Nintendo To Be More “Careful” With Zelda’s Art Style In The Future

By Ishaan . November 4, 2013 . 12:25pm

In an interview with GamesTM magazine (via: Nintendo Everything), The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma says that Nintendo intend to be more careful with the series’ art style in the future, in light of the negative reaction The Wind Waker initially received when it was announced for the Nintendo Gamecube.


“We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker,” Aonuma admitted. “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.”


Thus far, it is unknown if Nintendo have settled on an art style for the next Zelda game on Wii U. Back in June, Aonuma stated that the game wouldn’t be ultra-realistic, but wouldn’t be “cartoony realistic” either, and has noted on a number of occasions that the Zelda tech demo shown at E3 2011 is not representative of how the game will look.

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  • So basically, this is yet another admission of cowardice on Aonuma’s part, wherein he promises to never again do anything in accordance with anything like a, y’know, “vision”, without checking for “the fans'” approval first. And this right after the release of WWHD prompted the vast majority of Western critics to admit they were wrong to have criticized its change in art style to begin with!

  • AuraGuyChris

    What is he talking about? WW’s art style was very charming. He worries too much.

    • Arrei

      Sure, we say that now, but by god, the backlash against “Celda” way back when was ridiculous. Even today there exist some remnants of the anti-Celda faction.

      • ElAbuelo69

        I am part of that faction. I try not to be childish about it though, I respect Wind Waker because it is a great game. I just never liked its art style.

        • Arrei

          Aye, there’s the brunt of it – it’s fine to like or dislike it but wow, from the way people reacted back during the Gamecube era you’d think Aonuma killed their grandparents or something.

          I like to think that the fanbase is now more open to different art styles in Zelda, even if it’s not quite their ideal… but you know how it is with franchises and their fanbases.

    • Armane

      The art style was good, but I still hate certain character/enemy designs. Particularly Link. He looks like a South Park character.

  • Ryuukishi

    Screw that. They are the designers. They should ignore complaining fans and do what they think is best. Wind Waker’s art style was always the right choice even though it took fans a long time to come around.

    • urbanscholar

      The right course of action

    • Minos

      They are emploes, the people are the contractors, ignoring the fans all togeter its the best way to go under.

      WW lack of sells tells us that people in general was not happy with the game.

      I, and most people on this site, like the WW’s style, but I we are not gonna buy 10 million copies of the game.

    • chibidw

      Designers ignoring complaining fans is exactly how we end up with Motomu Toriyama starring his waifu Lightning in three different games.

      I think a certain amount of fan input is needed to get an idea of what kind of game they would like. If it’s something the fans don’t want, they’re just not going to buy it. Fortunately, Wind Waker was -good-, so fans eventually came around on the art style as a result. But irritated fans slowly giving it a chance is probably not something they want to rely on again.

      Ultimately this is a multimillion dollar business, and the company is primarily going to want them to do what is going to reach the most of each demographic. (Though Nintendo is generally much better about creative freedom in established IPs than most)

      • LaserVision

        And how did the countless Call of Duty clones after supposedly giving gamers what they wanted? Terribly. I think the chief responsibility of developers is give us games we didn’t even know we wanted and they do that by executing their vision.

        I certainly am not going to accuse you of being one of them, but 99% of message board posters treat the whole gaming industry as if it was a Subway restaurant. I’d like a turn-based RPG, hold the mayo, extra pickles, and I will cancel my order if it’s packaged into a digital release. People even write their orders in the form of lists! It’s ridiculous.

        • Don’t forget that Call of Duty 4, the game that changed the entire paradigm for seventh-gen shooters, was itself practically shot down by Activision for not playing it safe enough

        • Dokuro

          Zelda countless clones*

    • ElAbuelo69

      I’m a fan and never came around. Don’t get me wrong, WW is a great game, but the art style never convinced me :(

      Therefore it’s probably my least favorite (console) Zelda.

      Twilight Princess on the other hand has a kickass style I would wish Nintendo revisited. Too bad the bosses, even if epicly designed, were too easy to vanquish.

      • idrawrobots

        Wow, I thought the art was overall boring in Twilight Princess, but it has my favorite Boss fight of any game.

        • ElAbuelo69

          The bosses were awesome, and some of them very creative! But alas, they were too easy.

          They barely damaged you when they actually hit you. The one exception being the guy with the chain ball in the snow temple…that fight was brutal.

