Majora’s Mask’s original director Eiji Aonuma is extremely humble and quite funny about the problems he feels are rife in the classic RPG.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is out now, and this inspired Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to resurrect his interview series, which has been dormant for a year.
In the latest Iwata Asks, the development team discuss a wide variety of topics from the history of the original N64 version to the creation of new features for the 3DS release.
One of the more interesting anecdotes dates back to the very start of the project, when The Legend of Zelda series producer Aonuma sat down and played through the original with Nintendo’s bug testing, listing everything they thought might be a problem. They called this the “what in the world” list, after Aonuma’s frequent exclamations.
“At the time, I think there was something wrong with me…”
Once the list was complete, it was handed off to the rest of the Grezzo development team under director Mikiharu Ooiwa. Ooiwa said the list was covered in Aonuma’s apologetic annotations.
“I wrote in a bunch of comments on where I thought things weren’t good. Like, ‘I’m sorry that this comes from the one that made it this way, but…'” Aonuma said.
“And ‘At the time, I think there was something wrong with me…’
“Every time a ‘what in the world’ came up, I always apologized and made excuses on why I did what I did at the time. I was probably able to do that because I thoroughly replayed the game first, and that I had a clear idea on what needed to be accomplished.”
Earlier in the interview, Aonuma had said that he didn’t want to “open the lid” on Majora’s Mask, a project he completed when he was much younger.
Happily, the chance to update and smooth over the rough patches with the 3DS release has free Aonuma from his concerns. “My traumas from 15 years ago have finally disappeared,” he said.
Isn’t that adorable? Imagine making one of the most loved games in an already celebrated series and cringing about it. The full interview is typically chatty and delightful; hit the link above to read the whole thing.