At First, Miyamoto Didn’t Like Zelda: Wind Waker’s Art Style!

Nintendo’s veteran lead creative initially encouraged the GameCube game’s developers to change the art style…


DidYouKnowGaming has published a translation of interviews from older magazines. That’s how we learned that Shigeru Miyamoto, a developer prominent in Nintendo’s success, initially wanted to see the art style of two The Legend of Zelda games for Nintendo 64 (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask) in Wind Waker for GameCube, which even got a prototype with the older visuals.

However, a team member had already designed “Toon Link”, a more cartoonish, chibi-style protagonist. The team instantly grew to like this character, and it was decided that The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker would hit the shops with this style. DidYouKnowGaming learned this information from Nintendo Dream magazines published in Japan in the mid-2000s.

Eiji Aonuma, Wind Waker’s director, said: “If I had gone and talked to him from the beginning, I think he would’ve said, ‘How is that Zelda?’. Miyamoto had trouble letting go of the realistic link art style until the end. At some point, he had to give a presentation against his will. That’s when he said something to me like, ‘You know, it’s not too late to change course and make a realistic Zelda.”

At first, the new style was divisive, and some demanded the old style, but the Wind Waker team persevered, and eventually, they kept the chibi style. And according to Miyamoto, it would have taken a good decade to make a realistic Zelda for GameCube (which is how The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess ended up, which was more focused on Wii as its opening title, but it did get a GC port…). Toon Link was relegated to the big N’s handheld platforms, but he was still represented in recent Super Smash Bros. titles.

But when will Nintendo man up and get a Switch port for Wind Waker?

Source: VGC

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