According to Nintendo Everything, the September issue of Official Nintendo Magazine contains yet another interview with Eiji Aonuma. In a quote from this interview, he once more cites gameplay as the main factor in determining the art style of Skyward Sword. While we do not yet have the magazine to confirm, Nintendo Everything quotes Aonuma as saying the following:

β€œOne of the reasons we’ve chosen the art style we have with Skyward Sword is that it is a better vehicle to showcase the exaggerated characteristics of some of the characters. Not only of the enemy characters, but as a representation of the sword spirit itself. Because of the way we have put the game together you have to focus on how the enemy is carrying their weapon, and there are a couple of different ways you can go about that. One, you can be super-realistic, and the other, not so realistic. We thought that because we want to highlight the swordfighting combat, we have to exaggerate the features. We thought that the art style we chose was best-suited to do that. You have to match the art style to how the game plays, and we thought this worked best. We matched the artwork so that we can highlight the over-exaggeration in the gameplay.”

Aonuma provided the same explanation in a recent interview with Gamespot: that the increased accuracy of swordplay with the Wii MotionPlug resulted in enemies designed with exaggerated features to help players defeat them, and that these exaggerated features fit best within what is now the art style of Skyward Sword.

While the importance of gameplay vs. the importance of story is a hotly debated topic among Zelda fans, Aonuma’s quite strongly suggests that gameplay is at least determined before graphical style. However, it also suggests that equal thought is put into both. Even if gameplay is considered first, in the case of Skyward Sword, developers have worked to ensure that its graphics match its gameplay, and as we eagerly await this new title, we can only hope that this consideration results in a game that flows together smoothly.

Aonuma also states that the game’s art style not only showcases the game’s exaggerated enemy design, but is representative of the sword spirit herself. What does this imply about the final design of the yet-unnamed Skyward Sword spirit? And furthermore, what might it suggest about her personality and overall role in the plot of the game? As always, we want to know what you think, so let us know in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo Everything
  • I just hope that he’s not implying that her personality will be really silly and off-the-wall. That worked for Zelda in Spirit Tracks, but the fact that she’s a sword means she should be more serious and contemplative.

    • Scrivs

      I think it's safe to say that she won't have a silly personality or anything like that. I'm only basing this on how the concept art looks but I think they were trying to go for a solemn, dignified appearance.

  • freedom410

    Am I the only one worried that it seems like SS is focusing far too much on Wii MotionPlus and the supposed one-to-one movement style at the expense of graphics and the rest of the game? It's one thing if, as Miyamoto said recently, the graphics were driven by artistic preference for surrealism. However, exaggerating characters' features just so they can show off the Wii MotionPlus doesn't sound good. After all, if people are disappointed with the SS graphics, they might not even play the game. Frankly, requiring such precise Wii MotionPlus movements almost sounds frustrating rather than fun. I'll just cross my fingers and hope the graphics work well in the game…

    • Chad

      It's a zelda game people will play it no matter what.

    • I kinda agree with you.

    • Scrivs

      I dont think that Nintendo was trying to "show off" the Wii MotionPlus by exaggerating character's features, I think they felt the new graphic style was necessary to clearly show the players how they would go about killing an enemy. I dont agree with that but that's my problem not Nintendo's.

  • zoraluigi

    How does everyone but ZU have the September issues of things like these? Seriously, they might as well have put up fake news and labeled it September. I will continue to take these with a grain of salt as I obey that old internet adage- Pics or it didn't happen.

    • zoraluigi

      Edit: Oh, well, if he told Gamespot… I need to read before I rant. πŸ˜›

  • oh really huh?then why nintendo make the poster realism

    • Probably because they were still testing the graphic styles in the game when that poster came out.

    • Goro

      That, my friend, is a lie. Look at the poster again and you'll see it's still impressionistic, just darker. Meaning, when Nintendo showed the artwork for the game at E3 2009, they had a good idea what the graphic were going to be. It was probably going to be a more darker form of impressionism, but they decided to make it more colorful to make the enemies' over-exaggerated attacks and defenses more easier to read.

      As for the argurment of Aonuma being pressured by Monster Hunter Tri graphics, you'll know from playing that game that there is tons of loading screens. Do you really want to play Zelda with hundreds of loading screens? He probably saw that and realised that it would have been a bad choice for Zelda to have super realistic graphics on Wii.

  • @Smoore: I agree with you on "Adelle's" character; she should be a spirit that takes things as they are. I can imagine her pensive and somber, warning Link before he rushes headlong into a sticky sitch. Midna–my favorite assistant by far–was always a go-getter. It would be neat to see Adelle stop and have us contemplate the circumstances we are about to face. Still cannot wait for the arrival of the Adelle's sword namesake, formed in the shape of a disc, and packaged for the shelves of pretty much every store. πŸ˜‰

  • The only thing Im worried about is if the game is left hand compatible or not. If its not Im going to hurt somebody. "I just hope everyone will play it right handed." SRSLY AONUMA?!?! THATS HAND-IST!!! WHY DONT WE GIVE YOU A LEFT HAND ONLY GAME ANS SAY PLAY IT??? HUH?!?! BLLAAARGHHH?!?!?

