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Aonuma was not a fan of the LoZ GameCube tech demo

Aonuma says the original tech demo for GameCube was not up to par with how Legend of Zelda games should be presented.

In an interview with IGN concerning the story of Wind Waker, Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed that the original tech demo for The Legend of Zelda on GameCube was not something that he enjoyed. When asked about the demo, Aonuma says it doesn’t feel like the Zelda that he knew and loved and the lack of surprises made it feel like a cutscene from Ocarina of Time.

It should be noted that the above footage was used purely for a tech demo to illustrate the GameCube’s graphical capabilities and was never intended to be used in a game.

“I saw that movie and I thought, ‘No, this isn’t Zelda. This isn’t Zelda at all.’ I felt like this wasn’t what I imagined Zelda to be. It wasn’t the Zelda I wanted to make. That video clip didn’t actually contain any big surprises. There wasn’t any kind of revelation going on. It was more like a continuation of the previous version.”

Given that we’ve seen several installments of Zelda games since that demo, including Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, it seems Aonuma knows that the magic of Zelda games is more than just the final encounter with Ganon. Be sure to check out the full review for more insight into the history of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

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  • Shota

    well it only showed what the gamecube is capable of

  • Justagamer

    That was Epic!

  • Ace

    Well I thought the demo was cool.

  • AAAkabob

    Why the hell would link throw his shield?

    • C4

      He’s using his sword with both hands at the end ;) And obviously has no magic bag to store 1000s of items.

  • djvalbnc

    This is stupid because this Art Style was stunning. This was the obvious step from Ocarina of Time to the next game in the series…it isn’t even “realistic” like everybody wants. Just imagine this Art Style with the power of the Wii U. I don’t get them sometimes…But it’s ok, loved WW and SS also!

  • Ducked

    Can’t really tell much from the video, but game play looked fine. Although I doubt it be better then Wind Waker.

  • juancamiloarq

    Back in the days when that tech demo was shown, it was something to be awed by. I saw it again a couple of years ago and, oh God, I was glad they came up with the Wind Waker style!

    • Yousif Alromaithi

      Miyamoto came up with Zelda and passed it to a anouma so I would love for something new and innovative. Also the fact Miymaoto that knew he cannot do Nintendo games forever because he might retire one day. So he approached the reasonable way so that his ideas might live on the bright future.

      • ChubbiestLamb6

        that must be one smart puma…

        • Yousif Alromaithi

          I meant anouma i was typing through my phone dead hahahaha.

  • Nintedward

    I think we’re all glad that Windwaker came to fruition anyway. Followed by Twilight princess which did have the realistic style anyway….

  • CaesarGood

    Back when I first saw this, I thought it looked promising and a little bit different from the norm and was moving towards a more mature direction. I would take this over wind waker anyday.

    • Nintedward

      We got Twilight princess didn’t we? Twilight princess looks a million times better than that tech demo did and it was on Gamecube as well as the Wii.

      • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

        by the way, WTF is Mature? everyone talk about that but few put it in practice (in real life).
        Games don’t need to be human like to be good (if they’re is ok).

        • Wren Justin Umlauf

          Hes not saying Mature is Human Like. Mature means that it isn’t full of cutesy cartoony things (windwaker) and takes a much more serious approach (Twilight Princess). That seriousness is usually accompanied by a darker art style, which sometimes is more human like.

          • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

            “sometimes is more human like”

            thanks

          • Wren Justin Umlauf

            “sometimes” Twilight princess is not human like. It’s not trying to portray real people. It has a dark art style. Yes the body types are more realistic than windwaker, but it is not human like

          • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

            yes, for you is like that, but some people will say: it’s still a kid game.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            Wren, Mature does not mean that at all. There are many cartoony things that are not appropriate for the younger crowd.

            Why do people confuse realistic detailed graphics as being mature. Does know one know about game aesthetics? It is just an art style people. Get over it and move on

        • CaesarGood

          wtf is mature, I believe the opposite of kiddy or childish, kinda like ur comment. But I do not think that u would say Wind Waker was on a mature level would u???

