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Strength, Wisdom, and Courage: The Story of The Legend of Zelda



Phil Spencer says The Legend of Zelda is an iconic franchise that has brought joy to many people

The Legend of Zelda series has many different titles. It is also one of the most successful and long-lived Nintendo franchises alongside Super Mario. This is both the longest series of action-adventure games and one of the best gaming series in the history of game dev, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, has held the critically-minded 99 Metacritic mark for 23 years and the title of the best game in the world. Many game designers have confessed their love for this series and called it one of the sources of inspiration for their creations. For example, the Hauser brothers called Grand Theft Auto III nothing more than “Zelda meets the Godfather.” So how did this 35-year-long legend come about?

“Fathers” of Zelda

But it’s worth starting not with the development of the first part, but a little earlier, with a turning point for the entire Nintendo. In 1977, Shigeru Miyamoto, a young artist and toy designer, joined the then probing a new niche of video games. His work impressed the management and opened the world of game development for the future game designer. True, so far as an art designer, in the role of which he noted the games Sheriff (1979) and Donkey Kong (1981). Interestingly, Donkey Kong was originally supposed to be a game based on the Popeye Sailor comics and animated series, but due to license issues, the characters had to be redone.

Meanwhile, Nintendo noticed the growing popularity of home consoles and began developing the Family Computer, better known outside Japan as the Nintendo Entertainment System. At the time of release in 1983, its starting lineup were ports of already well-known arcade games like the aforementioned Donkey Kong with a sequel and still a game based on Popeye the Seafarer. The emergence of a new platform required new games as well. Fortunately, Nintendo is fortunate enough to hire another designer who will play a huge role in the company’s development – Takashi Tezuka.

Miyamoto and Tezuka can be considered not only the fathers of Mario but also platforming as a genre. The duo of game designers was interested in many aspects of their game: how it would feel, how the movement itself would be, how the enemies would behave. How to make a game that will be equally interesting for both hardcore gamers and beginners. And it paid off: Super Mario Bros. became a hit and the main reason to buy the NES. However, despite the incredible popularity of the game, Miyamoto, during the development of Super Mario Bros. started thinking about a completely different concept.

The birth of a legend

While Super Mario Bros. was in development, Nintendo planned to release the Famicom Disk System, a Famicom / NES add-on for reading and writing data from disks. And a flagship game was required to promote this addon. Miyamoto became interested in this and came up with a concept for a game in which it was assumed that two players would come up with mazes, and then explore each other’s creations. But the prototype showed that it is not particularly interesting and exciting for ordinary players to create, rather than exploring the levels already thought out by someone else.

At the same time, Miyamoto felt that the new game should be different. Not like Mario. That we need to get away from linearity and make the players think about where to go next and what to do.

As with the Mario series, I came up with the concept for the Zelda series from my childhood adventures, full of exploration of the huge variety of places around my house. Lots of caves and mountains. We didn’t have many toys, so I had to make slingshots or use sticks and twigs to make dolls and somehow entertain myself (Miyamoto)

Shigeru Miyamoto
Game designer

In the initial concept of the new game, then still bearing the name “Adventure Title”, the player was asked to enter the dungeon from the start screen. Around the same time, Namco’s maze exploration RPG The Tower of Druaga was popular in Japan. Perhaps at that time, it was she who was taken as a reference, from which the development of a new concept began. But over time, the idea of ​​exploring one dungeon has grown into a journey through the open world with the study of many different labyrinths. The team also decided to revise the very process of the player’s interaction with the game world.

To put it simply, we decided to make a real-time adventure game. Nobody wanted to do anything like “push” and “drag” through the options in the menu. If you need to push something, then just apply force in the right direction.

Takashi Tezuka
Game designer

The team originally planned to use time travel as the basis of the story and plot. It is from this idea that the name of the main character of the series is derived – Link (English “connection, connection, connecting link”). Moving between the past and the future, Link “connected” time to each other. Even though this idea was later abandoned, the name stuck.

