November 19th 1998, Nintendo Power Source
Where did you get the idea to make Link travel
from childhood to adulthood in Ocarina of Time?
The basic concept of the Zelda series remains the
same in this game, in that you have to carefully
and constantly plot out what you have to do. We
wanted to make a virtual, three-dimensional world
that would be a very dynamic place where Link
could "live." The story was more of a
supplemental element we incorporated into the
latter part of the design. We really wanted to
describe Link's development of abilities as he
grows from a child to an adult, so we used motion
capture technology. We thought game players would
want to play as an adult Link, even though in the
previous games, with the exception of Zelda II:
The Adventure of Link, Link was always a child.
For those who were accustomed to the earlier
games, we accommodated them with the inclusion of
a young Link. The concept of young and old Link
matched other Zelda games, since they usually had
some sort of parallel world for Link to travel
between. The parallel world in this case just
happens to be a time shift--going back and forth
between times. I thought that worked well with
the overall theme of the Zelda games.
and where do you usually come up with your ideas?
Often, I come up with new ideas when I am
watching the test program of a game running on
the monitor. Then, we'll discuss the problems we
are facing in programming the game and how to
improve it. Apart from that, I come up with ideas
when I'm relaxing after a day of intense game
development. Sometimes ideas will come to me when
I am heading home from work or when I am taking a
bath. But I come up with ideas only after I've
devoted myself to a day of hard work. If we've
been relaxing all throughout the day, we hardly
ever come up with any new ideas.
Ocarina of Time is very cinematic. Which films
Many people may say that this game is like a
movie, but it's different. We have taken
advantage of some of the specific methods used in
movie production, but the game is not like a
movie. It's more like an experiment in developing
a new form of interactive media. In doing so, we
sometimes made use of moviemaking methods. With
filmmaking, you take several different scenes and
later edit them so you can view them as one
sequence. In Zelda, things are happening in real
time as the camera changes angles and shots. This
game is not like a movie, but rather, the camera
is becoming the stage performer. I can tell you
that those who developed the camera work in the
game love movies, so they adapted the camera work
from movies. No one who worked on the game,
including me, has had any experience in making
movies. I personally don't dislike movies--I like
them a lot.
are some of your favorite movie directors?
I think movies work when they are very well
organized, like Raiders of the Lost Ark by Steven
Spielberg. I like a lot of Alfred Hitchcock's
work, because you can see the theme of the movie
very clearly. I think for creating movies,
novels, games and other works of entertainment,
the theme has to be clearly understood by the
audience. I also like Tim Burton and John Waters.
In John Waters' works, for example, you can see
how the comedy and quirks are being developed
throughout his films.
are your plans for the N64 Memory Expansion Pak?
It would have been more convenient to have used
the Memory Expansion Pak for Zelda, but it wasn't
ready. Ocarina of Time was originally designed
with the N64 Disk Drive in mind, and in the
future, we'd like to make use of some of those
unrealized ideas intended for the N64 DD.
codes and secrets can we expect to find in
Ocarina of Time?
Zelda is an adventure game, you have to find many
things, and many of them may be hard to find. In
the game's Fishing Pond, something might happen
if you're playing there for a long time or are
trying to do many things there. You can also find
spiders called Gold Skulltulas. There are 100
that you can collect, and you might find this
creature more often at night. Or you may want to
search for them where you would normally find
bugs and insects. (Slyly) Sometimes, if you have
a Deku Stick and you find some butterflies flying
about, you can make them follow you and something
special could happen. . .
your favorite weapon in the game?
The hookshot. The hookshot was an older weapon I
really wanted to incorporate into the game. And
though it's not a weapon, the ocarina is another
item I like a lot.
your favorite new character in the game?
(Looking to the ceiling as he grapples for an
answer) Sheik. . .(laughing) the cows. . .I like
the Deku Scrubs. Sometimes they attack you.
Sometimes they talk to you. Sometimes they sell
things to you. And if you're wearing one of the
different masks you can get in the game, the Deku
Scrubs will react to your appearance depending on
the disguise you're wearing. I like them because
you can't tell if they're an enemy or an ally. I
wanted to put more characters like them in the
game, but the Deku Scrubs ended up being the only
ones we included.
your favorite area of the game?
I like the Spirit Temple. I've never been to
Egypt, but I think the elements in that temple
are like the relics you could find in Egypt.
Though it's not a dungeon, I like the Gerudo
Fortress, because you have to play a sort of
hide-and-seek game with the guards to avoid
getting caught. It's a unique area because it
doesn't have the ordinary attack-style of game
do all the Zelda games fall into place when
arranged chronologically by their stories?
of Time is the first story, then the original
Legend of Zelda, then Zelda II: The Adventure of
Link, and finally A Link to the Past. It's not
very clear where Link's Awakening fits in--it
could be anytime after Ocarina of Time.
would you like to see Ocarina of Time influence
I wouldn't want others to imitate the size or
volume of the game. I hope that they'll
concentrate on improving the quality of the
games. We haven't done anything special in
Ocarina of Time, we've just made use of the N64
technology. As long as you have proper knowledge
of the N64's technology, you shouldn't have to
concern yourself with making a game of this
caliber in terms of sheer size and volume.
NP: How do
you feel about this game being hailed as the
"game of the century?"
I don't know. This century is the only century I
know. I'm sure I'll be living in the next
century, so I hope I can make something else like
you be making other games using the Zelda engine?
We were using the Super Mario 64 engine for
Zelda, but we had to make so many modifications
to it that it's a different engine now. What we
have now is a very good engine, and I think we
can use it for future games if we can come up
with a very good concept. It took three or so
years to make Zelda, and about half the time was
spent on making the engine. We definitely want to
make use of this engine again.
about Super Mario 64 2?
Well, for over a year now at my desk, a prototype
program of Luigi and Mario has been running on my
monitor. We've been thinking about the game, and
it may be something that could work on a
completely new game system.
can you tell us about the upcoming all-star
fighting game featuring Nintendo characters?
may sound like a bloody game if you label it as a
fighting game. It's not bloody at all. Instead,
it's an enjoyable "hitting" game like
sumo in Japan, in which you have to force your
opponent out of a ring, or cage in this case.
There will probably be more than ten characters
including some secret characters who've appeared
in older Nintendo games. I think we'll be calling
the game "Nintendo All-Star Battle Royal
Smash Bros." or something like that. I think
we are going to launch it early next year.
are some of the characters?
Of course, Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Donkey Kong
will be in it. Samus from Metroid and some of
Nintendo's secondary characters like Pikachu from
Link in the game?
Yes, he'll be swinging his sword in the game.
Captain Falcon from F-Zero will also be in the
have been circulating on the Internet about a
Ninja Mario or Naked Mario being in Super Mario
64. Do they exist?
your favorite video game?
Donkey Kong. Pac-Man.
would you recommend to people who want to follow
in your footsteps to become a game designer?
I myself wanted to be a cartoonist at first, so I
was reading a lot of cartoons. I was imitating
some others' works and made up my own stories at
first. If you want to become a game artist, it's
good if you play games and make up your own
ideas. Regardless of the subject, you have to
come up with something on your own, whether
you're drawing pictures or cartoons or making
toys. Just try to surprise people. What's
important is that you make something up on your
own and show it to somebody else so they can
critique your work. Even if you get harsh
criticism, don't give up. Just keep at it.
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