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.

News by Mike Williams, .

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."

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 5

  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #1 NiceGuyNeon A year ago
    I've felt that Skyward Sword vibe from the start. They didn't nail environmental exploration in that game anywhere on the level they did with Breath of the Wild, but Bresth of the Wild's environments lead to discoveries, whereas Skyward Sword'a environments feel like puzzles of sorts to reach the dungeon. To that end Breath of the Wild's outdoor areas are significantly more enjoyable.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Dorchadas #2 Dorchadas A year ago
    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,

    I would be so there for science fantasy Zelda, and I'm glad that's the direction the series seems to be working toward, at least in terms of art and character design.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for superberg #3 superberg A year ago
    Videos now unavailable.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Vonlenska #4 Vonlenska A year ago

    Absolutely! Me too! Even the original games have more going on than the Medieval British fantasy aesthetics; there's a lot of Persian elements to the architecture and decor, ALttP's Hyrule has a kind of fertile desert thing going on ecologically, the Wind Fish and many of the little "deity" statues and things are rather unique and creative, etc. I am loving the high-tech sci-fantasy aesthetic the last two games have been running with, and hope to see more of that in future.

    I am glad they decided not to go with Nier!Link, though. I prefer Link to be androgynous. Then again, I am still holding out for a custom-gender Link at some point, idiotic "Timeline Lore" be damned.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for MHWilliams #5 MHWilliams A year ago