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The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda:
Wii U
Walkthrough
Overview
30 minutes with Eiji Aonuma: The Zelda series director on building and shipping one of gaming’s biggest franchises
By Jason Rappaport
On the first day of E3 2013, a succinct and surprising email from one of our Nintendo contacts arrived in our inbox while we were eating dinner across from the Los Angeles Convention Center. The man didn’t waste any time. “Do you want to interview Eiji Aonuma?” was practically all that the message said.

Naturally, we responded yes.

The next night, we stopped by the Symphony of the Goddesses concert to enjoy the new Second Quest arrangements, and to interview the Symphony’s conductor, Eimear Noone. We told everyone that we’d be sitting down with Aonuma the next day. To our surprise, we found out that he had actually been at the concert, but left early.

“Do you want to interview Eiji Aonuma?”

Eimear told us that we would love sitting down with Mr. Aonuma. So we decided to give Mr. Aonuma the interview he deserved. We spent hours ensuring that each question we wanted to ask would be something Mr. Aonuma wasn’t expecting. No prying for information we knew we wouldn’t get. Just a great half-hour with some great questions.

The thirty minutes we spent with Mr. Aonuma paint the picture of a man just as self-conscious about his work as anyone; a genuine creator with an intense desire to balance freedom with making people happy. In the interview below, Mr. Aonuma touches on what he’s proud of most while acknowledging what makes him most vulnerable, providing a deep look inside the brain of the man who creates one of gaming’s largest franchises.

“We would love to take some of your experience and hand it off to all the people who admire all the work you do.”

I met with Eimear Noone yesterday. She wanted to say thank you for the chocolates.

Ah! That was not recent… a while ago?

Oh, was it?

I think it was a while ago.

Well, she wanted to say so, and that she says hello. We know a lot of folks over at the Zelda Symphony. A lot of them are good friends of ours; Jeron Moore is a great friend of ours, and they were all super excited that we get to sit down with you today. Hopefully they can live vicariously through me!

I actually wanted to say hello to Ms. Noone, but the crowd being what it is, we were a little bit concerned if they knew that I was there, so actually Bill Trinen escorted me out swiftly after the concert was over.

We noticed, and everyone wanted us to say “Hi” here.

[holds up 3DS] We were hoping to get your golden pants.

[laughs]

We have a new theory about The Legend of Zelda. It’s that the Triforce is actually cut from the golden pants. We must obtain the pants.

[laughs]

Yeah, we have some actual questions.

[laughs]

We’ve got a bunch of Zelda fans that would love to hear from you, and we get questions all the time. Everyone says, “What if you could meet Aonuma? What would you ask him?” And what I’d like to do is pick your brain and get your perspective on a lot of the work you do, because you’ve been doing this now for decades. And I would love to take some of your experience and hand it off to all the people who admire all the work you do. So, hopefully we can accomplish that.

I’m also very thankful for this opportunity to hear the voices of my fans and find out what they want to know.

Alright, so I’ll get started. Obviously you’re developing A Link Between Worlds, which is a sequel to A Link to the Past. We’re wondering how the overall development of the Zelda series has changed since A Link to the Past was shipped twenty years ago now, and how has the change in development and in Nintendo changed A Link Between Worlds and it’s development and made it a different Zelda game?

“To think that what was originally A Link to the Past can now be created on a PC so easily by one person speaks to how far we’ve come.”

aonuma

Actually, I didn’t work on A Link to the Past. At that time I was working on another project, and Mr. Miyamoto was working on creating A Link to the Past. But, having played it, I was really, really impressed, and that was actually the game that made me want to direct my own game. And then I started working on Zelda, and some twenty-plus years later here I am working on A Link Between Worlds. But Mr. Miyamoto always wanted to do more with A Link to the Past’s story, and he’s actually tasked me with doing that for quite some time, so I’m really happy to have come to that point where we’re actually working on continuing that.

And because I wasn’t directly involved in A Link to the Past’s development, I can’t really speak about how development has changed, so I can’t really respond to that part of your question, unfortunately. But what I can say is, well… I was working on Zelda after it became the 3D Zelda, so that’s when my involvement started. But taking this flat world and creating one with dimension is something that we are working on doing. And it’s interesting, because when I proposed this to my staff what I actually did was I took the flat, two-dimensional world of A Link to the Past and, on my PC, created a version of the same world with dimension. And to think that what was originally A Link to the Past can now be created on a PC so easily by one person speaks to how far we’ve come.

