Many people get the impression that the Zelda series is made completely by men.  After all, Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, the two men in charge of the series, are present in many interviews and appear at the big events such as E3.  In the current edition of “Iwata Asks,” however, president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, tries to break this perception by interviewing Skyward Sword’s female staff.  Spoilers for the game aren’t completely absent, but are pretty light in terms of story–the interview instead focuses on the womens’ contribution to the game itself.  Read on to see the highlights of the discussion.

In a charmingly flirty manner (“What a stunning group we have today!”), Iwata introduces Skyward Sword’s female staff.  You can correspond their names to the photo above.

  • Hosaka worked on dungeon and field design, and was also part of planning.
  • Hirono designed characters that “Link meets on his journey,” in addition to coordinating the team.
  • Iwasaki coordinated work related to items and supervised design; she also worked on certain objects in Skyloft.
  • Marunami coordinated “things related to objects,” particularly in forest and desert areas.
  • Hisada, who has appeared in “Iwata Asks” before, “coordinated the overall landforms and designed landforms for the sky and town.”  She has been involved with Skyward Sword since its early development, and was present when the design style was chosen, saying that they decided to “do it in a bright, watercolor style!”

Other highlights from the interview are included below.

  • Several members of the team had their first experience with Zelda by playing The Wind Waker, which they quickly realized wasn’t “just a cute game,” but one that has a lot of “detail” and a “hefty core of gameplay.”
  • They appreciated how in The Wind Waker, almost every object could be interacted with.  This trait continues on to Skyward Sword.
  • Hirono, on the other hand, has been a Zelda fan since the original.
  • The team made an effort to make the game’s characters “feel familiar and be cute even if they looked weird.”  Iwata describes the characters as “rich, or dense.”
  • As the team became wrapped up in the series’ cuteness, Iwata joked that they were probably “wondering why Ilia didn’t hug you!” to which he received and enthusiastic “Yes!”
  • Characters’ outfits were often designed to complement the background.  For example, Zelda’s red/pink dress complements the vividly blue sky which is often seen behind her.
  • Character design is very detailed this time around:  villagers in Skyloft wear clothes that would be appropriate for that cool, elevated climate, and Ghirahim’s slithering tongue was designed with his face’s bone structure in mind.
  • Hosoka didn’t like how no one in the game knew of Link’s triumphs in the dungeons, so she created characters within the dungeons who will praise Link for his heroic or clever deeds, such as the Mogma.
  • Various items are used to get through the dungeons, rather than just using one special item for each dungeon.
  • Depending on what location an item is received, it will look unique.  For example, items made in Skyloft look simple and use cloud or bird motifs, while items from other areas are more intricately designed.
  • Items are designed to look vivid and clear in any areas.  Bombs, for example, are bright blue in this game, going well with bright areas such as Skyloft, as well as being easy to see in dark cave areas.

Iwata and the team stress that this game is accessible to new and young players, as well as satisfying for veteran players.  Again, since it is chronologically the first game in the series, Iwata describes it as, “without a doubt, The Legend of Zelda.”  No matter where you live, Skyward Sword’s release is imminent (Europe gets it tomorrow, and the rest of the world soon follows).  Soon you will be able to experience this original “Legend of Zelda” for yourself.

Source:  Iwata Asks.
  • Aharol

    I don't think this is about Zelda. It looks like its about discrimination in gender.

    • I really don't think so. Nintendo has never been under fire for not having female employees spotlighted, so this interview wasn't created to make them look good. They just wanted to show to fans an element of the Zelda team that most people don't know about, and that Zelda is for everyone, not just the stereotypical gamer.

  • Why can't Sunday come any faster?

  • Dreictoly

    I want midnight to come because I'm in Europe.

  • Jon

    You know what? I live in Europe and I have it already. XD My store released it yesterday, I got the limited bundle. It's so awesome. Pictures here: http://forums.zelda-infinite.com/viewtopic.php?f=

  • Ashmic

    they're allowed to work? (jk) bein racist against them not sexist lol

  • Dreictoly

    Very interesting Jon, I live near a desert and this town is a little poor. What kind of a store is XD Jon? You didn't have to put those pictures to show me you got it already because my comment was for the American people not you. 🙁

  • Dreictoly

    I kinda feel like Osama Bin Laden except im in a house like in Las Vegas in USA but a lot smaller.

  • As a female game designer (well, game design *student), I find it refreshing to be able to hear from women making the big titles, such as The Legend of Zelda. As silly as it sounds, it makes me feel a little less lonely.