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Nintendo explains Zelda's new art style

Helps with "exaggerated characteristics".

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's sort of cel-shaded art style was chosen to highlight the "exaggerated characteristics" of the game's characters, Zelda mega man Eiji Aonuma has said.

It also helps the player identify how enemies are carrying weapons – a crucial gameplay factor in the sword-focused game.

Nintendo caused a stir at E3 2010 when it unveiled Skyward Sword and its "painting come to life" look.

The influence of Shigero Miyamoto's love of impressionist art put paid to any hopes fans had of a realistic style.

"One of the reasons we've chosen the art style we have with Skyward Sword is that it is a better vehicle to showcase the exaggerated characteristics of some of the characters," Aonuma told the Official Nintendo Magazine (reported by Nintendo Everything)

"Not only of the enemy characters, but as a representation of the sword spirit itself. Because of the way we have put the game together you have to focus on how the enemy is carrying their weapon, and there are a couple of different ways you can go about that.

"One, you can be super realistic, and the other, not so realistic. We thought that because we want to highlight the sword fighting combat, we have to exaggerate the features. We thought that the art style we chose was best suited to do that.

"You have to match the art style to how the game plays, and we thought this worked best. We matched the artwork so that we can highlight the over-exaggeration in the gameplay."

There you have it. The game will be out on the Wii "early 2011". Check out our hands-on preview of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to see how it's shaping up. E3 2010 trailer is below.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.