What else was designed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS system?
I’ve always wondered if many people were really able to play the Nintendo 64 version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time all the way through to the end. For example, a lot of people may have got stuck on the Water Temple and played no further.
Gah! Stop talking about it! (laughs)
For that reason, I wanted to put in a help function like in the New Super Mario Bros. Wii11 and Super Mario Galaxy 212 games, and we ended up putting in Hint Movies . 11New Super Mario Bros. Wii: An action game released for the Wii console in 2009. 12Super Mario Galaxy 2: An action game released for the Wii console in 2010.
Helping players who get stuck was a goal from the start.
Yes. We give solid hints so beginners can play to the end. And as something specifically for the Nintendo 3DS system, the Navi System kicks in every 60 minutes. Every 60 minutes, the fairy Navi asks if you want to take a break. But Aonuma-san and I battled, or rather debated, this. Until now in the Legend of Zelda games, if you made a mistake saving, you couldn’t take it back, so the games have tended to discourage saving.
Rather, the default was set to “Don’t save” even if you chose save.
I asked Aonuma-san if that was really necessary any more. I didn’t get an email reply for a long time, and then after about half a day had passed, I got a reply saying it might be alright. Then I suggested to Grezzo that we make “Save” the default.
I think Ishii-san questioned that as well.
Yes. But I just now learned the background. I had made games in which you have to be careful about saving before, so I made sure to check on that.
If you can save by repeatedly punching buttons, you may end up doing something you can’t take back.
Right. A game’s save data is the player’s time and memories, so it isn’t something that should be easy to overwrite or erase. I was aware that saving is something you must treat with care.
But the Nintendo 3DS system is a portable device you carry around, so for a long time I discussed with Aonuma-san what would be the greater tragedy, losing game time because the battery ran out and you hadn’t saved, or saving by accident.
These days, everyone is busy, so they usually play video games by stringing together little bits of time. I thought players today would be sadder if they lost game progress they had played but hadn’t saved. And we adopt a system whereby saving via repeatedly punching buttons isn’t possible, so there’s no fear of making a mistake in saving that way.
Then all kinds of ideas came up - like a system for leading players to hints when they get stuck - and it quickly shaped up nicely.
Ikuta-san, what did everyone in Mario Club say about the final game?
Most members of Mario Club had not played the original game 13 years ago and were playing it for the first time, but many of them said they got stuck at places we had never imagined they would. They said, “I don’t have the necessary information!” and “I have no idea where I’m supposed to go or what I’m supposed to do next!” and “Is this alright?” That led to a lot of new discoveries.
The Mario Club members said they couldn’t see the hints easily. I told them that if you don’t have some trouble, it won’t stay with you as a memory - that there’s a point to it not being easy! A hint can’t simply give the answer.
Right. Hints have to be just enough to point you in the right direction.
When you solve a puzzle in The Legend of Zelda games, you think, “I am so smart!” We mustn’t take that away from the fans!
But when you can’t solve a puzzle no matter what, you give up and want an answer. So we redid the Hint Movies over and over as we figured out where to cut them off. And you can’t see the Hint Movies unless you go to a certain rock, for example. It wouldn’t make for a memory if you could see them right away.
Sometimes we didn’t think we should show the last mere fraction of a second and left it out of the Hint Movie. In the end, members playing it for the first time said they could play to the end because of the Hint Movies, so it paid off. I think newcomers will be able to play the adventure to the end without much frustration. We also adjusted the Master Quest13 at the very, very end. 13Master Quest: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D includes the Master Quest, in which the dungeons and puzzles are different than in the main game. It is unlocked for play after completion of the main game.
People who play the Master Quest are looking for something formidable. But I didn’t think it would be that challenging if it were the same as in the original, so Link takes double damage. The Mario Club loved that.
The feeling of achievement, like only you can solve it, is different.
Right. And the world of the Master Quest is a mirror reflection of the main game, so if you go somewhere thinking you’ve already figured it out once so it’ll be easy, you might fall off a cliff and be surprised, like, “What?! That’s a game over?!” (laughs)
Yes. In the Master Quest, one mistake is too many!
You can clear a lot of games today just playing them casually, so it feels nice to have to go back and heal before a boss battle. The Master Quest is extremely tense and rewarding.
One time, I got a phone call from Ikuta-san saying she couldn’t clear the very first dungeon. (laughs)
I lost over ten times in the dungeon inside the Great Deku Tree.
Once you beat the Master Quest, you can brag like you haven’t in quite some time!
I suppose it has been a while since we released something so difficult.
We have tended to lower the difficulty of recent Legend of Zelda games because we want everyone to reach the goal, by placing healing items right before a boss battle and so on. But Miyamoto-san has been complaining that without anything to get stuck on, the games don’t stick with you as memories.
The reason we originally put the Super Guides in New Super Mario Bros. Wii wasn’t so anyone could easily beat the game, but on the contrary, it was so that even if we made it difficult but rewarding, lots of people could play it to the end.
Right. This game doesn’t lower the difficulty level of the original, but it does offer guidance in the form of Hint Movies so everyone can reach the goal.
The main game has hints and the Master Quest is extra challenging. Quite a good balance for a product to have, wouldn’t you say?
The main game is the main game and the Master Quest is the Master Quest. Clearing each one results in a completely different memory. Being able to brag is important. I realised all over again how important that is for a video game.
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