Miyamoto answers 100 questions about OoT
November 26, 1997 - The Japanese magazine Famimaga 64 asked Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto 100 questions about the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.
Q: How do you use the 3D stick?
Miyamoto: It will go in the direction you press it (laughs). Fundamentally, it's much easier to understand than Mario. Of course, even the slightest touch of the 3D stick will cause Link to move. You can also use the 3D stick for aiming at things. It feels like you are personally moving along in this world.
Q: What about the R-Button?
Miyamoto: This button lets you use your shield. While holding it down, it will raise your shield.
Q: What other uses does the shield have?
Miyamoto: During battle, you use it as you would a normal shield. There is also a special use that must remain secret for now.
Q: What about the Z-Trigger button?
Miyamoto: This is the "attention" button. This will be fundamental for 3D action games from now on. For example, if there is something you thought you'd want to see, press "attention" and you'll automatically "lock on" to the item in question. If you press it while moving, the scenery will rotate while you watch. When you fight with a sword, you can hit an enemy by pressing the "attention" button. You can view anything with the "attention."
Q: What about the C-Button unit?
Miyamoto: This is also important. Just as in Mario, it changes your point of view. The other three can each preset items. For example, if you select the bow and arrow on the menu screen with the cursor and you press this button, it will set up the bow and arrow. You can set up 3 separate things, and freely change them as well.
Q: What about the B-Button?
Miyamoto: This is the action button. On the top of the screen there is a green colored circle that contains the name of something, and the action button lets you use that item. If a display onscreen says it's necessary to dash, press this to dash.
Q: What about the A-Button?
Miyamoto: Normally, it will unsheathe your sword. When you have Ocarina, a low sound will emit.
Q: Can you build up and cut off your power?
Miyamoto: Just like the SNES Zelda, if you hold down the A button for a little bit, your power will accumulate, and if you let go of it it will cut off the power.
Q: Are there any special ways to use the sword?
Miyamoto: A sword can be used in both hands, so the way in which you slash will be different than holding a single sword. If both hands are occupied, you can't use the shield.
Q: What other attack methods do you have beside the sword?
Miyamoto: You can use magic or items to attack. There are a lot of missile weapons like arrows and pachinko balls. There are also hammers and staffs, as well as "hook shots."
Q: Can you use the directional pad?
Miyamoto: No, you can't.
Q: What about the L-Button?
Miyamoto: This is only used for "option."
Q: What about jumping?
Miyamoto: Since Nintendo was the first company to make a game with a jumping ability, we were moved to try something new, so this game will have a "full auto jump." Even if the player doesn't press the jump button, s/he can still jump. Is this an epoch-making event? The jump will depend on your character's speed and the topographical features. If you want to jump, press the action button.
Q: Do Link's movements change depending on the topographical features?
Miyamoto: This isn't an action game, so I don't have any plans for this.
Q: What happens when your Hit Points go down?
Miyamoto: Your speed will get slower, and it will be easier for you to be defeated.
Q: How do you ride the horse?
Miyamoto: If Link goes near the horse, it will say "ride." Press B and you will get on the horse. If you bring out the whip, the horse will start to run.
Q: How do you control the horse?
Miyamoto: With whips and carrots. For each time you use the whip, you have to give the horse a carrot. If you only use the whip, then we'd feel sorry for the horse.
Q: Is Zelda Rumble Pak compatible?
Miyamoto: It is compatible, but only slightly.
Q: How can you avoid your enemies' attacks?
Miyamoto: If you use the shield, you can defend yourself. If you jump while moving backwards, you can escape.
Q: How does Navie help out Link?
Miyamoto: She leads Link around and shows him the correct paths. Press the B-Button, and you can speak with Navie. She can also carry things for Link.
Q: Is the red lock-on mark because of Navie?
Miyamoto: This "attention" mark appears during battle. The design of this will probably change for the final game, so I'm not going to talk too much about this. This mark will be displayed when you can use the "attention" button. Depending on the item, Navi will change to a different color. For example, she'll turn red if there's something dangerous, etc.
Q: Can you break the stick?
Miyamoto: Yes, you can break it.
Q: What’s the use of the seed/nut?
Miyamoto: It's a weapon you can throw and it'll explode just like a firecracker.
Q: Does this wooden seed grow in certain areas of the game?
Miyamoto: You can pick up the wooden seed just as you would a gingko nut.
Q: Do you throw the pachinko ball?
Miyamoto: Fundamentally it's like a stone...
Q: Can Navi or someone make the carrots fly?
