When The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker debuted, many people were so upset with the direction of the art style that they refused to play the game. Eiji Aonuma, the series producer has confirmed that such a huge jump was a headache for Nintendo and that in the future, the team plans on being more careful about style choices for future Zelda games. “We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker. 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.” Of course, Aonuma confirms that if the team finds a new direction they want to take the series in then they’ll go with it. Wind Waker HD has received a much warmer welcome on the Wii U than it received on GameCube, which means gamers have matured and are able to accept stylistic choices a bit easier than in the GameCube days. local_offer a link between worlds Eiji Aonuma Nintendo wii u wind waker hd stars Further Reading Is Nintendo shafting Axiom Verge because of Dan Adelman? Nintendo doesn't need 3rd parties, says Stardock CEO Earthlock backers will get Switch version if it ever happens Zelda: Breath of the Wild Deluxe guide for $48 on Amazon Nintendo shares up 20% since Switch launch What's your dumbest death in Breath of the Wild? Makakilo_Man I missed Wind Waker on the Gamecube and I just started playing it two nights ago for the Wii U. I really like the artwork and I think it was a refreshing step away a more traditional Zelda-look. Maybe not all games need to look like Wind Waker, but drastic differences in art style are, in my opinion, good for keeping the series fresh and new. Sdudyoy Yeah, I remember before I got Wind waker on the Gamecube I was reluctant to play it because Link looked like Dora the explorer to me, then I got the Gamecube Zelda collection that had a 30 minute demo of Wind waker on it, I loved it so much that I manged to finish the lava temple in the 30 minute time limit, so I had to get it and the are style has really grown on me, I would like another Zelda console game in the style, maybe not the next Zelda game but another one indeed. Magnus Eriksson Haha! True, there is a similarity to Dora 😀 Makakilo_Man I feel the next game’s art style should reflect the feeling of the game. Twilight Princess had a darker theme which matched the dark art style. Wind Waker has a more “childish” theme and the art style reflected that. TP’s art style wouldn’t have worked with WW and vice-versa. I do think TP was too dark (not stylistically) but dark in that i couldn’t make out differences in figures in dark areas. Even when my TV was at the right settings I ran into this problem. abe The only reason the wind waker angered people including myself was simple they showed that tech demo. Which I am worried about them doing again. Lovely looking tech demo and them now saying it won’t be anything like it. For the record bought wind waker both on GC and Wii u opikal Yea I hope they do not stray from how amazing the WiiU zelda tech demo looked. I am fine with wind wakers style, and I was ok with skyward swords style too (however, it was really pixelated at times) Magnus Eriksson I must admit that I was one of them who wanted the next Zelda game to be in the spirit of Twilight Princess, or preferable even darker. But I have changed my mind. I dont think that dark styled is the right path to take. Compare this Skyrim mod that is inspired of Windmill Island in Wind Waker. Wind Waker HD looks way better than this in its own right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vrprpHBCFo Wren Justin Umlauf But see, this is the difference between realistic and the art style of Twilight Princess. Everyone keeps saying they want Zelda to take a realistic approach “like Twilight Princess”, but Twilight Princess isn’t realistic at all, it’s just dark. Although I think this mod is wonderfully made, I know Nintendo would make it look 10x better. Magnus Eriksson Thats kind of what I meant yes. Guahiatt That’s impressive, but you’re right is not very Zelda-like. Don’t know why but I think the looks of a game like Dishonored could fit on a Zelda game: it looks great but nor particularly realistic, it’s still kind of “cartoonish”. SmashFinale Honestly, I don’t even know what direction of art style he is going to take with the next Zelda game. But im sure whatever he chooses will be fine with me. Yobrolo Im sure its not going too be a realistic style. Wii U handle cartoon games better. Magnus Eriksson The only Zelda game that got a cartoon style sofar is Wind Waker, and that is also the best looking Zelda game of all times. So its not so much about handling as making a timeless experience. Wii U is powerful enough to make good looking games in realistic style, but Nintendo prefer a cartoonish style to make a broader