With the Nintendo Switch’s release coming in just two days, Nintendo decided to show off a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild prototype at the Game Developer’s Conference, and the difference in the prototype and the finished game is staggering.
Mainly, because the prototype looks like an NES game.
Considering how ambitious Breath of the Wild is, being an enormously open-world Legend of Zelda game, a lot of work had to go into it.
It’s also, according to director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, he wanted to break away from the Zelda formula of a pre-determined solution to a puzzle. Those were not only difficult to assemble, but the solution could also just be looked up online.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild prototype aimed to address this issue by allowing players the ability to solve a puzzle in any way they could think of. For instance, in the prototype, a player could transport a log by pushing it into a river and letting the current carry it.
Or they could cut a tree down, make a torch, light it, and then burn down the forest.
This prototype is the reason behind Breath of the Wild’s new physics engine, and also influenced the game’s chemistry laws as well, not to mention the art style.
Considering the various tools that have been seen in gameplay videos of Breath of the Wild, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild prototype looks like it did its job.
For instance, in order to get to a platform in the middle of a lake, players can either find a route to it on foot, or use a catapult to fling themselves over the lake and then parachute down onto the platform.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out on March 3 as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. Since it’s guaranteed to have puzzles, go see how many solutions you can come up with!