          • Auvers

            isn’t that more designs than just artstyle? I personally thought alot of Twilight was kind of uh… ugly. I love the designs for the twilight related stuff, mainly Midna. Kind of like that thing I saw where they were taking the game and editing it with the styles and colors of skyward.

      • brian

        How would you have expected it to convince you?
        It’s a timeless style, and even the original WW looks impressive now, especially compared to TP’s art.
        I do have a bias for charming/cute graphics though, and it oozed originality too.

  • David García Abril

    I think it’s too late for that.

    The fan base is so broken in this regard that it doesn’t really matter what they do: There’s going to be a vocal percentage that is going to despise any new art style that they come up with.

    • Impressionnant

      That is true. The Zelda fanbase is becoming like the FF fanbase. No real “core” fans — just a different fanbase for each title.

      • Detrimont

        but I like all the FF games….

        • Impressionnant

          Yeah, some people do, but most people don’t.

          • Dokuro

            I guess you know every single FF fan to confirm that.

        • Ric Vazquez

          Same here

        • Utku Savaş

          Even Final Fantasy X-2?

          • Detrimont


          • Utku Savaş

            Sorry for you.

    • Shippoyasha

      I just cringe whenever an artistic medium and the word ‘safe’ is uttered. That goes towards overt fan pandering, self censorship and all kinds of negative influences where taking liberty with art is considered ‘risky’.

      The Zelda devs have earned the respect of most gamers through decades of quality work. They shouldn’t grovel in front of ‘true fans’ who are hyper critical and love being the couch quarterback.

      I find it ironic that the more fanatical some fans become, the more they resemble abject haters of the topic of fandom. Unfortunately, the middle of the road gamers who aren’t overly toxic about it on game forums (or those who never visit gaming discussions) are stamped down by toxic ‘superfans’ who dominate the discourse with sensationalistic hate, excessive criticism and overall being an obnoxious minority voice that pretends to speak for everyone. I can’t be the only gamer who is seriously peeved about that.

      • Parker_S

        i don’t think there’s anything wrong with any amount of criticism provided that it’s actually still criticism and not just vitriol for its own sake. i realize that is basically what you were saying, but i wish the distinction between legitimate critical engagement and “dat sux” was more carefully appreciated sometimes. when people start just dumping everything into the blanket category of “lol opinions”, they stop having an actual conversation and have essentially given up before they even started.

  • AaqibRawat

    I loved the art style. It was so fresh and so clean.
    Who is with me ?

    It Looks even nicer in HD!

    Anyone .. Anyone ?


  • Theob Vious Choice

    Tbh, I’m not a huge fan of the Zelda series; probably because my attention span was just about zero when I was a kid; I watched my brother play OOT, and dicked around on Link’s Awakening on GBC; but really the only game in the series that ever interested me was Wind Waker, the art style and the sense of high seas exploration were excellent. Part of the reason I wouldn’t go back and play those games is because it’s more or less if you played them back then, you’re the originals; someone who is my age who JUST picked up Zelda is sort of a tryhard, I guess.

    But yeah, I dunno; I prefer the Wind Waker designs to the designs in any other Zelda game; though Skyward Sword looks like a pleasant midway point imo; I guess I would give that one a shot. At the end of the day, the designs are up to the designers; no character looks the same through all of their games; probably the only character design change I’ve hated was Sonic post 1999; since it never…. ever…. ended.

  • ChiffonCake

    Yeah, because “the users” know what they want.

    • revenent hell

      Eh, the users know but its always a split…. Some love it, some hate it and others will tolerate it because they are diehard fans.
      Very few listen to the wants of the people who pay them.

  • leingod

    I still dislike Wind Waker’s art style, but the game itself is one of the best in the series. As for the next game, whatever they do is fine with me… I’ve been waiting to play a brand-new Zelda game in HD for years!

  • Minos

    Just use the same as the Wii U demo.

  • I still know some people who refuse to play Wind Waker over the “kiddy” art style, but I find it absurdly charming and it stands as my favorite Zelda to this day.

    Honestly, if you pretend the N64 games never happened and jump straight from LttP to WW, you’d never think twice about it. I never considered it a “drastically different” art style, because to me it was more true to the originals than the 64 games would (or even could) ever be.

    • H_Floyd

      I strongly disagree. WW is as far from the LttP style as I can imagine, while OoT and TP stayed truer to it. SS of all things might actually be the closest. But WW? No way. :)

      • So you’re saying LttP was trying to be somehow gritty or realistic somewhere in that vibrant technicolor presentation? ‘Cause I think Pink Hair Link might disagree.

