Aonuma has never once said he despises classic Zelda. He said that he was terrible at the original game. If you want to somehow extrapolate from that that he despises all the classic games, fine, but by printing it on your blog you’re only lying to people who don’t know better.
Aonuma says from GDC 2004 on EVOLVING the Zelda Franchise (evolving means change, means to go AWAY from what it once was, and Aonuma and Nintendo were proud of that, and were so proud of their ‘OMG 3d’ versions.):
My first encounter with Zelda occurred in 1988 shortly after I joined Nintendo. After studying design in college, I began work designing pixel characters. At the time, I didn’t have much experience playing games, and I was particularly bad at playing games that required quick reflexes. So, immediately after I started playing the original Zelda, I failed to read the movements of the Octorock in the field and my game suddenly game to an end. Even after getting used to the controls, each time the screen rolled to a new area new Octorock appeared and I thought ‘am I going to have to fight these things forever?’ Eventually, I gave up getting any further in the game.
He got used to the controls. It wasn’t that he was terrible, AONUMA HATED THE LEGEND OF ZELDA GAME DESIGN.
Aonuma then says:
the result was that I was under the impression that the Legend of Zelda was not a game that suited me. So what kind of games did suit me? Those would be text-based adventures. For someone like me who enjoyed reading stories, these were games that allowed you to participate in the story and letting you experience the joy of seeing your own thoughts and actions affect the progression of the story. Plus, these games don’t require fast reflexes and don’t require traditional gaming skills. So, I thought that if I were going to make games, I would like to make this type of game.
How can it not be as plain as day? “Legend of Zelda was not a game that suited me.” It wasn’t that he was BAD at it, he HATED the original Legend of Zelda. He did not like Zelda’s gameplay at all. He says he loves text-based adventures instead.
That’s fine and dandy, but why the hell did Nintendo put a guy in charge of Zelda franchise who HATES Zelda gameplay? It would be like putting someone in charge of Mario games who hated Super Mario Brothers.
If you do not understand the magic of the original Legend of Zelda, you will not understand anything about Zelda. Aonuma doesn’t even mention Zelda 2. It is like Nintendo wants to pretend that game never even existed!!!
After that, I spent my days drawing pixel art of Mario & Peach and honing my design talents on a variety of projects. Then in 1991 I came in contact with a new Zelda game called A Link to the Past. Although I’d been frustrated with the original Legend of Zelda, since I knew the graphical improvements of the SNES, I knew that A Link to the Past was a game I had to play even if I quit half way through.
He admits he STILL doesn’t want to play Zelda’s sequel of Link to the Past. He only does so for professional reasons.
In planning A Link to the Past, I kept playing basic actions that were completely unrelated to battling the enemies — things like cutting the grass, lifting stones to search beneath them, and using keys to open doors. In these, I discovered that I was proceeding through the game, and I got the same feeling I did when using command inputs to actively participate in the story of a text-based adventure. I realized that those same feelings, coupled with a sense of play control response, far exceeded what I could experience through command input alone.
Here, Aonuma doesn’t even play the game correctly. He wants the game to be about cutting grass and lifting stones. Aonuma does not like ‘battling the enemies’. Why not? Link has a sword for a reason. What is Aonuma going to do? Remove Link’s sword?
He tried to do it! He tried! Skyward Sword’s original logo was missing the sword (it wasn’t called skyward sword then).
Aonuma’s Zelda games have been disasters for the Zelda IP with the exceptions of when the Zelda game mimics an older Zelda. Twilight Princess did well because it mimicked Ocarina of Time. Link Between Worlds mimics Link to the Past. Hopefully, Breath of the Wild mimics the original game.
But it won’t.
You know what I see when I look at Breath of the Wild. I see Aonuma trying to make a Zelda game where there is a multiple choice option other than battling with your sword. And then there is all the other Aonuma crap in the game as filler. But BoW seems like a game where the ‘open world’ is actually ‘a zelda where you can choose not to battle’.
I want battle!
I want Zelda to be the arcade twitch battle game that it is!
I do not want to ‘cut grass’ and ‘turn over rocks’. That is boring!
And most important of all, I want someone in charge of the Zelda franchise who actually likes The Legend of Zelda!!!! We shouldn’t have to spend time trying to ‘get back to what the original Zelda was all about’ if the director of the franchise actually liked the game in the first place!
Zelda used to be a phenomenon. Now it is just a turd game Nintendo fans buy because Nintendo consoles have no big RPG/adventure games. Other game companies copied Zelda because Zelda used to sell. Neutopia I and II for the PC-Engine were Zelda rip-offs, for example. After Capcom copied Wind Waker with Okami which experienced complete and utter disaster and destroyed Clover Studios, no game company dares to copy Zelda because it is financial suicide.
The less Aonuma that is in Zelda, the better for everyone. There is a place for text based adventure games. That place is not in the Zelda franchise.
Zelda is a combination of arcade combat and open world RPG that was on the PC. Zelda is not about ‘story’. Zelda is not about ‘puzzles’. Aonuma has been trying to retcon the entire Zelda existence. What do you think that GDC speech was all about? Aonuma is telling you how he saw Zelda which, since he is the director of the franchise, it IS the way how he wants. Since Zelda is ‘evolving franchise’, it is ‘changing’. Changing AWAY from what Zelda originally was.
Some idiot at Nintendo thought Aonuma was a genius or something (probably Miyamoto, that Virtual Boy/ ‘omg 3d’ dumbass whose moves has probably now cost Nintendo more money than it has ever earned through him) and gave him the keys to the golden Zelda franchise.
I want Zelda to be awesome. It will never be awesome with Aonuma. Aonuma doesn’t understand Zelda. All he understands is that Zelda should play the gameplay he wants. It’s as if Malstrom was put in charge of the Fire Emblem franchise and I declared the games need to go to motion based controls because I like Wii Sports. The insanity of that is equal to what Aonuma is doing. Text based adventures?