Zelda Producer: We Have to be More Careful With Zelda's Artstyle

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Zelda Producer: We Have to be More Careful With Zelda's Artstyle

Wind Waker HD

Eiji Aonuma admits that the drastic leap in art direction he took with Wind Waker was perhaps a bit too drastic.

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma recently told Games TM magazine that Nintendo will have to be a bit more careful with the series' artstyle in the future, owing the the large negative reaction surrounding The Wind Waker's initial release on Gamecube. "We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker," Aonuma admitted, explaining that until they find an approach that makes both developers and users happy, they probably won't be "breaking new ground" with the series.

"I think we will be a bit more careful in the future, but if we find a new approach that not just the developers, but also the users would enjoy then I think we will want to break new ground again. But we haven't found such an approach yet."

The Wind Waker, which was first release on the Gamecube back in 2003, initially saw some pretty heated negative reactions from fans, who disliked the cell-shaded "cartoony" art-style. A HD re-release for the Wii U was recently release, however, and saw praise from both critics and fans alike.

Last we heard of the as-of-yet-untitled upcoming new Zelda title for the Wii U, Nintendo still hadn't settled on an artstyle. Back in June, Aonuma stated that the game wouldn't be ultra-realistic, but wouldn't be "cartoony realistic" either, and has noted on a number of occasions that the Zelda tech demo shown at E3 2011 is not representative of how the game will look. Just, don't go expecting it to break new ground in terms of art style.

Source: Games TM Magazine via Siliconera, Nintendo Everything

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Bad Eiji! Very Bad! You have always proclaimed to be inovative and that you take great leaps... So start doing that! Don't go back to the old boring graphics. Wind Waker is the best game in the series, story, gameplay, graphics/artsyle, all the best.

*Grabs rolled up newspaper*
*Smacks Eiji on the nose*
Bad!

Boldly go where no one has gone before!

Don't you dare apologize for The Wind Waker. It's still the best looking Zelda game, and arguably the best in the series period (based on clever dungeons and puzzles, well-polished combat, and a more interesting story than the franchise usually gets).

P.S. Thanks

Further proof that anyone with any actual talent stopped working on the Zelda series a long time ago. He's sitting here apologizing for the best looking game ever made because some people are fucking morons who can't handle it if everything isn't brown as dirt. I can't believe how angry I'm getting at this.

It makes me sad listening to that *** jackass pissing on the best Zelda game in the series. I cannot believe how many times I played though that game, and it was just as fun every time. To this day I cannot fathom what the argument against Wind Waker even is! The game looks amazing.

Yes. Yes. Better not change too much of the formula. Change is bad. Innovation is bad. Differences in art style are bad. No, just different is already bad. New is bad. Yes.

>Emulate the artstyle of Twilight Princess
>Make the story M-rated, with violence, heartbreak, adult themes, etc. Completely badass.
>MAJOR PROFIT

Twilight Princess will always be my favorite. It kinda was "ultra-realistic", and I liked that.
Also bring back Midna. She was the only not-annoying-as-shit companion character.

Hmm, I wasn't happy with the drastic style change in the Zelda series (mostly because I believe it could have been used for a whole new franchise altogether) but this still annoys me.

It's too late to apologies for this, and for two, it's the stupid lighting and design changes you should be more careful of. The games are classics, stop fucking around with the lighting! It can change the whole mood of the game and make some things look out of place, like the fucking retarded remake of OoT 3D.

Yeah, they've lost it. I'll never see Nintendo like they used to be.

No, Aonuma, no no no no no. You are taking the wrong lesson from Wind Waker. Sure, the fans whined when it was introduced, but then something funny happened: it succeeded! It was vindicated! The plunge you took with the artstyle? Totally paid off.

Sure there is no guarantee that another new art style will produce the same or even close results, but in that instance, it worked. Don't treat it like a cautionary tale.

I didn't mind Wind Waker at all. That Link to the Past "sequel" however... looks like trash. Wasn't too thrilled about monster design in Skyward Sword either.

I'd take Twilight Princess art style any day of the week.

