Zelda Producer: We Have to be More Careful With Zelda's Artstyle

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Zelda Producer: We Have to be More Careful With Zelda's Artstyle


Eiji Aonuma admits that the drastic leap in art direction he took with Wind Waker was perhaps a bit too drastic.

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma recently told Games TM magazine [http://www.gamestm.co.uk/] that Nintendo will have to be a bit more careful with the series' artstyle in the future, owing the the large negative reaction surrounding The Wind Waker's initial release on Gamecube. "We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker," Aonuma admitted, explaining that until they find an approach that makes both developers and users happy, they probably won't be "breaking new ground" with the series.

"I think we will be a bit more careful in the future, but if we find a new approach that not just the developers, but also the users would enjoy then I think we will want to break new ground again. But we haven't found such an approach yet."

The Wind Waker, which was first release on the Gamecube back in 2003, initially saw some pretty heated negative reactions from fans, who disliked the cell-shaded "cartoony" art-style. A HD re-release for the Wii U was recently release, however, and saw praise from both critics and fans alike.

Last we heard of the as-of-yet-untitled upcoming new Zelda title for the Wii U, Nintendo still hadn't settled on an artstyle. Back in June, Aonuma stated that the game wouldn't be ultra-realistic, but wouldn't be "cartoony realistic" either, and has noted on a number of occasions that the Zelda tech demo shown at E3 2011 is not representative of how the game will look. Just, don't go expecting it to break new ground in terms of art style.

Source: Nintendo Everything [http://www.gamestm.co.uk/]

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Covarr

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May 29, 2009
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Don't you dare apologize for The Wind Waker. It's still the best looking Zelda game, and arguably the best in the series period (based on clever dungeons and puzzles, well-polished combat, and a more interesting story than the franchise usually gets).

P.S. Thanks
 

RogueportJack

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Jun 13, 2013
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Further proof that anyone with any actual talent stopped working on the Zelda series a long time ago. He's sitting here apologizing for the best looking game ever made because some people are fucking morons who can't handle it if everything isn't brown as dirt. I can't believe how angry I'm getting at this.
 

Mromson

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Jun 24, 2007
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It makes me sad listening to that *** jackass pissing on the best Zelda game in the series. I cannot believe how many times I played though that game, and it was just as fun every time. To this day I cannot fathom what the argument against Wind Waker even is! The game looks amazing.
 

Skeleon

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Nov 2, 2007
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Yes. Yes. Better not change too much of the formula. Change is bad. Innovation is bad. Differences in art style are bad. No, just different is already bad. New is bad. Yes.
 

Klagermeister

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Jun 13, 2008
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>Emulate the artstyle of Twilight Princess
>Make the story M-rated, with violence, heartbreak, adult themes, etc. Completely badass.
>MAJOR PROFIT

Twilight Princess will always be my favorite. It kinda was "ultra-realistic", and I liked that.
Also bring back Midna. She was the only not-annoying-as-shit companion character.
 

Nazulu

They will not take our Fluids
Jun 5, 2008
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Hmm, I wasn't happy with the drastic style change in the Zelda series (mostly because I believe it could have been used for a whole new franchise altogether) but this still annoys me.

It's too late to apologies for this, and for two, it's the stupid lighting and design changes you should be more careful of. The games are classics, stop fucking around with the lighting! It can change the whole mood of the game and make some things look out of place, like the fucking retarded remake of OoT 3D.

Yeah, they've lost it. I'll never see Nintendo like they used to be.
 

That Eeyore

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Aug 18, 2009
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No, Aonuma, no no no no no. You are taking the wrong lesson from Wind Waker. Sure, the fans whined when it was introduced, but then something funny happened: it succeeded! It was vindicated! The plunge you took with the artstyle? Totally paid off.

Sure there is no guarantee that another new art style will produce the same or even close results, but in that instance, it worked. Don't treat it like a cautionary tale.
 

Aeonknight

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Apr 8, 2011
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I didn't mind Wind Waker at all. That Link to the Past "sequel" however... looks like trash. Wasn't too thrilled about monster design in Skyward Sword either.

I'd take Twilight Princess art style any day of the week.
 

SilverBullets000

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Apr 11, 2012
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I get the feeling more people were pissed because it was a curve ball at the time rather than the drastic change in art style. I mean, at the time, the E3 gamecube demo of Zelda was this realistic badass showdown between Ganondorf and Link. It got people hyped and wanting to see more of that. Then, Wind Waker happened.

Even then, most people are over this by now. Every fan who gave this game a try has loved it because of the uniqueness the art style gave the game. Getting cautious over it now is absolutely pointless. If anything, quit giving misleading tech demos. Now I'm bummed that the Zelda Wii-U tech demo won't be how the newest game looks.
 

MrHide-Patten

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Jun 10, 2009
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So you're not going to do anything interesting or controversial with a series that has grown stale and predictable, how is that good plan?

Guess I'll never see something like this then...
... because some people might like that idea. Enough to buy a console they weren't intersted in buying before finding out abo- fuck it, I still wouldn't buy it. But I would strongly consider it...

And Captcha please stop asking me to recognise foriegn brands I've never seen before, you international bastard.
 

Neverhoodian

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Apr 2, 2008
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Wait, what?! He's saying people didn't like the game, even though people [http://www.metacritic.com/game/gamecube/the-legend-of-zelda-the-wind-waker] clearly [http://www.destructoid.com/the-case-for-cute-why-wind-waker-is-the-best-zelda-ever-138602.phtml] did [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Nintendo_GameCube_video_games]?! What the hell are you smoking, man? Whatever it is, please stop. It's clearly interfering with your judgement.

If he's referring to those immature asshats* that filled the web with "omg gay cel-da" comments during development, you'll notice that those pretty much disappeared once people got a chance to sit down and actually play the game.

Wind Waker is to this day my favorite Zelda game, and the only one in the series that kept me invested from beginning to end. Part of it is because of the risks it took with the art style and setting. Even the ending shakes things up, what with
Ganon being killed off for good and Hyrule remaining lost beneath the waves (at least in that timeline).

What puzzles me the most about this is why they're saying this now, right on the heels of the Wind Waker HD remake being showered with critical and popular acclaim. Surely that is an indication that people want more innovation like this, not less?

*Obligatory disclaimer that not everyone that dislikes Wind Waker is an immature asshat.
 

piinyouri

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Mar 18, 2012
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Toss me in on the "Wind Waker was great." pile.

Reading this just saddens and confuses the hell out of me.
 

MrBaskerville

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Mar 15, 2011
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Funny, i always found WindWaker to be the only good looking 3D zelda (aside from the handheld games), and it even honors the style of the old 2D games. It´s a lot closer to Link to The past than Ocarina of Time is, not sure how that´s a bad thing. My biggest problem with TP and Skyward Sword is that Link looks weird, they always manage to fuck up his nose.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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Here I thought this was him apologizing for Wind Waker HD with its heavy bloom and unecessary gradiants. But he's saying the original Wind Waker - the Zelda game with the most personallity - is was actually a mistake. Oy...

Yeah you're right, Nintendo, why would you want to start breaking new ground with this series now. With the Wii-U floundering as it is they're likely scared to death of a new, unfamiliar Zelda game.
 

ellers07

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Feb 24, 2013
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It's an excellent game, but I never did love the art style. I mean I get what they were going for and they did it well, it's just not a style that appeals to me.