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New Zelda: Breath of the Wild interview w/ Aonuma (transl. summary from French)

TheMoon

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ORIGINAL:
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talks about specific inspirations (what Aonuma liked about Skyrim), JP vs Western player feedback (who are these crazy people not liking upgrades?), dungeon designs, nostalgia elements, weapons, Wind Waker, etc

It's a summary translation, the original French interview is linked at the bottom

Some excerpts

To get strong weapons, players have to use their wit, and various other tricks. And since weapons can break, you regularly have to get new ones. According to Aonuma, that's how the development team chose to deal with players' progression through the game without resorting to XP and other similar systems.
About the shrines, Eiji Aonuma reminds us that there's over 100 of them, and if they were long and complex (like regular dungeons in prior Zelda games), then players would never have finished the game. It's for this very reason that they chose to make them a reward in themselves, rather than a trial.

[...] Naturally, there's also some that are quite bigger and more complex than others, more akin to traditional dungeons from previous Zelda games (complete with the traditional boss battles).

However, there's no more ”themed" dungeons: if a shrine is found in a forest, it will not necessarily have a forest theme. Instead, shrines have been designed to have Link progress through the game, and were all made using a similar base, but using the physic engine to create stimulating puzzles.
Full thing at the link:

http://www.perfectly-nintendo.com/legend-zelda-breath-wild-aonuma-dev-team-size/

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Silly drama:
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UPDATE BECAUSE READING IS HARD:
Native French speaker here : the text doesn't say "there's no more themed dungeons", this is extrapolation. It says
En revanche, on ne fait plus comme avant. Si un temple se trouvait dans une forêt, on en faisait le donjon de la forêt. Maintenant, ils sont plutôt conçus pour faire progresser Link et sont tous construits sur une base assez similaire, mais en utilisant le moteur physique du jeu pour offrir des énigmes stimulantes.
More literally, it translates to :
"However, it's not as it used to. If a given temple was inside a forest, we made it the forest dungeon. Now they are designed in a way to make Link progress and all are built on a rather similar base, using the game's physics engine to offer chalenging puzzles."

Regarding the absence or presence of "big dungeons", Aonuma explicitely says :
Ils sont très différents de ceux des précédents Zelda, même si certains sont beaucoup plus gros et comportent un boss à la fin de manière plus traditionnelle.
Meaning "[The shrines] differ a lot from preious Zelda's [dungeons], even though some are way bigger and have a boss at the end, in a more traditional manner."
Stop misreading this as "there are no dungeons" when Aonuma clearly says there are longer dungeons/shrines with all the typical puzzle boss jazz. Also nowhere does it say they all look like the sterile blue tech caves (we have seen otherwise in trailers even). Chill pill time.

UPDATE 2 because we need to enable easy mode:


Well clearly this can't be a dungeon. It appears to have a fire theme.



This looks like it's indoors but it can't possibly be a dungeon because it's not blue and shit.
UPDATE 3 because some of y'all are still in doubt ...

In the waypoint interview he did mention this:

There are fewer big dungeons in the new game, and an emphasis on Link having many smaller shrines to explore, spread around the map. Is that a design choice that goes back to the beginning of the project? Or is that a change you made when the decision was taken to make the game for two platforms, to reflect the battery life of the Switch when it's undocked? So the player can finish a shrine in a single handheld sitting?

Aonuma: It wasn't necessarily an original design point. At first, we were planning to include more large, labyrinth-style dungeons, the sort of things you'd expect in a Zelda title. But the reason we decided to include the smaller shrines—which isn't to say there aren't some larger dungeons in Breath of the Wild—was to strike a balance, between this extremely large (over)world that you're exploring, and these goals and objectives to explore within that. So by dotting these shrines around—a larger number of them, but with each smaller in size than the older-style dungeons—it helped bring up balance, and break up the huge world into smaller, explorable chunks.

And at a gameinformer interview:

During the demo, you hinted that there are a couple larger dungeon areas and bosses in the game. How do those differentiate from the shrines that are scattered throughout the world and what are the benefits of the shrines?


Aonuma:
As I mentioned earlier in the presentation, if you go to the shrines some of the items you get will increase the growth potential for Link in terms of the amount of hearts you get or the increase in the amount of stamina gauge you get. And speaking about the bigger dungeons with bosses they actually serve a completely different purpose than the shrines and so the reason that Link has to go to those dungeons is different than the reason he has to go to the shrines.
 

