Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma • Page 3

Extensive video and text interview with the spirit of the Zelda series.

Eurogamer: With the next Wii Zelda game, Mr Miyamoto has already spoken about it, but for you personally what difference does MotionPlus make? And more broadly, because it's still some way off, are you concerned about the Wii being technically capable of delivering something that stands up to games on other platforms?

Eiji Aonuma: Talking first on Wii MotionPlus, I've been working on the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda simultaneously with working on Spirit Tracks and now we have already come to the stage that Link is wielding his sword just as you are shaking your Wii remote. It's so natural I sometimes have to wonder why it was not available in previous games.

I think it's going to be quite surprising, but it's so natural maybe not so surprising for new Zelda fans. But it must be quite a surprise for existing and long-term Zelda fans. Maybe they will say, 'why couldn't Nintendo apply the same system to Twilight Princess? You already had the Wii remote.' Among the fans I think it's going to be quite a big difference.

As to other elements of Wii MotionPlus, I'm afraid I have to refrain from talking anything probably until E3 next year. The only thing I may be able to confirm is, we are trying to change the structure, how the game proceeds, in terms of how you have been playing The Legend of Zelda franchise so far. That's a little thing I can say, but I hope people will be surprised by knowing what I mean right now.

7

Eurogamer: Well, I'm very excited to hear more! In general, we know how western games developers work, we visit them, we understand what daily life is like. With Nintendo, and this is perhaps part of the charm, the process, certainly viewed from the West, is shrouded in mystery. Could you give us some insight into what life is like at Nintendo, and what a typical day for you would involve?

Eiji Aonuma: I might disappoint you, but I'm afraid there's nothing unusual, nothing very exciting about how our days go at Nintendo. I go to the office at a given time every day; as soon as I arrive I check what my teams have been doing and probably, if the new version of the game is presented, I'll check it and play it myself and give the feedback back to the developers. And in the afternoon I attend a number of different meetings, relating not just to game development, but sometime to decide Nintendo's future, or EAD's next steps.

And after if there are any impending issues I need to tackle with certain games, I need to work very late at night or even to the next morning!

But the most enjoyable time is the lunch break. I would make it a point of playing some games with local multiplayer. Probably I'd be enjoying myself in multiplayer battle mode on certain games with other directors. Regardless of age, who's producer or director, we're deeply into battles against each other, yelling and crying, and that's how we get excited and get motivated to work more!

8

If Nintendo's developers are considered mysterious in comparison with other developers, it must be because every one of us really wants to surprise people, and we are finding some particular joy in making people surprised in a meaningful way, and the more we talk the less surprise we would be able to provide. That must be the reason why!

Eurogamer: Would you like to work on something completely new, or do you see yourself continuing with Zelda for many more years?

Eiji Aonuma: Well, the fact the company has constantly been giving me the opportunity to work on the next Zelda, and the fact that many people are looking forward for me to provide them with the next Zelda is something really gratifying.

9

The fact I have to work on Zelda - there is no fixed notion about what Zelda has to be. Most basically, any changes are appropriate because Zelda means unprecedented experiences. In other words, as long as I can work on new Legend of Zelda games there's hardly anything I can't do to challenge myself.

Having said that, whenever I get asked, aren't you tired about making Zelda again and again, I might say, 'sometimes!' But it doesn't mean I'm willing to make something similar to Zelda at all. I really want to surprise people in a meaningful way, so if I'm going to work on anything new then I would like to make something so that people are going to say, 'wow I could not imagine someone like Aonuma would make something like this'.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks releases for DS on 11th December.

Comments (25)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!