Is this even news? Or is it just a confirmation of what Miyamoto had said.http://www.zhq2.com/exclusive_interview.shtml
Last year, TSA was supposed to be granted a trip to Japan to conduct a one-on-one interview with Eiji Aonuma and the EAD Zelda Team (now known as Team Aonuma). After some miscommunication and a few broken promises, the trip ended up to be a bust and TSA was forced to deal with the criticism of promising an exclusive feature. But no more. Here now is the exclusive interview with Aonuma-san. All answers were translated by Bill Trinnen, one of Nintendo's localizers.
Before the interview took place, Eiji Aonuma actually had a few questions for me. He asked me how I got into Zelda, what I loved so much about it, and about my "speed runs". He was very shocked when I told him about the new Ocarina of Time bugs discovered by others, like bypassing all the temples as an Adult except for two. Aonuma promises that will not be possible in Twilight Princess. After about fifteen minutes of talking, the interview began.
TSA: I would first like to thank you very much for finally speaking to myself and addressing the many issues of Zelda that fans are dying to know about.
Eiji Aonuma: It is my pleasure.
TSA: To start off, this question is on the top of everyone�s mind right now, not just Zelda fans. What�s the deal with the Revolution and Twilight Princess? Why are magazines reporting they will work together, and why did Mr. Miyamoto comment on it so casually?
EA: For awhile now, we had been considering the possibility that Twilight Princess would be better suited for the upcoming Nintendo system codenamed Revolution. As Mr. Iwata has stated, Revolution is not about horsepower, but about innovation. The original concept of the Revolution was to take a GameCube and give it a new level of interactivity. Thus, it makes it very easy to convert a GameCube title into a Revolution title since the two systems are so compatible. It was about the time of E3 last year that we began to seriously consider pushing Twilight Princess as a flagship title for Revolution. However, because of the nature of Revolution, Twilight Princess is still essentially both a GameCube and Revolution title. The game will be released closer to the Revolution launch, making it essentially a launch title as Mr. Fils-Aime said last month. It will also use the Revolution�s controller, as Mr. Miyamoto said this month. However, it will still be playable on GameCube with the GameCube controller.
TSA: So the decision to delay Twilight Princess last year was to allow more time to implement this Revolution functionality?
EA: Well, not really. The decision to finally go ahead with that plan was made around the time of the D.I.C.E. summit. With the original delay, we wanted to push back the game because we were having major trouble with the wolf mechanics. Many of my team members raised concerns with how unnatural the wolf moved. You may have read in the official Nintendo publication of the US this month how my assistant director, Makoto Miyanaga, was concerned initially with the wolf gameplay segments. However, I assure you they are quite spectacular now, and you will personally get to see for yourself at E3.
TSA: Why have you guys been so quiet about Twilight Princess since the delay announcement? No new screens or trailers have surfaced in months.
EA: The element of surprise! Truthfully, though, we felt we were giving out too much content. The reaction back at the original unveiling of the game was amazing, it was a shame I was not present to witness it. At last year's E3, I was really happy with the turn out for the Twilight Princess booth. However, after we returned to Japan, Miyamoto and I sat down and discussed if it may be good to keep Twilight Princess under wraps until the release. He indicated that he liked what Hideo Kojima did with Metal Gear Solid 2, giving out a spectacular trailer and then going under wraps until the game�s release. Player�s were rewarded with a genuinely surprising experience. Although we don�t think it is necessary to rely on just this alone to make Twilight Princess better, we are doing everything possible to make the experience the best possible for fans. However, that�s only part of the reason. Fans have been speculating now what bonus features we would be creating for Twilight Princess. As it turns out, not only can you play Twilight Princess on Revolution, when you put the game into the Revolution system, you have the option of an �enhanced� mode of the game. What do I mean by that? We will be revealing that at E3, along with our other projects.
TSA: Other projects? You mean other Zelda projects, like Phantom Hourglass?
EA: Yes, Phantom Hourglass will be playable at E3.
TSA: And will other Zelda games be present at E3?
EA: You�ll have to wait and see.
TSA: Maybe if I ask you three times, you�ll have to answer.
TSA: Alright, so while we�re on the subject of other Zelda games, what do you think about the aspect of an online Zelda game?
EA: We�ve actually considered this in recent months in light of the Nintendo DS WiFi success around the globe. The problem was how we should bring Zelda online. The obvious answer to us was a Four Swords title. Unfortunately, we�ve ended that relationship with Capcom and there are no more Four Sword titles planned for the future. We also felt fans may be tired of the concept, seeing as three games in the past few years have utilized the Four Swords� style of gameplay. So we went back to the drawing board. One idea was a game featuring the four Tingle brothers. We released a screenshot to the press, and the reaction was not very good. I�ve also been told repeatedly that Tingle is not popular in North America and Europe. So that idea was scratched in favor of Phantom Hourglass, although some of the elements from Tingle RPG made it in, like using the bottom touch screen for combat situations. We�re still considering an online Zelda, either for DS or Revolution, but I can�t speak anymore about it at this time.
TSA: Will Phantom Hourglass have WiFi capability?
EA: You�ll have to wait until E3 to see.
TSA: What Zelda characters are making a come back in Super Smash Brothers Revolution?
