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Skyward Sword from a Woman's Perspective

Posted on Thursday, November 17 @ 06:21:01 PST by

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata believes people have the impression that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is only made by "a bunch of guys", so he has decided to have a light but lengthy discussion with five women who developed Skyward Sword: Hanako Hisada, Tomomi Marunami, Tomomi Iwasaki, Akiko Hirono, and Arisa Hosaka. With their input on the dungeons, field designs, art style, and character modeling, Iwata asked how their sensibilities and personalities impacted their creations.

Hanako Hisada was at first hesistant about being apart of the Twilight Princess team when she began at Nintendo, as she couldn't bring herself to jump into the first spider web-covered pit inside the Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time. But after seeking advice from her friends, she discovered that "Zelda has its own unique logic" and she was charged for feeling "so amazing for noticing those things". Once she understood that, she was able to see the game from a developer's point of view and take "on the role of scaring people".

For Tomomi Marunami, Wind Waker was her entry point into the Legend of Zelda series: "Its visuals looked so new and the cuteness really attracted me. In contrast to the way it looked, it was quite challenging and felt incredibly real."

Arisa Hosaka felt the same sense of immersion in Twilight Princess, though there was one moment that threw her off:

I noticed something when I played The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link goes to help a young girl who gets kidnapped. She was his childhood friend. After you rescue [Ilia], she matter-of-factly, says, "Thank you. Go on ahead." The line is kept to the absolute minimum, but I was totally into it, so I was like, "Oh, come on! That's all you've got to say?!" I was like (gesturing a hug), "Why aren't you doing this?!" (laughs)

It's that kind of personal investment that Hosaka wants to instill in the players for Skyward Sword.

Even with Akiko Hirono and Tomomi Iwasaki being diehard fans, Iwata noticed one thing about their motivations for playing Legend of Zelda:

The Legend of Zelda is a game about using a sword to fight horrible monsters, but not a single one of you said anything like, "Beating a tough monster felt so good!" Perhaps it is because you're all women, but I think that shows the broad range of The Legend of Zelda's appeal.

All five women nodded in agreement: "We think so, too!"

In particular, many of them joined forces to create the villian Ghirahim, giving him a slithering tongue "in order to emphasize his creepiness", putting him in tights, and having him pose and laugh maniacally. Iwata asked them how they see such a vain character from a woman's perspective. Hisada thinks that "everyone loves him", with everyone going so far as to call him Lord Ghirahim. Iwata laughed at how their "cooperative creative process turned him into an enemy that girls adore". (So when we kill him, will they weep?)

You can read more of the interview to learn their thoughts on the dungeon and item design of Skyward Sword.



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