What made you decide that this was the right… because you talked about how Miyamoto has asked you for a long time to make something in the world of A Link to the Past. Was the 3D something that made you decide that this was the right time to do that? Or was it something else that made you think, “now is the time we want to make the sequel”?

“With the 3DS, Mr. Miyamoto challenged us, ‘What do you want to do with this? Given these features in the hardware, what do you think you can create with it?’”

With A Link to the Past, the sense of dimension that we gave in that game was kind of faked, because we did it through applying shading and things like that, so there wasn’t actual height, it was simulated height. But now we have the ability – especially as we create more and more 3D Zelda games, we have more skill, we also have more flexibility with the hardware – to give it actual dimension. And also, with the 3DS, when we were presented with that hardware, Mr. Miyamoto challenged us, “What do you want to do with this? Given these features in the hardware, what do you think you can create with it?” I’ve always been thinking of that kind of sense of dimension in A Link to the Past, and with the 3DS we can really take that to where it needs to go.

So, I’m gonna step back and ask something a little more broad. A lot of us are creators, and we make things and we ship them, and one of the toughest things you can do as a creator is just show your work to the public. And you’ve done this a number of times, and I just would love to know how you feel whenever a game you make ships or you have demos on the show floor, and how you feel when your work is just out there and people use it.

I’m always worried. I’m always worried and excited, a combination of both two things. I’m always thinking of how well they play; will they think what I thought was fun is fun? For example, with The Wind Waker, when it was first released there was some criticism. Some people didn’t like the direction we were taking Zelda; they thought maybe it wasn’t the direction they had anticipated or the direction they wanted to go. The same thing with The Wind Waker HD; I see people out there playing, and I’m just hoping that they understand what the value is in revisiting this world and with this new kind of presentation of this world. So, same thing, like I said, it’s excitement and worry at the same time.

“I’m always worried and excited. I’m always thinking of how well they play; will they think what I thought was fun is fun?”

aonuma

That’s awesome. Just on a personal note, I know from running the Zelda Universe message boards that The Wind Waker gets a lot of criticism. I personally believe that it is the most beautiful Zelda game, and it’s the reason why I’m sitting in this room. It’s my personal favorite. It got me into the series. I just wanted to tell you that I think it was a fantastic decision. It’s a great design.

Thank you. [laughs]

Along that lines, though, we obviously do have a very active user base that likes to voice a lot of their opinions about the Zelda series. They may not know whether or not you guys look at what they say – which I would love to believe that you do, because we care. And I’m just wondering: what is the largest change, or the most important change, that you’ve made to the Zelda series as a whole because of feedback from fans?

Hmm… I think the project that reflects our reaction to fan opinion is probably Twilight Princess. The incentive for us to create that different version of the Zelda universe was certainly as a result of The Wind Waker criticism that we received. Fans were saying that it wasn’t what they were looking for, it wasn’t what they were hoping for, so that’s why we went with this different graphic presentation. So I think that’s probably the one, the biggest change that we made.

I still remember eight years ago at E3 when we ran that first video of Twilight Princess. It was received very well; there was a standing ovation! So I still remember that moment very well.

“The incentive for us to create [Twilight Princess] was certainly as a result of The Wind Waker criticism that we received.”

I wanted to ask, how has your relationship to the fans changed? Because, in the old days, you had to rely on market analysts and the press. But, nowadays, you have the internet, you have fan sites, you have Miiverse, where you can connect to fans directly. Has that changed your connection to the fans or your perception of the fan base?

It certainly has changed. When I started, the voices I was hearing were heard indirectly. Someone did a market analysis like you said, and I heard the results of that. Now, with fan sites and Miiverse, its almost as though we’re sitting in the same room, kind of like we are right now, because there’s no go-between; it’s direct. But with regard to how fan voices or fan opinion affects my daily work and my creative process, I certainly have the fans in mind when I’m creating something, and I want to create something that will make them happy, but it’s my creative responsibility to also give them something they didn’t know they wanted. An element of surprise always has to be there, because I’m a creative person; it’s my job. If I just took the opinions of fans, I’m just gathering information, I’m not creating my own ideas. In that sense, I like to leave a little bit of distance between myself and my fans, because it’s that distance that allows me the space that I need to, again, deliver something that you guys don’t expect.

And with regard to the kind of opinions or fan response that I really want to hear, it’s “What stayed with you?” What left an impression? What made you feel happy? What made you feel sad? That kind of information is really helpful to me. I understand that people will have specific requests with regard to a certain dungeon, or “We want to see this particular item in the game,” or something like that. But even more than that I really value the emotional experience that people have, and as a creator it’s very important for me to leave an impression, and I’d like to hear what those impressions are.

