Dungeons (Part 1)

Posted By at 1:05 PM on Friday June 22, 2007

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time news, direct from the production area! The Zelda team chosen by Shigeru Miyamoto created Zelda 64 with surprising stubbornness! One part of that stubbornness was to do a stubborn interview. We’ll pass on a small part of that interview from the top of 1101’s nearby tree.

(1-7) Looks Like the Dungeons Are Difficult in This Zelda (Part 1)

Eiji Onozuka (Dungeon Design): The very first dungeon of the game is Child Link’s Deku Tree. It wasn’t made as a place that had sprung into existence, but rather as a thing that had always been there.

The dungeons of Zelda are usually planned so the player must retrieve keys to continue onwards, but at the beginning this isn’t required. However, each time you clear a section, you will be unable to go back. For example in “Jabu-Jabu’s Belly,” the valves in his gut have an opening and closing device.

Link is still young, making it difficult for him to acquire so many keys. Besides, it would be a little weird if you needed keys in the inside of a fish, so we ended up finding other methods to use in the living dungeons.

In the middle of the game, the dungeons you have to complete are man-made temples. These include Forest, Water, and Fire, as well as the Shadow Temple and Spirit Temple which were constructed with 2 sections so you can come and go as either adult or child.

When creating the dungeons, we drew level blueprints to consult and spoke in detail to the designers making it for us. However, we left it to the designers to figure out how exactly it was going to turn out.

We got a lot of time to think about the dungeons, so we experimented on the CAD (Computer-Aided Design; used a lot in architecture) sheets the designers made. We ended up planning them like houses, so to speak. The size of the dungeon rooms was based off the size of Link’s body.

The things inside the dungeons move, for the most part. It was a race to finish this in time. It was a lot of trouble to program the balance needed to give big things large, expansive movements and we were constantly worried. However, there were also things that just wouldn’t work, which we quickly got sick of and abandoned because of the limited time in our schedule.

We also put material from one dungeon in others, no sense wasting what can be used again. It was easy to forget which devices were made for which dungeons.

The basic way to finish a dungeon is to kill all the enemies, solve puzzles, press switches, open gates… it’s up to you to decide which item (say, your bow) needs to be used on which switch, or rather what to do if pressing the switch just isn’t that easy… it’s a little cruel of us. *laughs*

Personally, I like the old-style Zelda dungeons in which you have to solve puzzles to continue, where there are fewer enemies. I’d rather have you puzzling over what to do than hacking your way through monsters. I really enjoy the whole conception process. The best part is thinking “Even I couldn’t do this puzzle!” Because we want the player feeling good when they manage to solve it without getting too frustrated, we make sure to run the puzzle through from the beginning and reduce the number of enemies near it.

The puzzle’s contents are orthodox till the middle of the game, and thereafter you must put the things you’ve learned to use. At the beginning, there’s only one puzzle room to solve, then eventually entire dungeons become rotating puzzles. In the final dungeons, everything you’ve learned comes into play and the puzzles are accompanied by an athletic element, as the staff who worked on Mario were kind enough to help us out. Athletic dungeons are their specialty. I don’t think it could flow any better!

“(1-7) Looks Like the Dungeons Are Difficult in This Zelda” has ended. The interview continues from here, so please check back for updates!

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4 Responses

  1. haleman says:

    Huh? Eiji Onozuka?
    His name is Aonuma, isn’t it?!

  2. RBMNintendoGamer says:

    “I’d rather have you puzzling over what to do than hacking your way through monsters.”

    And quite ironically years later Aonuma allowed Hyrule Warriors to be created XD

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