Also interesting is that Link is one of the few left-handed protagonists in games. However, he was originally right-handed. But during development, to make it easier to create pixel art, the game was redesigned to be left-handed. In the future, this will become an integral part of Link’s image, minus two parts on the Nintendo Wii.

As already mentioned, the plot of the game changed during development, until Keiji Terui, the screenwriter for Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball. He proposed a much simpler idea based on medieval European conflicts. And this in an unexpected way played into the hands of Miyamoto, who, starting from his first game Sheriff, repeatedly reproduced the “lady in trouble” trope. And this time “the lady in trouble” was Zelda – a princess named after the wife of the American novelist Scott Fitzgerald. In an interview, Miyamoto said that he was inspired by the beauty of the sound of her name so much that he decided to name the whole game with it.

But The Legend of Zelda was not so much about the plot as about the story of the player himself. How he will explore the world and what he will face in the process. Therefore, Miyamoto paid a lot of attention to seemingly insignificant little things that invisibly influenced the impression. For example, music.

I remember how he (Miyamoto) made me make many different sounds for the flute. He was very picky about this sound. “He doesn’t have to be just ‘good.’ I want him to be more mysterious, ”he told me many times.

Koji Kondo

During development, the team faced various limitations of the Famicom hardware. As in the case of the creation of Super Mario Bros., it was mainly possible to implement interesting mechanics around them, but at the same time, some of the ideas had to be discarded.

We had a lot of things that we wanted to implement, but could not due to the limitations of the hardware. For example, for Level 7 with a dungeon entrance, we just changed the texture to earthen when the water dries up, but we wanted the water to actually evaporate. And there you can burn several small trees, but we planned to give the opportunity to burn one large one.

Shigeru Miyamoto
Game designer

There were also mistakes during development. One of them is the length of the game itself. So initially the dungeons were drawn on checkered paper in such a way that “one cell – one room.” Tezuka, who created the entire game map, took the papers to the programmer Toshiko Nakago to transfer them into the game. However, a mistake was made and in the end the card used by the game turned out to be half the size of the original one. Fortunately, Miyamoto thought it would be better this way and suggested using the other half as an unlockable “Second Quest”.

Despite all the difficulties in development, however, The Legend of Zelda went on sale in Japan on February 21, 1986 on the Famicom Disk System and was an incredible success. The game offered incredible opportunities for the time, becoming one of the first non-linear story games. As a result, The Legend of Zelda sold 6.5 million copies for the Famicom and the NES, received critical acclaim from critics and casual gamers alike, and is still frequently featured in the best games of all time.

The Legend of Zelda had many ports to different consoles. Nowadays, one of the simplest and most legal ways is the NES / Famicom for Nintendo Switch Online.

Unplanned trip

The second part of The Legend of Zelda turned out to be not the game that many expected. If only because the game called Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was not originally planned for the game of this series. It was developed by a completely different team, albeit based on the ideas of Miyamoto and Tezuka, who wanted to implement the same Zelda, but in a side-scrolling format.

So the basis of the new team was the graphic designer Tadashi Sugiyama, who participated in the development of Ice Climbers and Baseball, as a game designer and head of development, and Yasuhisa Yamamura as an assistant. The creators of the first part at this time were engaged in Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3, but still helped a little. So Tezuka came up with the main concept of the plot, and Miyamoto proposed the idea of ​​a combat system that would suit the game with a different perspective from the previous part.

However, the top view still remained, albeit exclusively while moving around the world. When exploring dungeons and fighting, it looked more like Mario. Also, this is the only part of the series in which there is a full pumping of characteristics with gaining experience for killing monsters. Therefore, The Adventure of Link can be considered the only RPG in the series.

While older games seem difficult by modern standards, The Adventure of Link was considered difficult even then.

I remember one time a client called me and said, “I just can’t beat the last boss.” When I asked him about his game progress, it turned out that he was fully equipped. This meant that he had to rely solely on his skills to defeat the boss, which was quite difficult. Looks like he was playing for his son … so I felt sorry for him.

