Satoru IwataNow that many of you have had a taste of the newest version of Ocarina of Time, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata takes us behind-the-scenes of the development of the 1998 N64 game, with staff reactions to the 2011 remake. These two interviews (part of a series of five) feature lots of interesting interaction between the staff and insights into the game’s development.

Some of the information you may already know if you’ve been following Iwata Asks and other interviews, but a lot of new things come up as well. For example, did you know that the sword fighting action in Ocarina of Time can be traced back to some of the developers working on a polygonal version of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? More highlights and links to the interviews inside.

Here are some quotes from part one. Click here to view the entire interview:

Yoshiaki Koizumi: In the beginning, [Miyamoto] had the image that you are at first walking around in first-person, and when an enemy appeared, the screen would switch, Link would appear, and the battle would unfold from a side perspective.

Iwata: It was said that making one character and making all the backgrounds carried an equal burden with the Nintendo 64 system.

Koizumi: Yes. And from my experience making Super Mario 64, I knew that displaying a character constantly running around on a broad field would be incredibly difficult. But—while it wasn’t very nice of me toward Miyamoto-san—I didn’t try a first-person scene even once!

Z-Targetting with Navi

Koizumi: With regard to Z-targeting, I believe we started talking about how we wanted a good way of hitting opponents in front of you when we were making Super Mario 64.

Iwata: But you couldn’t do it.

Koizumi: Right. Then, when we were making The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I thought up something when we were making the camera system for fighting enemies. What caught my attention in the [Toei Kyoto] studio park was the sword fight. They regularly put on shows in which the hero defeats ruffians. Watching that, I thought, “Hmm, that’s weird.” That was because there was no way one person could fight and win when surrounded by 20 opponents.

Iwata: Because he’s vastly outnumbered.

Koizumi: I thought there must be some kind of trick, so I watched very closely, and it was simple. It’s a sword battle, so there’s a script and a certain setup. The enemies don’t all attack at once. First, one attacks while the others wait. When the first guy goes down, the next one steps in, and so on.

Toru Osawa: Yeah, that’s right. Watching the kusarigama show, I hit on the idea of making a kusarigama [sickle-and-chain] that you can’t see when you use Z-targeting.

Iwata: A kusarigama you can’t see?

Osawa: When you use Z-targeting, I would make it so something like a kusarigama [sickle-and-chain] you can’t see exists between Link and the opponent. If you push the analog stick forward, you can close in slowly, and if you move it to the side, you can move to the side in a circular motion, getting around behind your opponent, seeking for an opening.

This interview also includes:
-how the addition of Young Link affected development
-the origins of Navi and Epona (both the characters and the names)
-how items were developed
-why Ocarina of Time’s cut scenes are rendered in real time
-reactions to Ocarina of Time 3D

While part one was mostly from the directors’ perspective, part two featured some of the model and field designers:

Yoshiki Haruhana: Right. If I drew a typical fairy, it would be boring. Like what I said earlier about figure, I think it’s important to have a gap between what you do and what everyone expects. So at the very least, I wanted to take a half-step in another direction.

Satoshi Takizawa: Volvagia is a dragon, so it wriggles and undulates. I only gave Morita-san the dragon model parts, but he set it in motion immediately. It was mysterious how he could do that.

Iwata: You were impressed—like, “I don’t get it, but wow!”

Takizawa: Yeah. I couldn’t help but ask how he did it. He said it was the same as the programming for Star Fox 64. There’s this scene when another fighter aircraft is tailing Arwing and…

Iwata: (jumping in) Oh, that? That’s right! It’s the same!


Makoto Miyanaga: Yeah. What I do remember well is how we wanted a village, so we decided to make Kakariko Village at the foot of Death Mountain.

So I drew some rough sketches and talked them over with Haruhana-san, who was in charge of the characters, and Osawa-san, who was in charge of the script. We said, “If we have this kind of resident, they would live in this kind of house,” and “Supposing we made this kind of house, this kind of person would live here,” and expanded the world of the village.

Iwata: So instead of having a blueprint for the village from the start, everyone threw out ideas, and little-by-little the residents and houses increased in number, and in the end, the village was done.

Also discussed:
-lots of interesting stuff about the fishing game
-filling in Hyrule Field
-more staff reactions to Ocarina of Time 3D

But reading summaries is no fun, go read the interviews yourself!

Source: Iwata Asks

Related: Ocarina of Time 3D Walkthrough

Sorted Under: Ocarina of Time