Nintendo Wanted To "Break The Conventions" Of Zelda With Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Wanted To "Break The Conventions" Of Zelda With Breath of the Wild

If you want to know more about the work put into the latest Zelda, Nintendo has answers.

Nintendo has released a three-part video series on YouTube this morning, detailing the making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Each video is 10 minutes long and covers a different part of the game's overall development.

The Beginning

"We were thinking about changing the conventions of the Zelda series from the very start of development," says Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi in the first video. "Our process was to think of all kind of different mechanics, and to try to distinguish between the unchanging, universal traits of the Zelda franchise and thing that had simply become conventions of the series. We settled on our direction and broad concept first, and then the entire staff got together and considered what to change and what to leave unchanged."

You can see the genesis of some of the concepts that finally found their way into the game, like the mechanical, laser-shooting Guardians that Link fights.

"Some of our younger designers came up with very unique suggestions, like the idea that UFOs could invade from space and abduct cattle or that giant weapon could battle with laser beams while Link ran across the battlefield between them," says art director Satoru Takizawa. "They actually used development tools to make sample videos."

The first video also shows off the 2D prototype used to work out the game's mechanics during development.

Story and Characters

The second videos covers the creation of Link, Ganon, Zelda, the supporting cast, and even the Guardians that you fight. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi calls Zelda the hardest character for the team to get right.

"The character that was most difficult... well that would be Zelda, by far," he says. "The reason behind that, well, it's sort of obvious. I mean, she's the heroine. Until the very end, we were making subtle changes to her gestures, the lighting, the way her eyelashes look, stuff like that. This is my personal opinion, but I think Zelda is in a really, really good place in this game."

Open-Air Concept

Finally, the third video is all about what went into building the open-world of Breath of the Wild, the physics system, and the ambient sound of Hyrule. Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma talks about Skyward Sword and how the team wanted players to be able to explore the area in-between dungeons, but couldn't make it happen. That desire informed the creation of Breath of the Wild.

"That's why we decided to create a truly open-air world this time," says Aonuma in the video. "We felt we really needed to make a game in which players could enjoy that sort of exploration."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

In other news

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor Expansion Launches in June

The Isle of Armor comes with a new dojo, a new Legendary Pokemon, and more.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Patch Eliminates a Duplication Exploit

Nintendo is cracking down on some cheaters.

In Japan, Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is the Biggest New Game for the Switch

Selling a grand total of 1.8 million units in three days.

Dress Up as Fire Emblem House Leaders in Animal Crossing: New Horizons With These QR Codes

Bring Byleth, Dimtri, Edelgard, and Claude to your island.

Need help?

Outer Wilds Walkthrough

You’re pretty much left to your own devices in Outer Wilds. Here’s a recommended path.

Zelda Link's Awakening Signpost Maze - How to Make it Through the Signpost Puzzle

Here's our guide on making it through the Signpost puzzle in Zelda Link's Awakening as easily as possible.

No Man's Sky Tips - How to Get Started in 2019

Here are some tips to help you get a strong start in No Man's Sky.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Boss Guides - How to Beat Every Boss and Conquer Every Dungeon

This is our complete Zelda Breath of the Wild bosses guide, detailing every single boss and all the dungeons in Hyrule.