appeal. nf_zeta plus IMO it would be a waste of hardware power when they can get the game looking beautiful and playing great with a good art direction instead of going for super real Tulio I can’t agree with this. I’ve never really loved the cartoonish style of ‘The Wind Waker’, even when thought It was a great ‘The Legend Of Zelda’ game as usual. I’ll always prefer a more realistic ‘The Legend Of Zelda’. Maybe the perfect graphic style for the game is the one they applied in ‘Skyward Sword’, wich turned out to be one of my favorites ‘The Legend Of Zelda’ games. Squid Honestly, the best Zelda Art Style depends on the setting. Magnus Eriksson Thats ok:) Its about taste. Skelterz what about spirit tracks and phantom hourglass….prick Magnus Eriksson Well, if it isnt little Charlie 😀 Its so cute when a kid tries to act like a grown up. greengecko007 Every Zelda game uses a cartoon artstyle. The characters for every game are designed in the typical Japanese anime style. Wind Waker is just the only cell shaded Zelda game. In reality, when people say that they didn’t like the “cartoony” art style of Wind Waker, they usually mean they didn’t like the cell shaded approach, the younger character designs, the character proportions, and the bright color palette. Magnus Eriksson Yeah, you are absolutely right. I could have been more precise. Tulio Agreed but, we all know the cell shaded ‘Link’ appears as ‘Toon Link’ in ‘Super Smash Bros.’ it’s just an easier way to difference the cell shaded style one from the other :D. greengecko007 But, artstyle =/= character name. In fact, it doesn’t make sense for Nintendo to dub the Wind Waker Link model as “Toon Link”, because he is the most used character model for Link, appearing in 6 games in the series. My point is that a lot of people have no concept of what an art style really is. Wind Waker may be cell shaded and use a brighter color palette than titles like Twilight Princess, but both games feature disproportionate Japanese anime character models. Every Zelda is cartoony. Eiji Aonuma It really helps us when we know what the fans want, we can then focus on a design that will surprise the player yet still captivate them. We plan on doing this for the new Zelda on Wii U. lonewolf88 IMPOSTER! Nintendoplaystation I know you are, don’t need to shout it out. Squid C’mon, can’t people role play without being busted. lonewolf88 i am very against internet role play like this. its kind of like saying i would rather be this person instead. be yourself peoples! and you will have a better life. Squid Doesn’t really matter, people role play as characters because they like characters. Some people just role play as business people to be funny. Magnus Eriksson I guess your real name is mr/mrs Lone Wolf88 then? 🙂 lonewolf88 i see what you did there 😛 but no its still different in the sense of i am still being my self and not trying to be someone else i don’t want to be a dick or anything i just don’t really think people should try acting like other people that they aren’t like i said people will most likely like you more for who you are. Simon Stevens I know I look like your every day guy with a big nose, truth is, I’m BATMAN 😉 Michael Hancock Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf? Kevin Sepulveda I think you are looking too into it. I don’t think it means they want to be someone else. I think they wanted to have fun and maybe get a laugh or two. Dáibhí wotshissurname Christ, it’s obviously just joking or trying your hand at someone else. Gibosdog Call me gullible but are you the real Aonuma??? Anyways, I was one of the gamers that didn’t play Wind Waker because of the new look but now that I have the HD, I love it. This has change the way I look at games now since this game is awesome. Don’t really care how the new Zelda will look, I’m just happy that they are working on one. Eiji Aonuma Yes, thank you letting me know you enjoyed the game. I hope to share such experiences with new and old fans for the new Zelda game. bizzy gie I’m all for fun characters (I have a Pachter account), but he thinks you’re the actual Eiji. Just let him know you’re not and that you’re pretending for fun. Funkee Dynamite I work with a guy who said a similar thing about how he never played because of the graphics. Honestly i don’t get it… its a Zelda game you know its going to be amazing. How can someone who is in to the series make such a shallow call? Magnus Eriksson Maybe this direction? The fans would love it. Guest Magnus you are a genius! Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog for me it’s doesn’t matter take your time Ted Myconkey Make no mistake, this is an actual quote from Aonuma-san! Eiji Aonuma Thank you! Makakilo_Man So true. Looking at just the artwork and judging the game is taking things out of context. Fortunately Aonuma and his team typically take the whole game into consideration and try to make the entire experience, (art, storyline, controls, items, etc.) follow the same theme. I’m stoked for what they have planned. Ken Seymour Honestly, when it comes to Nintendo fans anything will be fine, but if you want to bring in everyone you need to stick to something more along the lines of the tech demo they used at E3. If Nintendo wants to appeal to more than just fanboys like myself, they need to show that Zelda isn’t a just another Nintendo kiddie looking game. My opinion, stick closer to realistic and less cartoony, but just my opinion. Wayne Beck What if it’s Zelda’s Epic Yarn? SmashFinale I think Link Between Worlds kinda does that already… RyuNoHadouken the next Zelda NEEDS to be photo-realistic…no more cartoon stuff Eiji Aonuma We want everything to feel new with this game, the art style must match that new experience. We intend to full utilize the Wii U’s capabilities and hopefully capture the fans’ hearts. starwars360 Hello Eiji are you pretend as Eiji Aonuma or are you real person as him? It is internet so it is easy to hard believe if real person came here or using someone else names or being pretend as famous person. Eiji Aonuma I am only passing through, yes I understand that it’s easy to to impersonate people on the internet, but it’s almost six in the morning and I’ve been working on some final details for a new mini-game. John D Well the apostrophe should’ve been after the “s” in “fans”. Example: “fans’ hearts” instead of “fan’s hearts”. I suspect the real Aonuma would’ve caught that… SpocksNutSack yeah Eiji Aonuma Ahh well it’s early and I’m bound to make a few mistakes, it is a shame you don’t believe it’s me. I can tell you though that the final boss for Zelda Wii U will have a very reminiscent feel to Majora’s Mask. Nintendoplaystation I’ll hold onto that possibility. Ony I’ll screen that, rendez-vous in three years :3 Tanner Mickelson Please give us Navi as a controllable first person character for puzzles and stuff on the gamepad. Nintendoplaystation If is you, I can’t wait and Im glad I told you. If it ain’t you well I still can’t wait. Eiji Aonuma It is always nice to speak to another fan of the series, I hope you enjoy all current and future games. Nintendoplaystation I shall until the day I go to the heavens above. Sdudyoy Personally I would like the art style from Twilight princess to return except lighter and more colorful, kinda how Link look’s in the next SSB. Stoenk skyward sword? Sdudyoy Yeah, but Skyward sword had the painting like art style that I really didn’t care for, plus I don’t think the Cell shading really worked in that game. Stoenk matter of opinion Merrfn I am hoping for a cartoony and realistic art style. Honestly I have no idea why people hated/hate the WW art style. Madmagican Whatever is chosen as an art style will be supported by the fans eventually, if not immediately Guest When I play Zelda, I feel like more of a hero when I save Hyrule from these first 3 guys, than the last 3 guys Guest When I play Zelda, I feel like more of a hero when I save Hyrule from these first 2 guys, than the last 2 guys… WarioForever LoL, no. Gameonfool Lets hope it’s good, if it ain’t then ill buy nintendo’s tomb stone Nintendoplaystation Keep talking like that you will need a tombstone. I know they are expensive but donations would come flooding in to get you one, goodbye MR you don’t deserve Nintendo in your name. The Clockwork Being As I have said before. LOOK AT THIS SEXY BEAST. But in all honesty go in reckless Nintendo. What I like about Zelda is its different art style, that alone makes me really love the franchise. We don’t want to see the same Link in super realistic form time after time after time. Twilight princess was a great game but I want to see them go in different way. In the picture below we see a new art for Link. Similar to his TP incarnation yet different. A Link game done with his art style could easily be a realistic dark game or Skyward Sword style of game or a mix of all other game feel. Nintendoplaystation I have to agree. If link resembled that pic I would be very pleased. The Clockwork Being Same here. Oh and that Castle shown during the Smash Bros trailer too looks awesome. Miguel Rodríguez i hope they do not release a zelda game with the skyward sword style. i hope they choose the e3 demo graphics style. that would make it the best game (graphically talking), can you imagine ocarina of time in hp majoras mask? The Clockwork Being Tech Demo or this one. This one seems more refined than the SS one. And yeah a HD remastered version of OT and MM would look nothing but stunning. Shota