Young’uns these days aren’t old enough to remember (or weren’t even born when it happened… god I’m old), but The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker caught a lot of heat back in the day for having a cartoony art style. After a previous demo had shown a more realistic look that appeared to be a direct upgrade from N64 Zelda, many fans grew irate when they instead saw the cel-shaded adventure Nintendo was actually making. It just turns out that one of the people mad at Nintendo for the look was none other than Zelda creator and Wind Waker producer Shigeru Miyamoto. (Who knew he was so like the fans of his very company?)
As revealed in the latest Do You Know Gaming expose, Miyamoto (presumably between spreading rumors of how to unlock Sonic in Melee and arguing with folks in the GameFAQs boards about Pokémon sucking after Gen I) was revealed to have “literally cringed” seeing the game’s art style. Said art style was chosen by the team early in development, and director Eiji Aonuma deliberately avoided showing Miyamoto the look until they were deep in development because he knew Miyamoto would prefer a realistic style. Even at the late stage, Miyamoto pushed to change it. And so did many teenage girls, apparently, who preferred their heartthrob from Ocarina of Time. We can only guess that Miyamoto said “Cel-da” under his breath before going to ask when the next Nintendo Direct would happen, even though that format wouldn’t be invented for another decade.
There are a ton of other interesting tidbits from the DYKG video, including how the iconic Wind Waker baton was originally a theremin, the Japan-only minigame/sequel Tetra’s Trackers, and how the absurd one and a half year dev time led to insane crunch. Be sure to check it out if you have the time.
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