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Video: The Legend of Zelda's evolution, from Nintendo's Aonuma

The Legend of Zelda designer-turned-director Eiji Aonuma discusses how the franchise evolved, how A Link to the Past won him over, and how he handles the "Miyamoto Test," in this special GDC Vault video.

Game Developer

May 9, 2013

2 Min Read

The Tales from the GDC Vault returns with a special session from GDC 2004, featuring Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma on the evolution of The Legend of Zelda franchise.

Here, Aonuma shares what he disliked in the original 8-bit Zelda and what won his affection in A Link to the Past. The latter inspired him to create Japan-only action-adventure Marvelous, which caught Shigeru Miyamoto's attention and earned Aonuma his role in creating Zelda.

Along with evolving the franchise internally, Aonuma applauds outside development teams expanding Zelda. He recalls Capcom's Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons entries, HAL's Super Smash Bros., and Link's appearance in Namco's Soul Caliber II as all important developments for the series.

To hear how Zelda development has progressed from Aonuma's perspective, including often dealing with what he calls the "Miyamoto Test," check out this free GDC Vault video.

Session Name: The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda

Speaker(s): Eiji Aonuma

Company Name(s): Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Track / Format: Game Design

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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