Pg. 238 & 239 – Eiji Aonuma on Completing the Edition

Posted By at 7:05 PM on Thursday January 5, 2012

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The following was translated by Patas.

On Completing the Edition

Nintendo Co., Ltd. Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development,
Software Development Group
Producer of “The Legend of Zelda” series
Eiji Aonuma

Thankfully, we’ve been able to reach the 25th year of The Legend of
Zelda franchise. As tokens of our gratitude to all the fans who’ve
supported the Zelda series until now, we’ve held symphonic concerts in
three cities around the world, we’ve made available the “Four Swords
25th Anniversary Edition” game as DSiWare for free, and we’ve had many
promotional events. But I thought of preparing something in the form
of a book and that’s how we decided to publish Hyrule Historia
~Everything About The Legend of Zelda~.

This book is organized in four big sections. The first one, “The
First Story,” is an introduction to the new game Skyward Sword; the
second chapter, “The Full History of Hyrule,” follows the order of
events of the Zelda series chronologically; the third section,
“Creative Traces,” presents artwork from past games, including some
rough sketches; and the fourth part is a special manga by Akira
Himekawa, the leading author in charge of creating the manga of the
Zelda series.

In particular, part 3, “Creative Traces,” contains several
documents that have never been shown to the public before. In order to
include them in this book, the staff that’s worked in the Zelda series
had to dig those old documents up like if they were hiding in the
deepest part of a dungeon. I really appreciate that.

Chapter 2, “The Full History of Hyrule,” arranges the series in
chronological order so it’s easier to understand, but from the very
beginning, Zelda games have been developed with the top priority of
focusing on the game mechanics rather than the story. For example, in
Ocarina of Time, the first instalment of the series I was involved
in, the main theme was how to create a game with pleasant controls in
a 3D world. Or in the DS game, Phantom Hourglass, the focus was having
comfortable stylus controls. Finally, in the most recent game, Skyward
Sword, we focused on an easy way to swing the sword using the Wii
motion plus.

Thinking of that way of developing the games, it may be correct to
say that the story is an appendix to that. I even think that setting
Skyward Sword as the “first story,” was merely a coincidence.

While reading over “The Full History of Hyrule,” it’s possible that
some parts may look contradictory. For instance, the Mogma race or the
beetle item that appear on the very first story do not appear on any
other game that takes place in the future. I’d like to ask everyone
just to enjoy the book and to be broad-minded, and to think that those
parts are the way they are because of the way Zelda games are
developed.

Now, allow me to include some tall talk here: I feel that
developing such large scale games as those from The Legend of Zelda is
very similar to what it was like to venture into the mighty ocean in
ancient times. Each game of the franchise has its own theme, as I
mentioned above. I think that’s a system that no one has challenged so
far and at the same time it’s like looking for a “continent” no one
has ever visited.

When leaving the port, you don’t have a single nautical chart. You
only have with you very few crew members, and all the guidance is
based on which direction looks good, so at first it’s like boarding
and sailing a ship with an aim you don’t even know yet. Sometimes you
just drift about, or you may suffer a shipwreck because of a storm. Or
you may see what you think is a new continent, but when you rush
towards it, you find out it actually is a tiny desolate island. And
it’s then that you get lost.

However, as long as you don’t stand still in the same spot, you can
continue to advance little by little, and that continent you aimed at
will get barely within sight on the far away horizon. At that point
you can add more people to your crew, and get all together to push
forward ahead towards the continent.

That’s a very fun process, so fun you even forget the times when
you encountered a storm and you were hoping to get away from it. And
if you manage to get safely to that “continent,” people around the
world will surely get happy… That’s the biggest pleasure of creating
Zelda games.

The long sailing time of creating Skyward Sword, a game to
celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series, has just come to
an end. The voices of those who’ve played it from around the world
reach us. We hear their admiration comments, and their criticism too.
All those voices become energy for the next voyage. Well, to tell the
truth, we’ve already set sail in a new voyage.

Please keep supporting The Legend of Zelda games.

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2 Responses

  1. [...] source? The producer’s statement in the final pages of Hyrule Historia, as translated by Patas at GlitterBerri, sneakily confirms a new game is in development: The long sailing time of creating Skyward Sword, a [...]

  2. Shadao says:

    New voyage has taken under a whole new meaning with announcement of the Wind Waker HD for the Wii U.

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