Breath Of The Wild’s Most Difficult Character To Make Was Zelda
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Zelda Design
(Last Updated On: March 14, 2017)

According to art director Satoru Takizawa, the most difficult character to create in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was Princess Zelda. Why? Because she was complex.

Takizawa-san explains in Nintendo’s multi-part documentary…

“The character that was most difficult… well that would be Zelda, by far. The reason behind that, well, it’s sort of obvious… I mean, she’s the heroine. Until the very end [of development], we were making subtle changes to her gestures, the lighting, the way her eyelashes look, stuff like that.”

 

“We were saying, ‘No she looks better this way, no, this way…’ until the very, very end.

 

“So I think that would make Zelda the most memorable, but also the most challenging character, no question about that.”

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Zelda

Takizawa explains that part of that challenge also comes from the fact that Zelda shows a lot of range throughout Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He ruminates in words…

“This is just my personal opinion, but I think Zelda is in a really, really good place in this game. There’s a lot of range in terms of how she comes across. You’ll see times when she’s getting along with Link, almost a bit flirty, but you’ll also see a different side to her, and how seriously she takes her position, like in Twilight Princess. In Skyward Sword it looked like they could almost be lovers, but I just feel like in this game she maintains a really good balance.”

 

“I’m expecting her to be the most popular character.”

Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild does have a wide arrange of expressions.

Within the lore of the game she has the most responsibility she’s ever been given in a Legend of Zelda title, with the entire fate of the world resting on her shoulders in a way that wasn’t quite present in previous games.

One of the things they avoid, however, is Zelda being a warrior. She readily acknowledges that Link is her “sword”, and as a the Champion of Hyrule his job is squarely in protecting the Princess while the other four Divine Beasts are designated to defeat Ganon.

Zelda in the game is actually assigned a very specific, lesser task, but takes it upon herself to do more than what’s required of her; it shows a different side of her character’s strength that oftentimes goes ignored when writing video game characters.

Despite Takizawa saying she was the most difficult and challenging to create, she also stands head and shoulders above the rest as the most diverse character when it comes to her range of emotions, her personality and her responsibilities in the game. Players get snippets of this as they unlock Link’s memories through Breath of the Wild, getting flashback sequences to see what Zelda went through to protect Hyrule, and protect Link. The story is easily one of the best told in the Legend of Zelda franchise, and a lot of that boiled down to Zelda’s design and the way her story arc unfolded, depicting a complex relationship she had with Link.

It’s hard to say if she’ll be the most popular character from Breath of the Wild, but it’s also hard to deny the importance of her role in the events that transpire throughout the game’s story, especially considering she isn’t a warrior and never once raises a sword for battle.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Bitterbear
    • Disqusted

      Gross.

    • If they want to make that kind of game… let them. So long as it doesn’t screw up the actual continuity and integrity of established brands.

      The big issue I have is when it’s no longer about creating games with their feminist/SJW agenda but taking over established properties with established fan bases and trying to subvert that with their bullcrap propaganda.

      Like, if Horizon wants to be a feminist wet dream, it can be that. My issue is when they start trying to sneak that stuff in and not be upfront about it. Like, Mafia 3 didn’t hide the fact that it was going to be dealing with racism in the south during 1960’s America. I can at least respect that they were upfront about it. It’s that sneak-rape implementation that really gets under my skin.

      With that said, I’m glad they didn’t turn LoZ into that Tumblr stuff.

      • Disqusted

        The “inspired by Anita Sarsparilla” part pisses me off. Normal people don’t need a scammer that jumps to conclusions to inspire them to want to make female protagonists. She does not deserve the credit.

        Says a lot that the West is so “progressive” that they feel the need to credit someone like Sasquatch for that. You don’t see Japanese people crediting her for the tons of amazing female protagonists they’ve had for decades and decades.

        The other thing that pisses me off is the whole “just switch the gender of the rescuer and rescuee”. I think it’d be a billion times more interesting if you played as Zelda in her own role, not Zelda in the role of the typical Link/hero/rescuer. There are more motivations than simply rescuing someone.

        It also goes back to that thing again where, in the West it often feels like there’s a lot of focus on being a “strong, independent solo hero”, whereas Japanese stuff is often about getting help from lots of people and beating stuff together.

        I think it’d be interesting to play as one of those characters who “isn’t the chosen one/sole hero”, but has just as important a role in the events that transpire. This article about Zelda sounds like she did her own stuff in this game, so I guess it wouldn’t be surprising if DLC where you get to play as her comes out.

        • I think it’d be interesting to play as one of those characters who isn’t the chosen one/sole hero, but has just as important a role in the events that transpire.

          Actually, that’s sort of Link’s role in BotW. He’s the “Chosen” champion but not necessarily the chosen hero… Zelda is. He’s not even the primary champion, the four Divine Beasts are.

          I don’t know if Zelda’s role in this game is significant enough, but I think it’d be interesting if there was bonus content where you can play through her side of the story.

          It’d be pretty darn boring since she doesn’t do any fighting. Her role is basically, you can’t beat the game (or Ganon) without her, at all. So she’s significant but she’s not a fighter.

          Aonuma and others explained that it was the main reason why you play as Link, since it gives you something to do.

          • Disqusted

            Okay, thanks for clarifying that. Pretty tired of the “chosen” cliche in general, so that sounds better.

            When I was writing the “play as other characters” stuff, i was thinking about how Forbidden Siren 1 has you play various characters trying to survive the events of Siren. Kyoya is the main character/hero, but many others play important roles as well.

            I wish Siren would get an HD remake of the original, or another good sequel. I didn’t know the Gravity Rush devs were the ones who made Siren until they said it on the Famitsu Gravity Rush stream a month or two ago.

      • Bitterbear

        My gripe with Clockwork Empire is that it falls within the The only way to make her shine is to turn the men into incompetent idiots.

        The author should take clues from Xena and Winx Club (not the CGI version) if it wants to make strong female characters that can stand along with their male counterparts.

  • Disqusted

    Not a fan of this one looks-wise, but haven’t seen her in action. I think I like Twilight Princess/Smash Bros’ Zelda the most, appearance-wise. She looks very regal. Haven’t played Twilight Princess past the start, though. I like how Zelda helps you at the end of Wind Waker.

    Hated Skyward Sword Zelda the most, because you spend the entire game literally a step behind her, and it made me feel like, “Why am I even doing this? I could just wait for Zelda to finish everything and come back. She obviously doesn’t need my help.”