Tadashi Sugiyama
Game designer

The Adventure of Link was released in Japan for the Famicom Disk System in January 1987, and then worldwide for the NES in 1988. Despite the fact that the game was greeted cooler than the first part, 4.3 million copies of the game were sold in total. Even if fans do not really like to remember The Adventure of Link, considering it not very successful, this part somehow influenced the development of the series. For example, lore elements were laid here, which will later appear in Ocarina of Time. It was also here that the use of magic for progression first appeared, as well as items that will become an integral part of the entire series.

As with the first installment, The Adventure of Link can also be tried out via the NES / Famicom for Nintendo Switch Online.

Forward to the past

A year later Adventure of Link, in July 1989, Nintendo presented a prototype of a new 16-bit console at Nintendo, which would later become known as the Super Nintendo Electronic System. Immediately after this show, the development of two games began at once – the sequels of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. However, the creation of a new part of Zelda began even earlier, before the release of Adventure of Link.

In the early stages of development, Shigeru Miyamoto tried to determine what makes Zelda a special game, different from others. And I came to the conclusion that this is the freedom of the player. The freedom to experiment with mechanics, try different ways of interacting, and pave the way to victory through your own mistakes, realizing them and overcoming them. And along with this, Miyamoto was going to develop the ideas of the previous parts, adding even more opportunities for interacting with the world of the game, giving even more freedom of action. So the first year of development was more planning and gathering ideas.

After the team had a prototype SNES, the experiments went into an active phase. Those very ideas were actively transferred to the realities of the new hardware, some took root, some did not. This is how the pushing mechanics from the first part developed. In addition to the fact that the player decided to give the opportunity to pull objects and switches, thanks to the new controller D-pad, it was possible to do this in eight directions, which opened up huge scope for experiments for both players exploring the world and the developer coming up with riddles.

However, some ideas did not catch on. In addition to surviving the final version of “talk”, “push/pull”, “lift/throw” and “run”, Miyamoto’s team experimented with “dance” and “eat.” But in the end, they were abandoned. As well as the possibility of diagonal sword strikes, which proved to be difficult for the player to execute. Instead, they just increased the attack radius with the sword. Or change and combine weapons such as bombs and bows. Miyamoto insisted that Link should always have a sword and shield in his hands.

At the same time, the unaccepted ideas were not discarded at all, but simply waited for their implementation. Like the very idea of ​​time travel, from which Link got his name in the first part, it appeared in Link to the Past. But in the original version, at that stage, even Zelda III discussed the idea of ​​moving not just between the past and the future, but as many as three worlds that will somehow influence each other as a result of Link’s actions. So one of these worlds could even be in a sci-fi setting.

However, Tezuka, who came in the middle of the development of the game, considered that this concept of three worlds was very confusing and the idea was postponed, reducing the number of dimensions to two. Along with this game designer and producer of Super Mario Bros. 2 Kensuke Tanabe proposed the concept of moving between the “World of Light” and “World of Darkness”. Interestingly, this idea will form the basis for many parts of the series.

In developing the story and setting, the team wanted to make Link to the Past “an inspiring adventure that will appeal to foreign Nintendo fans.” To do this, they even redesigned Link’s image to make him look more mature. However, Miyamoto insisted that the hero not look “unnecessarily cool and serious”, so Link retained some elements of playfulness.

Also, it was in Link to the Past that the iconic for the series “Master’s Sword” appeared.

Kensuke Tanabe came up with a truly memorable hero awakening scene when we started this project. In the middle of the forest, where light penetrated through the leaves, the Sword of the Master stood, waiting for someone worthy to wield it. Link draws his sword as light streams through the leaves.

Takashi Tezuka
Game designer

And with him appeared the progression to the Sword of the Master, which became an integral part of the series. So Link never gets it in the beginning and reaches it in the course of the adventure, making this development common to the hero and the player who also traveled the path. However, this path was originally planned to be non-linear so that each player’s experience was unique. But due to the memory limitations of the console and the complexity of the structure, this idea had to be abandoned. As well as from many other little things in the interactivity of the world like burning grass, which has received their implementation in future parts.

