Japanese gaming weekly Famitsu recently had the chance to ask Eiji Aonuma, director of The Legend of Zelda on GameCube, a handful of questions about puzzle-solving in Link's forthcoming Cube escapade, and the answers were so intriguing we thought we'd mention them around here.
What would you say if you moved Link into a new and shadowy area, and instead of feeling your way around, Link's eyes darted towards a particular area of shadow, revealing, on closer inspection, a chest full of goodies? Well, it's a response you're going to have to cook up, because according to Aonuma-san, that's exactly what will happen. "One big reason why we decided to use cartoon as the form of expression," he says, "is that we wondered if there were movements where Link's eyes could be used in the game. This time when enemies approach Link, Link's eyes will look at where the enemy is. If an item drops, he will also look in that direction. When Link realizes a hidden trap or device, his sight will also be directed towards it." Although puzzles won't universally rely on Link's eyes, and the perceptive little fellow's sharp eyesight won't uncover everything, this is nevertheless a gimmick with exciting potential.
Puzzle solving is also influenced by the wind. "Wind is blowing throughout the world. In the raft scene, the direction of wind is shown, and we put in elements such as the direction that Link's hat and flags are blowing that will make the players be aware of the wind." More than just eye candy though, Aonuma-san explains that many puzzles will rely on the wind, and that the direction of the wind even changes from time to time. However superficial this eventually turns out to be, it's another small example of the innovation Nintendo is trying to pump into the latest Zelda title.