        Unless we’re talking gameplay style here, in which case I’d argue none of the 3D Zeldas really retain certain aspects all that properly, though I could at least sort of see your point, even regarding SS despite my personal distaste for it on that front.

        • H_Floyd

          I wouldn’t call either OoT or TP “gritty”. Maybe “realistic” only in relative fantasy terms.

  • D H

    I think a lot of the posts here are kinda missing one of the main points of the backlash originally. Two times now, both with Wind Waker, Nintendo has shown off this amazing looking, pseudo-realistic style for Zelda in tech demos, which, yes, have no indication on an actual game, but whets the appetite for an actual game that looks as amazing as the scenes. Then, we get Wind Waker. I’m not saying the style is bad (I quite enjoy the game, actually), or anything like that; hell, you’d be hard pressed to find a graphic style I DON’T like (well, except for Amano’s concept “art,” I guess, but that’s neither here nor there). But it’s a complete one-eighty from what we saw and were expecting, and feels like such a disappointment, irregardless of the quality of the final product. It’s kinda like “you want a gorgeous, HD Zelda? Here, watch this… by the way, the next game looks like a child’s crayon drawings.” (Well, not literally crayon drawings, but it was the first thing that came to mind.)

    Also, I want to note by saying “HD Zelda,” I don’t want a super-realistic style-less… thing like every other major game wants to be, with characters that all look the same (seriously, take screen shots of most western developed games without the HUD, and ask someone who doesn’t know to name how many games they are seeing; I’m sure they’d say 90% less than the actual amount you are showing them. Also, I’m not saying Japan isn’t capable of doing the same regretful thing (DOA, for example… but I tend to see more non-independent stuff with different art styles from Japan than the western world. I’m also not saying said games are bad; I enjoy quite many of them, but I still wish they’d at least try to have their own look instead of just “oh, let’s try to make it as realistic and boring as possible). I just want a beautiful, realistically-proportioned-but-with-its-own-style HD Zelda. That opening screen shot, with Link facing down that monstrous Gohma… that gives me shivers. That’s the Zelda game I want, and the kind Nintendo has twice shown me and then taken away.

    • I think you’re missing the point that people are making with their post in response to the article. Bringing up the fact that because they showed some tech demos and people “assumed” that what was coming out, has more to do with people’s “expectation” than what Nintendo eventually put out. And you think people are missing the point?

      If the dev team wants to use a particular art style to take the series, then let them. Wind Waker is great game – and worthy of being apart of the LoZ series. The art style helped emphasise the game’s setting, humour, etc. Plus, made the game stand out (aesthetically) and to show that even with a more cartoony style, a game can still be serious.

      I haven’t completed the game, but from what I’ve played it has been one I’ve enjoyed and made me want to try other titles in the series.

      • D H

        Yeah, it’s totally expectation. However, expectation is pretty much all we have when it comes to games, isn’t it? Isn’t that what the big brouhaha over that Colonial Marines game is all about? Seeing something in the demo and expecting it to be the same and then it wasn’t? Wasn’t that also just people “assuming” based on their “expectation” and then complaining? (Kinda honestly asking here, I’m not interested in the Aliens movies or games, so I never really followed up on it, but that seemed to be the major issue from what I read…)

        I was simply saying there is justification for people to not like Wind Waker and its sequels’ art style, because of what Nintendo showed us before the original release and again before the HD re-release. It seems too often I see people saying that the only reason people complain is because they find it “kiddie.” While I’m sure that’s true for some people, I don’t like seeing that applied to everyone, and that felt like what I was seeing here.

        Nintendo’s pretty much seen both sides here though. We continued to get games with Wind Waker’s style (Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks) while getting some more styles based on more realistic ones (Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword). Hell, the newest title is pretty much abandoning all of that for 3D versions of the 16-bit art style (which I have a love/hate relationship with so far, mainly because I love me some LttP but I’m so tired of the “retro” push).

        Basically, what I really wanted to point out is that there are PLENTY of reasons group A doesn’t like game B, and group B likes game B better than game A. But I don’t like people judging others based on a generalization of their opinion. People are going to like different things, and groups are going to be vocal. But saying things like “the backlash against “Celda” way back when was ridiculous,” for example, is something that always bothers me. Just because it’s a different opinion than the one you may hold doesn’t make it “ridiculous.” If people aren’t interested in something you are and want to be vocal about it, that’s their decision. It just bothers me when I can easily infer that people feel like their opinion matters more than others, that’s all.

