The joint interview was proceeded for celebrating the release of cooperative action adventure game ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes’ that is only played by officially released Nintendo 3DS in domestic. Aonuma producer who came to Korea for attending the user event that will be holding on January 30 introduced characteristics of the game and answered to the questions.
We heard about what ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes’ is, and how ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ entering the 30th anniversary in this year, will be developed.
Q1. Unlike the previous ‘The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords,’ what is the reason of creating a game to play through a Link of three players in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes’?
I think it is important to quickly make a decision during multi-play. When four people are playing and opinions are divided into 2:2, it will be difficult to make a decision. However, if there are three people playing and opinions are divided into 2:1, a rhythm of the game will be smoothly connected by quickly making decisions by majority. Also, when four people are playing and working separately into 2:2, a team that had done their job has to wait for another team. But if three people are working, a team of two people has to care about another one player, so they will easily feel the sense of unity.
Q2. Unlike English version of ‘Triforce Heroes,’ is there any special reason that it is released into different name, ‘Triforce Trio’ for Japanese version?
Since the size of the North American market is big, I couldn’t care less. Therefore, as ‘~force’ means special forces of military in English, ‘Triforce’ naturally has the meaning of ‘three forces’, and by adding ‘Heroes’, it became a nice name. However, in Japan, I can’t easily explain all the meanings with the word ‘Triforce,’ I made a new name. I want to make a name in hope that not only fans of ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ but also young users that haven’t enjoyed the series will play the game. Also, there is a famous novel called ‘Trio,’ so I used it to convey the meaning of ‘a game with three players.’
Q3. What is the reason of creating ‘totem system’ which is riding on the other player’s shoulders, and why is it impossible for the Link ridden on the shoulders to come down by itself?
When developing the previous game ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,’ I came up with an idea of a play with a three-dimensional effect and the sense of height. Especially, I had many thoughts that it is possible to reach high place by building three levels. However, at that time, I couldn’t use it as the game was not a cooperative game. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes’ is played by three players’ cooperation, so I had thinking of using ‘totem system’ in this game. The reason why I decided that the Link ridden on the shoulders cannot come down by itself is that totem system doesn’t work when it is possible. The character which has the other character ridden on its shoulders has firm will to go to the specific spot and behave, but the ridden character gets confused and comes down when it is not sure. As a result, there are some cases that a ‘totem’ cannot reach a final goal, so, in the full version, I attached more importance on wills of the character having other characters on its shoulders. Of course a character might be confused, but I made it understand what to behave after watching where it is going. I believe that a user might feel interested in how a play is changed by the other user in multi-play, because the user has to control all the items and a totem in single play.
Q4. What is the reason that configuration and play patterns of dungeon and series are changed compared to the original ‘The Legend of Zelda’?
(What is the reason that configuration and play patterns of dungeon are changed compared to the original ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series?)
I think a user will be interested during multi-play since a result comes out in short time, and a play will naturally be connected to the next. As many users have their own different circumstances, it might be hard to spend much time on playing together. Therefore, if one course can be finished in 10-15 minutes, I thought that a user will not be pressured, and easily enjoy the game. As the situation is like this, I also thought that a sequential of stages is not matched multi-play.
Q5. As this work is configured into a comic story like ‘the legend of totem hero,’ the atmosphere is little bit different from the previous works, why?
Unlike ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series games so far, the reason why I didn’t put a deep story is that I thought that playing multi-play and concentrating on complicated story at the same time would be difficult. Therefore, I configured it simple so that many people can easily share. Especially in case of a game with complicated story, several mysteries are solved and connecting to the deeper story. Since a multi-play is the main, I thought that it is troublesome if a gap between users enjoyed much and other users enjoyed less occurs.
Q6. There are many tricks in the game, and how were they produced? And is there any stage recommended?
In many cases, I have been using tricks that we had in mind during production of many works so far in ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series. This time, also, I recycled tricks come up from ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’ or developed things that couldn’t be used at that time. I usually get inspirations from my real-life, especially when taking a shower. The stage that I recommend is volcano stage. You can see that a character caught on fire is running around with its hip on fire, and it’s interesting that a user is in panic.
Q7. A changing-outfit system is also one of the specific elements, and why did you put it?
In this game, you can make and wear new outfits with materials collected by clearing each course. By doing it, I made it affect the game that the character will be stronger and more easily clear a dungeon instead.
(By doing it, I made it affect the game that more easily clear a dungeon instead of the character will be stronger.)
It is only the level of helping other users and providing little convenience. Since the game begins with the story ‘the princess of a dress kingdom is in trouble with her clothes,’ I thought that changing outfits of characters will make users be curious and more concentrate on the game.
Q8. Traditionally, ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is strong at single-play, so what is the reason that you emphasize a multi-play in this work?
