During Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma revealed the world of Zelda for the Wii U. With just a snap of his fingers, we got our first look at the massive size of Hyrule. Across sprawling plains and rolling hills were distant mountains. Towns speckled a countryside bordered by dense forests, and our imaginations can only guess at what lies beyond.
Called “open world” at the time of its reveal, the new Hyrule seems to be free of forced boundaries that partition the land into segments set apart from one another. However, Zelda‘s creator Shigeru Miyamoto says that “open world” may be the wrong term to use.
Speaking at the 74th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Miyamoto told investors that he disliked using “open world” when discussing the next Zelda for Wii U. The term was only used at E3 to convey to consumers who were familiar with other open world games the kind of changes the new Zelda title will bring. Miyamoto went on to define that to him, an open world is “a large world in which players can do numerous things daily.”
This seems to suggest that the new game will be loaded with replayable content. Miyamoto also said that he wants to avoid having players feel like they have completed the game, or that they are half-done with it. “We are trying to gradually break down such mechanism and develop a game style in which you can enjoy The Legend of Zelda freely in a vast world, whenever you find the time to do so,” Miyamoto said.
…You can enjoy The Legend of Zelda freely in a vast world, whenever you find the time to do so.
But just how “vast” will the next game be? MMGN recently asked Aonuma about the size of Hyrule. In response, Aonuma compared the game world to the Japanese city of Kyoto. “In terms of the scale of the new Zelda world on Wii U, I always think of Kyoto as my base,” Aonuma said.
It’s unclear if Aonuma means to say that Hyrule will be as large as the 300 square mile city of Kyoto, or if he means only to compare the two. Either way, even being compared to a massive, bustling city suggests that it will be large and teeming with things to do.