Developer Eiji Aonuma doesn’t play favorites when it comes to Zelda games. However, he admits in a recent Wired interview that Wind Waker holds a special place in his heart. Just as the King of Red Lions mentored Link, Aonuma became a father to his very own baby hero. “I would say that Wind Waker is particularly special because I worked on that just as my son was being born. So it’s the first game I created as a father,” he said.
Aonuma reveals similarities between himself and the King of Red Lions. “For example, the King of Red Lions, I created that, and he has a very paternal, very fatherly-sounding voice, so that I think comes across a little bit,” he explained. The King of Red Lions certainly acts as a father figure to Link, sharing wisdom and direction as he carries the young hero throughout the Great Seas. The parallels between the King of Red Lions and Aonuma humanize the characters, adding another layer of depth to an already strong story.
Working on Wind Waker for the Wii U brings back those memories of becoming a father for the first time. “So it was a new life milestone, the timing of that particular project, so it’s certainly special to me and I’ll always remember that. As I’m working on the game again, some of those feelings are coming back. So there’s a special kind of love for that game. But all of the titles remind me of different points in my life, so they’re all very special to me.”
Does any Zelda game stand out to you because of what was going on in your life?