Nintendo recently featured an interview with Eiji Aonuma, the producer of The Legend of Zelda series, in their new Japanese web magazine, Nintendo News. Aonuma discussed the key aspects of the Zelda series and even delved into what he likes best when he gets time to sit down and play the games he helps create.

Eiji AonumaSo what does Aonuma enjoy most about The Legend of Zelda? Combat with tough foes? Solving puzzles? Experiencing the story? According to a translation from Nintendo Everything, Aonuma’s favorite thing is actually finding treasure.

“My son is in elementary school, and he asked, ‘What is so fun about Zelda anyway?’ I tell him, ‘Finding treasure is the most fun!’ Even if it is only one Rupee inside the treasure chest, I think,” Aonuma said. “Whenever you find a treasure chest, there is always a ‘Yes! I found it!’-sense of accomplishment, and when you open it, it is just so fun to hear. To discover a new item, I think I find pleasure in both the surprise and the opening.”

Finding treasure is the most fun! Even if it is only one Rupee inside the treasure chest.

Finding treasure isn’t the only thing fun in a Zelda game, Aonuma admits. He says puzzle solving is one of the most important and interesting elements to the series. Here is Nintendo Everything’s translation of Aonuma’s comments:

“It is said that one of the interesting things about Zelda is the ‘nazotoki’ [nazotoki literally means “solving a puzzle or riddle”]. Whenever I think ‘solving a puzzle’, I just want it to not be too difficult or overly complicated. It would be better to use a ‘gimmick’ or ‘trick’. That might be better. Various gimmicks are hiding in the world of Link’s adventures, so getting to discover it yourself and thinking about things such as ‘Can I use this?’ or ‘I wonder if this can be used,’ and you also think when you see a certain reaction in the world. We love this kind of continuous discovery, and we find it very fun.”

So there you have it. Aonuma’s idea of how puzzle solving works in Zelda games certainly seems accurate. It will be interesting to see how discovering treasure and puzzle solutions will evolve with the upcoming entry on the Wii U.

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  • draug419

    I would love to see harder logical puzzles where the solution isn’t shown by a marking or tile on the floor. A good puzzle should make you think, not rearrange furniture. (Although some of the block puzzles can be nifty.)

    One of my favorite puzzles is fairly simple but satisfying to solve: in TP’s Temple of Time, you have to figure out that you must be on the other side of a gate before destroying a pot on a switch with a projectile weapon/item. There’s no marking or sidekick info to tell you this, and figuring it out is satisfying.

    • Jonathan Payne

      Skyward Sword had a good puzzle as well, I thought.

      • draug419

        They all have great puzzles ^__^

  • Chad

    Sorry Aonuma, but useless finds such as rupees are not satisfying. Neither are simple puzzles. The reason I love MM so much is because puzzles are hard and gathering the masks wasn’t always obvious. Once found, the masks/treasure provided a sense of fulfillment. It’s the journey to find treasure that makes things exciting. I like a lot of what you are trying to do with this series but simple puzzles are not fun. If I want a simple puzzle I could go pick up another game. Zelda wasn’t founded on simple puzzles. The original game was meant to stump people and make it so you had to ask your friends for help. I’m sure this is what many fans who have played the games would like to see a return to.

  • norebo

    “Finding treasure is the most fun! Even if it is only one Rupee inside the treasure chest”

    No. That is FRUSTRATING.

  • Ixbran

    Simplified puzzles?

    Yes please <3

  • SpongicX

    Is that why he forced us to witness every little pick up item in Skyward Sword, even when we’ve read the description hundreds of times? We get that you like treasure Aonuma, but don’t shove it down the player’s eye sockets, especially without the option to let us skip through it!

  • Ryan Haynes

    Master Quest should be a feature for all Zelda games, so people who want harder puzzles will be satisfied, without ignoring those who want simple puzzles.

  • Sam

    Finding treasure, especially the main items, is definitely one of my favourite things about Zelda games, which is why I found A Link Between Worlds to be disappointing. That item shop robbed me of treasure hunting.

    • Chad

      I agree 100%! Although it did add a reason to use rupees, it made the items that you bought/rented less valuable because you didn’t find them yourself.

    • Zachary Leach

      I personally found it to be a great change from the usual, find item in dungeon and use it until the end. Also rupees generally feel a bit useless to me, I never really feel inclined to buy things really, except in Skyward Sword with the item upgrading system which was awesome. However, I’d rather there maybe be extra items that can be found outside dungeons as rewards for optional puzzles being beaten or trials being overcome.

      • Sam

        It really didn’t change the whole “use that item” thing. Instead of finding the item in the dungeon, we basically got a sign that said “go buy and then use this item in this dungeon” right at the entrance. It was the exact same thing, except they took out a step. The most exciting one.

  • CEObrainz

    I like finding new items, so for me rupees don’t count.

  • eByTech

    Finding money often in chests is disappointing to me, rather than that exciting.
    However, a larger variety of puzzles would be really cool.

  • Trinosaur

    I think it would be really neat if you could find the item you need for a dungeon-like area to be hidden somewhere else in the world. You go questing for an item that will help you somewhere else, NOT have it right there in the dungeon. It’s like… why keep the key to your demise in your own house? I can easily imagine searching hyrule field for an ancient fabled treasure that will later help you defeat a reawakened boss that is rampaging somewhere else.

    • Sam

      That sounds like a much better idea than the item shop.

      • Trinosaur

        my thoughts exactly