Interview:Nintendo France Q&A 2017
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Nintendo France Q&A 2017
Adrien: How did you come up with the idea of putting nature at the very center of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
Eiji Aonuma: The games in the Legend of Zelda series have always been about Link’s evolution in his own world. At the beginning of the game, he isn’t very strong, but he gradually gets stronger. If the various [Zelda] games take place in environments with lots of nature, it’s because we thought those were the best for the kind of stories we wanted to tell. And this time around, nature is an even more important element than ever before, that’s a directorial choice. Since you’re completely free to go wherever you want, that you get to travel a lot, we had to create this huge world with vast plains, in order to provide players with a fully immersive experience. It’s for this very reason that we paid a lot of attention to animations, ambient sounds, and sound effects for nature, so that you can really be engrossed in the various environments.
Robin: Among all the new elements introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which one did you enjoy working on the most, in order to make the experience unique?
Eiji Aonuma: What I prefer in this game is that you have unprecedented freedom to do whatever you want. The game was designed in such a way that you can climb all the mountains. The main gameplay mechanic consists in climbing mountains, and the world was created so that once you are high above ground, you can see everything it’s made of. If you find an interesting place, you can head there using your paraglider. You will climb, look around, fly… again and again. It’s a unique method of transportation I haven’t seen in any other game, and I think it’s really fun and novel. This is my favorite aspect of the game.
Lambert: Where does The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild end up in the Zelda timeline?
Eiji Aonuma: I’m not going to tell you where the game ends up in the Zelda timeline before you’ve had the chance to play, but if you watched the third trailer, then you heard about the voice that said Hyrule is a country that went through many battles against Ganon. I’d say this is a clue as to when the game takes place.
Anthony: When watching the latest trailer, I asked myself… Is this game more mature than the previous ones?
Eiji Aonuma: Naturally, by watching the trailer, you get the impression the game has a pretty serious tone. But it’s because when editing it, we use serious-looking and impressive segments, that will be the best at grabbing the attention of viewers. But just like other Zelda titles, Breath of the Wild is a game that will make you feel lots of different emotions. Just like in other Zelda games, there are serious and dramatic moments, but also some lighthearted ones, that will make you laugh I hope. It’s a game that will both move you and make you laugh.
Billel: I really like the green tunic. Other characters also wear that colour, but is the green tunic in the game?
Eiji Aonuma: In this game, Link can change the clothes he’s wearing whenever he wants. You can find some in treasure chests, you can buy them, and you can receive them via special events. As for the blue uniform, it’s the same one that Princess Zelda wears. Naturally, there’s lot of different pieces of clothing for Link, and yes, you will be able to wear the iconic green tunic.
Matéo: What was the biggest challenge encountered when developing this game?
Eiji Aonuma: The most difficult thing was to create such a massive game. It was the first time we were making such a big game, and when we started, we actually thought it would be impossible. To create this huge world, we needed a big development team. To build this world, we had to start from a base, and then add new elements little by little. What we spent the most time on was setting up a work environment adapted to such a big development team, but also build the game engine.
Guillaume: Is the mysterious character in brown clothes the same person that gives us the sword in the first Zelda game?
Eiji Aonuma: Since Breath of the Wild takes a lot from the very first Zelda game, where you’re also completely free to go wherever you want, people have often asked me whether the old man was the same that the one who gives you the first sword in the original Zelda game, or a mere reference. I can confirm it’s a different character. He plays an extremely important role in the story, as he’s the one that influences Link’s destiny. He’s such an important character that I wrote his dialogue lines myself.
Alex: What’s your favourite musical track from the Zelda series?
Eiji Aonuma: As you may already know, I’m the president of Nintendo’s wind ensemble, and I’m the one in charge of percussions. My favorite music track from the Zelda series is the music from the Molgera boss battle, in the Wind Waker. I really like it because that track starts with powerful percussions. It begins with Taiko Drums, which are big traditional Japanese drums, but what you hear is not the sound you get when you hit the drumhead, but the outer edge of the drum instead, which gives a very peculiar type of percussions that I’m going to perform for you now… It’s that kind of rhythm, that continues throughout the whole track, that I find really powerful. Also, there’s a real mix between symphonic sounds and traditional Japanese music sounds, and I really like that in this song. By the way, the name of our wind ensemble is “The Wind Wakers”.
Clev: The dungeons can be completed in any order, but is there a recommended order? Is there any sidequests?
Eiji Aonuma: During development, I had to beat the game 6 times, and every time, I completed the dungeons in a completely different order. There really isn’t any good piece of advice I could give you, because the game was designed in such a way that players can complete them in any order. But what I would really like is for players to explore the dungeons as they discover them [in the world], instead of trying to complete them in a specific order. That’s how the game was designed, and it’s more fun that way. And yes, there are tons of sidequests.
Théo: Are Link and Zelda going to kiss? They came pretty close to doing it in Skyward Sword.
Eiji Aonuma: You will have to find out for yourself.