    • Please don't hurt me, but Aounuma (I'm pretty sure it was him) said that there will only be a right hand style to the game, he says that to make a game in mirror image means he has to basically remake the whole game.
      I'm sorry.

      • lifesavers2

        I know that quote in my post was from the interview.

        And he said he would have to remake all the sprites, not the whole game.
        But he said he PROBABLY wouldn't. Maybe if he finishes the game fast enough…

        • No, it's just not gonna happen. I'm sorry. Maybe you should try to learn to be a righty. It'll help you a lot in this world.

          • lifesavers2

            Just SHUT UP

          • And you cant learn to be a righty. Its set in your genes.

          • X x7

            Then why is my sister a lefty now when she was originally a righty and then she broke her right hand and could only write with her left hand?
            And I'm not trying to insult you I'm serious that being a righty will help you in this world!

    • freedom410

      Because most people are right-handed (approximately 7-10% of all adults). Sorry, but that's the truth.

      • wait 7-10%? Don't you mean 70-100%

        • freedom410

          Hi, sorry, I meant to say "(approximately 7-10% of all adults are left-handed)" Thanks for catching that

        • I dont think 100% of people are Right handed. *laughs*

          • Scrivs

            he meant 7-10% of adults are left handed

          • I know I was replying to X x 7 and I was just kidding.

          • That doesn't make sense, how can 90-93% be either left handed or ambidextrous?

      • lifesavers2

        Actually around 25% of ALL people are left handed. And Link is left handed btw so there should be an option.

        Lefties FTW

        • Alkunkunka

          I totally agree with lifesavers. I am right-handed myself, but I think it ust isn't fair for leftys! I mean, even when the character is himself left-handed they are the ones that have to suffer. And, HEY! Even Wii Sports gives us the option.

        • Scrivs

          1/4 people are left handed?

          • You might not see that depending on where you live.
            And if you say I have X siblings and my no one including my parents are left handed that doesnt count becuase it is not probable to have leftie children wih righty parents
            If that made sense πŸ™‚

    • Scrivs

      dude I'm left handed and I find it really awkward to control the movement of Link with my right hand (the nunchuck). I dont know about you but it just feels weird after all the years i spent having the left thumb control the joystick.

      • If you are playing it like that then you are playing it the righty way.

  • Well that's more info I need to fight against the evil people who hate the game style. I don't know about how the Skyward Sword in its humanoid form is going to look in the games graphics.
    By the way, what should we call this graphic style now? We had Toon Link, and real Link, so what should this one be called? Painting Link?

    • Chad

      Impressionistic link, Impression Link, IP (Impressionistic Painting) Link, or we could reverse the letters and go ahead and call him π Link. lol I love Puns.

      • APEXMAN

        i believe hes now mostly considered hybrid link

        as he is a mix of two worlds. TP and WW

        • Chad

          oh well hybrid link does sound better than my suggestions

          • Alkunkunka

            I remember reading somewhere that comeone called him/her Linkynia or the female version of Link….so, that's an option, I guess. HEY! Made ME laugh.

    • Guest

      I think he should just be called Link. He looks just like Link, but in a slightly different art style. Toon Link is called Toon Link because of his cartoonish features, like huge eyes and stubby legs, but this Link just looks like a regular person just drawn in a different style (even if he does look a little like a girl). He shouldn't be considered a completely different person for that.

      • SweetLie

        I'm pretty sure Toon Link is called Toon Link because of Super Smash Bros. Brawl :/

  • Valdek


  • Phantom7

    WiiMotionPlug? Someone should really fix that typo…

    • Chad

      I think I'm going to start calling it the WiiMotionPlug from now on

  • I think the first official artwork that was released looks much more realistic than the final graphics of the game.

    • Elijah

      They might have been going to design it like Twilight Princess, they originally weren't going to have the Motion Plus. Since they're using the Motion Plus then they decided to change the graphics. For me I like the graphics of this game πŸ™‚

      • Shadow Darkman

        Actually, yes, they WERE going for TP-like graphics, and then Miyamoto said he wanted to use TWW-like graphics, and so the Epic Compromise was formed.

        T'was the only way to obey Miyamoto's wish and not make the concept art seem like a Mind Screw when it wasn't. I mean, look at it!

        However, I remember reading someone say that they should keep advancing the graphics until we can see the sweat running down the people's faces.



    i dont see how making this game super compatible with WM+ has to affect the graphics.

    they could have had the TP style. im sure it would have worked fine, instead of exaggerated looking enemies.

    • Aeolus

      I think what Aonuma was saying is that with this new control system, you have to watch carefully what the enemies are doing with their weapons so you can make your attack. Watching the trailer you will notice how most of the enemies will block Link's attacks in a certain way, meaning you have to slash in a certain way. They want to exaggerate the enemies' weapons so you can do this. Exaggerated weapons would look ridiculous in the hands of realistic enemies, so their designs must have been made to match that, which would look ridiculous in TP graphics, haha. I think what may have happened is the style was going to be more like Wind Waker's, until someone came up with the "impressionist" thing and it was an instant yes from Miyamoto. That would explain our two different explanations for the graphics chosen

      • Well, the Death Sword in TP had an exaggerated sword and it was the coolest miniboss ever.

