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Nintendo tested Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword on Wii U

Why they decided to release Wind Waker HD

Eiji Aonuma has said that The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker wasn't the only game that Nintendo converted for HD. In the testing stage, Aonuma and his team experimented with HD versions of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess but it was Wind Waker that made most sense on Wii U.

In an interview with Wired, the Zelda producer explained why Nintendo decided to bring Wind Waker to Wii U.

"When we looked at creating a Zelda for Wii U, there were so many possibilities given the HD graphics," said Aonuma. "But rather than starting from zero, we actually ran a few tests. We tried converting other console games to Wii U. We actually did this with Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. And the result of that was, hmm, those are semi-realistic representations of the Zelda world so we weren't really surprised with what we got. But with Wind Waker, when we converted that to HD we were really surprised at how great it looked."

Look at the two versions side by side and it's easy to see why Aonuma plumped for Wind Waker for the GameCube version looks poor by comparison. Something Aonuma acknowledges.

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"We actually started thinking, maybe it was too soon to create that graphic style with the GameCube because of the limitations of the hardware. And we're finding that we're able to do what we wanted to do: The vision that we had then was being created thanks to the system specs and the HD graphics. It feels like we're really able to create the complete Wind Waker experience on Wii U. In addition to the graphics, we've also got the GamePad and there's lots of other pluses that we're finding in converting to the Wii U system."

However, Aonuma said that there was some opposition to remaking Wind Waker Wii U from within Nintendo. "When I suggested moving forward with Wind Waker HD, internally there was actually a lot of pushback. The reason for that is, people were saying, 'Oh, that Link. People didn't like that Link.' But in talking to our counterparts in the U.S., that wasn't actually the case, people didn't have that negative reaction maybe anymore to that younger Link."

It helps that it is a game that Aonuma holds close to his heart for personal reasons. "Wind Waker is particularly special because I worked on that just as my son was being born. So it's the first game I created as a father. For example, the King of Red Lions, I created that, and he has a very paternal, very fatherly-sounding voice, so that I think comes across a little bit."

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Are you happy that Nintendo are bringing back Wind Waker? Or would you have preferred an update of Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess.

Comments

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  1. UltimateStorm Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:17

    Imagine if they just went all out and did a Zelda HD triple pack... that would have been amazing to say the least

  2. Slinkington Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:22

    I don't see a good enough contrast between the two versions to be honest. Maybe because I'm heavily into art and graphic design, but seriously they're not pushing this enough. Obviously trying to rush out a game for the system. Disappointing.

  3. Dan-the-Wii-man Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:23

    I would have really loved to see TP in HD I bet it would have been stunning

  4. tomonm Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:24

    I don't see a good enough contrast between the two versions to be honest. Maybe because I'm heavily into art and graphic design, but seriously they're not pushing this enough. Obviously trying to rush out a game for the system. Disappointing.

    You do really need to see the two games running side by side to see the difference. Nintendo had the GameCube version running next to the Wii U game at their showcase in London recently. I was surprised at how bad Wind Waker GameCube looked by comparison. Wii U game is faster, too.

  5. Super Sladey Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:34

    I think it looks so much better, and am glad the ship will be faster too. It will be nice to have the gamepad for inventory management, but how much it's used beyond that is unclear yet.

  6. smashbros-kid Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:43

    I'm glad they went with Wind Waker. TP and SS came out not too long ago for me to warrant a purchase. If I want to play them I can put the disc in the Wii U. WW is different, it's 9-8 years since I played it and it's a hassle to do so again.

    Besides that, WW HD looks incredible. I don't think Nintendo would've been able to make such improvements to TP or SS, not due to hardware but simply due to the graphical style.

  7. Hylian_hi_ho Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 11:47

    Really looking forward to Wind Waker, but I really would have preferred Twilight Princess

  8. Negatron99 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 12:06

    Glad to hear people mention the side-by-side comparisons about the graphics, nice to hear they are a lot better. Not many videos show any real detail.

    What I want to know more about is the music though, what I've heard on the videos doesn't sound much different from the GameCube version. The 25th-anniversary CD has kinda left me wanting a full orchestral arrangement of the Music now.

  9. DragonEleven Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 12:07

    I would imagine that they went for WindWaker in order to get more variety when they release the new Zelda (Skyward Sword would probably work too, but that's too new)... it sounds like the new Zelda will have a roughly similar style to Twilight Princess, so if they were to re-release TP first, it would cause the new Zelda to lose some of its wow factor.

    I'm hoping we'll at least get to see what they would look like... would be a cool extra if they included a boss fight or dungeon from each with WindWakerU (either on the disc, or as a demo-like download when you register the game).

  10. olrodlegacy Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 12:18

    Imagine if they just went all out and did a Zelda HD triple pack... that would have been amazing to say the least

    THIS.

    Wind Waker was definitely the best choice for a standalone HD version. Twilight Princess wasn't good enough for me to want to take it on again.

  11. IRNBRU64 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 13:30

    Well, Skyward Sword hasn't been out too long. (and I just bought it yesterday to be my 'summer' game. :) ) Twilight Princess has come out twice already and the HD Zelda looks too similar. But Wind Waker definitely is one of the best looking games I have ever seen, EVER. It's great that it's getting an HD remake and is certainly one of the main reasons I'll be getting a Wii U this christmas. I still want Sunshine or galaxy in HD, but the upscale on Galaxy is looks OK

  12. IRNBRU64 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 13:33

    I'd really like to see a full-on Orchestral Sound track like Galaxy or the 25th anniversary CD. But, I'm sure Zelda HD will have a great score.

