For those who recall Aonuma recently telling the story of how he kept Wind Waker‘s development a secret from Miyamoto, he also revealed many more interesting details in the same MTV Multiplayer interview. He says that he pursued the cel-shaded visuals because he and his team were curious about the style, especially as it had rarely been explored in other games at the time.
“At the time, when the GameCube came out, within the computer graphics world, within the industry, “toon shading” was kind of a buzzword. There was a lot of chatter about it, but no one had really explored it in games yet, at the time. The staff that I work with was curious, so we challenged it. We tried it. We said, ‘why don’t we try it on a game, and if it works, maybe we can move forward.’”
Aonuma also states that the Swift Sail in WWHD is almost twice as fast as the regular sail, and that the reason sailing was slow in the original game was due to “limitations with the hardware”.
“If I had to say one thing in particular I wanted to improve in the original, while I was developing the original, it has to have been the boat speed. I can’t give you an exact number, but it’s almost two times faster in the Wii U version than it was in the Game Cube version, and that was because of limitations with the hardware. You have this giant expanse of the sea that you need to traverse, and now that it’s on the Wii U people can do it at a faster clip. It will improve the overall pacing and experience of the game. I certainly wanted to make it a dynamic experience, and I feel like, with the Wii U, it is a dynamic experience.”
He comments on the concept art of the GameCube island in Hyrule Historia, stating that it was not included in the finished game because the team felt it was out of place.
“That is a concept design. It’s something that our designers created, and when we looked at it, we were like it just doesn’t fit in this world, so it was not included. But, in Phantom Hourglass, there is a DS Island, so, I’m thinking there was some staff that just wanted to put something like that in there.”
Regarding the Tingle Bottle replacing the Tingle Tuner, Aonuma had tested the Tingle Tuner feature on the GamePad screen. He felt that it got in the way of all the integral features the GamePad offered, and it didn’t offer a chance for two-player asymmetrical gameplay like in the original because the player controlling Link needs to use the GamePad themselves.
“We thought about using the GamePad as a Tingle Tuner, but the way the GamePad’s screen functions in ‘Wind Waker HD’ is that it’s supposed to help the player. It’s supposed to help them select items. It’s supposed to function as the map for the game, and if all of a sudden Tingle appears on the GamePad screen, it just felt a little bit off. The function of the Tingle Tuner was for assist-play, and because the GamePad is supposed to be so integral to the game player’s experience, it just didn’t quite work right. But, we still wanted to have an assist-play type experience in ‘Wind Waker HD,’ just to give players that feeling of experiencing the world with someone else, or maybe even getting hints when you get stuck. That’s why we decided to incorporate the Miiverse functionality, and kind of give that assist-play like experience, incorporate that into ‘Wind Waker HD.’”
Finally, Mr. Aonuma is very enthusiastic about seeing the Link characters he has created in the upcoming new Super Smash Bros. game.
“I’m really happy to see the characters that I’ve created in Mr. Sakurai’s game. I’m more curious to see what he does with these characters that I’ve created. He’s successfully taken ‘Twilight Princess’ and Toon Link and made them appear in this very different world, and have very distinctive qualities, so I’m very happy to see what he’s able to do with the characters that I’ve created.”