The Zelda creators were excited to continue developing their universe

The Zelda creators were excited to continue developing their universe in Tears of the Kingdom – Le Devoir

Hidemaro Fujibayashi and Eiji Aonuma aren’t done playing in the sandbox they helped create.

The former was the director and the latter the producer of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The 2017 release broke with the established conventions of the popular video game series and brought players a massive adventure in the welcoming open world of Hyrule.

It was arguably the most ambitious game Nintendo has ever produced, but even with two additional expansions, the development team felt that many ideas remained unfulfilled.

With the release this week of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild that took six years in development, players can finally see many of those ideas come to life.

“When I looked at the Hyrule we were creating, I became convinced that there are still many different ways to play in this world,” Eiji Aonuma told The Canadian Press from New York through a translator. And this idea inspired us. »

With a solid foundation in place, the development team set to work expanding Hyrule. Tears of the Kingdom includes celestial and subterranean realms that are directly related to the existing surface world.

explore and build

Hidemaro Fujibayashi believes that the biggest novelty in Tears of the Kingdom is the idea of ​​being able to explore the world in a fluid way. “There’s a whole set of vertical axes, and being able to explore them seamlessly was something I really wanted to achieve,” the director explained through a translator.

“You can call it an improved and more powerful version of what we experienced in Breath of the Wild,” he added.

Another notable addition is the ability of Link, the game’s hero, to manipulate objects in the world and use them to enhance weapons or construct gadgets. For Mr. Fujibayashi, it shows how the development team was able to use the foundation laid by Breath of the Wild to create something new.

“In Tears of the Kingdom there are objects that are like gears that are constantly turning. So we thought, “How about we put a board on top of four of them?” And so we were able to build an improvised car,” he gives as an example.

“Similarly, some employees assembled four wooden planks and built a makeshift cannon into which you can throw a bomb that will detonate from afar. With these two elements, we were able to create this type of “DIY” tank that only used the mechanics and advantages of Breath of the Wild. »

Customize and surprise

Although the development team was able to quickly begin development of Tears of the Kingdom, other challenges arose during the six-year development cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic started right in the middle of the creative process, and the development team faced the same workplace disruptions that were felt around the world, Eiji Aonuma points out.

“But I can say that our desire to provide players with an interesting and engaging experience hasn’t changed. It is a goal that we continue to pursue and to which we have adapted,” he emphasizes.

Hidemaro Fujibayashi explains that part of creating this experience is finding ways to surprise players.

For him and his team, the players on the field, the goal is to bring something new. “We all have the same desire and dream. What new treat can we offer the player next? »

The development team knew they were on the right track if they could impress Eiji Aonuma, says Fujibayashi.

“It turns out that Mr. Aonuma is the tester who can follow our work the most closely,” he explains. When we give it to him and the producer says, “Oh wow,” we’re like, “Okay, we’re in business.”

To see in the video