I get the feeling more people were pissed because it was a curve ball at the time rather than the drastic change in art style. I mean, at the time, the E3 gamecube demo of Zelda was this realistic badass showdown between Ganondorf and Link. It got people hyped and wanting to see more of that. Then, Wind Waker happened.

Even then, most people are over this by now. Every fan who gave this game a try has loved it because of the uniqueness the art style gave the game. Getting cautious over it now is absolutely pointless. If anything, quit giving misleading tech demos. Now I'm bummed that the Zelda Wii-U tech demo won't be how the newest game looks.

So you're not going to do anything interesting or controversial with a series that has grown stale and predictable, how is that good plan?

Guess I'll never see something like this then...


... because some people might like that idea. Enough to buy a console they weren't intersted in buying before finding out abo- fuck it, I still wouldn't buy it. But I would strongly consider it...

And Captcha please stop asking me to recognise foriegn brands I've never seen before, you international bastard.

But time proved you guys right on that one, don't puss out now!

Wait, what?! He's saying people didn't like the game, even though people clearly did?! What the hell are you smoking, man? Whatever it is, please stop. It's clearly interfering with your judgement.

If he's referring to those immature asshats* that filled the web with "omg gay cel-da" comments during development, you'll notice that those pretty much disappeared once people got a chance to sit down and actually play the game.

Wind Waker is to this day my favorite Zelda game, and the only one in the series that kept me invested from beginning to end. Part of it is because of the risks it took with the art style and setting. Even the ending shakes things up, what with

What puzzles me the most about this is why they're saying this now, right on the heels of the Wind Waker HD remake being showered with critical and popular acclaim. Surely that is an indication that people want more innovation like this, not less?

*Obligatory disclaimer that not everyone that dislikes Wind Waker is an immature asshat.

Man he's being way too sensitive.

Toss me in on the "Wind Waker was great." pile.

Reading this just saddens and confuses the hell out of me.

While it also confueses me he saying this, it confuses me even more WindWaker being considered the best Zelda on the Escapist.

It's not.

And confuses me even more the guy who said Zelda is becoming stale. The only two Zelda's on home consoles with same artstyle are OoT and MM.

Funny, i always found WindWaker to be the only good looking 3D zelda (aside from the handheld games), and it even honors the style of the old 2D games. It´s a lot closer to Link to The past than Ocarina of Time is, not sure how that´s a bad thing. My biggest problem with TP and Skyward Sword is that Link looks weird, they always manage to fuck up his nose.

Here I thought this was him apologizing for Wind Waker HD with its heavy bloom and unecessary gradiants. But he's saying the original Wind Waker - the Zelda game with the most personallity - is was actually a mistake. Oy...

Yeah you're right, Nintendo, why would you want to start breaking new ground with this series now. With the Wii-U floundering as it is they're likely scared to death of a new, unfamiliar Zelda game.

It's an excellent game, but I never did love the art style. I mean I get what they were going for and they did it well, it's just not a style that appeals to me.

they probably won't be "breaking new ground" with the series.

Breaking new ground in terms of what? Visual appeal?

Is there a translation mishap somewhere in the article? I'm very confused as to why Aonuma is suddenly having intense regret over Windwakers art style (which is fucking adorable might I add) The top three favorite art styles in Zelda games with Skyward Sword in second place and Twilight Princess coming in third.

Unless I'm missing something and he's still- to this very day getting hate mail over a game's art direction from 8 years ago.

This especially confuses me since there was talk of being a dark skinned Link in the new games, and if the comments on the Destructoid were anything to go by, simply THAT was causing a category 5 shit storm that will even rival WindWakers initial announcement.

Then again, I can kind of see where he's coming from. I don't think Aonuma is really talking about Windwaker, but more or less talking about all the Zelda games.

Now that I think about it, sans Twilight Princess's art style (which was loved because 'dark and edgy') Skyward Sword's art style was met with a fuck ton of whining and complaining.
A good amount of those whiners complained about how colorful and "kiddy" it looked like Windwaker. The only difference being Link isn't chibified.
Hell, a good amount of people said they outright refused to buy a game because of the style of Skyward Sword.
While it certainly wasn't kicking up near the amount of shit that WW did, I can understand really well how such reactions for every single unique style you take can really drain on an artist self esteem and confidence.
Put it this way, you honestly start to second guess yourself a lot. Especially if what you chose to do really was the best decision (which they were).

