Posted on February 18 2015 by Jeffrey Edelstein
Among the myriad changes made to Majora’s Mask in its remake, the alterations to swimming as Zora Link have drawn the ire of veteran players. Most seem to have perceived it as not only an unnecessary change, but one that dilutes the fun originally found in the feature. In his interview with IGN, when Eiji Aonuma was asked about this difference in gameplay, he briefly touched upon the matter, providing an interesting reason for the new implementation.
You mentioned earlier the changes made to Zora Link and swimming. Why change how swimming works again? Technically, this would be the third time that swimming has changed. From the Japanese version to the American version, there were differences, and then once again we see them here. For a lot of people, the change in swimming has been sort of divisive, with some feeling really positive about it, and others not so much.
Aonuma: It’s funny you bring that up because I don’t even remember that swimming had changed from the original Japanese version to the US version. When we approached it this time, all we were really keeping in mind was that we wanted to make the experience a comfortable one for players. The real difference here is in how people have experienced the last 15 years since the original game came out. A lot of people who were big fans may have been playing that continuously for 15 years, returning to it, but I hadn’t really spent a lot of time playing the game over and over in that 15 year period. I just came back to it and suddenly I had this fresh experience which made me think, wow, I really want to work on how swimming is implemented here. So we thought about it and came up with a solution and threw that into the game. The only thing that stands out to me is that I really should’ve come up with the solution earlier.
It’s nice to see the change made from the Japanese to the English version discussed, and Aonuma’s response seems to lend more credence to the idea that he and his team wanted to make this version of Majora’s Mask the most enjoyable experience yet for players – even if they might not agree on the benefit of such changes. Nonetheless, their intention is admirable. What changes in Majora’s Mask 3D have you enjoyed the most? The least?