In the original Legend of Zelda, Link is named Link because he is a link to the player. However, in more recent Zelda games, Link has become more of a character in his own right. In The Wind Waker, his facial expressions were a large part of the game, and it was emotional to see him wave goodbye to his family on Outset Island. And in Skyward Sword, Link even has a relationship with Zelda. So do you feel that Link is becoming less of a link to the player and more of a character in his own right?

It’s actually very tricky. I still want the player to feel as though they are Link; they are in Link’s shoes doing all these actions. But, at the same time, he also needs to be a character in a game in a space. So what we’ve tried to do with him is make him a character that the player wants to be. Someone who’s shoes you want to be in or that you want to act on behalf of. But it should also feel like it’s the player. So we tried to make him appealing somehow; make him cute, or handsome, or cool. Something that draws the player in. Because otherwise, if he’s just this blank slate, then there’s no draw; there’s nothing that makes you want to be put in his shoes and take on these challenges. So it’s a balance, and it’s certainly something that we struggle with and something that we’ll probably continue to struggle with when making Zelda games.

aonuma

I think I speak for all the Zelda fans when I say that it’s the hair that makes you want to be Link. It’s the fabulous hair.

[laughs] Ah! So the hair is very important. Got it.

That’s why everyone also wants to be Groose.

Groose?

Groose has great hair! [gestures to hair]

The red head?

Yes!

Does he have a different Japanese name?

Bado! [laughs]

We like Bado very much.

[laughs]

How long has The Legend of Bado been in development? I assume it’s been at least ten years now. We’re very anxious!

[laughs] I’ll keep that in mind.

“I really want to hear, ‘What stayed with you?’ What left an impression? What made you feel happy? What made you feel sad?”

Okay, so, another question. In my travels, something I’ve found is that the people who know Zelda are not always the people you would expect to have played Zelda or even video games. I likened it almost to a secret of people who just love Zelda and you’d never know it. And this always makes me wonder about the experiences that people have had, and there’s always a story that someone has to tell about this person they met that knows Zelda and you never thought. I’m wondering if you have any stories like that, of a person you may not have thought would’ve played your games, but you met them and they have and it changed their life in some way.

I think you probably know this one – Robin Williams. He was such a huge fan he named his daughter Zelda. So, when we did the recording for the commercial, I met him and he is in fact a huge Zelda fan, and I was very flattered and very proud.

Oh, but please share with me if you have information about hidden Zelda fans, because there might be a group I don’t know about!

I would just love to tell a little story. I also have my own new startup company, and I was seeking venture capital investment, and I met the investor and he invited me back for lunch the next day. And we went up to this very fancy restaurant, he took me up to the top of a big building, and we sat down and talked for an hour about my company. And at the very end he goes, “So, you do Zelda?” and talked about how he and his son went to the Zelda Symphony, and how his son goes to Zelda Universe, and they played Zelda together, grew up on Zelda. For me, this is amazing. You’ve really built a series that ties people together in, I think, ways that none of us can even imagine how vast this is, and it’s so amazing to me.

That’s a great story. Thank you very much. [smiles]

Alright, we’ll wrap this up with one last question, and it’s probably the single most important that I could ask – it’s very important. Everyone in the Zelda community, ever since Hyrule Historia came out, has had just one burning question. Where does Super Smash Bros. fit into the timeline of Zelda?

[laughing and gesturing toward himself] The Super Smash Bros. space is like a black hole. It’s something that doesn’t exist, where you have all these characters from their own special places coming together to battle it out.

So that black hole, it’s always there. Regardless of what platform you are, it’s a space that exists. And if it switches platforms all those characters just get sucked up into that space.

I think we need to draw a new timeline, then. [gesturing] We have the timeline, and then we have, all around it, it’s all in Super Smash Bros.

Yes, that’s perfect!

Thank you so much; I truly appreciate you taking this time for us. Hopefully this won’t be the last time we get to speak to you.

Of course.

  • heXdot

    is this an article from james rolfe or what?

  • Nielyboyken

    Nice you guys did this! :O

  • http://pandom19.weebly.com Pandom19

    I laughed out loud at the Groose's Hair part.

  • http://pandom19.weebly.com Pandom19

    But why didn't you ask about Zelda U?

    • kkk

      Yeah, if anything they could have asked at least one question.

