In a recent GamesMaster interview, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma touched upon the process of creating the iconic games in regards to fan feedback and interpretations.
There’s no denying that each Zelda game is unique, and Aonuma stressed this in his response, saying, “We’re constantly thinking about how to make it unique […] both in general as well as to others in the Zelda series.” But more important than uniqueness, Aonuma said, is fan response. It’s something that is cared “very much about,” and has inspired early previews of games at events such as E3. The game developers want to know the direction they’re taking is being well-received by fans.
“We’re constantly thinking about how to make it unique…”
Of course, fans are most critical of things they love, and Aonuma knows the Zelda series is beloved by many fans. It’s why he never attempts to put any specific message or meaning in the games. “I feel a great sense of responsibility,” Aonuma revealed, “so part of me feels that developers putting their own ideologies in games is kind of scary.”
As one of those people who have had their lives changed by The Legend of Zelda, I’m personally glad Aonuma and other developers choose to omit specific ideas. Leaving a game’s message a little more open to fan interpretation can allow a deeper bond between player and game to grow. It makes a video game more of an experience than an obligation to get to the endgame, and thus more memorable.