It has to be depressing as shit to do a new artistic style, and most of the comments you get revolve around it not being OoT enough, or 'eurgh yuck colorful and kiddy'

Yeah, there's still that negative stigma against Wind Waker's art style, but it's a hell of a lot smaller nowadays than it used to be. Nowadays most people have submitted that WW holds up with the best of the series.

So I'm not sure why he'd go and say that. I guess to placate that small subset of players who panic over art alone, but....seriously, this seems like selling yourself short.

Not that the newer games actually HAVE to use different art styles to be "innovative" or different from their predecessors, mind. Other games are called "innovative" for doing much, much less.

Klagermeister:
>Emulate the artstyle of Twilight Princess
>Make the story M-rated, with violence, heartbreak, adult themes, etc. Completely badass.
>MAJOR PROFIT

Twilight Princess will always be my favorite. It kinda was "ultra-realistic", and I liked that.
Also bring back Midna. She was the only not-annoying-as-shit companion character.

This.

People like to piss all over Twilight Princess for some reason, too. And yeah, it's got flaws: mechanically, the Wii controls weren't properly refined until Skyward Sword, and they forced you to collect too many items overall. But it introduced one of the better storylines the series has ever seen, IMO, and by far one of the best companions the series has ever known in the form of Midna, who I still would rather have for the next Super Smash over most of the other Zelda characters they'll undoubtedly use instead. She had personality, she felt like a real character....hell, she was a better character than ZELDA was in the same game!

I'd be a Day One buyer of any Wii U game that used these elements, with no questions asked.

I thought that Wind Waker was a pretty decent game. Not the best Zelda game ever though, Twilight Princess was still my favorite...that may be the inner kid in me who had the worse case of aquaphobia ever talking though.

Headline: "Nintendo thinks it should be more conservative about it's game releases"

I was one of the idiots who was negative towards Wind Waker's art-style. It is the best looking game in the entire franchise. It makes me sad we won't see another Legend of Zelda that looks like it.

Screw you, young me, you were an idiot and had no damn clue what you were talking about. You prick.

Steven Bogos:
Nintendo will have to be a bit more careful with the series' artstyle in the future, owing the the large negative reaction surrounding The Wind Waker's initial release on Gamecube. "We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker,"

Except the fact that the negative reaction wasn't to the aesthetic of the game but the bait and switch they pulled. Early views of Zelda footage on the GameCube were more like tech demo teasers of something akin to Ocarina. So everyone was waiting for Ocarina but prettier and then they got a cartoon.

MrHide-Patten:
So you're not going to do anything interesting or controversial with a series that has grown stale and predictable, how is that good plan?

Guess I'll never see something like this then...


... because some people might like that idea. Enough to buy a console they weren't intersted in buying before finding out abo- fuck it, I still wouldn't buy it. But I would strongly consider it...

And Captcha please stop asking me to recognise foriegn brands I've never seen before, you international bastard.

As long as that game had elemental dungeons, a hookshot, a boomerang, and a bow and arrow, I still wouldn't buy it. 20 years is enough. At some point, you're going to have to make a different fucking game Nintendo. Jesus Christ.

The idea that Windwaker looks bad is an old fashioned sentiment in more ways than one. People didn't like the look of Windwaker at the time because we were moving into the "brown is cool" phase, now we're over and tired with that and want our colors back. It seems like Nintendo is a generation behind in trends again.

I really don't know how I feel about "innovation" in my franchises anymore. At one side, I feel like Nintendo in this case should just go "Screw you Wind Waker haters from two generations ago, we do what we want". On the other hand there have been a few developers who have seriously screwed up some beloved franchises in the name of change.

Although I loved the celshading in Wind Waker, I'd much more like the new Zelda's to go in a more realistic direction. Twilight Princess was awesome, I can only imagine how great it ultimately can look with the increased power of the WiiU. I think going in a more realistic direction with the series (graphics, story) is the right to do, at least commercially wise. Remember, the last few Zelda's haven't sold all that well.

