Eiji Aonuma

With the recent release of Wind Waker HD, many fans and critics have praised the game not only for its gameplay, but for its unique and colorful art style as well. However, the game wasn’t always praised for its graphics; in fact, there was a huge backlash to them when the game was first announced for the GameCube. In an interview with Shacknews, Aonuma discussed both Wind Waker’s turn around in reception in recent years, and how the visuals of Twilight Princess were affected by the fans’ backlash; he also revealed that the graphics of Twilight Princess were actually tested in HD. Hit the jump for the full interview!

Aonuma took the time to discuss why he believed the reception for Wind Waker’s art style has changed over time, as well as stating his belief that the art style of the game is special because of its uniqueness:

“I think one big thing would be that we continued to use that art style in DS titles. They got to a kind of expanded userbase–a lot of people that didn’t play Zelda games before. I think after seeing that, when you see Wind Waker’s art style again, it becomes easier to approach because you’re more used to it.”

 “I think also at the time time, that kind of toon art style was something you were starting to see in a lot of CG. But, it was used a little a bit but after that, it wasn’t used that much. Now, looking back at it, it seems like a very special thing.”

Aonuma then discussed how the negative reception of Wind Waker’s art style by many fans influenced the direction of Twilight Princess’ visuals:

“We had that negative reaction to that art style and then we did a 180, thinking ‘maybe this is what the fans want.’ It wasn’t just that in terms of the direction of the art style for Twilight Princess, but I think that was a big influence.”

Nintendo also experimented with bringing the graphics of Twilight Princess to HD. In the end, Aonuma rejected making a remake of the game, believing that the graphical update didn’t turn the game into a new thing; however, he believed that updating the graphics to Wind Waker completely transformed the game:

“Certainly, we tried. We did a test of Twilight Princess in HD. But it didn’t turn into a new thing. It looked better, it looked cleaner, and it looked like a master version of the game.”

“But with Wind Waker, it really changed into something different–it changed into that really-looking-like-a-cartoon style we were aiming for, but we couldn’t because of the Gamecube’s power. I think now, the reason why people are enjoying it so much, that’s a part of it.”

Aonuma didn’t just want an HD remaster of a Zelda game; he wanted the graphical update to have a meaningful impact on the game itself, making it something that he felt was worth pursuing and fine tuning. Over time Wind Waker seems to have received more and more positive reception, with the HD remake of the game cementing its legacy.

Source: Shacknews
Via: Nintendo Everything
  • Vic

    Why only consider remaking Wind Waker or Twilight Princess in HD when the older games are clearly the ones that most need a graphical overhaul? I'm actually disappointed now that Ocarina of Time was released on the 3DS instead of in HD on the WiiU.

    • Hooch

      Because remaking those games would take actual work and they're remakes rather than ports. I've still got my fingers crossed for OoT3D and the eventual MM3D getting packed together and ported to the WiiU, certainly more interested in that than in WWHD.

    • Hombre de Mundo

      Which game would you like them to remake? Outside of WW and TP, there are only 2 older 3D games: OoT and MM.

      OoT already got a recent remake on the 3DS and MM is very likely to follow. So putting those on the Wii U isn't happening. And the other games are 2D games that don't gain a lot from being HD aside from maybe ALttP but that's also getting a sequel for the 3DS so again, it's kind of pointless.

      WW is and always was the best candidate.

  • Cascador

    I think changing TP to HD would be still of good use. One thing about WW is that the graphics didn't really grow that old, compared to other games. Visually it kept a rather graphical look that didn't grow old. However with TP being a different kind of beast, it already is beginning to grow old. Turning it into HD in comparison to other HD games we see today will make it live longer in the time that is coming, after all TP still used Gamecube graphics. With Wii U graphics it will certainly improve by a long shot and there is also room for improvement in the gameplay certainly now that you have the gamepad and can plug in subtle changes just as in WW HD. Just be inventive. Be yourself, Nintendo!

  • Mickii

    TP in HD… I would've loved to see that…

  • taylormurch

    Aw, I want a remake of Twilight Princess with a Master Quest D:

  • jakrabbit

    Yeah I found WW boring, also I personally think skyward sword should never have been released on Wii it had so much more potential that was restricted by the hardware.