Miyamoto: Uhhh, I guess you could probably make the carrots fly.
Q: Does the strength of the bow and arrow change?
Miyamoto: It doesn't change.
Q: Is the hammer in Zelda 64 a magic hammer?
Miyamoto: In the SNES version, the magic hammer was used for driving in stakes or turn enemies upside down. In the N64 version, it can do various things, but a bit different than before. It's a heavier hammer, so it makes a great weapon.
Q: One some of the screenshots you can something that looks like a key. Is it a key?
Miyamoto: Yes, it's a key. This key is vital to advancing through a stage, even though it just opens normal doors.
Q: How about the map?
Miyamoto: In Zelda, the map system we created is regarded highly. The direction the arrow is pointing toward on the map is the direction Link is facing. However, this may change by the final version.
Q: What about the three soul stones?
Miyamoto: This is an important part of the story, so I'll let you know next time.
Q: Are the soul stones inserted into Ocarina?
Miyamoto: Yes. This is why the holes are empty.
Q: If you puff air through Ocarina, what happens?
Miyamoto: Just as the subtitle of the game suggests, this is important for going to the "Tower of Time." If you go inside, Ocarina must have the three soul stones inserted. Even in the SNES version, there was an Ocarina item which you'd play like a pipe. This time, it can actually play a melody. I'm having trouble with the musical scale right now.
Q: Is there a difference with the long and short sword?
Miyamoto: The long sword requires the use of both hands, while the short sword can be used in one hand. The "wooden stick" is certainly long, isn't it? It's pretty useless, but it's a lot of fun, that one.
Q: Is there a difference in the look of the shield?
Miyamoto: First of all, it's made of wood. In the center is Link's family crest.
Q: What are the bombs used for?
Miyamoto: Just like before, you use the bombs to defeat enemies or destroy doors.
Q: Is the rooster an item?
Miyamoto: Ummm, unfortunately, you can't use it as an item (laughs). However, the rooster can be used for other things that are currently kept secret. We created this rooster so realistically, it's scary. He follows along just like a stalker. It would be bad if you bullied it.
Q: Can Link stow his items away somewhere?
Miyamoto: I always get this one. It's the fate of all game characters. I'm not sure yet.
Q: Is the amount of items different when Link becomes an adult?
Miyamoto: Yes, it changes. When Link is a child, he uses pachinko balls and a slingshot, and when he's an adult he uses his bow and arrow. Link only uses a boomerang when he is a child. According to Link's age, we've purposefully changed the items.
Q: What the swirly thing in the corner of all pictures?
Miyamoto: This is a wind magic medallion. There are six types of magic, including fire, wind, darkness, and light. I'm thinking about mixing the different types of magic (Miyamoto forces a smile). Truthfully, you can use magic in conjunction with Link's bow and arrow. Since you can use magic missiles, it's important that you can use magic on arrows.
Q: Do you use the "C" button for magic?
Miyamoto: Yes. The six types of magic are divided by color, the wind magic being green.
Q: How many types of items are there?
Miyamoto: I think there are about 16 items you can use. Beyond that, there are medicinal items to use too. Medicinal herb-like things appear once in a while, but medicines in bottles are the only replenishing items. Just like before, there are empty bottles, and depending on the case, they may have something in them. There are some bottles whose contents aren't medicine, either.
Q: Has the age of the child Link been set?
Miyamoto: I'm thinking of setting him around 7 or 8, but maybe he should be younger? Around 6 or 7. He'd be a 2nd grader.
Q: Has the age of the adult Link been set?
Miyamoto: He'd be younger than 20, maybe 15.
Q: What about Link's voice?
Miyamoto: If he's killed, all he'll say is "Ahhh!" or "Ooooh!"... WWhen he rides a horse, he'll shout "Yaaa!" (laughs).
Q: Is there any secret involving Link's pierced ear?
Miyamoto: Probably not. I'll think about it.
Q: Could you tell us Link's height and weight?
Miyamoto: Uhhh, it hasn't been decided yet.
Q: Link's face has changed, hasn't it?
Miyamoto: I haven't changed it, and the illustration has already been decided... do you want me to change it? I think the transition between the child and adult Link is good. The eyes and mouth move.
Q: Does Link ever laugh to himself?
Miyamoto: I think that Link smirking over defeating someone would be unbecoming. It wouldn't be like Link to simper at a Dragon after he felled it.
Q: Does he have any other expressions?
Miyamoto: His face can move a little bit. It's difficult to see his expression unless he looks up, but during the demo screens you can see that his expressions change.