SolVanderlyn

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Finally, Eiji Aonuma reveals that he stopped leaving messages to his son in his games (like the dialogue lines with the King of Red Lions in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker), for one simple reason… his son told him that he had grown up, and had enough of them.
Aww. :/

He personally insisted to be the one writing the lines for the old man you meet at the very beginning of the game, because it’s literally the very first character Link meets after waking up. He wanted to be, in a way, the very first person to talk to the players in the game.
This is awesome. I wonder if the above inspired this to happen...
 

120v

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intrigued by the weapon degradation but i wonder how long into the game until it goes "alright enough of that shit here's your unbreakable sword now"
 

Majukun

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knowing myself,i wil pretty much never use the strongest weapon,saving them continuously for later and never using them till maybe the final boss.
 

oti

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Aug 5, 2012
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Love the shrines. Great and smart idea to fill the huge open world with those smaller trials.

intrigued by the weapon degradation but i wonder how long into the game until it goes "alright enough of that shit here's your unbreakable sword now"
I'd bet there are mystical weapons or something well-hidden somewhere.
 

Plum

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Aug 26, 2015
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The trials are why I'm not too worried of this feeling like another Ubisoft-type open world. Bite-sized chunks of puzzle and/or combat gameplay based around a unique idea (or a continuation of a previous unique idea) are so much better than just having you do the exact same thing just in different locations e.g. most side-missions in Assassin's Creed games. I reckon the larger ones are going to be nearly the equivalent of the smaller dungeons in the series just without the themeing and, I assume, massive story details.
 

BGBW

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The weapons breaking worries me a little bit.
I don't mind equipment durability in the Souls games for example but it seems like weapons break awfuly fast in BotW, I could see that getting old after a while.
 

LotusHD

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The weapons breaking worries me a little bit.
I don't mind equipment durability in the Souls games for example but it seems like weapons break awfuly fast in BotW, I could see that getting old after a while.
Gives you an incentive to fight enemies and stock up I guess, as well as convince you to try out different weapons instead of always sticking with the same thing. Alternatively if you had an unbreakable weapon from the start, there would be little to no reason for you to fight enemies to begin with.

Also as a side-note, something that could fun in of itself is seeing a new weapon, and thinking to yourself "Gimme".
 

oti

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Gives you an incentive to fight enemies and stock up I guess. Alternatively if you had an unbreakable weapon from the start, there would be little to no reason for you to fight enemies to begin with.
Can't wait for the All Bombs run on AGDQ.
 

Plum

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The weapons breaking worries me a little bit.
I don't mind equipment durability in the Souls games for example but it seems like weapons break awfuly fast in BotW, I could see that getting old after a while.
Remember that we haven't seen much actual gameplay after the initial Plataeu section which mostly has old rusty swords, old rusty axes and sticks. That and you can take weapons off of any enemy you defeat.
 

TheMoon

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The weapons breaking worries me a little bit.
I don't mind equipment durability in the Souls games for example but it seems like weapons break awfuly fast in BotW, I could see that getting old after a while.
Most enemies will have weapons of their own. Just steal them. Use your Runes if you run out completely. It's the first time weapon degradation actually gets me excited.
 

Albo

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About the shrines, Eiji Aonuma reminds us that there’s over 100 of them, and if they were long and complex (like regular dungeons in prior Zelda games), then players would never have finished the game. It’s for this very reason that they chose to make them a reward in themselves, rather than a trial.

[...] Naturally, there’s also some that are quite bigger and more complex than others, more akin to traditional dungeons from previous Zelda games (complete with the traditional boss battles).

However, there’s no more “themed” dungeons: if a shrine is found in a forest, it will not necessarily have a forest theme. Instead, shrines have been designed to have Link progress through the game, and were all made using a similar base, but using the physic engine to create stimulating puzzles.
So this confirms no traditional dungeons (or the 4 giant mech dungeons theory), but instead some larger shrines akin to them?
 

duckroll

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No themed dungeons? I don't understand. I thought the shrines were optional stuff and not replacements for actual dungeons. What?
 

Mistle

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Little worried about the no traditional dungeons comment.. Shrines look really fun but don't scratch the dungeon itch. Especially if the bigger ones aren't even themed. They might feel like they were all created in a vacuum and placed around the world with little regard.
 

mStudios

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No themed dugeon = no water, ice, fire, etc.

Now, instead, they're based on the guardians.

