Spotlight on Eiji Aonuma:
The inspiration that led to The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 21:09
The 2003 GameCube classic, “Wind Waker” is one of the most beloved games from “The Legend of Zelda” series, with a novel art style and world to explore, it breathed new life into the already incredible series. Ten years later Eiji Aonuma has worked his hardest to do the same for “Wind Waker” itself with “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD” for the Wii U. Aonuma, a head designer for “Wind Waker HD,” is known as a designer for many of the “Legend of Zelda” games, such as “Ocarina of Time,” “Majora’s Mask” and even the original “Wind Waker.” Having done several interviews, Aonuma wished to dispel any fears that “Wind Waker HD” would fail to meet the standards of the original.
In an interview with Polygon.com Aonuma mentions his own history with upsetting remakes, “I too was one of those Star Wars fans who saw the HD ‘Star Wars’ and was a little bit disappointed because it wasn’t my ‘Star Wars.’ I understand those feelings and I understand the possibility of it happening. So it’s something we’re aware of.” His own experiences have driven this remake to be something all fans will love, both new and old.
Aonuma desired to keep the changes in “Wind Waker HD” subtle. Other than the beautiful HD graphics, new controls for the Wii U and a difficult Hero Mode the player may not notice the many improvements unless they play the original “Wind Waker” along side it. “I didn’t want to change what made the original so much fun,” he said in the interview with Polygon. “Basically, the overall image of the game, including the story and the flow hasn’t been affected, wont be impacted, but we certainly made adjustments so the rhythm doesn’t drag.” His goal was to “optimize” the original, not change it; to create a smoother experience than the original “Wind Waker” could offer at the time.
Along with “Wind Waker HD” Nintendo is developing two other “Legend of Zelda” games all of them being headed by Eiji Aonuma himself; “A Link Between Worlds” for the 3DS and an untitled game for the Wii U. In fact this untitled Wii U game lead to the creation of “Wind Waker HD.” Testing the graphic capabilities of the Wii U, Aonuma made several old “Legend of Zelda” games HD. They found that “Wind Waker’s” graphic and art style was greatly enhanced by the Wii U’s visual capabilities.
“I really felt like it could breathe new life into this already existing space, this already existing experience,” Aonuma said.
As a test subject, “Wind Waker HD” has taught Aonuma and his team a lot about the capabilities of the Wii U. As its own game, Aonuma and his team have worked to make “Wind Waker HD” the smoothest and most beautiful version that the original “Wind Waker” can be. “Wind Waker HD” is not so much a remake as a desire to perfect an already landmark game in the “Legend of Zelda” series.