i love how you changed pit ssb4 pic to this sexy beast XD The Clockwork Being It had to be done Shota. Such sexiness should be shown to the world. JB I remember when I first saw the Wind Waker I fell instantly in love with it and thought it was way better looking than the tech demo. I didn’t really understand all the hate for it then. I think Zelda is probably one of the only few series that can get away with being creative artistically and I hope that doesn’t change with the next one, because no matter what, whatever the end result will be, somebody is going to be upset. Haha starwars360 I don’t mind what next art will be direction in next Zelda series but I had mention before that I loved graphics and arts in The Wind Waker HD, Zelda Wii U Tech, Twilight Princess and Orcania of Time. Best graphics and arts. So I will love to see either 4 of those graphics and arts into new series of Zelda on Wii U. 🙂 TULFich Why can´t they just give us the art style of the tech demo?! While the character looks a bit cartoonish, sceneries are damn obscure and realistic. I think that is a great approach of what most of the costumers want (specially those nintendo haters). It can get more audience at my point of view. Note: I´m not against the cellshading thing like WW or SS, cuz those are actually amazing art styles and games!! I love them. but I think I liked a bit more how TP worked out in art style, dungeons really felt isolating and spooky, and I think, that is how the player should feel mostly trying to get the bravery out on the action! For instance, I will agree on whatever Aonuma decides (I will still buy the game), Just saying he should approach to all gamers like OoT or TP did at the time. The True Gamer I can’t imagine not playing a game because I’m upset with the change in art style Fred I guess you can’t imagine me. Of coarse I was a teenager back then and didn’t think clearly, but I’ve repented and am now enjoying it in HD Rickard Same for me. After Ocarina of time I was totally sold on that art style and did not like Wind Wakers art style. But today I am gonna buy it for Wii U 🙂 Fred Nice yes you’ll enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun C.S. Bailey If the next Halo had Borderland graphics, the world would throw a fit, no matter how great the game actually was. Nintendoplaystation That’s what is great about Nintendo, only they can created such greatness from such uniqueness. Plus there is to many Xbox fans who Believe things need to look mature to be great, which actually makes you immature. The True Gamer I think that would be amazing. Cel shaded halo would be actually a great idea for a game! Now I’m hoping they make that someday. Maybe a side story game like reach. verymetal All we have to do is wait until 2015 when the next Zelda is released for the Wii U! What a great time to be a current Wii U owner. joey lol Fred I was one of those guys that refused to play it when it first came out. However, I have repented and I downloaded the HD version on release day and I’m loving it! Jack5221 If they use the art style from the E3 demo trailer thingy of Zelda U, I’d be okay with that. Guahiatt I think that Aonuma or someone at Nintendo said a while ago that the tech demo is just that, and does not represent the aesthetics of the New Zelda. They said they wanted Zelda to be something absolutely new or innovative, and that means doing something new graphically too. swic11 I’m ready for a realistic look. And dont sit there an tell me that there is nothing real about Zelda’s fantasy world, when you have games like Halo, Theif, and countless others where the graphics are realistic as hell. I want too see a game push the Wii U’s limits. Lets face it, We are only going to get one original Zelda title on the U, so it might as well be kickass. John D The problem with going totally realistic with games is that they tend to age much quicker. Hence why ‘A Link to the Past’ and ‘Wind Waker’ are widely considered to be timeless games. They still hold up today! Laquandra Washpon Gamers have matured? andrewjcole I think people love WW now because it’s a classic. Once it’s a classic, people forget what they didn’t like and get soft Joey Many people refused to play Zelda Wind Waker on Gamecube? I never had a gamecube, i had a N64 and a Wii now that i got Wii U, i really liked the style of Wind Waker HD, been playing it on my Wii U and is so much fun playing it. I did not see anything wrong with Cell shading its such a beautiful art style. It’s just different that’s all to my opinion. ZeldaFanzzzz Every zelda game should have their own art style thats what make the series awesome! I really like the cel shaded graphics in wind waker, makes you feel alive. I also like twilight princess’s art style, it