That's how I understand it.
 

shiyrley

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Nov 20, 2014
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I think the themed dungeons thing is that all shrines have the same theme regardless of where you find them, nothing to do with the actual dungeons, which hopefully exist. So, a mistranslation. I hope that's the case, at least. After all, Nintendo has said many times that the game has traditional dungeons aside from the shrines.
 

sphinx

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No themed dungeons? I don't understand. I thought the shrines were optional stuff and not replacements for actual dungeons. What?
no traditional dungeons? wtf. i want some unique architecture and dungeon item puzzles....
Well that sucks.

So over 100 shrines that all share the same motif... great...
This has to be a mistranslation right?
I am about to go from day 1 to day 0 with this game if there are no dungeons and instead we get a shitton of small shrines.

I really hope this is a mistranslation.
 

silva1991

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Seriously no traditional dungeons? no way there will be 100 unique shrines. there will be alot of repetition. I hope I'm wrong.

Edit: it seems big dungeons are there, but likely looks close to the smaller shrines aesthetically(no water, ice, fire..etc)
 

Biocoincoin

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Native French speaker here : the text doesn't say "there's no more themed dungeons", this is extrapolation. It says

En revanche, on ne fait plus comme avant. Si un temple se trouvait dans une forêt, on en faisait le donjon de la forêt. Maintenant, ils sont plutôt conçus pour faire progresser Link et sont tous construits sur une base assez similaire, mais en utilisant le moteur physique du jeu pour offrir des énigmes stimulantes.
More literally, it translates to :
"However, it's not as it used to. If a given temple was inside a forest, we made it the forest dungeon. Now they are designed in a way to make Link progress and all are built on a rather similar base, using the game's physics engine to offer chalenging puzzles."

Regarding the absence or presence of "big dungeons", Aonuma explicitely says :

Ils sont très différents de ceux des précédents Zelda, même si certains sont beaucoup plus gros et comportent un boss à la fin de manière plus traditionnelle.
Meaning "[The shrines] differ a lot from preious Zelda's [dungeons], even though some are way bigger and have a boss at the end, in a more traditional manner."
 

LotusHD

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Aug 27, 2016
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Pretty sure they just mean shrines will look similar to one another. (As expected, since there's over 100 of them) Dungeons themselves should look much different, but just because you may find one in a forest or something, doesn't mean it'll be a "forest dungeon".

Still think we saw a dungeon in the last trailer, but meh, guess we'll see.
 

@MUWANdo

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Jun 7, 2011
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No themed dungeons? I don't understand. I thought the shrines were optional stuff and not replacements for actual dungeons. What?
I took "dungeon" to be interchangeable with "shrine" in that context--basically, the theme of a shrine or dungeon won't necessarily adhere or pertain to the outside environment like in previous games. I don't think he was confirming or deconfirming anything about the presence of larger non-shrine dungeons.
 

KrawlMan

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No themed dungeons? I don't understand. I thought the shrines were optional stuff and not replacements for actual dungeons. What?
I'm wondering if it's him being vague as not to spoil, but just making certain that people don't assume this game will be another romp through Forest/Fire/Water temples.

It's possible that the lead-up to whatever key bosses exist in this game
like that colossus-like four legged beasty that we saw in the trailer?
will have some challenging environment you've got to work your way through. I wouldn't classify that as being a "themed dungeon", but it'd satisfy me plenty well.
 

takriel

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He mentioned that there are bigger shrines that can be seen as traditional dungeons, complete with boss battles at the end.

So there you go, there are your dungeons.
 

Kissenkopf

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No themed dungeon seems not right. I doubt they really did that. A lot of people, me included, would be really disappointed. Didnt we saw a glimpse of a dungeon where there was lava coming out of a wall? Looked for me like a themed dungeon. Or it was inside of death mountain...or the big guardian who is running around death mountain.

Couldn't it be that he means that we don't get dungeons who are just themed for one special topic and mix up a bunch of them?

But I know a lot of people here on Gaf who are sick of forrest, water, fire themed dungeons...so they would be satisfied at least.
 

InfiniteCombo

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Wait, so this is an English translation of French language piece interviewing a Japanese speaker?

Surely something might get lost in the multiple layers of translation.
 

TheMoon

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I am about to go from day 1 to day 0 with this game if there are no dungeons and instead we get a shitton of small shrines.

I really hope this is a mistranslation.
You're not reading this right. Read it again.

He mentioned that there are bigger shrines that can be seen as traditional dungeons, complete with boss battles at the end.