        Which, of course, makes me a bit of a hypocrite, since I have huge issues with pretty much the whole Mega Man fan community at this point, but I’ve removed myself from all of that anyway. If anything Mega Man related is posted anywhere, I make sure to stay far far far away from the comments…

        • I was simply saying there is justification for people to not like Wind Waker and its sequels’ art style, because of what Nintendo showed us before the original release and again before the HD re-release.

          That is not “justification” that is just pure hate for something different. By that logic, people should hate FFXIII purely because SE showed the opening scene of FF7 as a tech demo but released XIII instead. That doesn’t make sense.

          “the backlash against “Celda” way back when was ridiculous,”

          It isn’t “ridiculous.” Look, Nintendo are business and want to remain in position of influence and relevance, to do that they react to both the positive/negative reactions of their products. Hence why consumer data is so valuable (and important) to companies. If they see that the consumption of a product is doing comparatively worse to another and see a common factor (art style in this case) they’ll be wary in using for for future titles. Hence Nintendo’s stance on it.

          If people aren’t interested in something you are and want to be vocal about it, that’s their decision.

          There’s being vocal at the time and still continuing to be vocal over something that has already happened and nothing that can change that. Considering, Nintendo have been able to provide various LoZ games in different styles shows that they have been to appeal to a wide range of fans and newcomers alike.

          • D H

            Well, I guess we simply just have different definitions of justification then. And coincidentally, a lot of people did hate XIII for it’s much more story driven experience, rather than giving players some fake sense of freedom like the previous games and for having a battle system based more on timing rather than individual attacks (Also, XIII ranks fairly high on my scale of FFs, as I simply loved the battle system). There isn’t a direct correlation there, of course, but it is interesting in retrospect. Here, have a tech demo, here have something different, I hate it, etc. However, in my own opinion, I view it as a different circumstance, even if it really isn’t. With each consecutive Zelda game, the graphics became more realistic and detailed; after seeing the tech demo for the GCN Zelda, it seemed (again, I enjoyed Wind Waker, so…) a big step back when they finally revealed the new title. Meanwhile, with Final Fantasy, every game has a different world, theme, and battle system (whether minor variations or completely rebuilt), so I don’t feel like seeing a VII tech demo is indicative of the next numbered FF game; it’s not really meant to be a sequel or update of the VII, so… Again, I understand I’m being a little hypocritical here, I just can’t really find the words to phrase this better, sorry.

            That ridiculous quote, though, is from another comment on this post. Not my words. I was simply using it to point out somebody who seems to believe that their opinion is superior to others.

            As for your last quote, I agree. However, somebody saying they didn’t like the graphics in Wind Waker now with no malicious intent, just stating the truth, and being bomblasted by people who do in return for no good reason, is ridiculous. People are allowed to have different opinions. I even pointed out the fact that Zelda has multiple styles currently. At the same time, people should be allowed to be vocal about it with a group that supports their opinion, and others should be allowed to be vocal about their own opinion. However, my only concern, again, was the generalization and overwhelming disregard for people having an opinion differing from the main. For example, being a Gundam fan on your average english-language community is horrible now, as if you say you like one series and don’t like another as much, you have to deal with constant bombardment about how your opinion is retarded and, in some cases I’ve seen, even have to deal with physical threats. It’s absolutely horrible, and has killed my interest in sharing something that I enjoy with other people. The same thing with the Mega Man community; I’ve grown beyond tired of everytime Mega Man is mentioned, we have to go through the whole spiel about how Capcom is evil for cancelling a sequel to a game series that already had bad sales on a system that was having horrible sales at the time, or how they killed the series despite the fact that each successive title received less and less sales. And these are comments on a post about Capcom officially licencing OCR, a well-respected community, to officially release albums, after releasing the original soundtracks, licencing out board games, t-shirts, toys, plushes, and everything else, doing everything they can with Mega Man with products that do actually sale, all while keeping the brand name alive as they work out what to do with the actual games. But all that is….

            And that’s enough of that. Like I said, I’ve abandoned that community anyway, as well as the Gundam one. But the point, I think, is that we are both agreeing the same points here, so, yeah, that’s one reason I like most of this community.