    • http://zeldauniverse.net/ Jason Rappaport

      We try not to ask questions about unannounced or early-stage products. Typically, execs like Aonuma are trained to be tight-lipped about these things, and at best if something slips it makes for a neat one-off story. But, at the end of the day, you'll know everything when the game is formally announced next year.

      We wanted to ask timeless questions with timeless answers – answers that you couldn't get if all you did was wait until next year. And none of those questions had anything to do with Zelda for Wii U, so we didn't ask them.

      • Nate Janc

        I think the problem is mostly that fans read interviews like these to find out more about specific games, and we didn't really learn anything. This felt more like you guys were just hanging out with Eiji Aonuma chatting.

        It's a nice approach to be different, but itnerviews are about learning things. This is what we learned.

        - Link is still a Link to the player but also his own character. Something we already knew.
        - Eiji keeps some distance from the fans so he can have his own creativity
        - Twilight Princess was made based on fan opinions (we already knew this)
        - You guys goofed around with Smash and Bado/Groose. Something fans probably don't care about.

        In the end, the interview felt a bit pointless. It was more just a conversation with Eiji than an interview, and one which produced really not a whole lot the fan base cares about. I get asking questions directly would maybe only get a line or two worthy of a story, but this interview wasn't even worthy of a story in general.

        There are a lot of burning questions Zelda fans have about the series and you really didn't bother with any of them. You stuck to bassically hanging with Aonuma, which is cool and down to earth, but makes for a boring read.

      • http://www.zeldauniverse.net ZU – Joshua

        Nate, it astounds me that the leader of Zelda Informer cannot see the value of this interview. No, there is no ground breaking headline news, but what ground breaking headline news did all of the other interviews with Aonuma produce?

        Thanks to countless press sites pestering Miyamoto and Aonuma this week, we learned "amazing" things like "Zelda WiiU is progressing well" and "We considered showing Zelda WiiU at E3 this year, but didn't because it would have stolen the spotlight."

        Shocking.

        Instead, what the team did (and this is already made clear in the introduction and Jason's comment) is ask questions that give us a look at Eiji Aonuma, the man. It -is- a conversation, and because the team didn't go in as media hounds, but more like friends, the interview gives us a real look at Aonuma's personality.

        For Legend of Zelda fans, a real down-to-earth look at the man who directs their favorite video game series is priceless. This isn't just a news story, it's a feature, and I think I speak for everyone working at ZU when I say we feel honored to have been given this opportunity – and most of us weren't at the interview or E3 at all.

        …and everyone cares about Groose. Where have you been the last two years?

      • James

        And if ever the opportunity presents itself in the future for zu to interview aonuma again, he will remember not being pestered like normal media. He will be more comfortable. It's all about first impressions!

      • http://rustyyy.deviantart.com RustyCage

        This reply is why I love ZU and don't care much for ZI.

        A lot of the opinions on that site, and all the self-promotion, rub me the wrong way for a number of reasons.

        Thanks for having so much more heart and humor, ZU. <3

        This was the first Zelda-related blurb coming out of E3 time that REALLY made me smile.

      • margar

        I, for one, appreciate the humanizing aspect of this interview. Getting a glimpse into Aonuma's personal M.O. Any other interview out there will have the prying, testing, new-game-development tyes of questions, of which the answers will all be relatively the same. So I appreciate this different approach.

      • Passerby

        As a fan, I strongly disagree with you. I found this interview a breath of fresh air, and for us people who can't hang out with Eiji Aonuma like you fansite people do, this felt really humanizing and amazing to me, learning more about the man behind my favorite videogame. EVERY dang site asks him questions about upcoming games, with all the same answer "CANT SAY ANYTHING". They never can't say anything about the upcoming games so why bother? I find interviews like that, where they ask about games and get no answer, insanely frustrating. Why ask him then?

        In stark difference, I actually enjoyed this interview and it was insightful to the mind of the man making these games. It shows that he is an approachable, funny, kind mand, and not just another "developer" out there. Don't speak for all fans about what they like in an interview please. Every other site asks about the game, one site taking the time to learn about the man is not bad at all. This was not a boring read to me. As the owner of a fansite, one would think you too would've gotten the opportunity to ask these "pressing questions" (which a lot of sites have already asked with no clear answer anyway so meh).

        So yeah, this interview was great to me, and I did care about it.

      • Craig

        I sense rivalry here… Dun dun duuuuun! Seriously, you're one of those info junkies that just wants exclusives. You'd only be reading this interview to add something to your own page to bring in views and you didn't get that, so you're unhappy. Your site was meant to have a purely Zelda news revamp but… it didn't happen. I love your site Nate but this is low.