was dark and mature. I think the next zelda game should take a darker path in my opinion, would be cool to see link and zelda in their 30s or 40s lololol. Simon Stevens Whatever direction they go with this I can only see one outcome, Iwata in his underpants via Nintendo direct, “Please understand, I came in like a wrecking ball” 😉 Nintendoplaystation No point debating it. Zelda games are always good. Lets just wait for them to surprise us. Jim Mack Are people really THAT uptight that they are b*tching about art styles? Really!? Come on folks! It is a good game and was done well and…….ITS ZELDA! Play it and enjoy it! Goodness! Mark Thom we want a dark zelda it time 😀 Pikachief We just had a dark console Zelda 2 console Zelda’s ago. Twilight Princess -> Skyward Sword -> Zelda U. I mean I guess they can just go back and forth, but the game can look whimsical and have a dark story without it looking “gritty” and “next gen” and like every other fantasy game. Wiiluigi Please Nintendo keep doing what you do how you do it. Man! Next thing you know we’ll be asked by nintendo which games we want. Since the beginning we got what we got. I mean sheesh look how long it took is to get a Metroid game from SNES. Nobody cried! We waited. We were patient. Now people love to cry. Smh. Don’t change the formula cause people have nothing better to do than complain. C.S. Bailey We also couldn’t get all of this information from the internet back then either. Wiiluigi Absolutely. I just wish we used these resources to spread the word on the wii u and not complain about what we don’t have and happy about the games we do have. Wiiluigi Absolutely. I just wish we used these resources by helping promote the wii u instead of complaining about the games we don’t have. Nintendoplaystation We certainly live in a now now society. We given to much at once sort of. When you fridge is full and you open it, sometimes you close it saying there’s Nothing to eat, even though there is. Netflix is on of those fridges metaphorically. Wiiluigi Point taken. Never thought of it like that. But you’re right. SpocksNutSack Aounuma’s must be stressed out making two games every 10 years. =I C.S. Bailey “Wind Waker HD has received a much warmer welcome on the Wii U than it received on GameCube, which means gamers have matured and are able to accept stylistic choices a bit easier than in the GameCube days.” Let’s not be stupid, shall we? The main reason for the uproar back in the day was due to the demo revealed back in 2000. Had they not shown a more graphically advanced LOZ, we never would have expected one. Gamers haven’t matured that much, but developers are less likely to tease us with things that are never going to happen. Mario No matter where the art style goes, I’ll still love this franchise either way. bizzy gie I’m going to kidnap Aonuma and hold him hostage so I can force Wii U Zelda information out of him. You can judge me or join me. Pikachief I’m sure they decided the art style a while ago. They held back A Link between Worlds info until Wind Waker HD came out, now they’re holding back all Zelda U info until A Link Between Worlds is out so that one doesn’t steal the other’s thunder. They were supposed to show something Zelda U related on more than one occasion now since E3 I believe. john Honestly, I’d much rather have a change that’s a bit too much in a series than have next to no changes at all in art style. Spike Ashford I would love to see the art style of Twilight Princess built upon in the next Zelda game. I love the Wind Waker look, don’t get me wrong. But Twilight Princess’ art style perfectly captured the Zelda series in a mature, yet still distinct look that had all the emotion and flare of Wind Waker and the darker aspects of Ocarina of Time. Pikachief I could not stand Twilight Princesses art style. It had no unique art style. The series is based upon a more whimsical fantasy world, not some “mature” next gen looking overworld like every other game. I guess “could not stand” would be harsh, but it is the least inspired, least original, and least interesting of all the art directions they’ve chosen. But to each its own I suppose! D: Andrew Longo i reckon if zelda adopted killer is dead’s over the top cel shaded style mixed with twilight princess’ dark themes it would be perfect Steelmullet Yeah…I sure hope it’s not like the new 3DS style, Link between worlds. