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.