EA: Perhaps I can give out a few? Well, I think most fans expect Zelda, Ganon and Link to return. There will be more characters. All of them will be from Twilight Princess, though. So unfortunately, I can�t reveal anything other than that.
TSA: Can you reveal anything about Twilight Princess� or Phantom Hourglass� story?
EA: You asked that even after my remarks on keeping things a surprise?
TSA: Of course! Zelda fans would be extremely upset if I didn�t at least try.
EA: Very well. As you know, Twilight Princess takes place between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. I�ve heard that many fans assume the introduction of The Wind Waker is what will happen in Twilight Princess. While we understand fans have a certain expectation for how the game should end, The Wind Waker�s introduction did state it was one of the many legends in Hyrule. So, Twilight Princess� story is not foretold in The Wind Waker, although I promise the ending will tie into it. As for Phantom Hourglass � as you may have guessed, it is a sequel to The Wind Waker. That�s all I can reveal at this time.
TSA: Speaking of chronology�
EA: Somehow I knew this topic was coming up!
TSA: Yes, it must be asked. Again. Your remarks, as well as remarks of Mr. Miyamoto, have left fans in the dark about the timeline. We don�t even know if there is just one! So let�s start there. How many timelines are there?
EA: Just one. I noticed how many people took my remarks to mean there were two timelines. Well, technically there are two, but nothing really happens in the second timeline except part of Link�s adventure in Ocarina of Time. Other than that, the other games are in their own timeline.
TSA: Care to reveal any specifics about the order? Mainly, where does Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, A Link to the Past and the two NES Zelda go in relation to each other?
EA: I would like to say that part of the reason we do not reveal the entire timeline is because it would force us into creating certain games to cater to the storylines. Mr. Miyamoto has made it clear he never wants to be constrained by such a restriction. I feel we can always work around it. That being said, I think I can reveal this much; Ocarina of Time is the first of those games you mentioned. Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker take places many years after Ocarina of Time. A Link to the Past and the NES games take place long after The Wind Waker. I hope that helps!
TSA: Yes, that was extremely helpful! What about the Four Swords games? Many fans do not believe it is even part of the timeline. You said the original Four Swords was the �oldest� tale, but not many understood what that really meant.
EA: Obviously Four Swords Adventures takes place before A Link to the Past; we designed that game to be a prequel to that game. Four Swords has to come before that, and The Minish Cap before them all. So that should give you some clues as to where the games come.
TSA: So, moving onto our next topic. What are your personal thoughts on a Zelda film?
EA: I remember seeing the Super Mario Bros film. I thought it was very strange to see Mario and Luigi and the Mushroom Kingdom in real life. It was not quite what I imagined, but I can understand Hollywood�s take on it. Still, Mr. Miyamoto was not happy with the reaction to the film. He is really against anymore film adaptations of our video games. Pokemon is a different story because the the films are based on the shows more than the games. I am not sure if a Zelda film would be appropriate, but many fans write into us saying because Lord of the Rings did so well, we should make a Zelda film. However, an animated project may not be out of the question.
TSA: What about the manga? They�re more story-oriented and seem appropriate to adapt.
EA: I�m very good friends with the two women who are responsible for the Zelda manga. The manga are their personal takes on the video games, although they try to remain faithful to the source material. They have proposed an animated feature film based on their works once before, but there were some issues with the manga conflicting with the source material. We are opening our own animation studio, as you may have heard, and one of the tentative projects slated is a Zelda anime. Whether or not this ever becomes a reality is still yet to be seen. Only time will tell.
TSA: Alright, there are two more areas I�d like to hit on before we end this call. The first deals with the fans and the Zelda community. What are your thoughts on the numerous fan websites and fan creations on the internet?
EA: It�s really amazing what the fans have created over the years. Some of the websites out there are really comprehensive. I�ve also seen many beautiful works of art from several Zelda fans, which really shows we here at Nintendo are doing our job to inspire fans and make compelling products. I know Mr. Kondo frequently visits sites that contain fan compositions and remixes of his work. He loves to hear what fans want, and in fact, some of the fan works out there have inspired his upcoming work in Twilight Princess. He�s really loyal to his fan base and fans of his work. Overall, it is great that fans love the Zelda series so much. There are, of course, some projects which we question, such as fan games, because they are essentially the type of products we make, but it is still great to see what concepts are thrown out there.
TSA: Final question. Where do you see the Zelda series going? What would you like to do with the series that hasn�t been done already?
EA: One thing I would like to do, which hopefully will make it into the next Zelda game, is to include voice work for some of the characters. I know that fans may have a hard time adjusting to such a concept, but I personally think it is a good thing to try out. Of course, Link will probably remain silent. The other thing I would like to do with future installments is to take the series away from the Link versus Ganon concept, or just the whole concept of the Triforce. We promised Twilight Princess would be the last normal Zelda game. We not only want to expand its gameplay to utilize unique devices like the Revolution controller and the DS stylus, but to also expand the concept beyond what fans have come accustom to. We hope at E3 we may be ready to show off a glimpse of that future. Or maybe we�ll have to hold onto it for another day.
TSA: Thank you very much for your time Mr. Aonuma! And a big thank you from the Zelda community.
EA: It was very nice to finally speak with you. Hopefully we meet face to face at E3!