Tears of the Kingdom Shows What Can and Can’t Be Moved or Broken
Image via Nintendo

Tears of the Kingdom Visual Cues Show What Can and Can’t Be Moved or Broken

Nintendo’s fifth and final The Legend of Zelda Ask the Developer interview with Producer Eiji Aonuma, Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta, and Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Sound Director Hajime Wakai is now live. Each one’s gone over different elements of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While this installment mainly wraps things up and explains the freedom in the game, it also touched on two topics. One is how the team used visual cues to show what people can and can’t move or break in the game. The other is that Aonuma already beat the “about 20 times.”

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Due to Link’s abilities in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild allowing him to do things like lift with Ultrahand or Fuse things, the team decided to make it clear what could and couldn’t be done. Director Fujibayashi explained, “Since then, for any objects we don’t want players to move, our designers have put ropes around them or covered them with a cloth to symbolize that they can’t be moved. A lot of attention has been given to details like these.” An image also showed how the platform with wooden planks, wheels, and pieces of wood was open, while a rock next to it had a sheet on top.

Technical Director Dohta also explained how these sorts of visual cues came up for the traditional breakable items. In all The Legend of Zelda games, Link can break pots to get items inside. Dohta noted that unbreakable ones feature lids as a cue to let people know they can avoid them.

Dohta also explained these design decisions in the Nintendo interview:

The more you play a game, the faster your brain processes it, so after a while, your brain starts to automatically sort out what’s an enemy, what not to touch, and what to take. For parts of the game that require players to look and make decisions, our designers did a good job creating rules and signs, so I think players will understand what they should do intuitively, even without any explanation.

As for Producer Aonuma’s clear rate, that came up at the very end as a “final message.” He said that he “played this game from start to finish about 20 times.” He also noted that this happened during the debugging process to ensure it was ready to go.

Some of the past interviews went over the dungeons and sound design.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will come to the Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.