At that time, our game designers had a good idea of ​​what could be done with this equipment, so I don’t think we had any unexpected ideas. However, despite this, we had a long battle with memory capacity and I clearly remember that the engineering team worked very hard to optimize the game.

Takashi Tezuka
Game designer

Interestingly, the development team was initially very small but gradually grew as we moved towards release. This was required in order to use the available people most effectively, and not to create a team more than required. And each new person on the team really influenced the whole game. For example, Yoshiaki Koizumi, one of the game’s writers. As a graduate of Osaka University of the Arts, where Tezuka also studied, he was interested in storytelling. Koizumi felt that games as a medium had more potential for dramatic storytelling than books and films, which is why he decided to try his hand at Nintendo.

This passion for storytelling through gameplay is also reflected in A Link to the Past. So Koizumi sought to convey the plot through the visual images of the characters and the world of the game.

Funnily enough, at the time it looked like people didn’t really understand what most elements of the game meant at all. So I had to come up with a story and stuff while I was working on the manual for the game. For example, the designs of the goddesses and their associated star signs.

Yoshiaki Koizumi

However, initially, despite its plot, the new Zelda was called not A Link to the Past, but Triforce of the Gods. It was with this name that the third part of the series went on sale in Japan in November 1991, a year after the SNES release. But for the Western release, Nintendo of America saw fit to rename the game to a more familiar version due to the fact that the American division wanted to avoid any possible religious overtones. At the same time, it was necessary to change a number of characters with their lines of dialogues, as well as remove symbols similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs from the alphabet of the game world.

It was also from this series that the familiar The Legend of Zelda logo began to be used. Interestingly, it was designed specifically for Western release by a Seattle-based design studio. Later this logo will also be used for the Japanese market versions.

From wooden puppets to video games

In the wake of the success of the NES and SNES, Nintendo continued to look for talented new designers. And not necessarily those who love games. So, in addition to the aforementioned Kensuke Tanabe and Yoshiaki Koizumi, who made a significant contribution not only to The Legend of Zelda series but also to Nintendo’s signature game design, in principle, after the release of A Link to the Past, Eiji Aonuma joined the development team.

Unlike many other Nintendo employees, Eiji Aonuma did not graduate from Osaka University of the Arts, but the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he earned a master’s degree in compositional design working on Japanese Karakuri dolls. Raised in a family of carpenters, Aonuma adopted a passion for creating woodwork. So much so that he made almost all of his toys in childhood with his own hands.

This talent for carving wood led him to study at the university. At one of the exhibitions where he showed his mechanical dolls, he was noticed by Yoshi Kotabe, a graduate animator and character designer who created iconic packaging for Super Mario Bros. At the time, he worked for Nintendo, which interested Aonuma, who had never even played a video game before.

On Kotabe’s recommendation, Miyamoto personally interviewed Aonuma and was impressed by his work to hire Nintendo as a graphic designer for the NES Open Tournament Golf. At the same time, the future game designer The Legend of Zelda got acquainted with video games. To at least understand what he has to work on, Aonuma asked his girlfriend to teach him how to play. So his first games were Dragon Quest and The Portopia Serial Murder Case.

I stayed up all night to play and she [Aonuma’s girlfriend] was always there, coaching me with words like “You need to walk five steps south” and “Now go east four steps.”

Eiji Aonuma
Game designer

Over time, Aonuma began to appreciate video games and especially liked Link to the Past, from which he developed his game Marvelous: Another Treasure Island, released in 1996. Following this game design debut, Miyamoto invited Aonuma to join the development team for the next installment of The Legend of Zelda for the upcoming Nintendo 64.

Pocket monochrome dreams

However, the next chapter in the story of the series was a completely different part. In parallel with the development of the SNES, another Nintendo team released the Game Boy in 1989. For a long time, no one planned for her to do their part of The Legend of Zelda. But despite this, some of the developers on the Zelda team fantasized about this topic. So Kazuaki Morita, the chief programmer of Link to the Past, after the release of this game acquired a Game Boy dev kit and as a hobby project began to experiment with it, creating a prototype in the spirit of the Zelda series.

