Iwata Asks Interview Translated

Yesterday, a new Itata Asks interview about Skyward Sword was added to the Japanese website. Eager fans (including myself) rushed to Google Translate, but that is now unnecessary, as Nintendo of America has added a fully translated version of the interview to their own Iwata Asks site. We gave our thoughts on interpreting the Engrish yielded by Google Translate yesterday, but today we can get a more accurate representation of what the Skyward Sword developers had to say about the game’s development, Wii Motion Plus controls, and more. Take the jump for a summary.

The first thing I notice is that this is just volume one. You can expect several more Iwata Asks interviews with the Skyward Sword team in the future. Iwata handled Ocarina of Time 3D similarly, bringing different people in for each interview. Some people to look out for in future interviews would be Miyamoto, of course, as well as Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai (composers). Looking back at the Japanese page, this information was there, but I missed it because it was in image form, which Google Translate can’t handle.

  • Director Fujibayashi, in charge of everything from gameplay to script, consulted Aonuma, Miyamoto, and Tezuka frequently.
  • This is Fujibayashi’s first console game – he was an Assistant Director for Phantom Hourglass (and Director for The Minish Cap) – and he had a hard time with fixing things and making changes. It turns out that it isn’t much different.
  • Kobayashi, in charge of the enemy and character design teams, was also in charge of enemy design in The Wind Waker. This really is evident in his work when you think about it.
  • Backing up what he’s explained in previous interviews, Aonuma describes how the idea of using Wii Motion Plus started, died, and then was revived by Wii Sports Resort.
  • The controls team was quite far into development of button-controls when Aonuma came in and told them to get back to learning the Wii Motion Plus. This is what I would call this game’s upending of the tea table.
  • Getting Link’s sword swings to look natural and cool was a lot of work – they had to make sure he struck enemies with the edge of the blade, and moved his elbow naturally. Eventually they had to fake some parts.
  • Stopping the sword in the air to charge a sword beam was Miyamoto’s idea.
  • Aonuma: “From what I heard from the NOA (Nintendo of America) localization team, the word “ward” also means to protect and guard something, so “skyward” can also mean “protector of the sky”, and “one who is protected by the sky”.”
  • Link can dash up walls because getting knocked down like in A Link to the Past interrupted the flow of the game.
  • Fujibayashi wanted to revolutionize switching items. Tanaka, wanting to avoid using the pointer, first tried twisting the wrist, but that didn’t work so now items are selected by tilting the Wii Remote. Miyamoto was very pleased with this.

  • Item selecting is done with the Wii Motion Plus, not the pointer. There’s a string attached to the finger icon so it won’t leave the screen.
  • When applying spin to rolled bombs, the arrow on the ground will bend.
  • The Beetle started out as a boomerang that you could control in the air, but that wasn’t very much like a boomerang. So they replaced it with a rocket fist, which could fly around and grab things.
  • Some of the rocket fist remains, such as the Beetle being launched from Link’s arm.
  • The landform team complained about the Beetle allowing Link to see things he shouldn’t be able to yet.
  • The rocket fist/Beetle is what gave birth to the ancient civilization theme of the game.
  • During development, they experimented with the Gust Bellow sucking things up as well as adjusting its power by twisting the nozzle. But from behind, you couldn’t see the nozzle so you wouldn’t know what’s happening, so these features were scrapped.
  • The whip was polished up for the game because of Iwata’s positive reaction.
  • The whip can be used to snatch keys from enemies.
  • In response to Iwata’s concern for people being upset at the drastic control change, Tanaka explains that the new controls will make people feel closer to the game. Aonuma describes them as a tool that doesn’t require the memorization involved in button commands.
  • There are not many new items in this game, but they made sure each one was as good as it can be.
  • The developers were motivated by the success of the item system as well as the accumulation of little things that players can enjoy.
  • Again, there are more interviews to come!

Source: Iwata Asks

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