  13. nick_gc Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 13:50

    Absolute baloney! The Gamecube version DOES NOT looks poor by comparison. For shame.

    Really "poor" choice of words. I'm sure there is a vast difference, however, having played the original GC version recently I know it does not look "poor" at all.

  14. Lego master Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 15:23

    Absolute baloney! The Gamecube version DOES NOT looks poor by comparison. For shame.

    Really "poor" choice of words. I'm sure there is a vast difference, however, having played the original GC version recently I know it does not look "poor" at all.


    Hence the "by comparison"
    Example: My room doesn't look tidy, however compared to some of the houses in TV shows on hoarders it does look quite tidy IN COMPARISON.

  15. Medea Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 17:30

    Would have preferred TP just for the fact that it looks all blotchy on todays HD tvs

  16. MartinIsAwesome Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 18:12

    I just found this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cle9-5IbC78) of the game in action recorded off a HD television, and even then it looks stunning compared to the original. What it to see just how good it looks. I love the original, and it still looks great, but you can't deny that this new version looks so much better.

    I'm really pleased that they didn't opt for Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword to be remade in HD. I think Twilight Princess would have needed a lot more work done on it to bring it up to the HD standard whereas Wind Waker's simple cartoon style would have been a comparitively easier undertaking which means that luckily we get it sooner. As for Skyward Sword, it's just way too recent. I would have been pretty cross had I found out in January that a game that only game out one and a half years ago was already obsolete.

  17. IRNBRU64 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 19:14

    Skyward Sword has the best of both-worlds. It has the colourful art style of Wind-Waker, with the OOT-esque gameplay of twilight princess

  18. Space Arena Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 20:26

    Remember the Wii U demo where Nintendo showed us Link fighting a giant spider? I bet that could have been how twilight princess would have looked on the Wii U. So I think it was a better idea to remake twilight princess because I personally liked it's art style and the game itself overall better than the wind waker.

  19. Negatron99 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 20:47

    My first thought, when I saw the Nintendo Direct was "they're making a Zelda game". I same Windfall, I was overcome with emotion. It is ultimately, since the era of the Commodore 64, in the 80's, the only game I have been passionate about.

    That hasn't subsided, but I've been looking at the graphics, and I've gone through the, "it doesn't look any different" phase. Looking at the graphics now, in detail, side-by-side, yes it looks vastly superior on the Wii U, textures, models, draw-distance. I was explaining to someone today, you look at it on it's own, without the GameCube version at the same time, it just looks the same. Our brains fill in so much.

    Like I said above, it's more the music now with me. We've had the "look at the flashy graphics"... I'm listening to the music now, and I love it, found out about the concerts too late unfortunately.

    Annoyingly, the closer we get to release date, the slower time seems to get. There are so many magical devices that speed up time in the Zelda universe, could we have at least one in reality... please?

  20. Waldy565 Thursday 4th Jul 2013 at 22:03

    In terms of graphics, pushing a Twilight Princess style game (my fave Zelda) into Wii U would have had my stunned. In some respects, I'm sad the team did go with WW, I mean, cel-shading is kinda timeless, it doesn't really NEED HD, especially comparing it to TP's gritty looks or SS's half and half (gritty and cartoony) - also, I doubt they would've released a remake... Well, TP I suppose, but in terms of remakes, WW is the obvious choice. Still, just makes me more anticipated for the next Zelda title ;)

  21. Medevac Friday 5th Jul 2013 at 08:48

    I agree with what some people have said already, I think the real reason they decided to go with WW is because Zelda U will have a graphic style more similar to TP.

    And I hope I'm right.

  22. IRNBRU64 Saturday 6th Jul 2013 at 17:34

    They could've eliminated lots of annoying loading times in Skyward Sword with bringing it to the Wii U

  23. liveswired Sunday 7th Jul 2013 at 23:51

    Meh. What a joker. I'm sure many people here have played TP and SS on their U.... :wink:

    Besides the point - is there any genuine reason why the Wii U can't run Wii games like Dolphin in 1080p?

  24. liveswired Monday 8th Jul 2013 at 00:02

    They could've eliminated lots of annoying loading times in Skyward Sword with bringing it to the Wii U

    Nintendo HATE their own fans. That is why.

    Look at the Wii Mini - worst redesign in the history of hardware revisions. Wii U controller only has a resistive touch screen........

  25. liveswired Monday 8th Jul 2013 at 00:08

    I would also like to add - Why are Nintendo purposely fading the colour of Wind waker on GCN?

    On my 1080p plasma running through RGB scart - Wind Waker is pin sharp and full of incredibly vivid colour (that matches WW U) with incredibly slick DoF blur effects - yet in all side by side comparisons the WW GCN is shown to lack colour and suffer from incredible blurring? What gives?

    Yes the Wii U version looks slicker in higher resolution, with newer shaders and AA - but the GCN version is NOT being shown in its proper light.

  26. megakkmaster Friday 21st Feb 2014 at 14:16

    I think it would've been great if they put all 3 game up especially Twillight Princess. But Skyward sword on the wii has different options and Twillight Princess is great for it. If they put up Skyward sword they would have to change around the controls and twillight princess would be great if the world wasn't backwards. But I think Wind Waker is great is great for now. Would be cool if they made Twillight Princess and Skyward Sword by 2016.

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