Even The Zelda Creator Didn't Like Wind Waker's Art Design
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was controversial, to say the least. Of course, we've seen Link's adventures adopt a whole host of different art styles that range from whimsical to gritty. Still, the first huge step away for the series was in the GameCube classic.
Although Wind Waker has now seen a resurgence of love, it was met with a lot of backlash upon reveal. Despite its design being incredibly bright and charming with 3D models being relatively rounded off, fans of the series were caught in uproar and furious at the changes. It seems they weren't the only ones who weren't keen.
Even Miyamoto "Cringed" At Wind Waker's Design
As it turns out, Shigeru Miyamoto himself wasn't a fan of the art style of the game either before Wind Waker first shipped in 2002. These days, it's hard to imagine Wind Waker without this style, and if we ever get a remaster, it would have to keep a cartoonish style.
According to the research conducted by Did You Know Gaming for its new episode on Wind Waker's cut content, an interview in Nintendo Dream magazine saw Game Director Eiji Aonuma reveal that Miyamoto wasn't a fan when he first saw it.
Saying that Miyamoto "literally cringed" when he saw the game for the first time, Aonuma adds that "at some point, he had to give a presentation against his will. That's when he said something to me like 'you know, it's not too late to change course and make a realistic Zelda."
What Happened Next For Wind Waker?
Knowing that Miyamoto wouldn't be a fan of the new style, Aonuma also revealed in the interview that he wasn't excited to show the man himself the game right away. "If I had gone and talked to him from the very beginning, I think he would've said 'how is that Zelda?'" he said. "Miyamoto had trouble letting go of the realistic Link art style until the very end."
Regardless of Miyamoto's initial feelings - which were very similar to that of a lot of long-term fans - Wind Waker went on to see success. The rest is history. The game made waves (if you'll excuse the pun), and its bold choices were a huge reason for that. So the lesson here is to make sure that Shigeru Miyamoto hates your art before you release it.