Here's What Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Looked Like In The Early Stages 

During a talk at the Game Developers Conference, Nintendo gave everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Breath of the Wild. What you're looking at above is technically an early playable version of a game releasing in 2017.

"As you can see, this is a 2D Zelda, but we used this as a way to experiment," said game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi.

"So you can say this is a legitimate prototype of Breath of the Wild," he continued. "It's very nostalgic."

In the 2D footage they shared, you can watch Link burn down trees, cut and move logs into the water for transportation — all followed by their 3D equivalent. While verbs remained the same, the action gained a new perspective in the final version.

"I thought that the quickest way to bring this idea to life and to present this to the rest of the team would be to create this in 2D," Fujibayashi said. "So I brought the character data to the technical director, Mr. [Takuhiro Dohta], who will be coming up after this, and asked him to make it."

On Twitter, Nintendo also shared some other images from the talk that showcased more early concepts and ideas that didn't make it into the final game, including aliens (seriously!) and biker Link:

Bonus: here are some real emails sent during the development of Breath of the Wild:


    Can I have the 2D game instead? lol.

      Yes, when you are undocked it switches to the 2D version :P

        It actually runs better undocked due to outputting at 720p instead of 900p then lol

    It would be great if they ended up releasing it in some form, either dlc or an eshop title.

    That got me thinking, take BOTW and turn the graphics down to match what the 3DS can handle and release it like that.

    That way I don't have to buy another console just to play another Zelda.

    Good to see that while it went 3D they kept the same graphical fidelity.

    Back when AAA games were 2D, the "prototype version" was usually done on paper (by hand).

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