Good Lord, I love the creative process. As audience members, we tend to see the films and video games we consume when they are completely through the development process, but we all know all the work that goes into these damn things. More specifically, we already have an idea of all the work that went into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
This isn’t anything Nintendo has made pains to hide. On the heels of the game’s release nearly two years ago, they released a short series of mini-docs chronicling this journey. In it, we learned there were plenty of ideas that were scrapped, including one that saw our hero Link battling an alien invasion.
We also saw many different takes on our hero’s appearance. But how many did they ultimately work on? In a recent art book for the game, it was stated by art director Satoru Takizawa that they ended up with almost 100 designs that were presented to him.
“Producer Aonuma-san declared that we would be revising expectations by updating Link for this game. He wanted Link to be a more neutral character that players could see themselves as. You can feel how energized and excited the artists were about this idea from the really interesting modern concepts they drew. There were close to one hundred designs presented within the team for Link, and the number of sketches was too great to count.”
Of course, the result was the most radical change in the character design to date, with him sporting a new blue tunic and no hat — which is in stark contrast to his standard green tunic and green hat (though, of course, you could also have Link wear whatever you wanted or needed in the game, including his trademark look from older games). The game’s producer Eiji Aonuma went on to discuss how they arrived at this big change.
“We thought that the iconic green tunic and hat had become expected, so we wanted to mix things up and update his look. Interestingly, though, nobody on the team said, ‘Let’s make him blue!’ It just organically ended up that way.”
The result was a unique hero to the franchise, one that truly embodied all the other elements of change they were setting out to make in this long-running series. Was it all for the best? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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