The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker had a “Tingle specialist” on the development team whose sole role was working on everything related to Tingle and his various fairy friends.
That tidbit–and many, many others–come via a new DidYouKnowGaming? video diving deep on Wind Waker’s creation using newly translated interviews and magazines. According to the video, the “honor” of Tingle specialist went to developer Toshiaki Suzuki, who said in an interview that he had thought only of Tingle for months. One of his co-workers said “From dusk till dawn, he (Suzuki) thought about nothing but Tingle. It drove him crazy.”
One major revelation from DidYouKnowGaming?’s video is that game director Eiji Aonuma didn’t think Miyamoto would be a fan of the game’s cel-shaded visuals, so he waited to show Miyamoto the game until later in development when it was too far along to change it. Miyamoto “literally cringed” the first time he saw Wind Waker’s graphics, which he thought would have a negative impact on the game’s sales. Though he eventually came around to the idea, Aonuma recalled Miyamoto later telling the director that “it wasn’t too late” to change course and make a realistic-looking Zelda.
Though Miyamoto didn’t change the game’s art style, he did have a hand in toning down Wind Waker’s difficulty when compared to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Some of the bosses in the franchise’s classic Nintendo 64 entries proved to be too difficult for some players, so Miyamoto insisted Wind Waker be easier, with the game’s bosses becoming less difficult in particular.
Another big change over the course of Wind Waker’s development was that instead of using the titular Wind Waker baton to control the wind, Link originally used a lesser known electronic instrument known as a theremin. As DidYouKnowGaming? explains, members of the development team had recently seen a movie about the instrument’s creator and thought it would be a neat fit. The theremin persisted until about halfway through the game’s development.
There are tons of other fascinating details in the full video, including how the initial plan was to have all of Hyrule able to be explored underneath the game’s ocean and the extensive crunch developers on the project faced, so be sure to check out the full video in its entirety for more.