Director Eiji Aonuma revealed in a Japanese interview, which has now been translated, that Mario’s creator was asking for him to be changed to a realistic Link.
The graphic style of cel-shading and deformed or chibi characters became one of the hallmarks of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker on GameCube in 2003, but now we have learned that it had some opposition within the company, and nothing less than Shigeru Miyamoto , the well-known Nintendo designer and producer.
According to DidYouKnowGaming ‘s translation of a magazine from the mid-2000s, Nintendo originally intended to update the graphics of Nintendo 64’s Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for its next-generation console, that is, to continue with a more “realistic” graphic style. ” -similar to what we would later see with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess -; A prototype of The Wind Waker was even made in that style . However, during development a member of the team created Toon Link and fell in love with the rest of the team. Finally, all the art of the game that we know today, cartoon type, would be unified.
Miyamoto did not like the change
The information that DidYouKnowGaming publishes on video, and that was little known in the West, is that director Eiji Aonuma reveals in the interview that they hid the redesign for as long as possible before showing it to Miyamoto because he imagined his opposition: indeed, the creator of Mario felt “shame” the first time he saw it.
“Miyamoto had a hard time abandoning Link’s realistic style until the end. At some point he had to do a [Wind Waker] presentation against his will. That’s when he said something to me like ‘you know, it’s not too late to change course and make a realistic Zelda .'”
The change in the graphic style also caused controversy among the fans of the time after its presentation, but the team insisted on its bet and there were no changes . Furthermore, Miyamoto agreed to the idea because creating an ambitious and realistic Zelda on the GameCube would have taken “ten years”, according to the interview. This would not be the only time that Nintendo would use Toon Link, since for several years this was the style adopted by Zelda for portables and he has been a guest in Super Smash Bros. or Hyrule Warriors .