      • MH3U

        This is why no one on your website likes you…

      • Dee F.

        Nate's "classy" response to this entertaining interview is a perfect example of why I removed Zelda Informer from my bookmarks several years ago. I keep hoping ZI will become a legitimate Zelda fansite and not just a troll-den that keeps publishing clickbait, flame-breeding headlines like "Top 5 Reasons Link is Gay" (an actual piece posted there). But I guess that's too much to expect from a site run by a guy who personally refuses to take down other people's material that was posted to ZI without permission or credit.

        If you don't want people like us calling you out for being a trolling hack, Nate, stop performing the actions of a trolling hack who posts insulting comments on other people's sites.

      • Bob

        This is why I keep up with Zelda Universe. Great job guys!

      • Nerissa

        This is why I enjoyed the interview so much – I haven't really read any interviews with Aonuma, or anyone related to Zelda, actually. So it was a great read, for me!

  • kkk

    "No prying for information about Zelda for Wii U."

    Read to this. Stopped reading.

    • LinkFan

      You realize he wouldn't answer anyways… -reads name- probably a troll…..

  • Rachel

    You guys asked great questions! I loved hearing how fan feedback affects the games. It's interesting to know, and makes sense that, Twilight Princess was the most influenced. Tied with Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess is probably the game I've enjoyed the most. Great interview guys!

    • Nate Janc

      They already told us before that TP was fan influenced, so this wasn't anything new.

  • Nunya Bidness

    Great interview!

    Most fan interviews are whiny questions about unreleased games.

    I’m sure that you deeper questions and interest in something other than gameplay questions has opened more future doors than hounding him about zelda wiiu.

  • Salokin

    Wow. Jason and Cody spoke with Aonuma?!?! I remember when Jason first appeared on the site. You guys have come a long way from maintaining the best Zelda community site around to interviewing one of the most important figures in the production of The Legend of Zelda. Very inspiring.

    Also great interview guys. I think you guys asked some pretty great questions and represented the site well. I especially liked the question "what is the largest change, or the most important change, that you’ve made to the Zelda series as a whole because of feedback from fans?" It was cool

  • nerdtron

    you guys definitely screwed the pooch. First question I would've asked:
    "What was Majora's Mask REALLY about?"

  • Chief_Arino

    Nice. Also, that translator lady, Reiko, is from the Animal Crossing localisation team. I have her Mii in my plaza.

    • http://zeldauniverse.net/ Jason Rappaport

      That's awesome! I did not know that. She did a fantastic job translating; this was my first experience being in a room with a translator. It was both haunting and incredible. I'm always flabbergasted by the amazing things that people can do.

    • http://rustyyy.deviantart.com RustyCage

      NICE! How lucky! :D

  • bearded

    I don't know what people were expecting when they started reading this interview besides what the title said. I want to know more about a Zelda Wii U game as much as anyone else here, but I still really enjoyed this interview. I think it's interesting to get in the mind of the director of so many of my favorite games.

  • http://rjthorwip.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-legend-of-zelda-hylian-hearts.html RJThor

    Super Mario is a psychidelic and psychic experience, so when Smash Bros, Mario Party, Mario Kart, Tennis, Baseball, ANYTHING comes up, it’s a Psychic/psychidelic invitation across the Nintendo Omniverse for heroes and villians alike to attend to one of Mario’s Get-Togethers.

    The Mario Bros are something outside of Time/Space, with their very own time/space world too!

  • Mases

    Excellent job with the interview and it sure sounds like you guys had a lot of fun with it. What a great opportunity. I like the formatting of this page btw. Kudos to you all for your hard work.

  • Gravity Breaker

    Is it bad that the first thing I thought of when I read the word shipping, was stuff like LinkxZelda?

    Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this interview. Great job!

    • Margar

      Haha! That would have been a fun question. Next time!

  • Margar

    It's funny that Hombre isn't in any of the pictures. Bad hair day? LOL!

    • http://zeldauniverse.net/ Jason Rappaport

      Dan actually took one for the team and is the man behind all of the photographs you see up there. He did an awesome job! If we could photoshop him in, we would.

    • Hombre de Mundo

      You lay off my do right now, or I'll flatten you. Everyone knows I've got the slickest pompadour in town.

  • Lars

    I can't believe you guys interviewed Aonuma without even touching on the greatness of Majora's Mask!

    Otherwise excellent job. I really appreciated the approach you took the interview. It's far more interesting to learn about the man, rather than just reading the soon-to-be-dated-anyways stock replies to questions about information that will remain undisclosed.