          • Adam Porter

            i’d say it was, but i guess you’d rather link had grenades and could set hookers on fire
            casue that’s real mature isn’t it.

          • CaesarGood

            uhh idk what u are talkin about, but I guess a bomb is the equivalent of a gernade and since u so mature Zelda can be ur hooker, feel free to hit her up all u like… Any how Twilight Princess is my favorite of the titles, I felt it was right on point.

          • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

            That’s what i think, that WW isn’t mature, but what i really want to say is that a game doesn’t need to be mature to be good and vice versa, like mario kart.

          • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

            read my last post in this same comment line.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            I dunno.. The way Link defeats Ganondorf in the end is pretty violent if you think about it. If you have beat the game (or can use a search engine) you will know what I am referring to.

        • Nintedward

          The word ”mature” is thrown about just as stupidly as the word ”generation”…
          For example I consider myself more mature by playing Super Mario 3D world as a 22 year old than a 15 year old does playing CoD…

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            This is truth.. Ironically many of the gamers that throw out the terms kiddie and childish and ask for “Mature” games are amongst the youngest and/or most immature people in the gaming world.

          • Nintedward

            Exactly. There’s no doubt that older gamers who aren’t afraid to play games like Mario are more mature than people who gloat about playing games such as CoD an Battlefield.

          • greengecko007

            True maturity is accepting that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to video games. If you put yourself higher simply because you play Super Mario over COD, you are displaying immaturity.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            Very true but you have to admit that shooters is to many a game type that one plays to claim they are mature.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            I like shooters, but I play them(minus CoD and Battlefield) cause they’re a preference and wouldn’t call it mature gaming. Cause there is no such thing. Only people can be mature, unless games somehow are alive and can be classified as such. :P

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            And don’t get me wrong I didn’t mean to imply that all people that play shooters are like this I just find it more with people that happen to play shooters. I suppose that is evident by the level of profanity and insults when playing online though.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            I think violent games bring out the worst in those who are immature. Whenever you see a game rated M for mature, it just means it’s for people who can handle the game and play it maturely. It really doesn’t have to do with age, cause even a young teen can be far more mature than an adult. It’s a topsy turvy world we live in.

            Even a game like GTA V, while violent, is a fun and entertaining game that should never be taken seriously. There’s a reason it’s over the top, because it’s just fantasy. Video games don’t make people stupid or violent, they are born that way or had a poor upbringing.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            Those are very wise words Daniel and is the point I was trying to make but you said it way better.

          • Cubester_64

            Or 10-12 year olds playing CoD over XBOX LIVE. Like a $120 subscription to use a social network. But with guns. *pew-pew*

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            $120? That’s news to me.

          • Cubester_64

            $60 for the game (annually) + $60 for the XBOX LIVE subscription for 1 year (annually)

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Ahhh…nvm then. Misread that. I prefer PS Plus over Live. More benefits.

          • Cubester_64

            I don’t own an xbox 360 or PS3, so I don’t know which is the better online service.

  • Wayne Beck

    Looks like crap by comparison now. Still don’t like cell shading though..

  • Wren Justin Umlauf

    Let’s hope he liked the Wii U Zelda Tech demo. That was beautiful and, in my opinion, where the next zelda needs to go

    • Magnus Eriksson

      Sounds like they planned a crossing between Skyward Sword and Wind Waker. They gave signals on this before too.

      edit: SS and TP is what I meant. But there have been some hints that some inspiration will be drawn from WW too. :)

      • asdfg

        Thank god. A cross between WW and SS would look kinda bad…

        • Magnus Eriksson

          SS is kind of a cross between TP and WW already, so it would only push it more in the cartoonish direction.

    • greengecko007

      I liked the vibrant art style in the Zelda tech demo, but I hope that they make another character model for Link.

