The Wind Waker's Producer Initially "Cringed" at the Game's Art Style

Shigeru Miyamoto didn't like the game's cartoony art style and asked the developers to make a redesign.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker game director Eiji Aonuma shared he hesitated to show the game's producer Shigeru Miyamoto the version of the game his team had created as he was afraid Miyamoto wouldn't like the art style of the game. That's according to recently translated old magazines interviews with the game director published by the YouTube channel DidYouKnowGaming?.

The interviews reveal that the initial plan of the team was to improve the graphics from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask – they even built a prototype of the game in that style. However, later the Zelda team's artists proposed a design of Toon Link, and the rest of the team loved it so they decided to stick with this toon shading art.

In one of the interviews, Aonuma shared that he feared that Miyamoto would not like the redesign, so he waited until the game was in the latest stages of development to demonstrate the project to his boss. And indeed, when Miyamoto saw the game he "literally cringed" and thought that the game wouldn't sell.

The producer of The Legend of Zelda series couldn't accept the way the game looked for a long time. He even proposed that the styling could be redone even when production had already begun. "At some point, he had to give a presentation against his will," Aonuma said. "That’s when he said something to me like 'You know, it’s not too late to change course and make a realistic Zelda.'"

Eventually, the developers kept the cartoony style of Wind Waker as, first, the team was convinced of their choice; in addition, Miyamoto decided that it would take too much time to create a realistic Zelda for the GameCube console.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was released in 2002. The game was both critically acclaimed and well-perceived by players. In 2013, it was released in HD remaster for Wii U.

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