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some of that game. Just not my favorite Zelda art style! Jacob D. Taylor I disagree with the authors opinion at the end about maturity of gamers. This is a remake and those who didnt like it then havemt muched changed their ways expect for a pocket who have heard such good things about gameplay that they dare to get buy it. WW isnt ecavtly bteaking the bank. Its done good but no better than it did then Rinslowe Hmm and the plot thickens, Zelda U is well in production already but this statement of not finding new art styles creates more questions… WW’s art direction is probably not something they’ll want to rush into again as it has been satisfied through WW HD. That’s not to say they won’t find something from now until release but the more they work on it the more likely Zelda U’s art direction becomes harder to change. So what is the game looking like right now I wonder? Shigeru Miyamoto Nothing could be worse than Skyward Swords art style… Link looked androgynous and the art was just bad. except the Goron they always look good no matter what. iamserious E3 demo graphics/artstyle! Done. Michael Hancock “We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker. I think we will be a bit more careful in the future.” Yeah, I remember that. That’s why I never played Cel-da. In fact, “Cel-da” was a derogatory term for Wind Waker back in the day. I was disappointed in Nintendo for choosing this art style. In fact, I remember reading Nintendo claimed this art style was “cheaper to develop”…and it shows. Zelda fans wanted a realistic looking Link ever since Gamecube was unveiled. I mean the leap in graphics from N64 to the Gamecube was tremendous. Fans merely wanted the game to look like the Zelda tech demo promised to us. Imagine how underwhelmed we all were when we first laid eyes on “Cel-da”. Underwhelmed is an understatement. Looking back now, yeah-I can see how the art style is a bit charming. To see it remastered in HD is…nice. I’ll probably play it. Imagine seeing the ZELDA: WII U TECH DEMO-then Nintendo unveils the new Zelda will be done in the same art style as Wind Waker. I would be absolutely furious! Guahiatt I think I can understand your frustration, but I don’t share the feeling. Anyway, I think the new Zelda won’t look like the tech demo, but it also won’t look like Wind Waker. I really like the aesthetics and art of Ocarina/Twilight/Tech Demo tough, but I don’t think they’ll do it that way. Michael Hancock Of course they won’t. It might be “too expensive”. Einar What art style category does OoT fall into? I imagine it being in line with TP, but I’m sure there’s an official term for it. Aleks Why is the idea of the next Zelda being like the WiiU Zelda demo like Kryptonite to Mr. Aonuma? Its about time! You got the cartoon Link out of your system, now give the world what we’ve been drooling for since the demo! There IS a reason THAT style was chosen to showcase, afterall. Aleks Compromise: Give me majority of game in sharp, crispy, mature Hyrule and THEN make a sleep world, flashback or some kind of cursed world as cartoony as your wild, saturday morning designer heart wants! Win:Win! Einar I actually like that idea. It would be a great way to statisfy all (or at least most of) the fans out there that are longing for a more realistic looking Zelda game, as well as people like me, that are just happy we get to experience one more epic adventure from our favourite franchise 🙂 Zuxs13 I would love a “Zelda” game that occurs before Skyward sword. They talked about how before that game there was the Goddess and the creation of the Tri_Force I think they should do a game that explores that. andré i think skyward sword is really ugly. and windwaker is much better looking, and i mean the gamecube version. farrellbr I like all zelda games so what ever like2nap I would love to see a more realistic look. Dungeons that look like gritty dungeons. I love Windwaker even now. I loved Skyward Sword’s artstyle, but I would aslo love to finally see a gritty, more realistic Zelda look. If not that then give me a gritty realistic Metroid Prime game. Ryan Jordan i was one of those that didn’t play it back then because of the art style, but i recently DL’ed it on my wii u because i needed a new zelda fix, doesn’t matter what it looks like now days just give me good gameplay and a story and im good to go TehPostman I agree i did not like the WW art style, i do hope they use the Art style from the Wii-u tech demo. sabi6694 I’ll buy it regardless the art style. fireheartis1 I for one don’t understand what people’s gripe was with Wind Waker for the GameCube. If you think about it the art style fit really close with A Link to the Past for SNES, and Ocarina of Time didn’t look that “realistic” either, but while Wind Waker for GameCube failed in sells those two flourished. Too me that’s just really stupid. Fuzunga Am I the only one who thinks Skyward Sword had the best art style? I love Wind Waker, especially the HD version, but the way the background in Skyward Sword fades into an oil paining… that’s just magical.