Q: Does Link's family appear in the game?
Miyamoto: Link is a child of a race of elves called "Kokili." For some reason or another, there are no parents in this race, only many children of the same age. All of a sudden, they grow up until they reach a certain age, when they disappear. The next generation is born just as abruptly. So at some point, Link will disappear.
Q: Are the backrounds different in the child and adult eras?
Miyamoto: During the time when Link is an adult, conditions are intensified. Ganon, from the Super NES game, is a human form before he transforms into a monster. Ganon's elements change during the adult, since he changes into a monster.
Q: Will the future change due to the activities in child Link's era?
Miyamoto: You can enjoy all the hard effort we've put into it. A lot of stuff has been jammed into it.
Q: When Link grows up will he grow stronger?
Miyamoto: Fundamentally, I'd like Link to grow stronger with strength items. From the beginning, I didn't want to make it such that the abilities Link had would be removed. There aren't any techniques you must know to become an adult, but depending on the item, there will be changes.
Q: What is the main difference between the child and adult Link?
Miyamoto: First, there's size (laughs). Sword fighting with the adult Link is more fun since he has had plenty of practice. Also, since Link's height is different, it affects where he can climb. But what's the main difference? Perhaps magic, since you can only use it when Link is an adult.
Q: What is the connection between Link and Princess Zelda this time?
Miyamoto: I can't really tell you in any detail since it has to do with the story. There is no romantic "Link" in this game, so let's say it has to do with the Triforce. Link's lineage also has something to do with it.
Q: What role does the Triforce play in this game?
Miyamoto: Uhh, again I can't really expound on this. Suffice to say it's the ultimate item.
Q: Who decided the name of Hyrule?
Miyamoto: Somebody chose the name out of the many sent in as suggestions. The name Hyrule was decided since the first Zelda. If you looked at the title screen, it read "Hyrule Fantasy."
Q: Is there a ceremony to become officially part of the Kokili?
Miyamoto: There isn't anything beyond the "Guardian Elf Bequeathal." Not particularly.
Q: What did you model the era of Zelda on?
Miyamoto: Even though Cowboy movies had somewhat of an influence, I brought some personal elements in as well. It's not about image, it's about creating realistic scenery. The background is just a paper maché set, so to make the background as realistic as possible, you need a theme. You have to be particular in order to have soil that looks like the real thing, or feel the change in time, or in temperature.
Q: Has the graphic for Pou [the ghost in the Zelda series] changed from before?
Miyamoto: He carries a lantern and wanders about, but other than this, nothing else.
Q: Goma [the spider creature] also appeared in the last Zelda, right?
Miyamoto: Ummm, he's changed a bit. Since he wouldn't look the same if we put him in 3D, the design had to change. He's certainly unpleasant, isn't he? We combined a crab with a bear to make him. It delivers alien-like eggs. It's gross.
Q: Does Stalfos [the skeleton] wear boots?
Miyamoto: Uhhh, yes he does. Graphically, he looks much better.
Q: Do the same enemy characters differ in strength?
Miyamoto: Depending on the extent of the weaponry, the strength differs.
Q: How large is Dodongo [the dragon]?
Miyamoto: He's extremely large. I think he's 65 feet long. He can see even though it looks like he has no eyes.
Q: Are other boss characters just as large?
Miyamoto: There are other humanoid boss characters, but fundamentally they are big.
Q: How many boss characters are there?
Miyamoto: Since there was a limit, I didn't make too many. I'd like to make over 10. Maybe 15 or 16.
Q: What is that clam-like enemy in some of the pictures?
Miyamoto: This is a monster called Dekubaba. He snaps at you! I crossed a dog with the snapping clam from Mario to make this villain.
Q: Does each character have different weak points?
Miyamoto: For example, if you attack Dekubaba's head while he's writhing on the ground, you can cut him at the joint. Just like harvesting rice.
Q: Are there any unseen enemies?
Miyamoto: Uhh, one of the items, "Eyeglasses of Truth," lets you see things that are normally unseen. You get the picture.
Q: If you defeat an enemy, will it disappear?
Miyamoto: Fundamentally, the enemy disappears where it was defeated. It would be cool if it remained, but if you trampled on it, it would be confusing, so it disappears instead.
Q: Are there any enemies that can't be cut with a sword?
Miyamoto: In general there are. I think it would be fun if small enemies would come out of the wound of a larger enemy. I'm thinking about small enemies.
Q: What about Ganondorf?
