Aonuma Felt 'Intense Pressure' To Use Wii MotionPlus In Skyward Sword

The latest episode of Iwata Asks focuses on the development of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and has thrown up some very interesting details about the early development of Skyward Sword. Perhaps the most interesting detail is just how much internal debate went into the inclusion of Wii MotionPlus into the game.

Iwata: Aonuma-san, how did development of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword begin?

Aonuma: After we finished The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, we began work on the new game in the series. After awhile Fujibayashi-san had finished making The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and he showed us a planning document saying he wanted to make it. We had him be director and discussed something that would use Wii MotionPlus, which was developed right around that time, so players could freely operate the game. For about half a year after that, I have to say the mood was very nasty! (laughs)

Iwata: I heard. (laughs)

Fujibayashi: We tried a bunch of things for Wii MotionPlus, but it was really quirky. Iwata: Wii MotionPlus is an incredibly sharp device, but a little distinctive. It's like an unruly horse. Aonuma: Yes, exactly. No matter what we did, we couldn't tame it. Then Wii Sports Resort6 came out as the first game for Wii MotionPlus. Iwata: That's right.

Aonuma: We played that and realized all you could do with it. Wii Sports Resort has all kinds of games like Swordplay and Archery and you can play each one as its own separate game, but in The Legend of Zelda, you play everything on the same field.

Fujibayashi: That's right. You may be fighting with your sword and the next instant use the Clawshot or shoot an arrow or throw a bomb, so it was really difficult to make the game so you could use Wii MotionPlus to do those things smoothly all on the same field.

Aonuma: So I proposed to the staff to not use Wii MotionPlus afterall.

Iwata: You gave up once.

Aonuma: Yes. Then we started making a Legend of Zelda game that you would play using the original Wii Remote and Nunchuk. But then I fell under intense pressure from some other producers, who said, "Aonuma-san, why aren't you using Wii MotionPlus?!" (laughs)

Iwata: They were like, "Don't run away from it!" (laughs)

Aonuma: Exactly. (laughs) So I was like, "We got to do it!" I gathered the staff and we puzzled over how we could make it work. As a result, Kobayashi-san and those guys had a hard time. (laughs)

It's yet another fascinating, behind the scenes look at the development of what will most likely end up being the swansong for the Nintendo Wii.

Iwata Asks - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword [Nintendo]


    Looking at the screenshot above, it's like Twilight Princess and Windwaker had a detailed, cell-shaded baby.

    It's interesting to hear the wii motion plus described like that. Just goes to show the challenges developers have to face when working with motion.

    Still, didn't stop Microsoft and Sony from jumping on the bandwagon.

    Is that an older screenshot? I feel like it used to seem more colourful back when it was first shown off, then later looked a bit more washed-out.

    I still haven't played Wii Sports Resort, so I can't wait to try MotionPlus in Skyward Sword.

    Anyway, I really like these Iwata Asks pieces (laughs).

    Hmmm, there's fairly simple signal processing techniques that should smooth out any information from a wii motion plus controller. Something as simple as a high frequency filter should work perfectly, I believe. It's a problem that's been solved decades ago.

    Anyway, with all the sword fighting and archery in Zelda games, I'd have thought the developers would be clamouring to use the plus abilities. Surely the more accurate positioning information should make for better feel in gameplay.

      i may get flamed for this, but i've always felt that nintendo struck gold with their early IP's, then just rode them for 25 years, without proving to me that they are capable of pushing the boundaries. its just mario this mario that omg motion mario, i have doubts that they are the super geniuses everyone says they are. Make a mature game that isnt marketed at kids, make it look like it was made in the year it was made in, and maybe include some new characters that speak real words.

    This actually makes me a little worried about the game (laughs)

    Im not a big fan of motion control. I remember playing Metroid Prime 3 and the entire time I was just wishing I could use my game cube controller. I yearned for the responsiveness of Prime 1 and 2, those controls were perfect.
    Im sure others will disagree, but thats just my take on it.

      I've only ever played Prime 1, and then only the Wii Trilogy version. It took some getting used to but once I got in the zone I couldn't imagine playing it any other way. And I used the gamecube controller as much as I could for other games, especially things like Smash Bros.

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