just would like to point out that these bright colors does not mean that we are getting just 'another fun game'. I agree that graphics do help; but with the detail there is in Link and the monster, and the smoothness of the entire thing, I think this game's graphics are just right to express a cool game.
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Jun 11, 2014
Sure, I'll get in on this.

It looks like everyone is debating which is better. But at the end of the day, the question I think is really important is which do you prefer? I won't specifically mention the tech demo, because in the end, all that the tech demo was, was just a first look at a realistic art style to Zelda seen in HD. So basically the big question is, "realistic"/dark art style versus an expressionist/vibrant one.

As previous people have mentioned the games that fall under the first category would be OoT, MM (I will put these here despite their art style being somewhat similar to the next group. The reason for this is that at the times of their release, this was nearly the frontier of realistic looking gaming.), as well as TP. Not only do these games bolster a somewhat dark art style, but they also share much darker story elements, such as in OoT you're first look at Hyrule Castle Town after obtaining the Master Sword, numerous side quests in MM, or your initial feel of each area covered in twilight as you encounter them along with meeting some of the characters in TP. Many people state that the dark art style appears dull or even uninspired, but that's far from the truth. As others in this thread have mentioned the dull feeling makes the world you're exploring seem dull and sometimes even more-so than real life. This is intentional. The very droll look of these games emphasized the mood of the game. To some it doesn't strike accord with. This results in many being bored of the game and not feeling the immersion they may get with a more vibrant and magical world to explore. However, nonetheless these gloomy environments help others feel ingrained within the games to the opposite extent by sharing similarities with their own lives. It's not as though everything is completely dark though. Twilight Princess is one of my favorite titles not only because of it's dark beginnings, but the fact that you slowly help people out and make their lives, even if just a little bit, better.

The second art style of course is much more vibrant as well as having a lot of character. The games falling under this category would be those of TWW, and SS (PH,ST and LBW if you want to count handheld titles). These games generally include a much more innocent story with simple goal as well as even events meant to be comedic, such as Link getting fired out of a catapult in WW, or Zelda pushing Link off the statue of the goddess in SS. Which isn't to say that these games don't have their own darker moments as well. One incredibly somber moment I remember is checking the captain's hut in the sand sea in SS where tons of memorabilia of the crew's past can be seen. Many people claim these games to be too "cartoony" even thought there are definitely some dark points in the stories, however upon closer inspection there most certainly are adult oriented themes and elements of these games. I haven't personally played TWW, so I'll throw in a personal experience with Skyward Sword. Although the initial setup starts off with Zelda getting "kidnapped", it truly is amazing that in this game she has her own quest to fulfill all her own. Not only that but she even carries a large amount of responsibility for the events throughout the story including even Link being dragged through it all. Despite fate standing in their way, all the characters have to overcome their own inner demons and challenges their own (Should have been called the Legend of Groose, not a joke).

The most important thing to understand about each art style is that each one sets a very different mood for the game. In the end what determines your preference for the games is what tone appeals to you more. As I said before Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda game. I feel a number of people are far too harsh calling it an OoT rip off, but the characterization of Midna as well as the epic feeling of righting the wrongs done by Zant throughout the game feels like a truly epic adventure to me. I wouldn't say that I'm disappointed with the new art style they've chosen for Zelda Wii U. I do know that the mood and tone of the game is most-likely going to be a bit lighter than I would prefer but there will still be new things to admire. Nonetheless I still have my eyes set on the future hoping that the next 3D Zelda title will provide me and numerous other fans with a game with a darker tone that will ring much more in tune with my preferences.

Each 3D Zelda game always has good characters, as well as a strong story. Each one is unique which always keeps me guessing as to what we'll see next from the franchise. Zelda Wii U like ever past entry in the series will be a title that a number of fans will claim is their favorite. For those of us that it's not our favorite unfortunately it's just not our time, but I'd be flabbergasted if Zelda were to ever maintain the same look. They'll continually switch up the art style so if this next one isn't your fancy just look towards the future.


May 18, 2013
I hope you guys don't get too hung up on the art style, the most important thing in the end is the game.


Quid est veritas, Claudia
Feb 9, 2010
I'm actually pretty disappointed... I was expecting something like the tech demo, and I really would love that kind of graphical style 1000 times more than this SS, watercolor, cel-shaded look. It made me super pissed the second he snapped his fingers and I said "Wow! It's Skyward Sword!" Then he said "This is the new world of Zelda" and I was like :wrong: The problem with Skyward Sword's graphics is that it could never get dark or serious. Even when the world was ending, it was like "Oh no Link! Save the world!" It wasn't like "Holy crap we're actually all going to die." And I'd rather have something serious. As I said in another thread, I'm not gonna jump to conclusions right now, because they could find some way to make this graphical style dark and scary. But I really am disappointed, I wanted something realistic and truly HD. Meaning it looks like real life. Real life is not made up of 5 year old's coloring pages. Which is what SS and Zelda Wii U look like. It disappoints me, but we will have to wait and see how the game plays

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
I personally like the actual style more than the tech demo.

Admittedly this has much more to do with my love for SS than any disdain for TP's art style. The tech demo made things more well-lit and defined, and so it avoided a lot of the issues I nowadays have with TP's duller color pallet. So, as far as it being more realistic - actually I'm going to say more "grounded" due to it looking more like one would see in a traditional medieval setting - it pulled it off well and I was still somewhat looking forward to it.

But man, when they showed the actual graphics and style of the game my heart jumped. I mean sure I liked TP well enough and I think it's a fantastic game, and the tech demo looked pretty neat, but SS is straight-up my favorite videogame period and I love that the next game's style is taking that same style and adding a new dimension to it. I am also in love with the more steampunk look to it, I love the more steampunk-y Zelda games over the very traditional medieval Zelda games since I just find that style more interesting.


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
I very much prefer this style. It's not even close to what I was expecting, mind you -- I had predicted a cross between Twilight Princess & Ocarina of Time 3D -- but I love it nonetheless. It's like a cross between The Wind Waker & Skyward Sword, which are probably the two best art styles in the series, and it looks absolutely stunning. I'm looking forward to seeing just how much the visuals improve as time goes on.
Jan 21, 2013
Clock Town
I, for one, am perfectly happy with this art style. What I want from a video game is an immersive experience. I want a world that looks and feels as alive as possible, and that is not a function of graphical quality. It is a function of detail: grass that blows in the wind, animals that run from attacking monsters, and a world that is open for me to explore, all of which was present in this trailer. I'll take those things over that tech demo any day.

And that's the thing--on this system, with this hardware, it has to be one or the other. As much as I love the Wii U, it doesn't have the power to do both. The choice is not between one art style or the other, but rather between a new, open, immersive Zelda, or another Twilight Princess. I think they made the right choice.


The Diplomatic Dinosaur
Jul 1, 2012
Early Cretaceous North America
I love the new Art style but I have no qualms with the tech demo. Although, I would argue that the tech demo is the same art style as TP just upgraded to HD and with more colour (not that I believe that TP was colourless as other people seem to think), like how OoT3D is the same art style as the original just with more to it.


Innocent but not fearful.
Jul 27, 2012
Canada, eh
I personally love both art styles, though I'm not surprised that the one featured in the tech demo wasn't used. I hope that they do experiment with that type of style again sometime in the future, but I must say, I am impressed by what I saw in the trailer. The immense amount of detail certainly is captivating. I just hope that in choosing this art style, they are still able to make certain locations and enemies look darker and creepier. That was the slight issue I had with Skyward Sword's graphics - it was just too colourful at times.

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