    I hereby declare that Zelda Universe has grown up :)

    • http://zeldauniverse.net/ Jason Rappaport

      I did say in the article that we also interviewed Eimear Noone. I think you won't be disappointed when that goes up ;)

      • http://rustyyy.deviantart.com RustyCage

        You just made me so excited, Jason.

  • Canyarion

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the interview. Not asking questions you won’t get answers to was very smart. And I bet he never got these questions before! As opposed to stuff like “what’s your favorite game.”

    I love how open and friendly the Nintendo developers were this E3. It’s like a fresh breath of air in the harsh “our game has the biggest guns and cars” E3-world of Microsoft and Sony.

  • Gwydion

    This was such a fun interview! I loved that you focused on more broad questions – even though I'm very excited to hear information on upcoming titles, I agree that in an interview such as this you likely wouldn't have gotten any new information. Besides, everyone asks questions like that – these were interesting and insightful!

  • Edge

    Everyone wants more information on the upcoming Wii U Zelda, and that's the one question you didn't make. I for one would have pestered him to death and made him spill the beans on everything.

  • Mickii

    Great Goron! I was at the Zelda Symphony on Wednesday! I knew I was in the same city, but to think I was in the same theatre as Eiji Aonuma?! Well.. epic interview xDD

  • HylianHero

    HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME!! You impress me more and more ZeldaUniverse!

  • Guest

    The interview was great. But I had some feedback about the new layout:

    The margins for the quotes are massive. It seems like a big waste of space. Not only that, but the quotes themselves are in a needlessly large font. Reading only 2-3 words per line can really break the flow of the article.

    The rollover effect for one of the pictures of Aonuma threw me off. I'd put some captions or a friendly warning that a rollover effect will reveal the rest of the picture. The images themselves are also a little large. It seems like you're just trying to fill in your real estate as much as possible. While I wouldn't mind such large images for special articles like interviews, I wouldn't want to see this become a standard for your guy's regular articles. If anything, a "click to expand" option should be thrown in place of large, high resolution images. Not so much the headers, but the rest of the images. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to also increase the font for captions/quotes of future images as part of a "click to expand" option.

    The advertisements are awkwardly placed within the article where regular images would normally be placed. An advertisement was also placed within the comments section, which has made everything smaller and thus harder to read. Why not make use of all the real estate you guys have on the outside of the content table?

    Finally, there's no footer.

    • http://zeldauniverse.net/ Jason Rappaport

      Thanks for the feedback! I'll certainly keep all of this in mind as we improve our designs. I can't say much about what we're planning, but this interview was certainly a testbed. So I do appreciate you taking the time to let me know how you felt.

      As for there being no footer, that sounds like a bug to me – we've got a really nice footer. Try clearing your cache! Maybe that'll make things look prettier.

      • Guest

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I know I only gave you guys minor critiques, but this new layout is actually a huge step up from your old one. Aesthetically, it's much more pleasing to the eye. It also follows the similar kind of standard layout a lot of other gaming websites are doing these days, but with a personal Zelda Universe-esque touch to it — it's truly great. I've only just recently started to visit ZU, but I can't wait to see the entire site imbedded with this new layout as well as whatever else you guys have in store. Cheers.

        The graphic for the footer is there, but there's no copyright, contact us, etc. bar at the bottom. Also, it sometimes breaks off, leaving a very large empty space of the green background image below the content table. I believe certain advertisements are causing it to break off.

      • Jason Rappaport

        We actually purposefully left that out of the footer! It might end up somewhere else. I do see what you mean about it feeling bare of "footer-esque" information. And I definitely feel there's room for improvement on the hover animation for images – some of our devs had originally made it with a time delay so that it wouldn't throw people off. In the end, putting something out there was the best thing we could do, so folks like you could tell us what's up.

        And yikes, good to know about the breakage! I'll start investigating that right away. If it's ads loading in, that might be tough to fix, since they change the height of the site after it loads. But I'll see what I can do!

      • heroofmask

        kinda wished i coulda been with ya to interview him i myself woulda loved to ask him questions some fans have been bickering about like why is there no voice acting or guns in zelda hed prob say its becouse the games a fantasy midevil game thats like a story beening told to a player like okami was and thats what i love about zelda it doesnt need to resort to va or guns to be good would also loved to ask why they put so much time into developing a zelda game and not into mario

  • Coola13

    Don’t let the hate comments get you down, guys. I can see why you wouldn’t bug Mr. Aonuma about something he wouldn’t talk about anyways. It’s also nice to get the answers to questions that we never would have gotten since they don’t have much to do with the games. Plus that Groose bit was hilarious! Thanks for the interview.

