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.

  • Ryan Haney

    This sounds like LOTRO, MMORPG kind of daily deeds in addition to the main adventure. I think I will shatter my previous Activity Log record for hours playing a game, with this next Zelda game.
    I love that picture of Hyrule Field. There is so much going on. When I found the 1600×1200 picture of it and zoomed in, I was like “Man, this isn’t just some landscape shot. It’s like a living country.”

    • Joe Dean

      Post link to said shot please 😀

      • Ryan Haney

        I couldn’t remember where I found it, so I went to bing and did the image search for “Zelda u Hyrule field”. couldn’t find the 1600×1200 one, found a 600×400 one and clicked “Similar Sizes” and found this 1920×1080 one. Use the zoom on your browser to see a castle, dungeon, villages, and so on. http://blogs-images.forbes.com/erikkain/files/2014/06/zelda.jpg

        • Ryan Haney

          If you zoom in to 400% you can see the sword sheath on Epona’s hip. It looks like the one for the Ordon Sword.

        • CEObrainz

          I really like this one:

          http://i.imgur.com/JZQdnNc.jpg

          • Trinosaur

            breathtaking….

        • Joe Dean

          I’m intrigued by the forest canopy area on the far right, looks like a good throw back to inside the deku tree 🙂

  • Loki_GFS

    The game looks beautiful indeed, I like exploring a large field.

  • inky600

    its going to be like the first zelda and i love it.

  • Eric Mendoza II

    Secretly remake The Legend of Zelda [Original] and throw a buncha new shtuff in please. OOoo girl that first game though! Hard as balls but feels so good.

  • CEObrainz

    That sounds plenty big to me, I just hope they solve the problem that some of the past Zelda’s have suffered with, that being giant empty areas with hardly anything to do…

  • Trinosaur

    I’m pretty excited for this game and I eagerly wait to hear more about it! Now that E3 is over though, we’re going into a lull for news… I want more!