Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 15, 2014

Email: Aonuma confirms (again) he develops games for himself

We already knew this.  But this just makes it even more undeniable.One site had the balls to ask Aonuma a real question, and the answer was exactly what we’d expect by now:”[Website] Twilight Princess though was one of the most traditional games, but it was also one of the most successful games. Does a game’s success, in terms of sales numbers, does that affect the type of Zelda game that you personally like to create?

Eiji Aonuma: I don’t look back. (laughs)

I always want to create something unique, and the reason for that is not just because it makes for a more fun game experience once the game is completed, but as a creator it also makes things more interesting for my team and myself.”

Nintendo developers ignore sales data for as long as they can get away with it.  But we know that Aonuma did NOT ignore sales data in one instance: Wind Waker.  Wind Waker sold so poorly and had such massive backlash that he was forced to make Twilight Princess.  Then when Twilight Princess performed well, he obviously determined “Hooray!  The series is saved!  Time to make what I actually want to make: more Wind Waker!  Here are two sequels on the DS, and that new Wii Zelda game is going to use cell shading as well!  But I’ll try to cover it up by using adult Link!  Oh, and that Wii U Zelda?  Screw the tech demo (just like 2000 all over again).  Here’s Skyward Sword again!”

Now, getting back to that website, here’s where it gets even more interesting.  They have a writer (I think his name is Alex Plant), and he has cited you several times in his articles, especially when he has talked about Zelda.  Boy has that riled people up in the comments (always good to see “hardcore” gamers lose their mind over you)!

Anyway, the fact that a website is willing to even mention your name is probably why they had the balls to ask Aonuma a question like that.  But they should have followed up by pointing out how Wind Waker’s piss-poor sales led to Twilight Princess.  Thus, Aonuma only gets to be “creative” until he blows up the series.  So what’s the point of all this “creativity” when you’re driving away customers left and right?  Let’s see what Jackass Aonuma has to say to that!


There was a time in the newspaper business that when a reader complained about a mistake the paper had made, the newspaper would apologize and correct the error. Then, to a shock to experienced readers, newspapers began responding to people pointing out mistakes with mockery and derision. “Who do you think you are?” Newspapers then rapidly collapsed.

In the past, Nintendo would take complaints to heart. “You thought that game was too easy? OK. We will make it harder next time.” During the making of Twilight Princess, a Nintendo artist said how he didn’t like the graphics of TP but, “if that is what people want, we will happily give it to them”. A very disturbing trend has occurred where when Nintendo now hears complaints, they respond with mockery and derision. “We are artists! We are unique! You can’t pin us down to crass commercial concerns!” So it is no surprise that Nintendo’s sales have entered collapse.

Making video games is very hard. While sequels have the benefit of a pre-install base of interested buyers, it has the con of people wanting the sequel to be better than what was before. Nintendo cannot have their cake and eat it too. If Nintendo wants to be ‘unique’, then it needs to make unique IPs. When Nintendo makes a sequel, the market will judge it based on what has changed since the last game. Sequels do not exist in a vacuum.

If Aonuma was interested in being unique, why keep making cell-shaded Zeldas or sequels to Wind Waker? At this point, using the TP artstyle would be truly ‘unique’.

I thought Nintendo’s Zelda reveal was a huge red flag. Instead of focusing on showing off gameplay (what Nintendo normally does), Nintendo instead focused on ‘stimulating your imagination’ with the landscape and promising how ‘open ended’ it is and how ‘you can explore those mountains in the distance’. I swear I heard a Xbox 360 developer use that same exact line for a game in the Seventh Generation. Nintendo doesn’t want to show us the gameplay. Why not? Let’s see what Nintendo showed off when Twilight Princess was unveiled:

Now THIS is how a Zelda game is unveiled. You see actual gameplay. Miyamoto even appears with a sword. Today, the sword isn’t even featured in Zelda at all and has been removed from the series logo.

The text "The Legend of Zelda"


This is the logo Nintendo now uses for the Zelda series. Let us look at the logos of Zelda in the past:


Aside from Gameboy Zelda, all Classic Zeldas have the sword prominent. Then look what happens…




While these are Capcom games and were on the Gameboy Advance, it’s interesting that Minish Cap retains the sword in the logo. If Aonuma was director, he’d make it a hat instead. A hat!


With a title like ‘Four Swords’, it is hard to ignore the sword aspect. At least we see swords.

No sword.





Despite having ‘sword’ in the title, there is no sword present!


Absence of the sword is really noticeable here since it was so present in the LTTP logo.

Nintendo has been removing the sword from Zelda. The sword is nowhere present in the Wii U trailer:

No official logo has been shown. One thing is for certain: it will not have a sword in it.

However, when Link appears in other video games, he has a sword! There is a clear disconnect in how people view how the series is defined versus what Aonuma wants to do. This is why Aonuma spends so much time talking about ‘reconnecting with original Zelda’. It is to provide cover for him to abandon Zelda gameplay altogether. Sakamoto did the same thing. He spent enormous amount of time, even including a cutscene, for Super Metroid and how Other M was the ‘successor to it’ because he knew, deep down, that Other M was a completely different game.

Update: On closer examination, there does appear to be a sword like object attached to the horse in the trailer. But is that a sword? It has a thicker middle than anything else. It resembles more of a torch. And since when does Link keep his sword on his horse!?



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