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Skyward Sword Once Was A Button-Based

Felix Kemp
Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Wii MotionPlus

Skyward Sword Once Was A Button-Based

Team Initially Skeptical Over Motion Plus Controls

Ever since it official unveiling at E3 2010, much has been made of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's MotionPlus-enhanced swordplay. While it suffered a few well-publicized glitches at first, subsequent media previews have confirmed the motion-sensing sword-swinging action is in good shape, and Nintendo is clearly very proud of the system. However, this wasn't always the case, as news has emerged from the latest Iwata Asks column that the Zelda team once considered dropping motion-controls in favor of a button-centric adventure.

Sitting down with the Zelda team, game director Eiji Aonuma - who's been at the helm since Majora's Mask - revealed that the studio was at first skeptical over the inclusion of MotionPlus controls. The team had just finished Twilight Princess, which was ported to the Wii and included an admirable - considering the short development cycle - attempt at integrating Wii controls. However, full on motion-sensing swordplay seemed impossible to Aonuma, who began prototyping Skyward Sword with button prompts in mind.

However, when Wii Sports Resort was released, an update on the original package with all new activities utilizing the newfangled MotionPlus controls, Aonuma found that the fencing and archery mini-games felt suited to a Zelda experience. His team was already hard at work finalizing controls for a button-based input when Aonuma told them he'd decided to use MotionPlus for Skyward Sword after all.

The team's skepticism soon became enthusiasm, and Skyward Sword represents perhaps the biggest exponent of the MotionPlus controller input yet. The entire game is structured around it, especially the new dungeon-solving tool, the Beetle, which you steer in midair to collect objects and bypass perilous obstacles. The Iwata Asks column reveals the Beetle was once fan-favorite tool the Boomerang before it was replaced, with Nintendo even toying with the idea of an explosive fist gauntlet you launched into the air. [Siliconera]

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