Eiji Aonuma has revealed that Nintendo are still debating what art style to use for the forthcoming Zelda game on the Wii U. The footage shown at E3 was just a demonstration using the Twilight Princess art style that the Zelda team felt comfortable using. The final game however could look completely different. What visual style would you like to see Nintendo use on the next Zelda game for Wii U?
I heard a rumor that this may be the longest and deepest Zelda game ever made.
It's certainly no rumor what-so-ever. It is definitely a tremendous game- there is so much content that Mr. Miyamoto and I haven't been able to thoroughly play it all. We're obviously in the process of doing the refinement, but the fact that we're still chewing through the content as we go is a testament to the fact that it is a game backed by a tremendous volume of game play and content. When I say volume, its not necessarily just that there's a big world out there to explore. You come to understand the structures of things in your world, and you'll see a broadening of a kind of game play that goes on in these structures as you're playing through. So, that's one way the game has tremendous volume.
If you had more time and an unlimited budget, what else would you do to try to celebrate Zelda's 25th anniversary?
If what we're really talking about is a sort of a "sky is the limit" approach to things, I always thought it would be really cool to have a real Zelda movie, something really grand and sweeping. But, of course, I have neither the time nor the wherewithal for all that, and even if I did have the money to make such a movie, I don't know if it would turn out well. But there are those days when I fantasize about how cool it would be if something like that would happen sometime in the future.
Now that handheld systems are powerful enough to provide the kind of Zelda experience that has previously been available only on consoles, will there be any differentiation between the two styles going forward?
Certainly in making the DS titles as handheld Zeldas, one of the goals has always been to make something you can play in little bits and pieces so that you have a little fun, put it away, and do something else, and come back to it. That's sort of the accessibility of playing the game in bite-sized chunks. But as you pointed out, Ocarina of Time is a fully fledged,, previously console Zelda that is now portable. So in that sense, yes, the ability to deliver that kind of experience is now available for handhelds as well; it's not just in the domain of consoles anymore. However, if that's the case and we can deliver what people previously considered a console experience, to a handheld, it makes me think, "Well, what can we do to make those home-console Zeldas that much more engrossing and appropriate for being in your room and spending the time to really dive deep in the game?" So, that's a theme that I'm certainly going to carry though into future development. One way that I've really thought about it is that motion controls, for example, are great fun when you're in your room and swinging your sword. But if you think about it, if you were to do that out in public, in front of people, it may not be the best experience for everyone. So, I definitely want to continue to think about experiences that suit themselves to long periods of deep exploration in game play at home, and also look more at what types of game play are best suited for being out and about.
After playing Ocarina of Time 3D, the next question that comes to mind is: Will we get a Majora's Mask remake next?
Would you like to play such a remake?
It's been 13 years since Ocarina of Time was originally released, and one of the big things that we made this remake possible was that there was an outpour of emotions from people who said they would like to see this game done. We said we could do it in 3D, so we did. I think certainly if there was a similar output of emotion and clamor from fans for a remake of Majora's Mask, it wouldn't be an utter impossibility.
Thinking on it now, having a handheld Majora's Mask where you could kind of just set things down on your own time - close it, set it aside and come back to it later - might be a game play element some fans will actually take to and might really appreciate. Especially considering how you really had to rush through the original game, in a sense.
Do you have any ideas percolating regarding how you'd like to a see a Zelda game play on the Wii U?
Obviously software sort of evolves along with hardware and the functions that are built into hardware. I think if I was to give away all the ideas that are floating around, it wouldn't be as much fun when those products actually come to life. But one thing I certainly find myself liking is a lot - that you saw in the Wii U Zelda HD experience - is the idea of being able to pill your map onto a separate screen and really make use of that separate display in order to make your adventure more exciting and more streamlined. That is certainly something I find very appealing.
Speaking of that demo, is the Twilight Princess art style what you'd like to use for a Zelda game on the Wii U?
Not necessarily. Really, this time around it was more about seeing what we can do with the Wii U. In making the experience, we had the Twilight Princess art style as a base more or less to gauge what we were doing. But for a Wii U Zelda in the future, there's no art style or design direction that's been laid down - we're very open to distinct possibilities.