    • Squid

      I LOVE that style. I also like the style of link in the new smash, he’s a bit brighter than the Twilight princess link but not has light as the skyward sword link.

    • abe

      I am almost certain they’re gonna pull a wind waker here. Show us one thing get us excited then slap us with something else.

      I love wind waker but for the first propper HD Zelda game to have great graphics. I don’t want to be sailing all the time. I want to explore the world, I want to feel part of it and honestly between WW and its DS sequals I am done with toon link

      How about an 3rd game for the hero of time? Perhaps traveling across his own life (young, teen and adult link) or visiting different hyrule time periods perhaps meeting other links

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Last part… pretty awesome idea. If done right it could be the best of the series with multiple layers. Lets say you could travel to help Link in all other Zelda games, and even better play with the Links in different times to help Time travelling Link. That could be made really unlinear version. Your idea is the best and most interesting suggestion Ive seen so far. Maybe travelling Link can take over as Navi/Midna/Fi-characther when you play with the different Links? Ability to multiplayer? Endless possibilities here :)

        • Michael Legault

          Genius! and they will call it ‘A Link Between Links: The Linkwaker’ starring Old Link

    • The Clockwork Being

      That but with the art style of the new Link in Smash Bros is what I think he will be going for.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Thought you where with me on the CD-i classic style? :D

        • The Clockwork Being

          I don’t think so Magnus. After talking with Aonuma, we concluded the current Zelda engine for the Wii U isn’t powerful enough to support the CD-i classics. Aonuma will go with the CD-i classics for the console after the Wii U. Iwata also wanted me to tell you the following: Please understand.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            Hahaha! Thats great news. I was about to boycot Nintendo, but now that there is true hope I must remain faithful. Hope they can implement the R.O.B in some way, I feel that would be natural for a Zelda game :)

          • Nintendoplaystation

            Nah they gonna go with the nintendoland art style and allow you to use your mii as link.

      • companyoflosers

        the art style for link in every smash bros is from the most recent game. with melee it was ocarina and majora since it was a while after those, for brawl it was the twilight princess link and in the new one it will be skyward sword. they wouldn’t reveal the art style of the new game like that before officially announcing it so i think its safe to say unless they plan to keep the art style the exact same as skyward sword, that is not what link will look like in the new game. im personally in favor of zelda looking EXACTLY like he did in the tech demo along with that being the art style of the whole game. it would be amazing

        • Guest

          No not really. I would also go by that logic until i actually compare the pics, he does not look like the Skyward Sword Link as much. He seems to lean more to his Twilight Princess incarnation actually. Plus if they wanted to represent the Link from Skyward Sword why not show him on Skyloft in the Smash Bros trailer. IMO this Link seems more like a cross of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess but with more of that Twilight Princess influence.

          • companyoflosers

            skyloft is a confirmed level though. i still wouldnt say he is a good indication of the art style in the next game, though i prefer a twilight princess style to skyward sword or wind waker. either way, id still want to see the next zelda game look exactly like the wii u tech demo did. highly realistic and detailed environments with dynamic lighting, reflections and high resolution textures. id rather it didnt look very cartoony this go around basically. maybe a bit more on the side of what we see out of alot of cgi anime adaptations. maybe like ff13 was except obviously better cuz it can be done now with how capable the wii u is. i just wanna see a gorgeous and sprawling world in terms of like cinematic views and not so much… i dont wanna say color everywhere, but when people say its beautiful, it shouldn’t be just because its colorful. it should look almost majestic i should say.

          • The Clockwork Being

            For me its either a Tech Demo look a like or this style. I don’t want it too cartoon style or too SS style. The one in the Smash Bros could seem like it would work being practically a more colorful version of TP visual wise. Just hope it pushes the Wii U to the limit.

        • The Clockwork Being

          No not really. I would also go by that logic until i actually compare the pics, he does not look like the Skyward Sword Link as much. He seems to lean more to his Twilight Princess incarnation actually. Plus if they wanted to represent the Link from Skyward Sword why not show him on Skyloft in the Smash Bros trailer. IMO this Link seems more like a cross of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess but with more of that Twilight Princess influence. All in all, he seems more like a colorful Twilight Princess Link to me.

