Liberation Next February 18th 2005
Eiji Aonuma, 41 years is an archetypal representative of the "new wave" of Japanese game designers: those who come to the levers of power with talent, ideas and bold enough to claim to succeed the founding masters. Inducted by Shigeru Miyamoto (to pretty much God the father in video game land) that made him the gift of Zelda saga, it is the rising star of Big N, the colossal and mysterious house Nintendo, both development studio and manufacturer of consoles. The new episode of the adventures of Zelda, Four Swords is the first under its full and exclusive responsibility.
Liberation Next: Which player are you?
Oh actually, before working in the video game, I was not playing at all: I had never even touched a controller before joining Nintendo
, now it's been seventeen years as a designer. My specialty so far, was puppet animation! My first experience playing a game was Zelda: A Link to the Past
. A great memory that still influences me to this date. My first professional contact with the Zelda series took place for Ocarina of Time
, which I was responsible for the level design (building levels), then there was Majora's Mask
and The Wind Waker
. In fact, I participated in all the 3D Zelda games.
LN: And you're absolutely led the "Four Swords" which, it is in 2D?
EA: Four Swords is my point of view a real novelty. The basic idea was to develop connectivity between the GameCube and Game Boy as part of a great multi-player game. The experience of the game with four proposed by the title like no previous attempt: the balance between the autonomy of each player, preserved for some actions, and a commitment to which the party is known, was worked in is very new.
LN: At the risk of breaking a dogma: the loneliness of the hero...
Yes, it's great shock, is it not? This is probably the most radical exploration for loyal players in the saga. Four players, four Links
, but destiny is both unique and common: they advance together, but only one wins.
LN: Beyond Innovation, brings connectivity to the players?
EA: It should transform the way games are experienced by the public. It is the experience itself that is changing in nature and it is a shared experience. This brings something special and different than practice alone can grasp. One can easily imagine that this trend is developing in the near future, with wireless communication systems like the DS.
LN: Precisely is a "Zelda" DS planned?
EA: There's no doubt about a Zelda game for the DS. In fact, know that our ideas for Four Swords have greatly contributed to the concept behind the DS. The game-play ideas we came up with for Four Swords provided examples on what kind of games would be possible on the Nintendo DS and what kind of advantages the double-screen would enable. It was all theoretical, but today we realize it's a pity -- a real shame -- that we haven't created a demonstration of a real, great Zelda game for DS. The next episode in the Zelda series for GameCube is already coming, but I can't say absolutely anything about it. You know the deal -- even the title and theme are still secret. The next grand Zelda game, which follows chronologically after The Wind Waker, will be released at the end of 2005 in Japan. I'm two-hundred percent involved in its development and I can reveal one lone secret: it'll be very, very beautiful.
LN: Do you consider video games as an art form?
EA: I do not know, but I know it's not just recreation, entertainment. I do not pretend to be an artist, but I am very happy to see developing a movement of thinking about these issues. You can have a good case to compare the game to other arts, since it borrows visual and musical forms and manages to make even more of expression, life, emotion.
LN: How do you see Link, the hero of "Zelda"?
EA: Link reminds me a lot of the little boy I just had: always happy, playful, and talented enough to get himself out of every situation.