The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for less than a week, but it’s already claimed the title of Nintendo’s best-selling standalone launch title. Now, Kotaku has caught up with director Hidemaro Fujibayashi to talk a bit about different features and ideas that had to be cut out of the final version of the game.
First off, when asked why the game offers the rune-based abilities as opposed to various items and tools acquired over time throughout the game, Fujibayashi explained with the following response:
“Hookshot was [one] we experimented with and tested, as well as [the] Beetle from Skyward Sword. After a lot of experimentation and testing, we weeded out all the ones that had potential to detract from the gameplay and enjoying the game. What’s left currently, the four items, were really what would draw out the fun of the game.”
However, in earlier stages of development with the game, Fujibayashi and the development team tried making certain items only obtainable after completing specific dungeons. Ultimately, this approach used in previous Zelda’s was too limiting and restrictive, as Fujibayashi said:
“We did at one point test what it would be like to be able to obtain some of these abilities in some point in the story. But when we do that, you are pigeonholed into having a specific order of dungeons. We did have ideas [that] if a certain dungeon needs bombs, for example, we might put a little bomb icon on the dungeon walls or somewhere on the ground.”
Next, Fujibayashi talked a bit about changing up certain familiar aspects Breath of the Wild, such as the Heart gauge:
“We had talked about the idea of maybe — usually the heart gauge decreases from the right, having it decrease from the left. Or have it naturally regain over time… We actually did that with a number of things in the game that don’t look like they changed in the final product. Actually, during our experimentation we tried to change them, and then realized, ‘Oh, this is actually really well thought out.’”
In addition to altering the Heart gauge, Fujibayashi also talked about an idea with treasure chests in the game, which they eventually cut out because it confused players too much:
“We thought maybe there’s something we can do differently with these. You’d find a treasure chest in the game that’s open. It’s just open, and that’s the end of it.”
Lastly, Kotaku asked Fujibayashi what was next for him and the Zelda team now that they had created “the best Zelda game yet.” The director replied with the following:
“Every time we put out a Zelda game we feel like we’re at the top of the mountain [and] this is the best Zelda game. But we realize there’s a taller mountain behind that. And I feel like the minute you feel like this is the tallest mountain there ever will be, then you’re not being a good Zelda director.”
To read the full article from Kotaku, you can go here.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.