We didn’t really plan on making a Zelda for the Game Boy, but we were thinking about giving it a try. So, initially there was no official project. We just did our job from regular office hours, and then we did it like an after-school club.

Takashi Tezuka
Game designer

After determining the capabilities of the console, Tezuka suggested porting Link to the Past to it and requested a second Game Boy dev kit to work. Since Tezuka himself joined the work on this part already in the middle of development, he wanted to add innovations that he had not been able to implement before. But as new ideas emerged, the Game Boy game changed enough to become a full-fledged game instead of a regular port.

As a result, Kensuke Tanabe also joined the game as the character and world designer for the game, and Yoshiaki Koizumi as the scriptwriter and intro cinematographer. At the same time, Tezuka himself was fond of Twin Peaks David Lynch and wanted to create a game similar in feel and scale. Especially the small town drama with suspicious characters. To do this, he outlined a list of requirements for the plot: without Zelda herself, without Triforce, without Hyrule.

At the time, Twin Peaks was quite popular. The series focused on a small number of characters in a small town. So when it came to The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, I wanted to do something similar, small enough to be easy to understand, yet deep and different.

Takashi Tezuka
Game designer

Shigeru Miyamoto instructed game designers to focus on fun and intuition, so Mario and The Legend of Zelda didn’t have much storytelling before. However, during the development of Link’s Awakening, Miyamoto was busy with other projects and left the team creative freedom. This was taken advantage of by Koizumi, who has long viewed video games as a great way to tell unusual stories.

Link’s Awakening development was more like a small adventure behind the boss’s back. A team of Morita, Koizumi, Tanabe, and Tezuka began to turn their Zelda into a character-centered adventure, side events, and quests. They tried their best to surprise the player, sometimes even violating the boundaries of the setting. This is how NPCs from other Nintendo universes appeared in the game. Often even without the knowledge and permission of their creators.

This experimental approach has borne very unexpected results. Without realizing until the end of their actions, the team with this game laid many of the foundations of the series, from mysterious characters to fishing, which Morita added almost secretly from others simply because he was an avid angler.

I’m sure this was an important part in the breakthrough series. If we went from Link to the Past straight to Ocarina of Time without Link’s Awakening in between, then Ocarina of Time would be a completely different game.

Eiji Aonuma
Game designer

The first real play I created was Link’s Awakening. But at the same time, I just came to write the manual as for the previous game. But there was nothing in them. So I ended up writing a whole story to complement the game. Dream, island – it was all mine. So this was my first experience of what we would now call “event design”. But at the time there weren’t many people with experience in this area, so I really had the freedom to do whatever I wanted until Miyamoto got angry.

Yoshiaki Koizumi

Link’s Awakening was released worldwide in 1993 and was well received by critics. Since then, the original has sold 3.83 million copies and the DX version has sold 2.22 million copies. In 2018, a remake-rethinking was released on the Nintendo Switch, in which, although some episodes were changed (for example, the quest with photos was cut out), but in general, they left the whole same game.

Time for a new dimension

But there was another event that made Ocarina of Time exactly what it went down in history – the attempt to remake The Adventure of Link on the SNES. Miyamoto and Koizumi planned to make a new version using polygons and again experimented with the side view. However, this remake never saw the light of day, as a result of which they both moved on to other projects. But they left in the team the idea of ​​creating a new Zelda based on sword fighting.

In 1995, Nintendo unveiled their new console that promised the third dimension in the once two-dimensional games – the Nintendo 64. The game was planned to launch sales of Super Mario 64 but then intended to release the new The Legend of Zelda. Also in 3D. And in the same year, at the Nintendo Space World event, the Link techno demo was shown, performed with 3D polygons rendering on Nintendo 64 hardware in real-time. It was written by Giles Goddard, the Star Fox programmer for the SNES and Mario’s interactive face for the Super Mario 64 start menu, the already famous Yoshiaki Koizumi and Takao Shimizu, co-director of Donkey Kong for the Game Boy. However, Shimizu was assigned to develop Star Fox 64, after which he was replaced by Tooru Osawa, game designer for Kid Icarus and one of the designers of the Metroid and Fire Emblem series.

