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Eiji Aonuma Achieved His Goal Of Making A Game About Cooking With Breath of the Wild



Nintendo of America’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen looks back at the time Eiji Aonuma compared the Zelda series to cooking stew and how he always wanted to make a game about cooking.


As we’ve all seen by now, cooking is a crucial part of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but we would’ve never guessed that it was something that was stewing in the mind of series producer Eiji Aonuma for quite a while now.


Here’s more from a new entry from Bill Trinen on the Nintendo Treehouse Log, talking about his time working as an interpreter for Eiji Aonuma over a decade ago, and how it finally hit him that the producer had achieved his goal to make a game about cooking:


Back in 2004, Eiji Aonuma gave a presentation called “The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda” (You can hear it here). Today it serves as an interesting look into the series’ transition at a point in time just before the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess game for the Wii was first announced. I interpreted for him for both the presentation as well as a number of interviews he did afterwards, and one of the themes he mentioned in both the interviews and the presentations was cooking. He talked about making a Zelda game as being similar to cooking stew: both are long processes, both require the combination of multiple different ingredients and seasonings, and when cooked together those ingredients combine to complete the overall flavor, which is enhanced. And he noted then that he was interested in making a game about cooking.


The very first time I played through the Great Plateau, I came across apples and mushrooms fairly early on in my wanderings. Of course, I collected them (I do love mushrooms!), and to a certain degree it seemed fairly straightforward that they would serve as food. But soon I was collecting acorns, herbs, raw meat, and spicy peppers, and when I found the old man at his cabin and started combining ingredients, I remembered Aonuma-san’s presentation and realized he finally achieved his goal of making a game about cooking.



The volume of concept art dedicated to designing all the different ingredients is honestly staggering. Here’s one piece—of a decidedly creepy-looking but very nutritious fish.


By now, anyone who has played the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game is familiar with the cooking system. As I first started to get familiar with it I just wanted to experiment to see what I could create. It was like a new form of puzzle-solving, trying to think of which ingredients would work well together and what quantities would produce the best results.




At one point in development, electrified steaks were a possibility! 


You can catch the rest of the post here, where Bill Trinen talks about the little crab dilemma they had going on.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.