In the past, there was the game ‘The Legend of Zelds: Four Swords Adventures,’ but I wanted to challenge to a multi-play by internet. I had been thinking for a long time about style of the game, but when I develop ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between World’, I thought that I can make an interesting multi-play game by using this system.
Q9. In case of multi-play game, characters or maps are sometimes added, so is there any content update ready?
In case of the countries where the game was released prior to Korea, added updated contents are distributed, but in Korean version, the game was released in a full-version with added updated contents.
Q10. Although the game is multi-play, there is no voice chatting, why?
Of course, users could play freely with voice chatting, but when thinking about the case that young users and adult users are playing it together, verbal abuse might occur. Also, as puzzle-solving is an important element, if the game style is that users simply direct in language and follow, it will be passive. So I thought that they will lose interests. What’s more, if there are too many icons, communication will probably be complicated, and I hope you will enjoy pleasure created from successful communication by using limited icons.
Q11. Among the colors of characters in ‘Four Sword Adventures,’ the purple one is disappeared, and why did you decide the colors of characters as blue, green and red?
The reason why the purple Link is disappeared is that it is the mixed color of red and blue. Thus, I got to make characters based on the standard of three colors, R-G-B.
Q12. What do you think about people who keep saying Link as Zelda?
In fact, while making ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ I also had a doubt why it is named ‘Zelda’ although Link is a main character. When Miyamoto Shigeru first made ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ he decided not to put a main character’s name in the title for giving mystique. So he put the name of princess ‘Zelda’ instead, and made the game as Link saving the princess. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter whether you call it Link or Zelda. The main characters eventually are users(smile).
Q13. Some users are curious about what a real Link is among the three Links, and which Link do you think is the real one?
When I made a promotional video in the past, it was green at that time. This is because the green Link has been a main character for generations. I have heard that why not it is blue since my name is Aonuma(靑沼).(smile) As I talk about it, I can’t also lose the blue Link.
Q14. In a single-play, a character that cannot control becomes a dopple-man, and how did you make that concept?
Before I make ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series, the game that I was in charge of directing was ‘Marvelous: Another Treasure Island,’ a game that a person has to control three characters to solve puzzles. At that time, I used a system controlling a character by putting a hat on another character. I actually designed a similar system to a totem in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes,’ but it was difficult to realize it due to limitation of expressing screen into three-dimensional. I could say that I realized the ideas and systems planned at that time.
Q15. How did you come up with putting the element of letting users listen BGM of the series while waiting for other users in a multi-play mode?
Nintendo sound team is a group that not only simply composes a game music or puts sound effect, but also wants to put special elements in the game. I looked for what kind of elements they are going to put in this work. When playing a multi-play mode, if you bump into the wall at a lobby for waiting other users, you can hear original series BGM in mini-game format, so I thought ‘what’s this thing?’ When I tried it, I could pound a button while listening to the music with the sense of playing a rhythm game by matching speed of the music. So sometimes I forgot to wait for other users in the lobby since I was absorbed in music with thinking ‘how much music did they put in?’ I heard that the sound team put a lot of effort to put music as much as possible until the date of release.
Q16. What if you made not only Link but also various characters in ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series have an adventure?
Of course I thought about controlling various characters. Although users sometimes change clothes, I decided that it would be better to start a game at the same line with no difference by playing the same character, Link.
Q17. If you define ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series, what can you call it?
The first thing that comes to mind is ‘solving puzzle.’ A user might put a controller down at the part of a puzzle when feeling stuck, but the user can feel great sense of achievement when playing a game again and finally solving the puzzle. It is important to stay away from the game, think carefully and challenge again rather than continuously playing the game without rest. Even though it is only the story of sword and magic, I think ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is the game came up in real-life, reflecting real world and always with us.
Q18. What is your impression of having the 30th anniversary of ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ and how will you develop it?
Why do I keep making only ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series? I don’t know either(smile). I entered Nintendo and came up with many ideas, but they were all eventually for ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series. When an idea flashes, I unconsciously think that the idea would be good in “The Legend of Zelda.’ Thinking those things so far, I even think that I cannot make other games. I think that I was possible to make ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series for this long time with users having been playing and enjoying the game. For those users, I want to make a very fun and amazing game. Though I feel that my game developing life became ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ I rather feel very pleasure for being like that. It is hard to simply describe coming ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ but I want to make a game making people have fun with various forms as it has been so far. Please play series of ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ and send many comments whether it is positive or negative. Then, I will make a new ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series with much consideration.
Q19. Lastly, what can you say to users in Korea?
I wanted to show ‘The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes’ to users in Korea, but I’m sorry to being late for some circumstances. Instead, I could show a full-version including all the updates. I told that the main character of ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Link Between World’ is that of this game, but it is that game that made me able to produce this game, and a new ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is a combination of various elements from the past systems to new system. I hope that users will enjoy with friends, and please have entirely different fun. Thank you.
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