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Zelda's Eiji Aonuma Has a 'Trick' to Help Open World Narratives

Players can see this trick in action when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases this coming March.


Open world games can be somewhat challenging for cohesive storytelling. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild changing to an open world format, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said that he was aware of the narrative issues, but has something up his sleeve to deal with the issue.

"He knows the secret of how to do it," Shigeru Miyamoto said in a Game Informer video interview, referencing Aonuma sitting next to him. Aonuma agreed, saying "There is a little bit of a trick that I implemented this time. This idea is something I've had since I started developing games 20-some odd years ago. So I really want you to look forward to playing the game and finding this something that I put in there."

Aonuma even hinted that some of the trailers that had been released included story snippets that fans may have overlooked. Unfortunately, neither wanted to go into any more detail, but were happy to wax philosophically about narrative driven games. 

"When you're playing a game, the story is there to give the big world you're in some substance and meat," Miyamoto said. "And because you're the protagonist in the game, that's what you should be doing. I think, also, when a story is set too strictly already, you can only follow a certain path. There's also times where it takes so much time to set up the story, that you just want to get into the gameplay, but you can't because there's so much setup."

Of course, Miyamoto quickly clarified that this wasn't the case with Breath of the Wild, to which Aonuma readily agreed. But he added that in games like Ocarina of Time, where players had to be introduced to four girls, storytelling was an important part of the way the game progressed.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set to launch on March 3 alongside the Nintendo Switch. the game is also coming out for Wii U.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 15, 2017 4:55 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Zelda Boss Has a 'Trick' For Dealing With Story in an Open-World Game

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      February 15, 2017 5:14 PM

      This article automatically opened the app store on my phone, to the Uber app, WTF?

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      February 15, 2017 5:47 PM

      This one trick will make you feel emotional in a video game, john carmacks hate it!

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      February 15, 2017 8:04 PM

      Does anyone know if games like Witcher 3, GTA or Skyrim got released in Japan? I mean, they're really Western-style RPGs with open worlds and a narrative to tell. Curious what the odds are these guys studied games like this. I would kinda assume so, but if these didn't get released in Japan, then maybe not as automatic to assume so.

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        February 15, 2017 11:00 PM

        They specifically said they drew inspiration from the witcher 3 and skyrim
        What he is talking about is the fact that there is no set order to anything, so everything can be done in just about any order, unlike skyrim or the witcher 3.

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          February 16, 2017 2:17 AM

          Yea but are they going to tell us where to go? Biggest think I hate about the Zelda series is its just too easy to get lost. I've played all the major console versions of Zelda over the years and I've always become lost. Never been able to finish a single one.

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