We all know Zelda games have always had an interesting plot and characters, but the story itself has never played a huge role in the overall gameplay. Recently, MTV’s Multiplayer blog spoke to Eiji Aonuma about the importance of story-lines in the Zelda series. What would happen if Nintendo allowed the player to define the story? Click the jump to read more.
Aonuma was asked what it would be like if the story was the main focus of a Zelda game. He admitted that would be a difficult task.
“(I feel) like that would be a game that’s really hard to develop, if you have a story first, you’re kind of tied to that story, and locked into it, and you have to alter gameplay to make sure that the story progresses in a certain way. …that doesn’t really mean that the gameplay itself will be fun. I know that there are many games that were created to fit an existing story, and I don’t know that there are that many that have been very successful at it.”
Aonuma went on to say that The Wind Waker was unique in that the gameplay and the story grew together at the same time, and was a special element that sets the game apart from other games in the Zelda series.
“‘Wind Waker’ is unlike anything that has ever happened on any other ‘Zelda’ game; the gameplay and the environment, the graphic style of the environment and the story kind of came together at the same time, or as development progressed. We knew that we wanted to have the seas as our setting, and we could really bring that sea to life via the toon shading. And, because exploration is such a huge part of the experience, for example, we decided that Hyrule has to exist somewhere in this expansive sea. Got it – it’ll be under the sea, it’ll be sunken Hyrule, and part way through your character will have to go diving into the sea, and discover it there. This is how the story will progress. So, it was a very organic process almost, with the gameplay, and the environment, and the story all being created as we went, as part of the process.”
Finally, Aonuma expressed his ultimate goal for himself as a game developer:
“What I really, really want to create, what my ultimate hope or goal is, to create a game without a story – not to say that the story is nonexistent, but it’s a story that isn’t already created. It’s a story that the player, in interacting with the space or environment, creates. So, a story that is defined by the player, not one that is already prepared, and a game that just kind of follows that path, if that makes sense.”
Would you like to see a Zelda game that allows the player to define the story the way Aonuma envisions?