February 18, 2005 - In an interview with the French publication Liberation, Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma commented on the next installment in the series for GameCube, and confirmed that a DS Zelda title is underway.
Aonuma, who was the level designer for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and directed the follow-up Majora's Mask, is currently overseeing the new GameCube Legend of Zelda. "I'm two-hundred percent involved in its development," he told the publication.
Shigeru Miyamoto's right-hand man was slim on details about the game. "The next episode in the Zelda series for GameCube is already coming, but I can't say absolutely anything about it," he explained. "You know the deal -- even the title and theme are still secret."
However, he did confirm two never-before-known facts about the project. "The next grand Zelda game, which follows chronologically after the Wind Waker, will be released at the end of 2005 in Japan," Aonuma revealed. The late 2005 release date in Japan would indicate that a simultaneous launch in the US could be planned.
Quizzed for more specifics on the game, Aonuma held firm, but did say: "I can reveal one lone secret: it'll be very, very beautiful."
Aonuma also spoke on a Legend of Zelda title for Nintendo DS. "There's no doubt about a Zelda game for the DS," he said. "In fact, know that our ideas for Four Swords have greatly contributed to the concept behind the DS."
The producer also noted that his work on the GBA-based Four Swords influenced the direction of the DS. "The gameplay ideas we came up with for Four Swords provided examples on what kind of games would be possible on the Nintendo DS and what kind of advantages the double-screen would enable. It was all theoretical, but today we realize it's a pity -- a real shame -- that we haven't created a demonstration of a real, great Zelda game for DS."
In addition, Aonuma spoke briefly about his career. The 40 year-old producer revealed that he had never touched a videogame before he began work at Nintendo as a designer some 17 years ago. "My first experience playing a game was Zelda: A Link to the Past. A great memory that still influences me to this date."
So what does the man who helped shape the Legend of Zelda series think of its faithful hero? "Link reminds me a lot of the little boy I just had: always happy, playful, and talented enough to get himself out of every situation."