EGM Issue 204 Get!

It was a typical lazy friday, until I got home, and saw that my new EGM (the one with the Wii stuff in it) had arrived! Now, the Wii news isn’t all that new (I did only skim the article), but the big news is the Zelda stuff. Here’s the Eiji Aonuma interview.

EGM: Let’s start off by talking about the delay-Twilight Princess was originally scheduled to ship in the fall of ’05. Why did you decide to push it back, not just a few months, but an entire year?

Eiji Aonuma: A few reason. One is more a physical problem- the game just wasn’t progressing the way we’d hoped it would be, and so in that sensewe were being forced to delay it. But the larger reason is that [Nintendo President Satoru] Iwatahas been saying that Zelda isn’t the type of game that can be a 100 on a scale of 1 to 100- It has to be a 120. In order to do that, we needed the extra time.

We were really fortunate to have the extra year- we have gone back and looked at everything and been able to rework it and add these new features. At this point it’s like 80 percent complete and it’s looking like it’s going to be a really great game.

EGM: And another reason was to have it work with the Revolution controller?

EA: [Yes, the delay also] had to do with the Revolution. As we were working on the Revolution controller, we thought it would be fun to use with Zelda, and at the same time, we felt [that] a lot of the frustrations people have had playing [previous Zelda game] could be over come by using the Revolution controller and the new interface that goes with it.
EGM: What can you tell us about how the Revolution controller will work with the game?

Shigeru Miyamoto: We’ve done a lot of experimenting with controls over the years, and what we’ve found is that they tend to get more and more complicated. What we’ve tried to do with the Revolution controller is allow you to do very complicated things very simply. And that’s really where the focus has been in terms of implementing it with Zelda. [We’re still looking] at the Revolution controller’s functionality and trying to figure out ways to take advantage of it with Zelda.

EGM: For example?

SM: [Well,] usually in Zelda games, when you want to aim you go into this first-person mode where you tilt the control stick up to aim down and vice versa, because it’s always been like you were controlling a puppet from the back of the head. But that was complicated for a lot of people, and some people prefer it the other way around- you push up and the aim goes up. This time, taking advantage of the direct-pointing-device functions of the Revolution controller, it’ll be very intuitive and very tactile- you just aim the controller at what you want to shoot at and shoot.

EA: It can also be used for locking on to things. Up until now in Zelda, we’ve had a sort-of autolock feature where you didn’t really choose the target you first locked on to, but you’d have to adjust. This time you can use the pointing device to choose who you want to talk to or what you want to lock on to and attack. It’s really nice; it feels almost like a 3d mouse.
EGM: What about using the controller to move your sword?

SM: We’re not going over the top in terms of having people swing their sword. We experimented with it and tried a few different setups, but we found having to move your arm around every time for the sword could get very tiring. There will be certain special events that will require you to do that sort of thing, but we found that using the controller to do everything else, in addition to swinging your sword, just got too convoluted and too tiring.

EGM: What about the audio speaker built in to the Revolution {note: it went to print before the name change} controller- how will Twilight Princess use that?

SM: It can be used for [any] close-up noises that you might experience in gameplay. When you throw something, you might hear a sort of “whoosh” sound as you toss it. Or as you’re doing something with the pointing device, you might get some feedback from Navi. Shooting an arrow, [you’ll get a “thhpt!” sound from the controller that] will get more quiet as it flies away, and then the sound you hear from the TV from the arrow will get louder- it gives the sound a really, really nice depth.

EGM: Any other differences when you play Twilight Princess on the Revolution?

EA: The one question everyone kept asking me in interviews last year was “is Zelda going to have a widescreen mode?” On the Gamecube, we weren’t able to do it but on the Revolution, the game will have a 16:9 [widescreen] mode- not streching the screen but actually adding to the viewable area. It sounds like a small thing, but once you play the game in widescreen and try to go back to the standard screen, it will feel really cramped and almost claustrophobic.

Another change is [that] when you play on the Revolution, [the helpful fairy] Navi will appear and you can use her as a cusor in terms of pointing at different objects and highlighting things. And we’re still looking at other things we can add in terms of graphics and programming to make [Zelda] feel like something special.

SM: The one thing we want to clarify is [that] we aren’t developing two different versions of Twilight Princess, where one might have different events or different dungeons or different enemies. [But] we are looking at things like minor graphical upgrades or some additional features.

EGM: What about taking advantage of the Revolution’s online or Wi-Fi capabilities?

EA: That’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time. At this point, we’ve given up on having any kind of online battle mode or simultaneous play, but we are still thinking of different elements that would make the game more fun for the people that have their system connected to the internet. It’s my job to come up with that, and we haven’t quite found what the “hook” should be with online play… but we are moving forward with it for the DS Zelda game, Phantom Hourglass. That game has wireless battle mode we’ve implemented. So we’ll take a look at that, see how that goes, and hopefully be able to apply that to future Zelda games.

EGM: Are there any specific criticisms of the last Gamecube Zelda game, The Wind Waker, you’ve tried to address in Twilight Princess? Some people complained it was too short and too easy…

EA: With Wind Waker, our goal was to adjust the difficulty so that anyone who bought the game would be able to finish it. But I think in doing so we probably made the game too easy for the people who have been playing Zelda for years.

Ocarina of Time is still the pinnacle of the Zelda series in many people’s minds, and we’re looking at making Twilight Princess bigger and grander than that. In terms of dungeon count, Twilight Princess already has more dungeons than Ocarina. Because of that, there are more items… Our real objective with Twilight Princess is to make something the hardcore Zelda fans can look forward to.

Now, the interview is good, but tomorrow I’ll have scans. Trust me, they’re good.

KLind

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