A year later, the console went on sale with Super Mario 64, and Miyamoto, Tezuka, and Koizumi, who gained valuable experience in the development of three-dimensional games, were encouraged by the recognition of their new game from critics and players, returned to Zelda’s teams, starting to experiment with the work of Osawa. As with the first The Legend of Zelda, the new part was supposed to use additional equipment in addition to the main console. In this case, 64DD is an extension with additional RAM and storage memory. And initially, in the new Zelda, it was planned to use this module as much as possible. So in the early experiments were the preservation of felled trees and traces of the character. The game was made on the Super Mario 64 engine with modifications.

For the first half of the development, the team experimented with different concepts. For example, according to one of Miyamoto’s first ideas, the whole game took place exclusively inside the castle, with movement from the first person and switching to a side view as in The Adventure of Link. However, Koizumi, who spent a lot of time on Link’s animation, was against it and wanted the character to be always on screen. At the same time, I had to abandon 64DD due to its data reading limitations. Which created another problem – the amount of memory available to developers was greatly reduced.

But a much bigger headache for the team was fighting in 3D. For a long time, they could not solve the problem of choosing a convenient camera angle. And the decision came in a rather unexpected place – in a theme park and a movie set in the setting of the Edo period Toei Kyoto Studio.

While we were walking and looking around, it got too hot outside and we went to the theater to cool off. They showed a play about ninja. Many ninja surrounded the samurai and one of them threw a kusarigama (sickle on a chain). But the samurai grabbed him with his hand, the chain tightened, and the ninja began to move in a circle from the samurai.

Tohru Osawa
Game designer

Thanks to this staging, the team came up with the idea of ​​Z-targeting – a capture-focusing system on one object, which allows you to constantly keep both him and the hero in the same camera frame at the same time. This approach has become an alternative to manual camera control. In addition, the team members also learned more about how to make sword fighting spectacular and intense – letting enemies attack in turns, rather than simultaneously.

Together with the Z-targeting idea, it turned out to implement one of the ideas discarded during the development of Link to the Past – the NPC companion. When Koizumi designed the lock marker to mark the target in the capture, he made it in the form of a fairy, which he named Navi as the “navigator.” In addition to implementing one of Miyamoto’s ideas, this unexpectedly helped solve the problem with memory optimization. The team decided that each character in Linka Village would have their own fairy, made up of a simple circular model. This made it possible to display only fairies on the map outside the visibility zone and load the models of the characters associated with them as needed. In turn, this idea was developed into the plot “Link – a boy without his fairy”.

As development progressed, the number of ideas for the game grew. Along with the ideas, ambition grew, and so did the size of the team. Interestingly, some of the ideas were meant to be part of Super Mario 64, and vice versa. So the castle in Mario is taken as if from Zelda, and one of the integral symbols of Ocarina of Time, Epona’s horse was supposed to appear just in Mario 64. To create a model and animation, they even planned to bring a real horse to the studio, but in the end they got by with photographs.

With the advent of the mechanics of moving a horse, it became a question of suitable locations. This is how the Khairul Field zone appeared, which became the central hub of the world map. But many considered the location too empty for this size and decided to fix it. And in a rather unexpected way.

When I first did [Khairul Field] it caused real contention. People said, “You can’t make it that big. Even if you cross it on a horse, it is too big and boring, you need to add something there. ” And then these people took matters into their own hands: they placed enemies, added holes with secrets here and there. With the thought “This place is a little empty, we need to make a hole there and fill it with something.”

Makoto Miyanaga
Environment designer

No less attention was paid to Link’s model. They tried to make him “convincingly alive.” As in The Adventure of Link, it was an adult Link, but Koizumi, at the request of his wife, made him “prettier” than in previous games: he removed his sideburns, sharpened his nose and pierced his ears for a more spectacular look. However, “too cool” Link did not fit into Nintendo’s style, so the clothes remained classic.

