Interview:Club Nintendo July 22nd 2004
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Club Nintendo July 22nd 2004
Club Nintendo (CN): Good Morning, Mr. Eiji! Thanks for the interview. Before we start talking about the game, tell us: What does the Legend of Zelda, and its character Link, represent in your life?
Eiji Aonuma (EA): A lot; it is definitely very important to me. Actually, I think that I can only work on Zelda games now because everything I really want to do, I can only do and accomplish with the [Zelda] franchise. I'm really excited about working and developing games like this.
CN: What is the reason of the change of image in this new game, instead of using the style in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker?
EA: Well, in Wind Waker, the story is based on a young Link -- actually a child Link -- and we used the cel-shading technique. With this game, you will now see a new Link. A more mature and detailed Link, in terms of graphics, which makes the game look very realistic. But this doesn't mean that I don't like the style we used [in Wind Waker]. In fact, I liked it a lot.
CN: So you went back to the first Zelda that was showed at Spaceworld 2000 for GameCube?
EA: Those images that were presented at the Spaceworld show were designed by one of the guys who worked with me on Majora's Mask, Mr. Kuisumi, who was in charge of making that video for the show. What we are showing now is totally different.
CN: We know you can't disclose any details of the game, but could you give us a sneak peek at the story and gameplay elements?
EA: We are focusing more on giving the game a very realistic tone, as you could see in the video we showed [at E3], and it's heavily influenced by Ocarina of Time. As development goes on, we will be adding new details that have worked in other titles, so we can come up with a very complete game. I'm sorry I can't tell you more, but be sure that it will be sensational.
CN: We have received several emails in which our readers ask: Will Zelda and Link ever be involved [romantically]? [laughs] I'm sorry, but we had to ask.
EA: [laughs] Good question. Well, as you already know, we are now dealing with a teenage Link, and as you know, teenagers are very emotional beings, so there are definitely possibilities of seeing Link showing his feelings towards the princess. But honestly, we don't know what the future holds.
CN: What are the similarities of this game, and the N64 games?
EA: Well, in terms of story elements, you can probably imagine what the story will be like, although I can't tell you any details. In terms of graphics, they will be totally different, and -- as I told you before -- heavily influenced by Ocarina of Time, but with a unique style. You'll have to be patient and wait for the end result.
CN: Any Zelda game for the DS planned?
EA: The Zelda team is already planning Four Swords for the Nintendo DS. This game will have a lot of connectivity and feature a lot of interaction between both screens. It will be interesting.
CN: Any plans for an Online Zelda in the future?
EA: We would probably have to think what to do in terms of an online Zelda game, what could we make in an online world, and how could we make it a fresh experience. But to tell you the truth, I don't have time to think about a project like that right now. I think that the new generation of gamers is the one that's interested in this kind of game because for them it's normal to play online; but I don't know, I would really have to think of something "different" to do with Zelda.
CN: We watched the Zelda video (several times, in fact) and we could see that Link has a horse again, which looks incredible. Is the attention to detail something very important for you?
EA: Definitely, that's something that Miyamoto always focuses on, and [that] encourages us to keep making better games. I mean, you could see the scenes in the N64 versions and watch the [Zelda] video, and you can see the difference. And graphics are a good way of showing innovation in new games.
CN: What's your favorite Zelda game, and why?
EA: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past because it was the first Zelda game I played, and the one that got me involved with the franchise.
CN: Will this new Zelda game push the GameCube to its limits?
EA: Like I said, we are working hard to add a lot more details to the graphical engine. In fact, working with this realistic Zelda title is far easier than what we did with Wind Waker, which was harder to do. Believe it or not!
CN: How long have you worked with the Zelda franchise?
EA: Eight years.
CN: Is there a solid release date for the title?
EA: [laughs] People are already making preorders for it! But for the moment there isn't a release date because we will take all the time necessary to develop an excellent title, no doubt about it. And as soon as we have more news, we will let you know.
CN: Thanks for your time, Eiji.