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Aonuma's Regrets For Twilight Princess

Edge Staff's picture

By Edge Staff

December 22, 2009

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Series director Eiji Aonuma says “sheer grand scale" is the starting point for developing the next Zelda.

Edge 211 features Links To The Past, an in-depth interview with series director Eiji Aonuma about his memories of working on gaming’s greatest franchise. But there are a few nods to the future, as well. We asked Aonuma about the ‘epic’ feel of Twilight Princess and its subsequent reception, to which he said:

“For Twilight Princess we used the adult Link and one of the interesting things about that was how we considered the precise proportions of Link and the world. The scale is because we aimed for a more realistic quality in the size of the environments of Hyrule and what that Link faced.

"But the question is whether or not we were able to incorporate any and all of the interesting game ideas that were able to take advantage of that kind of sheer grand scale within the Zelda universe. I am afraid that definitely no, we were not able to do all the things that perhaps with hindsight we had the capabilities to do. With that as the starting point, we are now developing the Wii version of Legend Of Zelda.”

Aonuma went on to admit that the discrepancy between imagination and representation was his greatest regret about the previous Wii game:

“In the case of Spirit Tracks it was relatively easier, because regardless of the actual proportions between the player character and the other objects, we can simply concentrate upon the many game ideas we want to realise. But in the case of trying to depict a relatively photorealistic three-dimensional world, we have to be very careful to adapt the ideas so that they seem to perfectly fit with that world. I must admit that's actually one of my very greatest regrets as regards the Twilight Princess.”

For much, much more, be sure to pick up E210, on sale now.

zakrocz's picture

Enjoyed the game even if it was pretty much the same Zelda game since Ocarina, put in about 60 hours but never finished it, too many hours spent trying to remember what I was supposed to be doing after a few days of not playing!

VIB's picture

i agree, TP made console zelda feel rather stale. but you can't have a 'mega-hit' every time i guess.
for the next one they really need to shake the structure up and do away with the mind-numbing dullness of the same, repeated but slightly twisted story arc.

i think team ico's games have been better than zelda recently. it's like they took the basic formula but made it feel contemporary and relevent. so it's a shame that TP only borrowed superficially from ico with its bloomy atmosphere and fade-to-blacks.

the old structure needs attention.

asym's picture

While I agree that TP felt stale, and Shadow of the Colossus was certainly more conceptually innovative, Team Ico is a long way from being able to match EAD Zelda's technical nous and design craftmanship. A game with imprecise basic controls and an unstable framerate is never going to compete with a mainline Zelda.

VIB's picture

true. well, very few companies can compare to nintendo's design experience! but i admire original ideas more than slick production.

Aionic_Kid's picture

I think Nintendo should definitely give the Wind Waker aesthetics and world a second chance on a big console. The game seemed so rushed that at times the overworld was like a huge empty, mispopulated place taken out from a beta copy or a tech demo. By contrast Twilight Princess was huge and full of things to do, but the overworld wasn't nearly as attractive bar some sections. TP was overall a much better game, but WW will always be remembered as a lost chance, but one worth of revisiting.

asym's picture

Objectively TWW's world was much larger and featured far more content. The only real drawback was a reduced number of dungeons, although those that were there had the best pacing, affordance and fully-realised item use in the series. TP was no slouch there either, to be fair.

Certainly I think that TWW had the clearest and most attractive presentation of any 3D Zelda. Unfortunately, it may not be commercially viable to use a similar style again, after the outcry last time...

Brendon's picture

I disagree. WW was a way better game due to its atmosphere and world. TP felt empty. There's definitely a lot of variation in terms of events going from place to place but it felt shallow. You go one place and everywhere else you go (revisiting old places) is empty or exactly the same as you left it despite the events changing everything. I liked the game overall. Midna added a decent amount to the game and some of the parts were pretty epic. But I'll take Tetra any day. WW wasn't complete but the game was magic. The items were fun and weren't as situational as TP's. Seriously, the magic rod that controls statues and the ball and chain were dumb and could only be used like twice. Same with the spinning top thing. OoT's items were way better. WW's were pretty great, too.

Phil Mayes's picture

Agreed. Once you realised in WW that each square of the sea chart contained an island, and that each island would turn out to be small and relatively uneventful, the magic went out of the game (at least for me). The impression of searching for new, undiscovered lands quickly faded.

Ben_Lathwell's picture

They should do a special edition, finish off those unfinished dungeons Nintendo cut, add more spice to the overworld (maybe even literally have a spice trade), perhaps even include some aspects of phantom hourglass in there as well.

Aionic_Kid's picture

Nice ideas, although I think the whole boat/baton of wind combination was largely unexplored. I still think a sailing dungeon would have been awesome. The first 10 hours of the game were incredible, though, everything was so full of promise and adventure.

Ben_Lathwell's picture

A boat based dungeon would be great, im imagining a haunted cave type thing, with massive stone faces that blow the boat on its course but need activating via puzzles.

Job please Ninty, and one for Aionic as well

greedo1980's picture

The way this article reads makes it sound like development has only just gotten underway on the next Wii Zelda. So exactly how long will we have to wait before it is released?

Bloody teases... the promise of another drip fed AAA franchise installment to keep me from punting the white dust magnet.

And so the the love/hate relationship with Nintendo continues.

lord_bass's picture

mooks, you had a philips cdi? you must have been loaded.

Mooks's picture

Bugger me no, I would not sully myself to include the CD-i games in the set of Zelda games. They were not developed by Nintendo and so were only strange Zelda styled games, but clearly not Zelda games.

Mooks's picture

I know this is heresy but I've completed all the Zeldas except Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess - oh and Majora's Mask. There's just something about these more adult/serious/realistic (I'm not quite sure what it is) style versions that doesn't quite engage me in the same way that the more characterful and light hearted stylised versions such as Wind Waker or a Link to the Past do.

DubsTF's picture

Wind Waker and Link to the Past are my two favorite Zeldas.

Did you play Four Swords?

Mooks's picture

Yeah me too - with Phantom Hourglass close behind. I think Link to the Past is probably still my favourite ever game - though there are some close contenders.

I did play it yes, though perhaps not as in depth as I would like since none of my fans are particularly keen on Zelda so had to be coerced into playing it somewhat - how did you find it?

DubsTF's picture

I own it but haven't played it, even though I have two GBAs and link cables at the ready. : ( Is it worth playing alone?

Mooks's picture

Sorry about the delay. Yes and no is all I can say really, depends how you look at it. That probably means no if you're expecting typical Zelda heights stuff, but yes if you lower your expectations. That probably hasn't helped sorry!

SaintJude's picture

That is heresy indeed!