Miyamoto Apparently ‘Cringed’ When First Shown Wind Waker’s Art Style

Miyamoto Apparently ‘Cringed’ When First Shown Wind Waker’s Art Style
Image: Mega64 / Nintendo / Kotaku Australia

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is my favourite Zelda game. I get all kinds of weird looks for this, but I stand by it.

There’s a lot that I love about Wind Waker, and a surprising amount of it can actually be found in Patrick Malborough’s fantastic feature about his personal connection to the game.

While having a lot of heart, Wind Waker was initially scorned for its art style (which I loved). But would it surprise you to hear that even the big Nintendo man himself, Shigeru Miyamoto, also thought it was cringe?

DidYouKnowGaming‘s newest video Miyamoto Hated Wind Waker’s Graphics (Exclusive) covers many, many, many newly translated pieces of information about Wind Waker, including eventually excluded content and interviews with developers involved in the making of the game.

According to the video, when Miyamoto was shown Toon Link, he ‘literally cringed’. While the team behind Wind Waker was reportedly keen on the Toon Link art style from the very beginning, they apparently had kept it a secret from Miyamoto to ‘avoid a dismissive response’, according to Digital Spy back in 2013.

The game’s director Eiji Aonuma explains:

“If I had gone and talked to him from the very beginning, I think he would have said, ‘How is that Zelda?’. Miyamoto had trouble letting go of the realistic Link art style until the very end.”

“At some point he had to give a presentation against his will. That’s when he said something like, ‘You know, it’s not too late to change course and make a realistic Zelda.'”

However, quite a few elements seemed to come into play regarding why the team behind Wind Waker ultimately didn’t ‘change course’. Not only were they reportedly set on the style, which was ‘inspired by the anime they used to watch as kids’, but that with the team Nintendo had, it would’ve taken up to ten years to make Wind Waker.

Another cool finding is the fact that the original plan for Wind Waker was for Link to use a theremin instead of a conductor’s wand, but this was scrapped by Miyamoto who called it ‘entirely unacceptable’.

I’d go on, but I’d wholly suggest you give the video a watch!

Log in to comment on this story!