Nintendo president Satoru Iwata initially expressed surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword features ancient robots, the company boss revealed in a new Iwata Asks interview with members of the Zelda team.
Nintendo's designers were unsure about including advanced technology within the Zelda Universe.
Zelda developer Yohei Fujino said he originally questioned the decision. "Is that really all right?" he pondered.
Iwata, too, was also unsure. "At first, everyone hesitated to put in anything mechanical. But looking at the actual animation, they don't seem out of place for the gameworld. They fit in somehow."
By modelling the robots on ancient clay figures from Japanese history, Zelda's designers aimed to give the race a "softer" look.
Plot spoilers lie below.
Players encounter the ancient robotic race in the game's desert region, the second area Link visits.
By hitting Timeshift Stones, players can turn the present time period into the past in a widening circle around him. Link uncovers the long-lost robotic civilisation hidden underneath the desert sands.
Link will at one point also use this transformation system to turn the desert into a sea he must cross by boat.
"There's a building important to the story in the desert, and within the game as a whole," designer Hidemaro Fujibayashi explained. "The desert is the scene of a big turning point within the story. And it's a level up in swordplay, item use, and puzzle-solving, so I hope players will mobilize their experience and inspiration. Finally, you can witness a major turning point here, so I hope you will look forward to it and try to clear it."