Zelda Breath of the Wild is without a doubt the biggest and most astonishing game Nintendo ever made. Playing it gives you an overwhelming feeling of freedom, thanks to the possibility to clearly go anywhere you want. Another reason is that it breaks the standards of a Zelda game. Not all of them, we can feel that it’s still a Legend of Zelda, but some. For example, the lack of what we call core items. You know, like the compass or the Hookshot. That’s right, there is no Hookshot in Breath of the Wild. But why? That was one of the most helpful items in the game!
Well, the development teams at Nintendo didn’t do this choice just to annoy the players who would want to swing their way between cliffs. During an interview with Kotaku at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Hidemaro Fujibayashi – Game Director – explained the testing process that the teams followed to decide which Zelda item would be in the game. They tried the Hookshot, obviously, and they even tried the Beetle from Skyward Sword. Guess it didn’t work out…
“Hookshot was [one] we experimented with and tested, as well as [the] Beetle from Skyward Sword. After a lot of experimentation and testing, we weeded out all the ones that had potential to detract from the gameplay and enjoying the game. What’s left currently, the four items, were really what would draw out the fun of the game.
We did at one point test what it would be like to be able to obtain some of these abilities in some point in the story. But when we do that, you are pigeonholed into having a specific order of dungeons. We did have ideas [that] if a certain dungeon needs bombs, for example, we might put a little bomb icon on the dungeon walls or somewhere on the ground.”