          • Parker_S

            nah, sorry. anyone behaving as if nintendo somehow cheated them or pulled the rug out from under them based on the expectation built from what was simply a tech demo irrespective of any developed product is just straight up naive gamer nonsense. like if nintendo had just never shown anything besides a cel-shaded style it never would have even entered anyone’s minds that it was even possible to have made a zelda on gamecube that looked like anything else. come on.

            “However, expectation is pretty much all we have when it comes to games, isn’t it?”


  • Matthew Brannock

    that is the opposite of what I want to hear

    more wind wakers, less twilight princess’s

  • Nana

    Stop listening to the fans, or the next Zelda will be a gritty brown shooter. Let’s face it: The fans don’t know what they really want.

  • drproton

    Nintendo has been too “careful” with nearly everything recently, in my opinion.

    I’m a fan because all of the groundbreaking and straight up bizarre games they came up with over the years, not because they own a ton of familiar IPs and can churn out a new game every year or two that’s less innovative than what a dedicated fan would produce from a romhack of the original.

  • Prinnydoom

    Seriously? Wind waker was brilliant everything about that game was gold……maybe not the whole gathering triforce bit but the rest of it was great. I always thought that the art style is what made it great.

  • yalissa

    I feel like he is thinking too much about Wind Waker’s initial negative reception. Celda received a lot of backlash, yes this is true. However, as time passed many people noticed just how charming and beautiful the game actually was. That goes to say regardless of what direction they decide to take with the style, there will always be a group of people who dislike it. There are people who despised TP’s art direction but adored WW’s and vice-versa.

    I, personally, love Wind Waker’s art direction. I thought it was genius, and I still do today. Plus it has aged incredibly well. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve never thought the game came out 10 years ago. Plus, Okami’s art style was partially influenced by Wind Waker’s. That says a lot!

  • I really enjoy how the SS art style and aesthetic work, though OoT and MM are fun too for being straightforward and all. Regardless, I look forward to what the next art style will be.

  • Bakuryukun

    Thanks a lot Zelda fan base, Wind Waker had the most interesting art style in the series. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Perhaps what the article meant was that they will be careful about teasing a Zelda game with an artstyle and delivering another later, on it’s time it was an annoying matter they got something else but nowadays it´s seen in another light so I don’t think this means no more Cel shaded Zelda in the future… maybe .w.

      Edit: I mean, they just recently remade Wind Waker no? So they aknowledge it was good! Polemical back then but still Zelda worthy!

  • Rohan Kishibe

    Link’s looking preeeeety blazian in that front page thumbnail…

  • ThunderGod_Cid

    Just use the art style from the E3 ’11 tech demo already. (i.e. OoT/TP style)
    There, done. Now start making the game.

    And for the record, I STILL absolutely despise the Wind Waker’s art style.

    • Ethan_Twain

      You should be happy then – your complaints and those of people like you have been heard. That’s the whole point of this article, Nintendo will be careful not to offend your sensibilities in the future. They’re looking to change things up still (and considering the number of people who feel Zelda is stagnant that’s entirely reasonable) but any future changes will be tame enough that people who just want straight up Lord of the Rings flavored fantasy art won’t get too upset about it.

      You win. Zelda will never again look significantly unlike what Zelda has always looked like.

      • ElAbuelo69

        That’s a very one dimensional way of looking at it. I mean your logic is…if not WW then LoTR copy?

  • rurin

    I actually liked Windwaker’s art style :/
    I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, since I pretty much consider every Zelda game separately. I thought it was different, but also really fun. It takes into consideration all ages.

  • gold163

    I know that Nintendo’s current mantra is to adapt to the response of the customer (so they claim), but it’s pretty fucked up that when they decide to try something new or creative they feel the need to back down ten years later because some idiots have some sort of phobia against anything even mildly resembling a cartoon.

    We’re not talking about a radical re-imagining of the series identity here, we’re talking about the manner in which a bunch of polygons are thrown onto a screen.

    • We’re not talking about a radical re-imagining of the series identity here, we’re talking about the manner in which a bunch of polygons are thrown onto a screen.

      Something looking vastly different from how it did before doesn’t count as a radical re-imagining? Objectively speaking, sure, art style doesn’t affect gameplay, but it does affect your impression of the game’s world and characters.

