When Nintendo announced they were developing an HD version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the Wii U a lot of gamers were shocked. Not because Wind Waker is a bad game, but because few expected Nintendo to continue down the HD remake path and even fewer could have predicted Wind Waker would be the next title up.
However, as it turns out, even Nintendo wasn’t sold on the Wind Waker HD idea from the get-go. They actually tested out two other high-profile Legend of Zelda releases, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, before eventually moving forward with Wind Waker.
As Producer Eiji Aonuma reveals, the team at Nintendo originally considered an HD version of their Wii Zelda releases, and while those versions looked great they didn’t blow the team away. When they gave Wind Waker the HD treatment, however, the team was surprised with how great the game looked.
At the same time, Nintendo was met with the uncertainty regarding the Wind Waker fan base. When the game was originally announced, many fans criticized Nintendo for choosing what some gamers deemed a “kiddie” art style. After both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask took steps towards a more mature look for Zelda, Wind Waker was headed in a different direction.
After playing the game, however, many gamers soon realized that not only was Wind Waker a great The Legend of Zelda title, but the art style had a lot of subtlety and wonder that could only be seen during gameplay. In fact, Wind Waker soon became a favorite amongst Zelda fans, a sentiment that helped Aonuma’s team breathe easier when choosing the game for “HDification.”
“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.”
Feelings about younger Link aside, there’s likely something about cel-shaded graphics in HD that will make Wind Waker worth checking out. Oftentimes it’s the games you least expect that look the most impressive in HD.
And gamers that were hoping Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess might get the HD treatment shouldn’t feel too bad, as Nintendo has already announced plans to release a true HD Zelda for the Wii U. When that might happen is anyone’s guess, but we know it’s coming.
How do you feel about Nintendo choosing Wind Waker for an HD remake? Would you have preferred they remake Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword?
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is scheduled for an October 2013 release on the Wii U.