  • Blarg

    Wonderful interview! I love how casual it was, it seems like Aonuma really enjoyed himself as well. My favorite part is the one where he addresses what Link is to the players. So we finally have an answer…

  • Natalie Doolan

    I really loved this interview! I read things about The Legend of Zelda because I enjoy the franchise, I enjoy hearing the opinions of people involved and of people who enjoy the games like I do. I thought it was great to see how he feels about the fans opinions and that there is still the priority of creating his own ideas. I always love playing a new game or replaying a previous game and feeling the same emotions, it’s more than just a game, it draws me in, turns my world around, makes me happy and makes me cry all at once, Zelda is a part of my life! Obviously I would love to find out more about new titles but part of the excitement is waiting for the info, so I don’t mind that you didn’t ask about it, and I think the direction you took with the interview was fantastic. :) Good job you guys!

    • heroofmask

      yes that is right my zelda brother people need to stop bickering that they didnt ask about new releases and just be patient for the info although woulda been kool if theyd ask now that zelda 3ds is comming out is there a possibility to see zelda mm 3d just to see if nintendo remembers operation moonfall that hangs over there heads lol not if there gonna do it just is it still a possibility that way well still be surprised if they do

  • Soeroah

    Before I start reading, I just have to say; Eiji looks so damn much like a Japanese version of my uncle it shocks me.

  • AirMax

    So many fanboys, closed up about not wanting info on a Zelda Wii U,,,well the majority want to know even the progress of it or any info, that's what interviews and questions are about, see the thing is the 2 games of this years are in fact yes remakes (rebranded as a sequel and an HD remake). How about we get info on where Zelda is heading? I really can't blame Aonuma if he wasn't asked, he could have said no he can't answer, simple as that but it seems by these forums there are too many stuck up people with their nose in the air that they do not want even INFO on something new. The people who talk about wanting more NEW info on the NEW games are getting bashed here with tons of thumbs downs, and yet if these guys in the interview gave us all info on something new about 100x more people would thumbs up this comment. You can not evolve without criticism. If you only listen to the few fanboys loving this article how far is your JUDGEMENT really going to get you. Perhaps we (myself included) need to accept nobody is the same, so before you thumbs this comment down perhaps keep that thought with you.

    • NoAccount

      Dafuq? Link Between Worlds is a sequel, not a remake being branded as one. Do you know anything about the title at all?

      Also, I don't understand how people like you aren't understanding the point of this article. Eiji has done a bunch of interviews in this past week, and how much information has been gleaned from those? About as much as you'd expect, which is to say, nothing. He's not just going to randomly decide to drop some new info. When Nintendo is ready to show the new Zelda, they will. You're not just gonna get lucky one day and get info like that in an interview.

      So, instead of wasting time with questions that won't get answered, they try to turn it in to something legitimately interesting. If you think they actually would've gotten details on the next console Zelda, you're out of your mind.

    • Soeroah

      I'm almost certain if Aonuma was going to give any information about Zelda Wii U, he'd have told one of the many interviews he's been a part of. Asking is a waste of time until there's an indication that more information is free, I doubt he's discriminate on who he gives information to considering everyone on the Internet would get access to it within a few hours.

  • nitzan_z

    smash bros has no relation to the zelda timeline or any timeline. super smash bros is basically just a person playing with toys of hisher favorite nintendo characters, as you can see in the original smash bros's intro, and this person's hand is master hand.

  • Merq

    Really nice interview, it was fun reading this. :) Great job, guys! Aonuma seems like a cool guy.

  • heroine of time

    Wow, guys, that must have been such a thrill! I’m jealous. :) I love the originality of the questions, and how casual and fun it all seemed to be!

  • Fierce Diety

    Wow, it's so weird thinking that people that I have met and talked to online are interviewing one of my favoite individual of all time… You guys are great, Cody, Jason, and Daniel! Keep up the great work, and hopefully you'll get even more interviews in the future!

  • RedVirtue

    Twilight Princess is a hauntingly beautiful game and a number of it's songs still intrigue me enough to continue listening to on occasion – Including the Light Spirit music and Queen Rutela's theme.Great work to Eiji-san.

  • http://www.jtpstudios.co.uk John Turner

    Great Interview, with a Great Man! Can't wait for Between Worlds and whatever Zelda Wii U ends up being!