      • gold163

        Anybody who has played a Zelda game before has doubtlessly flipped through the manuals at some point. With the exception of the grimdark 3D emo Zeldas, the series has traditionally been bright, colorful, and “cartoony”; Link has always been short, stocky, and dare I say it? child-like. They changed the size of his head and made the colors more saturated. The fact that the wider gaming community practically reacted violently to this change and still does to this day, and that many vehemently swore off Wind Waker-related titles because of a few games where his head is huge and he looks like a little kid omg indicates a problem with gamer culture, not Nintendo. This is why we can’t have nice things.

        Of course, this goes both ways — I hated Other M with a passion. But I do think that after actually getting to play the game, I can understand why Nintendo went in that direction with the series. I don’t think it was a sin to try something new. I don’t think Nintendo should just swear off trying new things because some people don’t like a change in art-style. I think that if they honestly believe they made a mistake, they should take an opportunity to learn from it — and they should NOT cave to the whims of a vocal minority of “fans” who don’t actually like their games.

        • I think that’s a rather exaggerated interpretation of what Aonuma is saying here. I don’t think he’s saying they aren’t going to try new things, I think he’s saying they’re going to be more careful about what they do unless they find a really good reason for doing it.

          And I think that’s fair, personally. Change for the sake of change is seldom good. One could argue that Nintendo have had a tendency to try and be different simply in order to set themselves apart, and that often results in them ignoring strides made by the rest of the industry. I’m not saying all of Nintendo is like that, but the teams that have mentored under Miyamoto (primarily the 2D Mario and the Zelda teams) are certainly guilty of this.

          Also, I think it bears mentioning that Nintendo is the king of market research. No one collects and accurately interprets market and audience data as well as they do. That’s why they’re so good at reaching out to different audiences that most other developers ignore. So, when Nintendo reacts this strongly to something, you can be sure it isn’t because of a “vocal minority,” but rather their audience at large.

  • As someone who absolutely despised Wind Waker’s style when I first saw the very first E3 trailer for it way back when (I remember complaining to a friend at school that it looked like Looney Toons… the fact that I actually hated Looney Toons back then just because I thought anime was superior goes to show how dumb I was back then, lol) that style, and also Skyward Sword’s, has become the most perfect and definitive art style for the 3D Zelda games for me. Maybe it’s because eventually I realized that I felt that art style was the closest you could get to the style and feel of 2D Zeldas, specifically LttP, in 3D. I’d love to see a darker, Majora’s Mask type Zelda done in the “Celda” style. I don’t care how good that E3 demo also looked… while I’d be fine seeing a new Zelda that looks like that too, I just can’t put it over my desire for more “Celda”. If I think of “the most beautiful Zelda game” it’d be something like a more powerful Skyward Sword with HD quality.

    I think I read somewhere that Miyamoto also felt Wind Waker had the style best suited for the Zelda series and was heartbroken by the initial reaction to it… I swear I read that but I could never find the article again. Does anyone else here have any idea about this?

  • Do what you like each game is a different character with a different story. Similar to Gundam franchise in Japan. I would love to see a art style like the Wii U Demo. Still whatever works with the Zelda game your making I don’t care.

  • Impressionnant

    “If I asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said ‘faster horses'”

    Don’t listen to them, Aonuma.

  • H_Floyd

    I’m disappointed by the reaction here.

    Do you know how long and with what frequency fans of Capcom, Square Enix, Sega, and Konami ask for those respective companies to just *listen*? Once? Pretty please? With sugar on top?

    Here, a developer actually acknowledges a negative reaction. And people are mad about this?

    Go try being a fan of Chrono, Seiken Densetsu, Breath of Fire, Shining Force, or Suikoden–and *then* you can get mad about a developer actually listening to what fans are saying.

    It’s not as if there’s never going to be another Zelda in a so-called “charming” art style. I thought the portables have been sustaining that sentiment quite well.

    No, there’s nothing to be mad about here. Fans of both styles of Zelda are going to get their games one way or another. Be thankful.

    • gold163

      Nintendo frequently apologizes for their “mistakes”, which just gives their detractors more ammunition. Yes, there was a negative reaction to Wind Waker’s art style. So what? I’m not mad about this, just slightly disappointed because it looks like Nintendo is caving in for people who claim to like their games but probably haven’t had a nice thing to say about the company in years. Star Fox fans, F-Zero fans, Metroid fans, Zelda fans… all they do is bitch about their favorite series and how Nintendo isn’t doing what they want with it. And yet years later, people realized… Wind Waker wasn’t so bad, was it? And changing the art style wasn’t the end of the fucking world, was it?

