Interview:G4TV Icons 2003

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Miyamoto: Super Mario Bros. was a game that was very action based, and was very much about moving your body and being active to get your way through the game.

Because I had started working on the initial ideas for both Zelda and Super Mario Bros. essentially at the same time, that we started to quit working on Zelda for a while, and complete Super Mario Bros. first. Then we actually decided later on to relook at our work on Zelda and complete that game.

Zelda, what I really tried to do was create a scenario where, the player would get into a situation and the player and they wouldn't know what they were supposed to do and so they would have to use their brain rather than their body, and they would have to think their way through situations.

I felt, you know relieved and almost rescued to a certain extent because, Zelda in Japan was the very first game that was released for this Famicom Disk System, and so, if that game had failed, then the hardware itself probably would have failed as well. So when we released the game, and people thought the game was very fun, and it became such a success I felt very relieved and very happy.

[Link] He's a character who starts off very young, and you know, essentially a small child, and gradually, through his experiences, he grows and he becomes stronger, and he matures.

The Family Computer, or the NES, had very limited capabilities for essentially drawing pictures for the graphics. So one of the biggest challenges with the game was trying to create many different types of enemies with these limited graphical capabilities. And actually, if you look at a lot of them you can see kind of inverted images of other enemies in the game. And I actually did a lot of those drawings by hand myself. Really, I think looking back at Zelda and given the limitations of the hardware, I really do think it was very well done for what was capable for the time.

This is uh, the type of game where we want the player to use their mind. And you start off in an area, and you can walk in any direction, and you don't really know what it is your suppose to be doing or what it is you can do. Obviously you know, we can't just leave the player there not knowing what to do, because if they don't know what to do, they're not going to play. So trying to find the balance of kind of leading the player into what they need to do and forcing them to think about how they need to solve the problems was very difficult, we spent a lot of time on that.

And so really what we tried to do with Zelda II, while it was definitely a continuation of the story, we tried to make it into a very different game. If you look at Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, that's really more of kind of an action and more physically oriented game then the original Legend of Zelda was, which was definitely more mental and more problem solving. In that sense, its definitely a very different game.

Aonuma: Our original thought was to take essentially the Super NES game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and turn that into a 3-D game on the N64 and that was our original idea for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. So we took one of the items from A Link to the Past, which was an ocarina, and it wasn't featured very much but we decided to essentially take that and make that kind of the main item in Ocarina of Time, and use it as this kind of musical instrument that plays an important role in the game.

When your actually developing a game its really hard to see how its gonna turn out and whether or not it will be successful. But with Ocarina of Time, when we actually finished working on the game and saw what we had created, we were like, we were really surprised, wow, we really may have done something great here. I think at that point Mr. Miyamoto really thought that uh, that we may have had a big hit on our hands.

Miyamoto: Apart from being the type of game that forces players to think their way through problems, I think probably the next most important part of the Zelda experience is providing players an opportunity to feel like they are a part of the Zelda world. And I really think with the 3-D environments of the Ocarina of Time, it was really able to create the type of scenario and the type of world where players felt just completely emursed in the surroundings within the game.

Aonuma: Ah, well actually, right after we had completed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and things had just started to just slow down for us, Mr. Miyamoto came to me and he said 'I want you to come up a Zelda game that we can create within 1 year.'. So it was kind of based on that idea that we came up with this concept of having a limited time frame that you play over and over again. And that essentially became the focus of Majora's Mask.

With uh, Ocarina of Time, the events of that game weren't really fixed to a specific time frame, but with Majora's Mask, we actually have this limited time frame that the player would play over and over again. And so the player would essentially have to decide which of the multiple events that were occurring they wanted to essentially become a part of. But depending on how they interacted with them, then the events might change. And so really this became an important part of the gameplay.

Once we released Majora's Mask, I wanted to see how dedicated they were going to be, and just how much of all the events that were occurring in the game they wanted to play through and experience. We received a lot of commendations for having created this game system that was unique and new, and that made as really happy.

Miyamoto: With Wind Waker, we tried to find the motive expression that is best suited to a 3-D Zelda. And this time we really thought that how we portray the character's movements proportions would become very important to the player naturally feeling like they are a part of the world.

Aonuma: After all these years of working on Zelda, I've been able to fully implement all the ideas I've been wanting to get into a Zelda game into The Wind Waker. I'm really happy by that and I hope that people really take a chance to look at it and enjoy it, and experience it for what it is. I don't really think of Zelda as being a game, but really as being kind of a separate world where players are able to go on this adventure.

Miyamoto: Oh, I really kind of think of the games I create as being a box, and in a very compact area, I try to provide players with as many tools as they need to entertain themselves. And with this adventure story and the player kind of exploring it on their own, they will find so much to do to entertain themselves.