Nintendo tested Zelda: Skyward Sword & Twilight Princess on Wii U before choosing Wind Waker

Thursday, 4th July 2013 15:28 GMT By Dave Cook

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess were both considered for the HD treatment on Wii U before Nintendo decided to go with Wind Waker, producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed.

Speaking with Wired, Aonuma said, “When we looked at creating a Zelda for Wii U, there were so many possibilities given the HD graphics. But rather than starting from zero, we actually ran a few tests.

“We tried converting other console games to Wii U. We actually did this with Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. And the result of that was, hmm, those are semi-realistic representations of the Zelda world so we weren’t really surprised with what we got. But with Wind Waker, when we converted that to HD we were really surprised at how great it looked.”

“We actually started thinking, maybe it was too soon to create that graphic style with the GameCube because of the limitations of the hardware. And we’re finding that we’re able to do what we wanted to do: The vision that we had then was being created thanks to the system specs and the HD graphics.

“It feels like we’re really able to create the complete Wind Waker experience on Wii U. In addition to the graphics, we’ve also got the GamePad and there’s lots of other pluses that we’re finding in converting to the Wii U system.”

Aonuma’s explanation make sense, given that Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess already looked impressive given the Wii’s hardware power, so bringing the GameCube’s Wind Waker into the HD age will make the leap appear more significant.

However, not everyone saw it from Aonuma’s point of view initially, “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.”

What do you think of Wind Waker HD? Is it the right choice? Let us know below.

Thanks ONM.



  1. Bomba Luigi

    Argh… I would give a ton of Money for a Skyward Sword without Motions Controls.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Cobra951

    “But with Wind Waker, when we converted that to HD we were really surprised at how great it looked.”

    Surprised? Why? The other Zelda games tested rely heavily on textures. WW relies on procedural rendering, mostly. If that gets updated for new hardware, the resulting increase in quality can be expected to be dramatic.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Fin

    Maybe a new Zelda would’ve been better? Maybe?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. naffgeek

    Personally I Can’t wait and I think they should convert them all, at least upscale Skyward Sword, it looks shit on my big telly!

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Froseidon

    @1 – Considering it is built around them, I’d like to see it without :P See how different it would be.

    On the article – I’d have liked to see Twilight Princess. I only bought a Wii U recently and I bought Skyward Sword, and I must say it is a good game. But seeing as I am still in the middle of playing it, I wouldn’t have wanted it to get a HD remake.

    The next Zelda remake I’d like to see is either Twilight Princess or Majora’s Mask (never played MM so it’d be nice to play it).

    #5 1 year ago
  6. polygem

    i l o v e w i n d w a k e r

    #6 1 year ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    Poly is my favorite after mayoras mask, and above ocarina of time.

    I do really think this style will look great on HD, and i think is the better suit for this.
    Now i just hope they will do the same in the future for mayoras mask

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Francis O


    They are making a new Zelda. Troll harder

    #8 1 year ago
  9. elem187

    Reading between the lines, I’ll translate…. “We didn’t want to HD-fy Skyward or Twilight because it would dampen the excitement of when we reveal the new HD Zelda, because fans would have already played an HD version of a semi-realistic Link”

    Probably a smart thing to do. If they HD-fy, my personal choice of Twilight Princess, it would take away seeing a realistic Link in HD for the first time (even more so then the tech demo did in 2011).

    As much as I want to see a gloomy, gritty realistic Zelda game in HD (like Twilight Princess), I want the new HD Zelda to be so jaw dropping and new… and getting an HD version of Twilight Princess today would temper that excitement a bit.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. elem187

    @2 Cobra951

    But the Wii U has far better shading capabilities, as we see in the demos, the self shadowing/shading look pretty good. I can’t say I have ever seen a cel shaded game look that good before… it is a big leap when you compare the Wii U version to the flat GameCube version. It really pops..

    But still doesn’t change how bad I want to see a gritty mature Zelda game in HD though.

    #10 1 year ago

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