      • Istillduno

        How can F-Zero fans be bitching that Nintendo isn’t doing what we want with the series when they haven’t done a single bloody thing with it since the Gamecube?

        And apologies and changes do bring people back to things, look at Xbone pre-orders since MS put the jackboots and whips away for an example of it happening right now.

    • ChiffonCake

      What you’re saying makes no sense. In the case of the companies you mentioned, they don’t listen to fans when making business decisions – localizations, development of new games, et al. What Nintendo’s talking about here is listening to fans from an artistic point of view, which is completely different and something that I fundamentally disagree with.

      Developers should be able to make the games that they want to make, without the fear of executive or fan meddling.

      • H_Floyd

        Nintendo can and will continue to make the games they want to make. :)

  • They just need to find that sweet spot between Twilight Princess (some fans complained that it was too dark) and Skyward Sword and they might please all fans. The fan base is so varied that it’s practically impossible to please them all. As long as they don’t settle on one style for each game, I’m happy. One of the charms about the Zelda series is how each game feels like it’s own game separate from the rest.

  • DCBlackbird

    I’d like for them to try as many aesthetics as possible. I’ll be the one to say it, I was one of the few people Twilight Princess was “pandering” to, that said I feel that the “western” cues were extremely helpful to that games appeal.

  • Eric Harris

    I would rather them be more careful avoiding Skyward Swords ugly mix of artstyle instead of Wind Waker’s absolutely beautiful cell shaded graphics.

    • Eric Harris

      alright you SS fans. You have bad taste, how d’you like them apples.

    • Misurino

      I absolutely agree with you, Skyward Sword was terrible… not because the graphic is bad, but because is an ugly mix of WW and TP. Also, there is a lot of back-tracking and “recycling” EVERYWHERE… And that’s not only about the graphic, just think about how many times you fight ghirahim, the imprisoned (with the big nails that look like marshmallow lol ) or other sub bosses.

  • ShadowDivz

    I guess im the only person in the world who LOVED the twilight princess artstyle.

    And anyone who played windwaker knows that the style of it fit perfectly.

    Whateves. Hater’s gonna hate.

    • Eric Harris

      I think WW and TP were both great. What I didn’t like was SS weird mix of cell shaded and bleh whatever. If the next Zelda ends up looking like that tech demo it would be pretty amazing.

      • ShadowDivz

        The style of it was okay(meh). I just really didn’t like how the new zelda looked.

        Especially after the sexy Zelda from Twilight Princess. Hell even her title is sexy. “Twilight Princess”.

        • Are we sure “Twilight Princess” referred to Zelda? :P

          • Yeah don’t think it was in reference to Zelda that specific title. Pretty sure it was…

          • It was probably meant to be both, heh.

        • Personally I liked how the new Zelda was portrayed in SS, they actually gave her more of a personality in that game :O

  • 60hz

    i like the ww style, at least it survives in the portable versions…

  • Tonton Ramos

    I think they just want the mature Zelda from the WiiU demo…

  • MrRobbyM

    They’ve done this to themselves for changing it all the time. I think somewhere between Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess would be a good balance that’s make most happy.

  • isotrex

    Even I can see clearly based on the comments here, that the fans on The Legend of Zelda are already fragmented. They prefer either-or. Some of them like both including me. But it doesn’t matter as long as the game delivers one epic journey. I can’t wait for A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. :D. The only negative thing I can see is the profit on this franchise. Other than that, I think they’ve pretty much covered the market on both young and adult gamers. :)

  • LonelyGuardian

    They need to be bold and try new art styles! The problem came when they showed off a more realistic game that everyone got excited about, and then changed to the cel-shaded Toon Link. If Nintendo had simply shown the fans the WW graphics, there would’ve been less of an issue… oh well…

  • I honestly have to disagree with the people that say the Zelda fanbase is so fragmented that there’s really no pleasing everyone. In my opinion, everyone naturally has their preferences, but at the end of the day, these preferences aren’t strong enough to prevent most people from playing the games, provided they’re strong titles.

    To date, I feel there only two things that really serve as a point of fragmentation among Zelda fans. One is obviously those that like the WW art style and those that don’t. There are folks you see saying that people hated Twilight Princess’ art, but that’s some very selective revisionist history in my opinion. I don’t think there was ever any significant number of people that disliked TP’s art, and obviously Nintendo feel the same way, since that more realistic style is what they’ve leaned towards ever since on consoles.

