The Legend of Zelda’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, reacted in a rather strange way when he was shown Breath of the Wild for the first time. The game’s director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, told Kotaku that when he first showed Miyamoto the then work-in-progress title, the games industry legend spent an entire hour climbing trees.
“When we first presented this to Mr. Miyamoto, he spent about an hour just climbing trees,” Fujibayashi said. “We left little treats like Rupees on the trees, but we also left other things in other places we thought he might go. But he just kept climbing trees. Up and down. And so we got to the point where we go, ‘Do you want to look at other stuff?’ But he just kept on going. Once [he] got out of the Shrine of Resurrection, he spent an hour just within a 25-50 meter radius outside of that cave just climbing trees.”
Hidemaro was presenting the game to Miyamoto and Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma, and was understandably nervous about what they would think.
“My response to Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Aonuma was: You can do everything,” Fujibayashi said. “But I had to sell it to them. [And show] how we’re going to make this happen. And I felt like the best way to convey this idea to them was to show them that you could climb walls.”
The development team therefore built a small section of the game and filled with some trees, placing currency and other items where it thought Aonuma and Miyamoto would explore.
“We put Rupees at the top of the tree to let them know that this is something we’re taking into account, but I didn’t tell them,” Fujibayashi said. “All I did was say, ‘Here, play the game.’ So the first thing [Miyamoto] did was start climbing, and he climbed the tree, and once he was able to do that and see that he can go anywhere within this small field, he got how this game will play out and that’s how I presented it to him.”
Fujibayashi and his team’s efforts obviously worked perfectly with Breath of the Wild; the game was met with universal acclaim, including a 10/10 from GameSpot. Our critic, Peter Brown, called the latest Zelda title “the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created.” Read more in our full Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review.
And if you’re playing the open-world game right now, you might want to check out our in-depth guides and tips roundup.