Miyamoto: The human form that Ganon is in before he transforms into a monster gradually changes.
Q: Will there be blood in the game?
Miyamoto: Blood? No, there won’t be blood. But there may be something else, like green body fluids. But that's pretty disgusting.
Q: Are there any enemies that ride on horses?
Miyamoto: I think there might be a few.
Q: Does Link's shadow-like alter ego appear?
Miyamoto: That idea was last minute when I made it (laughs). However, it won't be in this scenario.
Q: What is your favorite monster, Mr. Miyamoto?
Miyamoto: I haven't shown a screen shot yet, but it's something I'm working on that's neither friend nor foe. I'll tell you about it when it's done.
Q: What kind of equipment is there in the town?
Miyamoto: There are of course inns and tool stores. But this isn't a shopping game (laughs). It was difficult to display the atmosphere of the town in 3D. Please be patient! There's only one town, but its an enjoyable town.
Q: Is Link human?
Miyamoto: No, he's an elf.
Q: Is Link's costume that of the Kokili?
Miyamoto: Yes it is. The Kokili all wear similar costumes.
Q: Is Link wearing a pair of culottes (a divided skirt)?
Miyamoto: This would be a cultural difference such that if you asked Link this question, he'd say "What's a skirt?" It's a regular jacket. He's wearing tights underneath (laughs).
Q: Has the formal title been decided?
Miyamoto: It's already been decided [for Japan: Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time].
Q: What about the 64DD version?
Miyamoto: It hasn't been scheduled yet, but I'd like to make a 64DD version as well as a cartridge. We could make the 64DD version from what we have now. It's undecided, but if we can do it right, I think I'd like use the Zelda cartridge with the 64DD offering backup data. I don't want to have a game solely for the 64DD that you can't enjoy on a cartridge. We're investigating it right now.
Q: Are there lots of riddles to solve?
Miyamoto: This is still a secret. Wait and see (laughs).
Q: Are there riddles to solve involving the Rumble Pak?
Miyamoto: I'm thinking about it. There should be riddles that everyone can solve, even if they don't have a Rumble Pak.
Q: Are there any other means of movement besides the horse?
Miyamoto: Just the horse for now. There will be other ways of moving like warping or through magic.
Q: Could you tell us about the opening movie?
Miyamoto: It will be a completely realtime movie! I'm thinking about which are the best performances and cuts to use. It will be a lot of fun to make.
Q: Link's nose has become smaller, hasn't it?
Miyamoto: Certainly. It was bigger a long time ago, but now that we're using polygons, it would look deformed if it was kept the same size.
Q: Why are Link's ears long?
Miyamoto: Because he's an elf. This was decided from the beginning.
Q: Who was used as the model for Link?
Miyamoto: No one in particular.
Q: Were there any parts that were difficult to create?
Miyamoto: No matter how much I work on it, this game seems to have no end. I'll create one world, and no matter where I'd have to check the details... it was really difficult work.
Q: The graphics must have been tough too.
Miyamoto: The controls were more difficult than the graphics.
Q: So basically everything was difficult?
Miyamoto: Shooting a scene for the movie, for example, requires different techniques for each scene. Whether or not to deal with the camera for narrow and wide places, things like that. Even though machinery and materials have been completely prepared, it took a long time... That was the difficult part.
Q: Could you tell us about the imagery for the songs?
Miyamoto: The songs' imagery is close to "Environmental Music." Like the murmuring of a stream. Plus orthodox classical music. And Western full orchestra.
Q: Does Link have a girlfriend?
Miyamoto: If it was Princess Zelda, it would be great. However, this time Navie [the fairy] is jealous of Zelda. So within the story, Navie feels something for Link.
Q: What percent of the game has been developed?
Miyamoto: 90% of the system is complete. Since this is the only thing almost done, that's the only thing I can talk about. After that, you've got to create the data and put on the finishing touches. Altogether, I'd say it's 70-80% complete.
Q: Will this complete the series?
Miyamoto: By no means. If I want to do a sequel, I will.
Q: Have you formulated an idea for the next title?
Miyamoto: I haven't really thought about it...
Q: Are you anxious about when it will go on sale?
Miyamoto: I won't reveal the release date until development is complete. That's my rule. Sorry.
Q: If you had your wish, when would it be released?
Miyamoto: I'd love to have the development finished within the year, and to start debugging the game by New Year's. Debugging is quite laborious, so there's no telling how long that will take. Maybe 1 or 2 months. It will definitely not be done by December. Sorry.