    The other point of contention is the portable/console divide, and by extension the top-down/3D Zelda divide. There are people that simply aren’t interested in portables, who don’t play the top-down Zeldas. At the same time, there are those that prefer the simplicity of the top-down games.

    Broadly speaking, if those are the two groups that Zelda fans are largely divided into, I don’t think it’s very hard to please them at all. Almost everything else that people ask for seems to be unanimous requests, whether its connected to having more exploration or the games having better stories or less hand-holding. I don’t think those are unreasonable requests either.

  • Maumac77

    Eh. I personally never had an issue with any of the art styles that were used. I liked all of them in their own ways. Though I will say that I do have a preference toward wind waker out of all of them.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Quite honestly, I’d love to see a Zelda game that actually shifts art styles completely during points in the game.

    Using OoT as an example, what if the child sections looked like Wind Waker, while the adult sections looked like Twilight Princess? Essentially showing how much age can affect your perception of the world around you.

    • Bacon_n_Lettuce

      Holy crap, that’s brilliant. I would be all for something like that!

    • Göran Isacson

      This would be pretty neat, though I also wonder how practical it would be from a programming/designing standpoint… and how many players would complain about one section not pleasing their preferences.

    • Utku Savaş

      But, you know, Wind Waker Link is supposedly Adult Link. Don’t look at me, Official Timeline says it.

  • Kai2591

    huh…I actually love Wind Waker’s style…

  • DragKudo

    When the hell did people give a shit about zelda’s art style? (Rhetorical) Just play it for what it is.

  • Göran Isacson

    If this means they’re going to make less bait/switch stuff and be a litte bit more open about what their next games are gonna look like, so we don’t have any more repeats of the “demonstrate realistic-looking Zelda and then switch to a cartoony style” incident, eeh, I guess I can see where he’s coming from and agree.

    If he’s saying he intends to be less experimental over all when a pretty large part of the gaming community have collectively admitted they’ve gotten over the change from realism to cel-shading, I can’t say I agree. That just sounds like strangely delayed hesitance.

  • Misurino

    I don’t think Nintendo should worried about The Wind Waker (right now is really well appreciated). Wind Waker was really beautiful, different but still beautiful and original.
    Skyward sword is the real problem. Just a mix between Toon and TP models, and the character design is just horrible in my opinion…. actually the style wasn’t the only one problem in SW…

    Well I think if the game is good, and a fan truly loves Zelda, he won’t be so much influenced by the art style. For example, I love both WW and TP even if the style is completely different^^

  • Kornelious

    I don’t see what the big deal is. I liked the new art style, heck Zelda seems to have a lot of different art styles. I guess traditional Zelda fans and the word “change” don’t mix.

  • fairysun

    I think they need to create two kind of Zelda game. The cartoonish one(windwalker series) and the non-cartoonish (like Twilight Princess art). They come up every two years. So me, as a ‘don’t care about the art as long as a it’s Zelda game’ fan will be happy most of the time. The other type of fans will still get their Zelda game every 4 year.

  • r4ind4nce

    Mh. Being one of the folks who adored Wind Waker for its aesthetics and bold approach to the look of the game, reading this is almost a bummer. It raises concern as to whether future Zelda games might be too worried about their looks to really try something different and innovative. What does this mean? Will every Zelda game from now on look like something between TP and SS with upgraded graphics? If so, a tad more colour like in SS would be appreciated. TP looked fine and had it’s very beautiful moments, but it had a comparably dull colour palette if you take SS and WW into consideration.
    Time will tell, I guess.

  • easter

    Nonononono. You need to innovate. Wind Waker was great. Ugh Nintendo fanboys…

  • Utku Savaş

    There is a simple way to solve this problem: Go back to the Twilight Princess art style goddamit!

  • Fox

    Translation: more conservative.

    This is terrible news. ALBW has probably the most conservative Link design we’ve seen… since Twilight Princess… and it’s terrible. The franchise cannot continue to exist with Nintendo TAKING RISKS. If they’re unwilling to take a chance on a different art style, they’re clearly incapable of doing anything new or different or exciting with game design.

  • katamari damacy

    the best link was from Twilight Princess.
    The cel-shaded Skyward Sword Link is the best mix between the cartoony Wind Waker link and more serious twilight princess link

  • Lucas

    Link is looking too much badass with his earrings to me and for children.

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