To see a mature Zelda game still infused with that Nintendo magic would be stunning. I mean, if Nintendo ever bothered to create a complex and engaging story to go with their amazing gameplay... that's how they potentially could recapture the market right there. There are so many gamers that grew up with the classic Nintendo titles, just waiting for them to mature and evolve like they themselves have done. That Nintendo don't take advantage of this is one of their biggest mistakes IMO. Who wouldn't love to play a Zelda game with a focus on story and strong cast of characters such as the Dragon Age/Mass Effect franchises? Combine that with the killer Zelda gameplay, and you have one for the history books right there.

Dragonbums:

Breaking new ground in terms of what? Visual appeal?

Is there a translation mishap somewhere in the article? I'm very confused as to why Aonuma is suddenly having intense regret over Windwakers art style (which is fucking adorable might I add) The top three favorite art styles in Zelda games with Skyward Sword in second place and Twilight Princess coming in third.

Unless I'm missing something and he's still- to this very day getting hate mail over a game's art direction from 8 years ago.

This especially confuses me since there was talk of being a dark skinned Link in the new games, and if the comments on the Destructoid were anything to go by, simply THAT was causing a category 5 shit storm that will even rival WindWakers initial announcement.

Then again, I can kind of see where he's coming from. I don't think Aonuma is really talking about Windwaker, but more or less talking about all the Zelda games.

Now that I think about it, sans Twilight Princess's art style (which was loved because 'dark and edgy') Skyward Sword's art style was met with a fuck ton of whining and complaining.
A good amount of those whiners complained about how colorful and "kiddy" it looked like Windwaker. The only difference being Link isn't chibified.
Hell, a good amount of people said they outright refused to buy a game because of the style of Skyward Sword.
While it certainly wasn't kicking up near the amount of shit that WW did, I can understand really well how such reactions for every single unique style you take can really drain on an artist self esteem and confidence.
Put it this way, you honestly start to second guess yourself a lot. Especially if what you chose to do really was the best decision (which they were).

It has to be depressing as shit to do a new artistic style, and most of the comments you get revolve around it not being OoT enough, or 'eurgh yuck colorful and kiddy'

I wouldn't be surprised; gamers and the press seem to have garnered this idea that colorful and stylized is shit and must be stamped out to make way for the "serious" art styles. Again, a side effect of gaming being in its awkward puberty phase.

I'm still waiting for Cyberpunk Zelda. We've had a steampunk Zelda yet?

CriticKitten:
People like to piss all over Twilight Princess for some reason, too. And yeah, it's got flaws: mechanically, the Wii controls weren't properly refined until Skyward Sword, and they forced you to collect too many items overall. But it introduced one of the better storylines the series has ever seen, IMO, and by far one of the best companions the series has ever known in the form of Midna, who I still would rather have for the next Super Smash over most of the other Zelda characters they'll undoubtedly use instead. She had personality, she felt like a real character....hell, she was a better character than ZELDA was in the same game!

Midna was probably the only good character in Twilight Princess though. The mini-game host from Wind Waker had more personality than most of the characters from Twilight Princess combined.

Red X:
I'm still waiting for Cyberpunk Zelda. We've had a steampunk Zelda yet?

Not really, unless having a working train system in a medieval fantasy setting would be considered steampunk.

OT: I think everyone's jumping to conclusions here. Just on that statement alone, I don't think we will never see a stylized Zelda game ever again based on what Aonuma just said. I just don't see how Aonuma is a detractor of the "toon Link" art style when there have been five games in the series that used the Wind Waker art style, even if it was just the official art.

Aonuma's made mistakes before in his handling of Zelda, but he clearly does not hate the Wind Waker style. Unless he's gotten vetoed on the subject multiple times in the last ten years.

I tend to find that stylized art styles tend to age much better than games that strive for something more realistic. You can still pick up WW now and it looks stunning even without the HD makeover. Besides, varying visual styles are, to me at least, a hallmark of the entire series.

Wind Waker was fine albeit for the sailing, look to the gameplay there you will find the real problems......

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