Miyamoto Wanted To Make ‘Zelda’ On N64 An FPS

The “Iwata Asks” interview series has Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata discussing game development with some of the team members behind the company’s biggest hits. This week’s entry is particularly fascinating, as it brings together members from the original “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” development team to share some interesting tidbits about the game’s creation. For example, did you know Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of “Zelda,” wanted to make the N64 installment an FPS?

During the interview, Yoshiaki Koizumi, who was in charge of the 3D system, story and character design for “Ocarina of Time,” discussed working with Miyamoto on new concepts for the game. “First, I talked with Miyamoto-san about how we should make ’The Legend of Zelda’ for the Nintendo 64 system, and he asked, ’How about making it so that Link will not show up?'”

After an incredulous reaction from Iwata, Koizumi clarified, saying, “Yeah. He wanted to make it a first-person game.” “Oh, he wanted to make an FPS (first-person shooter),” said Iwata. Koizumi continued:

“Right. In the beginning, he had the image that you are at first walking around in first-person, and when an enemy appeared, the screen would switch, Link would appear, and the battle would unfold from a side perspective.”

Seems that Koizumi was as skeptical as Iwata about the idea of making a “Zelda” FPS. “While it wasn’t very nice of me toward Miyamoto-san—I didn’t try a first-person scene even once!”

Other fascinating revelations in the interview include the fact that “Ocarina of Time” once had a jump button (eventually replaced by an auto-jump based on your running speed), and the time travelling concept actually came pretty late in the development of the game. Definitely give it a read. It’s one of the best Iwata Asks yet.