Back in 1992, Shigeru Miyamoto was interviewed by Famicom Tsuushin upon the release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Now a full translation of that revealing interview is online thanks to the efforts of Shmuplations.com. Here are the five most interesting quotes pulled from out of time….
In Japan, the Super NES Zelda had no subtitle (yet) but they were thinking of one “We had been thinking about making a new title eventually… there were a number of alternate suggestions, like “Ganon’s Revenge.” But since this was for the SFC, of course, we decided on “Super Famicom Legend of Zelda” (laughs).”
One of the biggest questions during development was if players should be able to pull on things with a button or with the crosspad “If you only had to press A, players themselves wouldn’t understand whether they were intended to pick something up or throw themselves against it. I think they’d be unsatisfied if they’d solved a puzzle by accident when they hit A, intending to pick something up, but the character pulled it instead.”
Originally, the Hammer you get in the game did nothing against the boss “You can damage the Helmasaur King, for example, with bombs or the hammer. Originally, we had it so that the hammer didn’t do anything, but because we went to the trouble of putting a hammer in the temple, we went back and reprogrammed it so it could be put to use as well.”
They couldn’t fit all their ideas into the ROM size allowed at the time “We thought about making some improvements, actually. Zelda makes full use of the available 8 Mbit of ROM space, but we knew we were going to need extra room for the English translation. We figured that if we increased the ROM size by 1 MBit, that should do it. And then there were a number of things we wanted to add, things we weren’t able to finish the first time around…Well, the compression routine our programmers wrote actually allowed us to fit it all in the original 8 MBit after all. (laughs) So we’re saving those improvements for the next game.”
Some of the ideas that had to be scrapped “For example, for the Level 7 dungeon entrance, we changed the color of the ground when the water drained, but we had originally intended to have the water actually disappear. And you can burn small trees, but we intended for you to be able to burn down big ones… In swamp areas, you could use a shovel to dig a ditch, and then it you bombed the swamp breakwater it would cause the water to rush into the hole you’d dug. That idea was actually half-complete… if we’d had another 6 months, we might have been able to make it a reality.”