      • Dominicruz

        the Link from the new smash bro is the link from skyward sword is based from last zelda game

        • RockieOllie

          No he isn’t, the design of his gauntlets, boots and shield are based off of the Twilight Princess design.

        • Guest

          No not really. I would also go by that logic until i actually compare the pics, he does not look like the Skyward Sword Link as much. He seems to lean more to his Twilight Princess incarnation actually. Plus if they wanted to represent the Link from Skyward Sword why not show him on Skyloft in the Smash Bros trailer. IMO this Link seems more like a cross of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess but with more of that Twilight Princess influence..

        • The Clockwork Being

          No not really. I would also go by that logic until i actually compare the pics, he does not look like the Skyward Sword Link as much. He seems to lean more to his Twilight Princess incarnation actually. Plus if they wanted to represent the Link from Skyward Sword why not show him on Skyloft in the Smash Bros trailer. IMO this Link seems more like a cross of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess but with more of that Twilight Princess influence..

      • Sdudyoy

        Yeah, I agree, I really like the style of Link in the next Smash bros.

        • The Clockwork Being

          I mean look at this sexy beast

          • Rinslowe

            Not the words I would have chosen, but I get your point. Link in this style for the next Legend of Zelda would be awesome. Especially as the animations are spot on here, nice cloth physics… ;)

          • Magnus Eriksson

            I could really like that style.

    • starwars360

      Yeah will be lovely but if not like that then as long as Zelda series still going amazing that is most important.

      Aonuma already knew many fans love graphics from Wii U Zelda Tech and The Wind Waker HD. I guess somewhere both mix arts into next zelda series. But we shall have wait and see in months or E3 2014. :)

    • Rocky
      • companyoflosers

        wont happen even if u get enough signatures. EA will keep spouting that crap about how the engine doesnt work well with wii u even though it would if they did just a tiny bit of tinkering to adapt it like they do with the other consoles. they just dont want to support nintendo like they promised. ive pretty much given up on anything EA related when it comes to the wii u.

  • InterTreble

    “it seems Aonuma knows that the magic of Zelda games is more than just the final encounter with Ganon” Couldn’t agree more with you, Ashley! In one sentence you’ve driven all the Zelda essence, together with a perfect interpretation of Aonuma’s feeling, also imo. But the tech demo is a sort of piece of ads that must attract for its graphics, sound, etc… All those things that Zelda has never addressed as a main target (contrarily to the 70-80% of blockbuster titles) but just used to express its fantasy, its nature. This is why Zelda is “different” and why this “legend” will never end.

    • Mario

      Just like me!

  • demann78

    I like windwaker better.

  • demann78

    I hope the new Zelda aint open world

    • starwars360

      Well look at how details amazing in open world in The Wind Waker HD. Fantastic there but new Zelda should have like this but with add more dungeons, caves, islands and quests to exploring. Will be great for entire new series like TWW HD did and some new elements of gameplay. :)

  • demann78

    I also would like the option to have tips for the puzzles

  • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

    me neither Mr. aonuma

  • ZeldaFanzzzz

    Thank GOD! for choosing the cel shaded graphics.

  • farrellbr

    I agree with wren justin

  • greengecko007

    I love Wind Waker. It’s my favorite entry in the series. But I do think that as a developer, you should let your fanbase know, at least somewhat, what you are working on. Revealing a tech demo and making a product that is completely different is only going to shock your fanbase and cause a divide.

  • bizzy gie

    These graphics actually look pretty good.

  • starwars360

    I must said I loved graphics in The Wind Waker HD, Orcania of Time, Twilight Princess and Zelda Wii U tech more then GameCube Zelda Tech, The Wind Waker GC and Skyward Sword for console Zelda series.