        • Chad

          I liked the Deku Toad better

          • I like them both.

          • The Death Sword was probably my favorite, followed by the Darknut and Zant's illusion (which was awesome 'cause we could kick his tail for the first time ;D). I also liked the monkey since he could knock those red Deku Babas down with the Gale Boomerang; those provided a bit of a challenge. Oh, wait!
            I forgot about the Suit of Armor in the Snow Mansion…he's in third, behind the Darknut. 8D

          • X x7

            Oh I HATED that Suit of Armor thing. I still don't know if the way I beat him was the right way.

          • In truth, I hated it also, because it was in the Snow Mansion, but I absolutely loved the fact that when I did manage to evade it, I could go kamikaze on its tail. Besides, the other mini-bosses were either frustrating or too bland. Well, with the exception of the Great Toad, now that I think of it. (0^0)

      • Shadow Darkman

        "I think what may have happened is the style was going to be more like Wind Waker's"

        Nope, they were originally going with Twilight Princess graphics, but then Miyamoto said he wanted to do Wind Waker graphics, and a compromise was formed, resulting in the art style we now see.

  • bennett11

    i like the hybrid link name

  • cuju

    Peanuts ?

  • puddy713

    people need to stop bitching about the graphics, seriously. they are fine. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH IT AT ALL. the way TP looked wasn't even that great. plus one of the reasons why TP looked that way was because of TWILIGHT. THE WORD TWILIGHT PEOPLE. THIS IS SKYWARD SWORD. get the fuck over it.

    • Let's calm dowm Mr. Pottymouth.

      HAHA JK πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • But it's totally true!

  • matt17

    if they had to use those graphics to fit the gameplay, then the game must be a silly-type game

    • Chad

      maybe just in the demo if you read theWolfess' article on impressionism there is also a dark side to impressionism that may be used for the area under the clouds

  • Elijah

    I really like the graphics, I liked Twilight Princess, but it seemed a little on the dark side. This is game is bright but it still shows that there's still danger.

    • Katieluvszelda

      lol, yeah twilight princess was on the darlkside, but, look at the name, its TWILIGHT and the storyline is more of a serious sorta thing.

  • Sanity's_Theif

    I think super realistic graphics would work just fine, and he said that as one of the options so hopefully they utilize that artstyle in the next game because, you know, they're always changing the damn artstyle

    And I agree with freedom410 in that, "SS is focusing far too much on Wii MotionPlus and the supposed one-to-one movement style at the expense of graphics and the rest of the game?"

  • misterquin

    Why do people assume that because we've seen one area, that the entire game will be "kiddy and colorful?"

    Look up pics of impressionism and you'll find colorful and light paintings but also depressing and dark paintings. Every Zelda game has had dark/ scary areas. Why would this game be any different?

  • Katieluvszelda

    i agree, i thought i was the only one worrying about that too!
    like, the way you have to actually movie it from one place to another, you have to actually swing the wiimote, it sounds plain out annoying to me. they should worry about the graphics, sure, but look at all the people who love the original, they dont complain bout graphics, it depends on how challenging and fun the game is, and if the story line is good, not just wii motion plus controls and graphics, i try to get that across all the time!

  • Team mate joe

    they should just stick with twillight princess graphics. the toon games are starting to get really annoying and they dont even look that good

  • So basically the graphics suck so that… once again, the games can be easier…

    • BOO YOU

    • Not at all. Basically the graphics are amazing and you're a troll so that for the first time, the game can be somewhat of a challenge. Do you WANT things to look bad, but realistic?

  • bennett11

    i don't mind the graphics
    as long as it is a zelda game and it has that zelda feel

  • 209116032

    seems like Nintendo is nervous for the reception of these graphics….

  • Guill

    I kind of like the whole TP meets WW with a hint of MM style of graphics in this game. But considering how much TP changed from the beta to the finished game and that there is still around half a year for SS to come out there might be some changes still. Even though that the game in TP changed a bit but the graphics not so much there is still time. I don't expect any big changes but I don't expect the finished game to look exactly the same as the videos that are out now.

  • kokiri star

    Meh i love the graphics(apart from the jagged bunches of leaves which just look like wrapping paper and just generally out of place). But all weve seen is a first demo…and nintendo and very big on refining finished games before release anyway). Besides if it was going for a realistic style it-then we would get loads of 360 and ps3 graphics whores comparing it to HD graphics…lets just face it realistic styled graphics just look outdated on the wii.

    p.s looking at the concept art for any of the zelda games…NONE of them (yes including ocarina) are going for photo realism anyway. Besides the various different art and graphical styles is one of the many things i love about zelda…i mean how many other franchises are able to change thier art style every few games and get away with it?

    Skyward sword is a zelda game…even if it is a bad zelda game , it will STILL be a great game by industry standards.