For three years we argued about how Link would open the treasure chest. When we got the idea to use a mockup, there were people among the employees both for and against it. In the end we decided that it was possible, but not much. My company sometimes worries about losing money, so when asked to do motion capture, we were greeted with the question “Do you really need this much equipment? Aren’t you satisfied with what you already have? ” and in that spirit. We started using wireframe motion capture, but soon came up with our own method, which ended up costing twice as much. But what’s the point in doing what has already been done before? When we photographed horses, we even went so far into the discussions that we were going to bring a real horse into the studio. But in the end we got two leg benches and a board and so we made our own horse.

Shigeru Miyamoto

The day I walked into the studio, there was a fantastic iron-framed treasure chest with a sword and shield inside. It was clearly worth a lot of money. When I asked, “What is this all for?” a triumphant response was received, “Mu figured out how to open the treasure chest!” They came to the conclusion that before opening the chest, you must first remove the noose, otherwise the action looks unrealistic. I wonder if the mocap team did it … It was a really good job. (Miyamoto).

Shigeru Miyamoto

However, Miyamoto still didn’t like the idea of ​​”another cool hero”, he wanted Link to remain “childish and playful” as in the previous installments. This resulted in the idea of ​​making a young version of the hero, and at Miyamoto’s insistence, Koizumi began testing applying the same animations to two different character models. This is how the plot move with time travel appeared after receiving the Master’s Sword.

Link’s arch enemy is Ganon, so I thought they should meet one day when he is a child. A child’s innocent eyes are able to see the truth, so young Link instinctively sees Ganon as the bad guy. When an adult Link meets him again and Ganon says he is that boy from yesteryear, it really amazes you. You think to yourself, “That’s right, I’m that kid from the past.” I had a lot of fun doing this scene.

Shigeru Miyamoto

Along with the transition to the third dimension, the problems of designing an element important for the series – dungeons – appeared. And here Aonuma’s talent came in handy, who, as a creator of dolls, was able to create complex and constantly changing temples and tombs, despite the complete lack of experience in such work.

Playing in the previous parts, I tried to figure out how to fix their mistakes. For example, a very terrible rule that you need to start from the very entrance in case of death. I decided to make it clear for the player that he enters the boss room. You can say that I threw the bait.

Eiji Aonuma
Game designer

One of the programmers who helped Aonume with the dungeons was Kazuaki Morita, who previously worked on Link’s Awakening. And while working on the Temple of Water, he noticed a reservoir similar to a pool, and Morita himself had a model of a fish at hand. This is how Ocarina of Time introduced a fishing mini-game. Only this time, Morita decided to make it more complex, and even recorded all the sound for this mini-game himself.

So Ocarina of Time began to grow in volume and detail. Miyamoto strove for maximum interactivity in the world, and the other team members supported him in this. the smallest details were worked out, even the angle of cut of trees during various attacks. This attention to detail was reflected in both the characters and the game’s plot. The team of the creators of the experimental Link’s Awakening got into the Ocarina of Time team, which was reflected in this part as well. Including the appearance of a cameo owl Capor Gabor and Talon from Malone, written off from Taryn and Marina.

In November 1998, Ocarina of Time went on sale. The Nintendo 64 faced fierce competition from the Playstation at the time, and the game was a very important release for the company. Even though it could not already change the position of the console on the market, it gained a truly cult fame among many players, selling 7.6 million copies. In addition to the fact that it changed the entire Legend of Zelda series and is still considered by many to be one of the best parts, Ocarina of Time also radically changed the genre of 3D action-adventure games for many years to come, and became the most highly regarded game in history. by Metacritic.

In addition to versions for the Nintendo 64, there is a port on the GameCube (but more on that later), as well as a remake for the 3DS with modified controls, using a second screen to display the map and additional item buttons. Also updated graphics with support for stereoscopic 3D, as well as camera control using a gyroscope. But at the same time, minor changes were made to the world, including making it easier to complete the most difficult tasks.

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I enjoy playing games, and gaming is a passion of mine. Among my favorite games are Tears of the Kingdom, GTA, and Cyberpunk.

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