  • jmoods

    "The Super Smash Bros. space is like a black hole. It’s something that doesn’t exist…"

    -Eiji Aonuma

  • http://mytriforce.deviantart.com/ Triceratops

    This was brilliant. I'm so so so happy you guys got to interview such an amazing guy. What an experience. :)

  • Sage of Sanity

    I would ask if he looks at any of the fan games, and if so, what he thinks of them, if he gets inspired from them, etc.

  • Triguy123

    !GREAT READ! I don't have a Nintendo Power subscription now, but I did through all of elementary school(thanks Grandad). Reading all the interviews I did gave so much of my creative inspiration. Thank you for such awesome representation of an inspired impact. The Respects. Lawl.. Zelda Universe is the only place I come to in the ownligne community :' ) You battlemages are special. Magic Interview. So.. what was Aonumas' favourite Ice Arrow again? !!! OIIHYAA !!!

  • Stefanie

    I just wanted today the most shocking fact no one has stated yet, why didn’t such a large fan site know Aonuma had nothing to do with zelda until OoT? Are you kidding? Have you ever even read another interview with him?

    I love the interview concept, but the questions about Groose and ssb were pointless. What kind of answers did you expect? And is there anyone who really likes Groose? His character was pretty flat. Also, who ever said a game without the Legend of Zelda title would be incorporated into the storyline…that is just a weird question.

    How about something deeper next time? Ask about his aspirations outside of Zelda, about how it has changed him…

    I loved the concept, but the execution was premature.

    • http://zeldauniverse.net Jason Rappaport

      To address this – which I’d like to – we knew that Aonuma’s involvement in the Zelda series was limited before Ocarina of Time. However, having been working on the Zelda series as long as he has, we thought he might have some good insight into Nintendo at that time period regardless. We actually had a whole second set of questions prepared if he was more familiar with A Link to the Past-era development!

      As for the other stuff, we wanted to represent how we felt about the Zelda series as well as be friendly. The Groose and Smash Bros. questions were, naturally, not serious – and by design. We wanted Aonuma to feel comfortable; nobody wants them or their work to be taken too seriously. It was a joy for us to find that we could all laugh together about the same things we laugh about when we’re not with Aonuma.

      Hopefully we’ll satisfy you more next time! I want to continue improving the quality and depth of Zelda Universe’s features. To me, this is only a beginning. Thanks for the feedback!

  • chad

    Truly inspiring.

  • Dinoclops

    I just wanted to say I really appreciate you guys at Zelda Universe. I would rather not know about Zelda U 'til the day it released than miss out on an interview like this. I think you made the right call.

  • Jake

    Zelda U Idea:

    Off topic but wouldn't it be amazing if the Zelda U game took a totally new direction, filling in the gap between 4Swords and OoT. With a new villain/objective, Link and Zelda are in the midst of Hyrule's civil war and must defeat the opposition to save Hyrule?

  • Petra

    It was so cool to learn about Mr. Aonuma's feelings about his work! Also, Wind Waker holds a special place in my heart, being the first video game I ever owned. I'm saddened by people's negative reaction to its art style and child-like appearance. I have friends who were reluctant to play Skyward Sword because of the art style. I personally believe that people like Aonuma and Miyamoto care enough about Zelda to put their heart and soul into each and every game. I have yet to play a Zelda game which I haven't liked. (yes, I like Link's Crossbow Training too….)
    Thank you ZU for doing this interview and for being ready at a nearly moment's notice for the opportunity! :D Keep at it!!!

  • Matt

    Man that whole interview just made me smile. It's just an overall good story.

  • Chuck

    I wish I could have a chance to sit down like that and express my ideas. I have been playing Zelda since “A Link to the past” and kept a journal on the games in general and what I believed could improve them. Unfortunately it was stolen and I assume I will never get it back. I recently created a new journal for my ideas and I think I have something that I would love to share with the world over. But coming from a small town, being average at best, and living so far away from Nintendo I doubt I would ever have the chance.

  • James

    Zelda U news would obviously have been awesome but Aonuma must get pestered so often as it is, it’s awesome that you guys asked more about him and his involvement in the Franchise as a whole rather than about a specific game, he said he wanted to know how fans felt emotionally, I think I speak for myself and most of the Zelda fans I know when I say no game other than OoT has ever made me feel how the forest temple made me feel, unnerving, alone, lost, but so amazing haha it is the very reason that I’ll always be a fan of the series, great interview.

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    Great stuff guys. I love the way he approaches the fans and feedback.

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