After the official reveal of The Wind Waker HD, fans have been speculating about possible remakes in the Legend of Zelda series. We now know that The Wind Waker wasn’t the only title Nintendo considered remaking. Eiji Aonuma, video game designer who oversees The Legend of Zelda games, confirmed that Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword were also tested in HD format.
Although these games were tested, Aonuma said that there likely won’t be any additional HD remakes in the near future. (I’m personally still holding my breath for a Majora’s Mask remake in any format.)
In a Polygon interview, Aonuma said:
“I can’t say that the possibility is zero that those will be made into HD, but right now I need to work on the next installation in the series so I don’t have the bandwidth to do that right now. But maybe it will happen if someone else does it.”
More info about what Aonuma said about Legend of Zelda remakes after the jump!
Aonuma also commented on the fact that remakes are a tricky business, and that it is best to tread lightly and strike a balance between old and new when working on a remake of beloved game titles. When asked about maintaining the right balance with a remake, he said:
“It is certainly a bit of a balancing act. I too was one of those Star Wars fans who saw the HD Star Wars and was a little bit disappointed because it wasn’t my Star Wars. I understand those feelings and I understand the possibility of it happening. So it’s something we’re aware of.”
Aonuma was also aware that fans were initially wary of a Wind Waker remake. When asked about fan concerns and worries, he said:
“That’s something I’m very concerned about, I’m always thinking about. With Wind Waker HD the first thing we did was release a still during a Nintendo Direct presentation and there were quite a few fans who said, ‘That’s not my Wind Waker.’ They said it looked different from the Wind Waker they’ve experienced.”
With fan input in mind, Aonuma strived to create a remake that improved upon the original without going too far off base from what fans originally loved about the game. He also mentioned that he hopes The Wind Waker HD would draw in new fans as well.
“I didn’t want to change what made the original so much fun. Whenever there were areas that players were getting stuck I wanted to smooth those out, if the pacing wasn’t optimized, if it felt like the rhythm of the game was being effected by whatever task the player was having to do those would be tuned, we tightened those areas up. Basically, the overall image of the game, including the story and the flow hasn’t been affected, wont be impacted, but we certainly made adjustments so the rhythm doesn’t drag. Certainly I understand even those areas of the game that weren’t optimized could be associated with very fond memories for people who played the game originally, but I wanted to make those adjustments to really optimize the experience for all players, including new players. Hopefully there will be a lot of new players who will pick up the game for the first time and I wanted to make sure that this was optimized for them.”
Although initially concerned, Aonuma came to realize that all the changes to the Wind Waker were similar to the creative process of producing a new game, which is why he decided to finally move forward with the project. He said:
“As a creator, I want to make something new, remakes really aren’t something that get me excited.”
However, he went on to say:
“We discovered that there was a new fun experience to be had there so there was never any discussion of making a sequel rather than a remake for Wind Waker. As I mentioned before, as a creator I always want to create something new. The decision to make Wind Waker HD actually came as a result of our intent to create something new for the Wii U.”
As far as the development of a completely new Zelda Wii U game, Aonuma had no comment.
“Honestly it’s not finalized yet, where in the Zelda universe this story will land. We’re exploring different directions that we can take this story at this point, so there’s unfortunately nothing I can share from that perspective.
From this interview, it seems that Aonuma has done a great job of weighing the pros and cons of pursuing the remake of a classic game such as The Wind Waker. As with any remake, there will always fans who are unhappy with the changes or wish that things were done differently.
Do you think The Wind Waker was a good choice for an HD remake? Would you have rather seen an HD remake of Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword?