Posted on November 29 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Earlier this month we talked about Eiji Aonuma’s interview with Famitsu magazine. At the time we really only had a couple sparse quotes that talked about how amazing the game looks now compared to at E3, and a brief quip on the enemy encounter shown. Unfortunately we didn’t have anything else to go off of… until now. Thanks to Zelda Informer fan OrionsPants, we now have a full translation of exactly what Eiji Aonuma said. As always this is important because context is everything when trying to dissect any quote. Here is what he had to say about Zelda U’s art direction:
“Everyone has been imitating this (snaps fingers) (laughs). I was told by many people that it was “beautiful,” Aonuma told Famitsu, a Japanese video game magazine (via Crave Online). “I thought about various ways to make the graphical style fit the vast new Zelda world; imitating the real world attached an important feeling of realism, and making it look different to the past [Zelda titles], this was done by drawing inspiration from Japanese animations. Now, compared to what we showed you at E3, it has become something even more amazing.”
As you can see, there is a lot more than simply having the game look visually improved over the E3 video. A lot of the atmosphere shown is better understood now, as the little touches like grass moving or butterflies flying can be explained as part of trying to create that realistic world. Also as has been typical with Eiji Aonuma, he wanted the game to feel unique in how it was presented, giving it a style no prior Zelda game has featured. Enter the Japanese Animation inspiration. he also elaborated on changing up some series staples, though the message intent doesn’t seem entirely clear:
“It’s an enemy which emits a laser while running, an enemy that moves with amazing speed; like this it can capture you while trying to escape on horseback, something not seen until now. In the Wii U version, we are trying to make people think ‘if an enemy like this comes out, how can I defeat it?’ and we showed a glimpse of this at E3. After all, I am changing various elements, following the theme of ‘changing the Zelda conventions.’”
It seems to me he is referring to having to think on your feet – instead of waiting around and then reacting, you need to react as your dodging and running away, something that isn’t typical in a Zelda experience. Of course this is all a guess, trying to read between the lines can be difficult at times. What do you think now that we have a fuller picture of what he said?