Developer Quotes

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This page highlights excerpts from developer interviews with theory relevance.

Timeline

Quote.png Shigeru Miyamoto
SP: How does the Zelda games get together? Is there any connection between the different games or do you take tell us a new Zelda story each time?
SM: For every new Zelda game we tell a new story but we actually have an enormous document that explains how the game relate to eachother and bind them together. But to be true they are not too important to us. We care about develope the gamesystem give the player new challenges for every chapter that are born.
SP: Will the story always come in 2nd when you develope games?
SM: Most important thing for me is that the player should get sucked into the game. I want the games to be easy to understand, and that the people appriciate the games content, its core. I will never deny the importance of a great story but the plot should never get that important that it gets unclear.
Quote2.png April 23, 2003 - SuperPlay
  • First confirmation of the official top-secret timeline document.
  • Timeline is unimportant compared to game system.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
Aonuma: Obviously we've made so many games now that we can't help but think about how those games connect to one another. However, that consideration comes late in the development process. When we create a new game, we don't start with a preset notion of what the story is going to be or how it's going to flow. We start by focusing in on what the core gameplay element is going to be and then develop from that.

There is a document on my computer that has a stamp on it that says "Top Secret." I actually haven't even shown it to many of the staff members. One of the special privileges of being the producer of the series is that I have the right as we're finalizing the game's story to then decide where it fits in.

[Aonuma says he is afraid that revealing the official Nintendo timeline would lead future Zelda teams to focus on the story more than the gameplay.] People start to focus in on the storyline and gaps in the timeline. [This is a] backward way of creating a game.
Quote2.png October 2011 - Game Informer
  • Stresses the timeline's unimportance.
  • Confirms existence of a "top secret" timeline document.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
Quote2.png January 5, 2012 - Hyrule Historia
  • Even the official timeline has contradictions.
  • Timeline takes a back seat to gameplay.

Game Placement

Quote.png Shigeru Miyamoto
SP: The sequel, Zelda II AoL was a different game. Why was that? And why have you never done anything like it again?
SM: It was my orginal idea, but the actual game was developed by another team, different persons that made the first game. Compared to Legend of Zelda, Zelda II went exactly as we first thought. All games I make usually gets better in the developement process since all good ideas are comming, but Zelda II is a little failure.
SP: So that's why the third game looked like the first one?
SM: Exactly, we actually see A link to the past as the real sequel to Legend of Zelda. Zelda II was more of a sidestory what happend to Link after the happenings in Legend of Zelda.
Quote2.png April 23, 2003 - SuperPlay
  • A Link to the Past is seen as The Adventure of Link's true sequel. This likely means in spirit, not in story.
  • The Adventure of Link is seen as a side-story.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
Q: Storyline-wise, where does Twilight Princess fit in with the chronology of the other games?
Aonuma: A few decades after Ocarina of Time, but before the Wind Waker.
Quote2.png May 2005 - E3
  • At this time, Twilight Princess was considered to take place between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker.
  • No mention of the split timeline.
  • It was later moved to take place parallel to The Wind Waker on the Child Timeline.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
NP: Where does Skyward Sword fall in the timeline? Does it come between Minish Cap and Ocarina of Time?
EA: Well, calling it the first Zelda might sort of box me in, but what I would like to say is that it does come before Ocarina of Time.
Quote2.png August 2011 - Nintendo Power
  • Confirmation that Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time.
  • Aonuma refrains from relating The Minish Cap's placement.
  • Aonuma refrains from calling Skyward Sword the first game in the timeline.

Relations

Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
NP: Is there any significance to Zelda's harp? Is it the same harp that Sheik has in Ocarina of Time?
EA: This time around, the harp comes into Link's hands during the course of the game and is used to help the player find something important. You actually need to play the harp to use it, so to speak. The design is the same as the harp that Sheik has in Ocarina of Time.
Quote2.png August 2011 - Nintendo Power
  • Zelda's harp in Skyward Sword has the same design as Sheik's in Ocarina of Time.
  • He doesn't specifically state that they are the same object, but implies it, and it's a safe assumption.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
NP: Is he related to Vaati from The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures? He's also very white and has similar eye makeup.
EA: Well, the director on the project this time around is Mr. Fujibayashi, who also worked on Minish Cap. Perhaps there's something about Mr. Fujibayashi's sensibilities in regards to design that might have influenced both characters. But beyond that, I don't think so.
Quote2.png August 2011 - Nintendo Power
  • Aonuma doesn't think that Ghirahim is related to Vaati, though he isn't an authority on the subject.
Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
NP: The headmaster's name, Gaepora, is pretty similar to the owl's name from Ocarina of Time, Kaepora Gaebora. The headmaster even has owl-like eyebrows and a hooting laugh. Were these characters intentionally made similar, or is that just a coincidence?
EA: The headmaster holds a wide variety of knowledge (he was originally designed to be the priest who was the heir to the legend of the goddess), and so the designer made him look like that in order to present a wise and dignified image. He wasn't actually designed around Kaepora Gaebora, but since he did end up resembling him, we gave him the name Gaepora.
Quote2.png December 6, 2011 - Nintendo Power
  • Gaepora wasn't originally intended to be connected to Kaepora Gaebora, though whether giving him that name created a story connection is uncertain.

Development

Quote.png Eiji Aonuma
IGN: Oh yes. I have played it -- I played it just after the press conference and I saw exactly what you were doing. You worked on Spirit Tracks beforehand. I'm kind of wondering what the overlap was between the development cycle for Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword.
Aonuma: The director for Skyward Sword is Hidemaro Fujibayashi, who was the sub-director for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. So once he finished Phantom Hourglass, they started actually working on Skyward Sword. Then they started Spirit Tracks, and so those were all pretty much being worked on all at the same time. And then when they finished Spirit Tracks, Mr. Fujibayashi and the rest of his crew came back over to Skyward Sword.
IGN: So when the Wii MotionPlus was developed, everyone assumed that there would be a Zelda game that would use it for swordplay. Was that the way Skyward Sword was originally developed, or did the swordplay through Wii MotionPlus come about later in development?
Aonuma: This is a difficult answer to give, kind of complicated. We had MotionPlus, and when that technology came out we wanted to implement it in Zelda and so we started looking at the sword. To be honest with you, we weren't able to get the effectiveness we were looking for, and we tried some different ways to implement it and it really wasn't going well for us. And we actually decided that "we're not going to put in MotionPlus, let's just move on with something else" and stop getting distracted from the rest of development. But then Wii Sports Resort came out, and its Swordplay mode used Wii MotionPlus really well. So then we said "Wait a minute, you can actually implement it in a way that allows people to use that sword very freely and very naturally." So we went and talked with that development team, and we were able to borrow some of their technology and then put it back into The Legend of Zelda.
Quote2.png June 16, 2010 - IGN
  • Spirit Tracks development overlapped with Skyward Sword development.
  • Skyward Sword started out with Wii MotionPlus, then it was abandoned, then picked up again.