Gamers needed an extra decade to prepare for The Wind Waker

If gamers weren't ready for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker when it debuted 10 years ago, they may be now. It's coming to the Wii U in October.

Longtime Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said in an interview with Wired that "maybe it was too soon to create that graphic style with the GameCube because of the limitations of the hardware."

He said, "When I suggested moving forward with Wind Waker HD, internally there was actually a lot of pushback. The reason for that is people were saying, 'Oh, that Link. People didn’t like that Link.' But in talking to our counterparts in the U.S., that wasn’t actually the case, people didn’t have that negative reaction maybe anymore to that younger Link."

Aonuma added, "It could be that when we introduced Wind Waker in that graphic style, people resisted it because it was so new, but over time, we may have created this environment that 10 years later is ready to embrace that graphic style."

That may be because of the rise of the indie scene. Developers are now experimenting more with aesthetics, like in games such as The Unfinished Swan, Thomas Was Alone, and Proteus.

Aonuma also mentioned that The Wind Waker HD will be a stronger version because they're able to go back in and make better transitions between segments. "The reason for that is that tuning was not complete; it’s not that there was a missing dungeon or something was removed," he said. "What we’re doing with this version of Wind Waker is, we’re making those adjustments so that the payoff is there. The payoff seems to match your investment."

The Wind Waker for Wii U also includes new and refined features like Miiverse connectivity and improved sailing.

Aonuma spoke of the challenges. "In converting Wind Waker, there’s a lot to be learned. We can’t change too much, because in changing one thing you can break something else, which is not something we want to do. But it’s a shared team working on both of those projects, Wind Waker HD and the new Zelda for Wii U. … So we’re working on those things, polishing as we go, and all of those things — it’s a learning process, it’s a test case almost, and we’ll apply all of those learnings that we’ve acquired in developing the Wii U game."

The producer wouldn't admit to having a single favorite Zelda but said Wind Waker was special to him because "it’s the first game I created as a father."

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