    I look forward next entire new The Legend of Zelda series!! :)

  • Baum 「ツリー」

    It’s ridiculous how often Aonuma’s opinion equals mine :D

    I didn’t thought “that’s not Zelda” when I saw the Spaceworld demo, but I really didn’t like it at all…how it looked, how the characters moved and even how Link looked in that one.

  • blindtiger

    as much as i love toon link id like a “realistic” looking zelda game next

  • http://www.mpt-online.eu/ Sylux

    When I first saw this tech demo I was amagad that’s awesome, I still think it’s the fitting style for Zelda, to be more realistic, I for one and probably one of the few loved the dark style from Twillight Princess, OoT and MM more then the happy ever after style. Nontheless I’m content with Skyward sword style and Wind waker Style, atleast now. before when we saw this tech demo and in the end we got Windwaker I was solely dissapointed hated the cellshaded artstyle (still don’t like it much but atleast the WWhd version is playable for me as I can live with that it has gone a long way since the initial GC release).

    But the main dissapointment back then after WW still haunts me, I played every Zelda game (yes, even the Cd-i games) But I have not been bothered to get my hands on Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass (ds) due to artstyle and the shock it brought to me after this demo and te final product called WW.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fond of cellshaded graphics, but played WWhd for 20 mins on my brothers WiiU and I did enjoy the vastly improved cellshaded graphics, but still not my favorite style, I really hope the new Zelda will got in a different direction, preferably realistic as the WiiU tech demo, I too think that is the way to go for Zelda, not only because of the HD era but also to drag Nintendo out of the “kiddie console” as haters call it. An artstyle similair to Smash Brothers Link seems to be a good option aswell, just don’t overdo it. SS was to bright imo, and probaly Tp was to dark so something in between perhaps?

    • WarioForever

      I’m with you. Now we only get bright Zeldas, like ALBW, WWHD,SS,SP and PH.
      The last Zelda to have realistic graphics was TP, which was released 6 years ago. I remember that I was very disappointed when SS trailer was released. Now I really hope they make a new Zelda with TechDemo graphics.
      Don’t disapoint me again, Nintendo, because that is your biggest card, and don’t do anything stupid like you did with Smash Bros (no adventure).

      • Vile-Okami

        I don’t think an adventure mode would be as exciting in Smash Bros the second time around. Most of the fun came from seeing the characters meeting each other for the first time.

  • Rinslowe

    I would love to see that movie, just out of curiosity…

  • asdfg

    I honestly think that the tech demo looks more “Zelda” than WW does. In MY opinion. Please don’t kill me.

    • TaintedXGamer

      Get your Bows and Arrows People, this guy is a live Target!!!!

      nah, I kid XD i’m alryt with whatever they give us, WW HD is on my game to buy next month list.

  • TomcaT MeoW

    Going back and looking through the Zelda games, the art style for recent Zelda titles is selected based on the story and overall experience the player is supposed to have. The WW art style allowed the kinds of scenarios the developers envisioned and fit perfectly with them. Sneaking around in a barrel, the enemy encounters, etc. It was very light hearted in many ways. Having a realistic art style just wouldn’t work for WW. The same can be said of Twilight Princess. The story and vision for the game required a darker and more realistic presentation. For SS, we got something in between WW and TP both in terms of art style and overall darkness of the story.

    Whatever shape the new Zelda takes, there’s one thing we can be certain of. The presentation, style, and story will fit together perfectly.

  • Andrew Longo

    there’s something about ocarina’s design that keeps me coming back, even though it was pure polygon madness

  • devmiles

    what does a 15 sec tech demo say? nothing.. so whatever he thinks, just go ahead and continue developing the new zelda for wii-u..looking back 10 years in time doesn’t bring us any further over a 15 sec tech clip

  • http://www.senran-international.boards.net/ TwinTails

    Wow, this tech demo certainly hasn’t aged well. Ive been spoiled by the Wii U tech demo. Speaking of the tech demo, as far as lighting and shaders go, I hope they can make this the best looking Zelda game to date.