So there you go, there are your dungeons.
I mean, reading is hard. But Zelda's too easy. :D
 

Dremorak

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Jan 14, 2015
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They've said in the past multiple times that there will still be normal dungeons. Chill out yo. If you look at the special edition map you get a preeeeeeeeeeetty good idea of where they will take place. They are just saying some shrines are larger and have a boss so you might think of them as dungeons.
 

InfiniteCombo

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I'm sure there will be bigger dungeons in the traditional Zelda sense, just no Water Temple, Fire Temple and Earth Temple etc.
Themed dungeons were a huge appeal for me in A Link Between Worlds, it's actually what drew me to the series in the first place.
 

duckroll

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It makes no sense. Dungeons are half of what Zelda is. Entering a new dungeon, discovering the gimmick, finding the special tool, learning how it all fits together part by part and how the tool, the theme of the dungeon, and the gimmick all complement each other, leading up to a boss that requires you to use all that knowledge to beat. That's the dungeon experience of Zelda.
 

duckroll

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You're not reading this right. Read it again.



I mean, reading is hard. But Zelda's too easy. :D
Bigger "shrines" with bosses are not dungeons, especially if there's no particular theme or unique element in the nature of it. Zelda DUNGEONS are all memorable set pieces that have specifically designed layouts and puzzles that complement everything about it. Saying that shrines are all built from the same basic assets and that they're scattered all over the world to give the player something to do, and that they have no particular themes, is not describing a Zelda dungeon.
 

oti

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Aug 5, 2012
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Themed dungeons were a huge appeal for me in A Link Between Worlds, it's actually what drew me to the series in the first place.
So you won't like the game if a shrine in a lake isn't a water puzzle?

To me it sounds like shrines can be whatever wherever they are and dungeons won't be themed because of some story reasons. Sounds exciting to me.
 

takriel

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It makes no sense. Dungeons are half of what Zelda is. Entering a new dungeon, discovering the gimmick, finding the special tool, learning how it all fits together part by part and how the tool, the theme of the dungeon, and the gimmick all complement each other, leading up to a boss that requires you to use all that knowledge to beat. That's the dungeon experience of Zelda.
That particular experience might also be part of the traditional formula that they wanted to change with this game. For better or for worse, let's see if these larger shrines can take the place of traditional dungeons.
 

Onikaan

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It's been stated several times there are typical, full sized Zelda dungeons in the game. The tree house girls at E3 said so during the shrine play through, and the man himself said there would be in a different interview.

So I'm expecting them.
 

LotusHD

Banned
Aug 27, 2016
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So you won't like the game if a shrine in a lake isn't a water puzzle?

To me it sounds like shrines can be whatever wherever they are and dungeons won't be themes because of some story reasons. Sounds exciting to me.
As long as the dungeons are nice to look at and stand out from one another, I'll be good.
 

duckroll

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It's been stated several times there are typical, full sized Zelda dungeons in the game. The tree house girls at E3 said so during the shrine play through, and the man himself said there would be in a different interview.

So I'm expecting them.
Me too. If not, it's an instant 0/10 game. Would probably feed my Switch to the cat.
 

Octavianus

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Nov 23, 2014
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Love the shrines. Great and smart idea to fill the huge open world with those smaller trials.
Me too. I like that most of them are seemingly relatively short as I feel like some of the longer dungeons in the 3d games (in twilight princess especially) overstay their welcome.

That said, I'm glad there are still some dungeons thrown in there as well.
 

sphinx

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Nov 21, 2006
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It's been stated several times there are typical, full sized Zelda dungeons in the game. The tree house girls at E3 said so during the shrine play through, and the man himself said there would be in a different interview.

So I'm expecting them.
I hope so

the only not so cool thing is that we are getting most likely just 4 of them, that's bad.
 

kirbyfan407

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Bigger "shrines" with bosses are not dungeons, especially if there's no particular theme or unique element in the nature of it. Zelda DUNGEONS are all memorable set pieces that have specifically designed layouts and puzzles that complement everything about it. Saying that shrines are all built from the same basic assets and that they're scattered all over the world to give the player something to do, and that they have no particular themes, is not describing a Zelda dungeon.
Shrines have similar aesthetics, but we've seen Shrines that are quite different conceptually and structurally. I remember at E3 the Treehouse showing off one that took place in a giant rotating cylinder. I found that one memorable because the scale was much bigger than I was expecting.

Also, the most recent trailer already showed at least one environment (probably more, but I don't remember it well) that looked an awful lot like a dungeon-esque area and definitely was not the same "dark slick environment with accent lights" that most shrines seem to be.